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Differnt techniques for different guitars?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rosett, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. rosett

    rosett Tele-Meister

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    I play in a band that plays western swing, vintage country, early jazz and even some bluegrass. When we play in the bars we use a drummer, and I play a tele, but we also play small venues without a drummer, and are semi-acoustic. At the semi-acoustic shows, I play my 1944 Epiphone archtop plugged into an acoustic amp.
    When I'm playing the tele, I play with a very light touch, and use a flatpick and my fingers. I bend alot of strings, and do some faux-steel stuff. When I play the archtop, it's flatpick only, and I hit it hard. My hands are always sore the next morning, but it sure is fun! The first time I used the archtop, the singer told me that I sounded "kind of Django-like". That's high praise in my book, and boosted my interest in playing it. I still like the tele though.
     
  2. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I dunno about a whole lot, but I know I can turn on different personalities with different guitars...I tend to get all Keef-y with my tele, I can't stay off a SRV vibe on my strat, and it's all I can do to NOT go all Billy Gibbons with an LP.

    When I play acoustic by myself, I play bare fingers, using the meat for lines and the tips of my fingers to strum...but it's way to quiet to play with other guys unamplified, so I keep a pick handy for those times.
     
  3. Brian blaut

    Brian blaut Friend of Leo's

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    I hear that. I certainly approach my Tele differently than my Gretsch. Its probably one of those things that other people don't notice (in my playing). But to me they feel and sound different, so its natural to compensate or exploit the differences. I think I tend to do both.
     
  4. emiller45

    emiller45 Tele-Holic

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    With me, it has more to do with the style of music than the guitar I am playing. When recording, I might use a different guitar for a different application. For example, I might haul out the 335 for western swing or the Tele for Texas honky tonk country.

    That said, I play with a band that does a combination of Texas honkey tonk and western swing. I use the Tele exclusively on the gig. Too much hassle (or I am too lazy) to switch back and forth and the Tele handles the swing just fine when you learn good amp and effects settings.
     
  5. Jerolin

    Jerolin Tele-Holic

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    I certainly use a little bit different techniques for different guitars.

    Well....sort of. I play more technical\"fast" stuff on my teles, and "finger-picked blues" type stuff on my vintage teiscos and silvertones. Really it's only because my Teles are easier playing for me.
     
  6. brokenjoe

    brokenjoe Friend of Leo's

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    I used to match the guitar to the gig, but now I've only got one guitar, so it's the other way around!
     
  7. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Sure. For rock and blues gigs its a tele with a lot of string bending. I also play in a swing band playing Freddie Greene style comping on an Epiphone Joe Pass and lead in a gypsy trio with a SAGA Gitane

    All differant , all cool
     
  8. araT

    araT Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 to both of you..

    I find each of my guitars, even "similar" ones (the two teles, the two LPs, all the different humbucker guitars, etc) have a different "personality" and I tend to play them all differently. I guess that's why I like having such a broad collection of guitars.
     
  9. telerious

    telerious TDPRI Member

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    Absolutely!

    This is very true that different styles of playing require different instruments and techniques. Many people tend to be attracted to flashy technique on the electric guitar where players like Alan Holdsworth or Danny Gatton bring very different "flash" and virtuosity to their art. These are both masterful players but it would seem that either player would be challenged to try and do what the other guy does.

    There are levels of virtuosity that are subtle in classical and jazz players too, and that has to apply to other styles as well. For classical players, there are all kinds of technical choices and skills needed that most people do not even hear when listening to classical guitar. Tone, projection and articulation, but also part playing (counterpoint) takes a lot of work and constant attention to pull it all together in performance. The classical guitar has basically no sustain (notes attacked decay immediately) let alone the help of bass player or drums to attract and carry a listener's attention.


    Nowadays, we hear more of these techniques applied to the electric guitar and in different styles of music. The guitar is evolving.
     
  10. B Valley

    B Valley Tele-Afflicted

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    When I pick up an acoustic, I will rarely use a pick, but every one of my Teles has a pick stored through the three top strings up at the nut. I hadn't really thought about it before, but I play with a pick and fingers on a Tele and when I play a Strat I rarely use my fingers. It may be that I just associate different music with each guitar.
     
  11. wierdOne

    wierdOne Tele-Holic

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    I've always believed in the "visual influence" of how a guitar looks affecting how you play it... i.e. it's really easy to find yourself attempting to play jazz on an archtop, bluegrass on a martin... etc..... however, I do believe that there are things to be said for the string height on a guitar with a floating bridge vs. bolted on bridge/string gauge/neck angle effecting just HOW a guitar can be played...

    String tension is probably the biggest factor to me as to what styles you can play on a guitar..

    It's really hard to dig in and flatpick on a telecaster with 9's on it.. that's why I use 12's... very versatile... not too much fun to bend... but the ss frets help with that..

    FWIW, I was one of the first people to own a line 6 variax... it was a really strange sensation to turn the dial and have the guitar sound like an acoustic... then a tele... then a strat...

    I found myself playing the Variax very differently depending on each setting... in other words... strumming it when it was set on the 12 string, chickin pickin on the tele setting... SRV'ing it on the strat...

    i guess that proves that (at the time) I associated different styles of playing with different guitar sounds...
     
  12. rosett

    rosett Tele-Meister

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    That's a big part of it for me. I feel like I can play the archtop acoustic better than I can the Telecaster. I think it's mostly the string height from the body. I mostly played mandolin for many years, and the floating bridge with the strings high off the body just feels more natural. Maybe I'll bring the Epiphone to the bar gig tonight...
     
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