Do You Play Solo Electric Guitar?

loopfinding

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I have, but it’s been jazz-adjacent so it wasn’t weird or out of left field.

I don’t think it’s a problem with more singer/songwriter or rootsy stuff, but it seems to lend itself better to a low key feel I think. I think you can get away with bashing on an acoustic more than electric in that context, cause electric doesn’t really have the same percussive component to it, the attack is more blurred/compressed.
 
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39martind18

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Sorta.
I could do set.
I know a few instrumental “recital pieces”.
Stuff like Moonlight In Vermont, Satin Doll, Watch What Happens, Cherokee, Stompin’ At The Savoy, Christmas Time Is Here, etc.
I had a monthly solo gig at a wine bar (House Wine) for a decade.
I’d do stuff like that, and sing a little.
It was by definition a “wallpaper” gig.
It went the way of the buffalo with the recent health, uh, hassle.
I couldn’t do a night of solo guitar.
Joe Pass I ain’t!;)
Well, Brookdalebill he ain't!
 

39martind18

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I've been playing solo gigs for most of 55 years, some with acoustic, some with electric, with and without backing. I had to add backing in the form of a rhythm box at first when others did it. From there, I expanded into kicking bass pedals with the rhythm box drums, eventually going to an analogue system that tied in automated bass lines, drums, piano and organ sounds, all played with the feet. Eventually I went to computer generated backing tracks (I've used Band in a Box for pretty close to 30 years now). All through these changes, one constant has held true: I almost invariably use an electric guitar to play. Were I not to use backing tracks, I might use an acoustic, but all of my semi and full hollowbody electrics are equipped with piezo pickup bridges, so I can get a fairly convincing acoustic sound from my electrics, should I want. I try to get the fullest, "prettiest" sound I can from my electrics, especially if they are all I'm using to back my vocals.

In my current solo act, I do use BIAB backing tracks, and run a Roland GR30 guitar synth with my guitar for various sound textures, with the synth signal going through the PA and the guitar signal through my '79 Vibrolux Reverb or TMDR. The main focus of all of this hoorah is to accompany my vocals.
 

USian Pie

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I play solo exclusively. Unfortunately, all I have time to do these days is the occasional one-take YouTube video that I often take down after getting tired of hearing every little mistake.

I would love to find a regular venue to play in person more often again. I don't care about the money. It's just fun to play for people.

Acoustic is usually what people expect in those situations. I have a Godin Fifth Avenue archtop that I absolutely love to play and I think it would work, too. The same arrangements usually work on both. My acoustic playing doesn't emphasize the percussive techniques that seem to be getting all the likes these days. I've been working to incorporate more of that. In the meantime, it feels like less pressure just to play the electric and not have folks expect me to be go all conga on the guitar's top.

The thing I love about solo guitar is the challenge and sense of accomplishment. It's not easy to arrange and play something that includes the right bass notes, melody, rhythm, and some hint of chords. And while the listener might just hear "pretty guitar", it's pretty rewarding when it comes out as recognizable piece of music.
 
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Cyberi4n

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Went to an open mic recently with the band I'm in. First time I've been to one in years, and certainly post-pandemic. The band core members (drummer and bassist) haven't played live in years, and myself and the other guitarist are new to the band. We wanted to try out some new material I'd written for them, so we rocked up with just guitars.

The venue we chose is the self-proclaimed "live music" pub in Chester, and there was a space set up as a "stage" with a PA, a single bass combo, and some acoustic drums. There was a mix of acoustic solo, electric solo, duo's and three-pieces playing mainly blues and folk.

The electric stuff sounded good, and it inspired me to get a small tweed amp, and writing a couple blues tracks of my own with a view to doing one or two of these myself. Whether i do so or not remains to be seen, as I'm a terrible singer, but in reality probably no worse than some of the acts I watched that night.
 

philosofriend

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I used to play solo electric guitar (no voice) in restaurants and at church before services started. It seemed to me much easier to get a good sound with an electric rather than an amplified acoustic. I did learn to be real particular about having pickups with adjustable polepieces so that all six strings could be comparable in volume.
 

rand z

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The Late Great Tony Joe White would occasionally perform solo with his Strat.

(However, he mostly did it as a duo with a drummer.)

Apparently, back in his early days, he performed solo with a Gibson and P90's, while stomping on a wooden Coke crate.

I did it at a gig while on a solo Mid West tour and my acoustic died.

The only other guitar that I had with me was a Telecaster (yep).

So, I plugged into the PA and went on with the show.

It wasn't desirable; but, it did work... and, I got paid!

imo.
 




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