Chord voicing affect sound?



  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,459
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    If a soloist cant react to a tastefully played 9th rather than a 7th he's either not listening or artistically limited. Just my $0.02
    Hmm, nah. If you're frequently playing tall chords as a rhythm player, you're telling the soloist where to go, and then they have less options avail - you might think you're adding to the music, but you're not, you're taking things away.

    And I don't think it's fair to say someone who doesn't react to that is "not listening or artistically limited", perhaps the soloist was in the middle of another idea. If you had a line built around, say, a lingering flat 9 or sharp 9, you can't always just adjust it to a natural 9 on the spot. The whole flavour depends upon the notes that have already come beforehand.

    You might argue that a 9th which was clashing was not a "tastefully played" 9th, but the reality is you can't reliably predict where the soloist wants to go - not until you've been playing with each other for years, have built up a good familiarity together and some of that magical musical telepathy is kicking in.
  • Posts: 4,816
    In absence of time and a better argument really and at the risk of being tone deaf, I'm just gonna say that whole "don't step over the soloist" thing was always a moot to me.

    Two accompaniment instruments yes, they should stay out of each other's way, or pay attention to the register and not use different extensions at the same time and such.

    Does anybody have an example of it being done in a bad way? A soloist and accompanist.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • @Charles Meadows If your chord damping changes with different fingerings its back to the woodshed....SLOWLY.....And hopefully @dennis will sometime soon publish his chording exercises. The ones he taught me were wizard. Cleaned up a lot of junk that had crept into my playing
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited January 2018 Posts: 3,320
    Wim, yes exactly, I just don't think I could react to a soloist that fast unless I've played with them a bunch. I just don't have that skill. Better for me to play it safe.

    Buco, yeah for sure, it also helps me not clash with another rhythm player, but first of all I always defer to the soloist. I feel like as a rhythm player it is my job to provide a foundation, help them sound good, and cover the basic harmonic structure (triad and maybe a 6th... or a b7-for a dominant). I always think it is 'safer' to do less and avoid doing too much. A good soloist really doesn't need our 'help' with color tones especially in this genre IMHO. A good soloist has a ton of stuff going on. It isn't like funk or something where it is mostly 'about' the rhythm section (like the whole band is a rhythm section). That's why it takes a really interesting soloist to really make this genre work. There just isn't that much going on typically in the rhythm section except the bass hitting 1 and 5 every other beat and the rhythm guitar pulsing out la pompe. And triads actually sound cool IMHO. Try them it's a nice change. If the soloist isn't pretty badass it isn't going to be that interesting IMHO. In contrast, you can take a genre like funk which is all 'groove' and no one even needs to take a solo. That all said, if a soloist isn't that accomplished I will definitely get 'busier' to try to help fill out the sound.

    Jazza, yep. Simplify and slow it down. A while back I 'progressed' to the point where I finally realized that my pompe really sucked. I was lucky enough to get a few lessons from Gonzalo and he helped a lot. Initially, all we played was Am6 (5x45xx) and even completely damped the 2 and 4 to isolate the 1 and 3 to really break it down, then added in the 2 and 4. Really helped me get the feel of it, at least I'm not disgusted with my pompe anymore.

    The flip side is that a soloist probably will NEVER get mad at you for NOT playing a bunch of color tones, but they may not be that excited about it if you are constantly throwing in color tones. IMHO keep it light and dry and keep good time and you have done ur job. If you sneak in a color tone here or there where it makes sense and helps the soloist that's gravy but not necessary. Let whomever is trying to sit in Django's chair add the fills and flair.

    Ok lunch break over, back to the shop....
  • PompierPompier MarylandNew Cigano GJ-15
    Posts: 62
    I'm finding this discussion very helpful. On a related note, I'd be curious to hear how experienced players handle the volume of their rhythm playing. Listening to some big-name backstage jams on Youtube, it sounds like to be heard over two people playing la pompe in natural acoustics, the lead player has to have a pretty robust tone, and even then some fine detail is being lost. If the volume of lead playing isn't being specially amplified, do you adjust the volume of your accompaniment depending on who's playing the lead?
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited January 2018 Posts: 3,320
    Yeah for sure you should quiet down especially in a jam with a lot of people comping. Or just lay out. If u can't hear the soloist u r playing too loud. But in any event, the only time you really need to beat the tar out of the strings is if you r playing un-amplified maybe in a trio setting with bass and lead player and you really just need to be heard. Otherwise, light and dry.

    BTW, in the post I did above, I didn't mean to imply that a rhythm section has an 'easy' job. Quite the contrary, it's really hard to sound swinging and keep good time. In fact, playing in a good rhythm section is a wonderful thing!
  • edited January 2018 Posts: 1,233
    @Pompier In my experience, you adjust to the soloist. In my playing situation, we have a singer, multi-instrumentalist, two guitar players, and a bass player. We never drown out the singer. The multi player will switch between sax (loud) and melodica (softer). The other guitar player has a strong right hand when soloing and projects well, whereas I play a bit softer. The bass player solos. As my primary role is rhythm, I adjust the volume of my playing to not only the information I stated above, but also to what is happening at that moment.

    Tommaso Papini (at DiJ) made the suggestion that rhythm is an act of devotion to the soloists. This has stuck with me since I heard this in 2013. Kamlo said something to the effect of on a scale of 1-10, rhythm players should be around 6, but should adjust as necessary both up and down, but never overpowering the soloist. That's been a good rule of thumb for me as well.

    It sure is tempting to fall in love with the sound of these guitars, especially when they are barking so nicely. But it's also satisfying on another level to lay out that rhythm carpet where the good soloists are able to do what they need to do.

    Hope this doesn't come across as preachy. I've been the loud guy in the room/jam. These are just a few of the things that work for me in my twice weekly gig.
  • terrassierterrassier France
    Posts: 101

    Tommaso Papini (at DiJ) made the suggestion that rhythm is an act of devotion to the soloists.

    The above statement brings Mathieu Chatelain to mind.
    Jim Kaznosky
  • edited January 2018 Posts: 3,707
    I suggest that practicing a skill like playing the same chord 1 bar at each level up and down E.G. pp p mp mf f ff. Take it slowly at first and when you have mastered that at speed try playing through a song in a similar way.

    Dynamics is the most neglected part of this genre in my experience and lots of others as well. Acoustic music in noisy environments tends to preclude the use of dynamics unless one is using sound reinforcment
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Because it might get asked in the post above by @Jazzaferri, this image might help.

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