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#1
I play guitar, and my friend wants to start jammin' with me and playing at jam nights and stuff but isn't sure what instrument he wants to play.

I do guitar and lead vocals, he wants to do backup vocals, maybe lead vocals for a couple of songs, but he doesn't want to look like a dick when he's not singing, he's considering harmonica or an acoustic bass guitar, or an acoustic guitar..

Just looking for some opinions, we've jammed out with my guitar and harmonica before, sounded decent, but it's a diatonic in C, and sounds off when I play songs in different keys, not so sure if he'd really learn how to play a chromatic..

Acoustic bass guitars look cool and original, but we don't know anything about them other than the fact that we can't think of any bands that use them (is there a reason they aren't popular?)..

Any input would be appreciated.. I'm after some minimalist examples using a guitar basically, and no drums.
#3
you cant go wrong with harmonica bro..... just grab him a bunch of them for different keys...
also, acoustic guitar duos are pretty impressive if they're done well
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#4
Piano we can't do, since we can't find any keytars, and I don't think he's much of a piano person, I can play them well though..

Yeah, I figured getting a harmonica in each key would probably be his best bet, but wouldn't it be a better option for him to get a chromatic, and then actually learn how to play it?
Because the diatonics when they are in the right key require absolutely no skill.. can just blow in any hole and have a sense of melody going on and your set haha..

The acoustic duo thing would be cool, but it'll be harder for him to find a decent guitar since all the left handed guitars cost more money here for some reason.
#5
singing saw!!!!

psycobilly bands use stand up basses that obviously are accoustic. I think its really just easier to use electric though.
Last edited by mr. cool at Mar 29, 2009,
#6
hmmm, there is an actual art to harmonica playing.... you can play them in the first position like bob dylan(this is the skill-less variety you referred to but that's debatable) or you can play them in what's called the cross harping position which gives a more bluesy rocky feel i find..... there's also a bunch of techniques you can learn to bend notes on a harmonica to hit notes that are not standard to the diatonic harp.... plus, a harmonica costs about 20 bucks and a chromonica costs 300 odd and rising.....
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#7
I would say anything really. Get creative.

Electric bass could work well. But, obviously, there'd also be the need for a small amp.
Stand-Up bass and acoustic guitar is great
Acoustic bass is good too, just look at The Violent Femmes.
Even just a snare drum would work.

Depends on what you want to play too.
Something like a violin could provide leads and melody while the acoustic is doing the rhythm. And then you mentioned singing.

Just depends on what sound you're going for, and what he's willing to put the time into learning.
#8
If you're friends not really musically inclined, i guess a fiddle or flute ain't gonna fly
what about a tambourine or even a cowbell? haha
#9
There's also the increasingly popular mandolin and banjo. Can't go wrong with a ukulele either.
#10
Dual guitars. then you can do epic stuff call and reply. he does bass while you do treble. you got a large range of stuff.
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#11
A buddy of mine and I sometimes play out with just a guitar and various hand percussion items. ie, Tambourine, bongos, djembe, marraccas, shakers etc... You can come up with some pretty nice stuff if you experiment.
#14
bongos, hand drums, gymbee sp? all are sick. My friends usually sit around and jam out with two electrics, set of bongos, two gymbees and harmonica... really nice
#16
Quote by King Turi

Yeah, I figured getting a harmonica in each key would probably be his best bet, but wouldn't it be a better option for him to get a chromatic, and then actually learn how to play it?
Because the diatonics when they are in the right key require absolutely no skill.. can just blow in any hole and have a sense of melody going on and your set haha..




I don't even know what to say to this... just check out someone who is actually known for good harmonica playing.
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#17
The diatonic harmonicas have no "wrong" notes on them though, which is what I meant - they are piss easy to play.

2 guitars would be nice though, because it'd mean after he's learnt some chords I could play lead over it or something, would open up more doors than most other instruments I reckon, besides a Keytar which I can't find..

Cheers for the input..
#18
Quote by Schneiderman


I don't even know what to say to this... just check out someone who is actually known for good harmonica playing.
the phrasing, oh the phrasing

Ive got a djembe that i play with a few acoustic players i know, its good fun
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#19
Because hitting the notes in the scale is all there is to music... Saying the harmonica is easy to play because there are no "wrong" notes is like saying that all you need to be a fantastic guitar player is to know where the notes are on the fretboard, same for any other instrument. Actually if you want to look at it from that point of view, almost all instruments are piss easy to play. Hell, drums are the simplest things in the world, you don't even have to worry about notes at all! (usually)
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Last edited by Schneiderman at Mar 29, 2009,
#20
Piano, harmonica, percussion other than snare/toms and a kick bass, Telecaster played clean, another acoustic....the list goes on and on.

