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Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Spaced Out Ace, Nov 2, 2019.
making fun of wanker shredders has nothing to do with empathy
BIG ND SWEATY, you put that super eloquently and I'm starting to see where you're coming from. I can't fathom having the same appreciation as you do for stuff that is blatantly fake and also advertised as real. To me, that's more akin to looking at a piece of sheet music and appreciating it as much as the final product. But I fully respect your take on it, and your patience with an aging fart like me who will cling to truth and integrity until I die.
I gotta say, I've really enjoyed this conversation with you all thus far. It's the most active I've been on any message board in years, and I'm glad we can all keep this chain going in a civil manner.
I think the preference all comes down to what lens you're viewing the music through. I'm a music fan first and a musician second so all I really look for in music is if the composition is interesting and gives me that feeling and then I take into account if its actually played or not, more appreciation points are awarded to the guys actually playing their shit (since that actually is my preference) but I can still appreciate the guys who put the time into punching in notes to create an entirely different but not necessarily playable piece of music. Whereas more old-school minded musicians like yourself need the human element in music because that's what you're used to hearing and looking for in music.
I think we both share the same worry though and that's for the fans who can't tell the difference between something actually being played and something being mimed to on Instagram or programmed because they don't know the more human sounding side of extreme/technical music. It could lead to a whole new wave of insane players though. At the end of the day the guys who fake and lie about their playing will be found out eventually and they'll face whatever repercussions that brings but some people will still have an appreciation for the compositional skills of that particular artist.
Musicians have this issue where we often pay more attention to the process of making music over the actual experience of listening to it. We're all broken and useless because of it. It's hard to evaluate something honestly when your dumb brain wants to pay attention to how hard it is to make/perform/record. When you hear a new song, do you have to mentally calculate how many hours the musicians have practiced? Can you enjoy something before you see the playthrough? If it turns out the drums were programmed, or the guitars were edited, do you decide to shut down your enjoyment because it used forbidden techniques?
It's like all those people who get infuriated by the existence of press-play DJs. They can't fathom how people could enjoy something that isn't difficult to create. But nobody on the dance floor (except dweebs like me) is counting the hours the track took to produce, or the way the DJ prepared the set. They hear music, they like it or they don't like it, and they respond accordingly. That's more honest than doing mental calculations to decide that a song is worthy. Music isn't a pissing contest.
If your band/project's only impact or contribution to the music scene is how difficult your songs are to perform, you might be overcompensating for other deficiencies. I would never say technical music is less "musical" or less "innovative" than less technical music, but being difficult doesn't innately make it better. Technicality is a tool to unlock an aesthetic that you like. It doesn't necessarily make your music more meritorious than someone else's. You can't guitar exercise your way out of unoriginality or being boring.
Music performance has as much to do with athletic prowess as it does with art. Which is fine, athleticism is also a cool thing, but music isn't a competition. But creative vision and technical ability shouldn't be conflated. Tons of legendary bands had relatively sloppy musicians. Tons of amazing music took little time and effort to produce. Paranoid is still Sabbath's biggest song, and it was written during a lunch break as a filler track.
Of course, as evident as it is, but my comment isn't about "making fun of" as much as it is "my opinion is fact", and the moment you put things like this...
...you're not making fun, you're just categorically stating something that stems from your personal tastes, i.e. an opinion.
Personally, when songs become mere vehicles for things I'd play as a warm up exercise, I can't really be excited about them, usually they have quite the opposite effect on me, but I don't think dismissing the validity of it because [insert what I like here] is so much better is the best way to go about it. If people are all excited about going as fast as humanly possible even if that occurs in detriment of the song for a listener like me, then fuck it - it's their prerogative and I hope they have fun doing it. For as long as there are people willing who want to listen to it, why shouldn't they?
I read this with those phoney 70's Kung Fu movies' accent and it was magnificent.
Absolutely, and I even find the focus on perfection or showcasing technical proficiency to be a way to stilt your ability as a composer in general, as you'll likely overcomplicate a really good riff and wreck it or insert a ton of hard to execute stuff for the sake of it and risk severely impacting the flow of a song negatively or even not take any risks on a song as it may be "perceived" poorly by listeners.
I can't agree with this enough since I find Is my main weakness as a musician.
Most of the time the most epic riffs are fairly simple but some players have the urge to over complicate things to stand out as good musicians.
Now that we're surrounded by super technical YouTube or IG guitarists, every means Is lawful to be considered good, even speeding up solos.
People have traded musicality to self accomplishment just to be considered acceptable.
That being said, in my personal tastes, there’s a hierarchy between what I consider technical uninspired scalar runs or riffs with boring note/rhythmic choices as opposed to complex tasty licks and riffs. All personal tastes and not absolute facts, I know.
Example: upon first listening to Stephen Taranto’s Permanence EP, I found it way too dense and did not like it that much. After a couple listens, I found more stuff that I liked. Months later, I love it. For me, complex music takes time to unpack. Same for Paul Wardingham, etc. As a general personal rule, if I find myself mentally humming a melody, however complex or simple, it’s a good sign.
Opposite end of the spectrum: however how often I listen to Rusty Cooley’s stuff I can’t seem to like it. I’m not branding it as “bad”, but as complex stuff I just don’t like. I respect the work ethic it must have taken to get that technically proficient, but my heart and ears prefer the phrasing of someone like Per Nilsson than Rusty’s.
Its about integrity.
OK, so you are one of those people who don't care if "tricks" were used to make the music. Its either good music or bad music. Ok.
