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Why Do Guitarists Continually Switch Guitars During A Show?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Stanford Guitar, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’d switch if I broke a string, unless I only had a couple songs to go in a set.
     
  2. Itgoesto11

    Itgoesto11 Tele-Meister

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    Saw Sheryl Crow live back in 2003 and Pete Stroud used a different guitar on Every song. First and only time I’ve ever seen that.
     
  3. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The reason they switch guitars every song is to make you envious of their station in life. (if you're not already)
     
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  4. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    At $150 a ticket, I better not hear sour notes.
     
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  5. clayfeat

    clayfeat Tele-Afflicted

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    When I saw Cheap Trick back in 1981 (I think....I was 15) I watched the guitar tech as much as I watched the band. He sat to the side of the stage with a big strobe tuner tuning up guitars and handing them to Rick Nielsen after every song or two. I was all, 'oh that's what a tuner looks like!'
     
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  6. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I was about to comment, but this covers it I think.
     
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  7. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    I watched a rig interview with primary guitarist for Mannheim Steamroller where he stated 90% of songs could be played on one guitar. But the special guitars are an integral part of the show.

    Same with Joe Bonamassa, he’s said his is a show for guitar geeks, they want to see/hear the collection.
     
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  8. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Amateur hour. o_O
     
  9. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I use D'Addario EXL110 strings. I have never broken one. I do not use a wanker bar, but bend the crap out of them. I think I have broken about 3-4 strings at gigs, the last one many years ago. The last to break were two Elixir unwound strings. I leave the D'Addario strings on for up to four months at my whim.

    As to why I hardly ever break strings and others do I have no clue.
     
  10. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    One for E Standard/Drop D.

    One for Eb Standard/Drop C#

    And a dose of showmanship.
     
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  11. somebodyelseuk

    somebodyelseuk Tele-Meister

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    Ego.
     
  12. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Afflicted

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    I think in the latter days of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page took great pride in the amount of guitars he took onstage, and the number of times he switched them out for different songs and tunings. As he told Guitar Player in 1977, "I know when I come onstage it looks like a guitar shop, the way they're all standing up there."

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. 4wotitswurth

    4wotitswurth TDPRI Member

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    On a side note... I once saw this guy playing poets night club in Lafayette, Louisiana... Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton... he broke a string mid act and I was amazed how little it affected his playing and on stage banter... he plays slide from what I recall, he also cooks a gumbo onstage while playing... just the slickest string change I’ve ever seen, barely missing a beat so to speak...

    on another, change guitar side note.... Danny Gatton, playing his tele, drenching it with beer, while playing slide. I cannot stand having anything sticky on the fretboard or my hands... and that video just amazes me, if ever a guitar change was needed that’s the case, yet he plays as if nothing happened and the froth is everywhere ..... and the sound is still magic.
     
  14. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I saw Chris Whitley open for Tom Petty in Houston in 1991. During his last song, he broke a string. Rather than have a roadie run a new guitar out to him, he said, "Oh sh--, I broke a string. Well, thanks y'all. Goodnight." End of set.

    It was a funny contrast, him playing solo on an ancient National reso guitar with no showmanship at all except his own authenticity and great voice, playing, and songs, compared with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and their giant treehouse stage set, wardrobes, dozens of guitars, dummy amps, light show. Before that night I never really thought of Tom Petty as a big slick pop star act.
     
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  15. lupowitz

    lupowitz Tele-Afflicted

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    Frank Zappa sent his guitar backstage after every solo for retune, but always got the same one back. Whether he played the SUAPYG Les Paul or the yellow Performance Strat with Floyd Rose.
    Although he got baptised by fire, 'cause if you check the Roxy sessions, the recently published unseen video footage, it shows and embarrasing struggle to tune his SG.

    Once I saw Scott Henderson with his Blues Trio. He played his signature Sure strat, and I have never seen anyone using the wang bar as much as him, and it resulted in a string break, not surprisingly. But he didn't have a spare guitar, nor a roadie, so he pleased us with a 5 minute string change session, with houselights on, during which he swore to God he'd stop using D'addarios, 'cause they are ****.
    A few days later I had lunch with the feller who provided the backline, and when I told him this story, he said that he offered backup guitar but Scott refused it.
    The music was good, though.
     
  16. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

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    Guys like TP and the Heartbreakers, and The Rolling Stones, at least Keef, use capos a lot. Page too. They usually have one guitar for say open G tuning, capo V, for example. Or just regular tuning capo IV. You can imagine going down that rabbit hole, especially if you’ve got lots of guitars you love and a guitar tech.

    EDIT: Page didn’t capo much but played at least 5 different guitar tunings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
  17. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    IMHO, having a tech running out fresh guitars, etc kinda takes the rock and roll out of it.
     
  18. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's all for show, to impress everyone with a short attention span when the DVD is released.
     
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  19. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Most impressive guitar change I ever saw was Doobie Bros. on TV, 20-30 years ago. Tom Johnston was playing a sunburst Gibson Firebird and singing one of their hits when he broke a string. Instantly he dropped his arms to his sides, and two techs rushed out. One tech unplugged the old guitar and took it off him. The other tech placed an identical Firebird on him, and plugged it in. It took five seconds tops - Johnston kept singing through the change. Reminded me of the crew changing tires at a stock car race.
     
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  20. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Either I broke a string or the guitar wasn't "doing it for me" at the time.
     
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