Friday, December 11, 2015

The Power Trio

The power trio is a fantastically difficult thing to pull off musically. First of all the rhythm section has to be astounding. In the case of Bonham and Jones you're pretty well covered.
But as much as I like to tease about how sloppy the guitar player is allowed to be when the rhythm section is super together, the guitar has a unique issue in that it's both a rhythm and lead instrument simultaneously.
The Who solved this by making the bass player play more "lead" than is typical in a rock band. But still Townshend's switching back and forth from rhythm to lead was rather informative to my own interest in guitar.
In Achilles Last Stand, Jimmy Page manages to pull of the elusive thing where the guitar plays a lead without the "middle dropping out" of the sound. It's rather hard to do.

I think that one reason Greg Bartus and I tend to play well together is that we both come from power trio backgrounds so we're sort of used to holding onto that middle to keep it from dropping out.

Huh. It just occurred to me that this Zeppelin tune is rather Who-like in that although there are points where they do their sort of trademark everybody-plays-together blues, the bulk of the tune is the bass and drums playing fast and together while guitar is doing huge open chords against the rhythm section.

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