Strummed guitar

Until now I've been playing mainly in a covers band consisting of bass, keyboard, electric guitar, drums (me) and vocals doing rock and pop covers. Recently I've started playing with some guys from work who have written songs on acoustic guitar and although they might have some finger-picked sections, mainly the guitarist is strumming chords for the majority of each song. (Volume isn't an issue btw - all amplified through our PA.)
I've noticed that I think it often sounds better overall if I play less subdivision - meaning I let their strumming take the role of the hi hat and instead of playing eighth or sixteenth notes on the hats I'll just not play it at all, or play quarters, or offbeats. Similarly with the ride, I'll defer to a quarter note bell rather than constant eighth notes and it sounds better.
I think it's two things: one is space: letting just one instrument be the main actor on the smallest subdivision, and the other is frequency balance: the hats, crashes and ride all have that potential top end to mask or clash with the acoustic guitar.

Has anyone else had similar experiences or observations you would care to share? Any things that worked well for you? (I mounted a tambourine last rehearsal and that sounded good in places.)

Cheers!
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Yup. I use to tour a lot playing country/western and found much of the older tunes are like this. The rhythm guitar is in front of the hh and sometimes a palm/muted acoustic, or or an acoustic with foam or a dollar woven between the strings, would take care of the typical 8ths on the hh. Many times I would use a brush, played on the snare in the right hand as not to step on the guitar.

I also had an acoustic trio, me on drums and percussion, and two acoustic guitars, and had an assortment of shakers, tambourines and brushes to use.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Yes the hi hat can be too much, or too busy. When that happens then I focus on the snare and bass drum beats.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
You are there to support the musicians in front of you. Do what you think sounds best. You gotta let the music breathe.

One thing that helps is that if I'm playing with someone new, I'll say something like, "What kind of vibe do you want?" If the acoustic guitar player says something like "Edwin McCain," then play it straight. If he says "Dave Matthews," well, then you have some license to open up a bit. Just see what he/she wants it to sound like then do your best to make it happen.
 

Sophie23

New member
Yup. I use to tour a lot playing country/western and found much of the older tunes are like this. The rhythm guitar is in front of the hh and sometimes a palm/muted acoustic, or or an acoustic with foam or a dollar woven between the strings, would take care of the typical 8ths on the hh. Many times I would use a brush, played on the snare in the right hand as not to step on the guitar.
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You are there to support the musicians in front of you.
 
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