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That Dry Rhythm Sound

Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
edited August 2007 in Technique Posts: 794
I've been trying to approximate that dry, crisp rhythm sound I hear on Romane's Acoustic Quartet, French Guitar and the Rosenberg's new Roots CDs. (These are all GREAT CDs by the way).

Love that sound, but try as I might, I can't get enough muting on the sharp accents. The rhythm I hear is very dry, only a hint of the chord voicing itself. My approximation is too much chord, too much jaggling of strings. I'm trying to mute with the left hand and occasionally get it. Full six string voicings seem to help because then all six strings can be muted by the left hand. Are they possibly adding right hand palm mute?

Any thoughts?

Craig
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Comments

  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    Hi Craig,
    you should not do any muting with the right hand. You need your right hand to hold a cigarette while playing. Three weeks ago I had a jam session with Wawau Adler and Mario Adler, who played rhythm guitar for Wawau in Samois this year as well. Mario is really an "extra dry" rhythm player and I had the chance to take a close look at his technique. He mutes really only with the left hand. The movement of the right hand with its short accent comes out of the wrist, like you would put out a burning match by shaking it. Mario´s technique is very similar to Nous´sche´s (in Mario´s own words).

    Hope this helps a little bit.

    Best,
    Barengero
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Thanks Berengero. Yes, that does help. "Think Dry", eh? Does any of the hardware make any difference? Guitar, pick, strings? I doubt it but thought I would ask.

    Craig
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    Does any of the hardware make any difference? Guitar, pick, strings?

    Just the usual suspects: A Selmac guitar, a hard and maybe thick pick, Argentines or similar strings…

    Your pick should go through all strings when playing rhythm, so it is indeed a good idea to use those six- five- and (minimal) four-string-voicings. The more strings the better.

    Best,
    Barengero
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
  • pdaiglepdaigle Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 233
    Herve Gaguenetti is another great rhythm guitarist with a very dry sound.

    I was at a masterclass with him and two tips he gave that helped me were:

    - use a very blunt pick (very rounded) or use the side (round edge) of a regular pick (like a Dunlop 500, 1.5mm), not the tip. His pick was a handmade turtle shell pick and the edge pretty much followed the curve of the side of his thumb...VERY blunt.

    - when practicing rhythm, try to play as quietly as you can while keeping up with the beat and the swing feel. A lot of non-gypsy rhythm guitarists play too loudly and they sound harsh (Andreas Oberg made a comment to that effect not too long ago). Good rhythm guitarists never drown the sound of the lead guitarist even at high speeds.

    There you have it. The main secret, of course, is practice, practice, practice.
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    pdaigle wrote:
    Herve Gaguenetti is another great rhythm guitarist with a very dry sound.

    Oh, I agree, I saw him a couple years ago when he played at DFNE (with Ritary), he's great. Crisp as a drummer's high hat.

    Roger on the rounded pick and playing quieter. I'll try both. Thanks!

    Craig
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    edited August 2007 Posts: 527
    Watch Caterina Valente´s right hand technique in that video. (I am not talking about the Jimmy-Rosenberg-fingerstyle). It comes all out of the loose wrist:



    What an exceptional artist!!

    Enjoy,

    Barengero
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Hi Craig,
    I've found that high action helps to achieve a dry sound along with very light left hand pressure and gypsy style voicings.

    Turning the pick so it "swishes" seems to be a big factor of the typical rhythm sound.
    Good luck!
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Barengero wrote:
    What an exceptional artist!!


    WOW!, she's great. Singing, strummin' and chording like mad, scattin' and still finding time to give the bass player a smile at what he is doing (which is not to be sneezed at).

    Roger on the wrist action. She must be double jointed.

    Thanks for posting that!

    Craig
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    BB Harry,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I was thinking about height of the action last night. It is about 3mm now, I'll try boosting it up a bit and see if more helps, I have a box of bridge shims and am used to the drill.

    Roger on the left hand pressure, voicings and the flat side of the pick.

    Thanks,

    Craig
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