#1
Hey guys, hope this is in the right section. I've been thinking about this a lot over the past few months and I feel like I need to make a decision as my band starts to wrap up the recording of our first EP and start working on our live set. To give you guys some background information, I'm the lead singer of an Alternative rock/post-hardcore band. I'm the main songwriter in the band (I write the lyrics, vocal melodies, guitar parts, and drum parts to our songs) but have traditionally just sung in the band. As we've progressed and had some line-up changes I started playing guitar at rehearsals on certain songs I felt comfortable doing so in that my stage presence and vocals would not suffer. Since I am the one who writes all the songs in the band, my band members have been encouraging me to play guitar full time instead of only on 7 out of the 9 songs we have written, mainly because one of the other songs has a solo after the bridge and there are guitar harmonies in the chorus of the song. I've been really hesitant to doing so because right after the bridge to the solo/outro there is a screaming part that endures throughout the end of the song (it's vital for the dynamics of the song, so I can't not scream without having to re-write the ending). I think with enough practice I could play guitar during the screaming parts of these songs, but I am concerned about sacrificing stage presence. I write my vocal parts entirely separate from the guitar as not to have them suffer, so at times it can be difficult even with the rhythm part. Although I love playing guitar, for certain songs I feel I need to be up there jumping and running around. I know it's hard to decide without hearing the songs, but I was hoping someone here in the UG community might have been in a similar situation in a band or had a few suggestions. We are not interested in getting a 2nd full time guitarist.

Thanks and sorry for the tl;dr!
Gretsch G5191
Line 6 MK II Tube Designed by Bogner
Last edited by ComeUndone at Jan 14, 2012,
#2
IF you can pull it off, why not?

If not, then practice until you can or just don't.
#3
You basically put your finger on the problem:

Either you can do it without hurting the vocal performance and stage presence, or you can't. Not a lot of in-between space there.
#4
Quote by jetwash69
IF you can pull it off, why not?

If not, then practice until you can or just don't.


I can and do. And that's pretty much the answer I've been getting drilled into my head for a long time.


Quote by HotspurJr
You basically put your finger on the problem:

Either you can do it without hurting the vocal performance and stage presence, or you can't. Not a lot of in-between space there.


Yeah, which is why I can't seem to make a decision! I've been told I can put the guitar down at some points in the song but that just seems to defeat the purpose. I'm really inspired by bands like The Who, Nirvana, The Used where the band members and frontmen just lose their minds. I jump off/into a drum set a lot, fall off stage, fall on the floor screaming...that kind of thing...so with a guitar that could make it difficult on certain songs that require that amount of energy and showmanship.

Has anyone been in this kind of situation before? I know screaming while playing guitar is very doable..it's just how well you're able to convey that anger while playing a guitar.

Thanks for all the responses, guys!
Gretsch G5191
Line 6 MK II Tube Designed by Bogner
#5
You said you were influenced by Nirvana, because the frontman goes crazy, and your worried your ability to do this will suffer as a result of you playing guitar, right?.... Kurt Cobain played the guitar...
"We're content, to pitch our tent,
When the glory's evident"
Petra - Beyond Belief.
#6
Quote by Any7423
You said you were influenced by Nirvana, because the frontman goes crazy, and your worried your ability to do this will suffer as a result of you playing guitar, right?.... Kurt Cobain played the guitar...


Yeah, I'm well aware he played guitar haha. My point was that he would be on the floor with his guitar, or smashing it, or what not, so as far as songs with a more guitar driven sound he's someone I look up to. But someone like Bert McCracken, who runs around and screams on the floor. My point was to make a different comparison between the two, who are both huge influences, but I'm trying to find a middle ground.

Sorry for the confusion...guess I should've explained that better!
Gretsch G5191
Line 6 MK II Tube Designed by Bogner
#7
Haha fair enough man, find what works for you, maybe try a gig playing guitar and a gig not playing guitar. But, hey, Hendrix did both, and he's a pretty good showman
"We're content, to pitch our tent,
When the glory's evident"
Petra - Beyond Belief.
#9
Quote by AlanHB
How were the songs played before?


The band was originally a 5 piece, with 2 guitarists (1 lead, 1 rhythm) and I was just singing. The line-up changed a bit and mainly because most guitarists we tried auditioning just didn't get what we were trying to do (it seems all anyone wants to do these days is play metal core songs in Drop A# or whatever...which is totally fine but not what we're out to do). I write the vocals and the guitars completely separate and independent of each other, as if two separate people were playing and writing those parts, as not to let either instrument suffer. So trying to do them both can be a challenge at times, but not impossible by any means.
Gretsch G5191
Line 6 MK II Tube Designed by Bogner
#10
Quote by ComeUndone
The band was originally a 5 piece, with 2 guitarists (1 lead, 1 rhythm) and I was just singing. The line-up changed a bit and mainly because most guitarists we tried auditioning just didn't get what we were trying to do (it seems all anyone wants to do these days is play metal core songs in Drop A# or whatever...which is totally fine but not what we're out to do). I write the vocals and the guitars completely separate and independent of each other, as if two separate people were playing and writing those parts, as not to let either instrument suffer. So trying to do them both can be a challenge at times, but not impossible by any means.


