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sergiodeblanc
10-12-2012, 01:55 PM
Everybody likes BIG guitar tones and parts, the mighty feeling of power chords, overdrive and distortion, full out hum bucker tones, and songs that are driven by BIG guitar parts, but what about the "little" ones?

The past few years I have been way into little parts and tones, the smaller the better. The songs where guitar is an important part of the recipe, but not the focus, players who dodge and weave between the other instruments, players like Steve Cropper, Al Anderson, and Al McKay. They rarely dominate the song or the mix and never play on top of the other guys, they "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee", all the while creating the groove.

The hardest thing I have ever learned to do on the guitar was to just "shut up", and play only what was necessary for the song.

How do you feel about "little" guitar? What are some of the tunes that you think of when thinking about this approach?

Here is a tune that I feel everyone involved played only complimentary parts, nobody showing off, nobody over-playing, just everybody doing their "little" thing to create a BIG sound.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huOtZVPxzT8

sergiodeblanc
10-12-2012, 02:03 PM
And another.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xJWQPdG7jE&feature=related

sergiodeblanc
10-12-2012, 02:05 PM
And the MASTERS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xkeT_okg7o&feature=related

sergiodeblanc
11-10-2012, 10:46 PM
I love this little riff and can't stop playing it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd57i0TWoW0&feature=related

sergiodeblanc
11-10-2012, 10:52 PM
So good!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N46GQP3Fh74

Goldtop
11-11-2012, 02:41 AM
Cool idea for a topic. To me, these guys were always masters at not overplaying. I always thought that was/is one of the greatest things about G.E. Smith's playing. (Likewise for John Oates, but in my mind G.E. is the guy.) Taste and understatement personified. It's hard for me to pick just one example, but I think this is a good place to start...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccenFp_3kq8

Goldtop

WEDGE
11-11-2012, 03:13 AM
Don't know how to imbed a video but The Fixx doing 'Saved by zero' has a nice understated part I always liked.

Goldtop
11-11-2012, 03:14 AM
I believe that when most people think of Willie, his guitar playing isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But I think he's an amazing player. His phrasing, his choice of notes, his economy, and especially his tone(!) - incredible in my book. One of the best 'less is more' players ever in my opinion.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crgtWomWg90

Goldtop

Rango
11-11-2012, 10:48 AM
Cool idea for a topic. To me, these guys were always masters at not overplaying. I always thought that was/is one of the greatest things about G.E. Smith's playing. (Likewise for John Oates, but in my mind G.E. is the guy.) Taste and understatement personified.
Goldtop
G.E. Smith - 'nuff said. :D

sergiodeblanc
11-11-2012, 11:49 AM
Don't know how to imbed a video but The Fixx doing 'Saved by zero' has a nice understated part I always liked.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOiZP8FS5Ww


Here you go!

I forgot about this tune, nice pick.

sergiodeblanc
11-11-2012, 11:56 AM
I believe that when most people think of Willie, his guitar playing isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But I think he's an amazing player. His phrasing, his choice of notes, his economy, and especially his tone(!) - incredible in my book.

Goldtop

And in my book as well. I remember seeing an interview with some of Willie's bandmates where they describe the tempo and feel of playing with him as being in "Willie Time", he somehow always manages to play slightly between the beat, but it is totally "on".

]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T !
11-11-2012, 12:37 PM
I like Chromeo! Those guys really bring the nostalgia for me. Guess I'll be pumping some Midnight Star today.

sergiodeblanc
11-11-2012, 01:01 PM
-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ;28912'] Guess I'll be pumping some Midnight Star today.

As we all should be. Just to get it started:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gomCkCbKHA4

sergiodeblanc
11-11-2012, 02:18 PM
Last one for the day, see if you can count how many cool "little" licks are in this tune, if you only watch one of these make it this one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnDVnYGkrIs&feature=related

rugerpc
11-11-2012, 04:46 PM
Last one for the day, see if you can count how many cool "little" licks are in this tune, if you only watch one of these make it this one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnDVnYGkrIs&feature=related

Loved it!

Very, very cool little fills, from the percussionist to the bass to the keyboard to the guitars...

A very even tempered arrangement. Of course, it doesn't hurt that SADE is hot hot hot!

Mikegarveyblues
11-11-2012, 06:03 PM
Loved it!

