Soloing in a 3 piece

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mattacjonesmattacjones Frets: 224
Any ideas on this? When soloing in my band as I switch from rhythm to lead, it always feels like the bottom has dropped out of the band. Net result is almost like there's no backing apart from drums. Is there a way to deal with this? Obviously not an issue with a 4 piece with a second rhythm instrument like another guitar, and the bass always seems adequate when not soloing. Should I just get my bass guy to turn up the volume, play more notes? Just feels very 'exposed' to me. Anyone else have the same thing? It could be I'm just crap, but somehow in the 4 piece setting it all feels much more comfortable and meshed together! 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33342
    edited September 28
    A bigger, more scooped solo sound helps - the opposite of what you need if there’s another guitar - which may need a bigger amp if you currently use something fairly small. I always found space-filling effects like delay and phaser really filled out the sound too, but you don’t want to overdo it (especially something like phaser).
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  • What sort of sound does your bassist have? I'm in a 3pc and the bassist tends to have a wee bit of drive on his core bass tone and also uses a Fuzz for some tracks. I use a bit of delay to fill out my lead tone but I wouldn't say it leaves a hole, in fact it negates the use for a bunch of pedals to get your lead tone to cut through the other guitar sound which is great! We tend to have the bass a bit louder than usual too, that may help?
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1698
    I used loads of double stops and thumb over the top stuff to re enforce the chord changes. Imply the chord progression through the solo. Jimi Hendrix videos are your friend here really.

    When I went to a two guitar band I had to cut it all out as I was completely overplaying.  
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  • I play in a 4piece- me on guitar,  bass , drums,  vocals. 

    I have some big solo sections. My pedalboard has chorus, delay and reverb on,  fairly mild but enough to give a thickening sound and sense of depth,  but during solos my bassist simply digs in deeper with his fingers getting more intensity that way,  the drummer also tends to work the ride cymbal. It works well as I've never felt exposed and also I use a clean boost pedal which projects me to the forefront of the mix so I've no where to hide.   Sounds awesome. 
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  • vizviz Frets: 5024
    edited September 30
    I love it when the rhythm drops away to make way for the solo. In fact it can be incredibly effective when the bassist and drummer actually play even quieter for the solo, to really help bring it out. Yes it is a different artform from the typical rhythm-guitar-backed band and it does sound different, but that doesn’t mean it’s missing something, it’s just different. 

    I think it’s most effective when the solo is really well written with great melody and lots of implied harmony. You can perfect this approach by creating and practising your solos without any accompaniment, and making sure they make enough sense on their own. Then in the live environment make sure you have enough boost for your solo. Van Halen and Hendrix were great at it. Also jazz trios. Wes Montgomery for instance. 

    I was asked to dep in a jazz band the other day - the guitarist, drummer and keyboard player were all absent so during the solos it was just me and the bassist! It just meant I had to try to improvise extra-musical solos. It was fun but a bit hair raising. 
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  • Get another guitarist and play different rhythm parts, such as one doing open chords and the other barre/power chords up the neck.  Or use different guitars like a Strat and a LP.

    I found his by accident as a beginner. I couldn't play the same chord voicings as my bandmate, but we sounded good. I convinced him to let me on the band because people said it sounded hollow when he took a solo.

    Big fat sound, and you keep the backing during a solo.
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 79
    Just keep doing it. If it sounds a bit empty, don’t worry about it, just keep going. In my case, when I started doing this, what happened was that the sudden empty sound when I started to solo scared me into being tentative. This led to the bassist and drummer also feeling a bit less confident and so the whole thing started to be less than convincing.

    So the main thing is to keep going - it gets easier and better the more you do.

