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  #151  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:58 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
How do people play the guitar and not read music?
Not sure what you mean - see my post above. I read enough to get the information on chords and some fills, but much of the stuff I need - e.g., the groove, the street smart tricks, the way to dial up the amp, use of effects - none of that stuff is on a treble clef, you know?

So it depends on what you are after, if that makes sense.

I couldn't tell you how many flats or sharps are in a key - or when you should refer to them as flats vs. sharps for that matter. I know the basic relationship of chords and keys - why sub-dominants and dominants are important in a western scale and what those notes are in most keys - but I couldn't site read to save my life. And I will look at a chord form and noodle it out, only to stop and realize "oh, that's that chord I use on X song" but I couldn't tell you if there's a flatted ninth or anything unless I worked it out with a pencil.
  #152  
Old 02-15-2010, 09:59 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Originally Posted by Le Ministre de l'au-delà View Post
Which brings me to an interesting question I'd like to throw out - what are the preferences of the various Doper guitarists in terms of reading music? Notation? Tab? Chord symbols? Something entirely different? I know this can be a real can of annelids, but I'm curious...

I read bass and treble clef fluently and sight read well. I also read tab, not as fluently as notation, but still well. My chart reading is good, but I prefer to woodshed a chart so I don't end up cycling through the same first position chords over and over.

My humble opinion, your mileage may vary, etc., etc. - I think it's a very good idea for a guitarist to learn to read both notation and tab. There is much snobbery in the classical guitar world about tab, and it gets up my nose, esp. seeing that all the Renaissance music for lute, vihuela, theorbo, et al was written in tab. One of the huge advantages of reading Dowland and his pals in the original tab is you, the player, get to choose your own durations.

And for the record, I don't think reading music makes you a 'better' guitarist, nor do I think playing entirely by ear makes you a 'worse' guitarist.

So where's everybody else on the reading graph?
I can plunk and twang reading the treble clef, am clueless in the bass clef. I don't do all that well with tab. I'm mostly a 'by-ear' player and I prefer words and chords as a memory jogger for songs that I haven't played for a while, or that I am trying to learn.
  #153  
Old 02-15-2010, 10:20 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
...but I couldn't site read to save my life. And I will look at a chord form and noodle it out,...
So what happens the second time you play a song? I can understand (sort of) going through a song and figuring it out piece-by-piece, but what happens after that when you want to just play it? Do you write notes for yourself as reminders, or does the noodling get the song so firmly in your memory that you don't have to decipher it again?
  #154  
Old 02-15-2010, 10:55 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
So what happens the second time you play a song? I can understand (sort of) going through a song and figuring it out piece-by-piece, but what happens after that when you want to just play it? Do you write notes for yourself as reminders, or does the noodling get the song so firmly in your memory that you don't have to decipher it again?
Oh yeah - remember: most rock songs are 3 chords and the truth . Once I block out the song, it becomes clear which major rock-song Family it is part of - at that point, I just slot it in place (e.g., So Lonely = Goin' Down = Sam Cooke's Wonderful World, etc...) and only need to remember the specific tricks, fills and groove. I also have a great memory for lyrics and song structure so by the time I block it out, I can navigate the basic structure. Over the next couple times I play, I repeat it a couple more times - so by that time I have to lead the band through the song, where we beat up my approach, parcel out parts, etc. The act of doing that second pass locks it in for a while...if I don't keep up with the song or if it doesn't include some lick I use as a practice lick, it can fade after about a year...

Remember, the technical abilities of forming chords and locking into a groove are second-nature for me after 30 years - so I am past a barrier a lot of players see as a big obstacle...

Last edited by WordMan; 02-15-2010 at 10:57 AM.
  #155  
Old 02-15-2010, 10:59 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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I can read treble clef well enough to entertain myself with a bit of Bach and other stuff by those old dead guys. Tab - I don't see there's anything to learn it's just a sort of picture showing where to put your fingers innit? Pretty much all the guitar books I have, have both in any case.

