The Measure of a great guitarist?


Cavefish X
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Joined: 09/09/00
Posts: 66
Cavefish X
Member
Joined: 09/09/00
Posts: 66
04/10/2002 6:41 pm
Is speed still how a person determines how good a guitar player is? It seems people seem to think so. Players (even on this website) cite Paganini and Malmsteen as what they have the ability to play. Does that mean they are good guitarits? Maybe, maybe not. I dont think do, speed is nothing more that a mechanical process. I admire somebody playing really fast the same way I admire a sprinter running the 100 yard dash in 4 seconds - a great athlete.ANYBODY could play fast given self determination and time....
And just in case your thinking I'm only saying this beacuse I cant play fast, your wrong. I was playng Malmsteen and Paganini tunes back in the 80's, so I must be an incredible player, RIGHT? I dont think so, I'm just fast, I WISH I could play like BB King or Clapton, or SRV...Maybe its a maturity thing...
Any other thoughts?
What's the difference between a puppy and a singer-songwriter?
Eventually the puppy stops whining.

# 1
James8831
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Joined: 10/29/01
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James8831
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Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 510
04/10/2002 7:51 pm
I think Benoit's signature catches it quite succinctly..

(sorry to steal that,bud)

If you can move people to feel what you are feeling or expressing in a song whether it be teenage angst or sonic noise terrorism,the blues..etc, then THATS guitar playing.

From those with little technical ability to top speedsters..if you mean it..that's it.
Accuracy,you say? hmm interesting concept..
# 2
Lordathestrings
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Lordathestrings
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04/10/2002 10:13 pm
Originally posted by Cavefish X
...I dont think so, I'm just fast, I WISH I could play like BB King or Clapton, or SRV...
The ability to play fast is one more tool available to you. You need a lot of different, compatible, skills to play well.

Think of them in terms of the vocabulary and rules of grammar and usage that you need to know in order to express your thoughts clearly and effectively in speech or written word. That's why the 'technique vs. feeling' argument keeps going around in circles. Guitar playing is a form of communication. Ya gotta put it all together to play well.
Lordathestrings
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www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 3
harmonyh14
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harmonyh14
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04/11/2002 12:42 am
I know what you mean lately I have been listening to a lot of Steve Cropper, Curtis Mayfield; and Merle Haggard,,,,economy of notes but taste.
Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience. Thomas A. Kempis
# 4
Sivert Skaaren
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Joined: 12/12/01
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Sivert Skaaren
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Posts: 36
04/11/2002 1:34 am
Paganini is classical pieces.. and most of them are boring..
the exception is a couple of his carprices... which
malmsteen, vai and a couple others have played...

The thing about malmsteen that is so unique is that he
was selftaught by listening to classical music (and probably
Jimi Hendrix etc.. what guys usual don't know is that
malmsteen play blues and old 'hendrix' rock sweet as hell..)
Now... malmsteen may not be the greatest person as a person,
or at least that is the impression i've got.. but he is a
great guitarplayer.. and it isn't just the speed.. speed
is something most of us can gain by practising... but he
has a unique feeling(yes it is actual feeling!) on his
scalloped neck and he walked ahead for the new shred
generation..

Then is.. lets say Becker(was) a great guitarist.. he was
taught in a classical way from he was a child. he played
on the guitar like it was a violin. he was the most accurate
and fastest guitarplayer i've heard.. he was unique.. he
wasn't a malmsteen copy...

so what i really say is that an unique guitarist can be a
great guitarist.. (don't have too though..)..
there are some that say that everything is used before..
well.. there's always new ways to use the old material on,
to make something new... speed can be used both way...
turn the speed down.. maybe have some more notes inside the
same melody.. built it out... speed it up.. maybe take away some notes to make it even faster.. what i think of a great guitarist, i think of a guitarist that can handle most
techniques.. can play most genres.. from fusion to
neoclassical.. u can be good and play just one genre..
but u'll get boring and u'll stop developing after a while.
therefore if is a great guitarist a guitarist that can play several genres.. it's a guitarist that constant develops to something better... there is no limit.. there is always
some way to become better...

Start with some Allan Holdsworth... fusion;fast and genious...
it may fit u...
S. G. Skaaren
aka Acron(GW)
# 5


Joined: 06/24/24
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Joined: 06/24/24
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04/11/2002 4:28 pm

Signatures are meant to be seen James8831, use it as you see fit :)


Speed doesn't impress me now. I taught that Malmsteen was almost god when I first heard him. Now I've seen so many guitarists playing his licks that speed is not an issue.

Now I jam a lot with blues midi files to try to get the FEELING into my solos. The hardest thing is to calm the urges to shred.... and be off key (I'm really good at that!).


# 6
u10ajf
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u10ajf
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04/12/2002 12:26 am
SPEED IS EASY:

speed=a good objective measure of technique? Not necesarily! Some things are bloody easy to play fast, if on the other hand you can string skip as fast as you can sweep picking I will build you a temple!

SPEED GIVES OPPORTUNITY FOR RHYTHMIC VARIETY.

Most music requires that the time intervals between notes are related by simple ratios of whole numbers ie one beat for the first note and two for the next. This vastly reduces the range of time intervals you can use in your playing - just as well or it might sound very sloppy. To build up the range of different time intervals again (and get back that variety) it helps if you can play some of them very very short and others very very long. My favourite players glide between riffle paced runs and big gliding bends that last for ever.

TECHNIQUE DEVELOPS SOUL:

Most obviously those wide quavering vibratos e.g. Malmsteem. The top rock players have a vast array of techniques at their disposal but most overlook the volume swell - "violining" where the string is hit with the volume turned off and the volume increased with the volume knob so that the trebly "attack" of the note is reduced and gradually lifts to burn at your ears. This sounds great with echo or reverb. For me violining is the king of techniques yet it is rarely heard. Good examples include Xanadu (Rush, - especially the version from Exit stage left) and many of Terje Rypdal's recordings.

If I couldn't laugh at myself how could I laugh at someone less ridiculous?
# 7

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