#1
Hey guys, so I write a lot of my music on an acoustic guitar and I am kind of taking acoustic songs to my band that I've written to play as a full band with electric guitars, bass etc..

To the people here that do the same thing, how do you change up your acoustic versions to make it work on electric and as an electric guitar style, because I see bands play tottaly different things when they do acoustic versions of their songs to when they play then as a band, Am just wondering what is the best approach to doing this?

This is an acoustic one of mine that I want to take to my band but I dont really want to be playing open chords all the time i wanna change it up and play down the neck more, any ideas?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX563eQRISA

Thanks for helping me out!
#2
For me it works better with electric -> acoustic. But I'll give you some ideas:

Find out how many bars each chord and try to come up with riffs that fit with and accentuate the vocal melodies (mix licks,chords and rhythm).

Do chords higher up on the neck, different shapes will make it more interesting, especially if you add some cool droning notes.

Leave space to let the song breath since it's for a full band, the song doesn't have to rely on your guitar playing as much.
#3
Think of what musical effect you want to make in each section. How can instrumentation be used to achieve that effect? You're going to have to answer this question yourself.

Acoustic guitar translates better to rhythm if you wanted to add more stuff later but preserve the original quality of the acoustic.
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#4
When playing with a full band, you don't want to just strum chords on your guitar (the same way you would do on an acoustic). The way people usually accompany themselves on an acoustic is pretty rhythm oriented. But when playing with a full band, the drummer already takes care of the rhythm pretty well.

You may not want to play full 6 string chords all the time. It gives more space to the other instruments.


But really, it's all about what you are after. Do you have a vision? Do you know what you are after? If you don't, it's pretty hard to arrange anything to any kind of band.

Some songs don't even work with a full band that well.

But yeah, just listen to what other bands do. Analyze all the parts. That way you will learn about the usual roles of different instruments in a band.

Is there a band you want to sound like? It's pretty important to know what you are after. You can do pretty much any kind of arrangement. Different stuff works for a punk rock band than for a country band (but the same song can be arranged for both). You can't just decide "let's arrange this song to a band". It doesn't work like that. You need to know what kind of sound you are after. Do you want to arrange it for a rock band or what (also, if it's a rock band, what kind of a rock band - is the style close to AC/DC or U2 or RHCP or what)? What instruments do you want to use? If you have absolutely no idea about any of this, it's pretty hard to make it work.
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
#5
It's not unusual for me to develop a song on acoustic and then move it to an electric, but the difference is I know going into it that's where I'm going with it. That makes me aware of the techniques I'll be using on the electric, so I pretty much incorporate them even on the acoustic.

In your case you've developed a song that clearly is an acoustic song. It can still be done you'll have to examine each section for how to better do it on electric. For example the fingerpicking portion of the verse you'd probably want the electric to flat pick some simplified and modified version of the chord on maybe three strings while the bass moves the actual chord progression. You probably won't want much in the way of drums other than some orchestral style fills. Then when you start getting to the chorus you'll want to to a build with bass, drums, and power chords on the guitar. Once in the chorus you'll have to modify the strum pattern to more of a power riff.

The key is awareness and use of the instruments in this case and how to best use them to maintain the dynamics of the song. It's not just about the guitar, it's about the whole band.
#6
^ Yes, exactly. Dynamics are very important. You can't just translate a certain acoustic guitar part to a whole band and assume it works the same way every time. It's about the context. There is no acoustic guitar to whole band translator.

Do you want some parts to be louder than others? That will control the choice of your instruments and what the different instruments will play.

Not all instruments need to play all the time. Take advantage of the dynamic range of a band and it will make the arrangement sound way more interesting. You can do so much more with a full band than with just a single instrument.
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 Jan 1, 2016,
#7
Thanks for the replys, from what most of you are saying deffinatly makes sense to me, so try and let the song breath, and take more of a minimilist approach with the rhythem and use some new voiceings for a change.. < I will attempt to implement these into the songs when playing with a full band from now on.

The kind of style I am aiming for is the likes of Calebs playing style in Kings of Leon (not musically, but the approach he has on it), I know there earlier stuff is lots of rhythem with bar chords, but as they grew as a band he takes a back seat but does play some good rhythem and singing at the same time, thats what I am all about

If anyone has more advice too, ill take it all on board
#8
I'm attaching something I made yesterday night into this morning (local time); hopefully, it pertains to said topic. (Too bad the dynamic level fits UG's current slogan ) It sounds like a seafaring rendition of the original, so I added "Marin" parenthetically (no relation to MM ;D )

Get to know the instruments well and have a vision for what you want to have each section sound like, not just by itself, but as part of the whole.
Attachments:
Elan.gp5
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#9
A lot of it can depend on the style that you are going for. Don't underestimate the power chord. It sounds great with lots of gain/distortion, so if that's the sound you are going for, consider replacing some of your chords with power chords.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."-Abraham Lincoln