#1
Hello!

I just have a quick question: In bands that only have 1 guitar player, such as Dream Theater for instance, how do they get the rythm guitar while Petrucci is soloing? (disregard cases in which they invite a guitar player to the show)

I mean, obviously they have the songs recorded, but how do they do it? Record it and then someone presses a button and BAM it starts playing, or is it something pre-recorded, like a backing track, that only has those specific parts?

I dont know if this question makes any sense, but I was wondering about this, so that I can try to apply something similar to do with my friends.

Thanks for any ideas!
#2
They record the Rhythm track first, then record the solo while playing back the rhythm. It's not that complicated
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#3
Dream Theater have a keyboard player, however most bands do nothing...that's what the drummer and bassist are for.
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#4
Keyboard, some bands with one guitar and no keyboard will just go guitar solo + bass. It sounds emptier but it can still work.
#5
Some bands use tracks, D'espairsRay for example have 1 guitar player and so use multiple extra guitar tracks live.

Other bands will just have the bass and drums playing during a solo, Pantera for example always did this live.

A keyboard player also helps to fill up the sound during a solo, a lot of power metal bands do this.
#6
He may use a looper on stage
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#7
A few ways,

With Dream Theatre, their keyboard player usually plays under Petrucci as the guitar part if he isn't doing anything else on the recording. Other ways bands would get around this are:

Get another guitarist live. (Greenday ALWAYS have a backing guitarist whether you see him or not).

OR

Using a pre-recorded part. (Which means the drummer will have to be on a metronome to keep tempo). These can be triggered by backstage peeps or midi footcontrollers by the musicians.

OR

Use a loop pedal if the rhythm part is the same as before the solo kicks in. So you record your rhythm guitar live or before then play it when you want to solo.
#8
but how do they use it? Is it something like, Portnoy hears the metronome start counting and then knows when to start, leading the others, and if they follow that time, when it gets to the soloing part, they (recording + band) are both on time?
#9
Quote by J_Producer
A few ways,

With Dream Theatre, their keyboard player usually plays under Petrucci as the guitar part if he isn't doing anything else on the recording. Other ways bands would get around this are:

Get another guitarist live. (Greenday ALWAYS have a backing guitarist whether you see him or not).

OR

Using a pre-recorded part. (Which means the drummer will have to be on a metronome to keep tempo). These can be triggered by backstage peeps or midi footcontrollers by the musicians.

OR

Use a loop pedal if the rhythm part is the same as before the solo kicks in. So you record your rhythm guitar live or before then play it when you want to solo.


I see... the second choice might be a good idea, if everything is correctly programmed!

EDIT: sorry for double posting
#10
Dream Theater doesn't do anything fancy live. Petrucci just plays the solo, and you don't hear the rhythm guitar part.
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#11
Quote by Doodleface
Dream Theater doesn't do anything fancy live. Petrucci just plays the solo, and you don't hear the rhythm guitar part.

Even on the records, the keyboard usually fills up the sound enough during a solo.
#13
Quote by Sosippus
I see... the second choice might be a good idea, if everything is correctly programmed!

EDIT: sorry for double posting


This sounds like something I'd never want to try live. Rather just solo over bass and drums. If you're good enough for the 2nd option your band should be good enough for no rhythm at all. Depends on the song/style I guess.
#14
Quote by Sosippus
but how do they use it? Is it something like, Portnoy hears the metronome start counting and then knows when to start, leading the others, and if they follow that time, when it gets to the soloing part, they (recording + band) are both on time?


A professional band will have lots of money. Using this money they can get in ear monitor, with separate mixes for each monitor, so that each player hears something that only that person hears. They can have a click track going in the monitor, which is designed to change time signatures or tempos with the band. Then the band will stay in perfect timing throughout, and the rhythm guitar track can come on when the click gets to the right place. If they use a looper, then the click track will keep them in time, and provided the guitarist hits the looper at the right time, the loop will be in time with them. Some bands have every little detail planned, and its not a big deal to get everything right if you put enough time and money into setting it up.

I don't know what Dream Theater does exactly, but I know they have in ear monitors, so it wouldn't surprise me if they use a click track (or maybe just Portnoy hears one). I've heard that he has a "secret drum", which is just an electronic drum which only plays in the in ear monitors, so he can use that to count the band in, which is how they all can start at the same time without the audience hearing any count in. A click track could easily be linked to him hitting this secret drum.
Last edited by isaac_bandits at Dec 30, 2009,
#15
I don't know if it helps, but when I saw Dream Theater, in the intro of the Count of Tuscany something (or someone) was playing the clean intro while Petrucci played the solo over it. It's the only song I remember something like that happening though.
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#16
Quote by Alter-Bridge
I don't know if it helps, but when I saw Dream Theater, in the intro of the Count of Tuscany something (or someone) was playing the clean intro while Petrucci played the solo over it. It's the only song I remember something like that happening though.


I had that too, and I'm nearly certain it was a recording. That's just what I assumed. Keyboards wouldn't've done it justice there.
#17
Just do it like Jack White does in the White Stripes. Play your guitar and have drums fill up any other space.
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#18
^ the white stripes are empty-sounding thus

hmm anyways for recording you just overdub. others call a session guitarist (that's what they are for) and then you can call him over to you gig too...
or use a looper tho i dont trust this one. really it's kinda risky for me... for intro stuff it's easier. you put on the prerecorded stuff. and it'll give you the tempo and there wont be anything to mess up...
but hmm for metal bands if you need a heavy rhythm while you play your solo your if your band has got 2 guitarists and both of you gotta play harmonized parts... (like Avenged Sevenfold) then you can split the Bass signal have one to be clean and the other one to be distorted. you can turn on the distorted sound when the solo part comes and it'll overlay on the clean bass and it wont go "empty"...... for more classic stuff you can just play over the bass or keyboard it's more than ok!!!!
#19
Loopers are neat effects, though overused. I can't imagine trusting them to carry an entire instrumental part during an entire section of a song, though.

For recording, it's easy with one guitarist. Just play multiple parts and overdub. I'm doing that now for some songs for my original band. Green Day does it too. Loads of bands do this.

For live, I think it is a case of different strokes for different folks. Some bands will go the 'prerecorded tracks (or samples) with drummer listening to a metronome' route, which is really very easy to do, so long as your drummer can play to a click. Others will just have the solo over whatever is left and make it work. Best thing to do, I would think, would be to YouTube some live videos and watch and listen to both what they do, and what the overall effect is.

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#20
Queen are a case in point - in the studio they used every trick under the sun and Brian May is famous for his "choir" of guitars. However when they played live they just stripped everything back and went with what they had, they used backing tracks for the operatic section of Bohemian Rhapsody because there was no other way to do it but that was it. Or how about Motorhead, who for the majority of their career never had a rhythm guitarist, just lead with Lemmy playing chords for a fuller sound.

99% of the time if a band plays live with one guitarist that's what you hear, one guitarist - as long as the rhythm section is up to it more often than not you don't need a rhythm guitarist there.
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#21
Lots of great bands have had just one guitar player, e.g., Who, Jimi Hendrix experience, Cream, Rush, and so on.