An observation on reading dots for the guitar. I spent years playing just by ear and couldn't translate standard notation to notes to play in anything like real time. It wasn't until I got a bit more serious and practicing "classical" scales and arpeggios that written music started to make sense. I don't think standard notation is a good match for rock (or blues). So much of it is modified pentatonics, or modal, or playing in “boxes” that key signatures don't really represent the notes you expect to play. It's pretty common for a part to use both the major and minor third (or even something in between), often the home chord has a flattened 7 these things do not happen in classical music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robot ArmRobot Arm
How do people play the guitar and not read music?
I think it's fair to say most rock guitarists* can't read music, including lots of the famous ones. How do they manage? Most rock music is much much simpler than most classical, there’s a lot more repetition and a great deal more wiggle room. Especially if you're playing your own stuff, who's to say you're doing it wrong?


*more since the 80s probably but for each Steve Vai there'll be dozens of Johnny Marrs
  #156  
Old 02-15-2010, 04:11 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I found it here. No way to link directly, but if you click on "Artisan Videos" toward the right, it will take you to a page that will then link to the Richard Hoover talk. It's in six parts, so set a bit of time aside. I think you will really like this.

Note: The audio and video are very poorly synchronized.
Watching this now - wonderful. Richard really knows his stuff and is very patient. Great way to learn about acoustics...

Thank you for sharing...
  #157  
Old 02-15-2010, 07:56 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Originally Posted by Le Ministre de l'au-delà View Post
Which brings me to an interesting question I'd like to throw out - what are the preferences of the various Doper guitarists in terms of reading music? Notation? Tab? Chord symbols? Something entirely different? I know this can be a real can of annelids, but I'm curious...

I think if you're going to be a classical guitar player, reading is absolutely essential. You cannot exist in the classical world without being able to read. End of story. There are no exceptions.

If you want to be a serious jazz player, you should be able to read, although there are no doubt a few jazz greats who couldn't. But not many, and not lately. If you told me that Joe Pass, or Bucky Pizzarelli, or George Benson or Pat Metheny couldn't read, I'd be as surprised and incredulous as if you'd told me the sun was going to come up in the West tomorrow.

I very, very much regret letting my reading skills degenerate over the last decade or so (older now, don't play as much, and not with other people), and I hereby vow to make it a project to get back up to speed in the next year.
  #158  
Old 02-16-2010, 07:51 PM
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Watching this now - wonderful. Richard really knows his stuff and is very patient. Great way to learn about acoustics...

Thank you for sharing...
Glad you liked it! His perspective on the rarity of rosewood vs. maghogany trees was quite different than the standard line. I wish I knew more.
  #159  
Old 02-17-2010, 08:52 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
Glad you liked it! His perspective on the rarity of rosewood vs. maghogany trees was quite different than the standard line. I wish I knew more.
Agreed - I know a lot about the properties of the woods in a guitar context, but not the nature and business of wood. You might consider reading Clapton's Guitar by Allen St. John - great book about acoustic guitars, their history and sound and desirability - and the woods. I don't recall rosewood getting put into perspective relative to mahogany like Hoover does, but there was some stuff in there...
  #160  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:13 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Update - I am going to see Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton tonight at Madison Square Garden. Even as I sit at my desk, I am squealing like a little girl.

I am likely taking tomorrow off since my kids are on Winter Break, but I will file a report when I can...
  #161  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:39 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Update - I am going to see Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton tonight at Madison Square Garden. Even as I sit at my desk, I am squealing like a little girl.
:jealous!:
  #162  
Old 02-18-2010, 07:30 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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So, who are the best guitarists, not of any decade, but over _all_ decades?
Clapton and Beck clearly count. Hendrix, I'm not sure about because he burned too bright and died too soon. Buddy Guy, of course. Gary Hoey. Malmsteen has great technical skill but no soul at all.
  #163  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:00 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
So, who are the best guitarists, not of any decade, but over _all_ decades?
Clapton and Beck clearly count. Hendrix, I'm not sure about because he burned too bright and died too soon. Buddy Guy, of course. Gary Hoey. Malmsteen has great technical skill but no soul at all.
Frank Zappa
Django Rheinhardt
Bola Sete

Everyone else is just really good.
  #164  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:35 PM
BigShooter BigShooter is offline
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Angus Young - He is GOD
Leo Kottke - Best acoustic fingerpicker ever - period.
David Gilmore - Better than anyone at playing a solo that fits the song perfectly.
Joe Satriani - the one shredder with feel and songwriting chops.

