Page 1 of 2
bands like fall of troy or black flag play with one guitar live, and during their solos, it sounds right. but when my band plays, during our guitar solos, it just sounds really empty. what does it take for it to sound more "full" with just a backing bass and drums? any effects on the guitars like echo or reverb? or louder or distorted bass? any suggestions?
Reverb can help, even just a little adds a bit of 'fullness' to a single guitar. However, I am not sure how those bands do achieve such a sound, but I assume it must be some combination of experience and equipment.

I would like to see what other people have to say.
Give bass a more guitar like role, i.e. distort it or just tune up the volume during solo's
more gain, a combination of delay and reverb (not too much), more gain on bass, tighter drums, and if youre really desperate you can have the singer do humm a bit lol
i got tired of my signature and i no longer has one

hendrix zeppelin and cream all had one guitar too , i know having the guitar loud enough with reverb and some low end can help.
Have you tried mic'ing your amp?

The Gear I Use Most:
Gibson guitars, Les Paul, ES-335, SG and more.
Dunlop Crybaby | Dunlop Volume | Boss TU-2 | Ibanez TS-9 | Maxon AD-999
Planet Waves Custom Leads
Marshall JCM900 (model: 4100 + 4101)

TooJoo The Band
A second guitarist adds the power and the drive when your soloing, the bass and drums give the groove. So if you don't have a second guitarist with you, then during the solos, be sure to turn up the volume of both your guitar and the bass, add some delay and verb and have the drummer maintain the driving rhythm. That's all you can really do with a one-guitarist band. You have to realise that most of the bands you stated recorded multiple tracks on their albums, and they sounded a lot different live. Check out Cemetary Gates live to get what I mean.
Quote by chimneyfish
"death-metal is the best when its in the shape of a dildo and shoved in my ass"

Born to lose...
!!!!!!!!!!!!! to Win
you have to play guitar really well.

the tone that hendrix and clapton had was in their guitars yeah, but a good amount came from their hands.
Get yourself a treble booster maybe so then you cut through the mix a lot more (add some mids as well to your tone but not too much!) use some reverd to add some 'space' to your sound. Delay as well is invaluable. Many times i can substitute delay for reverb using my Boss DD-3 and then only use the reverd sparingly. Set the frequency kinda low like 2-3 repeats and keep the delay kinda close and have the level somewhere below half and you can acheive that 'The Unforgiven' tone
Also if ur running an amp with effects loop put ur reverb,delay and other modulations through there so they dont mush up ur sound any more than they should
The one legged chickens from outer space made me do it!
Quote by the_extremist00
more gain,

Lol, ironically this may just be the problem. Too much gain and you will sound really thin and weak. This, combined with bad EQ, will kill your sound. Less gain, more mids.
Just play like Eddie Van Halen and Alex Lifeson, problem solved.
Livin' Easy, Livin' Free
Drums is the key here.

Most successful bands like Zep and RHCP have drummers that make the whole band sound fuller when a solo/single notes are being played.
A chorus effect can really thicken up single lines. That and the above mentioned reverb and delay.
Call me Batman.
I'd say that the above suggestions arent really what is being asked. I eanm yeah u can turn up and thickening the bass to sound more guitary can help. But as for guitar technique to cover the lack of backing track...then thats a great question. If you look at bands like Rush and Dream Theatre you can learna lot of nice tricks to thicken it.

If you have some chorus on then thats good...maybe a touch of delay as well but I recommend playing things like pedal tones, arpeggios and octaves...this gives the illusion of a bigger sound and hides the fact that you are hitting one lead note...

It means altering your style slightly but it does give u loads of idea for licks and techniues to learn..and thats always good isn't it?

