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Rocker924
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#1
tl;dr: I'm the only guitar in my band and we can't find another. Can I get by with one or do we need two?

I'm the guitarist in a Post-hardcore band. We've been looking for a second guitar player for a long time but none that we've tried out have really connected with us. Right now, I've been doing what I can and playing the rhythm chords while adding different notes to those chords to somewhat create a lead effect. This method however gives kind of a muddy sound. So I was wondering, do bands really need to have two guitar players to create a full sound? I've noticed that most bands have two but there are also many that only have one. What's your opinion on this? Would finding another guitarist be the best route or can I get by with what I've been doing? And also, are there maybe some settings on my amp and pedals that can give a bit of a cleaner sound when I play the rhythm and lead parts? I'm using a Fender Pro Junior tube amp and a Line 6 Floor POD Plus.
Last edited by Rocker924 at Dec 25, 2012,
axemanchris
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#2
For recording, it doesn't matter. Just do both (or all ten or whatever) guitar parts yourself. Some bands do this and then take a guitarist out on tour with them who is not really a part of the band per se.

For live performances, though, it is really difficult to have your song not sound like there is a big hole in it all of a sudden when you go to the guitar solo, if there is one. The drummer and bass player really need to step in and fill up that sound during the solo to make it work.

CT
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KG6_Steven
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#3
Seems to me you answered your own question. While it may not always be important for every band to have two or more guitarists, it would seem in your situation that it is.
rocker222
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#4
Three is way better than 2, because one is the loneliest number.
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randomguy2000
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#5
does your pod have a looper?
If so, you could use that for the rhythm parts temporarily.
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corrda00
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#6
Honestly if you have a really good bassist you shouldnt need a 2nd guitar unless you plan to do a lot of harmonies or really complex counterpoint. There have been tons of succesful trios (Rush, Green Day, Cream) that have gotten by without a 2nd guitar.

And like axemanchris said, if you do solo, just have the bass and drums fill in the space (i.e. NOT play the same riff as when the guitar was playing) Walk by Pantera is a good example of this. The bass goes all over the place during the solo.
Last edited by corrda00 at Dec 25, 2012,
MaggaraMarine
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#7
Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen are good examples of bands that don't need two guitarists. Actually, I don't even know what the second guitar would add to the sound. It could of course double the guitar parts but then again you would lose some freedom. In studio of course they do doublings and like Sabbath had many guitar solos played at the same time. But old Van Halen records are pretty much just the three guys playing and David Lee Roth singing. There are few overdubs on their first albums.
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#8
Two guitar players are awesome for the added sound, the ability for rhythm guitar under solo sections, and also of course for adding in harmonies. All of these relating to a live setting obviously.

My way of getting around the lack of sound onstage is an ABY box splitting my signal into two half stacks, one on each side of the stage. Always works wonders for me.
scguitarking927
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#9
It's not completely necessary, plenty of bands do it. RATM, Zeppelin, etc. The Bass player just has to really step it up.

And on a personal note. As a guitarist, I'm egotistical as hell onstage, I absolutely hated playing with another guitarist in a concert setting. Unless there is some real chemistry between people you can step on toes really easily.
HotspurJr
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#10
The key, in my opinion (which, given that I'm not sure I could identify what "post-hardcore" is, may not be worth that much) is to not try to be that which you aren't.

If you don't have two guitarists, don't try to sound like a band with two guitarists. The result is inevitably going to be disappointing because you're faking it, and faking it invariably sounds bad compared to the real thing.

