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Thread: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

  1. #1

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    Default Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    Well let me give you some background, I grew up playing drums and my best friend (now roommate) plays guitar and bass so we have always had a common interest, well we have this other best friend in our little trifecta (haha) and one day my other buddy and I were doing a little partying and I randomly said, "Lets both just learn guitar and crush." As easy as that the next we spent 9 hours practicing guitar and learning and playing. Well needless to say with my busy schedule he kept with it and I simply couldn't, didn't have the patience or time. He has been playing a little under a year now and has actually gotten pretty damn good for the time he has spent. He practices a lot! He had a teacher but his parents made him stop because of school starting back up. Us three had a little band type thing going, nothing serious, but a lot of awesome jams (have some videos if anyone would like to see). He is into metal, as am I, but its a different type of metal than you would normally hear. His riffs are good, but there not very full (for lack of a better work) It's more single note riffs than chord progressions and rhythms. My best friend (the bassist) actually has his own band that is doing really well so my other friend (Mike - the guitarist) have been trying to get something going. Me and him used to practice every Tuesday and thurs from about 1-5 for about 3 months straight, and he thanks me a lot for the progress he has made saying a drummer helps him out a lot. Yesterday we had an MC come over to do a rap/scream thing and it went really well and we wanna go forward with that.

    Now after I probably gave you guys a headache with all that, here is my question. It is hard to write songs in a sense with him because he plays riffs in a sense that aren't super rhythmical or aren't simply full enough. He knows this and we are trying to figure out solutions for him to help him progress. My question is do you guys have any advice you may have given a guitarist or your bands guitarist to keep him on track and help his rhythm become much better? Don't get me wrong, he is in no way a bad guitarist and sometimes he does things very well, but he plays off of me and I find myself limited because at times I can't do things I want because he can't follow and things of that nature. It isn't a super huge deal and I am not bashing him, just looking for the next step towards progression. Any help is appreciated.

    The video is on facebook and I think it may be private, I will put up a link and you guys let me know if you can see it.

    (In this video was the first day my buddy Zach tried vocals, he was making them up on the spot which is why their repetitive and a little cheesey xD but I can't hate because i was really enjoying it. It's not the best, but it's not the worst let me know what you guys think. Mike is the guitarist who had been playing for about 5-7 months at this point and my other buddy Zach is the bassist.)
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/v...subj=685788402
    This isn't a super good example of what im talking about, cus his guitar is more full here than other times...I don't know if Im making sense when I say "full" lol
    Last edited by JOX; 09-30-2009 at 12:22 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    Tell him to try writing his riffs to a drum track or when you're around.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    To me it sounds like he needs some lessons and just practice , practice , practice .There really isnt any other advise I can offer .
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    Seeing as I play all three, drums bass and guitar, I feel like I might actually be able to help here!

    What's happening, and happens with a lot of guitar players as they are learning, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between lead guitar parts and rhythm guitar parts.

    It is very common for bands to have both a rhythm and lead guitar player, but the problem is that when listening to a song what stands out the most is the lead part. However, when played on its own, the lead part can't carry the song. So what your guitar player needs to do first is to start studying and understand rhythm guitar playing and how to write rhythm parts. Now, if you want to continue jamming with just three people, drums, bass and guitar, what he might find helpful is to start learning how the guitar players from power trios write parts that fulfil the roles of both rhythm and lead at the same time. Some great examples of power trios for him to study would be Tool, Gov't Mule, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The White Stripes, Jimi Hendrix, and any other band you can think of that had only one guitar player.

    The guitar parts that cover both rhythm and lead are normally hard to play, and also normally extremely hard to write. However, I think that if your guitar player were to start studying how guitar players like Adam Jones from Tool, Jack White from The White Stripes, and Stevie Ray Vaughan write riffs that can carry a whole song it would really help him progress as a player.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    dt344, What you are saying makes a lot of sense. But I was thinking of something different that may or may not be the case here. With my daughter, who is learning guitar, and my brother-in-law, they are both learning tabs only. Neither of them can read a lick of music. As a result, when jamming with my bro-in-law, who actually plays pretty well too, and can pick up a track pretty quickly by ear, he does have problems with some songs. The ones that give him the most trouble are ones that aren't in 4/4 time, because he really doesn't even know what that is, let alone 6/4, 7/8, etc.

