Page 1 of 3
#1
it seems kinda useless to me. i hear lots of songs where it seems pointless and maybe one guitarist could just better their equipment for a bigger sound. some people say because there's 2 different guitar parts, but the same could be done with 2 drummers or 2 bassists or writing songs with 3 guitars and having 3 guitarists on stage, or 4 or 5. why not just write the song for one guitar?
#2
The good reasons i can think of is:

1) If you (as you said) have multiple guitar parts that compliment eachother, that's a good reason to have two guitar players. Being one guitar player you can't add layers by yourself unless having another guitar on backing track or something.

2) The sound of two guitars can be drastically different from one guitar. For example, often on records when you hear a band with two guitarists playing the same part, that tone on the record is the result of two different guitarists with different playing style (cause how you play affect your sound) different guitars and different amps mix their sound together so it become one. You get a much "fuller" sound.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#3
it depends what you want out of the ensemble. I have two guitars in my band because the I play mostly lead while the other plays mostly rhythm and sings. We also harmonize at certain parts and play solos accompanying each other. There is a band down here which has two bassist and no guitars and a drummer. Another band here has two drummers, two pianists and two bassists. It's whatever floats your boat. To me what you're saying is like "Why are there 16 or whatever violinists in an orchestra - why not just have one of each instrument?"
#4
Because any band who knows what they're doing would have a sound tech live and have their guitars panned like they do on the recordings so that they will have that "wall of sound" that is vital to the hard rock/metal sound.
#5
If I was in a band I'd want another guitarist in there too, as people said it just sounds better. Having said that, I would want complete control over the writing process, and the other guitarist would have to be proficient.
#6
outside of rock and metal, most musical groups don't even have 1 guitarist
modes are a social construct
#7
Harmonies? And to get a bigger sound live, I guess. I think it's pretty useful aswell to have a rythm guitar player when the other guitarist is playing a lead part
#8
Lead and rhythm, it makes perfect sense. If you have one guitar and you're pounding away through a chorus, then the guitarist takes a solo, the bottom can really drop out. Which is great in some cases for dynamic effect, but it's nice to have the option.
Quote by Andron17
Go away, I have an erection.


Bassist for Half My Kingdom.
#9
I'm the only guitarist in my band which is actually something I really enjoy, lots of space for me to fill. However having multiple guitarists allows you to do stuff that isn't possible with just one. Harmonies, call and response, plus the extra guitar live fills out the sound a lot more than having just one. You can do some really interesting things with multiple guitarists, Oceansize (RIP) had three guitarists and were very clever in properly utilising them. In the following section each guitarist is playing just a single note at different times, but the overall sound is a much more different than if they'd just plucked the notes of the chord on their own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFkyrRqzkIQ - Skip to 2.30 you'll see what I mean.
Last edited by Gu1T@r_H3r0 at Jun 13, 2013,
#10
My band has three acoustic guitars. One of our guitarists only plays rhythm. The other and I both play leads and melodies, often when the other guitarists are strumming I'm doing arpeggios or walking lines.
"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted."
#11
A lot of 3 pieces actually tour with a second guitar player. I'm not sure about newer bands right now, but Nirvana toured with a second guitar player near the end. Correct me if I'm wrong, but early on, they were a four piece as well.
Pretty sure Greenday does it too.
#12
If you want that kind of "space" in your sound, it's harder to achieve with two guitarists. Our band wouldn't work with two, though some songs need two guitars and then our keyboardist plays the second guitar (he's not that good guitarist though) - sometimes even the keyboards take too much space.

But it's all about the sound you are after. For example listen to Guns N' Roses. Both guitarists play different things all the time (or the same riff but a bit differently). It creates their sound. And if you want to play harmonies, you need two guitarists.

But yeah, being the only guitarist kind of gives you more freedom. With two guitarists you need to plan your parts more than when you are the only guitarist.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Quote by Hail
outside of rock and metal, most musical groups don't even have 1 guitarist


blues
#16
Quote by dog_style
it seems kinda useless to me. i hear lots of songs where it seems pointless and maybe one guitarist could just better their equipment for a bigger sound. some people say because there's 2 different guitar parts, but the same could be done with 2 drummers or 2 bassists or writing songs with 3 guitars and having 3 guitarists on stage, or 4 or 5. why not just write the song for one guitar?

I bet Lynyrd Skynyrd and Iron Maiden properly wreck your head.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#17
Quote by EpiExplorer
You tell me how this band could play what they play live with one guitarist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc-wiBhxJrE

This. This. This.

