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RE: The guitar as an instrument   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 506
Joined: Jan. 30 2008
From: Americanistan

RE: The guitar as an instrument (in reply to rombsix


my definition of polyphonic was more like the ability to play "full-fledged" chords or 3 or more notes.
Depending on technique, such as pizzicato, a violin can can produce four note chords. Like a guitar, any instrument in the violin family can produce as many simultaneous notes as there are strings (maybe more if one is really creative). Unless you want to bow all the strings simultaneously, now that would take a specialized bow such as the "Bach.Bogen", or the "Bach.Bow" for the English speakers.


A violin can occasionally play homophonic music, but never polyphonic music.
Nope, that's wrong too (fast-forward to 5:07). I think most of us should just stick with guitars!

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Don't look at me in that tone of voice.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 10 2010 22:47:27

Posts: 7608
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: The guitar as an instrument (in reply to kovachian


(fast-forward to 5:07)

Ole! Live and learn...


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2010 5:53:59


Posts: 14
Joined: May 26 2010
From: Nicaragua

RE: The guitar as an instrument (in reply to rombsix

Yeah I have somewhat mixed feelings about the guitar (despite being my first and only instrument!)


1) volume. guitar is often too quiet to play effectively without amplification in a chamber, jazz or orchestral setting.
also dynamic range is very limited - our "volume knob" goes from zero to two, while the violin or clarinet can go from zero to eleven.

2) no sustain. like leo87 said, you can't hold a note longer than the instrument's natural decay. tremolo is one way of getting around this problem, creating the illusion of a sustained note, but alas it's not quite the same.


1) timbral control - the sounds you can make on a guitar are almost endless- because you're touching the strings directly with the hands you have infinitely more control over the tone.

2) rhythm - the guitar can be treated like a nonpitched percussion instrument, or a semi-pitched percussion instrument... or a pitched percussion instrument. Coincidentally I've got a buddy who plays accordion, and he's expressed certain musical "jealousy" towards the guitar because it's so well suited for playing rhythmically. Personally, the crunch of nails attacking muted strings is one of my favorite sounds:)


1) layout of the notes on the fretboard - this gives you many options on how to finger a phrase in different locations along the neck, but also makes sight-reading a bit trickier. I think this is why so many guitarists prefer tabs to standard notation.

2) frets! this means we don't need perfect intonation to play, especially higher up on the fretboard. without frets we also wouldn't be able to play 6-note chords in tune. unfortunately it also means guitarists tend to have less precise ears than, for example, bowed string players. Also can cause some problems with temperament and tuning.

Anyway, those are the main points in my opinion... then there are non-musical advantages (it's "cool" to play guitar, it's portable, everybody and their grandma has a guitar, they're much cheaper than most other instruments etc.)

Check out this amazing solo guitar piece - I HIGHLY recommend giving it a chance and listening to it all the way through at least once. This composer really knows how to take advantage of the guitar's huge sound palette.


PS. Another cool example by the composer/guitarist Arthur Kampela - this is one of his percussion studies for solo guitar. Very incredible stuff!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2010 4:07:25

Posts: 7608
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: The guitar as an instrument (in reply to gjbch


amazing solo guitar piece

Some nice rasgueado work at the end, there.


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2010 14:49:16
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