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Reasons for having 2 guitarists? :)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ordos2, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Ordos2


    Jan 16, 2005
    Hi, this is my first post, though i have been stalking the board forever ;D

    The thing is I'm kinda in a sticky situation and I noticed you guys have lots of oppinions :p

    ATM I'm forming a band where we agreed to keep things simple with only 3 members: me on bass, a friend on guitar & vocal, and our drummer buddy.

    Now, I have another friend (guitarist) who I also promised to play with but I wouldn't stand having yet another band ATM.

    So, how can i convince my friends to let my other friend in on the project? =) any thoughts and arguments are welcome.
  2. ebe9


    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    Very simple............

    Ask them.

    Let him audition for the bad (is he a rhythm/lead or both guitarist)
  3. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Yeah, do a little playing together and see if it works.
  4. Ordos2


    Jan 16, 2005
    Well, we have jammed all 4 of us in the past, it's not that it doesn't work, we share some musical interest ect. It's just that they wanted to keep the band simple, thus only having 1 guitar, bass and drums.

    We will be playing some QOTSA-like rock where I can fuzz up the bass when we need the extra kick. then again we will also play some catchy rock'n'roll where we would benefit from having 2 guitars.

    come on people :D why is 2 guitars better then 1? =)
  5. snappytom

    snappytom Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    "... why is 2 guitars better then 1? ...."

    It's not always better .... it depends on the guitarists skill level, the sound you are looking for, the music you want to play, etc ......

    We were a 3 piece band (+vocalist) for a long time. We added 2nd guitarist last fall and now have what I call a solid band. The guitarists complement each other rather than compete, each has different skills, and having another "voice" in the mix allows us to do material that we would not have considered before.

    For what I want to do, I doubt I would ever play in a 3 piece again.

    Like Akami said, play with 4 and see if it works. Or maybe give a few "guest spotlight" tunes to the 4th guitarist so he can participate a bit w/o totally stepping on the simple sound you are looking for.
  6. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    It's all about voice. If your one guitarist is sufficient to cover leads and rhythm on his lonesome, then super. If your bass chops are sufficient to add some rhythm underneath, cool.

    Yes, a 3 piece is a lot simpler. It's easier to schedule gigs and rehearsals, and you get a substantially larger amount of money when you get paid.

    Of course, then you have to decide what you're going to do when it comes time for that guitar solo, and there's no chords underneath it... We've learned that you can "wash" cymbals from the drummer to fill some of that space, but there's nothing like actually having another guitarist or keyboardist there holding everything down.

    The challenge is having something for each guy to play that is musical. That means sometimes one of them perhaps shouldn't play, or that one guy might play sustained while the other plays rhythmically, or that you might swap voicings...


    1. Another instrumental voice to sing out.
    2. In the case of harmonies, it might provide another voice to sing in a mic.
    3. Different timbre - ie acoustic guitar on rhythm while the electric complements it.
    4. IMHO, 4 guys feels more like a "real" band. Also, the bigger your group, the more impressive it feels to the audience, IMHO.
    5. Takes a lot of pressure off of your one guitarist. If he has to sing, for example, while playing something difficult, that can put a lot of pressure on even the best player.
    6. Likewise, it takes a lot of pressure off of you. You no longer have to try and cover all that chordal space, but you still can if you want.
    7. Covers "guitar parts" while the other guitarist is taking a solo.
    8. Chords are necessary to imply harmonic structure. Leads are necessary to provide counter melodies to the vocal.
    9. 4 guys means that while one guy is tuning (silently, of course), the others can still be playing - read, "no dead air"...
    10. If you have technical failure on one guitar part, the other can carry on until the end of the song.

    Ultimately, it's just a question of what the band wants to do and where it wants to go. For now, even my band is a 3 piece, but that's mainly for the simplicity factor you talk about. When we record, I do about 3 or 4 layers of guitars, and I often wish that I could cover more of that live.

    That's my opinion, for what it's worth.
  7. Ordos2


    Jan 16, 2005
    Thank you for your thoughts everyone:)

    Some exelent points Dkerwood:)
  8. Nice to have someone doing rhythm with the solo. Either keys or a 2nd guitar. Nice to have the 2 guitars share leads, share vocals, provides for good harmonies. Also great in case one guy is sick, can't make it, or quits, with just bass/drums left over you're starting from scratch.

    Its crucial that they play together well though. Guitarist from a 3 piece band where he's the only guy may tend to overplay. No point having 2 guitarists playing the same stuff. Both have to lay back a little to give the other space, and find a different voice. One playing barre chords, the other maybe doing the chukkachukka stuff further up the neck, something like that.

    Keep them on opposite sides of the stage, or at least in front of their own amps to prevent volume wars. Like in Ghostbusters, NEVER CROSS THE BEAMS! If GuitarA stands in front of AmpB and GuitarB stands infront of AmpA, they will turn up constantly all night long so they can hear themselves.

    Rule of thumb: If you want to hear yourself, stand in front of YOUR OWN AMP!!! And make sure its pointed up at your head, not pointed at your knees.

  9. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    Personally I think that if a band has 1 guitar player, another guitarist or a keyboard player will never hurt :)
    Another guitar gives a lot of extra space (points at Dkerwood's post), and if you can get one - why not?
  10. I was going to post a new thread before i read this :lol:

    I have the same question. Although in my band we do have a keyboardist. Is it better to have 2 guitars, keys/vocals, bass/vocals, and drums, or just have 1 guitar?
    The keys often play chords.
  11. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    depends on the sound you are after. if its straight rock'n'roll then 2 guitarists will be fine. if you want to have a more bluesy sound then adding a keys player will give a great sound.
  12. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    I think if your keyboard player is just chording, it will require one guitarist to play leads almost all the time.

    Switchfoot is an example of a band with 2 guitars, bass, drums, and keys. I think they pull it off rather well.

    Plus it would open it up for the keys player to play frontman from time to time and step out from behind the 'board.

    Bottom line is that you have to be happy with the end result. Everything else is really rather unimportant.
  13. harmony solos.

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