Thread: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

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  1. #1
    Voice like Marcel Marceau Aardvark makes parts of me levitate
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    Default Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Hiya folks, just wondered if anyone had any tips for dealing with buzzy guitar playing caused by not holding down the chords well enough.

    Midway through tracking a project which has really great drums and bass (the artist paid for some session guys) but the guitarist is his friend and although he really tried hard (and I pushed for takes as much as I possibly could) theirs basic faults in his technique that I'm stuck with.


    I'm a bit gutted as the drums and bass guys are really good and of a level I rarely get the chance of working with so I had really great hopes for the record until the guitars went down.

    The music is Pop/rock with a lot of Muse influence going on in the sound. The singer/song writer I'm doing this with has yet to do his parts so I'm hoping that he's going to put enough elements down with keys and synths for me not to have to rely on the guitars too much but I know for one song, he really wants the guitars to drive the track.....


    We got 3 sources for each take (close mic, further out mic and DI) and I've sounded the guy out about trying some wilder things with the guitars to get a sound (by avoiding saying to him that the guitars suck).

    Any help, tips or far out processes would be greatly appreciated. I'm already considering trying some vocoded type stuff and creating gated type sounds.
  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Is he "in the band" or just "my guitar-playing buddy"?

    just say straight out to the client/artist that the guitar is very much a boat anchor on the project, and if this is just a mess-around and hang with friends kind of recording, no worries...but if it's intended to be put in front of anyone who matters, he really needs to rethink the guitars.

    When he replies, there you go!

    dwoz
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Throw the guitar player under a bus.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Oh man.

    Alright. Somebody has to ask this.

    Who is the producer?

    What does the producer have to say about The Guitar Tracks That Suck And Yet Serious Thought Is Going Into Using Them Anyway?


    JLE
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  5. #5
    Former burger flipper turned Alshi expert Faded European 'B' actor
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Tread veeeery carefully, but gently suggest the guitar players style doesn't match the rhythm section. I usually compare bands like the Stones with Van halen or some such. If you put Keith in with Van Halen it wouldn't work and if you put Eddie in the Stones it equally wouldn't work. Apples and oranges. Doesn't have to be about skill, it's about matching players.

    Prepare to back down quickly and live with it.

    Cos.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    if they cant do any better, make it sound like a great recording of a bad guitar player, end of story. not everything in this world can be polished to perfection, i say just live with it. theres piles of records out there with fret buzzes and shit like that, people still listened.
  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Well, the first question is this - who's paying for all the bad takes? Make it clear that all the wasted time is being billed; if you're on a "per song" basis make it clear that there is a limit to the time allowed for each song and that after that additional fees are owed.

    If that still doesn't get the point across, edit out the guys parts during mixdown. If the parts are necessary have them doubled by somebody else who can play.

    You can also try using automation to duck the flubbed notes. This would work better on a backing part5 than a lead or featured part.

    That being said, be sure you're not being too picky - if the feel is great a few fret buzzes can be lived with. Don't get into the trap of thinking everything must be perfect.
  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Oh man.

    Alright. Somebody has to ask this.

    Who is the producer?

    What does the producer have to say about The Guitar Tracks That Suck And Yet Serious Thought Is Going Into Using Them Anyway?


    JLE

    as always, the right question
  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    The only trick I know of...

    Make him PRACTICE.






    at gunpoint if needed...
  10. #10
    Voice like Marcel Marceau Aardvark makes parts of me levitate
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    OK here's a more detailed outline.....

    It's a singer song writer who has hired two musicians and got his mate to do the guitar. His budget was very tight (although enough to make sure myself and the session guys got paid). Point is, there's no additional funds on top of that.



    There is no producer and that's one thing I've been feeling would have been REALLY good to have. I feel myself being drawn into saying stuff that a producer might say, but it's not my job and I don't wan't it to be. I just want to be the best engineer I can. Having a producer would have certainly made the sessions flow better IMO.


    I've worked with the guitarist before on a project, the first decent one where I really wanted the credit and I was really cheeky and got a good friend to come in and replace the parts on one of the tracks he hacked. I also did SO much editing on that project, I was really hoping not to have to do that again (I will).

    The replacement guitar only cost me a curry. Unfortunately he's moved to Ireland and I don't have a decent guitarist 5 minutes down the road.