Those are just 4 of my favs that still wow me when I listen to them - even after many many years of listening...
  #165  
Old 02-19-2010, 01:47 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
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My heroes, in no particular order -
Manuel Barrueco
Joe Pass
Bucky Pizzarelli
Derek Bailey
Ralph Towner
John Abercrombie
Lenny Breau
Ed Bickert
Gene Bertoncini
George Van Eps
João Gilberto
Frank Zappa
Robert Fripp
Chet Atkins and
Kenny Burrell for an even fifteen.
  #166  
Old 02-19-2010, 10:05 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
So, who are the best guitarists, not of any decade, but over _all_ decades?
Clapton and Beck clearly count. Hendrix, I'm not sure about because he burned too bright and died too soon. Buddy Guy, of course. Gary Hoey. Malmsteen has great technical skill but no soul at all.
Michael Hedges. Then everyone else.
  #167  
Old 02-22-2010, 08:19 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
:jealous!:
Totally swamped at work right now, so I need to get back to this. Bottom line is that seeing Clapton and Beck was fun - Beck was amazing, playing the vocal lines of Operas on his guitar with a 12-piece backup string section. Bombastic and over the top? That's Beck - but he sounded credible - same with doing the vocal line of Day in the Life by the Beatles - should be schmaltzy but he makes it work.

Clapton was Clapton - he stretched out on one acoustic number and on I Shot the Sherriff, but for the most part stuck to his strict blues formula. They played well together, but IMHO Beck kinda overshadowed Clapton, but that is my biased POV...
  #168  
Old 02-28-2010, 02:13 PM
MwNNrules MwNNrules is offline
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
I love metal - didn't I share that post about Walk and also that one about great players with lousy tone?
I looked back - and yeah, you did. Must not have been paying that much attention to the thread, sorry.



So I've been wondering: what would be considered the advent of the guitar solo as we now know it? I was talking with some people, and we came to the conclusion that it is definitely a term used for more modern genres (although if you want to get specific, than a lot of things could be called guitar solos). It came to our attention that the terms "lead" and "rhythm" in a modern context generally just meant that the lead guitarist would be soloing. (Note that I am not trying to detract from the merits of rhythm guitarists). Guitar solos aren't all that common in this era's music, perhaps due to an increasing emphasis on short, catchy beats, and of course when bringing up guitar solos, you have to consider the influence of the Ramones, who focused purely on making a good rhythm (Johnny Ramone hated solos). I do respect the Ramones in some ways, because by their time a lot of music was, as they stipulated, not fluid, but had a guitar solo slapped on regardless of whether it worked within the dynamic of the song. Anyways on Wikipedia (which I hesitate to trust on some levels) it basically says that the guitar solo in rock is descended from the popularity of improvisation in jazz and blues guitar playing. And of course you can see the influence of swing on rock in the '50s. What would be a candidate for the first rock guitar solo?
  #169  
Old 02-28-2010, 02:33 PM
wedgehed wedgehed is offline
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Originally Posted by MwNNrules View Post
What would be a candidate for the first rock guitar solo?
Rock Around the Clock.
  #170  
Old 02-28-2010, 02:41 PM
MwNNrules MwNNrules is offline
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Originally Posted by wedgehed View Post
Rock Around the Clock.
I wouldn't be surprised if it were one of the early '50s rock songs, and that's certainly a prominent one. I myself was thinking initially of "Johnny B. Goode", but then again "Maybellene" was earlier than that (although not earlier than "Rock Around the Clock").

Last edited by MwNNrules; 02-28-2010 at 02:42 PM.
  #171  
Old 02-28-2010, 09:50 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
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Originally Posted by MwNNrules View Post
What would be a candidate for the first rock guitar solo?
Just to be a PITA , doesn't that depends quite a bit on your definition of "Rock" ?
  #172  
Old 02-28-2010, 11:05 PM
MwNNrules MwNNrules is offline
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Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
Just to be a PITA , doesn't that depends quite a bit on your definition of "Rock" ?
Definitely, but for simplicity's sake I'd say that rock is the folk/blues fusion genre that popped up in the early '50s, and all its direct descendants.
And for the record, today I was talking to another person who agreed that "Rock Around the Clock" might be the first rock guitar solo.
  #173  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:28 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by MwNNrules View Post
Definitely, but for simplicity's sake I'd say that rock is the folk/blues fusion genre that popped up in the early '50s, and all its direct descendants.
And for the record, today I was talking to another person who agreed that "Rock Around the Clock" might be the first rock guitar solo.
Rock Around the Clock is certainly one of the first in a explicitly titled "rock" song, but I haven't really delved into that question, since it is a pretty fluid thing.