Instead, look hard at bands that have been successful with one guitarist and see what they do to achieve a full sound. Led Zeppelin, Cream, and Van Halen all leap to mind, although one thing those bands have is incredible virtuosity - they USE the extra space they have by having fewer instruments to give the individual musicians more room to play interesting things (since genres which have descended from punk, which I guess post hardcore is, generally don't put much emphasis on virtuosity, this may be an issue). Green Day is a band with only one guitarist and he's not particularly a virtuoso, although they have a much higher emphasis on songwriting than most bands who can trace their roots to punk music.
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#11
Most bands I see with two guitarists have both guitarists playing the same part the majority of the time, which renders one guitarist effectively useless. I'm in support of two guitarists if their parts are arranged with unique complementary parts. If the issue is that it sounds empty while you're playing leads, arrange the bass and drums to be more "full" during these sections.
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chronowarp
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#12
Quote by AlanHB
Most bands I see with two guitarists have both guitarists playing the same part the majority of the time, which renders one guitarist effectively useless. I'm in support of two guitarists if their parts are arranged with unique complementary parts. If the issue is that it sounds empty while you're playing leads, arrange the bass and drums to be more "full" during these sections.

Dude...are you being for real?

My 2 cents...doing a 3 piece thing works in specific situations, but for almost any and all driving, loud stuff you;'re going to need/want two guitarists. You just lose way too much sonic information when you pull out the rhythm guitar and solo - even if the bass and drummer try to fill that space - they're just not going to able to in a way that would be comparable or nearly as effective as just having another guitar player that's there to fill the space.

It's for that specific reason that I've never really been a fan of being the only guitar player in a rock band...
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 26, 2012,
chronowarp
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#13
Quote by HotspurJr
The key, in my opinion (which, given that I'm not sure I could identify what "post-hardcore" is, may not be worth that much) is to not try to be that which you aren't.

If you don't have two guitarists, don't try to sound like a band with two guitarists. The result is inevitably going to be disappointing because you're faking it, and faking it invariably sounds bad compared to the real thing.

Instead, look hard at bands that have been successful with one guitarist and see what they do to achieve a full sound. Led Zeppelin, Cream, and Van Halen all leap to mind, although one thing those bands have is incredible virtuosity - they USE the extra space they have by having fewer instruments to give the individual musicians more room to play interesting things (since genres which have descended from punk, which I guess post hardcore is, generally don't put much emphasis on virtuosity, this may be an issue). Green Day is a band with only one guitarist and he's not particularly a virtuoso, although they have a much higher emphasis on songwriting than most bands who can trace their roots to punk music.


The reason those groups were successful with one guitar is because the music, stylistically, didn't really call for another guitar. On top of that...none of the guitar players in those bands were anywhere near virtuostic (arguably EVH, but even then mehhhh).

Also, Green day doesn't track their albums like there's one guitar player, and they never really have. They even had their studio guitar guy become a full fledged member.

With something like post-hardcore, it's almost a necessity to have two guitar players. Even if you're playing the same part the doubling is essential in building the guitar density you need for that style of music. The sum of two different amps/guitars playing the same thing stereo panned is immense - and that effect isn't lost live. But that's not always the case. While a lot of post hardcore stuff may involve both players doing identical things, there are going to be sections or counter melodies that the other guitarist is going to be playing over the top.

I mean listen to post hardcore bands like:






The 2nd guitar is playing an integral role in filling out the space and complimenting the main rhythm guitar - even though they might be playing the same thing a lot of the time.

SO TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION OP:
If you can't find anyone else to play guitar in your band (if that's what you want), then don't let that hold you back from starting a band or pursuing a project. You can always add another member later on.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 26, 2012,
HotspurJr
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#14
Well, you're sort of making my point. If you don't have two guitarists, don't play music that requires two guitarists - because it will sound like crap. I'm not going to dissect whether you could do the music you listed with only one guitarist, but I think it's laughable that you don't think Clapton, Page, and Van Halen are virtuosic.

I'm not even that big a Van Halen fan, but I was listening to "Jump" the other day and it demonstrates the solution problem of keeping the song going during the solo. You see, a lot of people think they key is to have the bassist and drummer play more to try to fill up the space, but listen to that song - the synth, drums, and bass actually cut back when the solo starts.

And it doesn't feel empty. It feels like a stylistic choice.

