Tech Tip:Being a Dynamic Player: Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2


Collaborating with the Band

By Gary Allen

I mentioned in Part 1 that a guitar player should remember there are other musicians on the stage that need to be heard too. We dealt with your guitar volume drowning out these other players. Let's take the dynamics issue a little further and talk about collaborating with the band as a whole. You can read more about playing dynamics and other topics at a new site I helped create called Guitar Gear Heads.

The magic of live sound happens when the musicians on stage interact with each other to create a sound pleasing to the audience. Too many bands are made up of players who think they need to all play from the beginning to the end of every song. This is especially true of inexperienced lead guitar players. A lead guitar player should not play every note of a song. As you progress you will learn when to play and when not to play. Silence is one of the most dynamic controls that any musician can learn to harness. It will make the notes that you do play stand out even more.

Another thing to remember is that the bass player, rhythm player, or drummer may have a really great part that should stand out during a particular part of a song. These are the times you should back off and support them at a lower sound volume or with silence. Give them a chance to shine for awhile. If you learn to do this they will be better at backing you up when your turn to shine comes. I have seen more frustration in bands caused by guitar players who will not allow any other member of the band to have a moment in the sun.

When the band learns how to divide the parts that stand out and incorporate them into the songs, you will have taken the next step in being a dynamic player and group. Listen to a lot of music and key in on individual instruments and what they are doing. Learn from your favorites. Being dynamic is what separates the big-name acts playing stadiums from the bar band that will never get any further, no matter how hard they try.

Copyright © 2004 Allen © Halberg Publishing

This article was reprinted with the permission of Guitar Gear Heads. Guitar Gear Heads is a registerded trademark of Allen & Hagberg Publishing


Gary AllenGary Allen is a freelance writer for the
Guitar Alliance website.

He has 14 years experience playing guitar and drums for
local country and rock bands in Washington state.