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Guitars Are Awesome #3005242 08/27/19 04:12 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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That is all.

I've been playing guitar all afternoon while testing the PRS SuperModels amp sims, which are great.

I love synthesizers too...but few things can beat six monophonic oscillators on a plank of wood.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005280 08/27/19 01:08 PM
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I keep saying I am going to learn guitar, … beyond knowing a few chords. I've even bought a few but I have never really gone for it. Now that I am retired I'm ready to invest the time. Any suggestions for which online lessons are best for a semi beginner? By semi-beginner, someone that can play other instruments well but barely play guitar.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005288 08/27/19 01:41 PM
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you could always spend an afternoon playing a Hammond B3 smile


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005316 08/27/19 04:20 PM
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I like mine an awful lot. I play way more acoustic than electric, though...
I have several of the four mono oscillators on a plank models as well. rocker

dB

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005360 08/27/19 07:18 PM
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Of the instruments I play I rank (1) saxophone (2) wind synth and (3) guitar after that vocals, bass, drums, flute, keyboard synths.

Guitar is my newest, so I'm not at the potential I am with the sax and wind synth, I think our 'home instrument' has a lot do do with it.

But there is something about each that shines in it's own way.

Notes


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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005365 08/27/19 07:34 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Harmonicas are cool, too...they're the only instruments that both blow and suck smile

Wind instruments are the one family of instruments I can't wrap my head around. Damn, they're tough to play...monophonic, too. Although being monophonic didn't seem to be a problem for John Coltrane or Miles Davis!

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005372 08/27/19 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Wind instruments are the one family of instruments I can't wrap my head around. Damn, they're tough to play...monophonic, too. Although being monophonic didn't seem to be a problem for John Coltrane or Miles Davis!


Yes, but SO expressive. Hard to emulate on a keyboard or stringed instrument.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: The Real MC] #3005374 08/27/19 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by Anderton
Wind instruments are the one family of instruments I can't wrap my head around. Damn, they're tough to play...monophonic, too. Although being monophonic didn't seem to be a problem for John Coltrane or Miles Davis!

Yes, but SO expressive. Hard to emulate on a keyboard or stringed instrument.

I remember talking to one of the Yamaha guys at a trade show when the VL1 came out. He was using three wheels, a couple of pedals, aftertouch and a breath controller to try and emulate a sax. waitwhat

At that point, I'm thinking it's time to go hire an actual sax player. idk

dB

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: The Real MC] #3005375 08/27/19 08:10 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by The Real MC

Yes, but SO expressive. Hard to emulate on a keyboard or stringed instrument.


Frankly, I would say impossible to emulate on a keyboard or stringed instrument...a LinnStrument or ROLI keyboard is about as close as you're going to get.

I never even try to emulate solo wind instruments in my music via sampling or synthesis. I'm okay with adding a brass section in the background, and that can sound pretty good. But solo sax? No way...besides, guitars are pretty expressive! When I have done solo "wind" instruments in the past, it was always done as a more impressionistic kind of sound rather then trying to fool anyone.

Wind controllers can be amazingly expressive, but I don't think you can play one unless you already know how to play a wind instrument, so count me out on that one, too.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005488 08/28/19 02:12 PM
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Monophonic is an advantage in some cases. It can make a melodic line more human voice like.

The sax gets it's expression differently from a guitar or keyboard. Personally I think it has more vox humana than any other instrument.

The expression is in the subtle nuances of playing, controlled pitch shift with pressure on the reed, changing the oral cavity shape, changing breath support, changing dynamics after the note is initialized, a wide range of note attacks, throat growl, flutter tonguel, changing where the lip is on the reed, changing the strength of the embouchure, and so on. The sax tone naturally changes with volume, and you can suppress or exaggerate that change with combinations of a couple of the above.

The problem with emulating a sax with a synth is there are too many parameters for most synths to cover. The closet to the emulation of most wind instruments is the now orphaned Yamaha VL system (Physical Modeling Synthesis).