I think the problem is usually a lack of imagination, a lack of a willingness or ability to think outside the box. "We're a post-hardcore band, we need constant driving all the time," no, actually, you don't. "We need two guitarists playing the same thing and stereo panned" no, you don't, either. (Truth is, in most gigs, the stereo pan is going to get DESTROYED. But if you need it run one guitarist through two different amps out of a Y cable).

As for Green Day, I don't know what they do now, but I do know that when they were discovered they were a three-piece playing little clubs. Somehow they managed.
CelestialGuitar
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#15
Quote by HotspurJr
Well, you're sort of making my point. If you don't have two guitarists, don't play music that requires two guitarists - because it will sound like crap. I'm not going to dissect whether you could do the music you listed with only one guitarist, but I think it's laughable that you don't think Clapton, Page, and Van Halen are virtuosic.


I don't want to get into an argument here, they are no doubt iconic guitarists, however, they clearly don't have the mastery of their instrument that, say, a virtuoso violinist would have, or, indeed, the virtuoso guitars of today have, so it's far from laughable.

I think in Post Hardcore, having two guitarists allows you more control over the dynamic, I've seen several bands where they leave a break between chugs to have one guitarist do a short riff, and then go right back to the chugs, and that's rather effective. I think two guitarists are definitely necessary for Post Hardcore, as, in my experience, it's a very produced, clean sounding genre, and people are used to hearing two guitarists in general nowadays, so it gives you more freedom. However, both can work if you're clever, I've seen several bands where a one guitar setup sounds empty, and several bands where two guitarists seemed crowded, so it is definately how you use them, as others say.
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axemanchris
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#16
Green Day is one of those bands I was referring to who tour with a hired-on guitarist for live shows.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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will42
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#17
You can survive withot a second guitarist, but if you don't have that third banjo player then you are in trouble.


On a serious note, you can survive without a second guitarist if its what you want your band to sound like. If you want to have seperate guitar parts or doubled rhythms or harmonized leads or something like that then you'll need another guitarist.
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chronowarp
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#18
Quote by HotspurJr
Well, you're sort of making my point. If you don't have two guitarists, don't play music that requires two guitarists - because it will sound like crap. I'm not going to dissect whether you could do the music you listed with only one guitarist, but I think it's laughable that you don't think Clapton, Page, and Van Halen are virtuosic.

I'm not even that big a Van Halen fan, but I was listening to "Jump" the other day and it demonstrates the solution problem of keeping the song going during the solo. You see, a lot of people think they key is to have the bassist and drummer play more to try to fill up the space, but listen to that song - the synth, drums, and bass actually cut back when the solo starts.

And it doesn't feel empty. It feels like a stylistic choice.

I think the problem is usually a lack of imagination, a lack of a willingness or ability to think outside the box. "We're a post-hardcore band, we need constant driving all the time," no, actually, you don't. "We need two guitarists playing the same thing and stereo panned" no, you don't, either. (Truth is, in most gigs, the stereo pan is going to get DESTROYED. But if you need it run one guitarist through two different amps out of a Y cable).

As for Green Day, I don't know what they do now, but I do know that when they were discovered they were a three-piece playing little clubs. Somehow they managed.

I'm not making your point at all, dude, and you honestly sound like the kind of person that's never actually played in a band in the way that you're approaching giving this advice. The simple fact is that certain types of music require different instrumentation. You're comparing classic rock bands to modern rock it's apples and oranges.

It's not that I don't think Page/Clapton/EVH as decent guitar players, but it's laughable to call them virtuosos.

It really has nothing to do with a lack of imagination it has to do with overall control of dynamics and density in a way that can't be reconciled if you don't have another guitar player.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 26, 2012,
AlanHB
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#19
Quote by chronowarp
Dude...are you being for real?

