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Lead singer's guitar

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by nboyer941, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I joined up with this classic rock cover band about 6 months ago. We're a four piece band. (bass, drums,rythm/leadvox, lead guitar). One of the biggest things i'm annoyed with is the lead singer/rythm guitar player's guitar. He plays an ovation accoustic guitar. Keep in mind, that we typically don't play slow stuff. We tend to play fast/loud/hard. We like to rock.

    Some songs it fits fine, but most of them it does not. He NEVER, EVER plays electric. We play the same old crap that everyone else does....

    petty, zeppelin, pink floyd, green day, niel young, Skynrd, smithereens, clapton, eagles, brown eyed girl, rebel rebel, cinamon girl... you get the idea.

    What do you guys think about this? am I being too picky, or is this just silly?

    He has two of the ovations and to me, they are annoying and twangy and blah!!! Does the ovation thing work for some bands?
  2. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Seems kind of an odd choice for upbeat stuff. Also seems like it could cause ongoing sound issues.
  3. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I happen to agree with you. IMHO, the Ovation is the
    instrument of the Jimmy Buffet wannabee's playing one
    man shows at beach bars. It has the most annoying
    amplified tone of any guitar I have ever played or heard.
    (I play a Martin 12 string HD12-28 that rings like a bell, just
    to validate my POV as a guitarist.)

    My lead singer uces a cheap acoustic on some songs. He
    rocks hard on the fast stuff, using a Epi Les Paul which
    sounds great in the mix, nice and crunchy. I don't
    envy you trying to break your guy of this nasty tone habit.
  4. What does the lead guitarist think about this? if they agree with you then maybe your singer would listen to a fellow guitarist, and you could talk him round that way?
  5. Yeah, this seems kinda weird to me. But the bottom line is, does it sound okay? If it does...then I say just live with it.

    If it doesn't sound okay, then I'd say you have several options:
    1) Talk to him about getting an electric
    2) Talk to him about just singing and not playing guitar
    3) Turn down his acoustic guitar so that it can't be heard

    It's probably a good idea to talk to the other guys in the band before pursuing any of these.

    If none of those work out and you really can't live with it, then I guess it's him or you.
  6. Is the ovation the plastic back or wood back ?
    acoustically the plastic back sounds horrible, plugged in sounds fine
    In that price range though Breedloves are my choice, 800$ breedloves are great guitars IMHO
  7. S-L-O-W-L-Y take him out of the mix.LOL
  8. Low Tone

    Low Tone

    Feb 7, 2004
    St. Joseph, MO
    Buy him a cheap SX guitar and leave it on a stand next to his mic stand. After each song, push it a little closer to him. See if he gets the hint before you're shoving it up his ***.

  9. kennydakid


    Jan 8, 2009
    Amesbury, MA
    Honestly, a lot of Ovations sound fine in the mix, when plugged in. However not every song needs the acoustic tone. I would suggest to the singer/ guitarist that he consider the needs of the song. Maybe it is best for the guitarist to discuss it with him.

    Also, it may not be an issue at all. try to see if anyone else cares in the band
  10. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Only guys I've ever played with that had these, wanted out of them so bad they would get jobs, sell blood, give up smoking, make promises to pay back loans (don't lend em money, even if they cry and beg)...

    They would always get 100% support from everybody in the band. (short of lending money!) Offer to buy him some new strings for his new guitar.

    Show him this thread.
  11. ilovethesechord


    Jun 27, 2008
    I don't know about you guys... I've had nothing but good experiences with Ovation guitars.

    Well, with one Ovation guitar. It is a late 60's or something plastic backed beauty.

    If you don't like the tone of the thing amplified, try running it through a vintage tube head.

    Hybrid tube/solid state bass amps make said Ovation sound like warm milk, but YMMV.
  12. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    This is the part of your OP that concerns me.