    Do you think that may add an additional burden? Or do you think reading music is less important with guitar?
    Robert

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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    After playing with a few different guitarists, I found the easier ones to play with were the ones who (on rythm guitar) emphasised the down "beat" and back "beat" ... so when I hear them play on their own, the beat placement is obvious. When they don't emphasize or accent, its much tougher to find the rythm

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    dt344, What you are saying makes a lot of sense. But I was thinking of something different that may or may not be the case here. With my daughter, who is learning guitar, and my brother-in-law, they are both learning tabs only. Neither of them can read a lick of music. As a result, when jamming with my bro-in-law, who actually plays pretty well too, and can pick up a track pretty quickly by ear, he does have problems with some songs. The ones that give him the most trouble are ones that aren't in 4/4 time, because he really doesn't even know what that is, let alone 6/4, 7/8, etc.

    Do you think that may add an additional burden? Or do you think reading music is less important with guitar?
    Personally, I don't think that learning to read musical notation is really going to help here. The reason that they're having a hard time jamming out music is because the guitarist is having groove and feel issues, not music theory issues. What is lacking is the experience necessary to listen to a guitar part and realize whether or not it grooves well enough to play drums and bass to. I think that studying power trios is a fast track to get that experience quickly.
    "Guys, if you wanted Superman for this gig, you should have hired Superman. Instead, you got Batman." - Donny Gruendler

    "You always think you have more problems than you actually have." - Dave Elitch

    Instagram: @bringerofthud
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    Quote Originally Posted by dt344 View Post
    Seeing as I play all three, drums bass and guitar, I feel like I might actually be able to help here!

    What's happening, and happens with a lot of guitar players as they are learning, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between lead guitar parts and rhythm guitar parts.

    It is very common for bands to have both a rhythm and lead guitar player, but the problem is that when listening to a song what stands out the most is the lead part. However, when played on its own, the lead part can't carry the song. So what your guitar player needs to do first is to start studying and understand rhythm guitar playing and how to write rhythm parts. Now, if you want to continue jamming with just three people, drums, bass and guitar, what he might find helpful is to start learning how the guitar players from power trios write parts that fulfil the roles of both rhythm and lead at the same time. Some great examples of power trios for him to study would be Tool, Gov't Mule, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The White Stripes, Jimi Hendrix, and any other band you can think of that had only one guitar player.

    The guitar parts that cover both rhythm and lead are normally hard to play, and also normally extremely hard to write. However, I think that if your guitar player were to start studying how guitar players like Adam Jones from Tool, Jack White from The White Stripes, and Stevie Ray Vaughan write riffs that can carry a whole song it would really help him progress as a player.
    Tool is one of our favorite bands and Adam Jones is a big influence to him, he just doesn't study him enough! I will definitely let him know all the great advice and thanks guys for the input!

  9. #9

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    I guess there are many ways to write songs, but the most popular is for the band to just start jamming...much like what you guys are doing. However, there is a lot going on here :
    1) everyone has their own (musical) ideas to bring to the table. That is, one guy plays a riff (that he's been practicing) and the other guys start playing something to it (that sounds good).
    2) everyone has their ears open. You have to be able to listen to each other during the jam and go (musically) where it takes you.
    3) take what you've got and put it together. What we typically do, is record the jam. Later we listen to it and take the best parts of it and piece them together into a basic song structure.
    4) Once you have a basic structure, this is typically when you fit in the vocals and add lead guitar, etc..
    I hope this helps. Rock On
    Last edited by nio; 09-30-2009 at 09:19 PM.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    That is actually exactly what we do, we don't really have a problem jamming because we have been doing that forever and we do come up with some really cool stuff, my main concern is his riffs are more lead oriented than rhythm and with 1 guitarist we feel he needs to work on that.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOX View Post
    That is actually exactly what we do, we don't really have a problem jamming because we have been doing that forever and we do come up with some really cool stuff, my main concern is his riffs are more lead oriented than rhythm and with 1 guitarist we feel he needs to work on that.
    Hmmm...it may take him a while to develop this skill. Perhaps you should consider adding another guitarist that can help fill in the void. If not, it may be up to you and the bass player to come up with the basic song structures. He can then work on some really good guitar leads.
    Last edited by nio; 09-30-2009 at 11:36 PM.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Question to all drummers about helping my guitarist!

    Here's my 2cents. i have been playing guitar and bass for the last fifteen years and just recently started playing drums seriously. I would suggest to him for now to lay off the scales a little bit. It seems that he is constructing all of his riffs off of a scale which is fine if you can add some open chords and variations, but until he gets there tell him to use some more power chords, or variations of bar chords which in nature have a fuller sound. From there I would use what he is using as the main riff as a break or bridge. Bar chords or power chords will establish more of a rhythm. Just a suggestion until he gets a little better and more proficient at what he is trying to do. He can play those same riffs with octaves and it will sound awesome as well. Ask him if he knows about octaves and see if he can use those in some of his riffs.

    Nick
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