Musical Fallacies

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by bostjan, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    What are some of the craziest bits of misinformation you've seen spread around about the music business?

    I'll kick off with:

    I have heard more than one person argue that jumbo frets are only supposed to be for bass.

    I have heard several people explain that light strings are only for beginners, then pro's use heavy gauges.

    I heard one guy say that he doesn't trim the excess string off past the tuning post, because the extra string length gives him better sustain.

    I heard a guy once claim that all the tabs in book come from the actual artists who performed the song.

    And probably the biggest one was that I heard a guy saying that local bars here in Vermont were paying bands $600 for a three hour set. :rofl:
     
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  2. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    "Bolt-on neck guitars are 'cheap' and only for beginners, but neck-thru is always better and pro quality"

    "You MUST be able to sight read music if You want to be considered a REAL musician"
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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  4. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    Anything regarding tone comes up when I search forums for information about certain aspects of guitar:

    -Any wood/metal affects tone in an audible way, surely you can hear if your selector switch is made out of aluminum or brass, and its obvious that flame maple sounds bright and quilted maple improves sustain. You can hear it can't you? And if you can't hear it then your wrong; my uncle bob/local luthier/guitar center salesman/random internet person taught me everything about guitar tone and no amount of reason or evidence will prove otherwise.

    -The micron thick wood finish affects tone, obviously old guitars sounded better because of the nitro finish, guitars sound like shit now because of polyurethane; also all oil finishes seep into the guitar and either dampen or improve sustain, depending on who you're talking to. And anything that is not certified for luthiery and is from home depot will make your guitar sound horrible.
     
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  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I heard plenty of stuff like that before, but my favourite was a dude at guitar center who kept going on and on about how red paint sounds more "alive" than the other colours of paint, so he only played red guitars, since the others all sounded dull and lifeless to him. The sales guy to whom he was talking kept making subtle jabs at him, but I think that the guy thought the salesman was agreeing with him. :lol:
     
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  6. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    A# and Bb are the same note
     
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  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Hey, if the guy above me can mention tone woods, I'm allowed to mention enharmonics.


    Also, that fretboard isn't real is it?
     
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  9. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    Passive Pickups are terrible for metal
    Thin bodies don't sustain
    Thin bodies have thin tone, the thicker the body the thicker the tone
    Chambering kills tone and sustain
    Bolt-ons cut sustain and tone
    Bolt-ons are cheaper to manufacturer/build
    Exotic woods sound dull
    Exotic woods can't be used in necks
    Oil finishes are bad longterm and let the tone/sustain escape the instrument :scratch:
    Reverse Headstocks are weak and will snap under tension

    ^Thus the Blackmachine was born.

    The one I hate the most is when Ed Roman spread that stainless steel frets are harsh and ear-piercingly bright to undermine Parker Guitars. Which would then be quoted by guitar techs for years so they don't damage their tools working them and frets that don't wear are bad for business. One well known tech around here even claiming they your strings will be dead and covered in black grooves in under an hour. :facepalm:

    Oh man I used to hate hearing that one. Even as a beginner I couldn't wrap my head around how an "Official" Tab Book could be packed full of mistakes. I remember some magazine or company that used to boast "Artist Approved Tabs" which actually just meant the artist allowed them to tab their music.
     
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  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Oh, and of course there is the old one that reverse headstocks increase string tension.

    If any of those are true*, it'd be the part about chambering killing sustain.*

    * Chambering can increase resonance. Resonance + Sustain = Energy. If energy is held constant, and resonance is increased, sustain decreases. Of course, the electric guitar has very little resonance anyway, and there is also the fact that the acoustic energy of the strings can be affected substantially by feedback, which makes sustain of electric guitars a fruitless discussion anyway...

    I've never heard that one about oil finishes. I would have said, years ago, that I had heard them all, but I still keep hearing new ones. :)
     
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  11. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I've definitely heard some people claim that all metal or heavy music has already been done by Black Sabbath. All of it. No exceptions. They've already done it.
     
  12. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    People that claim that the wood does not affect the tone, and even worse when they come up with all kind of "science" explanations. As someone who has a masters in physics those take a lot of facepalming to get through.

    People that claim that learning music theory will take away their creativity and their "unique" (hmpf..sh!tty hmpf) song writing skills.