My 2 cents...doing a 3 piece thing works in specific situations, but for almost any and all driving, loud stuff you;'re going to need/want two guitarists. You just lose way too much sonic information when you pull out the rhythm guitar and solo - even if the bass and drummer try to fill that space - they're just not going to able to in a way that would be comparable or nearly as effective as just having another guitar player that's there to fill the space.

It's for that specific reason that I've never really been a fan of being the only guitar player in a rock band...


Yes I am being for real. I have played lots of loud/driving stuff, the loud driving parts were primarily provided by the drums and bass section of the band. You know, the ones who supply the rhythm.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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HotspurJr
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#21
Quote by chronowarp

It's not that I don't think Page/Clapton/EVH as decent guitar players, but it's laughable to call them virtuosos.


It's not often that I feel like saying this, but ...

... kids these days.

I guess you're not that familiar with Cream, with what rock music sounded like before them compared to after them. And ditto for Led Zeppelin. I've never been a huge EVH fan but it's impossible to deny the influence he had on basically all rock musicians. He set the stage for guys like Vai and Satriani who then set the stage for the kind of wanking that all the -core guitarists love so much.

"Virtuoso" doesn't mean "plays a gazillion notes a second," you know, although, of course, before our current speed-obsessed age Clapton, Page, and EVH were some of the fastest players around.

It really has nothing to do with a lack of imagination it has to do with overall control of dynamics and density in a way that can't be reconciled if you don't have another guitar player.


Yes. Exactly. That's exactly the point. You're really just not getting it.

You can not have two guitars sound like one guitar.

So instead you USE YOUR IMAGINATION to think of ways that you can get a full, hard-driving sound with the instruments you have.

Your problem is that you're defining the genre box you're in so narrowly that it's turned into a straightjacket. "We're post-hardcore, we have to be exactly like this!" but how on earth do you think that these little microgenres got started?

Somebody said, "Oh, well, we're like blues, but we play with electric guitars:" Rock 'n'roll. "We're like rock, but we barely know how to play and get by on attitude:" punk. "We're like punk, but we create a wall of sound:" hardcore.

If the early punks had said, "Oh, jeeze, we want to make music but we don't fit into the rock'n'roll box, so I guess we can't really do it until we actually get as good as Jimmy Page on guitar" then punk rock would never have happened. It happened because a bunch of people said, "To hell with this dumb restriction that guitarists have to be awesome. We're just going to thrash away" and a new genre was born.

So, similarly, you can either be a slave to whatever silly arbitrary definitions there are of "post-hardcore" (which is as silly sounding a genre name as I've ever heard) and be miserable because you can't fit them ...

... or you can use what you have and use your imagination to create music that you love.

Two guitars give you options that one guitar doesn't. On the other hand, one guitar gives you options that two guitars don't, unless you're going to sit there and have one guitarist sit on the side of the stage with his thumb up his butt. Having a guitarist who's going to insist on playing almost all of the time is as big a restriction as not, you know?
chronowarp
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#22
Ya I definitely don't know anything about Cream or Zeppelin. I'm also 14 and love metalcore.

And you're misinterpreting my argument. I'm not saying that you can't manage with one guitar player, but if you have the ability to introduce a second and it's a style of music that really calls for it, then by all means you should probably maximize your ability to have a more versatile instrumentation.

I strongly disagree with your comments on two guitar players not being able to function as one.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 26, 2012,
Hail
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#23
i didn't read much of this but if you think taking back sunday is post-hardcore you're doing it really, really wrong

also, veil of maya has 1 guitarist. he uses a ton of looping and effects to fill out the sound, but that's part of their sound, and they're pretty damn punchy. pantera comes to mind as well.

btw steve vai only has 1 guitar trolololol
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HotspurJr
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#24
Ya I definitely don't know anything about Cream or Zeppelin. I'm also 14 and love metalcore.

Fair enough. It's really easy for people (even people much older than you) to think of Clapton, for example, as the middle-of-the-road AOR artist he became later in his career. It's worth exploring once you get bored of the -core stuff.