Listen to T-Bone Walker in Strollin with Bone and tell me if you don't hear a lot of rock goin' on...

By the way - FYI: there should be a new issue of teemings coming out soon; I have a new guitar geek column in it - I'll be interesting to here any feedback you all have...
  #174  
Old 03-01-2010, 06:20 PM
newcrasher newcrasher is offline
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OK I haven't read the thread...but here goes.


I used to play a mean electrctric back in the early 90s. I outit away for years and played acoustic. I came across a great deal on a Fender Showmaster and a Line 6 112 Spider amp.

I just can't get a good tone. Nothing sounds good. Its a solig guitar and a good amp. How do I start learning about tone?

The guitar has Fender humbuckers. Think upgrading them would help?

Which reminds me...humbucker? single coil? WTF are you talking about? I know nothing about pickups.

HELP!!
  #175  
Old 03-02-2010, 10:48 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by newcrasher View Post
OK I haven't read the thread...but here goes.


I used to play a mean electrctric back in the early 90s. I outit away for years and played acoustic. I came across a great deal on a Fender Showmaster and a Line 6 112 Spider amp.

I just can't get a good tone. Nothing sounds good. Its a solig guitar and a good amp. How do I start learning about tone?

The guitar has Fender humbuckers. Think upgrading them would help?

Which reminds me...humbucker? single coil? WTF are you talking about? I know nothing about pickups.

HELP!!
I don't own either piece of gear - but the first things I would do:

- Make sure the guitar is set up correctly - neck straight, action set up correctly, intonation set. If you can get a local guitar tech to look at it - you can get names at guitar stores or they do the service themselves - you should be on your way.

- Make sure you are setting up the Line 6 amp correctly - I have no idea what settings should sound like classic rock vs. metal, vs. just something weird. Trying going on line to their website - amp makers typically have different recipes of settings to "dial up" in order to get certain tones. Also - go to the local store that sells them and ask the guy there to walk you through the amp's controls

- Read this thread - up thread I have a post with a few links in it, some of which may be helpful.

Bottom line is that you need to learn your way around your gear and not be afraid to ask questions, especially with people who can lay their hands on your gear or at least the same model...

best of luck.
  #176  
Old 03-02-2010, 12:44 PM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcrasher
I just can't get a good tone. Nothing sounds good.
How old are the strings, they don't last forever. Do they go Twang or Plunk? They should go Twang!

Quote:
Which reminds me...humbucker? single coil? WTF are you talking about? I know nothing about pickups.
Start here.
  #177  
Old 03-02-2010, 02:12 PM
DragonAsh DragonAsh is offline
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Haven't had time to read the whole thread yet, and I have to run (I will be back..) - but just wanted to give a shout-out to Guitar War as something that will both motivate you to practice, and discourage the crap out of you when you realize how freakingly amazingly kick-ass awesomely good some people are...
  #178  
Old 03-02-2010, 04:06 PM
mack mack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
How do people play the guitar and not read music?
IANAMusic historian but I'd wager that people have been playing and passing music down through the ages without written music longer than with written music. I'd also wager that the greater percentage of music the world over today is played without written music (ok, that might be a stretch). It's either figured out by ear, conveyed orally, or it's conveyed by some sort of demonstration. Repetition and memorization burn it in. So don't practice your mistakes! The more you develop your ear and the better you get at guitar, the easier it will be to translate whatever's going on inside your head to the instrument.

That said, I'm all for being able to read music simply because there's so much great written music out there. I can get lost in some insignificant little piece in some insignificant little Bach book that's one of hundreds, and Bach is one of dozens, if not hundreds, of composers and songsmiths whose music is worthy of spending time being lost in. It's infinite, for all practical purposes.

