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Guitar Players


whitefang

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Dont worry, d, this isnt about a list of names. What Im addressing is the subject for which this forum is named. Guitar players.

 

This forum IS called Guitar Player Forum. I believe it was even before its connection with Guitar Player magazine. It is NOT called The Professional Guitarist forum. Nor the Guitar Accessory forum or The Luthier forum, although any topics relating to any of those categories are more than welcome.

 

But we sometimes seem to get lost in the labor of posting The Best this or The Fastest whomever, as d pointed out, that we lose sight that this is a forum aimed at guitar players. This is a term so general and all encompassing that it can mean anyone up to and including someone with the wide extending, limitless talent of Julian Bream down to the stunted limitations of Whitefang and all in between.

 

Often, we are so enamored of the Malmsteens and McLaughlins that we tend to overlook the workmen efforts of those players behind the stars like Alun Davies or Danny Kootch(or whatever, see what I mean?) or even that guy who played behind Jim Croce, who wasnt any slouch on guitar himself.

 

OK, I said this wasnt a names list, and it isnt. Any names mentioned were to illustrate a point. We have members in the forum who DO play professionally, and some who just might be getting started and come here to learn. It is their good fortune to join membership in a forum where none of the others seem to be judgmental of their level of play. To be honest, most members seem to be generous in their willingness to share. That has to be because at the base level, we are all here because we play guitar. Good or bad, it is what we all have in common; a love of the instrument, the love of its sound, the interest in ANY music that includes the guitar and a willingness to advance the choice of the guitar as the musical instrument of choice. But this has to include an acknowledgement of any or all who play the guitar at any level. Even those who might be very famous in the music industry who are not generally known as guitar players.

 

For example: I first heard of Dolly Parton back around 1970-71. At the time, I thought her as nothing other than a very pretty young woman with a good voice, big tits and big hair. It wasnt until many years later I learned she also played the guitar. Maybe not to any level of GREATNESS, but at least good enough to write many of the songs that helped make her famous.

 

Or, if any of you ever saw Coal Miners Daughter, you learned that Loretta Lynn ALSO learned to play guitar. And like Parton, not enough to shake the world with her dazzling technique. But still good enough to write many of the songs that made HER famous as well. Sometimes, when Im passing the time twiddling around on my old Epiphone, Ill stop and cuss under my breath at how shitty Im playing. My wife thinks this is nonsense. You see, her Dad used to play guitar a little and at one time when she was a little girl tried to teach her. She just couldnt get it. She still remembers sweat rolling down his face in the effort. You see, while we here in this forum think of Metheny, McLaughlin, Malmsteen or even Jeff Beck and what theyre capable of as miraculous, my wife thinks that anybody whos able to bang out three or four chords as miraculous. So I should just shut the fuck up and be thankful I can do what I do! After all, music DOESNT have to be complex or intellectually constructed to be well received. Another story I can relate is about the time I went to a tire repair shop in Southwest Detroit( tire repair shops almost outnumber any other business in that region). The kid working on my tire was an obvious illegal, and needed someone to translate if he had a question for me. Yet, as he was doing his same-old same-old task, I heard him whistling Beethovens Ode to Joy! NOT the Ode, but rather the SECOND MOVEMENT!! Thats more music than any of us here are capable of composing, sure. But not too high brow to not be appreciated by anybody. After all, how many people have YOU heard whistling Rite of Spring?

 

We here might not all be guitarists. But we ALL are guitar players. What really matters is this: it doesnt matter if you can cut heads with Steve Vai and kick his ass, or if you can only hack out four chords and play simple folky tunes. Youre making MUSIC. And THATS always a wonderful thing.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Without naming names I must say Dylan...oops...I was watching a live birthday special and he came out on stage hunched over with his teeth and jaw clenched and began singing...it was hard to understand the lyrics if you didn't already know the song...but he played every song in the 1st four frets hitting every chord one could imagine (with no capo) and I really thought wow! what a guitarist...I went to a live Donovan show in Toranto Canada back in the late 60's and expected to see a full band, Dononvan came out and sat on a rug with an acoustic guitar and a blue spot light and played like a saint with no other back up for two hours non-stop...When I watched Croce and Taylor and then bought a couple of their song books, they really wowed me with their chord work and melodies...as does Fogerty...bottom line (without mentioning any names) some of the best guitar work I've witnessed is from the writers...Buffet is more of a song writer, as he can take a simple pattern and write a hit song like Pirate Looks at 40...I know there are a lot of talented guitar players out there and on this forum, but the writers just somehow grab my attention the most...