So were the songs ever played live the way that they were recorded? How important are these parts for the overall piece?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
Quote by ComeUndone
Yeah, I'm well aware he played guitar haha. My point was that he would be on the floor with his guitar, or smashing it, or what not, so as far as songs with a more guitar driven sound he's someone I look up to. But someone like Bert McCracken, who runs around and screams on the floor. My point was to make a different comparison between the two, who are both huge influences, but I'm trying to find a middle ground.

Sorry for the confusion...guess I should've explained that better!


Running around on stage and doing backflips is great... AND, there'll be time for that... Unless this band is a one trick pony, and will be gone in 6 months... Right now, it sound's like they need you to play guitar to fill out the sound... The sound is why you got into music right? If it's the jumping around, perhaps you should have gone in to Gymnastics...
Do what you can do, if you're able to play and sing, do it... Let the guitar hang when you can't, and put it down when the music allows... I don't think your show will suffer much...
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#12
Quote by AlanHB
So were the songs ever played live the way that they were recorded? How important are these parts for the overall piece?


Yes, they were when I originally had 2 guitarists in the band. I wouldn't say they're vital, but they definitely add more to it in particular the chorus where the two guitars harmonize with each other and then during the solo after the bridge (which turns into an outro/old school breakdown with screams). This is one of our bigger songs which we usually close a set with which is why I'm so concerned with it.

If anyone is curious and wants to PM me I can send you a private link to the song so you can see what I'm talking about.

Thanks guys.
Gretsch G5191
Line 6 MK II Tube Designed by Bogner
#13
Quote by ComeUndone
Yes, they were when I originally had 2 guitarists in the band.


Well you had two guitarists before, why don't you want another one now?

I actually had a "similar" situation I guess, with an originals band. The second guitarist left and we had auditions for a second one because the music sounded "empty". However after many failed auditions (see my "Guitar Hero" blog on my profile for one story) we opted to change it to a one guitar band. It works perfectly fine now and I wouldn't have it any other way.

A second guitar doesn't necessarily make anything "bigger", it might be a better option to adapt the other guitar to fill in the empty spaces if that's the concern.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Quote by AlanHB
Well you had two guitarists before, why don't you want another one now?

I actually had a "similar" situation I guess, with an originals band. The second guitarist left and we had auditions for a second one because the music sounded "empty". However after many failed auditions (see my "Guitar Hero" blog on my profile for one story) we opted to change it to a one guitar band. It works perfectly fine now and I wouldn't have it any other way.

A second guitar doesn't necessarily make anything "bigger", it might be a better option to adapt the other guitar to fill in the empty spaces if that's the concern.


I completely understand about the guitarist auditions...been there for sure. The reason I don't want a second guitarist is because from the numerous ones we've auditioned and had in the band on a trial basis, they either don't get what we're going for musically, have a gigantic ego, want to change parts to their own preference even when the changes don't help (and usually hurt) the song in general, and besides the fact that it's just a pain having to teach everyone parts for weeks at a time because they can't learn them on their own.

My ideal goal was to find a lead guitarist who was as good or better than me. I'm not the greatest guitarist by any means and I know I can always get better and this is not to toot my own horn or appear like I have an ego, but all the guitarists we've auditioned have not been at the same level as I am. The only reason I don't totally suck is from practicing 4 hours a day every day and I sure as hell don't want to be spending weeks of practices teaching someone a part they could learn on their own. Our current guitarist has a much better work ethic, but I figure if I can do it why try and bring another person into the mix who's schedule, preferences, and sound we would have to incorporate...plus I like to be the creative force behind the songs and from past experiences, sometimes that bruises some guitar players' egos if the singer is writing everything.

I've had our manager, friends, and even my bandmates tell me time and time again to just be the lead guitarist and singer or at the very least play guitar all the time. In a perfect world, I'd like to approach it similar to that of 30 Seconds to Mars where the singer, Jared, plays guitar full time on more guitar driven songs, but on vocally driven songs doesn't play during the verses allowing him to walk around with a guitar on his shoulder while singing and be more of a frontman, and then jumps in in the choruses to kick up the dynamics. However, something tells me I'll be playing more lead than I would necessarily want to live. The type of music, however, is different for the most part since we are a guitar driven band. I guess the bottom line is I am not confident enough in the abilities of our current guitarist and the guitarists we've auditioned to let them have the reigns in a way that would enable me to have more freedom while singing live...unless of course they get how things work in the band.

Sorry for the wall of text as you can see there are a lot of deep-rooted concerns here for me. Appreciate the feedback, thanks.
Gretsch G5191
Line 6 MK II Tube Designed by Bogner