These were recorded 15 years ago using an Archos Juke Box (pre iPod device) hung near the PA speaker on a gig. Definitely low fidelity as the Archos mic was not very good and the mp3s are ripped at a low bit rate (back in 2004 Internet bandwidth was narrow). I should do more modern recordings, but life gets in the way (gigs, being the band salesman, writing new aftermarket styles for BiaB, running that business, and time wasting typing on the Internet).

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_sunshinesax.mp3

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_capecodsax.mp3

I used a Yamaha WX5 Wind Midi Controller into a Yamaha VL70-m. I did the backing tracks myself back in the 1990s.

As a sax player, sometimes I use the 'synth sax' as a pianist reaches for a Rhoades, for the differences. Sometimes during dinner sets or when we are sonic wallpaper I use it to blend at low volumes.

Now guitars and other polyphonic instruments get their own individual expression in different ways. I love playing my guitar almost as much as I love playing my sax and wind synth - for the differences in the way the guitar expresses itself.

To modify a Charlie Parker expression, you don't play the instrument, you let the instrument play you.

Insights and incites by Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005603 08/29/19 07:18 AM
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Word.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005658 08/29/19 08:48 PM
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Interesting - didn't know there are PRS amp emulations now. My guitar amp setup is low-end - Boss Katana 100 for most amp modeling needs, and a QES Roadtripper MCM for home practicing. I can and do practice on both amps, as the Katana has a 0.5W power setting, but the Roadtripper takes so little effort to dial in a tone that I like, and it has such a nice spring reverb and tremolo.

A decade ago, I didn't consider myself a guitarist. I played a bit of piano here, bit of mucking about on sequencers and synths there, and a bit of viola there.

I won't bore everyone with the life story, other than to say that my journey eventually led to spending more and more time on guitar, including learning how to hybrid-pick and fingerpick. As I progressed I started to reward myself with guitars that were nicer - imo - than the one I started with.

My progress on viola and electric violin came at the cost of less and less time trying to play Xaphoon/bamboo sax and ocarina. I can't deny that involving one's own breath, lips, etc. in the process of shaping a note is a different experience from bowing or plucking a string. OTOH, playing bowed instruments and continuously refining how one expresses oneself that way is a rewarding path in its own right.

I recently acquired a Gamechanger Audio Plus pedal and am slowly, but gradually exploring ways to augment regular ol' guitar when playing solo arrangements of songs. The Plus doesn't work quite like a piano damper pedal, in that if you press on its sostenuto pedal while you are plucking something with a pick or finger, the Plus will happily sample your plucking attack, and thus play a very clicky kind of loop. But it does have some interesting potential. With a violin, I can get a pseudo-counterpoint effect going, where I have the Plus sustain a note while I play other notes against it. I have a couple of other devices that can freeze incoming guitar signal into an instant pad, without the clicky loop, but without the dynamic control that the Plus' sostenuto pedal has - the Empress Zoia and the Hologram Infinite Jets. Either one can complement the Plus nicely here.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 08/30/19 01:38 PM.
Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005664 08/29/19 09:31 PM
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While I do consider myself a decent guitar player, I primarily play bass. I've spent the last few years learning 4 sets worth of material (original & cover) for one main band and a side project. On top of that, I've been learning upright bass since May. Hard to walk past the old doghouse without playing a lick or two...

That said, I had the house to myself this past Sunday afternoon, and spent some time playing guitar. I could have pulled out the full 2x12 amp & big pedal board, but wanted to get right to playing. I just used the Vox AC4 and a Deluxe Memory Boy; and the closest guitar I could access (Carvin DC 127). It was nice to get some chops back, and learn a few songs that I'm playing on 6-string in October. Sure, I would have liked the cleaner headroom of the Genz Benz amp, but that little Vox is still fun. Next thing I new, almost 3 hours had gone by. Time well spent.

And when it's all done, who doesn't like just abusing the whammy bar through a ton of repeats and seeing how loud 4 watts can get?


