View Full Version : Shredding, Sweeping, Sliding, Speeding
03-09-2001, 12:39 PM
I just put up my first GT "lesson" + audio called Shred Like Hell: Abnormal Speed...it should be familiar to some of you who have been frequent visitors to my site. Oh, and please do read the explanation of what it's about before listening to the sound file; you simply will not "get it" unless you put it into perspective. It's not about pretty little melodies (not that I have anything against pretty little melodies) or reinventing the wheel. If you're a stickler for conventional music then you should probably just pass on this particular lesson.
Oh, and I just got a new audio/mp3 host. Fans of intense and exotic shred can download all the free music their brains can handle ;-)
[Edited by Bofatron on 03-12-2001 at 02:38 PM]
03-11-2001, 01:32 AM
Ya, I think I just checked out that trick. Quite insane speed . . . almost sounded inhuman.
03-11-2001, 08:29 AM
Did it by any chance sound "chops from hellish"? ;-) thanks Chris
03-12-2001, 09:55 AM
I listened to that trick and I have to say that it was something of the worst "music" ever produced. It just sounded like a lots of notes running into eachother.
03-12-2001, 01:01 PM
You forgot to add the decisive qualifier "in my opinion" to your off-handed bash as "moderator." And as you implied, it's a, as you called it, a "trick"... It's not supposed to be "music"
read the text/explanation (before you listen and then jump to judge and categorize) where I stated, explicitly, what the point of it was and where things like this *might* have applications -- as as for "notes all running together, well, at least you didn't miss the most obvious aspect of it all. And the notes themselves don't care if they run together...the point is that it is only your subjective opinion that adds to them the determination that they are not "musical" in the first place, hence, necessitating the "in my opinion" qualifier.
Keep an open mind about things; there's more to life than Satriani and Yngwie and whoever else you see on the cover of Guitar World. Anyway, it's not supposed to be "liked" --that was one of the points of it. I rather enjoy the fact that people with narrow criteria of "music" and limited cultural horizons (No, not aimed at you just a general statement based on a lot of responses I've had in the past from young, inexperienced, orthodox, dogmatic, male guitarists that cling to tightly to heros) take offense and become hostile to it. It is a great compliment. It's a big, horrible world out there you can either step up to the plate swinging and be an echo of all that is horrible, or at least have the capacity to do that once in a while, or bow down and be a slave to fashion, hoe the same little patch of the garden that 10,000 other people have done repeatedly...
There's also a practical side to all this. Anyone with gigging/live playing experience will tell you that it is a real bonus having all sorts of flashy "non-musical" tricks up their sleves for all sorts of obvious reasons. You might not want to do it on a disk but playing for live audiences is a totally different world -- as an afterthought, I thought I'd just add that my ears are still ringing from a gig last night when the entire place was going nuts after I ripped off something very similar to that "lick" or whatever you want to call it. I played a seven min guitar solo doing a version of a Praxis song and it put some wild stuff in the middle and at the end. But all along the way I was playing more in a style similar to Hendrix + Frisell etc., with melodies, motific development, modal interchanges, etc. It's a good device for adding punctuation marks within "valid/legitimate" musical statements. Like it or not I know what works and I know how to make audiences take notice and get excited.
But, regardless, that's cool if you hate what I can do. I can do it. And like it or not, you can't listen to my music and confuse it for anybody else. On the other hand, at least 90% of guitar players sound like pale imitations of somebody else and are only doing things that "anybody" could do. And It's not all that I do -- it was a "trick" not some profound musical statement. Admittedly, it's not for everybody, I realize. I would probably cringe at some of the players you think are good because I see most mainstream guitarists as rather bland, boring, and just rehashing the same old things over and over. It's just a matter of taste and there's no objective criteria to use in judging things of this matter...
And it doesn't appear that the majority of people share your opinion because I get tons of email every week and people join my site every day because they love the sound and want to learn it for themselves. And I guess Chops From Hell, the premier shred site on the web, would not have featured me if they thought that it lacked merit.
[Edited by Bofatron on 03-12-2001 at 03:18 PM]
03-12-2001, 01:30 PM
By the way, Magnus, I noticed from your profile that your stated interest is to have "fun." Well, let me tell you, pulling off things like that on the guitar is so much fun it will make the hair on your head stand up ;-) I think that would be reason enough to try.
03-12-2001, 03:28 PM
Ouch.. sorry bout that Bofatron. I should've added the "in my opininon" . I just got so frustrated when I saw how much work you'd put in your trick. The explaination was the longest ever...( no wonder I didn't read it all :p ).
