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Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area

sharyn 17 Apr 09 - 09:30 AM
katlaughing 17 Apr 09 - 12:20 PM
sharyn 17 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM
sharyn 17 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM
PoppaGator 17 Apr 09 - 02:02 PM
sharyn 17 Apr 09 - 04:24 PM
mkebenn 17 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM
Jack Campin 17 Apr 09 - 08:44 PM
sharyn 17 Apr 09 - 11:44 PM
mkebenn 18 Apr 09 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 09 - 11:04 AM
Stringsinger 18 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM
mkebenn 18 Apr 09 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 09 - 12:05 PM
sharyn 18 Apr 09 - 12:20 PM
mkebenn 18 Apr 09 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,guest Ian 18 Apr 09 - 01:05 PM
mkebenn 18 Apr 09 - 01:13 PM
sharyn 18 Apr 09 - 03:27 PM
mkebenn 18 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM
sharyn 18 Apr 09 - 04:59 PM
Stringsinger 19 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM
sharyn 19 Apr 09 - 02:34 PM
sharyn 19 Apr 09 - 11:18 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Apr 09 - 02:29 AM
VirginiaTam 20 Apr 09 - 03:13 AM
sharyn 20 Apr 09 - 01:43 PM
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Subject: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 09:30 AM

Hello All,

I am a singer who sometimes plays guitar. I have a pretty spare guitar style in the best of times, but after having broken my left hand in two places I have trouble playing my own arrangements. Does anyone know someone who plays with a lot of space between the notes, preferably someone who likes to play accompaniments, ideally someone interested in the exercise of reproducing a style?

By the way, I do hand exercises, have consulted doctors and hand therapists and I do practice guitar -- it's just not enough at the moment to let me play normally.

Thanks for your help.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:20 PM

I hope it is only a temporary loss of action for your playing, Sharyn. Good luck in finding someone to accompany you.


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM

Thanks, Kat,

I'm trying to make another recording and can't play some of the stuff I've been singing for years. If I can't find the right player I may just step away for six months or so.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM

Never having heard you before - is the autoharp an option?


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM

Nope -- don't think so. Thanks though. I have heard some good fingerpicking autoharp playing, but the sound is too bright.


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 02:02 PM

Does your prospective accompanyist really have to be "minimalist"?

I understand that you'd like to duplicate your own "pretty spare style" of playing, but perhaps you could allow room for a different instrumental approach now that you need to become half of a duo. (And especially if you won't be able to resume soloing, and will need to remain a non-playing vocalist indefinitely.)

Of course, you don't want a lot of slick show-offy guitaristry to overwhelm your vocals ~ but you should remain open to the possibility that a good musician, someone with more advanced skills than you ever had yourself, might well understand the requirements of playing as an accompanyist and could make your act better than ever without detracting from your singing.


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 04:24 PM

Hi PoppaGator,

"Minimalist" was the best way I could think of to express in a few words for a thread title "as few notes as possible, as few chords as possible, as much space and silence between the notes as possible." I am a zen student.

As you can imagine, I'm feeling kind of frustrated right now and unspeakably sad: imagine your own playing decimated if you will and you will have some idea of where I am. I want to play and I can't get clear notes and chords in many cases in songs I have played for years and was ready to record before I broke my hand.

I need to experiment with different players, different sounds, to get something that I like while I work on my own playing. I may need a hiatus from recording. I don't know what I need, I'm casting about for alternatives.

Nothing against your skills. What I like to hear other people play is different than what I want to hear when it's my stuff. I'm feeling my way. Have patience.

I need somebody who loves what I do -- or what I used to be able to do. I never said I had advanced skills of any sort, just that I had a distinctive style of playing, which I like because it is mine, Now I may have to build something new: it seems wise to look at a range of construction materials and techniques.

Perhaps this post is better continued in a personal conversation or a PM. Thank you for your input.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: mkebenn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM

Sharyn, I've been playing with a style that I think is similar, a less is better" approach so as to emphasise the lyric. I was never at all flashy in any respect. I'm so sorry for your injury. Hope you heal compleatly. Mike


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:44 PM

Maybe it would jar less if you recast the accompaniment for a completely different instrument or instruments? Piano, bowed strings, vibraphone, electric bass, wordless backing vocals? (I've no idea what you sound like so this is guesswork).


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 11:44 PM

Thanks, Mike -- I am a less is more kind of a gal by necessity and I've gotten used to it and fond of that aesthetic.

And Jack, I might try a good portion of that, save the electrics. I'm a good singer and have done some a capella work, have used fiddles (used to play one a bit), one concertina part on my last recording. I am grieving my losses and rehabbing my hand as best I can and looking at alternatives all at the same time: I want to know what my options are.

I love this forum: pose a question and get varied answers from various people. Anybody else want to weigh in? Anyone know anyone I should contact?

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:56 AM

Sharyn, I'm in New York,Buffalo, not the city, I'd be interested in hearing you. Is your music available? Mike


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 11:04 AM

suggesting as an alternative approach..

a good quality mellow toned [Indian style] Harmonium...

if you can manage to pump the bellows rythmicaly with your left hand,
then your right hand can be used for playing
whatever sparse chords or minimalist melody/bass lines
as you require in time with your own heart beat and breathing..


