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"Chord" guitar solos

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"Chord" guitar solos

Postby Unsouled on Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:43 am

Short version: How does one recreate Fripp's "chord" solos as found in "Facts of Life," "Nil Recurring" (Porcupine Tree), possibly "Sailor's Tale," and probably more?

Long version: As a fan of Porcupine Tree, I have acquired the "Nil Recurring" EP and listened to it multiple times. One part of the title track that stands out is Fripp's solo at 5:10. At the time I really had no clue what it was - my brain couldn't interpret how the hell the sound was made. Fast forward a few months: I've finally gotten off my lazy butt and picked up a copy of "The Power To Believe". Previously I hadn't familiarized myself with KC (mistake!), but I knew of their legacy ("Court" especially). The part that jumped out of me the most during the first listen was, not surprisingly, the Fripp guitar solo near the end of "Facts of Life," which closely resembled what I had heard on "Nil Recurring". A quick trip to Youtube to watch an illegal live clip of "Facts of Life" showed "THE MAN" ripping up the strings of his guitar and creating "THE SOUND." Google searches have linked me to claims that this is a resurfacing of something done way back on "Sailor's Tale" and possibly later.

One thing I haven't been able to find is more information about the solo itself. Apparently not many other people are as fascinated by it as I am, although I highly doubt this is true. However, searches on this forum didn't come up with anything either, so I hope this hasn't been asked before and I'm repeating the question.

Oh and, hello! This is my first post on these forums.
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Postby vrooom on Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:28 am

Welcome.

Fripp describes this as coming from his jazz background and that the technique comes from the banjo. I've emulated this playing style on a couple of my own recordings and I'll describe what I do. First, you start with the right hand and hold down the chord that you want to solo with. Now I often use three-note triads on the three highest strings - that's how you get that brittle, trebly sound. If you introduce any of the lower strings, it becomes too chordy and too muddy, if you know what I mean. Now the bulk of the work is done by the right hand. So holding down your three note triad/chord, strum vigorously up and down with your right hand over the strings. Of course, it will sound crappy on its own, so you have to search for the right "sound" to go with that technique. Again, I tend to use overdriven sounds, slightly trebly, with a little bit of delay. Here's an example of what I've recorded (the chord solo comes towards the middle - the whole track is meant to be a kind of KC tribute).

King Heavy

Hope this helps you on your quest for "The Sound"!


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Postby Unsouled on Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:09 pm

Thanks! I would've never thought it's a banjo technique.... I might need some different equipment and whatnot to emulate more accurately but this sounds like a load of fun. I enjoy the song that you linked as well.
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Postby vrooom on Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:30 pm

Glad you liked it. :D

If my memory is correct, RF's guitar teacher Don Strike had a history in jazz and that's where those particular licks came from. It's the same with the cross-picking technique that RF uses, that's also a banjo thing.


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Postby bongo on Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:33 am

it seems that on "facts", fripp is playing octaves, and going nuts! LOL. with god knows what effects on his guitar.
"get along little doggy."
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Re: "Chord" guitar solos

Postby joeuman on Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:29 pm

On the Sailor's tale, Fripps guitar was processed through Eno's VCS3 synth for that "banjo" tone.
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