I thought this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan
I couldn't tell you how many flats or sharps are in a key - or when you should refer to them as flats vs. sharps for that matter.
was interesting. Yeah, I guess changing keys with guitar is simply a matter of location. Changing from G to A on guitar means you just start 2 frets higher up on the neck and the patterns are all the same. It doesn't matter that G has one sharp and A has three sharps. Changing from G to A on piano or whatever other instrument introduces a different playing dynamic because you're using a different array of piano keys for each key. Not so with guitar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Ministre de l'au-delà
what are the preferences of the various Doper guitarists in terms of reading music? Notation? Tab? Chord symbols? Something entirely different? I know this can be a real can of annelids, but I'm curious...
My usual fall-back if I can't figure it out by ear is tablature, but I'll go with whatever I can get. If the internet ever up and died, I think the thing I'd miss most would be my access to tabs. I've never seen one that was perfect, but the illumination they provide when I'm stuck is much appreciated. Chords over lyrics are the worst but at least you can get a clue that way. Notation, well, usually you actually have to pay for that.
  #179  
Old 03-03-2010, 08:53 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Two things:

- The new issue of teemings is up, which includes my column on the original rockabilly genius guitar player, Cliff Gallup

- E-Sabbath - any thoughts on starting up a new one of these - how long of a shelf life should a Great Guitar Thread have? No big deal - just curious.
  #180  
Old 03-03-2010, 10:52 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
- The new issue of teemings is up, which includes my column on the original rockabilly genius guitar player, Cliff Gallup
Fun article, Word! I'll definitely be giving a listen to these tracks. I confess to having never heard of Cliff Gallup before today.
  #181  
Old 03-03-2010, 11:59 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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Well, the idea of a Great Guitar Thread is that it should be like a song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends, .... ^C

Ahem.

Seriously, I see no reason for it to stop. The point of it being a Great Guitar Thread, rather than a Guitar Thread, is to maintain a living archive of whatever useful things there are about guitars.
  #182  
Old 03-03-2010, 01:25 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
Well, the idea of a Great Guitar Thread is that it should be like a song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends, .... ^C

Ahem.

Seriously, I see no reason for it to stop. The point of it being a Great Guitar Thread, rather than a Guitar Thread, is to maintain a living archive of whatever useful things there are about guitars.
Makes sense - I was more wondering if the mods might say "okay, open for long enough"...I have no idea if there are even rules for that...

kenobi 65 - cool; I will be interested to get your thoughts on his playing.
  #183  
Old 03-03-2010, 01:51 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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WordMan...even as someone who's just learning what to listen for in guitar music, I can hear a lot of what you write about in Gallup's playing. It's clear to me that he understood *music* very well, and was able to use that knowledge to take what would have been a straightforward guitar solo in someone else's hands, and make it into something more.

I can definitely hear the "brightness" which you reference. I also feel like his playing shows a sort of jazz influence, and I get a bit of a sense of Les Paul in there, as well, with the country/jazz feel, and the virtuosity.
  #184  
Old 03-03-2010, 02:07 PM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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Can't wait to listen to the article when I get home. Hm. You find much pedal steel in funk? I think you get lap steel, but I don't think it's the same thing.

And the World of Warcraft thread is like 194 pages and two days shy of a year old, so I don't think there's an issue the mods have a problem with.
  #185  
Old 03-03-2010, 04:35 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
WordMan...even as someone who's just learning what to listen for in guitar music, I can hear a lot of what you write about in Gallup's playing. It's clear to me that he understood *music* very well, and was able to use that knowledge to take what would have been a straightforward guitar solo in someone else's hands, and make it into something more.

I can definitely hear the "brightness" which you reference. I also feel like his playing shows a sort of jazz influence, and I get a bit of a sense of Les Paul in there, as well, with the country/jazz feel, and the virtuosity.
Cool - that's good to hear; the whole point is to highlight stuff in the hopes that a reader can pick it out for themselves...and yeah, Cliff has some Les Paul-type technique in his playing...

E-Sabbath - you know, I don't hear much lap steel in funk - I hear funky blues that has lap steel in it, and I have heard some great trip-hop with cool lap steel (ever heard Morcheeba's Diggin a Watery Grave?) (youtube link...). And I love what Jack White does with slide guitar in the White Stripes; it has a bluesy/funky feel...
  #186  
Old 03-04-2010, 08:19 PM
squeegee squeegee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
The new issue of teemings is up, which includes my column on the original rockabilly genius guitar player, Cliff Gallup
I just got around to reading your piece (its been that kind of week) -- nice article! And, sadly, I'm also one of those guys who never heard of Cliff Gallup either. Your highlights of his technique were very informative. I really like that chromatic climb, my head 'sploded when I listened, what a talent. Anyway, top notch stuff, WordMan, thanks as always for the guitar enlightment.
  #187  
Old 03-05-2010, 06:00 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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Okay, funky blues rather than pure funk.

