#1
Please forgive me if I'm in the wrong section or if there's already something on here I couldn't find. But I have a book of guitar accompaniments for church music (my aunt wants me to play) and no idea how to use it. I'm not great at reading sheet music but I can play the chords. I'm just not sure how to play them and make it sound like music rather than just a bunch of chords. I assume you play the chords in time with the below note. But it still seems to sound bland. Even with a piano or organ. Is there a technique that I'm missing or what? I've never taken a lesson so there's a lot of things I've not been able to figure out on my own. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
#2
Nope. It's gonna sound bland no matter what. Sorry.

Do your best to find a groove with the other musicians, and find cool ways to pass from one chord to the next.
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#3
Huh, this is a tough question! There are like a quadrillion factors involved! Try different techniques to start; fingerpicking, diffrwent strum patterns, etc. Maybe ask one of the other musicians to help you...
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#4
You have to find a strum pattern that fits the melody, pick individual notes or small chunks of the chord to emphasize different beats.
#5
Quote by kaptkegan
Nope. It's gonna sound bland no matter what. Sorry.

Do your best to find a groove with the other musicians, and find cool ways to pass from one chord to the next.


Pretty much this, I'm afraid.
Try experimenting with different strumming patterns and try arpeggiating the chords for some variation, just experiment.
The time to hesitate is through..

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#6
Thanks for the input. I'll try some different arpeggiations but finger-picking is not my cup of tea. Mainly 'cause I can't do it like at all.. On a side note when you see two chords as "A/C#" Is there either-or or what?
#7
Quote by Dcktp37
Thanks for the input. I'll try some different arpeggiations but finger-picking is not my cup of tea. Mainly 'cause I can't do it like at all.. On a side note when you see two chords as "A/C#" Is there either-or or what?


Practice makes perfect, just keep at it and maybe search some online lessons to help guide you.

Those are called slash chords, and what it means is you play the chord to the left of the slash with the note to the right functioning as the bass note, or the lowest note. So for A/C# you'd play an A major chord with C# in the bass.
The time to hesitate is through..

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Quote by Draken
and the stig. American Stig would be a fat guy with a nascar hat.
#8
Quote by ARMAGEDDON_IT
Practice makes perfect, just keep at it and maybe search some online lessons to help guide you.

Those are called slash chords, and what it means is you play the chord to the left of the slash with the note to the right functioning as the bass note, or the lowest note. So for A/C# you'd play an A major chord with C# in the bass.



Alright thanks.. I guess it's time to dig out the music theory books.. Ugh how I hate books.. Haha
#9
Quote by Dcktp37
Thanks for the input. I'll try some different arpeggiations but finger-picking is not my cup of tea. Mainly 'cause I can't do it like at all.. On a side note when you see two chords as "A/C#" Is there either-or or what?


If there's a bass player, just play the A chord. If not, try to work the bass note in as well. Also, finger-picking and chicken-pickn' are some of the most useful techniques in all of guitar. Fingers can get infinitely more sounds than a pick. I recommend working on it. Start playing scales with fingers, and look up Travis pattern.
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#10
Quote by kaptkegan
Nope. It's gonna sound bland no matter what. Sorry.

Do your best to find a groove with the other musicians, and find cool ways to pass from one chord to the next.



two words. Voice leading.

Do you lot even play the guitar?

[EDIT] I'm moving this to MT...they love things like this.
Actually called Mark!

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#11
It depends on what he means by bland, because let's face it, there's only so many ways you can play the same progression. But as you're saying, voice leading is a consideration.
The time to hesitate is through..

Gear:
Fender 60's Road Worn Strat
Epiphone Les Paul '56 Gold Top
Orange Tiny Terror Combo


Quote by Draken
and the stig. American Stig would be a fat guy with a nascar hat.
#12
At it's most basic level, it can sound bland, you can choose to play straight chords with straight rhythm. However this is your choice. There are many, many ways to approach a simple progression, you can change up rhythms (not time changes, you emphasise different beats), you can utilise a range of chord extensions, you can even include little runs if you wish. It's just a matter of practice.

Here's some inspiration of one guitar backing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVFa2iuKmFw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2JycfZ23qs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLDvl9qee9E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2W2di4e4Hc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQjH1t3Ddlc

Edit: The skills you learn with solo rhythm guitar can be used when playing with other instruments too. From the posts in this thread I'm getting the feeling that there's quite a few bland players (not progressions) out there who play bland parts for the song, waiting for the solo to come along so they can wank all over it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
Quote by steven seagull


two words. Voice leading.

