#1
Are there any specific types of wood for an acoustic top that would be better to do Guitar Drumming like John Butler Trio? It's sounding quite pathetic on my cheap Walden and I'm thinking about getting serious about playing this style of music. Thanks!
#2
Really, any guitar will do. I am not a master of this type of playing, though I hope to be eventually. The guitar he has in the video that you linked to is a 12-string Maton Dreadnought guitar. Although I have mostly seen people use dreadnoughts, any guitar will work, it just takes some time to find the right sounds and how to get them.

Jumbo and Dreadnought shaped guitars, because of the deeper parts of the body, will give a bassier sound when one taps or strikes it, and when tapped on a thinner part it will give a sharper, higher sound.

I personally enjoy this style (or what i can play of it :P ) on a 000 size guitar, which is a small body guitar that is very different from a dreadnought (though not the most different.)

The main thing is to find where on the guitar you get certain sounds and how to get them. Like, on my 000, hitting the bridge of the guitar with the underside of my palm gets a fairly convincing bass-drum sound, or at least the closest my guitar will get. And then a firm slap on the middle section (right next to the sound hole) will give it a snare-drum type sound. I can get a more ringing sound, that I use as a cymbal even though it is not as close to it as the others, by using my nails and tapping the side hard (my nails are not long by any means.)

That, however, is only for my guitar. Its all about experimenting.
Last edited by ReChord at Nov 27, 2008,
#3
Thanks for the input, I guess I'll keep playing around with my Walden and see what I can do. I'm having quite a bit of trouble trying to get a proper snare or any cymbal type sound though, oh well.
#4
Well, what body shape is your Walden, do you know? Maybe I can suggest some places to try (though alot more than just the shape factors into it, the shape does play a major role in it.)
#6
Ok, cool, dreadnoughts are pretty straitforward (well, they all are, but I know the standards pretty well.)

First, hold out your thumb like you are hitch-hiking or giving someone a thumbs up. Take your thumb and strike the bridge of the guitar (where the strings connect to the body, yours is a rosewood bridge ) and when you hit it, let your thumb bounce off, not just stay there. Don't beat the crap out of it, but feel free to hit pretty hard. One of the things that made me start to sound decent is when I realized my guitar was not going to break if I used a little force. That should be your bass sound. Experiment with other places and ways to hit it, but that should be a pretty good starting point.

You said you had trouble with a snare or higher drum sound, this is harder to identify so you will need to tweak what I say to your guitar by messing around with it. This is the sound where you cant hit it lightly, or else there is no force to the sound and it will sound sort of lame. First try this: Take your hand and slap it with the tip of your fingers (use your whole hand in the motion, sort of flick your wrist, but actually hit with your fingers.) That should give you a pretty good snare sound. If that is not what you are looking for (sometimes that sounds too woody and full, not bright or snappy enough) then tap hard with your nails. When I say tap with your nails, take your hand away from the body and hit it with your nails quickly, again letting it bounce off. You need to let it bounce off because if it lingers too long then it will deaden the resonance and dull the sound. If you need something sort of inbetween those sounds (sometimes the nails sound too thin) then take your hand and slap (again, with your fingers, not your fingertips, but the meat of your fingers) against the SIDE of the guitar next to the neck, but on the body. Choose one of those for your snare sound, or mix and match depending on the song.

And cymbal, well, there isn't REALLY a cymbal sound that you can do. You can compensate for making sounds similar that you can sort of use in place of it. Try muting the strings with your left hand, and slapping your right hand across the strings and see if you can use that clicky sound that the strings make when they hit your fretboard. You can also use your nails on different parts of the wood for a clicky tone, which doesn't sound too cymbal like until you actually use it in a song, then the clicky stuff comes over really well.

Tell me if that works and which of the places on your guitar works best, I am genuinely curious, because by the looks of it, you actually have a pretty nice guitar (or at least better than my current one.)
#7
The bass comes easy enough, I need to practice the snare a bit more but it seems possible to get a decent tone out of it if I hit it right. still can't get a hang of the fingernails hit though. I'll get back to it tomorrow when my roommates aren't trying to sleep and I'll let you know if I ever get some good sounds out of it. Thanks for all your help