Filling it out...
I'm in a 4-piece band, which means that when the guitarist is on his solo adventures the song can sound a little sparse. I have a big(ish) sound playing either an Ibanez SR1205E or an SGC Bass Collection 611 through a Hartke 3500 with a Transporter 4x10 and 1x15.
I play with four fingers on the picking hand so I can go with bass chords and fills over the bassline to some extent, but wondered what FX/ideas anyone had to fill the sound out whilst Jimi is cranking out his thunder. I guess an obvious one is a volume pedal to lift things a bit, but is there anything clever that would, for example, isolate my higher notes and do something different with them FX wise (such as distort them to sound more like rhythm guitar)? I'd thought about an Octave pedal but I can play octaves well enough without one.
Akai Unibass or Fishman Fission.
Maybe a Badger Schism with a Micro Pog & a fuzz pedal thru one of the loops setting the Pog to upper octave then blended with your clean signal?
I would try playing octaves first. That would give you the low bass note and then a higher note ringing in unison. If that isn't enough, I would add a bit of overdrive. The added harmonics from the drive would help fill stuff out. That's what I do. Sometimes I use a fuzz for this. It works for me. May be different in your band context.
I ask because Double Trouble was a -3- piece band and they never really sounded sparse when SRV was off on his solo adventures, which was frequently...
OTOH - go listen to 'In A Silent Way' - that album is full of sparse and yet the driving but minimalist undercurrent background kept it moving.
OK - so you're not Double Trouble or Miles Davis...
Still - if the music loses direction during self-indulgent solos, perhaps the solos need more focus and to stay closer to the melodic core. And for the rhythm section to keep the foundation solid.
So what are your four pieces? Presumptively the guitar you told us about, bass, drums, and - the mystery instrument that's not holding the groove either ?
You can throw choruses and octavers and such at the issue in an attempt to make more sound - but without a solid focus and direction it'll probably just be a lot of sound - and not music...
I usually get plenty of additional harmonic content with a dirt pedal. Brings out the mids and highs.
EDIT: The Foxrox Octron is a pretty dirty sounding Octave pedal. Don't get me wrong, it sounds very cool...but if you are looking for a clean octave (especially octave up), this ain't your baby...
Thanks all for some great suggestions, other than maybe the one about concentrating.
I'll look up the FX pedals. The fourth member is indeed our singer, and it isn't so much that the guitarist goes off on long and unstructured rambles, it just sounds a little sparse compared to the studio version. For some songs clearly you adapt and the live version takes on a whole appeal of its own, but for others it's not so good. I'd cite (at the risk of being flamed half the death) the period during Led Zep's 'The Rover' solo and perhaps even when the guitar is doing its triad arpeggio things in the chorus.
Anyway, I will begin with a touch of fuzz to see how that goes, and I like the idea of mixing a distorted octave back into the line - great thought.
Thanks again all,
I generally play in small groups, three usually, occasionally four. I like to be able to fill the role of bassist and rhythm guitar if needed.
My solution so far has been to use multiple amps simultaneously, I have one amp running a lot of lows completely clean, a tubed pre amp combo that is real mid heavy and punchy, and a smaller combo on top that gets mids and highs. I run my effects through the top two amps and keep one running clean and I have to admit it sounds really sweet for what it is.
Now I have no idea how I'm going to replicate this when I move up to a real stack but I'm thinking on it. Right now I'm just enjoying my rig. The drawbacks to it are too many cords for my taste and the fact that people think I'm crazy. :hmm:
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