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Old 04-06-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
dragnet99
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Well, I feel like an idiot.

Just when I thought I was getting fairly well-versed in guitar overall, I run into yet another totally random video that confuses me:



I honestly have no real idea what this technique is. His right hand appears to be plucking one or two notes at most with his thumb and a single finger, while his left hand is creating what appear to be chord shapes (triads? or perhaps just double-stops)? Would you call this lead? Rhythm? Something in between?

I watch guitar footage as often as I can to try and understand as many different ways of playing the instrument as I can, but this isn't ringing any bells.

EDIT: Just so it doesn't look like I'm dumping this on everyone else for help; here's my best idea: He's playing a series of triads (or similar small, compact chords), but plucking individual notes from each. So his left hand appears to be fretting out a chord progression, but his right hand is producing something that sounds much more like a lead melody. Is this somewhere in the ballpark?

On a more general note, since I think this would be helpful to a lot of people: I've learned a ton about chords, and I've learned a fair amount about lead (by intermediate standards, in both cases). But whenever I see anything that doesn't appear to be 100% chord-driven or 100% lead-driven I'm totally lost. Does anyone have any general advice on how to bridge these two extremes? I know this is an extremely vague question, but it's probably my single biggest frustration as a growing guitarist and I've heard others say similar things before. There's SO much between "all chords" and "all lead melody", but that appears to be the hardest part of the instrument to learn in the way of books, tutorials, etc.

Last edited by dragnet99 : 04-06-2013 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
ivan987
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Well it's not really anything complicated, most of the time plucking an open string with his thumb, and playing two note power chords or root + third on D and G strings with his other fingers.

While I agree this style of playing blurs the line between traditional rhythm and lead playing, I don't understand why do you even have to label it at all? I mean, it's not really important how to name it.

People who play classical guitar play both rhythm and lead almost all the time. On the other hand, many guitar players are inspired by Hendrix's chord playing. Look into it a bit.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:08 AM   #3
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You need to stop trying to compartmentalise stuff as "chords" and "lead"....those are artificial distinctions that don't really mean anything in a practical sense. It's all just "playing the guitar", and people choose to play things because of the way they sound.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:37 AM   #4
dragnet99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
You need to stop trying to compartmentalise stuff as "chords" and "lead"....those are artificial distinctions that don't really mean anything in a practical sense. It's all just "playing the guitar", and people choose to play things because of the way they sound.


Exactly, this is actually what I'm getting at. I realize I don't have a totally tangible question to ask (so feel free to dismiss me if I'm just being an annoying newbie ), but I'm at that frustrating beginner/intermediate point where I really can't bridge the divide between those two (despite wanting to).

Are there any general tips for thinking of the guitar in more holistic terms? I have a good library of chords, scales and legato techniques, but for some reason whenever I see anyone doing anything that isn't clearly one of those things, I have a hard time figuring out what's going on. Is this a common thing for people around the 1-2 year mark? Is there any particular path of study to break that division down?

(And I agree about Hendrix, his barre chord embellishment style is one of the first breakthroughs I've made on this front, but so far it still seems like another specific tool among many others, as opposed to an overall new way to think about the instrument).
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
Guitarra_acores
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
You need to stop trying to compartmentalise stuff as "chords" and "lead"....those are artificial distinctions that don't really mean anything in a practical sense. It's all just "playing the guitar", and people choose to play things because of the way they sound.


+1 what really matters is how much sonic space you want to occupy to provide the effect you are after.

Lead can sound full and chords can sound weak, it all depends on the context and the real important stuff like dynamics.

Thinking of your playing as lead or rythm is extremely limiting you want to eventually erase all those boundaries.

As for exercises, developing your ear helps with this
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #6
Shadowofravenwo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
You need to stop trying to compartmentalise stuff as "chords" and "lead"....those are artificial distinctions that don't really mean anything in a practical sense. It's all just "playing the guitar", and people choose to play things because of the way they sound.



Agreed!!!!!
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:31 AM   #7
cdgraves
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Just double stops. most of them are 4ths with the open A droning.
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