By the way, just rediscovered my man John Rogers has been doing Guitar Fridays on his blog for a bit.
http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/search/label/guitar
Some interesting stuff there.
  #188  
Old 03-05-2010, 07:18 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
I just got around to reading your piece (its been that kind of week) -- nice article! And, sadly, I'm also one of those guys who never heard of Cliff Gallup either. Your highlights of his technique were very informative. I really like that chromatic climb, my head 'sploded when I listened, what a talent. Anyway, top notch stuff, WordMan, thanks as always for the guitar enlightment.
Thanks, sir - very nice of you. He's one of those guys I kept coming across but hadn't heard; when I finally took a minute his stuff was so cool that I dug in a bit. Guys like him and T-Bone Walker from the first teemings column are like treasures that have been buried in time...

E-Sabbath - who's John Rogers? Whoever he is, I like the fact that he is plugging the Blues Jr. amp - that's one I have recommended here a number of times. Great value and tone.

Last edited by WordMan; 03-05-2010 at 07:19 AM.
  #189  
Old 03-05-2010, 09:59 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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Just to bump the thread along...

The Performer is my favourite guitar* but it seems no-one else has ever even seen one. Well folks here it is.
youtube review of a Fender Performer which also demos quite nicely the sonic difference between single coils and humbuckers.

I had heard *of* Cliff Gallup, I think from an interview with Jeff Beck, what I haven't done is heard his playing. I guess I saw the term Rockabilly and so ignored it I'll have to put that right now. Recently I read Eric Clapton saying how where his roots were in the blues, both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page came from a rockabilly background, which gave me a bit of an a-ha moment.



*don't tell the Tele
  #190  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:07 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
Just to bump the thread along...

The Performer is my favourite guitar* but it seems no-one else has ever even seen one. Well folks here it is.
youtube review of a Fender Performer which also demos quite nicely the sonic difference between single coils and humbuckers.

I had heard *of* Cliff Gallup, I think from an interview with Jeff Beck, what I haven't done is heard his playing. I guess I saw the term Rockabilly and so ignored it I'll have to put that right now. Recently I read Eric Clapton saying how where his roots were in the blues, both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page came from a rockabilly background, which gave me a bit of an a-ha moment.

Oh yeah - I know Performers - shred-a-licious! What can you tell us about the pickups? Actually, what can you tell us about your Performer - is it a sunburst?

I'll be very interested in your thoughts on Mr. Gallup.
  #191  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:41 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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So, my amp died.

Some of you will recall that I've been playing for a little over a year now; I started out with an Epiphone Les Paul Special II "value pack" which my wife bought for me at Guitar Center. it came with the guitar and a little 10-watt amp.

The amp was never very good, and I eventually also got a Pocket Rockit headphone amp. But, I still liked to have the actual amp for some practice sessions. Suddenly, a week or so ago, the Epi amp simply went toes-up.

Last night, I had my weekly lesson at our local music school (which also is a pretty good music store), so I went early, to shop for a new amp. The clerk and I looked at a number of different ones, but I had fun with a Peavy Vypyr. It models a bunch of different Peavy amp models, as well as a number of different effects, and it sounded pretty sweet. The kicker was the price...between their normal discounted price, and the additional discount for being a student there, I was able to pick it up for $89.

After I got home from the lesson, I was up *way* too late fiddling with the thing.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 03-05-2010 at 11:42 AM.
  #192  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:53 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
E-Sabbath - who's John Rogers? Whoever he is, I like the fact that he is plugging the Blues Jr. amp - that's one I have recommended here a number of times. Great value and tone.
Writer: Blue Beetle comic, Global Frequency pilot, Jackie Chan Adventures (episodes), Leverage.
Also, The Core, and early treatments of Transformers and Catwoman.

Great guy, great DM. Technically, it's a guest blogger on his blog. Nice article on tapping, did you read it?
  #193  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:30 PM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan
Oh yeah - I know Performers - shred-a-licious!
Have you played one then? I've only ever seen two in the flesh, and I own one of them. I don't (ahem) shred (much) any more but that is what I originally got it for

Quote:
What can you tell us about the pickups? Actually, what can you tell us about your Performer - is it a sunburst?
Not a sunburst (mine's sort of metallic mauve) the other one hanging in the window* was but I preferred the neck on the one I got. Whatever they did with the windings they got it spot on, neither the humbucker or single coil sounds like a compromise, it really transforms when you throw that little switch. The bit of the video I've watched makes it sound a little thin but the tone is fatter than a Strat. It can't do a proper 'neck pickup' flutey tone but no guitar with 24 frets can, quite.