 

but, bottom line...I think the reason a lot of us are on this forum includes all of the subjects related to the guitar, to include equipment, theory, chords, scales, amps, acoustics, PA's, mics, electronics, etc, etc, etc...and because we all have something in common (ie. a love for guitar and guitar players) we like hanging out here :thu:

Take care, Larryz
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Larry, one has but to listen to Dylan covering Ric von Schmidt's "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" on his debut LP to realize he's better at the instrument than he's let on over the years. Same with his singing. And although Fogerty is one of those that nobody thinks of when any lists are made, his bag of tricks is chock full of well learned passes and riffs. Joni Mitchell, too, plays with a style and technique that's one of a kind that can't be taught or replicated. It's uniquely her own.

 

Probably many if not most of us in here probably play in a way that seperates us from each other. It's not "wrong" or "bad", just what makes each of us, well, "us".

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I've played with some fine journeyman players who, while they're unlikely to win any polls, made and contributed to and wrote some damn fine music. Some of them were a joy to work with.

 

It's not just about the guitar playing anyway, in most cases.

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+1 Fang and Eric, couldn't agree more...I know guys that consider it "wrong" unless you play it just like the record...I didn't know it until this months GP article interview with Brian Setzer, that he won a Grammy for his version of Sleep Walk...which is a long way from Santo & Johnny...both are great but it's not wrong to put yourself into the music and have some soul...Setzer also said you don't have to get it exact, just go for the feel...which is the way I play...I try and appreciate both approaches and really enjoy it when the writers give the writers inspiration...
Take care, Larryz
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Speaking of songwriter/singers being overlooked as accomplished guitarists makes me think of my good friend John Denver. What an incredible musician he was. He could play with such beautiful passages and style that seemed to be very unique to me. He was a good buddy to me when I lived in Aspen and I really miss his wit, humor and gentle spirit. Can't believe he's been gone almost 14 yrs.

SEHpicker

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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I don't know what Byrd might have said, but that sounds good to me. However, I don't know who annoys me more; the guy who can play amazingly but over does the modesty bit, or the guy with no skill or ear that thinks he's kicking it big time.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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My screen-name is Dannyalcatraz...and I...am a guitar player.

 

I have been told that I have great talent for stringed instruments. However, my "Uncle Ben" never gave me the "With great power comes great responsibility" speech Peter Parker got, so I'm a chaotic, unfocused intermittent practicer, which has stunted my achievements.

 

This has not altered my guitar-playing plan one bit, though. I still buy stupidly excellent instruments upon which to display my skills, and one day, I plan to go down to the crossroads and challenge the Devil's own guitarist for worldly wealth & acclaim.

 

I plan to win...by kicking him in the nuts about the time he goes for a guitar-strap windmill. (The Devil cheats, why can't I?)

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I don't want to take away from people who play guitar to accompany their vocals, or use it as a songwriting tool, but I have always been drawn more to the people who live and breathe guitar playing above all else. I like the guitar virtuosos, heroes, and gods, or whatever you want to call them. I think it would be hard for a forum like this or a magazine like Guitar Player to exist without these people who value guitar playing for it's own sake. I can be entertained by someone who holds a guitar while they sing, dance, or whatever, but I would rather see someone who's primary means of expressing themselves is with a guitar.

 

I am not trying to disparage Whitefang and the spirit of his post. I don't say everyone has to have the same motivations as myself. I love it when some kid gets the guitar bug for whatever reason, even if it's seeing Dolly Parton :). This forum has always welcomed anyone from seasoned pros to the newcomer trying to learn his first barre chord. I think it's a place where we can discuss our passions with others who know what it's like to really care about guitar.