What about the case where a musician pays someone else to ghost write and produce their songs? (Taylor Swift, many others) The song is good, so what does it matter?
Imagine identifying with a musician, only to find out that their rich daddy paid for teams of people to write and produce songs so they could be famous? Do you have a problem with that?
I read that greater than 70% of college kids admit to cheating on exams. If the majority of people think cheating is OK, then certainly there will be people who dont care about faking guitar skills.
I'm with @Spaced Out Ace and Fountainhead on faking guitar skill, it's all about transparency, i.e. being honest about it. If you set unhealthy expectations by lying to unsuspecting young guitarists, then I don't like that.
Having a ghost writer happens everywhere. When it's not transparent, I don't like it, but it's not illegal. Educating unsuspecting people on the topic goes a long way IMO.
I put a lot of value on integrity, but that's a personal value choice. I also put a lot of value on not judging people or forcing my values down other people's throats. But that's just me.
I don't find that relevant at all - if the song is in fact good, then that's about it. It would be a whole different matter to have Taylor Swift talking about her writing process and the usual romantic blurb to embelish things only for people to find out it was all BS and the songs were, in fact, ghost written.
I am a session musician, meaning I'm involved in many a hired gun activity, which in the studio can imply redoing all the arrangements or coming up with completely new parts in addition to the usual sit down and track the album stuff side of things. Producers in particular can and will often simply deconstruct a track and put it back together in a way that they believe will be better, be it for commercial reasons, artistic or both. Where is the line drawn? I won't even tell you of some of the "dirty work" we are sometimes called upon to do, but let's say that some artists' "really ON take" was perhaps someone else's.
Speaking from my own experience, it is all about honesty in the end, whereas "rich daddy" or not is utterly irrelevant. Djent / prog has its share of "trust fund kids" as I've heard them called and I don't see exactly why that would somehow make them "inferior" or "dishonest" when they simply utilized means that were legitimately at their disposal.
No, honestly; I don't think I would. For the same reason you state- it's all about integrity.
Like Fred said, if we were to ask Taylor about her writing process and how she puts all of these songs together and she starts lying to our faces, yes; I have a problem with her. But that'd be because she's a liar, not because she used a ghost writer.
I also don't think that her accomplishments are invalid because of said ghost writer, because it was her performance that marketed the song and created the hit. It's the same way that I can have a ton of respect for certain YouTube guitarists that don't really compose but can shred the hell out of any cover you throw at them. Their performance is incredible and every individual has their own style, even if you're trying for a 1 to 1 cover you're going to sound a little bit different, a tiny bit of your style is going to bleed through.
So no, I wouldn't really care about some djentboi in his bedroom 'faking' guitar skills; up until the point where he becomes a liar. Then all bets are off
There is an assumption that guitar parts were played. If they don't actually say they were faked, it's a lie. A lie of omission.
It's more than an assumption - more often than not, it's proactively suggested by the author as he "plays" the track on video, even though it's as BS as it gets. Without a single word, they are, in fact, stating they did play the part as you hear it, and then tend resort to all sorts of semantics and excuses to defend themselves, because they didn't explicitly write it all down.
The part I bolded is exactly what I've been going on about. To me, that human "slop" factor is what catches my ear all the time, and coincidentally, all the metal I love features that human slop/feel/touch heavily. I don't actively try to calculate or predict how real something is, it jumps out as clear as day as soon as it's heard. Similarly, when I hear stuff like RoS/Berried Alive, I can immediately tell that something is missing. It has nothing to do with "shutting down my enjoyment because it used forbidden techniques" (LOL).
I don’t think anyone cares about whether the music is good or not, what we take issue with is the blatant “if you practice like me, one day you might be good” comments/remarks.
Plenty of these people speed up tracks/quantize to hell/single note punch in’s and don’t say it’s ultra processed. Yet, when a YouTube comments pops up like “man how did you learn to play like this?” And the response is “play 10+ hours a day etc”.
Yea, that’s an issue for me.
That does indeed suck. That being said, I’ve never encountered that (but I don’t spend time reading all YT comments). Got specific examples (for pure entertainment value)?
Edit: never mind I just read the comments on Charles Caswell’s latest IG post. One guy even straight out asked him if it was sped up, how he could abuse the whammy (without muting anything) while getting no string noise and if his lines are dubbed with midi/synths. I’ll grab popcorn when he answers.
He'll probably provide a smart-ass non-answer, then delete the comment and block the guy if he presses it. I've watched him rage-quit a handful of FB guitarist groups over the last few years over similar things.
I've watched more of his videos. The sounds suggest he has the best left and right hand muting technique in the world (besides doing synth/midi dubs, punching in notes, speeding licks up and abusing noise gates/compression), yet his hands are all over the place. It's depressing to see how many people think he's not using trickery and see him answer that he practices 6 hours a day.
Reading and deleting the endless comments from people constantly calling you out has got to be tiring.
A lot of these guys get really annoyed but what else do they expect. A good example was the guy who almost won first place in a big guitar competition until someone pointed out he was miming to a guitar pro track. He was disqualified and the prizes moved to the next in line. He defended his playing to the ground and ranted on FB for the next month about how everyone was a liar and jealous of his skills. He couldn’t acknowledge he was the one in the wrong.
I know right, it would probably make life easier to just say "I come up with these ideas on guitar, I create them in my DAW, guitar is my instrument so I use it in my videos. It's produced the way it is to create the desired auditory effect." and most people would just leave him alone.