    The second thing is for you (and the band!) to focus on keeping you time sense good as you ease into your solo. It only takes s subtle loss of confidence for your timing to get a bit weak - then you soon sound unconvincing. I don’t mean falling-apart weak - just a subtle loss of momentum. It may help you remind yourself that it really doesn’t matter if things get quieter/emptier as long as the feeling of the music keeps going. As someone above said, think of how jazz bands sound when transitioning between a strident horn solo and a weak and watery archtop guitar solo - drastic drop in volume/fulness, but (ideally!) no drop at all in musical intensity.
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  • I love playing in a three piece.  You'll be more conscious that it sounds like something is missing than the audience, and that tends to tempt you into overplaying.   Don't be frightened of the space, relax and enjoy it! 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3613
    I think it depends on what the situation is. If your playing covers and solo's that  need to sound close to the originals then only one guitar bass and drums is a bit limiting. In that situation I trigger samples .... usually non time specific pads. A subtle keyboard pad triggered fattens up the sound when you solo
    If it's originals or covers where you don't need to to copy whats there then you can write solo's that imply the chord changes themselves, use drone strings, octaves ... all kinds of tricks
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • theimageofalltheimageofall Frets: 29
    edited September 30
    It would depend what you are trying to achieve in my opinion. I’ve played in bands with two guitars, but much prefer playing in one guitar bands. 

    Im currently playing in a rock band playing originals and have a couple of tricks I use. Delay is your friend here, but not too much as has been mentioned.

    Our bass player usually kicks in a micro pog to double the guitar at a lower volume as well (he runs a guitar amp as well for times like this), which can help fill the sound out.

    I prefer a three piece band for clarity purposes actually, you can hear everything the guitar does, which can be a blessing and a curse!
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2433
    Listen to some 3 piece outfits. Police, bad co, Jam etc. Especially live performance. Structure the solo to suit with suggestion of melody and whatever else you want to fit in. Don't over think it, only other guitar players are scoring you- and that means they're not gigging and you are!
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20604
    I never do it.

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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 4044
    ICBM said:
    ...I always found space-filling effects like delay...   ...really filled out the sound too...
    Delay is your friend here, but not too much as has been mentioned.
    Not trying to hijack the thread but what sort of settings do you use on the delay. I've tried using one and while it's great for Joshua Tree type sounds, I've never really got it to work for just 'filling out'.
    It might look like I'm listening to you, but in my head I'm playing my guitar.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33342
    My usual setting was the longest delay on a Boss DM-2, which I think is 300mS. Probably 2-3 repeats. I also sometimes used about 420mS on a digital delay, but I can’t remember why other that it just seemed to work! Never used tap tempo.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 565
    Some people say to add delay to the guitar. Some people say to get bassist to play busier or with od. Some day do get the drummer to use crash/splash instead of hihat.
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  • JMP220478JMP220478 Frets: 152
    What type of music are you playing, whats your current rig and during solos do you change your basic sound / volume ?   
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  • theimageofalltheimageofall Frets: 29
    edited October 3
    HAL9000 said:
    ICBM said:
    ...I always found space-filling effects like delay...   ...really filled out the sound too...
    Delay is your friend here, but not too much as has been mentioned.
    Not trying to hijack the thread but what sort of settings do you use on the delay. I've tried using one and while it's great for Joshua Tree type sounds, I've never really got it to work for just 'filling out'.
    I use a fairly short delay time with only a few repeats, not mixed in too loudly. Too much can lead to smearing of the sound, I’ve found.

    I don’t play lead with a million notes in though, so tend to be able to avoid any notes running into each other. 
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 136
    Agreeing with others here - spacey effects like delay will help tons, especially shortish (but not slapback) delay with medium repeats, and maybe even a bit of chorus? And as others have said, get the bassist to add some drive or fuzz to bulk out the sound, as long as it doesn't muddy up the overall mix too much. 
    Pedals. 
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 593
    The bass player in my three piece goes up an octave during the solos in some songs
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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 16
    I always play with another guitarist for that reason, but in a previous band I was the only guitarist, and I always got the drummer to a fill just befor the solo, and end the solo on a crashing chord.
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