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Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Konfyouzd, Jul 21, 2009.
No, I dont know what that is.
there's a thread up about it. bunch of guys collaborating with the hopes of maybe putting together an ss.org album for fun.
now that i think about it. the album is a marvelous idea. rather than sitting around picking at each other about who can shred faster and why it's necessary to play certain speeds it'll give us a chance to work together and find out how others use their speed (among other skills) and really give us a chance to learn from each other. i'm excited.
There were shit loads of grunge songs that had solos all over them.
Sound Garden had many examples of odd time signatures and SHIT LOADS of guitar solos, they were hardly a "one power chord" band, and neither were Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam.
AIC guitarist Jerry Cantrell is a very skilled guitarist with plenty of chops, far more than the average bedroom shredder.
I've seen plenty of players try to emulate his solos and they fall completely flat because they are nowhere near as fluid as Cantrell.
He also player a modern a G&L super strat guitar, not a telecaster.
No offense, but that was an extremely ignorant statement to make.
Just give it some time and you'll get there.
I remember when I was struggling with that kind of tempo too, each week you can just increase by a few bpm until you're finally where you want to be.
Sorry for my generalization Harry, I was mearly trying to say that the grunge era was the era where guitar diminished in the mainstream, mostly because of the public interest not the individual players. There will always be bands that have great musicians, but this period had more bands that didn't have great musicians.
I realize that my opinion is a little biased, I just really didn't like grunge music. But that is just my opinion.
I think you're right for what it's worth Sean - Grunge had some very successful bands (with some very competant players) but it was also the era where it was cool not to be able to play and there were equally a lot of bands where the guitarists were cack.
Well, I hope I don't offend anyone, but the examples given... Soundgarden and Pearl Jam... Those guitarists don't compare in the least to guys like Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine, Eddie van Halen, Steve Stevens, Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Sambora, Vito Bratta, John Norum, Kee Marcello, Steve Lukather etc...
Sure, they may not have been as poor as Kurt Cobain... but still I don't consider them above average. I mean, that's the entire point... In the 80s you had tons of great players, and the average standard was just really high. Just being a solid player wasn't good enough, you had to have a killer tone and some killer chops in order to get noticed.
Somehow, after grunge happened, it was considered 'good' when you could actually tune your guitar, knew a few basic chords, and could play some simple pentatonic licks, and call it a 'solo'. It's not supposed to be anything special... that's just the basics for any professional musician. But because the average grunge band sucked so hard, it was actually special when some guitarist was actually reasonably solid, and didn't sound like a total beginner.
Now I don't know Jerry Cantrell, but perhaps that alone says enough about him. I'm sure he's pretty good at what he does, but I doubt he's anywhere near as good as any of the 80s shredders, else I'd be more familiar with his work
I've always thought a good guitar player was someone who could write good songs, not someone who could play a million notes a second. Yes it is impressive and adds alot to a guitar player but you don't NEED to be able to shred to be a good player.
OBviously you might not agree becuase its your own opinion but guitarists like Matt Bellamy, Dave Grohl, the guys from Incubus, Slash. All of these are considered not to be shred guitarists but all are great songwriters. I'd take a good song over a shred solo any day.
Just my opinion...carry on
Slash is actually a pretty decent guitarist in terms of speed and pyrotechnics (or at least, he was back in the GnR days). I wouldn't put him in the same list as Bellamy or Grohl. He doesn't often shred it up, but at the end of Paradise City, he lays down some pretty impressive runs. The stuff he did on Michael Jackon's Give in to me isn't bad either. And ofcourse Slash pairs that speed with a great tone, killer bends and vibratos and very unique, instantly recognizable phrasing.
Bellamy lacks control if you ask me, his intonation and vibrato don't sound very solid... and he generally has horrible tone aswell. I can't recall Grohl ever playing anything melodic anyway.
Brings us back to the point... yea ofcourse a good guitarist has to be able to write good songs... but that alone is not enough. If you write a good song, but can't even play it properly in tune, you're not a good guitarist if you ask me.
I expect a good guitarist to also have a very solid technique and a good tone. And technique is not just about speed either. It's also about control. About being able to tell a story with just a single note by applying perfectly controlled vibrato and bending.
