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#1646162 - 07/13/05 01:44 PM Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
mchen Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Eagle, CO
Our primary singer/rhythm guitarist just quit. This leaves us with myself (the OTHER vocalist and lead guitarist), the drummer (he's real good, but couldn't sing his way out of a box), and the bass player (a nice guy, but couldn't sing OR improvise his way out of the same box).

We are playing a benefit tonight and another job this Saturday. It sould be interesting.

Anybody have any good suggestions for a not-to powerful power trio?
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#1646163 - 07/13/05 02:44 PM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
Lee Flier Offline
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Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 15398
Loc: Atlanta,GA,UNITED STATES
Ouch. Well I play in a 3 piece all the time so it's second nature to me now, but my current band was the first 3 piece I'd played in and it WAS an adjustment at first. How easy it will be depends partly on the type of guitarist you are... I had to make some adjustments in my parts, switching from rhythm to lead, that would make the transitions seem smooth. It also helps if the drummer beats the crap out of a crash ride or open hi-hat during your solos so there's not too big of a dropout. \:D Judicious use of delays help fill things out too, a la The Edge.

The vocal thing might be the biggest hurdle. I guess you'll have a lot of extra responsibility being the primary singer and that'll be tough. But you never know, you might find once you get your feet wet that you enjoy being a 3 piece! We originally wanted to be a 4 piece, but we never found the right 4th member, and now we can't really imagine having somebody else. We like the freedom and space it gives us.

Good luck! And let us know how it's going.
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#1646164 - 07/13/05 04:24 PM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
mchen Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Eagle, CO
Lee,

Thanks for the input. I suspect that my chorus unit will get some heavy action tonight. Lucky for me that our drummer thinks he is a rock star, so beating the living daylights out of EVERTHING will be no problem.

So far, I'm aproaching this as a solo show with sidemen. I'll report back tomorrow on how it goes.

One thing about a benefit...it's unlikely we'll get fired.
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#1646165 - 07/13/05 05:08 PM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
BluesWithoutBlame Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 774
Loc: Oslo. Norway
It might help to know what your setlist looks like?

What style are you playing?
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#1646166 - 07/13/05 05:52 PM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
mchen Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Eagle, CO
Blues,

We play some oldies (Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc), some originals (pretty basic rock n' roll) and some power ballads. We can and have played most of the usual "chestnuts" (Sweet Home Alabama, Mustang Sally - you know the rest).

Thanks for your interest.
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#1646167 - 07/14/05 04:54 AM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
The Geoff Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 8836
Loc: Near Glasgow
We play much the same style of music as you, and recently the lead guitarist was off on vacation. The other lead/rhythm guitarist, me (bass) and the drummer had a rehearsal to see what it sounded like. With a couple of adjustments (drummer as above and me boosting vol & bass a little during guitar solos) we found it worked out to be quite acceptable.

G.
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#1646168 - 07/14/05 05:46 AM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
BluesWithoutBlame Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 774
Loc: Oslo. Norway
Quote:
Originally posted by mchen:
Blues,

We play some oldies (Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc), some originals (pretty basic rock n' roll) and some power ballads. We can and have played most of the usual "chestnuts" (Sweet Home Alabama, Mustang Sally - you know the rest).

Thanks for your interest.
It'll be a challenge, but maybe a cool one!

Sounds like the show is going to mainly be up to you. You being the guitarist, and lead vocalist.

Stones will work okay I think...but the bass and drums are going to have to really be aware that they will have to make up for you when you take a solo or riff...It's really all in the arrangement.

When I think of trios...I think about Hendrix, the experience had some really good ideas, that the bass had to be super-solid, while Hendrix and the drummer could go out on limbs and come back to the main beat/song.

But even without the guitar-god stuff it can work really well, though you might have to work a little harder to fill in more.

But I just remembered, it was yesterday night you were going to play so tell us, how did it go?
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#1646169 - 07/14/05 06:30 AM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
A few years ago some friends and I formed a three piece band. We started out acoustic.. me on guitar, a singer, (he and I wrote all of the songs...)and a percussionist.

Then a really hot bassist left his popular blues band, and joined us. I moved to electric guitar, and the percussionist pulled out his trap kit.

I never would have considered myself as a lead guitarist and I still don't in any traditional sense. But the experience taught me a lot and gave me a sense of confidence in my ability to improvise and be the only melody instrument in a group. Filling in the space when needed, leaving holes in the right places, noodling around in a Phish/Dave Mathews/Gerry Garcia-ish way and working with the unique rhythms that the singer would create as a foundation for our songs, all of these things were really quite a rush.

Unfortunately, the group didn't stick, but the experience has done wonders for my playing and approach to playing.


Bill
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#1646170 - 07/14/05 01:23 PM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
Dr. Ellwood Offline
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Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 16337
Loc: MoTown
Sounds like fun to me! have your bass player put some effects on his signal... some reverb.. chorus, even some tremlo..someting sonic to fill longer intervals.... yep make the drummer ride more than he usually does.... you setup more towards the mid to low end of your settings ....Fatten up your over all mix... use full chords ..use first position chords when you can and concentrate on your singing MORE than usuall ..it will be GREAT ...!!!!!!!
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#1646171 - 07/14/05 04:45 PM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
Strangerbytheminute Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 190
Loc: Seattle
I had the same experience but we were a three piece when my bass player completely melted down and I had to do a show with just my drummer. I found that I loved it. I was the first time that I could really hear what I was doing, I had no loud bass stepping all over my vocals, the drummer loved the fact that he had so much room to fill, most of the places we played didn't even adjust our pay so we split it.
This was all original stuff so we could get away with it. But all our fan group said they liked the sound more. Go figure.
I'm planning on adding players, but the right ones. But for now, I'm digging this. Good luck on finding a singer BTW. Adding a little more Reverb on the vocals sometimes covers a multitude of sin.....
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#1646172 - 07/15/05 09:30 AM Re: Suddenly, we're 3 piece....!
mchen Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Eagle, CO
Good Morning!

Well, it actually went pretty well on Wednesday night. There were quite a few bands there, so we only did Ĺ a set. We followed a metal act and were able to get the crowd started dancing for the rest of the evening.

My observations:

It is very difficult to sing both the lead and backup vocals at the same time.

You really should practice playing lead/rhythm guitar prior to performing.

When the bass player misses a change during a lead break, keep playing and jump around in front of him until he gets what you are trying to tell him.

When you are told there will be a Twin Reverb to play through, it will turn out to be a Roland Super Chorus (next time I haul my own amp - period).

Itís not a bad idea to follow a metal act when you have a middle aged crowd.

Saturday will be much tougher because we are IT for 3 hours. I think it will be ok as long as my voice holds out.
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