My other guitarist and I are playing different variations of the same riff about 50% of the time with our new songs. It just adds to a well rounded sound with harmonies and slightly different rhythms. And of course, it doesn't sound like something is missing once the song breaks into a solo.
#18
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
it depends what you want out of the ensemble. I have two guitars in my band because the I play mostly lead while the other plays mostly rhythm and sings. We also harmonize at certain parts and play solos accompanying each other. There is a band down here which has two bassist and no guitars and a drummer. Another band here has two drummers, two pianists and two bassists. It's whatever floats your boat. To me what you're saying is like "Why are there 16 or whatever violinists in an orchestra - why not just have one of each instrument?"

i would think that your bassist could take care of what your rhythm guitarist is doing, by making the bass line different and/or changing their tone through their amp and/or effects processor.

it also seems like two guitars drown out the bass in live shows usually.

but i hear ya about them classical symphonies. if one violinist out of 16 was faking it, could they tell? could the conductor? i question the need for the maestro, but that's another topic.
#19
Quote by steven seagull
I bet Lynyrd Skynyrd and Iron Maiden properly wreck your head.

uh that's what iron maiden is for. and them other guys? never heard of them, are they a funk band from Detroit?
#20
Quote by dog_style

it also seems like two guitars drown out the bass in live shows usually.


only cause either the bassist is scooping his mids or that troublesome soundguy is meddling in the mix because the bass should be "felt not heard"

modes are a social construct
#21
Quote by EpiExplorer
You tell me how this band could play what they play live with one guitarist

]

tell the other one to go for a beer run? good song by the way, but i only hear need for one guitarist. was this just shameless promotion for this band?
#22
Quote by Hail
only cause either the bassist is scooping his mids or that troublesome soundguy is meddling in the mix because the bass should be "felt not heard"


now who's mentally ill?

who doesn't enjoy hearing the bass as much as feeling it? so you can actually tell that they are there and what they actually are doing. especially with trying to figure out a bass line on many songs recordings where the bass is even drowned out there too!
very frustrating.
#23
Quote by dog_style
i would think that your bassist could take care of what your rhythm guitarist is doing, by making the bass line different and/or changing their tone through their amp and/or effects processor.

it also seems like two guitars drown out the bass in live shows usually.

but i hear ya about them classical symphonies. if one violinist out of 16 was faking it, could they tell? could the conductor? i question the need for the maestro, but that's another topic.

But if the bassist plays a different bassline, it sounds different. If you want to sound like a band that has two guitarists, why not just get two guitarists? If your band can cope with only one, good for you, but there are bands that need two (or three) like Iron Maiden. My band can cope with one but I know lots of bands that need two (and we have a keyboardist). And a bass can't replace the rhythm guitar. Even if they were playing similar stuff it would sound completely different.

Also usually in studio the guitar parts are at least double tracked (one guitar in the left and one in the right) even if there's just one guitarist in the band.
Quote by dog_style
now who's mentally ill?

who doesn't enjoy hearing the bass as much as feeling it? so you can actually tell that they are there and what they actually are doing. especially with trying to figure out a bass line on many songs recordings where the bass is even drowned out there too!
very frustrating.

Yeah but that's just because the bassist is scooping his mids or they boost the bass frequencies too much so that the sound gets muddy and it needs to be turned down not to sound muddy. And this is what has happened in almost every gig I have seen. The sound guy seems to have no idea what he is doing. The sound is always too unclear and muddy.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 13, 2013,
#24
Quote by dog_style
uh that's what iron maiden is for. and them other guys? never heard of them, are they a funk band from Detroit?

An American who has never heard of Skynyrd

I don't want to live on this planet anymore....
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#25
People have two guitarists in a band for the same reason that Mahler asked for "as man strings as possible" in the orchestration for his symphonies. Because that's the sound that you want, and so you can write multiple parts.

I have played pieces where there are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd clarinet parts, in addition to red and yellow clarinet parts, each of which have different parts of the piece. You can't do stuff like that if you only have one player on each instrument.

Coincidentally, the piece with all the clarinet parts only had one bassoon part. We never get the love in band pieces.
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
#26
Quote by dog_style
i would think that your bassist could take care of what your rhythm guitarist is doing, by making the bass line different and/or changing their tone through their amp and/or effects processor.


definitely true, but again depends on what you're going for. sometimes it can be a bit of an anticlimax when a rhythm player backs out for a lead with no rhythm to back him, other times it's really effective. a bassist could also definitely play chords and do some really awesome stuff, then again the bassist and guitar don't have to both play roots all the time. there are cases for every side. music and instrumentation is subjective. you clearly like what you like, so go and make really awesome music with that.

