Lead Guitarists, is 3 Guitars for 1 Gig Too Much

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,774
Location
Santa Barbara, California
To my ear open position stuff just sounds better with a lower tuning. But closed position stuff in D or lower doesn’t sound as clear (thinking like if you have a jazz standard you play between the 3rd and 10th frets and then all of a sudden it’s one or one and a half steps lower).

But Eb I don’t think you really miss anything either way, it just makes open stuff a little more thick.
I know that the metal heads like those low tones. Drop C, etc. No question that it sounds thicker. The irresistible urge to head bang increases as the toanz get heavier.

I'm more of a classic rock, soul, R&B guy, where sounding thick is not the goal. Sounding clear is usually the goal.

 

telequacktastic

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Posts
1,780
Location
Fort Worth
My band plays with horns so we're very comfortable playing in horn keys like Bb, Eb, F, while staying in standard tuning.

I totally understand the desire to drop tuning in order to play in key of E and A fingerings while producing lower tones, but
in some ways I also find it a bit silly, at least for electric guitar. Acoustic guitars obviously sound dramatically different when using open chords rather than bar chords. But rock and roll? Just play those E-shape and A-shape bar chords, wherever.
Sounds like you have other lead instruments in your band - I do not have that luxury; Cheers to you sir.

In this band, I'm tasked with note for note signature guitar licks containing a mixture of open strings and fretted notes during a show in different keys than they were recorded in. I have to play "the riff" in a new key - It is what it is.

Thanks for your take.
 

Flat6Driver

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Posts
5,386
Age
49
Location
DC Burbs
I wish I could find the clip, but there's a video of Neil Young playing a solo acoustic set (in England I think)......and he has about twenty acoustics in stands on stage with him. At the beginning of one song, he's walking around this "crowd" of guitars, trying to find the one tuned for the next number. Yeah....he plays it for a laugh, but it is hilarious. ;)
His 1992 solo tour was like that. :)
 

burtonfan

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Posts
1,517
Location
michigan
Well, if you need 3 guitars for the gig, then 3 guitars are just right. If you need 1 guitar, then 3 is too many.

I depends. ;)
 

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,774
Location
Santa Barbara, California
Nobody ever needed a spare … until they needed one.
The other guitar player in my band has always been bringing one guitar. In two recent gigs he broke a string. We played an instrumental tune until he could switch out the busted string. Problem is that he is TERRIBLE at re-stringing. What would have taken me about one minute took him about 7 minutes. I told him he needs to start bringing a spare guitar.

Why is he bad at restringing after being a guitar player for decades? A) he only changes strings when he breaks them so doesn't get much practice. B) I don't think he realizes there are these cool, cheap, plastic string-winder tools that you put on the tuning peg so you can spin them a heck of a lot faster.
 

scottser

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Posts
3,772
Location
dublin
ask the lad who offered you the gig for a lend of a couple of the guitars he uses. he won't be needing them after his surgery.
 

mfguitar

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Posts
2,214
Age
62
Location
Buffalo
For most nights I have a spare (never used), my acoustic is tuned down a 1/2, and then I capo up for other tunes. I know there are signature licks that sound different without open strings but possibly you could work around that if there are not many songs that demand it. I think if you are agreeing to the gig then you owe it to the band to make them comfortable. I recently learned a night's worth of material for one gig that the guitar player could not make due to illness. Miraculously he recovered and I was not needed; such is the business.
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
35,332
Age
63
Location
Maine
The other guitar player in my band has always been bringing one guitar. In two recent gigs he broke a string. We played an instrumental tune until he could switch out the busted string. Problem is that he is TERRIBLE at re-stringing. What would have taken me about one minute took him about 7 minutes. I told him he needs to start bringing a spare guitar.

Why is he bad at restringing after being a guitar player for decades? A) he only changes strings when he breaks them so doesn't get much practice. B) I don't think he realizes there are these cool, cheap, plastic string-winder tools that you put on the tuning peg so you can spin them a heck of a lot faster.
Maybe introduce him to wire cutters and show him how they work?
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
35,332
Age
63
Location
Maine
Sounds like you have other lead instruments in your band - I do not have that luxury; Cheers to you sir.

In this band, I'm tasked with note for note signature guitar licks containing a mixture of open strings and fretted notes during a show in different keys than they were recorded in. I have to play "the riff" in a new key - It is what it is.

Thanks for your take.
So if this is an established well paid band and as tight as it sounds, every lick the same at every show, AND you want to do it, ask your friend to loan you at least one Tele. (Sounds boring)
Presumably you will get paid what he got, and you will keep his seat warm for him.
Not a hobby band, right?
Pro musicians and pro venues?

If it is not a well established well paid gig, screw em, play your own licks how you like in the keys they specify.
 

scottser

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Posts
3,772
Location
dublin
So if this is an established well paid band and as tight as it sounds, every lick the same at every show, AND you want to do it, ask your friend to loan you at least one Tele. (Sounds boring)
Presumably you will get paid what he got, and you will keep his seat warm for him.
Not a hobby band, right?
Pro musicians and pro venues?

If it is not a well established well paid gig, screw em, play your own licks how you like in the keys they specify.
That's what I suggested, but all I got was sad face
 

msalama

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 16, 2021
Posts
1,776
Location
EUnistan
Nope. I've heard the old Harlem Apollo house band often had 3 guitars per a gig, and those players reputedly never stepped on each other's shoes playingwise*. Hah, just go for it!

*Source: Carlos Alomar
 
Last edited:

AAT65

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
6,770
Location
West Lothian, Scotland
The other guitar player in my band has always been bringing one guitar. In two recent gigs he broke a string. We played an instrumental tune until he could switch out the busted string. Problem is that he is TERRIBLE at re-stringing. What would have taken me about one minute took him about 7 minutes. I told him he needs to start bringing a spare guitar.

Why is he bad at restringing after being a guitar player for decades? A) he only changes strings when he breaks them so doesn't get much practice. B) I don't think he realizes there are these cool, cheap, plastic string-winder tools that you put on the tuning peg so you can spin them a heck of a lot faster.
Well, the other electric guitarist in our band never brings a spare guitar and ever changes his strings! He’s had to use my spare guitar more often than I’ve used it…

I have brought 3 guitars to a gig, but it’s the main guitar, the backup and a lap steel. I think with the current band I’ve only swapped guitars for sonic reasons once — and I decided the sonic difference was mostly in my head, not the audience’s ears, so ever since then the spare has been in its bag till it was needed.
 

telemnemonics

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Posts
35,332
Age
63
Location
Maine
That's what I suggested, but all I got was sad face
Yeah herding cats you cannot expect results...

Edit: sorry didnt realize that was me.
I was thinking you meant after surgery the guy would NEVER play guitar again, but of course you just meant while healing up.
 
Last edited:




Top