An Extra Guitarist: Me=Louder?


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ItsOnlyGNR
01-13-2010, 07:05 PM
So I'm forming a band for battle of the bands this year. It was originally me on lead guitar, a guy I was in a band with a year ago or so who sings and plays guitar, and a bassist and a drummer. Recently, the drummer told me that he was previously going to form a band with this other guitarist, and now this guitarist wants in with our band. Now this drummer is pretty exceptional, and I don't wanna lose him by not letting this new guitarist into the band, but the singer refuses to be in the band if he's not playing guitar. So we decided to just have all 3 guitars. Now don't get me wrong, this is perfect, now that we will be able to play all the guitar parts in "Dani California" but I was just wondering if I will have to turn my amp up louder now that there's an extra guitarist?

smartalec007
01-13-2010, 07:07 PM
If your the lead, then you should probably be a little louder than him, but not much.

ark
01-13-2010, 07:14 PM
the best way is to dial in tones that compliment each other. For the sake of the band, your tones need to work together instead of competing with each other. Volume doesn't matter much, you might use a boost and what not for lead solos and certain parts, but in general get 3 different tones that work together, this will help make it so all the guitars playing don't sound like a wall of noise.

ItsOnlyGNR
01-13-2010, 07:20 PM
the best way is to dial in tones that compliment each other. For the sake of the band, your tones need to work together instead of competing with each other. Volume doesn't matter much, you might use a boost and what not for lead solos and certain parts, but in general get 3 different tones that work together, this will help make it so all the guitars playing don't sound like a wall of noise.


This brings up a question now... I like to use single channel, old school amps so I can experiment with different pedals, and right now, I like to naturally overdrive my amp a little bit and then turn on my fuzz pedal, so it gets really really fuzzy and loose. Now, the other guitarists, I think, have modern amps that have plenty of amp distortion, but it's nothing like my fuzz sound... So how will I be able to get their distortion tone to fit in with my fuzz tone? Or should I go out and get a new distortion pedal so my tone will fit in with theirs?

User_Name336
01-14-2010, 03:49 PM
nope. what you have their is a fairly ideal set up.
your fuzzy tone will stick out from a distortion saturated tone. especially when you start playing lead. your tone will sound more natural and the lead will roll out and should cut through easily. play with the eq if it doesnt.

a problem does arise. you shouldn't have all three of you playing distorted. it will sound too chaotic and messy. one should play clean or acoustic is even better. at the very least, just slightly over driven (so its barely noticeable). play around with eq (this is very important with three guitarists) and make sure the two rhythm guitarists (or two lead if you choose that path) are complimenting each other not only in sound but melody.

ItsOnlyGNR
01-14-2010, 04:22 PM
nope. what you have their is a fairly ideal set up.
your fuzzy tone will stick out from a distortion saturated tone. especially when you start playing lead. your tone will sound more natural and the lead will roll out and should cut through easily. play with the eq if it doesnt.

a problem does arise. you shouldn't have all three of you playing distorted. it will sound too chaotic and messy. one should play clean or acoustic is even better. at the very least, just slightly over driven (so its barely noticeable). play around with eq (this is very important with three guitarists) and make sure the two rhythm guitarists (or two lead if you choose that path) are complimenting each other not only in sound but melody.


Well, it turns out the drummer was very willing to ditch the guitarist he was gonna bring in cuz this guy has no work ethic whatsoever when it comes to being in a band. So now it's just me and the singer playing guitar. So will it be okay now, if he is playing distorted at the same time as me? Because, if you've ever listened to Dani California, the chorus has a double-tracked distorted guitar, and in the 3rd chorus or whatever, there are 2 guitars playing harmony, and they are both distorted.

User_Name336
01-14-2010, 07:28 PM
yes, two distorted guitars are fine as long as you eq them differently. most rock bands will use two distorted guitars

SomeoneYouKnew
01-14-2010, 10:06 PM
but I was just wondering if I will have to turn my amp up louder now that there's an extra guitarist?Absolutely not! This is how volume wars get started.

If you add instruments, the ones competing for the same frequency space all need to be just a little quieter, not louder. Else the bass, drums, and vocals will need to be louder. Do that and the whole sound picture becomes louder than intended. Too loud and it gets harder for each to hear what they're doing. So each person has a tendency to turn up. The process continues until ears are bleeding.


To make it easier for you to hear what you're doing, get your amp up at ear-level. Move yourself closer to your own amp to get your guitar heavier in what YOU are hearing. This way, the overall sound picture can still remain balanced.

You can also organize the different guitar parts into different frequency ranges. One plays toward the low end, another in the middle, and a third at the upper end of the guitar's range.

Or you can use different timbre. Maybe one guitar is clean and jangly sounding. Or it might have a deep, jazzbox sound. Or a mild crunch. Or heavy overdrive. Or severe distortion.


There are plenty of ways of managing more guitars.
But turning up your volume is not be the way to do it.

ark
01-20-2010, 06:09 AM
This brings up a question now... I like to use single channel, old school amps so I can experiment with different pedals, and right now, I like to naturally overdrive my amp a little bit and then turn on my fuzz pedal, so it gets really really fuzzy and loose. Now, the other guitarists, I think, have modern amps that have plenty of amp distortion, but it's nothing like my fuzz sound... So how will I be able to get their distortion tone to fit in with my fuzz tone? Or should I go out and get a new distortion pedal so my tone will fit in with theirs?


Trail and error would be the way to go, get together, jam and feel it out and adjust accordingly. My bands been together for a while and we constantly tweak our amps. I use a single channel Vox through a marshall 4 12, and my other guitarist uses as marshall dsl through a mesa stiletto and we've been tweaking our live tone like crazy for years, and it keeps sounding better, we also get our bassist to fill in levels as well, he uses an active musicman bass and he keeps the gain up to make up for the vox's lack of tight bass and adds a bit of extra balls to the mix...have fun, mixing tones and getting your band to sound tight sonically is fun, lots of work, but fun...it's like shaping your personal tone but with a band. good luck

RadioMuse
01-22-2010, 01:22 PM
A big things would be using different tones intentionally and using different chord voicings when you're all playing the same thing... Like for a "G" have someone playing the regular "cowboy" chord clean, have someone else doing a crunchy G5 powerchord and the third playing the "C" chord shape up at the 7th-10th fret with the volume rolled back on fuzz (or something). Or inversions, suspended, etc.

It not only adds depth but it should allow you to differentiate who's playing what. If you're lead guitar your full-on SOLO tone should be notably louder than all the other guitars; about on par with lead vocals; that tone should only be used for solos though. The rest of the time you should probably just use a more 'cutting' tone and be at roughly the same volume as the rest of the guitars. Individually the guitars should be quieter than if there was only 1 or 2... Collectively they're re-enforce each other enough to make up for their less ear-splitting volumes. Constructive interference!