do you guys have any thoughts about playing with a guitarist? i think itīs a problem, cause the music gets too dense with too much chords. and they always comp behind my solos though i tell them not to, because of the harmonic and rhythmic clashes with my left hand. furthermore they often play too loud, drowning the piano. any thoughts?
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when i play with guitar player i often tell them to be quiet while i solo. most players respect that. but sometimes you can sense a good communication, and then both of you can play. check out wes montegomery and wynton kelly. they did communicate...
part of the reason guitarists play too loud is a physics problem.

a guitar amplifier really reaches its air movement peak at about 6 feet away from the amp.

most stages are so small that the guitarist is unable to stand 6 feet in front of  his/her amp. consequently the guitarist is too close to the amp to be able to hear themselves over the rest of the instruments.

the other instrumentalists are 6 feet or more away from the amp and are getting the full onslaught of the sound, while the guitarist keeps compalining that they can't hear themselves.

it seems illogical and counter-intuitive that the closer you are to the amp the quieter it is, but remember that music is made of sound moving through airwaves and the "rippling" effect increases as the sound waves become more excited.

suggest to the guitarist that s/he try to get as far away as possible from the amp and that will result in a better balance.
the thing with guitars, vibes, and other chordal instruments, is that often times piano players and guitar players play too much in general (comping and such). when a piano and guitar player are together in duet setting, this habit creates noise instead of music.  

so the thing is this. a guitar/piano duo can be really cool (check out jim hall/bill evans) if you listen to each other very carefully and try to make what you do fit together with the other person.

takes really strong ears. i finally met a guitarist that i enjoy playing with. we've even got the occassional duo gig happening and it's been working out.  the way i do it is by not thinking in chords, but rather thinking about melodic lines that create the illusion of chords.
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hello everybody,

many very reasonable and intelligent suggestions...thank you all. in various situations i had good experience playing with guitarists. either one of us takes a break while the other is soloing or we just support each other's  improvisation by strictly playing rhythmic patterns consisting of guide tones only.

good night from vienna,
haydn
when guitarist plays rhythmic chords, you may play melody harmonized in blocks or in axis of 7 and 3.  or melody in both hands, or melody in right and a countermelody with chord notes or a chord background in left. also bass in left.
when guitarist plays melody, you may comp freely with rhytmic chords.
just picking up on 7's point about guitarists and their amps - i often ask the guitarist to tilt their amp so it points up towards them a bit - most guitarists seem to have their amp pointing at their feet.
a guitar/piano duo is no problem because they don't play chords at the same time: one plays chords while the other plays melody or solos.  
the problem arrises when guitar and piano both comp at the same time behind another soloist. traditionaly the piano takes the dominant role because it's a brighter sound.  
you can make a plan such as piano comps busier while the guitar comps minimal, or vice a versa and nod back and forth to reverse roles.
or you can agree to have the guitar comp mostly on the front side of two bar phrases and have the piano fill towards the back side of two bar phrases, like call and response. you can do it at slower tempos in every bar. that can also be varied such as you can also nod to each other like when we trade choruses or "fours" like durimng solos, but without dropping out completely. it would be where either the guitar or the piano takes a turn at being the busier comper. the player note being busy can play soft long held chords around beat one, while the dominant comper plays much more rhythmic figures. you probably need to make a plan before playing, during a break or practice to arrange such protocals.
why can't you put the amp behind the piano player, so that it is less than 6 feet from him?, and the guitarist on the other side of the stage.. will put him more than 6 feet away from his amp....


but the key here is "comunication" if you play in a duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sekstet whatever... you have to comunicate musically with eachother, if your guitarist puts down the basic comp, the you don't have to do that as a piano player, you can concentrate on soloing over  the melody. let your left hand rest....
pianoplayers are usually so wound up on doing everything themselves, because that is what they are used to, so when in a band setting, they generally do what they always do, and just pound the keys like there was noone else around... this is what makes noise. a good piano player with enough experience, will hear this.. and adjust. in a band, either with 2, 3, 4 or 50 for that matter it is important that you build everything up, and define the roles of each instrument. like playing with a bassist, remember he plays bass, you don't...
if you have a guitarist, and a bassist, they play the comp, you don't!, if you have horns aswell, you will have to trade 4's or stick to the melody and keep off the accents, if you have a singer as well, you don't really need to be there... :)but you have to comunicate that when you get the "groove" you want to play, this lets your band mates know that "oh.. the pianoplayer is  cooking! horns and singer back off... he's about to rip up the keyboard"

doc-z
hi,
if the chords sound to heavy/full etc.
alternate them by playing the first and last note then adding the middle 2 notes.
or take out a few notes and thin it out,
or finally you could play the chords higher on the keyboard.
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