And you're misinterpreting my argument. I'm not saying that you can't manage with one guitar player, but if you have the ability to introduce a second and it's a style of music that really calls for it, then by all means you should probably maximize your ability to have a more versatile instrumentation.


Obviously having one guitar is limiting in some ways. But my point is that given that the OP wants to play post-HC related music and doesn't have a second guitarist he likes, he needs to start thinking outside the box.


I strongly disagree with your comments on two guitar players not being able to function as one.


Really? I dunno - I've seen classical musicians who can play that perfectly, but I've never seen rockers where two guys could play with the lockstep precision, playing the exact same notes, so it sounded like one. I mean, sure, if you're just chug-chug-chuging, no problem. Trained monkeys could do that. But once you start doing more complex things, losing the ability to improvise at all (which is what you have to do if you want to have two guitars play as one) is really limiting, and honestly not that fun.
chronowarp
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#25
Quote by Hail
i didn't read much of this but if you think taking back sunday is post-hardcore you're doing it really, really wrong

also, veil of maya has 1 guitarist. he uses a ton of looping and effects to fill out the sound, but that's part of their sound, and they're pretty damn punchy. pantera comes to mind as well.

btw steve vai only has 1 guitar trolololol

lololololololol

LOLOLOLOLOL


























LOL WIKI
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 27, 2012,
AlanHB
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#26
Quote by chronowarp
lol
k dude

lol


Although it is quite possible that your band isn't tight, and that's why it sounds empty.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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chronowarp
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#27
man i don't even want to get into how hard I'd smash you musically, because that's not even in the realm of this discussion. But you should be grown up enough to know better than framing your arguments in the context of "different opinion, ergo deficient", especially when you're not even hot shit to begin with.
chronowarp
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#28
Ya I definitely don't know anything about Cream or Zeppelin. I'm also 14 and love metalcore.


Fair enough. It's really easy for people (even people much older than you) to think of Clapton, for example, as the middle-of-the-road AOR artist he became later in his career. It's worth exploring once you get bored of the -core stuff.


Obviously having one guitar is limiting in some ways. But my point is that given that the OP wants to play post-HC related music and doesn't have a second guitarist he likes, he needs to start thinking outside the box.


Really? I dunno - I've seen classical musicians who can play that perfectly, but I've never seen rockers where two guys could play with the lockstep precision, playing the exact same notes, so it sounded like one. I mean, sure, if you're just chug-chug-chuging, no problem. Trained monkeys could do that. But once you start doing more complex things, losing the ability to improvise at all (which is what you have to do if you want to have two guitars play as one) is really limiting, and honestly not that fun.

I meant more like...it's not hard to just tell one guy to stop ****ing playing for a verse.

Especially if one of those retards is singing and doubling as the rhythm guitar player, then it becomes infinitely easier. Give him a ****ing tambourine or a beer. Anyway, I don't think you and I are in much disagreement. I agree that if the OP can't find anyone, then his best option is finding a way to MAKE it work with what he has, but that being said, he still could gain a lot by adding another guitarist if and when he finds one.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 27, 2012,
Morphogenesis26
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#30
I came in here out of curiosity, and this is what I find.

Quote by chronowarp
lololololololol

LOLOLOLOLOL


Name me 5 Post-Hardcore and Metalcore bands you enjoy the most.
Morphogenesis26
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#32
Quote by chronowarp
Look at the spoiler tags, dudeeee


You can say they're Post-Hardcore as much as you want, but Taking Back Sunday are not Post-Hardcore. Neither is Escape The Fate, Black Veil Brides, Armor For Sleep or any of that. The same as how Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, and Lamb Of God aren't Metalcore.

OT: I would suggest looking for another guitarist if the music calls for one, but if you're able to get by with a loop or some effect than go with that for awhile till you find one.
Captaincranky
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#33
What I say is this, "if you have a three piece band, (what us old fogies call a "power trio"), and you think you need another guitarist, that's the perfect time to hire a good keyboard player".
chronowarp
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#34
Quote by Morphogenesis26
You can say they're Post-Hardcore as much as you want, but Taking Back Sunday are not Post-Hardcore. Neither is Escape The Fate, Black Veil Brides, Armor For Sleep or any of that. The same as how Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, and Lamb Of God aren't Metalcore.