Yee hah
This is a reason why...right from the outset
maybe search for someone to play as a second guitarists in your band. Just a suggestion bro
Drumming is the key. When I played in three piece bands we always had a decent ammount of delay on the drum mix. When you play your leads get in the habit of playing the root notes at the same place the bass player is playing his. Delay and reverb will also fill your sound out. Practice practice practice. Good luck.
Tom Anderson Hollow Classic
72 thin line tele

Barber trifecta fuzz
Mi audio Crunch Box
Clyde Wah
Barber Burn Unit
Ocean efx Texas deuce
Boomerang chorus delay
Barber ltd

1971 Pro reverb
Fender acoustasonic
Fender super champ xd
have a separate channel for solo. and eq that with a little bit more bass and mid than your rhythm or clean channel. don't over do the the treble like the other guy said using a treble booaster, it will sound extremely ****ty that way. keep in mind you are trying to fill up the mid bass part where the rhythm guitar usually be at.
and of course, a tight rhythm section is a must.
What style of music are you playing? Make sure you're drummer is keeping rhythm with you. The bassist should stay tight too, obviously.

Respect Roope Latvala.
guitar isnt the only instrument in your band. Your drummer should kick it up a notch and your bass player should come up with more interesting or prominent. bass lines.

look at muse, alot of the time they hardly have the guitar playing at all. Mostly just bass and drums, and when you DO hear guitar its just as creative as the rest of the instruments.

My personal interests are people who sacrifice complexity for creativity.
If you dont find theory interesting, then DONT study it. IF your TRULY serious about playing guitar(enjoying), then EVENTUALLY you WILL WANT to study it.
My band has just one guitarist (me, and I sing aswell), so we get worried about fullness. We just keep the solos to a minimum though... but I guess we don't need the solos. I'm really more into the idea of two guitarists.
Quote by Zycho
Get a better bassist and drummer?

This is the only comment I have seen so far that actually makes sense. If everything else sounds thin when you go into a solo, it's probably not the guitar's fault - if the drums and bass are grooving along with the solo, it will sound good. Period.
well heres the thing, if the bass is just plodding a simple quarter note pattern it's not going to sound really full. one thing is the have the bassist arpeggiate backing chords, thats what rex did in pantera and i think it worked great. another thing is to make sure the bassists eq is set right, you want the rhyhtm section to be real pronounced behind the lead section.
You mentioned The Fall Of Troy, well he uses a Loop pedal and on solos he has the rhythm guitar part looped and then he plays the lead over it. This requires a great amount of skill at using the pedal and hitting your part right every time.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Mesa Boogie Mark IV
Avatar 2x12

Quote by aerosmithfan95
I wanna know what some blues sounding chords I could use in the key of D Aeolian fifth mode of Melodic Minor.

Quote by szekelymihai
try looking for Cm, or any of those complicated jazz chords
reverb probably a slow chorus or an echo with single repeats set at the lowest possible time
well, listen to rush. Alex lifeson and geddy lee both play chords during songs, verses and such, and when geddy's not playing chords he's syncopated, playing offbeat, its all about rhythm. Try to get lots of sustain, a compressor does it. The drummer ties it all together, he's gotta be pretty solid, and the during guitar solos drummers tend to take off a bit on their own, that can help.
Basically all 3 of you have to be pretty damn good to play in a 3 piece band so it doesn't sound empty
Quote by jomarkdave
you have to play guitar really well.

the tone that hendrix and clapton had was in their guitars yeah, but a good amount came from their hands.

Standard Fender Telecaster
Fender Blues Jr
Quote by zipppy2006


you have to learn how to fill the space that would make you sound 'empty', and also learn how to do it well. this is a very difficult thing to do, the only way to do it is to play guitar for hours each and every day.

for real.
A fool is not one who makes a mistake, a fool is one who does not learn from it.
-me HAH!
Well Dream Theater has one guitar, but also has John Myung on Bass with a complex line going ( in more recent work) and they have a keyboardist (Jordan Rudess) who plays a riff while Petrucci solos and sometimes they harmonize. I have a little delay on my setting, plus some reverb. And as much as you can, don't leave large silences, bend for 8 bars if you have to ( if you can) Just don't leave any parts where no guitar is present, because for the solo, your guitar is doing the singing.