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I call myself a "musician," which is almost like a dirty word to a lot of people...

 

I do love the guitar the most, but bass and mandolin and - to a lower amount of skill but with no less enthusiasm - drums and piano/keys are big passions for me.

 

But I would say the focus for me is "music" and the instruments being a way to make it. The guitar was a portable song machine to me as a kid... more fun and able to be shared in social environments than the trumpet I played before that... I just loved cool songs and luckily developed a good sense of relative pitch and learned to play them. That manifested itself in "chops," too, but that was just "lagniappe," as we call it down here (definition: a nice little bonus for free).

 

"Guitar culture" can be boring for me... I have too much gear as it is so the endless ad/marketing aspect is something I need to learn to ignore... "shredding" that isn't done in an interesting song doesn't pull me in. I never get tired of Dylan, though... or Jimmy Reed...

 

but yeah, anyway... I get more excited here when someone posts a song with a unique chord change or something than the "world's fastest" vids.

 

Music is art, and art is communication through creative means. The litmus test for me is always "does it move a regular joe off the streets who isn't a player/enthusiast." I think that's the point... not saying you should shoot for the lowest common denominator or anything, but the purpose isn't for them to feed the player's ego about his prowess, the point is for them to enjoy hearing something.

 

There was a guy I played in a band with for a while, and he got annoyed by how often people would walk up and say "I'm not into the kind of music you guys play, but I really enjoyed it." He took that as an insult, I told him I thought that was probably the biggest compliment we could get.

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I'll second that AMEN!

 

A good case in point....the band...ALABAMA.

Not a single one of them are outstanding players...not that I could do any better or as good mind you. ;)

 

But...you put all those fine gentlemen together and you have about a gazillion #1 hits and artists of the decade, etc...

Not to mention some mighty fine music that will stand the test of time.

 

Great topic Fang! :):rawk:

 

Randy

"Just play!"
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A good case in point....the band...ALABAMA.

Not a single one of them are outstanding players...not that I could do any better or as good mind you. ;)

 

That is at least in part because someone or someones in the band are high-caliber COMPOSERS.

 

Making music is a LOT like cooking. While the quality of your ingredients is damn important, equally if not more important is how you bring them together. That's why chefs can make truly great meals with the cheapest of ingredients- think of a classic Oxtail soup, Texas chilli, or beef stew- and bad cooks ruin fillet mignon.

 

Great composers will know their vocalist's range, their lead guitarist's top speed, how long their saxman can hold a note, etc., and be able to bring it all together in such a way that it creates a song for the ages.* Bad ones could get a supergroup together and come up with something nobody wants to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* More COWBELL!

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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My name is Mike & I'm a guitar player. I'm not arrogant enough to call myself a musician, although I make (and love)music. I don't read notation, not am I an academic student of harmony or the theory behind it. I don't evaluate music on the basis of it's theoretical or stylistic foundations. And, I'm not in danger of being hired to write a column critiquing music of any sort for a publication of any sort.

 

I play lead, rhythm or bass the guitar, and I sing. That's all I do, and it's really all I want to do. And, I often don't get paid for what I do, and when I do get paid, I don't get paid a lot. So, no one who knows what they are talking about is likely to call me a musician. I'm just Mike, a guitar player. Like me or loathe me, I'll keep playing, regardless. The desire to play drives me to the guitar, and I have never been able to put it down for long. I'm Mike, and I'm a guitar player. Everyone else can take it or leave it.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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Well, I don't know if I'd even consider myself a bona fide guitar player anymore. Although I ate, drank, breathed guitar for years when I was younger, due to years of factory work (and a recent injury just to top it off), my hands just don't work like they used to and it doesn't look like I'll get out of this rut any time soon. Still, I love guitar. I love talking about guitar, hearing about guitar and reading about guitar. Seeing the posts from people at all different levels of expertise brightens my day. Making my picks allows me to feel like I'm still part of the "guitar playing community," even though my playing is probably more ogre-like than anyone would ever want to hear!

