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Beginner question

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TheEbida  
26 Feb 2010 18:55 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
Hey, I started learning on a acustic guitar and like it... I have been trying to find a cheap electric to play and did so... I bought a small practic Berringer amp and all is good... Here comes the stupied beginner part of the question... When you play electric guitar there is not a lot of open cords used correct? I have found that they just sound....... UMMMMM like crap.. Or is that just my amp etc... Power cords are good and notes sound good..... Just wondering...
Schecter_player  
26 Feb 2010 19:51 | Quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 3
Typically playing complex chords don't sound very good if you use distortion. Are you playing with distortion, or just clean?
Phip  
26 Feb 2010 20:10 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 45
Moderator
I'm kind of new to electric too but my gut tells me that open chords should sound just as nice on your electric as they do on your acoustic and so far that has been my experience. So, IMO something is wrong with either your settings or the guitar.
Phip
gx1327  
26 Feb 2010 22:34 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
my guess is it has to do with distortion? not a lot of experience with electric guitar, but i fiddle with settings on my amp. using a clean channel i can play songs with open chords nicely. using a filthy channel makes any complex chord (more than 3 notes) sound muddled
Mici  
27 Feb 2010 05:48 | Quote
Joined: way back
Kosovo
Karma: 9
I can only agree with Schecter_player and gx1327.
If you use distortion, "proper chords" will sound like crap. Power "chords" work just fine.
When you're playing clean, though, open chords and everything else should sound just as good.
With distortion I DO use Major and Minor chords but usually nothing beyond that because it will be... well, too distorted.

Before I'd bought my electric, I mostly played only open chords and while watching videos of people playing electric guitar I noticed they mostly used barre chords. When I bought mine I figured why: it's just much more easier (at least to me) to play barre chords on an electric than on acoustics.
TheEbida  
27 Feb 2010 08:29 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
OK...cool.. I will mess with it a little more and see.. I think the little amp I am useing my be why.
EMB5490  
27 Feb 2010 08:36 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 1
Licks: 1
Karma: 31
this may seem silly, but are you in tune?
TheEbida  
27 Feb 2010 09:32 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
Yea... I am in tune I have one of those guage tuner that you can plug the guitar into.. Now would it make a difference that I have a guitar with humbucker pick ups because they have more of a hum to them right... I hear the cords when I play them open there just not clean.... I think it may be because I have a cheap amp.
carlsnow  
27 Feb 2010 09:39 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
Almost ‘all of the above’ = true

Here are my 2-cents for your consideration:

The old man, Phip… Okay That ‘Older than ME’ man, Phip narrowed focus and nailed the crux of this ‘Problem’

1st lets consider that there are 3 Main Chord Types

1- Open Chords: “Folk”-“Cowboy”-etc
(I will limit these to the first 4 or 5 frets though ‘;they’ can be found anywhere on the neck)

2- Barre Chords : The ‘Main’ being simple Maj-Min-7-Min/Maj 7…etc AKA: ‘the easy Barres’ (and I’ll toss in their small children; those little 2-fingered BS things called ‘power’ chords … now that they have been mentioned)

3- OTHER: These are what many refer to(not by me) as “jazz chords” LOL :
Though many of these “jazz” chords are Barred MOST are not. Most involve more finger-interaction, thumb-bass, open or deadened strings far above the 5th fret, and so forth and so on. …Most of these can be played (though voiced differently) like ‘standard’ open chords.

(I have 50min till student #1 lol so I may miss something in my haste)

Add an electric guitar to the mix and what happens to these chords?
NOTHING
On a properly tuned and intonated elec-plank these chords will sound, well, like they are being played on an electric guitar…and will be easier to play than on the acoustic guitar(best to practice everything on an acoustic anyways, to improve strength, clarity and tone (tone lives in wood and fingers).

Add Overdrive via box (not Distortion just yet) or simply Overdrive your amp and you may find that these chords get a bit mangled—no ‘secret recipe’ to making them ‘sound’ well just a small flick of the wrist (Volume Pot). Gaining control of your volume pot will allow you to go from clean to blazing with a small twist (I use my pinky) up or down.
The more complex a chord the more versed in it you must be as adding overdrive will ‘showcase’ the faults in your playing via upping the sensitivity/output.

Add Distortion and you can still play many of these chords quite cleanly BUT it takes ‘touch’ and ‘touch’ takes a LOT of practice. Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, the late Frank Zappa, Paul Gilbert, Vai, Mike Stern –etc etc etc ALL voice some VERY eclectic (not lol electric, but Eclectic) chords while using overdrive, distortion etc (see also Hendrix, Jimi)
With no problem (practice again).

Here is the Judgment call”
“Do I play this A9add6 cleanly enough to crank it?”—“is this sound ‘right(to you)’ for overdrive?”—“am I using too much distortion during my rhythm parts?”—“is there a LESS complex way to voice this chord?”
-ETC

Putting a LOT of quality time into ACOUSTIC chordal playing will yield the maximum results. If you only own an Electric guitar, Putting a LOT of quality time into playing these chords through a CLEAN amp setting, will help immensely.

In the end ‘a chords a chords a chord’ and should be able to be voiced by the player on any guitar set at any reasonable (no Flanger+Phase+Harmonizer--LOL) sound, clean or dirty. The trick is learning what chords where and when and how…and that’s something you will have to explore for yourself through the years.

My Suggestion to all who are considering =
(if ya can) get an acoustic guitar, and for at least a year or so practice all your chords and ‘leads’ on IT, rather than your electric. This will GREATLY help you Elec-Git skills, as everything is far far easier to play on an electric, Dig?

Hope this helped someone,

RAWK!
Cs


Global Disclaimer :
Carl Snow is an old, jaded & slightly bitter old man who cannot be held accountable for anything, much less his opinionatedly opinionated opinions or those of his imaginary friends. We sincerely apologize if this Carl Snow and/or its behavior have infected you or others with its ugly brain and its juices.
GuitarGeorge  
27 Feb 2010 09:51 | Quote
Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Licks: 3
Karma: 6
I just realized I need to get a steel-stringed acoustic. As soon as possible. Thank you Carl Snow.

@TheEbida: Humbuckers have LESS hum compared to single coil.
TheEbida  
27 Feb 2010 17:25 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
Great info and advise... Thanks all.... I usally play the acustic because it is just easier to grab off the wall and play no cords to plug in and power to turn on, but as explained here in this thread it hurts less to play the electric..LOL... Agian thanks!!!!
TheEbida  
27 Feb 2010 17:26 | Quote
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
United States
Karma: 2
@guitargeorge LOL... OK that makes sence... Its in the name bucking the hum....LOL
GuitarGeorge  
27 Feb 2010 17:34 | Quote
Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Licks: 3
Karma: 6
TheEbida says:
Its in the name bucking the hum

exactly ;)


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