DjangoBooks.com

NOOB - Why the emphasis on loudness?

deadedithdeadedith New
edited May 2013 in Welcome Posts: 44
Okay, I'm kinda new to the jazz thing - I do have a question: Why the emphasis on loud guitars? It cannot be just for volume, because I see lots of pickups, lots of microphones, lots of amps being used.
Or is the loudness a sign that something has been done right, in the building of the guitar? a key to a quality? Is tone sacrificed for loudness, or do they go together?
Thanks
Dave

Comments

  • Some of us GJ players are into dynamics. Others just play loud to get that certain acoustic ound of a selmac played properly...ie hard
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • JonJon melbourne, australiaProdigy Dupont MD50B, '79 Favino
    Posts: 389
    Most of the people I play with - although I admit this is a dying fetish - really believe in acoustic music. It balances naturally and unobnoxiously in small bars, cafes and concert settings, and is great for small outdoor gigs and jamming. But you do need a loud guitar, and to be able to play it loudly also. Although it seems people are using amps and PA systems more and more, I think this should always be a last resort after your right hand has fallen in a bloodied heap :) The music just sounds a million times better without wires and speakers.

    Probably the main reason though that volume is important is for jamming, and all the many situation where you'll not want to cart an amp around. Not needing to carry an amp everywhere or be dependant on power outlets is one of the best things about Gypsy jazz. It's truly nomadic music :)

    Jon
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,868
    Jon hit the nail on the head...if you're living in an area without an active Gypsy scene you're probably watching a lot of concert vids on youtube which may lead you to believe that everyone is just plugging in so it doesn't matter. However, at its heart, this is an acoustic genre and pretty well every pro can sit down and wail unamplified. You don't necessarily need an absolute canon, but in order to function in an acoustic setting, a good Gypsy guitar does need to meet a certain criteria with regards to volume and tone.

    'm
  • AmundLauritzenAmundLauritzen ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 236
    Great points raised by Jon and Michael which I agree with 100%.

    Some more important points to consider IMO:

    One common misconception is that you have to pick very hard to get a lot of volume. Many beginners make that mistake, and so did I when I was starting out. What happens is that once you push the tempo, your wrist tenses up and the timing goes right out the window.

    Also, a lot of players play over the soundhole which makes the selmac sound more like a dreadnought than Djangos sound. The sweet spot to get the characteristic tone is just where the soundhole begins, or between the soundhole and the bridge. If you go too far towards the neck, the sound will lose it's ballsiness and you're likely to get a "plonk"-sound effect in the picking. Likewise, playing too close to the bridge shortens the sustain, makes it heavier to pick the strings and increases the risk of breaking strings.
    This is just my personal opinion. For someone starting out, spend a lot of time determining where the "sweet spot" is on your particular guitar. Find it and pick there.

    Watch Stochelo, Angelo, Bireli, any accomplished player play: Their wrist is perfectly relaxed. The volume comes from the picking technique which works with gravity to get loudness and tone. Many people try to play this music on selmacs without using gypsy picking. It just won't cut it when there are two or more rhythm guitars that you have to be audible over. Most accomplished rhythm players have developed a sensitivity of dynamics, they will adjust the strength in which they play the pompe to let the soloist be heard. But sometimes in a jam there are five or more rhythm guitars. If you're not using gypsy picking then forget about cutting through.

    These points are worth considering for the beginner. But don't take my word for it, try it out for yourself. Find the "sweet spot", learn relaxed gypsy picking and see and hear for yourself if it doesn't sound so much louder, better and feels more comfortable than any "compromise" method that many players go for.
    Whatever works, works. More power to those who find a compromise method that give them their sound. What I have mentioned in this post are generally agreed upon guidelines to achieve Djangos sound. Take from it what you will :D
  • Volume comes from the force applied to the string. That can be done by a slower movement displacing the string a large amount (beginners trying to play loud would be one example) or speed and taking a smaller bite of string for the same amount of force.

    You get to choose what to focus on. :mrgreen:
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Jazzaferri wrote:
    Volume comes from the force applied to the string. That can be done by a slower movement displacing the string a large amount (beginners trying to play loud would be one example) or speed and taking a smaller bite of string for the same amount of force.

    You get to choose what to focus on. :mrgreen:


    Oh yes ...the force varies as the square of the speed. For example say a pick stroke displaces the string 1 mm at 1m/s (pick from air guesstimate). If you double the string deflection at the same speed you double the force applied to the string. If you double the speed and keep the pick stroke the same the force is 4 times.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,831
    Loud acoustically. No one really wants a quiet guitar. Too hard to coax the sound out of it. Even if you are mic'ing it, it is easier to boost a guitar that already has volume IMHO.

    Would you rather drive a really sweet Fiat or a really cool Ferrari? They both can go 25 but the Ferrari can do 100 if you need it to and still keep all 4 wheels on the pavement.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.063071 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes
Kryptronic