Very, very cool little fills, from the percussionist to the bass to the keyboard to the guitars...

A very even tempered arrangement. Of course, it doesn't hurt that SADE is hot hot hot!

Very cool playing. Absolutely nothing more than is needed.

Sade.. She's still hot! Very classy lady indeed!

rugerpc
11-11-2012, 09:05 PM
Listen to the rhythmic muted strums of Glen Frey's tele for one of my all time favorite 'little guitar' parts.


www.youtube.com/watch?V=edKq2tQcC_c


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edKq2tQcC_c&feature=related

Dancing Frog
11-13-2012, 11:06 PM
I did Reggae for 10 years. It's all about the layering and the blending of the little things to get the groove on.

AP515
11-14-2012, 07:32 AM
Heres one I like a lot. Listen to the conversation between the voice and the semi-hollow. The solo is also very understated and yet tasty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKQHJtKFVdI

sergiodeblanc
11-14-2012, 12:50 PM
Heres one I like a lot. Listen to the conversation between the voice and the semi-hollow. The solo is also very understated and yet tasty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKQHJtKFVdI

This is a nice version of a classic tune, who is it?

Goldtop
11-14-2012, 10:29 PM
The minimalist approach to guitar playing always makes me think of a lot of the music of Stax and Motown. Here's one of my personal favorites.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7nFe0hxB6I

Goldtop

Goldtop
11-15-2012, 07:45 PM
sergiodeblanc,

Man, I can't tell you how much I dig this topic. Thank you again for getting this topic of discussion started. Since I read your first post, I have been going back through my LPs, CD, and personal memory bank (cloudy though it sometimes is), and I have been having a great time doing so. Kudos my friend!

I can't go much longer without including two players who I think are great examples of the kind of playing we're talking about here: Keef Himself, and Waddy Wachtel. Talk about building a groove and just living on it. Their simplicity is the flash.

'Yank it up, BAY-bay!!!'


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbaiQ00gywI

Goldtop

AP515
11-15-2012, 10:01 PM
This is a nice version of a classic tune, who is it?

Martina McBride, long time country singer. She did a retro album a few years back with a number of good ones if country doesn't make you puke. Here is another cover that I think is better than the original. There isn't much guitar before the solo but it is another tastey understated piece of work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgnoeFbK6Co

sergiodeblanc
11-15-2012, 10:09 PM
sergiodeblanc,

Man, I can't tell you how much I dig this topic. Thank you again for getting this topic of discussion started. Since I read your first post, I have been going back through my LPs, CD, and personal memory bank (cloudy though it sometimes is), and I have been having a great time doing so. Kudos my friend!


I'm pleased to hear it! While I have always enjoyed all kinds of music, the whole rock/metal approach to guitar had pretty much run its course with me about eight years ago. I never quit the guitar, but I found myself doing more "urban" synthesizer and music programing kind of stuff with sampled guitar parts. When the whole sampling issue eventually became extremely cost prohibitive, I just had to start making them myself, and unknowingly starting up a new chapter of my infatuation with the electric guitar.

Little parts rule! and they are just as hard as playing a blazing solo, just a different kind of hard. Try playing the spanky single note line in "Get down on it" for four minutes straight, while staying in the pocket, it's totally different thing than your typical guitar hero thing.

The Mu-tron guitar part in this song kills me every time I listen to it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp3NKVqbT4I

wilerty
11-15-2012, 10:12 PM
Nights in White Satin, by The Shadows ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oABtXcD3wU

sergiodeblanc
11-15-2012, 10:25 PM
I have been trying to replicate this vibe forever, I'll let everybody know when I finally achieve it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFyq-v-hf1U

Goldtop
11-17-2012, 10:14 PM
'ACE FREHLEY ... LEAD GUI-TAH ... SHOCK M_ !' Oooops. No, wait... Okay, here we go: Ace Frehley - SOLO - New York Groove!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTxju999pA4

Goldtop

Goldtop
11-17-2012, 10:47 PM
Here is one of my all time favorite guitar bits ever. What a solo! Short, sweet, tasty; just like that new chick Jackie at The Donut Barn. (Alas, that's another subject for another time.)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRk8znla4H0

Goldtop

sergiodeblanc
11-18-2012, 01:17 AM
Wait a minute! Did somebody say something about doughnuts? Where are they?