OT: I would suggest looking for another guitarist if the music calls for one, but if you're able to get by with a loop or some effect than go with that for awhile till you find one.

I wouldn't say TBS is definitively post-hardcore, but it's not difficult to fit a lot of their music into that mold. Honestly, there's nothing less interesting to me than splitting hairs about what genre a band is. I'd rather stick my dick in a vice grip. I don't know what any of those other bands you listed are, but they sound like really shitty modern metalcore bands or something.


I don't listen to metalcore, nor do I like metalcore. I will also never play metalcore. Why are you even talking about metalcore, again?
.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 27, 2012,
Morphogenesis26
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#35
Quote by chronowarp
I wouldn't say TBS is definitively post-hardcore, but it's not difficult to fit a lot of their music into that mold. Honestly, there's nothing less interesting to me than splitting hairs about what genre a band is. I'd rather stick my dick in a vice grip. I don't know what any of those other bands you listed are, but they sound like really shitty modern metalcore bands or something.


I don't listen to metalcore, nor do I like metalcore. I will also never play metalcore. Why are you even talking about metalcore, again?
.


Well, the reason being that you acted as if you knew something about Post-Hardcore and cited Wiki as a reason for TBS to be in that genre. It's pretty common for people to link mislabeled rock bands as post-hardcore with mislabeled metal bands as metalcore.

It was more of a correction than anything.
chronowarp
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#36
I do know something about Post-Hardcore, because I spent most of my teen years listening to it, and most of the bands I've played in have been heavily influenced by it. IF you hear zero similarity between bands like Silverstein and TBS I'd say that's a bigger issue than splitting hairs about TBS being more of an emo band than a post-hardcore band...considering the two things are extremely related and have tons of overlap.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 27, 2012,
MaggaraMarine
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#37
Quote by Captaincranky
What I say is this, "if you have a three piece band, (what us old fogies call a "power trio"), and you think you need another guitarist, that's the perfect time to hire a good keyboard player".

I agree. That's what we did with our band. The keyboard player can also play guitar so if a song needs two guitars, he can play rhythm guitar. But we don't really have many songs that would need two guitars. I also prefer one guitarist and don't like having two guitars if they play the same all the time.

I also agree with HotspurJr.

You can try to write songs with only one guitar part. It will sound different but it might be different in a good way. Try to write songs that don't need two guitars. And yeah, I wouldn't pick a genre that I want to belong to. You will just end up playing the same thing as your favorite bands. I would just start writing music I like and if it sounds like post-hardcore, OK. And if it doesn't sound like post-hardcore, OK. Thinking about "what genre I belong to" only limits you.

Look at Led Zeppelin. They have rock, blues, funk, pop, folk, country and metal-ish songs and they still sound like Led Zeppelin.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 27, 2012,
axemanchris
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#38
Pointless thread gets locked?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,412 IQ
#39
Why is this pointless?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Yamaha FG720S-12
Tokai TB48
Laney VC30
Hartke HyDrive 210c
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
Join date: Aug 2008
1,703 IQ
#40
Quote by chronowarp
man i don't even want to get into how hard I'd smash you musically, because that's not even in the realm of this discussion. But you should be grown up enough to know better than framing your arguments in the context of "different opinion, ergo deficient", especially when you're not even hot shit to begin with.


I'm suggesting solutions as to why you personally cannot create a full sound with one guitarist when a whole heap of other people can. This is the question you pose in your thread.

Otherwise I'm absolutely sure you can smash me musically, I mean, considering at the amount of "lol"s you've responded to me and the extensive amount of recordings you've uploaded, it's quite obvious that you have an awesome grasp on music.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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