Do You Play Solo Electric Guitar?

wulfenganck

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I play in a duo, me guitar, uke and bass; the singer does some percussion and occassionally bass.
We do "cheat" as we have an old Yamaha drum computer for a couple of songs and we also use a JamMan for live-looping.
I play whatever guitar suits best: my Ibanez Artcore AF75 for the majority of songs, a Johnson JM994EA resonator for some Seasick Steve and other bluesy stuff, a La Mancha Rubinito nylon-strings (I do actually prefer the sound of nylonstrings to steel acoustics).
It would maybe look kind of odd to play a....Flying V or a B.C.Rich Warbird.
But then - if that would be your guitar you feel the most comfortable with, who cares about the looks?
If there are "gatekeepers" at an open mic night, the whole thing is not worth it.
 

Controller

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My wife played drums and i played a hollow body electric and sang for years. Dynamics are the key. Strumming, fingerpicking, I find electric gives me a lot of tone options and you can go from whisper quiet to loud very easily.
 

Matt G

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. . . I wonder if anyone here plays solo electric guitar (without backing tracks or the like)? I know there are a few professionals that do, but how about the rest of us?
I'm not gigging, but am very happy playing solo electric. Fingerpicking helps, so there's some low end to balance things out. If I were gigging, I expect I'd work the looper in a low-key way to keep things interesting for listeners. Whether electric's more interesting than breaking out the acoustic six or twelve (all mine have built-in pickups), I can't say; I'd probably put it to the vote and go from there.
 

Mike_LA

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With my looper and zoom fx pedal I do 1/2 hour by myself.
 

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LGOberean

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I've never heard of a "listening club" before. I'll have to look that up. Going to a club to actually listen to music? Sounds like a novel concept to me. :rolleyes:;)

Haven't done any open mic events in at least a decade, either, so my participation in this discussion is based on gigging. In answer to your question, yes, I play solo electric guitar. As I've said several times on TDPRI, I am a solo performer (as opposed to a performer of solos). My performances are just vocals and guitar, almost exclusively covers, but with no backing tracks or a looper. I typically gig with an acoustic/electric and a tele, so at gigs I do both "acoustic" and "electric" sets. Various factors determine which songs I'll play acoustic vs. electric.

I have a gig tonight, BTW, and as usual I'm taking an a/e and a tele. My a/e guitar is always the same, my Logan Custom a/e tele style. As for the tele, I have 5 of them, and I tend to change things up from time to time. Tonight I think I'll go with my Logan Custom "Firecaster I" (custom made for me by Bob Logan of Logan Custom Guitars out of lumber salvaged from a house fire). It has Bill Lawrence's Keystone pickups for tele, and a 5-way switch with Lawrence's wiring scheme, so it's quite versatile. And besides, the two guitars look good together, each one sort of like the mirror/negative image of the other...

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AJBaker

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I play in a duo, me guitar, uke and bass; the singer does some percussion and occassionally bass.
We do "cheat" as we have an old Yamaha drum computer for a couple of songs and we also use a JamMan for live-looping.
I play whatever guitar suits best: my Ibanez Artcore AF75 for the majority of songs, a Johnson JM994EA resonator for some Seasick Steve and other bluesy stuff, a La Mancha Rubinito nylon-strings (I do actually prefer the sound of nylonstrings to steel acoustics).
It would maybe look kind of odd to play a....Flying V or a B.C.Rich Warbird.
But then - if that would be your guitar you feel the most comfortable with, who cares about the looks?
If there are "gatekeepers" at an open mic night, the whole thing is not worth it.
I have the same Ibanez Artcore. For a long time it was my main gigging guitar, great instrument, especially for the price.
 

Jakedog

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If I’m playing solo, just me singing and playing, I do it acoustic. I’ve tried it electric, I just don’t think it sounds as good for my style of music.

I also won’t use any kind of backing tracks or a looper or anything. If I’m performing solo, it’s just my guitar and voice.

For duo stuff, my partner plays an electric. It’s a pedal steel, but I think that counts.
 

nadnitram

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For the past few months I've been performing live at a "listening club," which is kind of like an organized open mic venue. It has stage lights, microphones, a sound system and all the extras for performing. It's a back/side room of a restaurant, so dining while listening is the norm.

Even though there is a sound system, the performers typically use acoustic guitars. If they have onboard electronics, they plug them in. I don't recall ever seeing any performer using an "electric" guitar. I've seen electric basses used as accompaniment, but never as a solo instrument.