Something else, it has a tone control that really works. It has a central 'notched' neutral position. Turn it up and you get more top (sharpens up the humbucker tone nicely) turn it down and you get the usual top roll-off. It's not active so there is definitely something clever going on there, maybe they worked out some resonances between the tone caps and the pickup coils? I've got time to catch the end of the video now, maybe he has something to say about that?



Quote:
I'll be very interested in your thoughts on Mr. Gallup.
I'll save comments for later on, I can't think how to say what I think right now without sounding superficial.


*I literally saw two of 'em hanging in a shop window and had to have one, course I should taken both.
  #194  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:36 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
Have you played one then? I've only ever seen two in the flesh, and I own one of them. I don't (ahem) shred (much) any more but that is what I originally got it for

Not a sunburst (mine's sort of metallic mauve) the other one hanging in the window* was but I preferred the neck on the one I got. Whatever they did with the windings they got it spot on, neither the humbucker or single coil sounds like a compromise, it really transforms when you throw that little switch. The bit of the video I've watched makes it sound a little thin but the tone is fatter than a Strat. It can't do a proper 'neck pickup' flutey tone but no guitar with 24 frets can, quite.

Something else, it has a tone control that really works. It has a central 'notched' neutral position. Turn it up and you get more top (sharpens up the humbucker tone nicely) turn it down and you get the usual top roll-off. It's not active so there is definitely something clever going on there, maybe they worked out some resonances between the tone caps and the pickup coils? I've got time to catch the end of the video now, maybe he has something to say about that?



I'll save comments for later on, I can't think how to say what I think right now without sounding superficial.


*I literally saw two of 'em hanging in a shop window and had to have one, course I should taken both.
I played one or two back in the day - I was never a locking-trem kinda guy so it was just as a curiosity. Also the necks are more shred-ish than I like - but I totally know the burgundy mist (a Gibson name for the color) you have and have always loved the look of the guitar - very forward-looking for want of a better term.

No clue about the guts - but that neutral/boost/cut layout sounds intriguing. and the tones that guy was getting in the demo were really versatile. I could see how that becomes a home-base guitar, just like I have seen guys with EVH guitars - either the original Music Mans or the Wolfgangs - seem to use their guitars. It's another path to a versatile guitar vs. a Telecaster, but seems just as valid.

kenobi - sorry to hear about your amp, but not really - better to die so you have an excuse to get something better I haven't played a Vypyr, but other Dopers have said great things...

Oh and E-Sabbath? I didn't read the one on tapping; I will have to

Last edited by WordMan; 03-05-2010 at 12:38 PM.
  #195  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:08 PM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan
I played one or two back in the day - I was never a locking-trem kinda guy so it was just as a curiosity. Also the necks are more shred-ish than I like
I don't bother with the locking nut any more, the trem is like a fancy Strat unit - no locking parts - no allen keys required. The neck is chunkier than the ones on the "real" superstrats I've owned but I suppose that's not saying much.

Quote:
No clue about the guts - but that neutral/boost/cut layout sounds intriguing. and the tones that guy was getting in the demo were really versatile.
Yup, I finished watching the video and he demos the tone control at about 7:30 For a guitar with two switches and two knobs you can't half get a lot out of it.

Passing shot (gotta get home to make curry ) That guitar looks like it just came out of the factory. It is 25 years old. Mine's all grubby and dinged up, how did he keep it so blinking shiny?
  #196  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:55 PM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
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I'm sorry to have to bring a bad vibe to this thread but I need to put out a word of warning to you guys about Wordman. Your firewalls and anti-virus software are useless for the condition that he spreads.

Let me serve as a lesson to you -

A very short while back I brought up some guitar subjects on this message board and engaged Wordman in what I thought was harmless discourse.

Little did I know that he is a carrier of G A S (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). Without realizing it I picked up an acute case of GAS from Mr. Wordman. So it's 6 guitars, 2 amps later and I'm still fighting this disease. Nothing seems to totally remove the virus although frequent doses of P O W (Pissed Off Wife) has kept it somewhat in check since the 5th guitar / 2nd Amp acquisition.

So word to the wise. Wordman appears to be a friendly, even helpful, guy. But be very aware of the amount of damage his highly contagious condition can do to your surplus funds.
  #197  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:00 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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mwa...mwa...MWA-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!!



