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Author Topic: Finger-style guitar  (Read 1349 times)

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Matthew B

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Finger-style guitar
« on: September 09, 2012, 08:26:51 PM »

An old friend has asked me to figure out some box accompaniments for a finger-style guitar project he's working on.  He composes all of his own stuff, and it's lovely.  He plays in a style that I can best describe as a "waterfall of notes".  He doesn't read music, and is entirely self-taught, so none of this is written down, and he has a hard time describing what he's doing, he just knocks it out. 

Does anyone have any experience with this style of guitar-playing, either as a player or an  accompanist?  Any suggestions as to some music I might listen to where the box or some comparable instrument is used to back up this type of music would be most helpful. 
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 09:25:04 PM »

I play some guitar finger-style, but not exactly 'waterfally'.  I've found that guitar and box can be difficult to fit together successfully in a scenario that's not percussive guitar accompaniment to a box melody, where the box is trying to emulate that guitar rhythm.  It seems to me that the 'sharp transient' dynamics of a guitar are quite different from the more gentle transients of a box, and although it works when the guitar is emphasising the dynamics of a box played in dance music mode, I would struggle to find examples of softer pieces with guitar arpeggios.  However maybe others can suggest examples? 

Finger style bass-chord on the guitar can however very crisp, and as a dance music accompaniment it does work well, IMO.
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forrest

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 05:32:54 AM »

  It would be difficult to give advice without hearing the musical style you mentioned itself.   Does your friend usually play solo, or is he used to playing with others? Does he make enough space for another musician/instrument to inhabit?
    I happen to play both instruments, (not simultaneously though,) so I've worked both sides of the fence. Currently, I am playing in duo with a fiddler, and we have settled into a good groove where we know how to make space for one another, based on the concept that less is more. We also alternate hi and low, legato staccato, play on off-beats, etc. to make the pieces interesting.

 Edit to add:  Matthew, if you or your friend have a decent quality recorder, it can be a great practice tool. Get a recording of the guitar part that he wants accompanied. Then, with headphones, you can practice and experiment along with the music on your own. That  helps you learn the piece, and also to discover what works and and what does'nt with the box. Maybe you are already doing this....
 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 05:40:50 AM by j.w.forrest »
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 07:35:24 AM »

The equivalent on the box is to learn the right hand chords and scales, and practice intermixing them. Your left end goes "pretty sparse" basically a percussion. To play with your friend - you can't both do "arpeggios" at the same time!

Say he is leading  - you can play light right hand chords - and I agree - basically you shouldn't have those buttons pressed more than half the time. You should also "caress" rather than push/pull the bellows to keep the whole effect light.

When he chords for you with he needs similar subtlety while you do your thing - tune or impro/variation. Actually the simpler he chords the better, and the waterfall has to wait. 

I was with a young Galway band on Saturday night at the back of Falcon (Bromsgrove). After an hour or so and a few pints I started into "When you're down and out". "Oh, Patrick does that song". Not sure of how the dynamic happened but he took over singing with guitar and I accompanied. I reckon I used about half the notes I'd employ accompanying myself - but it got specific positive comments.

To get back to the original question - light, and "in chords" try this from, last year's Boombal.  Pascale on accordeon is playing chords, letting her partner cascade the notes on flute and bagpipe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmZmsxDEHRE
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 07:47:45 AM by Chris Ryall »
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oggiesnr

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 08:10:23 AM »

For music to listen to - Martin Simpson and his band which features Andy Cutting (there's stuff on youtube) or some of the work that John Kirkpatrick did backing Leon Rosselson over the years.

Steve
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jb

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 08:47:00 AM »

For music to listen to - Martin Simpson and his band which features Andy Cutting (there's stuff on youtube) or some of the work that John Kirkpatrick did backing Leon Rosselson over the years.
Some Ry/Flaco might give ideas too, but is always worth a listen anyway.
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there ain't no such thing as a free reed

Matthew B

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 10:17:58 PM »

Thanks folks.  Plenty to think about there.  I'll try a few experiments.  At present there seem to be two distinct challenges.  First, I'm only slowly figuring out the chord progressions he's using.  It's all pretty free-form, and some of those guitar chords are tricky for me once they're turned around and taken apart.  Second, "finding the gaps" is taking a while.  I think I may have to encourage him to create a few.

Finally, I'm finding that a box stopped down to a single reed seems to work a little better than my normal Hohner sound.   

Little by little. . .
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Finger-style guitar
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 08:21:47 AM »

The musician who leaves no gaps for others (especially in a duo!) is expressing a wish to play solo  :-\

Quote
Finally, I'm finding that a box stopped down to a single reed seems to work a little better than my normal Hohner sound.

My experience too.  Good luck
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