Do you lot even play the guitar?

[EDIT] I'm moving this to MT...they love things like this.


Have you ever played accompaniment with just a vocal and piano? I'm not talking jazz here, where there are interesting chords to move around on. I'm talking I-IV-V. There are only so many things to do with that.
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#14
Quote by Dcktp37
Please forgive me if I'm in the wrong section or if there's already something on here I couldn't find. But I have a book of guitar accompaniments for church music (my aunt wants me to play) and no idea how to use it. I'm not great at reading sheet music but I can play the chords. I'm just not sure how to play them and make it sound like music rather than just a bunch of chords. I assume you play the chords in time with the below note. But it still seems to sound bland. Even with a piano or organ. Is there a technique that I'm missing or what? I've never taken a lesson so there's a lot of things I've not been able to figure out on my own. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

I really hate saying this all the time, but do you know theory? Since you asked later on in the thread about A/C#, I'm guessing you're not too hot on theory. Sorry.

Some of the great rhythm players didn't know theory, but that was them, and this is you. They had abnormally good ears.

Errrrm, for someone at your level, the easiest, understandable option I can suggest for you is to try and "fill out" the sound by playing broken chords and arpeggios.

Some things I would suggest to you are:

Chord construction
CAGED system
Triads and inversions
Sus chords
Add chords

S'alot, man. I don't want to scare you or anything, but firstly, this stuff takes time to learn. Secondly, it takes more work to physically apply it to your playing, in a musical, tasteful way... and there is way more than that list such as chordal embellishments, chord tones, guide tones, double stops etc.

Do you listen to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, John Mayer, Andy Summers, Billy Gibbons just to name a few?

Imo, and this could start a war, great rhythm is harder than lead... and most of all, it will make you more employable as a guitarist than being able to reel off 16ths and 160bpm. Really.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 14, 2011,
#15
Quote by mdc
I really hate saying this all the time, but do you know theory? Since you asked later on in the thread about A/C#, I'm guessing you're not too hot on theory. Sorry.

Some of the great rhythm players didn't know theory, but that was them, and this is you. They had abnormally good ears.

Errrrm, for someone at your level, the easiest, understandable option I can suggest for you is to try and "fill out" the sound by playing broken chords and arpeggios.

Some things I would suggest to you are:

Chord construction
CAGED system
Triads and inversions
Sus chords
Add chords

S'alot, man. I don't want to scare you or anything, but firstly, this stuff takes time to learn. Secondly, it takes more work to physically apply it to your playing, in a musical, tasteful way... and there is way more than that list such as chordal embellishments, chord tones, guide tones, double stops etc.

Do you listen to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, John Mayer, Andy Summers, Billy Gibbons just to name a few?

Imo, and this could start a war, great rhythm is harder than lead... and most of all, it will make you more employable as a guitarist than being able to reel off 16ths and 160bpm. Really.


+1, especially the last paragraph.
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#16
Quote by kaptkegan
Have you ever played accompaniment with just a vocal and piano? I'm not talking jazz here, where there are interesting chords to move around on. I'm talking I-IV-V. There are only so many things to do with that.


Although chord melody style, that is rhythm, melody, and often bass played in conjuction, is often associated with jazz, it will work with any style of song that has a melody line.

Careful selection of chord voicings and playing within a particular style will keep it from sounding too jazzy.


Edit - The amount of chords and type of progression in a song is immaterial.
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Last edited by BlackbirdPie at Nov 14, 2011,
#17
Quote by AlanHB
At it's most basic level, it can sound bland, you can choose to play straight chords with straight rhythm. However this is your choice. There are many, many ways to approach a simple progression, you can change up rhythms (not time changes, you emphasise different beats), you can utilise a range of chord extensions, you can even include little runs if you wish. It's just a matter of practice.

Here's some inspiration of one guitar backing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVFa2iuKmFw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2JycfZ23qs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLDvl9qee9E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2W2di4e4Hc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQjH1t3Ddlc

Edit: The skills you learn with solo rhythm guitar can be used when playing with other instruments too. From the posts in this thread I'm getting the feeling that there's quite a few bland players (not progressions) out there who play bland parts for the song, waiting for the solo to come along so they can wank all over it.



The guitar world is full of bland players, I have no problem with them, most of us were bland at one point. What I do have a problem with and I'm sure many here do too, is when people with very weak skills and understanding of the guitar give wrong or bad advice to those who are really working and trying to improve their playing.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#18
Quote by BlackbirdPie
The guitar world is full of bland players, I have no problem with them, most of us were bland at one point. What I do have a problem with and I'm sure many here do too, is when people with very weak skills and understanding of the guitar give wrong or bad advice to those who are really working and trying to improve their playing.