(that was my attempt at demonic laughter now that my dastardly scheme has been revealed...)

Yep - G.A.S. ain't pretty. BubbaDog - I played a pre-war Martin dreadnaught a few weeks ago which was selling for as much as a decent car and it was amazing...everything they are legendarily supposed to be (they are held up as the acoustic equivalent of a 1959 sunburst Gibson Les Paul). And damn if I have not been looking for angles to go after that guitar, some of which I might be actually able to work out (yeah right)...if it weren't for those meddling kids! (cue Scooby Doo theme)...

ETA: 6 guitars?! 2 amps?! I am so proud of you! What all have you scored??

Last edited by WordMan; 03-05-2010 at 03:01 PM.
  #198  
Old 03-05-2010, 04:38 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
I can plunk and twang reading the treble clef, am clueless in the bass clef. I don't do all that well with tab. I'm mostly a 'by-ear' player and I prefer words and chords as a memory jogger for songs that I haven't played for a while, or that I am trying to learn.
I didn't think the bass clef was ever used for guitar music.
  #199  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:04 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
I didn't think the bass clef was ever used for guitar music.
Strictly speaking, you're right. If someone asks "Can you read notation?", they're meaning 'can you play a part written out in treble clef on the guitar, or should I write it out in tab/chord symbols/get someone else for this gig?' In practice, however, it can be extremely useful to read bass clef as well.

In my limited experience playing in the pit (1 show for the National Ballet School, 8 cabarets for Tryptich productions.), we didn't get charts, we got copies of the book that the pianist or musical director was playing from. Some of the pieces would be lead sheets, some of them would be piano music with chord boxes or chord names (not always correct!), and some of them would be the piano music, which the band would have to redistribute themselves. In these situations, my secret weapon is that I can read both bass and treble, and so I can say to the pianist "Why don't I take those middle voice harmonies on 2 and 4 for this passage?"

Transcription from other instruments is a great skill to develop. The guitar parts in my audio clips in 'Teemings' this month are both my own transcriptions from the original piano, if you don't mind a little plug...

If there's time outside of rehearsal, I can write my own chart before the actual gig. If there isn't time, the biggest disadvantage of the piano music is the page turns, which is the first thing I try to eliminate.

My reading ability makes up for my shortcomings as an actual player. So, if someone were to ask me my recommendations, I'd suggest getting fluent in treble clef notation and tab first, then adding bass clef once your treble clef is well established, but that is just my opinion, and there are players out there who can blow me out of the water who can only play by ear.

Last edited by Le Ministre de l'au-delà; 03-05-2010 at 05:08 PM.
  #200  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:17 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
I can read treble clef well enough to entertain myself with a bit of Bach and other stuff by those old dead guys. Tab - I don't see there's anything to learn it's just a sort of picture showing where to put your fingers innit? Pretty much all the guitar books I have, have both in any case.
I agree; nothing to learn unless it's rhythmic, tempo, or metric notations. OTOH, I find tab physically difficult to use, because it's much easier to read a large roundish note-head on a staff, than to read a tiny fret number on the line representing a string. Most published guitar music, in standard notation, includes small numerals near the notes telling you which finger you should be fretting the note with; circled numbers indicate which string. You don't see this on every note, of course, or even most notes, but only where the editor, arranger, or composer wants you to play the note in an "unexpected" way. For instance, if the score calls for a high E, the most typical way of playing it is the open first string. But depending on what's coming next in the music, the fingering instructions might indicate you need to play it on the second string, fifth fret, or on the third string ninth fret. Once you can read and play fairly well, those occasional fingering or string instructions are all you need. Having every single note "fingered" isn't necessary anymore. If you are playing the E on the third string, then usually the whole phrase is going to be played somewhere around there on the neck. An exception might be that later in the phrase you come back to E in a descending run; in such a case the fingering instructions will often tell you to play E on the open first string, which gives you time to move your hand down to the nut and continue the downward run. Again, once you've done that you don't need further instructions. The next note, in this hypothetical scenario is probably D, which you obviously are going to play on the second string, third fret.

What I particularly dislike about tab is that when it is given parallel to the standard notation, then there are no fingering instructions at all on the standard notation. This makes the standard music harder to use, and I keep drifting over to the tab.

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 03-05-2010 at 05:18 PM.
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