    The over run in time is no problem from my end (may sound crazy) but the priority in my head is o make the best record we can. It was the guitarist who had to leave at a certain time, meaning the last track was a total hack job and really the guitarist credit should go to Pro Tools on that one.


    So that's the stroy
  11. #11
    Voice like Marcel Marceau Aardvark makes parts of me levitate
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Also @ J.E.

    I hear that. This isn't me being picky though, it's not the odd squeak from a chord change, it's pretty much a rattle sound on every strum!


    If it was the usual demo sort of stuff I do I'd just mix and move on but I was really hoping for better on this project. As a fledging studio, we need good audio to build a reputation. At the moment it's going to be like, well the can do a good job on drums, bass and vocals but the guitars suck!
  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Also @ J.E.

    I hear that. This isn't me being picky though, it's not the odd squeak from a chord change, it's pretty much a rattle sound on every strum!


    If it was the usual demo sort of stuff I do I'd just mix and move on but I was really hoping for better on this project. As a fledging studio, we need good audio to build a reputation. At the moment it's going to be like, well the can do a good job on drums, bass and vocals but the guitars suck!
    If you have access to other instruments maybe you could find him a guitar that's easier to play?
  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    He had Strat, Les Paul and 335 to call on (not the cheapy versions either!)


    The Les Paul defo worked best for him but where as I was able to make suggestions from time to time, I didn't have the final say on what guitar would be used for which part.


    Edit: The thought that cropped up quite a few times in my head was sell two guitars and use the money to properly maintain one.
  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    He had Strat, Les Paul and 335 to call on (not the cheapy versions either!)


    The Les Paul defo worked best for him but where as I was able to make suggestions from time to time, I didn't have the final say on what guitar would be used for which part.


    Edit: The thought that cropped up quite a few times in my head was sell two guitars and use the money to properly maintain one.
    A well set up Epiphone or Squier plays a gazillion times better then a baddly set up Gibson or Fender. I 'd pick the first over the latter anyday. Luckily for you a good setup isn 't too expensive.

    About the guitartracks: if the guy sucks, no guitar will fix that. Maybe suggest to put the project in the fridge till he finds a decent player?
  15. #15
    Voice like Marcel Marceau Aardvark makes parts of me levitate
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    We're doing keys tonight so I'll get a vibe off him as we have to listen to the tracks through again. He's pretty switched on so hopefully hearing things back with just me in the room he'll be able to draw on his own conclusions.


    It's important to him for it to sound good (obviously) but there's defo no more money in the pot (or else I could get a replacement)

    There's BFD etc, what about a guitarist replacement plug!?
  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    The only trick I know of...

    Make him PRACTICE.
    Yeah! Great idea! We'll be doing the guitar overdubs in.... October 2014?

    If a guy comes to the studio and needs to "practice", it's either very, very minor adjustments, or he has no business there in the first place.



    got his mate to do the guitar...

    ...there's no additional funds...

    ...There is no producer...

    ...I've worked with the guitarist before... and got a good friend to come in and replace the parts on one of the tracks he hacked...

    ...really the guitarist credit should go to Pro Tools on that one...

    You guys are really not into making it easy for yourselves are you?


    otek
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Personally... I just erase and replace 'em myself on occasion but that is not the engineer's job so...


    How many tracks are there and how many guitar parts are called for?

    Find out and hire Trazan or Mudcat etc... to do them right.


    Even if you can get him to allow a proper player on just one track... he should hear the difference if he does not then finish up the mixing with the lousy parts as given to you and move on to the next record.


    Simple.

    Why use the 'net to just talk about the problem when you can use this place for a suitable solution as well!


    Cheers,
    Aardvark



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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Is he "in the band" or just "my guitar-playing buddy"?

    just say straight out to the client/artist that the guitar is very much a boat anchor on the project, and if this is just a mess-around and hang with friends kind of recording, no worries...but if it's intended to be put in front of anyone who matters, he really needs to rethink the guitars.

    When he replies, there you go!

    dwoz
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Dump the guitarist and hire a keyboardist.

    I know this guy, see...
  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tricks for dealing with poor guitar technique...

    Personally... I just erase and replace 'em myself on occasion
    exactly!! much easier than messin around with flying in non-buzzy chords into other parts...and whatever other remedial method you can come up with.


    but that is not the engineer's job so...
    and thats why nobody will ever suspect the engineer

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