Am I a guitar heretic?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by olliethecat, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    57
    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Back story.
    I was a full time solo country/rock/rockabilly touring pro singer guitarist for 14 years back in the late 1960s to early 80s spending up to 40 weeks a year touring on the road and the only pedals I ever used was a fuzz pedal occasionally back then or the on/offs pedals for my tape echo unit and amp tremolo with most of my guitar tones delivered by my 100w Selmer valve amps.. When I retired and came off the road I gave up playing completely until about 4 years ago.

    At the beginning of last week my OH and I decided to spend a week at our caravan as the weather here in the UK according to the meteorologists was set to be fantastic and for once they got it right!

    Now I have a problem. I keep buying guitars to leave at the caravan to save me hauling them back and forth when we load up our car but each time I buy one, I find it's too good to leave there and last week was no exception. Before we left for our break I bought yet another 'caravan guitar' ...a mint used Westfield Les Paul copy for the princely sum of £65.00 from a seller on Gumtree and after a little setting up it plays like a dream, I'm so impressed with it and can see it becoming my every day go-to guitar even though I now have 9 x 6-stringers including a Fender Tele, Gibbo SG and Gretsch 5120.

    At the same time he was selling an old Boss ME-25 multi-effects pedal which I'd briefly researched on YouTube and I pulled the trigger and bought that too after trying it out and it will do all I want and more besides. I had considered buying a couple of pedals to go with the trem and octave pedals I own so I got the Boss for the price of two very cheap pedals. It's old technology but it still does the job and by the looks of it, it was virtually unused.

    I took the guitar, ME-25 and studio headphones with me to get used to them and brought them back when we returned as expected. Yesterday in my home studio I thought I'd plug my G5120 into the Boss pedal and gave it a whirl to see how it sounded and I don't think the old girl had ever sounded so good or covered so many genres in one session.:)

    Everything from swing/jazz, early 50s Doo Wop, 50s R&R, country/rockabilly of course, in fact everything through to tracks by Deep Purple, Bad Company, Free, Dr. Feelgood and even Reggae, the list was endless and included modern tracks and you know what, I really enjoyed it!

    With that pedal the world is the oyster for the Gretsch...there's very little if anything I couldn't cover musically with just those two and I can see the Gretsch getting far more use for home recording from now on.
    Before getting the Boss pedal, I'd put the Gretsch through a Line 6 amp and with a fair bit of tweaking got some really good rock sounds but this Boss pedal makes it much simpler.

    Maybe I'm guitar a heretic and should stick with playing the genres which have always been synonymous with Gretsch guitars and leave the other stuff to the solid guitars but I've always enjoyed pushing a guitar to the boundaries and so far I don't think I reached them with this combo. I just imagine having that combo when I was on the road...it would have been great!

    Anyway enough of my dalliances.... I 'm interested in which genres of music your Gretsch has been asked to participate in recently? Do you find you stick to specific genres or are you like me and enjoy pushing the guitar's boundaries and genre diversity?
     
  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    It's not the instrument, it's the musician.
    Enjoy yourself.
     
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  3. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I play Grateful Dead covers on a White Falcon. Have fun!
     
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  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I play a fair amount of Surf, and I use my Country Gentleman, quite successfully, I might add. I’ve played my share of Jazz, over the years, and use my Gent’, at least some of the time. I have a Tennessean which is a pretty decent Rock axe. Actually, most gigs, I bring a Tennie, an amp, and a pedal board with reverb, delay and some sort of overdrive. That’s all I need.
     
  5. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    I've used both my Pro Jet and my 5120 for a pretty wide variety of stuff. They're not as tight and focused as my Kiesels or Ibanez, so maybe a little less ideal for some of the metal stuff, but definitely capable of getting heavy.

    -m
     
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  6. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    More rock stuff for me and modern heavier styles, I'll try and play any style on anything, whether it sounds good is another thing lol.
     
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  7. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    No heresy @olliethecat to resort to That Great Gretsch Sound for any genre... :)

    I play on a Gretsch everything that could be played on other guitars :cool:, with the exception of the Satriani-Circus, Lousy-Metal genre, that I never play, nor listen, nor appreciate.:mad:

    Think Soul, Funk, Rythm'n'Blues, Disco, Blues, Rock'n'Roll, Santana, 50s-70s movie music, or anything else required by my orchestra :

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    But it's me, OK ? :D

    A+!
     
  8. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    57
    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Good one!
    You sound just like me only these days I play for my own amusement unlike in the past when it was governed by the audiences I entertained and also to some extent governed by the ability of the resident musicians with whom I worked at the different venues. I found my repertoire was more wide ranging and adventurous when working with good musicians

    Some venue musicians were brilliant and a pleasure to work with but then again many were not quite so gifted so it was always a bonus having my guitar. I could fill out and drive and control the music if they weren't so good in which case I became what one would refer to back then as your classic 'rhythm guitarist'. Do regular bands still have 'rhythm guitarists' these days?

