Whether you’re interested in rock, heavy metal, blues, country, psychedelic soul, or boogie, three-piece bands are always popular for an iconic sound. Do you have a drummer, bassist, and lead guitarist for your group? If so, you’re on your way to achieving the classic power trio group. Perhaps you take inspiration from Rush, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, or Cream, and hope that one day you’ll be just like them. But none of the greats began with the perfect sound. Forming a three-piece band can be hard work for any musician. You may have the band members, but you might not have the solid sound you’re looking for just yet. If you want to rock at your next show or gig, these 4 tips will help get you well on your way.
One of the most common issues that power trios face is that their music doesn’t have the right thickness or depth. Having the right amplifier technology can give your band the diversity it needs. Invest in an analog delay or a standard mixer, which will allow you to add effects, reverb, echo, and more. By mixing it up, you can add thickness to your sound. Here are some of the most highly rated guitar amps of 2016, which will give you a great start on developing the right sound:
• Quilter Labs Aviator Gold Twin 10
• EVH 5150 111 2x12-inch 120v 50-Watt Tube Combo
• Fender Mustang IV V.2
Just because you have three instruments doesn’t mean you need to be playing them constantly throughout your song. You can still have a consistent tune while subtracting some of the instruments for a while. Listen to some of the most popular music clips on the radio or Internet, and you’ll notice that certain instruments and sounds take breaks throughout the duration of the song. In a verse leading up to the chorus, you can drop the guitar for a few lines. Then, bring it back in strong for the main chorus. This will give your band a powerful tone and your music a diverse sound.
Your bassist needs to make up for the fact that you don’t have a rhythm guitarist on set. Your music can be heavily affected by the lack of rhythm guitar, so in order to make up for that sound, you can incorporate your bassist in several different ways. Successful three-piece bands employ some of these tactics to help the bass fill in for the rhythm guitar:
• Avoid frequency space by having your bassist stomp on a dirt pedal during a guitar solo.
• Have a separate guitar amplifier running through the bass that can be switched in at any moment.
• Start the bass or “rhythm guitar” solo from a note within the previous chord. This will help bring in the solo on a strong note.
With only three members in your group, it’s important to be prepared. Everyone will have to improvise at certain points throughout your show. While you likely have a dedicated lead singer, there are other times where multiple vocals may be required. It may also help your overall sound to fill in spaces with alternating voices. This will give your power trio diversity, personality, and classic sound.
After following these four tips, you’ll be on your way from being an okay three-piece band to a great one. A three-piece band takes time, practice, and hard work, but the results are well worth it in the end. By interchanging sounds, alternating musical roles, and bringing in new technology, your power trio can truly rock.