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#2574687 - 02/23/14 04:10 PM Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano
wjfkddf Offline
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Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 116
I want you to tell me if this can work out:

Since I do not have the guitar, I plan to play the guitar part I want to make on the piano (so I play the piano as if I'm playing the guitar), lay out the chords/notes to be used, and use them by midi keyboard to play the guitar part using the vst instruments program. Will this be a good idea?


Edited by wjfkddf (02/23/14 08:58 PM)

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#2574795 - 02/24/14 04:48 AM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: wjfkddf]
Bone Muskeleton Offline
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Frankly, if you currently don't know anything about how guitar works, you won't get realistic guitar parts. Guitar voicings (the notes in a particular chord) are different than a keyboard instrument. Playing a C major chord like a piano player on a keyboard using a guitar sound won't sound like how a guitar player does it.

That being said, I believe that there are programs that are designed to voice like a guitar, so if you tell it to play a certain chord on guitar, it will voice it like a guitar player would. For instance, GarageBand has "Smart Instruments" that do this.

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#2574803 - 02/24/14 05:28 AM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: Bone Muskeleton]
Griffinator Offline
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I was going to say the same thing, Joe. A guitar isn't anything at all like a piano, and if you try to write guitar parts like you would piano parts, it's going to sound like a fake guitar.

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#2574817 - 02/24/14 06:31 AM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: Griffinator]
wjfkddf Offline
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Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 116
Then how do some people compose songs with instruments they never played before? Like some composers make up songs with various instruments. Also, about getting used to the guitar, I did play acoustic guitar for a year and a half or so few years ago but I want to make the electric guitar part. Can't I just keep listening to various electric guitar parts in a song and get used to the transition and how it sounds?


Edited by wjfkddf (02/24/14 06:40 AM)

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#2575029 - 02/24/14 01:19 PM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: wjfkddf]
Griffinator Offline
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Generally speaking, people bring in guitarists when they want to track the guitar if they don't know enough about the instrument to be able to play it properly.

Here are some of the issues you have to overcome:

1) Chord voicings. Guitars don't voice chords the same way a piano does - the notes are spaced much farther apart. For example, a two-handed G chord on a piano would likely be played G-B-D-G (LH) D-G-B-D (RH) or some similar voicing, with each hand covering a full octave and playing most if not all the notes in the chord along the way. On a guitar, one might choose an open G (G-B-D-G-B-G or G-B-D-G-D-G), or in many rock songs they'll play a "barre" G chord (G-D-G-B-D-G). If you choose the wrong voicing in the wrong register, it's going to sound completely wrong, because it's just not how the given chord is naturally played in the pitch range you chose. Worse, you might inadvertently produce a physically impossible-to-play sequence of chords.

2) Lead/melody expressions: There are a hundred or more subtle techniques used in playing lead on a guitar, and they all produce unique sounds. For example, the one you're most likely to stumble over would be legato. In legato style, which is most commonly used for faster runs, only one out of every three or four notes is picked, where the rest are hammered-on or pulled-off strictly with the fret hand. This does NOT sound anywhere REMOTELY the same as picking each note, and your melodies will sound wooden and fake if you try to play what would be for most guitarists a legato run using all picked notes.

3) Strum: Back to the chords issue, if you play full 6-string chords on a guitar, the notes are not all struck simultaneously. If you do not account for this when you try and fake a guitar on a piano-type instrument, your chording will stick out like a sore thumb. There are miniscule delays involved between string strikes in full strum.

4) Bends: String bending is such an important part of any lead guitar repertoire. If you don't include string bends in a lead, it's GOING to stick out. More importantly, you have to know WHEN to bend. If you bend in the wrong spots, you again can run into physically impossible phrases.

I can go on, and on, and on, and on, and on about this. There are so many stark differences between the electric guitar and the piano in terms of the way notes are sounded and lines are played, it's pretty damned difficult to fake it if you know how to play an electric guitar, and nearly impossible if you don't.


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#2575046 - 02/24/14 02:22 PM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: Griffinator]
wjfkddf Offline
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Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 116
So this also applies for making simple back track or chords for a song as well?

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#2575187 - 02/25/14 03:34 AM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: wjfkddf]
Griffinator Offline
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You still have to know the chord voicings and be willing to do the meticulous back-editing to create convincing strumming.

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#2575192 - 02/25/14 04:32 AM Re: Just wanted to ask about composing with guitar and piano [Re: Griffinator]
Bone Muskeleton Offline
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You might be able to make something passable with plug-ins like these, but I've not tried them.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RealStrat3/

http://www.amplesound.net/en/index.asp

Of course, your best bet is to find yourself a guitar player who plays like you want them to and get them to track the part.

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