However, harmonica is one of my favorite acoustic accompanyment instruments
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#21
Quote by Schneiderman
Because hitting the notes in the scale is all there is to music... Saying the harmonica is easy to play because there are no "wrong" notes is like saying that all you need to be a fantastic guitar player is to know where the notes are on the fretboard, same for any other instrument. Actually if you want to look at it from that point of view, almost all instruments are piss easy to play. Hell, drums are the simplest things in the world, you don't even have to worry about notes at all! (usually)


I don't think you quite understand what I was trying to say.
It wouldn't be like your guitar reference at all, it might be if the notes that weren't in the scale weren't on the guitar at all.

The diatonic harmonicas have all the right notes available, and no wrong notes basically, so whether you admit it or not - you can successfully jam out to a progression in C Major, with a diatonic harmonica in C, without having any idea what you are doing and what notes you are using, and it will sound pretty good generally.

I love having a harmonica as an additional instrument though, as they really blend well with the acoustic guitar sound.. hard for him to decide whether he wants an acoustic or a chromatic harmonica, or a diatonic in each key..
#22
a diatonic in each key sounds like a good idea. And it'd cost about half as much as a chromatic. That way, you two can start jamming quite quickly, rather than having the frustraion of still learning a whole new instrument and trying to play with a proficient player.

Sounds like fun.
#23
i always found a harmonica to accompany it best
followed by tambourine, for percussion
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#24
Tambourine is a bit too hillbilly-ish.. I don't wanna give off any hippy-esque vibes or anything..
Not after that kind of thing.. a harmonica in each key would probably be our best bet, or a left handed guitar, since he's able to get a solid sound out of my guitar when he plays chords upside down (he's left handed), so maybe he should get a guitar, since it doesn't look like it'll be too hard for him to pick up.. getting a solid sound out of the guitar tells me he should be able to strum some chords decently in no time..
#25
Mandolin or Banjo. You sort of would want a stand up bass then but you could manage without one.
#27
If you want him to do some percussion skip all the goofy little instrument and have him get a cajone, they are really cool and basically are a mini drum kit that you sit on, look it up on youtube or something to see what it's like.
#28
Depends on the style. Over here Guitar and Bazouki is a popular mix. Or with Fiddle/Mandolin/banjo. Tin whistle can work and flute is wonderful (my wife plays flute). I know a duo of 'cello and classical guitar in Dublin. Lots of options apart from the obvious harmonica.
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#29
I would reccommend an acoustic bass guitar...or...play the bass lines on an acoustic for a similar sound...get creative, no rules here!
#30
Quote by bderivan
If you want him to do some percussion skip all the goofy little instrument and have him get a cajone, they are really cool and basically are a mini drum kit that you sit on, look it up on youtube or something to see what it's like.


Looks like an excellent decision, might be a bit costly but heck, I'd use one myself at times.

Cheers for the advice fellas.
#31
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#32
id go with a mandolin or ukele really they both go great with an acoustic or a cello that i think would be really nifty
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#33
harmonica, piano, upright/acoustic/electric bass all work well, but if there's a drumkit involved, then wrap the stick heads with foam.
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#34
ya djembe or hand drums would be (IMO) the best first accompanyment.

Accoustic bass is cool, but I've yet to see and acoustic bass that puts out enough volume. A regular cheap bass with a small amplifier works just as well.

I also keep some egg shakers, an E harmonica, and jews harp (jaw harp) in my case....
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#36
Why the harmonica in "E"?

I haven't looked into Djembe's yet.. whatever we decide on, we want it to be something he can stick to and get better on, egg shakers and tambourines and the likes aren't quite what we're after..
#37
Depedins on your style, but I think a conga (or better yet, a pair of congas) sounds damn tight with an acoustic. And yes, two guitars would be epic also
Last edited by Oldboi at Apr 2, 2009,
#38
Brass! Tubas, trombones, french horns, and trumpets sound great always. As long as you're not too overpowering, it should sound good with an acoustic. Also, no amps. Check ebay, dawg.
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#39
Either hand percussion, or harmonica. I play harmonica on a rack + acoustic guitar for my bands acoustic ballady songs, which is where its the singer, bassist, drummer playing hand percussion, like tambourine, bongos or djembe, and me playing acoustic and mouth harp.
#40
A 6&a12 sound great togeather you could try seperate tunings I dont know what they would be but bands like the eagles used 2 or 3 guitars all in different tunings and they sounded awesome
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