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http://lamkins-guitar.com/music/article/guitar-synth
David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
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location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: performance, effects, @musings info
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On guitar synths

In answer to the question: How does guitar synth affect your playing?

Keep in mind that I approached this as a guitarist looking for new and interesting sounds. I tried a GR-33 for a couple hours in the store, thought it sounded cool and was fun to play, bought it. Did a proper pickup installation on one of my guitars. Played it for about 20 hours. Found one or two sounds that I really might be able to use. Otherwise, grew to hate it. OK, that's probably a bit strong... I grew to be vehemently disinterested in using the synth. Sold it and never looked back.

Here are the problems:

  1. You have to learn to play every single patch. They all respond differently to your touch.
  2. There's a lot of programming involved to make it useful. Don't think that you can just call up whatever patch you want on a whim and have it work for you in a performance situation. I know a lot of folks routinely program all kinds of things, but for me that's a show-stopper.
  3. Tracking is pretty good, but you'll need to play very consistently and with conviction. The synth can't respond to anywhere near the dynamic range that you get playing through a good guitar rig. And forget about the subtle changes you can get by changing pick angle, position on the strings, etc.
  4. This one ought to be obvious, but... if you want the sounds to be really effective, you have to play in the style of that instrument. Adapting some instruments to guitar can be very awkward.
April 03 2004 17:49:18 GMT