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM

Sharyn,

Playing the right accompaniment is more important than showing off skill. Burl Ives
never played much guitar. Um plunk. He got standing ovations in concerts.

Guitar players often play for each other. This is incestuous.

Singers are well to find the right accompaniments albeit minimalist as in
.

Keep doing what you are and not worry about playing a lot of guitar. To paraphrase
Shakespeare "The song's the thing whereby to catch the conscience of the king".


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:04 PM

I've often suspected that people who don't play don't know or care. Unless you're listening to Simon or Doc, of course. Mike


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:05 PM

.. or a Baritone Dulcimer....


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:20 PM

Mike -- I sent you a PM with CD information.

Stringsinger -- I grew up with ten-inch Burl Ives records, learned all his songs.

My playing now has several technical problems due to a left ring finger permanently bent at a thirty degree angle. I get ugly buzzing because I can't stretch it enough to reach the frets. I get strings accidentally muted because I can't arch the finger enough to clear the strings in some positions. I can't change chords fast anymore and there are chords I can no longer play at all. It's this kind of stuff that is driving me toward considering accompanists -- I like spare, but I don't like ugly, unintended sounds. The flip side is I don't want someone else's vision cluttering up what I do (and it's hard to give up being in charge). Of course, with the right collaborator, it could just be fun. So I'm looking around.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:37 PM

Thanks, Sharyn, Mike


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: GUEST,guest Ian
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 01:05 PM

How about alternate tunings and a slide ?


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 01:13 PM

PM sent. Mike


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 03:27 PM

Got it. Thanks, Mike. PM replied to.

I have used an open G tuning a bit, Ian. Haven't gone to slide yet, but wouldn't rule it out without a try. Thanks

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:39 PM

PM tag, you're it. Mike


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:59 PM

How funny -- I often say, "Phone tag, you're it."

Sharyn

I still haven't heard about any Bay Area guitarists, although a few people have told me they are everywhere. Perhaps no one else likes minimal accompaniments?


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM

"My playing now has several technical problems due to a left ring finger permanently bent at a thirty degree angle. I get ugly buzzing because I can't stretch it enough to reach the frets. I get strings accidentally muted because I can't arch the finger enough to clear the strings in some positions. I can't change chords fast anymore and there are chords I can no longer play at all. It's this kind of stuff that is driving me toward considering accompanists -- I like spare, but I don't like ugly, unintended sounds. The flip side is I don't want someone else's vision cluttering up what I do (and it's hard to give up being in charge). Of course, with the right collaborator, it could just be fun. So I'm looking around."

Alternate tunings with open string chords is a good suggestion given above.
Also, the bar used in slide dobro ala Phelps. You could consider the five-string banjo
also which doesn't always require the use of all left hand fingers in accompaniments.

What you need in the accompanist is someone who considers the need of the song and performance before their own prowess on an instrument. Actually, you don't need a virtuoso, just someone maybe who may not be the best technically but can add to what you are doing. You can form some of the chords by avoiding the use of the left ring finger.

Also, along with a six-string guitar, you might employ for your own accompaniment a four-string instrument such as a tenor guitar. (tuned like a uke). Some of the chords that use open strings can be formed with index and middle fingers. This could be augmented with a second 6-string guitar player.

The issue of "control" is always a big one. You might have to adapt an attitude that would allow for a collaborative musician to help bring across the performance and song with imput.


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:34 PM

Thanks, Stringsinger -- Lots of good suggestions here -- and a good point re: control. I think my mental chat goes something like, "just because I can't control my finger doesn't mean I'm ready to give up decision-making about what will be played and how it will be played."

I've received, privately, a couple of suggestions about players to contact. I'd like more. I also need to have a chat with my engineer about what he could reasonably do to clean up how I play now. And I will do that when I see him next.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to pay attention to just where and when the problems occur in my playing.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:18 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:29 AM

I may be the only one confused, but having moved about a bit I know of at least a half dozen places that refer to local spaces as the "Bay Area" and at least a couple or eleven that are fairly well known somewhat beyond local areas.

Might it be appropriate to be more specific about which Bay Area is of interest? (We do have people dropping in here from about 7 continents, and there really are several "bay areas" scattered about.)

John


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:13 AM

Sharyn... What a bummer. I was thinking along the same lines as punkfolkrocker.

Though a baritone dulcie has 6 strings the mountain dulcimer has only four. Tunings are variable. Dead simple to get chords and simple notes. Can use a noter in left hand and strum with pick in right hand or pluck single strings.

Hope you find your stand in guitarist. But the dulcimer thing might be just the ticket to keep your spirits up while you recuperate.

Best of luck

tam


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Subject: RE: Minimalist Guitar Players -- Bay Area
From: sharyn
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:43 PM

John in Kansas -- I tried to use SF Bay Area, but it wouldn't fit in the   thread title. That's San Francisco Bay Area. Now you know.

Tam, I used to play dulcimer -- haven't thought of it for years and don't have one anymore, but it might work. Thanks.

Sharyn


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