Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #10245  by weedar
 Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:30 am
I've recently found out that I'll be getting an electric
guitar for my birthday and I have a friend who also owns one
so I guess we'll be playing together. Until now I've only
played alone on my acoustic guitar, but I have no idea how to
play with someone else - Is it normal to just play the same
chords or what? I'd love a real-life example of a rock tune,
if possible. Thanks.

 #10246  by amyjared
 Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:25 am
I used to only play acoustic by myself and then started playing electric. They are two different beasts, imo. When I play acoustic with someone else, I play different chord voicings. Example: If they play in the open position, I play barre chords. Or sometimes, I'll capo and transpose the whole song (this is how I play Tangled Up in Blue, for example, capoed at 2nd fret)

For electric, I play with a band and it's completely different. I play rhythm, even if I can't spell it, and I strum chords or play arpeggios. I play from the Chick Corea school of "It's not what you play, but what you DON'T play". On acoustic, you want to fill in, but on electric, you need to play more sparse since there's drums, bass, etc.

One last caveat. When I started playing with others, I realized my timing was way off because I played songs the way I "thought" I heard them, which was often inaccurate. It takes a little while to realize that others play things different. You have to figure out which way you want to play it and both play it the same way for it to sound good. I hope this helps. BTW, it improved my playing 100% to play with others!

 #10252  by eyeprod
 Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:27 pm
Learn to play less when playing with other people.

Try different positions and/or voicings for playing chords, because two guitars playing in the same register sounds nowhere near as good as two guitars complimenting eachother. Even if neither of you knows more than one way to play a G chord (for example) it will benefit you to try things like using a fragment of the chord rather than both players just strumming all six strings in unison. That lacks any sort of dynamic.

I think most guitar players get used to playing alone and as such, strum out drum parts and bass parts, as well as the guitar parts when they play a song. Usually the phenom is in the interest of keeping the rhythm going. Maybe you know what I'm talking about. I still do it at times, but got so used to doing certain songs my way that I have to relearn better ways to play them with other people. It's always worth the work you put into playing better. It's that exchange of energy that makes playing music with other people the BEST!! Have fun

 #10254  by weedar
 Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:03 am
Hm, ok so if one strums and the other fingerpicks that is one
way of doing it, and also one playing open chords while the
other plays barre-chords? Hm, sounds about right. I can't wait
to get playing, although I'm a bit apprehensive about the fact
that we'll just be two guitarists - nobody on bass, drums,
keyboards or kazoo.. :oops: