Yes, I've had my fun being critical of those who have made certain sound and equipment choices. Hey, I like the sound of a telecaster, and there's something very nice about the sound of an AC30. But what I've got, I've got. I have a very nice old Gibson SG. I have a 50W amp that sounds like a JTM45, saggy and smooth, not chimey, and with that sound when the volume knob is twisted past noon. But I don't put it there in church. When I play, it sounds more like Steve Cropper than it does like Edge, or Nigel H. I've practiced for a very long time to sound like that. I prefer to sound like that. If I want to sound like the CD, friends, I'll be looking for a different CD. Did you know it's possible to play "Blessed be your Name" as an R&B number? So what do you do to accommodate the differences between what you've got, what you are good at, and the songs that you play? I'm not asking you to recommend equipment upgrades to me. I've read article after article about what equipment and effects are indispensible to the worship guitarist and I've dispensed with most of it. I've got what I've got and I'm thankful for what I've got, and I like what I've got. Contentment. So when you play songs with your worship team, what makes you sound unlike all others?
I agree with you on the dotted eigth. I don't spend alot of time trying to sound exact. I just listen and comp the riff, if I like it. My worship team is so off the cuff anyway. Half the time I wasn't told about the song ahead of time and play what I think the riff is. :-)
I love this discussion! Interpreting songs your own way is the way to go. I do like to push people a little out of their box to stretch them musically, but sounding just like the cd is not a great goal to strive for... especially since they have about 8 guitars on each recording. Funny you guys mention the dotted 8th... I like to use it occasionally, but most often when the original DOESN'T call for it. Anyhoo, great stuff here, fellas.
Interpreting songs locally leads me back to another topic: What does guitar friendly mean? Local churches have musicians with differing skills and differing skill levels. I like playing the flat keys on guitar. I wish there were more of us who were comfortable with these keys. I'm disappointed sometimes when the assumption is made that I don't know how to read music, play in Eb or Ab (or F or Bb or Db for that matter) or transpose because of the instrument I play. I would ask, rather than make assumptions about the nature of one's background on a particular instrument. I cannot assume that someone who is extremely competent sight reading on the piano, for instance, is comfortable with playing keyboard string fills from a chord sheet. Specific instrumental skills are not universals, even among very accomplished musicians.
Mississippi John Hurt. Blind Willie McTell.
Sorry. That was actually a slightly improved version of an earlier rant that didn't make the cut. I actually didn't like this one either but I felt guilty deleting two in a row. How many things should I just not post until I wait half an hour and think through?
you're right on. i double transpose all the time because i don't want to redo the sheets. like if a songsheet is in D and we are playing it in Bb and i capo3 and play in G, some really accomplished pianists say "how do you do that?" When they sightread mozart or something, that is what i say! haha. I see that a lot, though, what you are saying about playing a simple strings or pad sound, they can be lost. very strange isn't it?
There are some multi-voiced classical pieces on the guitar with counterpoint that can make pianists say, "How'd you do that without a second guitarist?"
Most acoustic guitarists have a capo, and if they sing then it will often get used as they don't really want to be *playing* the guitar so much as just using it as a backing wash. Our singer/AGist is all over the place with pitch, but as long as I can get either the key or the first chord then it's usually fine. On this basis I'd say that 'guitar-friendly' means providing words and chords showing the actual chords used, together with a suggested capo position and the capo chords.
To take this one stage further, guitars are very pitch-specific in the way they behave, whereas a piano is effectively pitch-independant. By this I mean that combining open and fretted strings creates different sounds and behaviour from having all strings fretted. This can make capo use musically valid (instead of just making up for a lack of skill, as it usually does) and it can also make one wish to 'force' a song into a certain key, even when it doesn't really sit comfortably there. So guitar-friendly might mean making use of the open A chord that sounds so glorious, instead of pitching the song in Bb, which tends toward the bland or Ab which is a bit murky.
Yes, preserving the chord voicing in a different key is a good reason for a capo. But for those times that we're playing something which is already using a "cowboy chord" key, and would like to drop rather than raise, we'll end up sacrificing the (too) commonly used open sound of G-C2-Dsus for the comfort of the vocalists. So I make use of the flesh capo (my index finger) and chord in the flat keys. It does help to be able to barre the C, G, and D patterns occasionally, as well as A and E.
"flesh capo"... love that. that is another thing i find funny. many guitarists who have been playing their entire life can't seem to barre very well. although i am a great proponent of the capo and its uses, being able to use that "flesh capo", and use it easily, is essential in my opinion.
As an electric player I just expect to fit whatever key. However I don't really use the C and D shapes with a barre, preferring the arpeggios I can create with A and E and their variations. I will move around the neck quite a bit to get the sounds I want, if necessary.