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  #1  
Old 01-02-2018, 08:34 AM
Uncle Clownmeat Uncle Clownmeat is offline
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Default Which resonators are best for strumming on?

If you want to strum simple open, barre, and partial chords with a pick, are there any resonators that wouldn't sound too shrill or banjo-like? I want one to accompany a friend of mine who performs songs like "LA Woman," "Magic Bus" and "Tangled Up in Blue." He sings and plays loudly, so my fingerpicking would get drowned out. I'm too dumb to learn how to use a slide!

According to this list, biscuit resonators are the best for "conventional playing":

Square neck spider cone guitars: typically used for country and bluegrass

Square neck tricone guitars: typically used for Hawaiian music, some blues

Round neck tricone guitars: used by some jazz players and in blues, especially for bottleneck slide

Round neck biscuit resonators: Primarily used in blues, slide or conventional playing

What say you?
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2018, 06:45 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Clownmeat View Post
If you want to strum simple open, barre, and partial chords with a pick, are there any resonators that wouldn't sound too shrill or banjo-like? I want one to accompany a friend of mine who performs songs like "LA Woman," "Magic Bus" and "Tangled Up in Blue." He sings and plays loudly, so my fingerpicking would get drowned out. I'm too dumb to learn how to use a slide!

According to this list, biscuit resonators are the best for "conventional playing":

Square neck spider cone guitars: typically used for country and bluegrass

Square neck tricone guitars: typically used for Hawaiian music, some blues

Round neck tricone guitars: used by some jazz players and in blues, especially for bottleneck slide

Round neck biscuit resonators: Primarily used in blues, slide or conventional playing

What say you?
Squarenecks are used for playing lap steel, with the guitar laying faceup on your lap and using a bar to fret the strings. You will need a roundneck if you want to fret conventionally.
A metal body will probably be a bit more, "metallic," while a wood body will be more, well, woody.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:04 PM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Possibly detour to a 'gypsy jazz' guitar? For one thing, your friend would be harder pressed to drown out your fingerstyle.
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2018, 07:29 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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playing fretted chords rules out a squareneck. Totally different style with a new learning curve.

Tricones resonate/sustain forever with a spider not being too far behind. Biscuit has a very powerful attack with the least amount of sustain.

A round neck, wooden bodies biscuit would be my choice of these for the stated purpose. A metal bodies reso would be impossible to drown out but would probably be overkill.

That said, If you can play in standard E learning to play slide in open tunings is a breeze and would make the best accompaniment IMO.

You may also want to consider using thumb picks and fingerpicks. They will double (or more) the volume of your fingerpicking on any kind of instrument including a flattop.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:38 PM
Uncle Clownmeat Uncle Clownmeat is offline
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Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate every word. I don't personally know anyone I can discuss this with.

Based on your advice, I've been thinking of ordering Fender's Brown Derby resonator:

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/acoust...955006092.html

It's wooden, round-necked, and biscuit-bridged. I can afford it - barely.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2018, 07:20 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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If you want horsepower, go with this: Gretsch Honeydipper for $399. I owned one of these and just found it too loud and too heavy to be comfortable (I played without a strap back then). It was so loud it drowned out my wife's banjo.

I use the Gretsch Boxcar - although it's a spider reso I find it to be the best sounding, best built reso in the sub $500 category. I've had mine for 3+ years and it has been very reliable. Pretty loud too.

I have no experience with the Fender in question, so can't say if it's good or bad.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:33 AM
Uncle Clownmeat Uncle Clownmeat is offline
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Roy, thanks for suggesting the Gretsch Boxcar. A couple weeks ago I tried one of those out at a guitar store. A friend was with me and I asked her if the chords I strummed sounded bloodless or banjo-like. She said they sounded shrill. After subsequent research, I believe that a biscuit -- not a spider -- resonator would be better suited to what I want to do. I haven't been able to take one for a test-drive yet.

Maybe they're just not meant for playing rock and roll chord progressions. What might sound and feel good to me could annoy everybody else. My friend wants me to play with him at paying gigs, otherwise I wouldn't care.

(I clicked on one of your links. I love your version of "John the Revelator." Not many people can sing that song convincingly.)

Last edited by Uncle Clownmeat; 01-03-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:56 AM
Teleplucker Teleplucker is offline
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Wooden body single cone will do what you want. Ocassionally used National Radio Flyers show up in the 1100-1300 price range. Those are great guitars
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2018, 01:57 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Clownmeat View Post
Roy, thanks for suggesting the Gretsch Boxcar. A couple weeks ago I tried one of those out at a guitar store. A friend was with me and I asked her if the chords I strummed sounded bloodless or banjo-like. She said they sounded shrill. After subsequent research, I believe that a biscuit -- not a spider -- resonator would be better suited to what I want to do. I haven't been able to take one for a test-drive yet.

Maybe they're just not meant for playing rock and roll chord progressions. What might sound and feel good to me could annoy everybody else. My friend wants me to play with him at paying gigs, otherwise I wouldn't care.

(I clicked on one of your links. I love your version of "John the Revelator." Not many people can sing that song convincingly.)
Thanks.

Why not get a small amp and a magnetic pickup like the Seymour Duncan Woody and play the guitar you already have?

They slide in and stay secure and when you're done, they come out easily. If he plays acoustic and you just need more hp this would solve it too.

Of course, if you just want the tone a resonator provides that's totally understandable.

Good luck in whatever you get and playing out. We have a gig tonight .
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Eastman E6OM, Ibanez AC240, Alvarez MFA70
Gretsch Boxcar, RK ROS-10, Alvarez LJ2E
Roland Cube street EX, Fender Passport Mini, Fender Frontman 25R
G&L Tribute Bluesboy, G&L Tribute Ascari GT90, G&L Ascari GTS

Our website with audio clips - updated 5/30/17

My Solo site - Roy Alderman Music
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2018, 02:13 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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I play resos and flattops, among other things, but I'm not a strummer. My impression is that resos in general aren't well suited to that style of playing, but unless you want to spend big $ on a good tricone, I would go with a biscuit style of some kind. Wood bodies are mellower than metal, but you have to find a good one, as they can be dull and clunky.

FWIW, Martin dreads are popular in trad (no amp) bluegrass because of their great cutting power in a mix
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2018, 02:26 AM
Uncle Clownmeat Uncle Clownmeat is offline
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One of you asked me, "Why not get a small amp and a magnetic pickup like the Seymour Duncan Woody and play the guitar you already have?"

That's a great idea. But I want to get rid of my guitar. It's a mahogany 12-string that sounds great but I can't play it unless it's detuned a whole step. And when I put a capo on the second fret so I can more easily play along with records and friends, it never sounds in tune. It's going to get me $180 of in-store credit when I pick up my resonator.

I'll probably play blues on it like sane people do. I've been a fan of R.L. Burnside for a long time. There's a lot of internet videos that teach his techniques.

Still dreaming of this FENDER BROWN DERBY RESONATOR:

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/acoust...955006092.html
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2018, 01:17 PM
wcguitar wcguitar is online now
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Default Inexpensive SX...

I've had several electrics and a classical from Rondo music and other than needing some basic set up all have been decent and (imo) as good in build
and sound as instruments two to three times the price. Rondo also has a good return policy. Lately I'm considering one of these SX resos for some picking and mostly slide. For little $$ seems like you get a useful player, with a mini hb pickup already installed.
http://www.rondomusic.com/RESO3FRBK.html

Last edited by wcguitar; 01-18-2018 at 01:28 PM. Reason: link not quite right...
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