[in the interests of actually putting content up more often, rather than being so precious about it, I've split this up into two articles, and I'm gonna have to add the example clips soon, rather than waiting for them to be ready before I post this.]
YoungWoo Joh, from Orlando, FL recently sent me an email asking me about the interaction of rhythm guitar and piano. Specifically, he was wondering how not having a piano would, could or should change what he does as a rhythm guitarist in his band (the instrumentation of which is clarinet/sax, trombone, guitar, bass, washboard and vocals). He writes:
"I had originally just been chunking through the changes (a la 4/4 rhythm guitar), but I've come to feel that lacking both a piano and third horn makes it feel like something is missing. In response to this, I've made my (guitar) playing a little more rhythmically creative, though always going back to the 4/4 as the basic rhythm. In addition to that, I've slowly been working up my chordal vocabulary (inversions and extensions) in order to imply movement and for the occasional fill.
The thing is that all of this is sort of being done experimentally, and I was hoping you could give me a little more insight on what else I could be doing on guitar to help fill out the sound."
Let's see if any of this helps….
The Four-Beat Idea vs. Musical Reality
Just because you can, does that mean you should?
Coming up next...
So in part 2, I'll pick up with hitting musical accent figures with the band, and talk about interacting with YoungWoo's particular instrumentation in the next installment.