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3 guitar band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by patrickroberts, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. patrickroberts


    Aug 21, 2000
    Wales, UK
    me and my band are thinking of having 3 guitarists and me the bassist - do you think this will work?

    or will the sound but too thick and muddled?
  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    It could be cool, especially if one of the guitarists is a vocalist. I think Pearl Jam has 3 guitarists technically. If you go through with it, make sure you have a powerful amp like an SVT-4 and 2 8x10 fridges.
  3. Kasper007


    Feb 9, 2006
    You live in the UK so you should be able to find something from Oceansize. They use 3 guitars all the time and you can at any time hear what each of them is doing. They all play hard and not 2 supporting and 1 soloing, but still it doesn't sound like there is 'too much'.
    There's even a song on wich the bassist grabs a guitar too and joins in with the guitarists, and they do that live and it still sounds good so...

    Don't know if it's your kind of style but if you want to try something their debut is called ' Effloresce ' and it has been my all time favourite record since the day it came out.
  4. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    My old band had three guitars. One electric lead, one electric rhythm that could trade off leads when needed, and one acoustic rhythm, who sang most of the lead vocals.

    When everyone *listens* to one another, and takes care to serve the song and not themselves, it works out fine. But if one of those guitarists tries to make themselves the most important person in the band, or when they will not listen to each other and play accordingly, it sounds very muddy.

    Listening and serving the songs are the key. Keep musicianship in mind, and it will be great!

    Cherie :)
  5. Thursday


    Nov 24, 2005
    Bronx, New York
    Hawthorne Heights.
  6. britrit


    Jan 22, 2006
    Allman Brothers.
  7. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Iron Maiden
  8. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    The Eagles
    some songs even 4 guitarists
  9. britrit


    Jan 22, 2006
    the eagles sometimes have dozens of layered guitar tracks.
  10. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Heed the wisdom of txbasschik! I think the general rule would be don't overplay. Your guitarists will need to look for parts that aren't too busy, and mesh well together. You may need to gently remind them from time to time. It's OK to not be doing a whole lot some (most)of the time. My band has had 3 guitars and a fiddle/steel/mandolin/banjo/sax. That's a lot!
  11. Lynard Skynard
  12. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Yep...Its really ok not to play a jillion notes. You can't convince some guitarists of that, but overplaying is the result of much muddiness.

    Wow, you've got a big band! I like that instrumentation.

    Cherie :)
  13. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Ask the Doobie Brothers. 3 Guitarists, a horn section, two drummers, and percussionist, a keyboardist, and a bassist.

    More options for Harmony!

  14. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I don't even like playing with 2 guitarists.
  15. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    IMO it can be absolutely awesome. What can be better than 2 guitars soloing in harmony, and an additional guitar giving some rhythm at the background?
  16. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    The biggest thing is planning. The more instruments you have, the more purposeful your playing must become. For example, if you have only one guitar, he can play all over the neck however he feels led. I usually do this all the time. However, now that we've added a second guitarist playing rhythm, I find that we need to be aware of what we're BOTH doing and find ways to complement each other.

    For the most part, he's just staying low and chording, and I go up higher... our amps are voiced to accomodate. I did a band for a while that had rhythm guitar (me), lead guitar, and an acoustic. That was a neat texture, but again, we just had to make sure that we were playing with purpose and not just slamming away on chords.

    I did another band with 3 electrics. I ended up putting my guitar down for the majority of the songs and playing the frontman role. It was just too muddy, and I couldn't get the other guitarists to make room for anything I was doing.

    So I dunno. Just plan on a lot of rehearsal, and don't let them all chug away with the same voicing unless that's exactly what the band wants...
  17. Fleetwood Mac's first lineup with Peter Green
  18. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    we just played a few shows with Dramarama a few weeks ago, and they had 3 guitars, + the singer would play acoustic 12-string in addition for about half the set. It really did create a wall-of-sound that was pretty impressive.

    I think it would require a lot of work keeping in all in tune and mixed democractically. Seems like it's really got the potential to get ugly. But I did see proof that it can be pulled off tastefully.
  19. Bob Bl.

    Bob Bl.

    May 1, 2003
    I would seriously avoid this situation unless all three guitarists:
    1) absolutely reeked of good taste
    2) had significantly different styles/sounds
    3) were totally free of guitarist "center of known universe syndrom". :D

    And if that is the case, you can pick any one of them and forget the other two!;)

    But seriously, I've been in a three-guitarist band where none of those conditions were met, and it was a mess. Other than having one on acoustic and two on electric, I can't imagine a situation where 3 are really needed.

    Lots of good advise above on how to make it work. But I'm with jazzin' on this one.
  20. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Three words:

    Four Part Harmonies.