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Filling in the mid frequencies

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DeeCup, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. DeeCup


    Mar 16, 2009
    i have a guitarist who refuses to solo often because we don't have a rhythm guitarist.

    He says i need to 'fill in the mid frequencies more'.
    I play octaves up when he does the soloes, but I really feel like I should be armed with more info/technical talk when having the conversation with him. Any advice? Thanks!
  2. Jjones32


    Mar 8, 2007
    well i guess this depends on what music you play, but if its something that's at all heavy some distortion works well to fill in when the guitar is soloing. That is assuming you fall somewhere into the category of (hard)rock/ punk/ metal.
  3. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Solos don't have to take place in the upper registers. I have heard several that stick with me that are just arpeggiated 3rd and 5th position chords with attitude. The "Wheedley Whee" of most guitar solos can be detrimental to the tune.

    That said, you could try several things. get a phrase looper. loop the bass part and when it comes time to play the solo, kick the loop in and start playing octave up or more. mebbe even kick on some distortion.

    you could try to get the gui**** to run his chorus through the looper and solo over it, but i doubt he will go for it.

    Dont want a looper? try running and octave up through a guitar distortion through the p.a. Instant rhythm guitar.

    Or tell your guitarist to suck it up and write a solo that fits a 3 (4?) piece Band. that's my favorite option and the least expensive. it's not your job to cover his arse while he is away just cause he wants to do his thig and not support the song as a whole.
  4. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I'd tell him to 'fill in the mid frequencies' himself while I take a bass solo :)

    you can fill the gap playing more notes, playing louder, or even kicking in some kind of overdrive

    personally i don't think it's a bad thing when the texture of a song changes occasionally and you get some space opening up... not everything has to be full-on and beating you over the head from start to finish

    it's unrealistic to expect you to imitate a rhythm guitar while he solos... the bass shouldn't have to cover that role any more than the drums or himself
  5. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Adding some OD to your bass does also lend itself to the rhythm guitar section.
  6. dulouz


    Dec 7, 2006
    Try using an octave doubler on your bass. I have done that in guitar/bass/drum trio settings to fill things out.
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    There's lots of ways to approach this problem, and "filling the mids" isn't the only one, nor even the best one. Start with arrangement of the WHOLE song. The reason it sounds empty when he switches from chords to soloing is because he's playing big chords when hes' not soloing. If the whole song is arranged to be more open, then the solo won't suddenly sound empty. Think like Peter Buck or Andy Summers here.

    Second the bass parts can change to fill out more, as can the drums. Embellish the line with more activity, hit a few well-chose chords, grab a couple of harmonics and let them ring, etc. Good ideas abound in what Rosceo Beck does on the Robben Ford stuff he's on, especially the live stuff.

    Third, the guitarist can help by filling in some of the range himself. Play chord stabs, cover the whole guitar not just the wheeedly notes up high. Consider what Jimi Hendrix, Rorry Gallagher et. al. did.

    If you're a 3-piece, learn from the masters of trios. LISTEN closely to LIVE recordings of Cream, Hendrix (Woodstock doesn't count because that's NOT trio), Mountain, Robben Ford, The James Gang, etc.

  8. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    +1,356. Cream live at Royal Albert hall (new or old) is a really great guide for this. Clapton takes off running but Jack and Ginger do just fine without him, course Clapton plays a much more full solo than some of the wheedley guys.

    This is what I mean by wheedly wheedly. Cool? Sure, why not. Does it really support the song? In my book, no. The song is there to support him. and don't get distracted by his muscles.

    here is another solo that gets all wheedlie whee, but I feel supports the song much more. Granted, Petrucci graduated form Juliard, but that's beside the point.

    Listen to what Jack and Ginger do during this solo of Clapton's.

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