    Buying expensive recording/mixing gear will make your mixes sound better.

    The standard SSO would be something like: "you/I need a custom made 18" - 43" fanned fret 9 string guitar with pickups made from magnets from unicorns' horn (which is apparently magnetic) in order to be creative/record music"

    Also on threads / youtube vids on true temperament frets, where people actually think that you tune the guitar to a different temperament (basicly having different frequency intervals between notes) due to the somewhat poor naming which brings peoples minds to the "well temperamented piano", which was a new temperament from way back.

    Singers stating that cupping the mic makes them sound better
     
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  13. NickS

    NickS Carvinite

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    One of my idiot co-workers/friends, and many other people throughout the years, saying that all the metal I listen to, from a talent and technical standpoint, is just "easy to play power chords and all you have to do is play fast." Versus his friends southern-pop-rock-meets-emo band, that is immensely talented:wallbash::wallbash:

    "Just listen to all those different chords and voicings they use. They have so many different sounds. All metal sounds the same.":scratch:

    Sincerely,

    Stupid People
     
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  14. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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    There are so many I can't even think of where to start!
     
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  15. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    Not sure if it's a fallacy, but it's something I vehemently disagree with. And that's "You should start learning to play guitar on an acoustic. Your technique and finger strength will be better."

    Only the first statement is correct, and only if they want to play acoustic guitar. I say that for two reasons:
    1. Pressing harder on strings is just going to fuck you over when you switch to playing an electric. You need different technique because it's a different instrument. You may as well start off playing a ukulele; the same skills will transfer over.
    2. If someone wants to play electric, and has no musical background, why bother telling them to play a different instrument? I'd rather they have fun playing what they want. I can't think of a better way of turning someone off music by telling them you can only play what you like if you play something else entirely. Keep it fun!
    That's why I think that's a fallacy, anyway. Which brings up another point.

    Thinking you need to 'graduate' from an acoustic to playing an electric. Likewise, thinking you need to 'graduate' from playing a 6-string guitar to a 7-string, and then an 8-string. You went from 0-string to 6-string - just play the goddamn thing and enjoy it!
     
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  16. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Surprised "You can't buy nice gear if you aren't good" hasn't come up yet.
     
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  17. Syphon

    Syphon SS.org Regular

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    Wow man you go straight to the throat.

    I try to explain to people how a wave of energy is either absorbed, transmitted, or reflected. Different materials have very different properties for all three of those possibilities. The actual "wave" of the string is a reflection of the pick energy into the string, then into the wood, then back. At every step, there are some frequencies that are either absorbed, transmitted, or reflected. The end result is an electro-mechanical transfer function as the strings interact with the pickups.

    Electro-mechanical topics are very hard for people to understand or even simplify for conversation as evidenced by the amount of hate that goes into this topic on the internet.

    However, the fundamental point is just basic, basic frequency based energy transfer. I've explained this on will's guitars youtube channel but he doesn't respond lol. I guess I'm too stupid for him to reply to. Don't even get me started on Scott Grove. 

    Of course, I'm looking at this from the perspective of a MSEE. NEver thought to burden my coworkers with physics degrees with this. I don't think they'd really care if they didn't play guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  18. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    My fav is that you can't have matching finish/paint on the headstock of a Strat, because it kills the tone/sustain.
     
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  19. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    Well, let's kick it off with the one that was mentioned in the other thread:

    1. "The more technical the better." S'cuse me, Eddie Van Halen called, he just wrote a solo on one string and it sounds awesome. Just because you choose to over-complicate, it doesn't make you better. Sometimes less is more- cliche but true.

    2. "Musicians should be all about the art, not the money!" Heh! Good luck with that!

    3. Tone in general. Yes, there are tones which would be either a detriment or an enhancement for what you're going for. Yes, there are subtle differences between certain tones which people may or may not notice at least subconsciously and it's good to fine-tune to get what sounds best. If you're so deep down the rabbit hole that you're seriously telling me "Vai has great tone. Not like Satriani- his tone sucks!" (as if there's THAT noticeable a difference) I think you're missing the point.
    Get tone that's decent for what you're trying to play and then focus on writing music- AKA the thing most human ears will be paying attention to.
     
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  20. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    That you can't be heavy on a 6-string in standard tuning.
     
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