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Sensational guitarist ruins the act


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John Popper comes to mind. I can't deal with musical masturbation. In fact, I've developed an aversion to obligatory guitar solos in general. Sometimes it just seems that the showoff gene and the guitarist gene are inseparable. It's truly wonderful to find the guitarist who knows how much is the right amount. All good things in moderation - too much of anything is probably a bad thing. I bet it's not too late for the guitarist to learn to be better - seems that the logical progression would be for him to mature into a better guitarist - but someone needs to get him headed in the right direction.
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This reminds me of an observation made by Carlos Santana a few years ago. Carlos related that he once went to see a technically brilliant guitarist in concert. He noted that the overwhelming majority of the audience consisted primarily of guys with their jaws on the floor, with the ones in front straining to see what was in the guitar players pedal board. No women. No dancing. He also noted that when his band would lay into a rhytmically intense groove, many of the women in attendence would begin to dance and gyrate in a very sensual manner. I think there's a valuable lesson to be learned from Carlos' observations.
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Oh, GOD! Here comes another one of Whitefangs stories! In an interview, Paul Desmond admitted he didn't spend too much time each day practicing. "I've noticed," he said, "That when I practice a lot, I start playing too fast!" The difference, I guess, between someone saying what he's got to say, and someone who just babbles on and on about it! And the "overplaying" thing is the one reason I lose interest in players like Eddie Van Halen. I was listening to the radio one day and a Van Halen song came on. I'm not sure which one, but I switched the station before the song got into full swing because I got bored With Eddie's spastic, rambling overplayed intro solo. Two minutes too long for my sake. John McLaughlin caught himself getting into that mode as well. He quickly tuned it down a bit. And as a result, most times I've seen him live, the other musician's solos were much longer than his own. That's simple generosity! Whitefang
I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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[quote]Originally posted by markvincent: [b]Quoted by Phil. [quote] I don't care how great the guy's tone is, and I don't care how fast he can play, or how well he can technically execute difficult runs... if he overplays, and if he doesn't have great feel (and part of "great feel" IMO is not just the phrasing but also knowing what to play - and when to play it - and when NOT to play) then IMO, he's NOT a "great guitarist". Period. [/quote]Phil is right on the money.[/b][/quote]Well I've got to take some exception to this. Part of it is the absolutist position. Everyone has their bad days. But I've said it before, with Neil fastasticsound mainly, it all depends on genre. You could have Jim Hall, who is known as a [i]great[/i], very tastey, understated jazz guitarist. Put him on something like a Smashing Pumpkins session and you might think his time's bad, he overplays, has no emotion, has horrible tone. Believe it or not, there are styles of music where excess is the order of the day. Where the [i]tune[/i] is [b] NOT[/b] the most important element of the music. Impressions is great not because it's a great tune. It's great because of Coltrane's very [i]"excessive"[/i] extended solo. I was listening to an old Oscar Peterson recording the other night. Man the guy plays fast. But his speed is so [b]in context[/b]. There is rarely even one note out of place. Plus he swings so [i] hard[/i] it all just fits wonderfully. I've never heard him criticized for playing fast. He plays great tunes; few of them are his own. But the tunes are not, by and large, why people listen to him. The audience likes to listen to [i]him[/i]. So I just want to make this clear. That yes, in pop music, rock 'n roll, R&B, hip hop, and much of jazz, etc. the tune is served. This is a basic rule of thumb. There are ocassions where the tune is just a stepping stone and truly memorable and transendant performances have occurred inspite of the tune. Yes a guitarist who has little taste regardless of his bounty of chops is NOT a great guitarist, regardless of genre. OTOH it's hard to make something great happen if you aren't willing to step out of the clinch once in awhile.