I excpected something extraordinary. but I couldn't hear anything "wow!" at all. It didn't sound like the technique was something special. I think I've listened to it at least 20 times now. And I still don't get it. Maybe it's just me.
I always try to keep an open mind, I've been to a modern jazz workshop, that was wild! Your trick sounded like some sliding harmonics. I tried to read the tab with no success at all.
Bofatron please help me! I do not understand your trick!
03-12-2001, 03:51 PM
Ok Bofa, I think I get it now. I went to the shredlikehell site and downloaded one of your songs, Global Positioning System. It isn't my style at all, but I hope that you didn't take any offense of my stupid reply. If this is what you want to play, just play it. And to everybody else out there, never listen to nackards like me...It just takes some time for me to understand things like this.
the avantgarde guys will never be accepted in their present time...everybody knows what happened to Prokofjev's Rites of Spring...
/ your friend Magnus
03-12-2001, 04:48 PM
I read the info to your trick and thought it sounded very promising, to play fast is something I realy would like to master, but I´m more into playing clean, yepp I´m one of those 90%. ;)
Well, I found your idea very interesting and you got a point in what you say.
Allthought I prefer to play 11 clean notes/sek than 25-30 sloppy ones(yes, I tried to count your notes).
And I believe that the majority of shredd guitarists strives for a clean sound.
But then again, you go your way and you realy should cause it´s always more fun to play the things one likes to play.
03-12-2001, 06:33 PM
I've heard it, and I tend to agree with Bof. I'm colored by cultural biases like a predilection for melodic playing. The guitarrists I dig are guys like Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, etc. I mostly listen to horn players, actually. Miles Davis and Chet Baker are some of my faves. This isn't the only music I like, of course, but it's the kind of that melodic sensibility that I tend to strive for in my playing. Not that I don't try to play fast, but I definitely treat technique as a means rather than an end. Rather than trying to derive musical ideas from interesting techniques, I try to develop my technique in order to play the musical ideas I'm already interested in.
For these reasons, Bof's stuff isn't the kind of stuff that I gravitate towards in my playing, or my listening. I can understand what Magnus felt. Still, I see what he's trying to do, and I totally respect it. I don't think it's just showing off; he's trying to do something musical with it. Whether or I or anybody else thinks he achieves that goal is subjective, and he definitely doesn't sound like everybody else, there's no denying that. I also sympathize with him, because I'm sure that he's had to put up with a lot of crap from people saying that he's just wanking, that he's not really playing music, and that he's "just playing a lot of notes" which isn't fair.
03-12-2001, 06:58 PM
I must say that LuigiCabrini is so much better than me expressing what he thinks, I´m not that great when it comes to expressing things other than in Swedish.
But so that noone missunderstands me, the things LuigiCabrini just typed, thats my opinion too!!! :)
03-12-2001, 09:53 PM
Hey, all you guys, thanks. I feel a group hug thing is in order! Thanks very much for going back and evaluating the trick within it's context and seeing it for what it is. I think it's an encouraging sign that we can all realize that there's room for everyone in the world of music and guitar.
By the way, I wanted to point out that I do have some "pretty" songs on my page too ;-) Try NewSol or Trans Earth... You know, in reality I don't actually shred like that very often...a couple of spots per set maybe...just got to rip every now and then to keep people focused on the band :-)
03-14-2001, 03:53 AM
what is legato? (my latin isn't what it used to be)
03-15-2001, 01:36 PM
Can I just make my own little suggestion here. Would it be possible for you, Bof, to post a slower version of the trick? I think part of the problem is too many notes to quickly. It takes a very tolerante (?!!!) ear to listen to so much that fast. Give people a chance to here that played a fraction, (perhaps half is too much, but I doubt it) slower. See what kind of respone you get then...Just a thought.
03-15-2001, 03:14 PM
Okay, well I'll do better than that perhaps. I've got a tiny little sonic joke at my download page called "No Sir" that, while not the same lick, is the same fundamental approach with a bit more of a melodic sense and is a lot slower.
but keep in mind as I said in the lesson text, melody and speed do not, in my opinion, mix very well. I see no point in playing melodies fast because it just goes over the head of most people. I think people like Neil Young and other guys do it just about right. And, honestly, when I play live I'm pretty darned slow (no shredding) except a couple of times per set. When I think of speed I think in fairly utilitarians terms and what it can do in a live situation...like audience management in a sense. But there's an aesthetic side as well...and that is if you want to speed as a way to represent something about society today then you've got to have the capacity for horrifying speed...they kind that you just stare at and scratch your head.
