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Old 02-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #1
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Using partial chord shapes, avoiding "wall of noise" issues?

I have been songwriting for a few months now. I get chord progressions I like, create drum beats that work with them (using Alesis SR-16 drum machine), work out simple bass line (not much of a bass player, just generally hit the bass notes for each chord in each bar or something like that). Then I also do soloing on guitar over that, and create lyrics to fit the meter and sing them, letting the melody just sort of come from within and then I go back and work out what melody I actually sang to figure out what my melodic line is.

Well, maybe all that explanation is not needed for my question, which is this: Laying my stuff down on Reaper, I feel like my rhythm guitar work (the chord progressions) create too much of a wall of sound. I hear songs I like on the radio and they seem to avoid this by using partial chord formations, arpeggios, etc. rather than playing whole chords.

So, I guess my question is, is that what you have to do to avoid this wall of sound issue? Because I've been trying to address it by playing my chords a bit more staccato, more muting, and also by searching desperately for tones / effects that will make my rhythm guitar fade a bit more into the background (but I still want it to have a distorted, fuzzy, tube sound, so getting it to fade is not so easy).

If I knew that really the only solution, and what 99% of successful bands do, is NOT play whole chords like I'm doing, then I'd probably shift my approach and start learning more about playing partials, arpeggios, etc., and stop trying to jam whole chords (wth a particular strum pattern) into my recordings.

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Old 02-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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turn down your guitar volume
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:23 PM   #3
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add in a second track of the same thing but clean and lower in volume. I find that this articulates the notes in the chord better.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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Try leaving the notes that your bass line is covering out of your chords. Also, try lowering the mids on your rhythm guitar a bit so it sits better in the mix.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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This might help (start watching at 3:00):
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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beyond what you said (which is valid), you can also use different tones, or even different instruments, to play the different notes of the chord you want.
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