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Henry Robinett

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[quote]Originally posted by Mr. Downchild: [b]This reminds me of an observation made by Carlos Santana a few years ago. Carlos related that he once went to see a technically brilliant guitarist in concert. He noted that the overwhelming majority of the audience consisted primarily of guys with their jaws on the floor, with the ones in front straining to see what was in the guitar players pedal board. No women. No dancing. He also noted that when his band would lay into a rhytmically intense groove, many of the women in attendence would begin to dance and gyrate in a very sensual manner. I think there's a valuable lesson to be learned from Carlos' observations.[/b][/quote]AMEN!!! It's ALL about making the women dance and gyrate in a very sensual manner.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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[i]AMEN!!! It's ALL about making the women dance and gyrate in a very sensual manner[/i] That would be nice, but not my primary concern. Mine is creative and artistic satisfaction with the composition. Something I can be proud of that will last forever - BOOM - there on tape! NOT trying to get a woman to dance so I can get in her pants. (as appealing as that is).
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I'm surprised no one's brought up the parallel of an overplaying-guitarist with some of the overwrought vocal performances we get from the likes of Mariah/Whitney/Michael Bolton/Stevie Wonder. It's great that you CAN sing like that, but most of the time its not what the song calls for. A lot of folks dis Toto, but I [i]love[/i] Steve Lukather's solo in "I Won't Hold You Back" from Toto IV. That solo just soars, but its simple enough I could learn to play it in a weekend (I'm a keyboardist). One of the world's hottest lead guitarists knows that, sometimes, its what you don't play.

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

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[quote]Originally posted by Botch: [b]I'm surprised no one's brought up the parallel of an overplaying-guitarist with some of the overwrought vocal performances we get from the likes of Mariah/Whitney/Michael Bolton/Stevie Wonder. It's great that you CAN sing like that, but most of the time its not what the song calls for. [/b][/quote]Stevie? No. Sorry.
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[quote]Originally posted by halljams: [b] [quote]Originally posted by Botch: [b]I'm surprised no one's brought up the parallel of an overplaying-guitarist with some of the overwrought vocal performances we get from the likes of Mariah/Whitney/Michael Bolton/Stevie Wonder. It's great that you CAN sing like that, but most of the time its not what the song calls for. [/b][/quote]Stevie? No. Sorry.[/b][/quote]Sorry. [i]Recent[/i] Stevie. I stand by that. His early singing has so much JOY just pouring out of it, but lately, nope.

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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[quote]Originally posted by Nytrix: [That would be nice, but not my primary concern. Mine is creative and artistic satisfaction with the composition. Something I can be proud of that will last forever - BOOM - there on tape! NOT trying to get a woman to dance so I can get in her pants. (as appealing as that is).[/quote]Yes, that's a valid reason too Nytrix, but I don't think Santana's point was in utilizing his music in order to get laid. His point was music being about communication on a broad scale. For some, music communicates on a cerebral level, for others, it's a visceral level. But the [i]best[/i] kind of communication, IMHO, reaches both. BTW, Carlos also mentioned that groupies would try to rendezvous with him after a show, and he would tell them: "I cannot do to you physically, what my music does to your soul". Absolutely nothing wrong with an audience of slack-jawed guitarists, but personally, as a musician, I would rather see a dancefloor full of sensually gyrating women everytime. :D
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[quote]Originally posted by Mr. Downchild Absolutely nothing wrong with an audience of slack-jawed guitarists, but personally, as a musician, I would rather see a dancefloor full of sensually gyrating women everytime. [/quote]DAMN STRAIGHT! :D Jedi

"All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence."

 