Ok. Well just learn to deal with it. If you stay here you're going to see a whole lot more.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#19
Quote by mdc
I really hate saying this all the time, but do you know theory? Since you asked later on in the thread about A/C#, I'm guessing you're not too hot on theory. Sorry.

Some of the great rhythm players didn't know theory, but that was them, and this is you. They had abnormally good ears.

Errrrm, for someone at your level, the easiest, understandable option I can suggest for you is to try and "fill out" the sound by playing broken chords and arpeggios.

Some things I would suggest to you are:

Chord construction
CAGED system
Triads and inversions
Sus chords
Add chords

S'alot, man. I don't want to scare you or anything, but firstly, this stuff takes time to learn. Secondly, it takes more work to physically apply it to your playing, in a musical, tasteful way... and there is way more than that list such as chordal embellishments, chord tones, guide tones, double stops etc.

Do you listen to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, John Mayer, Andy Summers, Billy Gibbons just to name a few?

Imo, and this could start a war, great rhythm is harder than lead... and most of all, it will make you more employable as a guitarist than being able to reel off 16ths and 160bpm. Really.


To answer your question.. No I do not know theory. That's why I'm here. It's hard to understand just how important something is until you need it and don't have it. Like all that time I had before I had to work for a living that I could have spent learning all of this. Insted I learned less than half of about 7 different tabs. Yeah pretty badass huh.. Moving on.. As for who I listen to? None of those ringing a bell honestly. Well Hendrix.. But I only know the name..
#20
Quote by Dcktp37
To answer your question.. No I do not know theory. That's why I'm here. It's hard to understand just how important something is until you need it and don't have it. Like all that time I had before I had to work for a living that I could have spent learning all of this. Insted I learned less than half of about 7 different tabs. Yeah pretty badass huh.. Moving on.. As for who I listen to? None of those ringing a bell honestly. Well Hendrix.. But I only know the name..


None of those? Now I'm curious, who do you listen to?
#21
Quote by kaptkegan
Have you ever played accompaniment with just a vocal and piano? I'm not talking jazz here, where there are interesting chords to move around on. I'm talking I-IV-V. There are only so many things to do with that.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AIrPiT8_vI
that utilizes the I, IV, V, and vi chords; a VERY basic progression. Despite that, the accompaniment is very interesting to listen to on its own, and holds up the melody well. Yes, it's not with piano, but still. A guitar can make even the simplest of progressions interesting if played well.

to the OP:
learn sheet music. Read your clefs, read chords, etc. Learn it. I have come to love sitting at home with a church hymn book and learning the hymns on my guitar. I play the chord progressions and the melody, usually finger picked. But there are dozens of ways (as has already been stated). I like to use different tunings for different songs. For example, there's a song I love in this hymnal I have called "Lead Kindly, Light" (it's a common hymn). It's arranged in the key of G, so I learned it in open G tuning, to give it a more interesting sound and utilize open strings. Other songs in the key of C I arranged for myself in drop C tuning, again for the open strings and deep C chord and G chord.
And then you can throw in leads along with the chord progression. If the piano is playing an accompaniment, you can play the chords, but also get away with sneaking in a lick or two here and there. You could harmonize with the melody for a line, you could mimic the piano's part if it's doable, you could change up the voicings of the chords, etc. There really is a whole world out there beyond just strumming, even though strumming really does have its place. To begin with, I'd say try strumming on faster songs, but do a lot of picking/arpeggiating and harmonies in the slow songs. From there, try to add a little more flavor each time, with licks and interesting twists.

Another aside, you'll probably find that most hymns DO have some interesting chords and harmonies in them for you to use, even if they're just add9's and sus4's. Pay attention to the piano part, and you'll find a lot more to do with your guitar.
#22
Honestly the only guitarists I can think of off the top of my head are Mick Thomson and Brian Welch. That shouldn't give you too much insight in to what I listen to. I listen to alot of different music. Those are just the only guitarists I can name.
#23
Do you listen to much Blues?

I'd recommend power trios. That's where the guitarist has to have a very strong rhythmic foundation.
#24
Quote by mdc
Do you listen to much Blues?

I'd recommend power trios. That's where the guitarist has to have a very strong rhythmic foundation.


Uhm.. define blues.. But probably not.