I just had my first practice with my band, and i kinda came across a problem. 3 guitars= total chaos!
I mean, we KINDA started to get a little bit of order, but..it keeps sounding like total mush. not to mention we've got 3 different kinds of playing styles (me leaning towards blues-based rock, one going towards more van halen-kind of playing, and a Steve Vai kind of player) and we're having trouble finding a way to make us mix together well enough where we can mix our playing into something that's not sounding like an orgy of noise. is there anything possible short of kicking one of us out?
If you don't want to kick one person out kick two out!
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ive been in a band like that. what i found was good was one of the guitarist was also a decent singer, so we kind of "promoted" him to vocals. it worked out quite nicely and he was still able to add some guitar work if we needed it.
make 1 of u guys play bass, 1 play rhythm, 1 play lead?

my band has 2 guitarists, and a bassist.

we do pretty good together. usually my rhythm guitarist would play the rhythm (surprise!) or arpeggiates (sp?) the chords that i'm playing.

i (lead) either play the more melodic side of the song such as a lick and/or i hit chords that ring on for a bar or 2.

out bassist pretty much skips between rhythmic lines, and more melodic lines.

there are maybe some ideas for u.

oh! another idea may be to get someone to play ambient tracks on their guitar, which would mean a **** load of fx pedals (phaser, delay, expression pedals)
only band I've listened to that successfully used 3 guitars is Radiohead.

What they do is (afaik--this is just from the songs ive heard which is most of OK Computer and In Rainbows) have one on acoustic, one do some trippy spacy effects on electric (phaser flanger chorus delay stuff) to kinda add some atmosphere, ambience. Then a lead electric that does some simple stuff on top and occasionally some distorted heavier riffs.

I would say get one guy to do traditional rhythm playing, one do traditional lead and one throw some random effects-laden stuff in to add depth and stuff to the sound.

BTW, what genre u aiming for?
errrrrm try getting 2 of you to play rythem and 1 to play lead?
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only band I've listened to that successfully used 3 guitars is Radiohead.

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iron maiden

heh well dont listen to them so there u go

But yeah, if you don't want one dedicated to effects and don't yet have a bassist, get one to do that. Bassists=underrated but needed. 2 Guitars+Bass>3Guitars
Most albums have at least 3 guitar tracks on them per song if not more even if they only have one guitar player.
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well, we've got a bass player already, but he's not too reliable, although he's one of the greatest guitar player and bassists i've ever heard. Neither of us wants to play bass, but yeah..i guess i'll have to either kick one out or make one of them a bass player. We're pretty much playing hard rock/blues, i guess you could say. And for effects, we used way too much, which i think added more to the chaos.
Iron maiden does fantastic with 3 guitarists. they have some great segments where 1 of them will play rhythm and the other 2 play harmonized leads, and some other parts with triple harmonized leads (awesome).

also A7X, while they only have 2 guitarists, they will double/triple/quadruple their guitars. i think one of their songs has 1 rhythm playing chords with another rhyth arpeggiating/palm muting chords with harmonized leads.
you dont really have to kick anyone out, it'll just take alot more work in writing notes, you'll have to write all 3 guitar parts, if it helps then turn off all effects for one of the guitars and then for the lead put them to halfway or so, and then for rhythm crank up the distortion(or whatever fits the song) having 3 guitars can be pure deadliness, if you want an acoustic part at the beginning of a song and you want to play it live, a 3rd guitarist could come in handy, and like escher2003v2 said, you could have 2 lead playing harmonized notes and then the one rhythm, try to experiment with distortion levels, that might keep a guitarist in
The other two are probably posting on different forums with the same question

But I recommend looking into bands that have 3 guitarists and just checking out what they do and see if your band can do what they do.

Also make sure to restrict each person to a certain thing like lead or rhythm so you guys aren't as chaotic sounding.
Use harmonies on lead stuff, or have rhythm parts playing chords in different positions (look up the CAGED system if you don't already know it).
Also, mess about with EQ and consider everyone turning their distortion down a tad.
Of course, not all three of you have to play all the time!
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'nuff said. Keep all 3 guitarists, just use lots of harmonies and things, and don't be afraid to let your guitar sit in the background some of the time.
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Iron Maiden.

'nuff said. Keep all 3 guitarists, just use lots of harmonies and things, and don't be afraid to let your guitar sit in the background some of the time.


Lol I'm the only guitarist in my band... and the lead singer too..... hard job, actually lol.... No bassist either... Just myself and a drummer
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Lol I'm the only guitarist in my band... and the lead singer too..... hard job, actually lol.... No bassist either... Just myself and a drummer

Hmm.. Didn't know u posted here, Jack White

lol. i often find that one guitar is plenty. 2 guitars can be done well semi-easily, and 3 takes a good amount of skill to not sound like trash.
well if you have to do it, one does the lower stuff, one does mid stuff, one does the really high stuff. Noone plays a full chord! Break it up, try this.....really. I'm no pro at having 3 guitarists but that would make sense. If one of you is singing, have that person only play in a part that requires the most UMPH. And then try the low mid hi thing.
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you know how much coordination that would take to sound good? there'd be no room for improvising.
2 rhythm one lead... Perhaps make one rhythm clean or acoustic and the other distorted. Three guitars can work if you do it right. Radiohead, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alesana, and Turbonegro are just some examples.
1 Rhythm, 1 Lead and 1 Melody. Just have the third play like, perfect fourths or fifths up from the lead guy. Or maybe a minor third up.
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Unless your Bad Religion, I wouldn't try it. But if you must, I would use one playing a melody, one playing a counter-melody, and one on rhythm.