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It depends on the music. I never saw anyone dance to Keith Jarret's "Koln concert", IMO one of the single best musical performances of all time at every level, from the cereberal to the visceral. In other words, it is impossible to generalize what constitutes a good performance without putting it in context. prog
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Get back to the matter at hand! No one was TALKING about getting some groupies pants wet! They were compaining about some jack-off playing his guitar to the point of distraction. Giving the music too much more than it requires. Somebody bring up Carlos? GOOD example! His "Black Magic Woman" solo is perfect! Naw, it's not difficult for a competent musician to cover, but it's just the right speed and context for the song. If, let's use my peeve again, Eddie Van Halen covered the piece, he'd probably throw in a few hundred extra notes. I've heard him do such things before, and he'll no doubt keep on doing it. THAT'S overplaying. Has not a thing to do with making women dance. And I know the chicks dancing thing was in favor of the Carlos arguement, but, shit! Mention women to some of these guys, and they forgot what it was the thread was about in the first place. Gotta be careful, y'know? Whitefang
I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Ok, maybe in this instance, [i]I[/i] may have miscommunicated. My whole point was when an instrumentalist/vocalist gives more to the music than is required, the likely result will be: a) ooohhhs and ahhhs from other musicians, b) disgust and :rolleyes: from the audience, or c) amazement and awe from people who hear the performance who otherwise don't know any better. I said earlier that there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these responses. People will react in different ways. I never likened music to arousing women, just sharing an observation by Carlos (who must certainly have more than his fair share of guitarists in his audience) who noted that when virtuosity is placed in a "look at me", or "I'm the star", or "come, let's explore the mystic winterlands....courtesy of my guitar" context, one runs the risk of communicating with only a small segment of the overall population. In the case of the guy who started this thread, the guitarist he heard didn't come across to him in any meaningful way. Then again, this is subjective. There are those to whom John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix, Motzart, The Beatles, and Louis Armstrong didn't come across in any meaningful way either. It's just that these guys made musical history by communicating across the lines of simple virtuosity...and serving the music period. I think history shows that these guys got their point across. "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, oh lord please don't let me be misunderstood" ;)
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I heard Steve Vai joke about this very thing in concert last year. He was saying to some of the women in the front rows, `I know your boyfriends dragged you here, right?` then he had one of those voice changers hooked up to the mike and said in a high female voice `I don`t wanna see Steve Vai-he plays that crazy guitar music. I wanna see Ricky Martin.`
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Player sense 101.... If the chops exceed the strength of heart... The ego wil prevail... If the heart is greater then the artist... The results will be soaring to the captive listener... I was at the Bluebird during NAMM...several nights in a row, saw Marv Green sing Amazed...etc One night the un-named blues player..needed to announce that they would not care how much noise the club patrons made...because they would indeed play loud enough to overcome that... After the first set, the paint was peeling from the wall from his self administered blistered chopping... My ears hurt so bad, I took a napkin and plugged them up for the next set... I had to sit it out becuase of a business association but.... When I spoke with him afterwards, he...removed cotton from his ears.. Either he's deaf, or the cats down in Nashville...just think it's cool to play over everything...same deal out at a rib joint a few nights later, the harp player's mic was tuned too loud and the peavy horns were aimed right at us...we asked him to turn it down a notch and he puked up his inner out house... People who have no sense of artistry..may be tecnically outstanding...but it's easy to hear and obvious when there is little heart involved... Oh and first timer...Homoskulkington...Stop sitting there sniffing your farts..it's worse than sniffing glue...and effects your typing skills Thanks, R
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[quote]Originally posted by whitefang: [b]...let's use my peeve again, Eddie Van Halen covered the piece, he'd probably throw in a few hundred extra notes. I've heard him do such things before, and he'll no doubt keep on doing it. THAT'S overplaying. Has not a thing to do with making women dance...[/b][/quote]Whitefang, you're prejudiced against EVH. That's ok, just don't use him as an example of overplaying [i]everything.[/i] On the contrary, some of his best performances are understated, even if the solos are over the top. (You'll notice almost none of them are long, either.) The funny thing is, when EVH toned down his playing on much of the 5150 album, lots of people said his chops were slipping! (For a great example. listen to the solos and fills on Dreams.) In comparison, each solo in most Satriani/Vai, etc. songs goes on minutes longer than an ENTIRE Van Halen song. :D The best example of Eddie building up a solo might be his contribution to Michael Jackson's, "Beat It". It's short, builds quickly, but it does have a definite start, middle and end with phrasing as opposed to non-stop rambling. My opinion.

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