"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)
NEW band Old band
Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Danzilla] #3005690 08/30/19 12:52 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Danzilla
Next thing I knew, almost 3 hours had gone by. Time well spent.


And isn't that what it's all about? One of the great things about a guitar is you can just pick one up and start playing.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005749 08/30/19 02:50 PM
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Mr. Notes Norton...dug your faux sax tracks... When I hear this, the first thing my poor mind tells me is that it's a sax, then almost immediately " no, it's not" followed by a final period of rationalization, "not a sax, but sounds cool and musical in its own way"..which is the bottom line, anyway...


"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005802 08/30/19 07:21 PM
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Another thing I love about guitars is I can practice on one while watching Netflix, since they're inherently quieter than acoustic viola or ocarina.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Tedster] #3005826 08/31/19 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tedster
Mr. Notes Norton...dug your faux sax tracks... When I hear this, the first thing my poor mind tells me is that it's a sax, then almost immediately " no, it's not" followed by a final period of rationalization, "not a sax, but sounds cool and musical in its own way"..which is the bottom line, anyway...

Thanks.

It's close to a sax, close enough for an untrained ear, but different enough to play for it's strengths and differences.

It's like having another sax voice.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005827 08/31/19 01:26 AM
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Didn't read everything, chiming in late. May main instrument is keys, though I play bass, sax, guitar, and sing. Suffice it to say when I look at used stuff at music go round, I look at everything including drums since my youngest showed some interest. What to I keep buying? Guitars, what do my kids look at? Guitars. There is something alluring about guitars.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: GovernorSilver] #3005838 08/31/19 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Another thing I love about guitars is I can practice on one while watching Netflix, since they're inherently quieter than acoustic viola or ocarina.


There's a guitar in every room in my house, except for the bathroom and kitchen. They're all solid-bodies except for one Epiphone Twister hollow body. Whenever I feel like it, I can pick it up and play it...even when guests are around, it's not a problem because the level just isn't that loud.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3005947 08/31/19 11:21 PM
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Funny thing about that. I'm predominantly a sax player. I have a main horn to make a living with and a backup horn. I also make a living with wind synth so I have two (the show must go on). I play flute and have one, I play drums and have one drum MIDI controller, I play bass and have one Japanese Jazz Bass copy (from the lawsuit era) and guitar. I have two guitars that I use on stage and a backup, plus another because it's different (electric archtop).

I don't drool over sax pictures in magazines (although I'd love a classic King Super 20 Silversonic made in the Cleveland factory) but I look at guitars and would love to own an SG, a Johnny A, a Jazzmaster, an Italia Modena, and quite a few classics they don't make anymore like the Vox Teardrop, Al Caiola, 1960s Dano, and so on. I think it is because they are so different looking and works of art in their own way.

But I work for musician's wages, so if I can't use it to gig or to make BiaB styles, there is no room for it here. My instruments are tools, I usually beat them up or wear them out, and don't trade them in until the become undependable.

If I have the choice of buying a new guitar or taking a trip to Paris, I'll take Paris. I live to travel and play music, my two passions.

Bob


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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006061 09/01/19 11:17 PM
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Though I am much more a keyboard player than a guitar player, my guitar is sitting on a stand in a place that I pass by throughout the day and I play it more frequently than I do the CP4 that sits next to my computer. No switches, no headphones, just short, frequent breaks of making music on the guitar...easy. Because of that frequency and my feeling a real attraction to the ways that the guitar allows one to manipulate pitch in ways that the piano can’t, sometimes I get a bit frustrated with keyboards. Of course there are pitch wheels, but I wish that my synths had whammy bars and let me wiggle my finger to manually perform vibrato. I know that there is the Roli keyboard solution, but the rubber surface on those things pulls away the skin that connects my fingernails to my fingers. Ouch!

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006129 09/02/19 03:46 PM
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Indeed.