    If you joined and they were already a group for any amount of time before you joined, you might not get too much support. You know the "new guy" thing. Even though 6 months hardly classifies you as a new guy.

    If the guitarist is the "front" and sings most if not all of the stuff, you're probably going to have to suck it up.

    Have you talked with him about if he's ever played a solid body before?

    Acoustic is OK for the local Starbucks. But live on every song? Hmm... let me think about that - NO!

    Safety in numbers. If the rest of the group won't back you up and discuss the thing at practice with everybody on the same page for the good of the group, there's very little chance of anything changing.

    Keep Low and good luck :bassist:
  13. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    First, Ovation guitars specialize in being amplified with little to no feedback. That is why one of their mottoes is "Plug It In". So they are one of the better acoustic guitar choices for loud stage volume settings.

    Second, do you really have issues with his sound or are your issues purely cosmetic? If it is an issue with the sound, then you should present the issue as such. You can tell him it sounds too twangy and he can work to correct it. You should not be dictating gear choice to another musician for a tone issue. You wouldn't want someone telling you what kind of gear you need to buy to sound good. He is a guitarist and you should trust him to be able to fix issues with his tone when he becomes aware of them. If your issues are cosmetic and you think he is not putting a marketable image forward, then that is a valid reason to question another musicians gear choice. However, you should make sure that everyone is on the same page with how marketable the band needs to be. If you guys aren't chasing any sort of image, then questioning your guitarist's gear for aesthetic reasons may come off as a bit snobbish.
  14. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    Is the rest of the band happy with the overall sound? Are you as a band getting regular gigs and going over well with the audience? While I see your point of view, and I would agree that it would make sense for your singer to go electric where it would seem to fit better, you might be stuck with the acoustic layered on the electric thing if that's what seems to be working for the band in general. Maybe down the road the singer will want to go electric, but I wouldn't push it if he and the rest of your bandmates like how the band sounds as it stands. Who knows? Maybe he just doesn't have the bucks to spring for a decent electric and combo amp to get him on his way. I wish you the best in your situation.
  15. Tell him Dave Matthews even plays electric so get with the program.
  16. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Does he use distortion on that acoustic? I mean, because most classic rock uses at least a bit of overdrive, and acoustic guitars generally don't do that well with that.

    At a loud stage volume, that would be feedback hell, in fact.

    See if the lead guitarist agrees with you before saying anything.

    I was in a metal band once with a rhythm guitarist who had an ovation tuned to low B. The other guitarist, who played a solid body electric, thought it was fine, but from my perspective, it was awful. The moron was plugging his stupid acoustic into a bass amp and taking all my frequencies. I was glad when that band ended.
  17. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I have a Breedlove AC25/SR. It sounds AMAZING unplugged, but not so good plugged in. Maybe some of the higher-end breedloves sound good, but not in the $800 range. I use my variax at church when I play guitar because the modeled acoustics sound better than my breedlove (and I get to sneak in some electric overdriven sounds as well since it goes through my X3 Live)
  18. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    How would you respond to him telling you (for instance) that you Fender is *ss and you need to get a Rickenbacker to sound right? Temper your feelings about his acoustic with that in mind. Would some songs sound better with an electric rhythm? Perhaps, but happy bandmates are hard enough to find. Don't look for trouble if all else is well!
  19. I think you failed to mention in the OP if your guitar guy is using any effects with his Ovation or not... That could make a huge differance in your perception.. perhaps if he tempered his 'annoying' tone with some excellent pedals.. for both colour and texture as to alter his sound more to your liking.
  20. zorf


    Dec 27, 2007
    you know, a lot of singers find that having an acoustic guitar to strum
    helps them sing.
    It gives them something to do with their hands and helps them find the groove.
    They like that the guitar pushes back.
    An electric guitar doesn't push back as much.

    You could get your singer on of those variax guitars to mix up the tone a little, or an archtop like a gretsch that is sort of halfway between electric and acoustic and set it up with 12's.

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