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Topic: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

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  1. #1

    LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    This is a question for electric guitar players as much as it is about the Prominy Les Paul Custom library itself:

    I noticed that all of the barre chords are played with the bottom string muted. This is actually shown in the tablature on page 116 of the manual. I am just curious why this was done. Is this a standard practice for electric guitar players?

    Tom Boughner

  2. #2
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    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    Because the first string doesn't rock! (1)

    ...

    Personally, whether I play the 1st string as part of a chord (barred or otherwise) depends on the sound I'm going for. If I don't need the high note, I probably won't play it. And it obviously doesn't belong anywhere near a "power chord".

    And barred-A chords are kind of a drag to get the 1st string to ring out on. So you won't hear that a lot.

    (My dad dislocated the last knuckle on his left ring finger when he was playing baseball as a kid, and he got a reverse 60 or 70 degree bend out of the deal -- pretty awesome for playing clean barred-A chords. So when I was 12 I got someone to throw baseballs at me so I could try to do the same thing. After a few attempts, I realized that I wasn't very likely to get exactly the right kind of injury, so I gave up... )

    - Stefan

    (1) It does, of course, if you're playing lead, but it rarely rocks as part of a chord.

  3. #3

    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    I don't have this sample library, but I assume by 'bottom string' that you mean the low string (often tuned to an open E).

    It's common to mute this string in barre chords. Unmuted, it tends to overpower the higher strings in the chord (especially with distortion).

    But there are examples of barre chords played without muting any strings. Pete Townsend comes to mind.

    Mark

  4. #4

    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    Now I'm confused.

    Do you mean 'muted' as in palm muted, to dampen the string with your hand

    OR

    Do you mean 'muted' as in you don't hear the sound?

    If it's palm muted, then you are probably talking about the low string. If the sound is muted, then you probably mean the highest string.

    For distorted chords, you'd rarely hit the high string in a power chord. But for clean power chords I hit all of the strings.

  5. #5

    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    Thanks for the replies.

    Briody - I meant the 1-string, which is actually the high E on the guitar. By muted, I mean that this string is not heard. I am a novice acoustic guitar player (about a year) and know that typically, on an acoustic, you want that 1-string to sound nice and clear. I didn't realize electric players actually try to avoid it when playing chords!

    Thanks for the tips.

    Now I have another question. In the LPC library, the minor chords are all only played on the three highest pitched strings (1,2,3). Is this also common? I am finding that it sounds strange to mix major and minor chords with this library because the minor chords are only on strings 1,2,3 while the major chords are 6,5,4,3,2. They are obviously much meatier than the minor chords.

    And finally, is there really no Em chord in the open chords? That is one of the most common open chords, yet it seems to be missing.

    Thanks again,
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by tombo
    Thanks for the replies.

    Briody - I meant the 1-string, which is actually the high E on the guitar. By muted, I mean that this string is not heard. I am a novice acoustic guitar player (about a year) and know that typically, on an acoustic, you want that 1-string to sound nice and clear. I didn't realize electric players actually try to avoid it when playing chords!

    Thanks for the tips.

    Now I have another question. In the LPC library, the minor chords are all only played on the three highest pitched strings (1,2,3). Is this also common? I am finding that it sounds strange to mix major and minor chords with this library because the minor chords are only on strings 1,2,3 while the major chords are 6,5,4,3,2. They are obviously much meatier than the minor chords.

    And finally, is there really no Em chord in the open chords? That is one of the most common open chords, yet it seems to be missing.

    Thanks again,
    Tom
    I've been playing guitar since 1967. You probably already know, there are many ways to voice every chord and also a few different positions on the neck to play each chord using the same notes in the same order. Different strings will give you a different sound and feel. It's all up to the player at the moment and how the player sees his "sound" fitting into the performance.

    Some electric players might avoid the high E on certain voicings and on other voicings it might be it is essential, to them.

    There really aren't any fixed rules even though the traditional teaching method usually dictates specifc voicings for specific situations and styles.
    Experience with the instrument, over time, reveals that the teaching method is just a beginning. The real education is in using the instrument in countless different situations and arangements.

    If, at the moment, I know I'm only allowed to use 3 strings to do a major or minor chord then my choice is going to be using 2,3, and 4 with the root on the bottom or 3,4, and 5 putting the 5th on the bottom.
    Using 1,2, and 3 would seem a bit weak to me, unless it was the only available range left open by the other instruments in the ensemble.

    I haven't heard the library.

    Steve

  7. #7
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    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    What ^ Steve said; it all comes down to what you are looking for sound and playability-wise.

  8. #8

    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    Thanks guys. I understand what your saying in the context of real guitar playing. I guess I am hoping that Akihito or someone else associated with Prominy will chime in on why they chose to only use 1-2-3 string voicings for the minor chords. As complete as this library is, this seems kind of strange to me.

    Tom

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    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    Is it maybe possible that in the world of MIDI, adding too many strings to one chord would make it sound unrealistic?

  10. #10

    Re: LPC - Why is the 1 string not played on barre chords?

    The experienced guitarists (sbkp, Briody, Steve_Karl, and RiffWraith) have already given you the right answers.

    In addition, there are several reasons;

    Simply, the normal barre minor triad chord using an electric guitar doesn't sound very cool in many cases. (Of course it depends on the situation you are in.)

    The guitarist and I talked about the minor triad chord when we recorded LPC. As it sounds undefined, (especially when the chord sound is distorted with an amp or amp simulator.)
    We had decided to record the chord in that way so users can make use of it in various ways.

    You can use it as a defferent chord.
    for example,
    Em = Cmaj7 = Am7(9)

    You can also use it one of the notes in a riff / lick.


    LPC includes m7 and m7(9) in barre chord.
    If you need a barre minor chord, you can use them.

    I hope this answers your question.

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