Most often, when I hear what sounds like a keyboard faking a guitar, my immediate reaction is, 'what crap, how cheesey, they shouldn't have'.

On the other hand, I kinda dig hearing guitarists faking keyboard sounds, and really enjoy doing so myself. There's a lot of pleasure in deploying my Sustainiac Model C "acoustic feedback generator" (for literally infinite sustain and harmonic-overtones), Foxrox Octron octave-up AND down fuzz, and Boss RT-20 Leslie-sim pedal in 'stereo', to fake organ sounds and parts... ! I actually had to prove to audience people during breaks a couple different times that I was playing those quasi B3/Leslie sounds and parts at gigs and not some hidden keyboard player, or even using a "guitar-synth"... ! grin 2thu

The line of "9" stomps from Electro-Harmonix are a lot of fun- my wonderful Grrrlfriend gave me a B9 for Christmas, and I'd like to get a few more of the line- but going the somewhat harder route that I outlined above is more gratifying and satisfying for some such sounds.


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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006284 09/03/19 02:23 PM
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I think a lot of that has to do with your 'home instrument bias'.

If you are predominantly a guitarist, you are intimately aware of what the guitar can do, what it cannot do and the nuances it is capable of. Another instrument is not going to do the same thing.

Conversely if you are a keyboard player listening to a MIDI guitar trying to play like a keyboard, you will recognize that in an instant as well.

There is more to an instrument than the notes.

Here is the closest I've gotten to guitar on a synth. I posted this on the Gibson/Epiphone forum for comments, I didn't say I played in synth, I just said here is a sample recorded live on a gig in 2008 with cheesy recording gear and ripped at a low bit rate. I asked for comments, and got a number of compliments on my guitar playing, including one that said it was "Jeff Beck-ish" (IMHO the ultimate compliment).

After a few dozen comments I came clean and told them I did this on a synthesizer. One guy posted that he thought something was a peculiar about it but couldn't put his finger on it.

I played this with a Yamaha WX5 Wind MIDI controller through a Yamaha VL70m with a Patchman synth patch called GuitarHero (it's a distorted guitar patch)

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_oldtimeguitar.mp3

This next one I recorded for a friend's self-feleased CD in 2004. He is a fine guitarist, but wanted me to play synth guitar on one track, so I took more liberties with guitar expression for this. I used the same setup but with Patchman's Dist.Gtr patch. Not as much distortion and a little like a Les-Paul to my ears.

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_personalchoice.mp3

To emulate another instrument, you must first understand how that instrument gets it's expression. The expression is limited to the physical constraints of the instrument. For example guitar vibrato is generally from on-pitch to sharp and the curve is rather logarithmic. If using the whammy it can go either way but the bend is more linear. On the guitar you can bend one string more than another while double-stopping creating some interesting tensions. Guitar strings decay and won't sustain for long unless using a bow or other device (which are uncommon and take away the guitar personality). The sound of the attack is very important, and this is helped by a good synth. Physical modeling synthesis is best as the attack transients change with the force of the attack on the MIDI controller. I could go on and on but you get the idea. The emulation is definitely in the nuances, from gross to the finest nuances.

It's not just about notes. It's about how the notes are played. Play a sax or guitar patch like a piano, and it won't fool even the causal listener. Get the right nuances and you can fool the average listener and even a lot of pros.

Insights and incites by Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006347 09/03/19 08:11 PM
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Notes_Norton- Well said- and well played.


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Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006597 09/05/19 12:30 AM
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Thanks for the kind words!


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006650 09/05/19 08:14 AM
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Playing some guitar and sax did wonders for my lead synth technique. It pushed me to demand more from my synth leads. To be more expressive. To not be satisfied with just tweaking a filter. There are so many ways to vary tone on a synth. You have to really want to push into those areas, and playing guitar and sax made me want to push.

Re: Guitars Are Awesome [Re: Anderton] #3006710 09/05/19 05:12 PM
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I absolutely write music way differently when I do it with a guitar than I do on keys .

dB


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