Thoughts on Playing Lead on Rick

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Re: Thoughts on Playing Lead on Rick

Postby (rickenbackerkid) » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:29 pm

Here's Mike Campbell playing a killer rock'n'roll solo on some kind of black Ric, maybe a 320:

Notice how when he's way up the neck he has to keep picking as the notes don't sustain like a Les Paul would. It forces him to do something different and it sounds great.
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Re: Thoughts on Playing Lead on Rick

Postby (Clifton) » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:11 pm

rickenbackerkid wrote:I play both in a 3 piece rock covers band and a 9 piece Springsteen Tribute.

I have no problem playing blues rock lead on my 360 - it just takes a little getting used to. You have less sustain, which means you have to pick more notes, work the vibrato hard and so on. I also use 11-52 strings, which are a bit heavy for lead, but once again, it's just a matter of getting used to it. The sound of Hi-Gain pickups with overdrive is a great tone, no problems there, and it goes into 'nice' feedback, not awful screechy feedback.

I think both a 330 and a 360 with Hi-Gains would work. If you don't find those versatile enough, I would look at the fairly new Fender Performer Telecaster with the mini-humbucker in the neck. Those are very versatile guitars. You could also look at a Gretsch, too.
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Re: Thoughts on Playing Lead on Rick

Postby (drumbob) » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:12 pm

I bought a Midnight Blue 620 with Hi Gains recently that I like very much, but the frets are very small, and of course, the neck is slippery to start with due to the lacquered finish. So, in answer to your first question, there are guitars better suited to playing lead guitar than your Ricks, IMO. Sure, you could go to the trouble and expense of tearing out the frets, having the fretboard stripped and then doing a re-fret, but do you want to do that? I'd think not. I inquired as to the cost, and was told it would be between $500-600. No thanks.

The 620 is a very good rhythm guitar, and that's it's best role for me. It looks great, sounds great, and is a joy to play. I appreciate it for what it is. I switch off playing lead and rhythm with our other guitarist, and use the 620 on songs where I'm playing rhythm only. Otherwise, I have several Les Pauls, a Firebird, a few Fenders and a Guild Starfire IV that I use for lead playing.

Good advice I remember from wood shop: Use the right tool for the job. YMMV, but that's my take on it.
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Re: Thoughts on Playing Lead on Rick

Postby (jimk) » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:27 pm

wmthor wrote:
jcreasy wrote:One question is has anyone covered the kind of lead territory referenced above with a Rick? ...

I'm going to address the first question only. I'm of the option, why not. I'd venture to guess that al least 98% of your audience doesn't care what kind of guitar you're playing.

Where's the Like button? My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Thoughts on Playing Lead on Rick

Postby (iiipopes) » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:34 pm

I played my 320 as a lead guitar in college jazz band and was well received. Before I switched over to primarily playing bass, I was in a band twenty-five years ago that I used my 360-12 for leads and covers of songs not necessarily associated with a 12-string, and made them into great alternative covers. It is not the instrument. It is the player. Rickenbacker instruments are superlative instruments. It is up to the player to take his favorite instrument and adapt it to the circumstance, which Rickenbacker instruments do very well indeed.
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