The degradation of John Petrucci technique

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Rachmaninoff, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. stevexc

    stevexc Laura Like Butter

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    Allegedly yes, when the alleged new forum software allegedly drops within the first 90 days of this year (ie. by the 31st).


    Allegedly.
     
  2. AuroraTide

    AuroraTide SS.org Regular

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    Slightly off topic, but I'm curious to see how shred guitar players hold up with age... You can exercise and practice as much as you like but ultimately time wins the battle.

    With Vai in his 50s and Petrucci not far off from 50, how long will these guys be able to sustain a high level of playing. Is there any high level 60 year old "shredders?"
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Satch is 60.
     
  4. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    And doesn't look a day over monstrous.
     
  5. Dcm81

    Dcm81 SS.org Regular

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    Isn't Batio over 60.....?
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Which blows my mind. The fact my first Satriani album was Crystal Planet (actually, I might have bought the obligatory copy of Surfing before that and loved the guitar playing but was turned off by the mix - CP was the one that really made me a fan) and that album was released 19 years ago hurts to think about.

    EDIT - though, I'll also say this - Satriani still plays at an amazingly high level, and I think there are lessons to be learned from the mechanics of his technique and thwe fact he's been able to play fast/stretchy legato licks for his entire career without really having more than fleeting RSI issues related to certain parts (the two handed tapping stuff in Power Cosmic is all that's coming to mind) during that whole time - in particular, watch his thumb and how he shifts from a "blues" position to a "classical" one and back. However, I think his best solos these days are the ones that rely less on sheet stupefying technique, and more composition/contrast/feel with technique used as color - bursts of speed, but as an accent, and not as the focus. I do wonder if that's a concession to age (though, it's one that he's managing well if so).
     
  7. musicaldeath

    musicaldeath Herald of Djod

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    I use wrist straps now for heavy dead lifts (or any heavy pulling movement) just due to the fact I can barely flex my hands the next day if I don't. The tendons in the arm get abused from it all. This, for me at least, makes playing guitar a lot harder than it should be for a few days afterward.
     
  8. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I remember reading somewhere that Steve Morse can't feel his fingers anymore so he has to judge a bend by the tone from the amplifier. Still, you couldn't tell watching him live as he's a monster player.
     
  9. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    I've been thinking about this topic a lot as well, as I've seen my childhood heroes--Vai, Petrucci, Malmsteen, and others--age. It seems that Paul Gilbert is the only dude that is somehow mysteriously able to maintain that surgical precision and speed. Batio is another one, but I'm not a huge fan of his playing, in general.

    However, I'm aging right along with them. I'm only a few years younger than my guitar heroes, so I can 100% sympathize and don't at all hold it against them. But yeah, I've noticed a natural decline in their speed and precision (as I have with my own playing).

    Wait... screw that...

    Let's talk about the degradation of James LaBrie. What the hell?
     
  10. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I am not so sure. Got a few of his newer albums and it seems sloppier. He's playing bluesier though, which might be on purpose. I still like most of it. Bivalve Blues is one of my faves. BTW - he's took a hit in the hearing dept., notice these big cans he wears on stage? Ouch. I'm kinda there too - switched to big iso cans recently and I hear the mix better, and myself in the mix.
     
  11. Rachmaninoff

    Rachmaninoff Amateur porn actor

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    Michael Angelo Batio is 61.
     
  12. scrub

    scrub SS.org Regular

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    uh, maybe he just had a bad day? It happens.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I once saw John Petrucci almost flub two notes, live, at the start of his Erotomania solo. Barely. He must have been so upset afterwards. :(
     
  14. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I don't know, I saw Vai in a workshop two years ago and his playing seemed flawless and fluid as ever. It wasn't a full show and it wasn't continuous so he had quite a bit of pause in between songs and that probably is a different reality than playing a continuous show. But I was really blown away and I'm not a huge Vai fan!
     
  15. Rachmaninoff

    Rachmaninoff Amateur porn actor

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    Unfortunately not. Recent videos are all pretty much like that.
     
  16. Glades

    Glades SS.org Regular

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    Batio is not the same he was when he did Speed Kills. Watch him then and now. There is a difference, and it's significant.

    Age gets to everybody. Nobody is immune to it. It's nature. You shouldn't feel sad about this.

    The only guitarist that I could say I started loving more the older he got was Gary Moore.
     
  17. efx1138

    efx1138 SS.org Regular

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    Truth be told, it could be a number of things. Maybe he's not practicing as much as when he was younger due to a shift in priorities. Having watched him play since 1992 it never felt to me that he was a relaxed player when it came to the shreddy stuff, he was always great at it but other players like YJM and Gilbert both looked much more relaxed and comparatively I think their technique is holding up just fine.

    Also, look at classical musicians where the degradation of technique, if it even comes is usually at a much later age than 50. That of course could be due to those instruments like the piano and violin having been around a lot longer than the electric guitar and a best practices method has had a longer time to materialize but I don't see why this wouldn't be true for a guitar shredder in any way as long as they were careful with their hands.
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    You know, two further comments:

    1) Let's also not forget that between 2004 and 2016, John Petrucci's arms blew up about 8" further in diameter. Weight lifting is suppored to be fairly bad for fine motor control.

    2). Also, can we pause and comment on the fact that somehow Train of Thought is being held up as Dream Theater "back in the day" here? We're talking about a band who pretty much everywhere else SFAM was kind of seen as their last hurrah, and even then it was dipping a little too far into self-indulgent territory.
     
  19. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    You certainly hear this said a lot, but I'm not sure there's a lot to it.

    I know a lot of people say "oh don't lift weights, you'll get too big and it will slow you down" with reference to double bass drum playing, to which...well, Gene Hoglan.

    Rick Graham might be a relevant guitar example.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Like anything, I think it CAN impact your fine motor control - it's certainly something that has the chance for injury. I can't claim to have studied this scientifically, though, but it's certainly a conversation worth having with your doctor before launching on a weightlifting campaign, if you're a guitarist. Heck, as you get older doing that ANYWAY before making large chances in your workouts becomes more important. :lol:
     

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