Also try to get your bassist and drummer doing a more complex line instead of typical hi-hat-snare and droning on the bass note of the chord progression.
If possible, get the singer to play rhythm during your solos. I find it is not necessary to have two guitars under vocals, only if one guitar is playing lead. The singer can play just for under your solos, and then he can concentrate on singing and still sing just as well. If your singers already the bassist, than he can step his bass work up a bit, as he only has that to think about.
Have bass and drums play a bit louder. I have a keyboardist, so it isn't really that big of a deal when I solo.
Suprisingly, your answer isn't so much with the guitar as it is with the bass and drums.

Check out bands like Muse or RAtM. When the guitar player does something different, IE goes and plays piano in the former, or does the turntable-y bit in the latter, the bass player kicks on some distortion and the drummer plays harder.

So the guitar doesn't do much to fill out the sound. Chorus never hurts, but having a loud drummer and having bass effects is what gives you the thick, full bottom end you need to play in a power trio.
what people are saying about bass and drums is right. with bands that only have three players, the drummer and bass player are usually really good. for instance, if you listen to cream, its not just clapton soloing, they ALL are pretty much. if the bass player is just playing basic stuff like just the root notes and the drummer is just playing a basic beat, then yea its gunna sound lame.

but its not all them either. proper overdrive, EQ settings and effects like reverb will help. plus, how you play has a big part in it too. for instance, theres this drummer i know and a couple of times me and him jammed. just guitar and drums. but honestly, we made it work. first of all i already have a pretty big tone with my 12 guage strings and i normally use the neck pick up. so it sounds pretty thick. and i was really loud and added a little more drive than i normally would to fill in some space. i mostly played rhythm parts but i added in little fills and things here and there to spice it up. i also used more double stops. that helps with no bass because you arent just playing a single note. so it sounds fuller and sounds better when going from rhythm to fills. it sounds like you are doing both.

so you have to look at how you are playing and how everyone else is playing. if your bass player isnt the greatest, then you will probably need to step up your game. same with the drummer. i think the drummer may be more important than bass actually. because with hendrix, noel redding wasnt the greatest bass player but mitch mitchel was an awesome drummer and had a "lead drummer" kind of style. noel wasnt bad at bass but jimi's other buddy billy cox was better to work off of. but still even with redding hendrix made it work. so listen to the other players and let your instinct of what to play take over. hopefully they will do the same. it might just be that you guys havent played together enough and dont know each others style well enough or even music in general enough. just keep practicing and try to make sure everyone improves and knows what kind of sound to aim for and what they need to do to get that sound.
Quote by Manjinken
guitar isnt the only instrument in your band. Your drummer should kick it up a notch and your bass player should come up with more interesting or prominent. bass lines.

look at muse, alot of the time they hardly have the guitar playing at all. Mostly just bass and drums, and when you DO hear guitar its just as creative as the rest of the instruments.

My personal interests are people who sacrifice complexity for creativity.

+1 to mentioning Muse, who i'm listening to right now :P

When there is a solo in a Muse song, it normally has an effect tied to it, and the bass line is always in synch with the drums, which is a perfect backing for a guitarist to shine.

Same thing with Chevelle, they are one of the fullest sounding bands I know and it's only 3 people doing it.
Last edited by Guitarfreak777 at Mar 21, 2008,
pribably the best way would be to have two overdrive pedals, one with a full band eq and one with a more simple array of settings.
despite what you might think, try to keep the sound as clean as possible with as much mid. the more bass and mid you have, the less gain youll need.
tell your bassist to double every note heplays if he is playing long sustaining notes, making him use the first two notes of the chord your playing, not together, but seperately. tell your drummer to open the hi hat slightly and use lots of symbol crashes.
set the eq on your full band eq distortion pedal to about 5 treble, 8 mid, and 6 bass, but urn the treble on your guitar up to about 8. try using morethan one pickup with different settings on each if your gutar is gibson style.
when the solo comes, stomp on your full band eq dist pedal and play to your hearts content.
you could also do this using a footswitch on a two or three channel amp.

if all else fails play behind your head and nobody will notice what it sounds like
Add a bit of overdrive to the bass, and have your drummer use his/her crash cymbal or open hi hat rather than closed hat or the ride.
A dwarf might hear you. What then?

My Music
Page 1 of 2