Goldtop
11-24-2012, 08:20 PM
Willie and Merle.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxnw-B1BGDs

Goldtop

t.shamone
11-25-2012, 03:41 PM
I've always loved the little guitar in Joseph Hill and Cultures' song, "One A We".
Full of horn hits and lines, the guitar parts weave around them and are equally as important to the sound of the tune.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeA54RPCB2o

Goldtop
11-25-2012, 09:44 PM
"Have You Seen Her?" by The Chi-Lites.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVYxKRXDT2I

The Goldtop

sergiodeblanc
11-26-2012, 12:53 AM
Great descending line in that Culture tune! I am loving the square wave fuzz on that Chi-Lites!

Goldtop
11-26-2012, 08:04 AM
I like how all of the different types of 'Little Guitar' bits weave around in this. There may even be some mandocello in there somewhere...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOAl2TKBA0w

Goldtop

rugerpc
11-26-2012, 01:13 PM
I love the acoustic backbone of this song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN3qvnpf_Y4

sergiodeblanc
11-26-2012, 11:27 PM
Awww Yeah!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hHSH9sJUEo

rugerpc
11-29-2012, 07:59 AM
Another percussive muted strings masterpiece. Left channel rhythm guitar makes the the song. Right channel muted string embellishment chords in call-response to the lyrics for a double muted string guitar symphony.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgfHz792Kqs

John Beef
11-29-2012, 12:34 PM
I've been playing in 3 piece bands (guitar/bass/drums) for so long that I wouldn't even know where to begin to be a guitarist like this. I've always had a ton of space to fill and it's a challenge to hang back from big.

sergiodeblanc
11-29-2012, 01:38 PM
I've been playing in 3 piece bands (guitar/bass/drums) for so long that I wouldn't even know where to begin to be a guitarist like this. I've always had a ton of space to fill and it's a challenge to hang back from big.

Hey John I know what you mean, but since your band has some indie leanings may I suggest the master Andy Gill to get you started?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFU_1h7io0Y


Honestly Gang of Four was one of the first bands that made me aware of how powerful less guitar could be, bonus points for finding this on Fast Product.

sergiodeblanc
02-27-2013, 03:46 AM
Clavinet and guitar battle over who's funkier.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOaxEa5ONJw

I love "little" guitar!

sergiodeblanc
04-17-2013, 02:22 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgGwI12zMJg


I can't decide which guitar part would be harder to play straight for that long.

jfine
04-17-2013, 04:36 AM
Martina McBride is one of the best singers in Nashville. Some of her stuff is typical "'80's pop with cowboy hats" that passes for country these days, but when she gets into a more traditional country thing--they call it "old country" now--she tears it up. I'd love to see her do more of that sort of thing, but she probably woundn't sell as many records (or downloads). By the way, I think that's the great Leon Rhodes on guitar on "Make The World Go Away".
John Beef--I've done a lot of trio work, a bunch of it playing country or funk where it needed a more layered "little parts" approach, and that's a challenge when all yo've got behind you is a bass player and a drummer, and often I had to do it with weak players. That's when you feel like you're trying to swim upstream with a 50-pound weight tied to each ankle. At least in a rock or blues power trio, you can use a big fat overdriven tone and fill things up that way, but that's not an option with traditional country or funk. Back in the '70's, I got threatened with losing the gig (R&B/funk trio) if I hit my distortion pedal one more time! The last country band I was in was seven pieces, and I actually got to play guitar parts, at least if everybody could make the gig--sometimes I had to cover for steel or fiddle or keyboard depending on who was or wasn't there, and do it with a guitar...

sergiodeblanc
04-17-2013, 01:36 PM
Back in the '70's, I got threatened with losing the gig (R&B/funk trio) if I hit my distortion pedal one more time!

I love it!

sergiodeblanc
11-05-2013, 02:33 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehpYg0NsGqA

I've spent the last two days jamming along in front of the mirror to this tune, LOVE this! Little guitar rules.

tabl10s
11-07-2013, 10:54 PM
Loved it!
gh-end
Very, very cool little fills, from the percussionist to the bass to the keyboard to the guitars...

A very even tempered arrangement. Of course, it doesn't hurt that SADE is hot hot hot!

This is my Sade moment and the only song of hers that I really like. To hear it on Vinyl on a quality High-End audio system can be transcending.