As a result, I've taken to practicing and performing with acoustic guitars even though I have a "stable" of electrics. I recently purchased a lovely Taylor 12-string and a nifty, great-sounding Furch Little Jane travel guitar, which join my growing acoustic collection (my mainstay acoustics are a Martin DJr-10E and a Taylor GS Mine-e Koa).

I'm going to "damn the torpedoes" and go full speed ahead by bringing my custom-made Holst archtop. No, it's not a slab (Strat, Tele or LP), so I don't expect to create a fuss, but I wonder if anyone here plays solo electric guitar (without backing tracks or the like)? I know there are a few professionals that do, but how about the rest of us?
At Sharkey's on the Pier, Venice Beach, FL, I saw a performer getting fantastic sounds out of a nylon-stringed Godin Multiac.
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Yesyoudidyouare

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Um this is a telecaster forum... wth do you think we play????????????????????


I did purchase an american Fender custom shop made Acoustasonic, to use at the venues you described above.

I did A/B the acoustasonic with a neumann miced "normal" acoustic guitar.
The acoustasonic sounded better.

Very nice quality mahogany guitar, best setup I have ever seen in a guitar.
 

bigbean

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I have done solo electric with no vocals for a decade or so in the 80s and early 90s. Basically covering what a pianist does for musical wall paper at an expensive restaurant. You can make it work but there are lots of challenges. One of which is to play some things that are up tempo and rhythmic enough to keep yourself and every one else awake. A small number of songs with tracks or loops might not be cheating but relying too much on that is cheezy and counterproductive (in my opinion - but I'm an old guy). I might give it another shot this winter - but I might not.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Never. For me it's strictly an ensemble instrument.

Saw Paul Simon on his Graceland tour. For his encore he did "Sounds of Silence" solo on a big Gibson jazzbox. Sounded great. Of course.
 

MyLittleEye

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Even though there is a sound system, the performers typically use acoustic guitars. If they have onboard electronics, they plug them in. I don't recall ever seeing any performer using an "electric" guitar. I've seen electric basses used as accompaniment, but never as a solo instrument.

I'm going to "damn the torpedoes" and go full speed ahead by bringing my custom-made Holst archtop. No, it's not a slab (Strat, Tele or LP), so I don't expect to create a fuss, but I wonder if anyone here plays solo electric guitar (without backing tracks or the like)? I know there are a few professionals that do, but how about the rest of us?

I'm a fan of Marisa Anderson - She doesn't sing, she just plays solo electric guitar.
I particularly enjoy the simple yet shimmery tones she gets out of her instruments.

 

drmordo

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No, but I absolutely would. My uncle is a killer fingerpicker who gigs on acoustic constantly, but he would have a lot more fun with an archtop. And he evens owns a pretty decent one, but he only gigs it with a big band he plays with sometimes.

That said, I consider acoustic more of a percussion instrument than a melodic instrument. It's almost like an alternate reality version of a marimba. So you have to approach solo electric differently; less chicka chicka and more implied rhythm. Maybe this probly controversial concept deserves its own thread...
 

Ed Driscoll

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A plugged in Acoustic is an electric instrument.


The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" was apparently recorded with John playing the P-90 pickup mounted right in front of the soundhole of his Gibson J-160E acoustic:
Paul's eye-witness account sheds a little more light on this subject. "John had a semi-acoustic Gibson guitar. It had a pick-up on it so it could be amplified...We were just about to walk away to listen to a take when John leaned his guitar against the amp. I can still see him doing it. He really should have turned the electric off. It was only on a tiny bit, and John just leaned it against the amp when it went, 'Nnnnnnwahhhhh!' And we went, 'What's that? Voodoo!' 'No, it's feedback.' 'Wow, it's a great sound!' George Martin was there so we said, 'Can we have that on the record?' 'Well, I suppose we could, we could edit in on the front.' It was a found object, an accident caused by leaning the guitar against the amp."
It's a great electric tone -- though I have a sneaking suspicion that the Beatles just might be miming the song for its music video:

 

thesamhill

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acoustic more of a percussion instrument than a melodic instrument.

Yeah, I agree with this and it would make a solo gig with an electric tough.

I think I'd only really be getting close to happy with it if I restrung the electric with 12s or higher. It would stink to play a solo gig with squirrelly 9s or 10s wobbling all over the place.
 




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