One or Two Guitars for R&B/Pop?

2HBStrat

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...if you have two guitarist who can play actual parts...99% of the players I know put out as much stuff as they can every second of every song, and that's the reverse of what you want for this music. Do either of you have the discipline to play one eighth note triad every measure?
Amen, brother! Guitarist they I know won't set out for a second OR play a part. One of them told me, when I mentioned a particular guitar part ON THE RECORD that he could play, "I like to play it MY way."

Two guitarists CAN work together well if they can keep their guitar hero egos out of the way...
 

Old Verle Miller

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Hi,

I'm starting an R & B/Pop type band which will cover Bill Withers, Michael Jackson, Abba, Bee Gees, Culture Club, softer stuff you can dance to. Much different from the distortion-based rock I've always covered or played originals in.

I'm the only guitarist and I like that because it's just easier to learn the songs that way. One of the band members has a friend who'd like to play second guitar. The only time I've played in two guitar bands is when we cover two guitar bands.

This new thing has one guitar, keyboard, sax, bass - and of course drums and vocals. Do you think we need a second guitarist?
For that kind of music, anyone who comes to a cover band has to bring some strong backing vocal talent as well as an instrument. If they can play rhythm to your lead and sing, they might be worth the money.
 

Tonetele

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You don't NEED two guitars but it is great to bounce off another player.Like Keith and Ronny do. I've played in a band like that since the 80s and we ( other guitarist and I) still have a ball.
 

Guitarteach

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Telecaster and a 335!
Motown songs usually had a Tele and Gibson humbucker guitars in the rhythm and lead tracks.
I am doing studio sessions with an R&B and Soul 9 piece at the moment. I have a tele (sometimes a strat) and an old 345. Perfect combo. The 345 is fine and got enough jangle for the funk parts too.

You don’t need a second guitarist.. keys would be the better complement.

i am also in a two guitarist cover band.. can get away with virtually every tune with one guitar unless the acoustic + electric combo is vital but even then we can get away with it with an audience if it is just me.

The more interesting partner instrument would be a decsnt stage synth/piano/organ.. organ parts can cover the stabs and sustained brass parts or orchestra layers and the guitar the snaps and solos. Agree that BVs are v. Important.
 

P-Nutz

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I play in a ten-piece, old-school funk band, doing most all of the guitar work. Every now and then our second trumpet player will back me up. You might be surprised at how many songs contain some little single-note run or stab chord. YMMV.
 

bettyseldest

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I played in a band covering similar material in the early nineties. Bass, drums, two guitars and a keyboards/sax player. We sounded prety good as the keyboards player did a great job of covering our inadequacies as guitarists.

I would have thought that, with competant musicians, two guitarists are not required in your situation. Also, given that the difficulties experienced in organising a band increase in relation to the square of the number of band members, don't do it.
 

Chiogtr4x

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For me ideally...

( just to go back to playing more, say slow blues w/ the sustain of an organ, or R&B add some funky electric piano/ clavinet, or say a honky-tonk piano, in some Country tunes)

...I'd go with keyboards ( who can sing harmony or lead vocals too) vs. second guitar.

But honestly, I'm going on 25+ years playing all kinds of cover music in a trio ( or trio+harmonica)
It can be sparse I know- but when you have great bass and drums to play with ( and I'm lucky there!) you can have a blast jamming, on covers...
 




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