Skip to content
Just a Singer and a...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Just a Singer and a Guitar

15 Posts
8 Users
0 Likes
1,465 Views
manti
(@manti)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

I'm working on some songs which involve just my electric guitar (set to 'clean') and a female singer. No drums, no bass, no other guitars. But since this isn't really my style I'm having a hard time to come up with interesting ideas...

Can somebody please suggest some tips how to spice up songs? Or maybe some bands/songs which involve just a guitarist and a singer? (If they exist...)

Thanks a lot.

[Manti]
http://www.soundclick.com/Manti


   
Quote
Kroikey
(@kroikey)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 232
 

There is a really nice song by Roxette called 'Things will never be the same' and the acoustic version is exactly the type of song your looking for. The plugged versions is the version I fell in love with, but the acoustic sounds very soulful and is built around a female lead with the bridge being sang by the male guitar player. Search youtube for examples of the song ( I cant right now as im at work). In fact a lot of their songs would be ideal for the setup you mentioned.


   
ReplyQuote
KR2
 KR2
(@kr2)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2717
 

Here's a pretty song for a female singer and guitar:
Love is a 4 Letter Word

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
ReplyQuote
rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

But since this isn't really my style I'm having a hard time to come up with interesting ideas...
What is your preferred style?

I play by myself 99.9% of the time and never use any backing tracks or anything. I find I turn a lot of my favorite songs into single-guitar arrangements. Most of what I do ends up very strummy as I'm filling the air left vacated by multiple instruments. I probably play with more emphasis than I need to, and much more so than if in a band or something. Somehow you gotta lay down the groove of the song with the one instrument.

I'm of the mindset that a female voice can sing whatever she wants to for the majority of what's out there. Look on YouTube at Letters To Cleo. They cover some songs done by men orignally, and they do it very well. Sing what you want.

There are some other things that I've heard or seen people do. Fill-ins, a little melody, ringing or alternating bass lines with the rhythm, etc.

The thing that nailed me on all of this was that I concentrated so much on single guitar arrangement stuff that I am still a beginner for anything lead or solo style. I should have diversified. :)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
ReplyQuote
manti
(@manti)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

The thing that nailed me on all of this was that I concentrated so much on single guitar arrangement stuff that I am still a beginner for anything lead or solo style. I should have diversified. :)

On the other hand I created a band after about a year that I started playing and I used to play lead guitar. So I fully trained playing lead and solos and I have no idea how to fill in those parts as they sound especially empty with just the guitar!

[Manti]
http://www.soundclick.com/Manti


   
ReplyQuote
rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

Ahhhhhh. Now I get it.

One of the things I normally do is very the strum speed and force, and sometimes the notes of a chord itself. I'm sure there are more polished tricks out there, but this is what I've done so far.

Do you know the Neil Young song called Down By The River? (showing my age....) It's fairly straight forward. The intro is pretty much straight Em7 and A chords. When I play it, instead of strumming an entire Em7 chord (022030) , I'll hit the top 3-4 strings hard twice, and then the all strings hard once (even letting it ring slightly) and then the standard pattern until the A chord. It gives it sort of a beat I guess, as well as breaks up monotany. I'm not sure how correct or incorrect it is in technical theory, but I like the way it sounds.

Another trick is to do a mute. The song Mary Jane's Last Dance by Tom Petty is a good example. Simple little AM, G, D progression in the verse. One way to break it up and give it a little punch is to mute the strings once. Instead of down-up-down, I do a down-up-quickmute-down. sometimes, right or wrong, I'll do a quicker down-up-down-up-quick-mute-down pattern.

I'm sure others can chime in with much better information than I can. I'm just sharing what little I do know. :)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
ReplyQuote
manti
(@manti)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

Thanks a lot for the different tips given. I appreciate it :)

[Manti]
http://www.soundclick.com/Manti


   
ReplyQuote
jeffster1
(@jeffster1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 231
 

I have a song that would sound beautiful like that.

A guitar version of "Colorblind" by counting crows. The Between the Buried and Me cover of it is a guitar cover, and I think there are tabs out there too. Check it out:

Weird fan submitted video, but the song is there.


   
ReplyQuote
rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

I almost forgot. Here's a thread about a much slower song where a few people gave me some really good advice and tips, especially David Hodge's post. https://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40270

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
ReplyQuote
Blueline
(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1704
 

There's a bazillion songs out there that fit the mold your looking to use.

Here's a link to Edwin McCain's The Austin Sessions This is an album of singer/songwriter songs. Mostly guitar and vocals.

Don't know if it's your cup of tea but give it a shot.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
ReplyQuote
gnease
(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

http://www.tuckandpatti.com/

-=tension & release=-


   
ReplyQuote
manti
(@manti)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

i gathered one thing im gonna have to learn if im gonna do this: finger picking. I've always been afraid of that lol guess im gonna have to learn :P

[Manti]
http://www.soundclick.com/Manti


   
ReplyQuote
rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

gnease, the discography combo box is one song off, but Old Devil Moon (heard by clicking "It Might As Well Been Spring") has quite the clever guitar style. Mongo like! Thanks for the link. (oh, and dig his gear. '53 and '49 gibsons, heavily modified) He gets some really good sounds.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
ReplyQuote
unimogbert
(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 174
 

i gathered one thing im gonna have to learn if im gonna do this: finger picking. I've always been afraid of that lol guess im gonna have to learn :P

You'll soon discover that it sounds far harder than it really is. (shhh! Don't tell anyone!)

I recommend you get a thumbpick which allows a little more natural motion to the thumb and you can use it like a flatpick quite easily.

There are intro to fingerpicking lessons on this website. Go slowly, do perfect practice to get the thumb rhythm right then enjoy. It's a learned skill kinda like touch-typing but sounds way better.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
ReplyQuote
KR2
 KR2
(@kr2)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2717
 

i gathered one thing im gonna have to learn if im gonna do this: finger picking. I've always been afraid of that lol guess im gonna have to learn :P
Bless you for confessing that.
I've been stuck on a song that is all finger picking for 6 months (and I've only been playing guitar for 11 months).
And it is very slow progress. So, now I don't feel so hopeless after all.

Made a major breakthrough today though . . . . I recognized the tune that I was trying to play!

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
ReplyQuote