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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by refin, Jul 30, 2014.
What about the lead singer in a band with only one singer? Ego stroke much?
In the band cover band I played in for several years, the other guitarist was what I considered the Lead Guitarist. I probably played more solos than him... but he was a far superior guitarist, and 'carried' the music way more than me. There were some complex parts/nuances I couldn't handle. That all fell on Kevin.
He was sort of the 'alpha' guitarist and it worked well in our band. For such a perfectionist, he also demonstrated great patience working with me and my fairly limited abilities.
I don't mind reading sleeve notes, which explain which guitarist played what, on specific tracks- and I have no problem backing up great players, when I get the chance. I've spent happy evenings laying down rhythm parts and never thinking about soloing, when the crowd have turned out to see an award-winning visitor. I've even turned down solos, in that context.
On the other hand, I've discouraged my nephew from describing his role in his band as 'the lead guitarist'; he comes across as a little conceited, when he says it.
"Alpha Guitarist" .... I like that; as long as he only marked out his territory "Sonically"!
I have stated for years that this position should be called "follow guitarist". I can't lead a song I never heard before; but I can usually follow it, and hopefully contribute something.
Listen to I Want To Hold Your Hand which has no solos in it. George is clearly playing lead guitar and John playing rhythm. John is playing the chords in a steady rhythm while George is playing chops, and melodic bends/guitar runs.
In the case of Elvis in the early days, Elvis would beat out the chords on his acoustic while Scotty finger picked a melody or some rockabilly/blues licks or played chops/double stops. Lead guitar is way more than just playing solos and chords. It's about providing something different and more melodic than what the rhythm player provides.
Frank Zappa used to do that. After about 1976 he decided he was fed up trying to play rhythm and sing at the same time so he pretty much only played solos from then on.
And, by 1969, Elvis had the late John Wilkinson & Charlie Hodge both on rhythm guitar (although, Charlie was mainly acoustic rhythm & John played electric rhythm) and he had Mr. James Burton doin' the solos. There was also a rhythm guitarist in the orchestra as well - but I can't remember his name.
If you still want to see liner notes that mention who the lead guitarist is (and, FWIW, I like that term), just check out Brad Paisley's CDs. He never fails to mention his players.
(I still can't wait to pick up the issue of GP with James on the cover!)
He gets away with it, though, since he wrote all the music and sang.
Correct. The lead player is the prominent player. He probably plays the solos, and other interesting bits. But he's the "lead" guitarist because his instrument is the prominent guitar in the arrangements.
I honestly can't see a single thing wrong with calling a certain guitar part the "lead guitar part". That would mean that the part was played by a certain member. In most cases the same member plays the "lead guitar part" on every song. Why would he not be referred to as the Lead Guitar Player?
Maybe this is a case of antiquated terminology but I certainly don't remember being butt-hurt because the member of the band who played the lead parts was called "the lead player"...
I play lead guitar. Everything I play sinks... Oh, you mean treble guitar!
(Sorry, had to say it! English language quirks 'n all)
lead guitar players are fighter pilots.
fiddle players and pedal steel players are astronauts.
The rhythm section is the ground crew that makes it possible for the fighter pilot to fly in the first place.
I'm in a 2 guitar band but we both play lead and we both play rhythm. Just depends on the song. And I don't just mean solos, I mean the lead 'parts' in the songs as well, and some songs we trade back and forth between the two mid song. We both have our own style and tone, and I think it helps keep things more interesting.
I never suspected the term would be an issue. To my humble brain "lead guitar" simply means the guitar that is most prominantly featured during a song. The term "lead..." is an old term that I believe predates modern pop music and goes back to pre World War II musicians.
Also, why do we call them solos when some/all of the band is still playing?
This is what I've always thought, too.
i agree. never ever forget your Offensive line. how's that for a mixed metaphor?