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2 man band. How can I make this sound good live?

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I am in a position to book some shows but my bass player just quit. We will be a 4 piece once the guitarist is ready and we find another bass player and then I can just do vocals. So until our new guitar player gets up to speed I thought about playing out as a 2 piece.

I know a few bands have done this before but I don't know how. My music is very low tuned. It's not metal by any means but I use a baritone guitar and we tune to G or I guess it would be "drop G". My guitar is tuned to A and then I drop the A to G. So I was thinking about getting an octave pedal or maybe just a sub to go with the guitar amp. I would like it to sound as clear as possible if at all. Any suggestions?

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So you've got drums and guitar? You're on guitar and voice?

 

You said yourself you do baritone style guitar... this seems perfect for a unique sound. Sure, you've got the White Stripes to consider but I wouldn't. I love them, but you'll be a copy cat and who wants that.

 

Try playing your tunes just as they are in a rehearsal to see what you've got. Tape it and review. What's working? What's not...

 

Regarding the use of a sub. You could try to bring a bass amp and y your guitar into that as well. Sounds like that might rock. It'll give the sound guy a little more to work with as well. Try using a clean signal to the bass amp and your pedals to the guitar amp.

 

Listen to Morphine for ideas in minimalism. They had different instrumentation but they really knew how to make a lot with a little.

 

This sounds like a great opportunity if you've got the balls to really try it. Good luck man.

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Originally posted by Frantag

Play a lot of White Stripes songs.

 

Well techically they're a one man, one woman band... :)

 

Actually Billy Joel once played in a two-man band (organ - drums) called Attila:

 

 

 

Attila2copia.jpg

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Originally posted by Lee Knight

So you've got drums and guitar? You're on guitar and voice?


You said yourself you do baritone style guitar... this seems perfect for a unique sound. Sure, you've got the White Stripes to consider but I wouldn't. I love them, but you'll be a copy cat and who wants that.


Try playing your tunes just as they are in a rehearsal to see what you've got. Tape it and review. What's working? What's not...


Regarding the use of a sub. You could try to bring a bass amp and y your guitar into that as well. Sounds like that might rock. It'll give the sound guy a little more to work with as well. Try using a clean signal to the bass amp and your pedals to the guitar amp.


Listen to Morphine for ideas in minimalism. They had different instrumentation but they really knew how to make a lot with a little.


This sounds like a great opportunity if you've got the balls to really try it. Good luck man.

 

Yeah, I am on vox and guitar until our new guitarist gets up to speed and we find a new bass player. We don't want to wait to long so regardless if they are ready, we waant to play out.

 

I was also thinking of maybe getting a guitar synth, and if it's possible, only have it trigger the low G and then have it split to a bass amp.

Everything sounds "ok" when we play as a two peice, but with being tuned so low, I feel like the bass really needs to be there. We also trigger samples but do not play to a click.

 

This is only temporary so I don't think I will need to buy a midi footswitch to trigger bass notes on a laptop running Ableton Live while I sing and play guitar and the drummer triggers ambient sounds and drones while playing drums.......but then again, we would make more money for each show since it would be split 2 ways instead of 4.:D :D :D

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Seems that the thread's getting more activity here than over on the Band page.

 

If you trigger bass synth to the low G string (immature giggles) only, then you'd pretty much have to make sure to include that string in all of your chord voicings, wouldn't you? Does that work with your songs?

 

Or, if you play keys, you can cover the bass and the treble parts pretty effectively. Unfortunately my keyboard skills aren't there yet.

 

YMMV, but for me, I've had a lot more success adjusting my playing style and the arrangement of the songs than adjusting my setup/stage rig. I prefer to let the guitar sound like a guitar, but try to play in such a way that it works.

 

Another thought - try doing some songs acoustically - IMO, the sparser arrangements work pretty well for acoustic songs. And even if your songs beg to be plugged in and rawked, playing them acoustic can be in interesting exercise.

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Originally posted by 2manband

YMMV, but for me, I've had a lot more success adjusting my playing style and the arrangement of the songs than adjusting my setup/stage rig. I prefer to let the guitar sound like a guitar, but try to play in such a way that it works.

 

I agree. The ear adjusts to the situation at hand. I think jumping through hoops trying to get a bass note might end up being kind of cheesy. If you've got an organic way of beefing things up, like the bass amp idea, cool, but don't change who you are unless that's really your vision.

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I'd also suggest just not using bass until you're at least halfway through the show. If people don't hear it, they don't miss it (e.g., "When Doves Cry" -- there's no bass). Then if you do add some bass element, it will build the set.

 

Bass pedals doing low level, sustained bass notes could also fill things out. Also check out things like "subharmonic" generators -- I think dbx made one, maybe you can find one on eBay. They're not really octave dividers, but add more of a low rumble.

 

But overall, I agree that changing the material to fit the instrumention is the best way to go.

 

It almost seems this topic DOES belong in two forums -- this one to talk about the technology involved, and Lee's to talk about the philosophy of a two-piece. BTW I had a two-piece for a while, it was a lot of fun. There was only one person who could cover for me if I blew it, though.........

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