And while I don't expect anyone to be Rusty Cooley-fast, there's a world of difference between ultra-slow pentatonic solo's and Rusty Cooley. Nothing wrong with some 'moderate' speed, such as what Slash displays for example. He's fast enough to actually be able to use fast runs in a musical context, adding to the song. And it's not like only a guitar god like Slash can reach such speeds. I think anyone can, if they're willing to put in the practice... and putting in practice is just something that professional guitarists should be doing. It's their job. In most jobs it's pretty much a given that the people know what they're doing, such as doctors, carpenters, mechanics, plumbers etc. Why can't we expect the same of people who make music for a living? If you see what lots of young 'amateur' players can do on forums like these, isn't it strange that these multi-million earning musicians can barely tune their instrument?
No no, no offence taken dude. I think the point was that there was generally a drop in the level of ability but there were some that whilst not aspiring to the heights of the 80's refused to sink to the lows of the 90's
If anything the musicianship of Cantrell and Kim Thayil was such that whilst competant players they really didn't need to shred to impress. However, seeing as this is a thread about teh speed then ultimately there was an overall drop in the 90's. The shredders still did indeed shred but it wasn't as popular (or in fact as groundbreaking) as before.
Well, shred was never a requirement.
I think it's more about being a solid player, and knowing how to work inside your limitations.
I guess a great example is the Beatles. None of them were virtuoso players on any instrument... but they never 'overplayed' themselves. They could deliver a solid performance, with a good sound, tight rhythm and proper intonation. So although it was relatively simple, it sounded good, so they didn't SOUND like limited musicians, unlike most grunge artists.
They also knew to bring in guest musicians to make songs better.
You clearly know what you are talking about and i'm not trying to take that away from you. It's just the example I was giving is that a guitar player doesn't have to shred to be considered good in my opinion. A good player is someone who can write good songs and of course they have to be able to execute that in their playing.
Take for example, a general songwriter who writes pop tunes for pop artists. He may not beable to sing a note in key but he can write the music. This makes him a good songwriter not a good vocalist. Where as, what I am saying is to be a good guitarist you have to beable to write songs and also play them solidly. Which is why I gave examples of compatent guitar players.
What I like is when they know their limitations and just write the songs, and have them performed by people more capable of doing so.
I mean... I can't stand someone like Alanis Morissette... Yea, she's written some decent songs, but I can't stand her singing. Let's face it, she's a horrible singer. Perhaps she should have had someone else perform them.
I can't sing, but I *know* I can't sing, so I either stick to instrumental music, or I have someone else sing.
I would like to say that I think being a good musician does not equate to being a good songwriter/composer, by which I mean that I believe people can be good musicians without writing any songs, good or otherwise.
Yea, there's something to be said for that aswell. In classical music it's very common for musicians to only play other people's work... but with most modern music, bands generally play their own work... so then it immediately shows when you're not a good songwriter... This happened aswell in the 80s... you had quite a few Van Halen/Malmsteen clones who couldn't write a song, so the song just sounded like an excuse for the guitarist to show his shredding skills. These guys gave shredding a bad name, which may ultimately have led to the counter-movement of grunge.
But the better 80s guitarists could obviously write songs... Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Mr. Big... those guys had great songs.
But there are ofcourse also session musicians, who generally don't write their own music.. Two of my favourite guitarists are Steve Lukather and Andy Timmons, and those are longtime session guys. They have this knack for giving a song just the riff or hook that it needs. Or really tasteful fills and lead playing.
Meh, music tastes vary so much it is difficult to say what is good and bad.
I like playing fast, but I know I'd get my ass kicked if I ever tried to jam with the blues guys. I try not to think much of people if their tastes in music are different. Hell, I know mine can be way out there. I lvoe shred guys, from prog to tech to fusion, but I also love some of the wacky. Like Primus and Mr Bungle. Some of the more experimental bands I dig too, like Behold... The Arctopus and the Dillinger Escape Plan, hell even Meshuggah are kinda experimental. I am not into much -core, but there are some great grindcore and hardcore music out there. I tend to like a lot of mathcore bands though.
Hell, doesn't even have to be physical instruments, Venetian Snares and Aphex twin are fucking great to me.
Although Andy Timmons is also a great songwriter
So is Steve Lukather... It's just not the main thing they're famous for... Even if they'd never written any songs themselves, they'd still be the same revered session guitarists. So that supports the notion that you don't need to be a good songwriter to be a great guitarist.