    Today I can be what and who I want to be and play what I want and no one else to please but myself and I find I'm learning many new techniques and styles of playing than I've ever done! :D
     
  9. dlew919

    dlew919 Country Gent

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    All my guitars have one thing in common. They are versatile. I bought a gretsch because I found it as versatile as my other one at the time. (I still have it but I have one more since).
    Gretsch can do everything Gibson can do and everything fender can do. Plus it’s own thing.
     
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes, we have (or had) a similar situation, as I play in the music'school main band - The Magic 85 Orchestra - the main difference is that I'm only in the amateur side, like most (but not all) of our members.

    Our Rhythm section includes : one drummer, one percussionist, one keyboardist, one bassist. So I play all the roles of the guitarist, anything from Rhythm to Lead - with my limits, of course ! :rolleyes:. If our Rhythm section plays alone, we're like Booker-T and the MG's, The Meters or Backyard Heavies...

    Below, one of our very rare recordings, where I was intended to play like Jack White... My apologies, Mr White : I choose to stay in a Deep Purple-esque style for the chorus at the end of the tune.

    For the occasion, I had a Fender US Std Strat 2012, that I no longer have, but it could have been a Gretsch ! The amp was a Fender Mustang III in an acceptable clean mode plus reverb, and the drive was given by my RAT Rev.b 1981 :



    Below, for that Covid Production, I used a Fender FS-52 Lap Steel (LH-Ized) o_O:



    Here, I used a Supro Westbury RI and a Ge Fuzz of my own :rolleyes: :



    Again, it could be a Gretsch solidbody, hollowbody, no matter ! :):cool:

    A+!
     
  11. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Age:
    68
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    You can use a Gretsch for any genre.
     
  12. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Any genre, any guitar. Willie Nelson plays a Martin N-20 classical guitar.
     
    Robbie likes this.
  13. Do you have any videos or a website?
     
  14. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Nothing live or approaching professional. I mostly just dk around at home. When Im in a band I usually play upright bass.
    But here's a little recording I did. Its just the Falcon straight into Logic, my Guild Starfire reissue bass, and Logic Drummer.
    https://soundcloud.com/user-722697969/stella-blue-cover
     
  15. Its always good to hear the music continue!
     
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  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    love it!
     
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  17. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    When I picked up my first Gretsch, it was because I was looking for more treble in my sound, and because I was playing more Beatles, and wanted to get closer to an authentic sound. I thought of a Gretsch guitar as more of a niche instrument, but what I found was that a Gretsch guitar was far more versatile than I knew.

    For years I thought of a guitar only as the basic tone pallet for which it was created. Then one day my mind opened up to much bigger possibilities for each guitar. I do understand that specific guitars do certain things very well. It's just that I now push their limits a lot more.

    Enjoy your Gretsch, and your Boss ME25, olliethecat!
     
  18. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    This!
     
    Robbie likes this.
  19. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    57
    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    D
    Do you know what, I've had more fun playing with that little ME-25 and especially my Gretsch than I've had in a long time. It really has extended the Gretsch's capabilities, not mention the other guitars I own but it certainly has made me see the Gretsch in a different light.

    Unbelievably I love playing the Gretsch and Boss pedal through probably one of the worst amps ever to come from the Marshall stable...an MG 15 CDR but the clean channel is quite decent and I can get plenty of overdrive etc from the Boss so it just works. Even for home use, 15 watts, is still way louder than I'll ever need.

    I bought the amp off a seller on Facebook for £20.00 a few months ago intending just to leave it up at the caravan but with this pedal and the Gretsch through the amp it sounds really good, in fact I'm just as happy playing them through the little Marshall than the other four amps I own.

    I had a few minutes this afternoon setting up a couple of my own pre-sets on the pedal and combined with the Gretsch I got a really great rockabilly sound which I'd looking for, for simply an age as well as a couple of what would be very close to authentic 50s sounds. In fact so good I'm going to record a couple of tracks this week using them.:)
     
  20. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    Ollie, your excitement is actually inspiring. Knowing that you are a seasoned performing musician, and that you can still get excited is very cool. I am a hobbyist, as well as a pastor that occasionally sings and plays in church, so there is no way that I am anyway near your skill level. Just read about your excitement, has me thinking about my own excitement level and how I could find the same excitement in the little things. I realize, now, that I have let my excitement become dependent reaching the "next level."

    Now, let me go find a cool sound! :D
     
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