Quote by dog_style

it also seems like two guitars drown out the bass in live shows usually.


a band's sound is only as good as the guy behind the desk. and some band members should really learn to eq properly

Quote by dog_style

but i hear ya about them classical symphonies. if one violinist out of 16 was faking it, could they
tell? could the conductor? i question the need for the maestro, but that's another topic.

this is a whole 'nother can of worms, not even gonna go there.
#28
By your logic orchestras only need one violin, one cello, one double bass, one flute etc.
#29
Even if the guitars play the same thing for the most part having both of them will add a more textured sound.

Also on a side note, Arcade Fire uses two drummers at times so although it's unusual, it happens.
#30
What band instrument provide what musical piece of the puzzle?
Vocals - Lead
Drums - Rhythm
Bass - Bass (and some harmony)
Guitar - Harmony

Now, if a band wanted the guitar to proved both lead and harmony, it can't do as much because it has to worry about both. So, most bands have two guitarists so they can both dedicate their energies to their part.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#31
I think my troll detector is pinging. I mean, seriously - do you listen to music? Do you pay attention to what you're listening to?

You said why not two drummers? Well, guess what - bands that do rhymically complex things often have a drummer and a "percussionist," but once you get into jam band territory you can see a whole percussion section. You're probably only not familiar with it because you only listen to music in a narrow genre box (or, perhaps, you just don't pay attention).

Two bassists is rare (but not unheard of, even in a rock context: Ned's Atomic Dustbin had two bassists, and some of Sting's "All This Time ..." live record has him on an electric and somebody else on an acoustic double bass) because it's really easy for that to make the song muddy if you're not really, really good.

Seriously, though, what music do you listen to?
#32
Counter-point, and a fuller sound.

That Obscura song can be played exactly how it is with only 1 guitarist? Your ears have failed you, I suggest getting them examined.

Quote by steven seagull
An American who has never heard of Skynyrd

I don't want to live on this planet anymore....


I died a little inside when I read that.
Last edited by ruker at Jun 14, 2013,
#33
Because I want more than one guitar playing?... That's incredibly limiting. I have four guitars in one of my songs. They're all panned differently, clean and distorted, playing very different things in different registers.

Indeed, why not have two drummers, or two bassists?
Ibanez RG2228 w/ EMG808Xs | Line 6 POD HD500 | Mackie HD1221
#35
A lot of amateur bands with two guitarists play the same thing for the majority of the songs, rendering one of the guitars pointless, so I think that TS is correct in one respect.

If you are going to have two guitars, work should be put into having them play unique, complementary parts, and perhaps playing the same thing here and there for artistic effect. However if it's the same thing all the time, there's no real point to it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#36
Miles Davis used two simultaneous drummers on Bitches Brew, one in the left ear and one in the right.
#37
Quote by AlanHB
A lot of amateur bands with two guitarists play the same thing for the majority of the songs, rendering one of the guitars pointless, so I think that TS is correct in one respect.

If you are going to have two guitars, work should be put into having them play unique, complementary parts, and perhaps playing the same thing here and there for artistic effect. However if it's the same thing all the time, there's no real point to it.


The whole point, in that case, is to give the guitar sound depth.
#38
Quote by ruker
The whole point, in that case, is to give the guitar sound depth.


You get a greater sense of depth if the two guitars are playing unique, complementary parts than exactly the same thing. Even something as simple as playing different voicings of chords at the same time can add a lot.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#39
Quote by AlanHB
You get a greater sense of depth if the two guitars are playing unique, complementary parts than exactly the same thing. Even something as simple as playing different voicings of chords at the same time can add a lot.


And I agree, but I was just simply stating the point to which you claimed had no real point.
#40
Quote by AlanHB
You get a greater sense of depth if the two guitars are playing unique, complementary parts than exactly the same thing. Even something as simple as playing different voicings of chords at the same time can add a lot.


not talking about musical depth but depth of actual sound. i mean, a guitarist could hook himself up to an A/B/Y rig with 2 amps running, but it wouldn't be quite the same

not that i think it's an interesting or musically mature way of doing things (though to be fair, if we wanted interesting or musically mature music, we wouldn't be listening to rock of metal ) but it's an important factor of tone. in a production, 2 thin, nasally distorted guitar tones ran in tandem sounds incredibly thick, lush, and punchy
modes are a social construct
Page 1 of 3