In short, if you want music then go slow, find the good note, concentrate on phrasing, and make people happy. If you want speed, if you must, then don't try to play music fast. It sounds like a cartoon soundtrack. Play outside the domain of music...go for a "sonic event" or call it noise or whatever. It has a time and place. And keep in mind that my little disk was/is a demo in the sense of exaggerated and inhumane guitar tricks that goes with an instructional video...not intended as a stand-alone musical disk per se -- even though, in my mind, I personally like it as "music" even if it's not for everyone. If any of this makes sense ;-)
03-16-2001, 01:27 AM
I think you have two very good talents, Bof. Unlike, say Yngwie, you know the importance of holding back when it's appropriate. Or maybe, more likely, you know when it's right to jsut let rip. Speed is a very worth while ability, if it's done well and use correctly. I think you know that, which probably seperates you from many, many gifted guitarists. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to listen to "No Sir".
03-16-2001, 02:59 AM
Willdridge, a person who was at my last gig just posted at my site and their observation was that what stood out the most for him that night was the over the top solos at the end of our second set (as I would sort of expect I guess) but, to paraphrase, it wasn't the speed of the solos that got to him but the "emotion and power of it all" But I had the speedy stuff contextualized in some Hendrix-ish feedback and wah plaing, threw in some synth lines, played with the dynamics, Bluesy pentatonic lines, etc., and that provided a kind of "base" for the way out shred.
Actally, I was thinking about when I told you to check out "No Sir" that it probably isn't the little shard I thought it was. I don't know, those tracks are pretty weird when you take them one at a time but if I could take the best and variouis moments from each, the slow, the melodic, the insanely fast...etc., etc., etc., and could distill it down to one song then I probably would have captured what I like about my playing. As they are, they're like exaggerations each and every one of them.
03-16-2001, 03:10 AM
Hmm, interesting ideas on speed there. I think I agree, that music sped up just sounds silly. Perhaps, fast runs with emphasis on single notes within those runs, for instance in jazz music, works I think. The audinece You can create a melody of sorts out of the notes you finish runs on, umm, I'm not sure if anyone is goiing to get what I mean, so I will shut up...
03-16-2001, 06:33 PM
I still don't think some of you guys get what Bof's doing here. I may be being presumptuous, but I think you and me have the same philosophy regarding this Bof.
The point of his trick has nothing to do with music, bof couldn't have said it better when he called it a "sonic-event". It may be sound, but sound isn't necessarily music. Thunder is a sound, waves crashing against rocks, wind; these are all sounds too, yet not music. They're sounds that can generate emotion without having traditional musical qualities such as melody and rhythm...
Bof since you now my feelings, I hope you understand when I say that that trick is disgusting and hurts my ears, and I love it :) Keep it up.
03-16-2001, 08:49 PM
Yeah, James, it's "extra musical" in the sense of non-musical or the "sonic event" but still has a place within a musical context...at the right time anyway. It's more representational than musical. Anyway, yeah, that was pretty disgusting ;-) It makes me laugh every time I hear it.
03-16-2001, 09:11 PM
I've been checkin' out some of your mp3s' and I gotta say... I love Global Positioning System. Also, about the whole guitar hero thing, I have my heros just like most people and lately it's been Vai. With that said I'm so glad I've been finding more off the wall type music like yours lately. It's great when you hear something new and it just puts a whole new spin on things and gets you to go outside the "norm" for a bit. Can't wait to hear the rest Bof.
03-17-2001, 01:41 AM
Varity (?!) is the spice of life. Without someone making off the wall music, we'd all be bored, so for that, I appreciate what Bofatron is doing. I even actually enjoy it. I've only listened to "No Sir, I Don't Like It", but I'm going to look at some more of your MP3's. I think the thing with your music is it's something you have to listen to in order to fully appreciate it, you can't simply have it playing in the background. I hope you don't think I'm trying to belittle your music there, because I have far from any right and, more importantly, I do like (what I've heard so far).
On an earlier note: Melody and speed can go togeather, but it really does depend on the melody AND the speed, (Satch, Vai, Johnson). Bof was right when he said speed is an excellent way of grapping someone's attention, the important thing is to do something special for them once you've got it.
Anyway, I'm beginning to bore even myself so God know's how you're feeling, so I'll leave y'fer awhile.
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