You've got the best guitar

You've got the best amp

Now get the best pick!

http://www.tuskbuffer.net

TuskBuffer Mammoth Ivory Guitar Picks

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my love affair with guitar is more than playing it also involves tweaking and setting up guitars to maximize them.

i am no shredder and any of my stuff leans toward cool rhythm parts. i like jamming with both my acoustic buddies and my electric pals.

as far as abilities go i am somewhat happy with my skills, seeing i have some things i can be proud of. my main thrust when picking up a guitar now seems to be making something new as opposed to playing a cover.

i have owned a crap load of guitars and have had experiences with a pile of brands..yet there is always a new guitar on the horizon.

i love this forum because of the people the topic and the general calmness of the place.

other forums tend to bore me with the usual blah blah.

we do get stale from time to time but not as badly.

still it is cool and i play guitar and i like hanging here.

 

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I'll go along with Gruupi. My CD collection is RIFE with releases by top-notch virtuosos. I could LISTEN to them all day. But you can only discuss them for so much, then you wind up preaching to a choir of sorts. Plus going on about somebody's virtuosity might eventually discourage somebody. And we don't want THAT, do we?

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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my collection doesn't contain the usual suspects of my generation. but it is heavily guitar oriented. i love the sound a crunchy guitar makes and i love music that excites me. i guess rock and metal is my drug. wailing guitar is not missing in any of my CDs. i especially love it when i hear something dramatic and emotional happening along with the solo. a prime example is Revelation Mother Earth, Randy laid one hell of a lead down there.

as cool as some country players are i can't get by the formulated pop the poor tele twangers have to play on. which would explain why i don't buy any new country stuff.

but i still appreciate the players and like reading articles about them. i read everything in GP.

i am a guitar nut period.

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And for those of us who took lessons, how about a shout-out to the teachers?

 

Think of all those men & women who had to put up with our BS, playing the same basic stuff over and over to show us how it's done, answering the same questions all day every day...and all without being able to put up a "No Stairway" sign.

 

In my case, that would be one Mr. Jim Eger. Thanks!

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Okay, almost everybody at work is at a meeting-I`ll blather a bit...

 

I am a definite guitar maniac. I still get excited by a good hard rock song with a kickass solo, and if most of my contemporaries are listening to new country or R&B, I could not possibly care less. Having said that, my attention is and always will be divided. I don`t have a lot of pursuits but the ones I have are those I cannot do without.

 

I like to approach music as a listener first. I like to

clearly separate music I listen to for study, and for enjoyment. I get inspired to make music just as often, by things totally unconnected to it. I think it`s okay to be inspired by music, I don`t think it`s okay to copy it. I get nothing out of trying to approximate someone else`s style or sound, unless I`m being paid to do it-that`s just me. I`ve rarely tried to learn solos note for note even though it`s good for study- but riffs, definitely. If you can`t play `Walk This Way` right, leave it alone. But I still haven`t really found `my voice` on the instrument. I can get sounds I like but, unlike so many of the greats mentioned around here, there is not a `me sound`. I think that is a big part of what keeps me interested, trying to find `that sound`. It could be techniques I haven`t perfected yet, or my next amp-I`m not going to wade into that debate now. But having said what I said about not copying, I have plowed through some of the driest, math textbook-like theory journals. I prefer notation to tab. One of the things I am most positive about is, I can compose riffs that are hard for me to play-I have to work like a dog to get them to sound right and I am in that situation now in fact. I know I should get into transcribing, right now the songs are #1. I am hooked, lined and sinkered. No plans to take time off, if anything I want to hit the books more this year.

 

In some ways my life totally sucks. Part of me wants to hide in a corner under a blanket with the lights off and never come out. Ever. But I`ll keep playing anyway.

 

Um...maybe I can just compress some of this-talent, is a wonderful thing. But tenacity and focus are just as important, maybe more so. Am I a 'real musician'-no freaking idea. But the greats almost always have those latter two qualities in common.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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