Tackling The Big Ones

I just wanted to put my own two cents in and try to get people to see some issues from a big picture perspective. That is to say, the reasons for which these few issues are so commonly fought over are larger than the issue itself.

Ultimate Guitar

I just wanted to put my own two cents in and try to get people to see some issues from a big picture perspective. That is to say, the reasons for which these few issues are so commonly fought over are larger than the issue itself. I'll start off with the old standard:

1. When are we going to see another Clapton, Page, Hendrix, etc...?

We aren't. Each of these artists has taken their respective genre as far as it can really go, in terms of expressing yourself on the guitar. This is not to say that absolutely everything has been done and we all should find a new instrument to play, but simply that these guys were the FIRST to do what they did, and they took it as far it could go, therefore, they will always be regarded as the best. What you have to remember is that the electric guitar was only mass produced since the middle of the century. All these great rockers had their rise to fame within 20 years of the onset of the electric guitar as a mainstay in any modern band.

Think of it this way: Symphony orchestras were invetned a couple hundred years ago. Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart and company were around back then. Since those guys, nobody has gone and revolutionized the symphony again. It's been done. Now, I'm not trying to turn this into a top ten list or anything, but the same thing applies for genres of guitar music. Clapton did this with the blues, Page did it with rock and roll, Hendrix did it with psychedelic rock, Randy Rhoads did it for metal, and so on and so forth. There are a few genres which I think are still yet to have their greatest guitarist, such as punk and nu-metal, but we'll have to see.

2. Why does everyone hate (insert nu-metal band name here) so much?

Basically, a person either really like nu-metal or really doesn't. The people who like it cannot fathom this. It has been my own experience that people who are really into nu-metal tend to act like this genre is the beginning and end of all music as we know it. Everything before it is crap, and everything new just doesn't measure up. This is an extreme generalization, but I think you all know what I mean. I will sit with a friend who like nu-metal and listen to it with him, and I ask: "okay, that sounds cool, but where's the melody? Where's the guitar solos? Ever heard of Led Zeppelin?"

The most common response is: "Led Who?" Simply put, (and I know there are exceptions) many of the people who think that nu-metal is the coolest thing ever are rather poorly versed in any other type of music. If it's on the radio, it's teeny bopper crap. If it's classic rock, then it's the crap that their parents listened to, etc... It leads to the disclusion of all other music as remotely credible. You all know the type of thing I'm talking about, and I'm sure you all know someone who amazes you on a regular basis with their unwillingness to even consider other genres as enjoyable.

So, I would say that others hate nu-metal so much not because it's 'too hardcore' or anything, it's because it breeds musical ignorance in it's most devoted fans.

3. Don't you guys hate Avril Lavigne?

I'm sure to catch heat for this one, but I think that Avril got a bad rap from everyone. It all stems from her image, and how people judeged her too quickly. Here's how it happened when the "Complicated" video came out:

The preppies, and I use the term to describe anyone who gets most of their musical diet from Top 40 Radio, saw Avril's clothes and said; "Wow! She's a total punk ass!" But since here music was easy on their delicate ears, they supported her, and started a little 'pseudo-punk' trend.

The punkers, meaning anyone who has an appreciation for music found outside the realm of Top 40, saw Avril's clothes and immediately said "Wow. She's dressing like a total punk ass!" But when they heard her somewhat poppy sounding music, they decided that she must be an evil demon released from the gates of Record Company Hell, and took an instant hating to her.

The simple fact of the matter is that she's just a 17-year old chick with no patience for make-up and dressing like a diva, who wanted to sing her songs, and her record label liked her sound. Therefore, it made sense to sign her up and have her cut an alubm. I do think that her punk image was magnified by her record label, since the kids seem to like those Sum 41 guys, but not to the extent that people think it is. And I'm also sure that she allowed the label to have more than a little bit of creative control. But the main point is that both sides judged her too quickly.

4. Is (Insert name of punk-rock guitarist here, usually Tom Delonge) a good guitarist?

The answer is yes. He is good, but not great. I think that we can all agree that aside from luck, you need two thing to be a GREAT guitarist. These things are: Talent and Creativity. If you have amazing chops and know every scale and style backwards and forwards, but can't make up your own riff to save you ass, you won't be regarded as great. On the other hand, if you can imagine a great sounding guitar part but just can't play it through, then you have no hope either.

What these punk rock guys have is this: Enough talent to make a song sound like a song, and a ton of creativity. Look at the huge variety of sounds you can get in the punk genre (including pop-punk, hardcore, emo, and regular punk rawk), and consider that most of these guys are just using power chords, barre chords and simple riffs built on simple scales, it's quite astounding. Its simply a matter of doing a lot with very little. Consider the opening riff to "What's My Age Again?" It's just a barre chord. You don't even have to move your left hand.

5. Why is today's music such a bunch of crap?

This question has been asked by every generation, not just ours. It's not as bad as you all think. There has always been crappy music. It simply doesn't endure. How often do you hear the "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" on the radio? Not as often as you hear "Highway to Hell." Radio stations and MTV/MuchMusic/VH1 all have to fill their airtime, and if they play the same 30 or 40 songs all the damn time, people will stop listening. So they play something new, and see what the reaction is. The truly crappy music will only see a few months of popularity, but the great stuff endures for decades.

We all have a few songs that came out in the last few years that we just love, but they are surrounded by all the other crap we have had to put up with. In ten years, we will be looking back and saying "Man, today's music just trash. It sure doesn' compare to back in 2002!" Just give it a little time. Even today, it's rare than MuchMusic plays an N'Sync video, or any kind of boy-band pop-princess song that's more than a year old.

To read more about my thoughts on this issue, follow THIS LINK.

Well, I've moaned and groaned and bitched and complained for about as long as I can stand, and probably as long as all of you can stand, so I say good day to you all. Thanks for your time.

Notice:I wrote this article a while ago, and it got lost when UG reformatted. Most of the stuff is still true, and I hope it can change someone's perspective for the better. - FrigginJerk

45 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice article man, at least you explain everything clearly enough. kudos to you :cheers:
    "freaking punk is homo....wa wa wa, my goverment sucks....freaking idiots, how bout we send all the freakign whiners to afghanistan and see how they like it there....im pretty proud to live here, yea, it sucks sometimes, but face it, its pretty much better than any other place out there, any way, where are they going to get by complaining about the government...its not like bush is going to go " aww.i feel bad for those faggot punk rockers, i better do something about it" that will never happen so just shut up and sing about something else" You're a moron and I never wish I'll of anyone, but I hope yu die a slow horrible death for being so ***ing ignorant. They sing about pollticial issues in the U.S.A because thats where they live and want things changed! On top of that, they do address global problems too, and did you ever stop to think that maybe there trying to get there message out to try and change things. "bush will never go away" yea he won't when he has lazy ass followers like yourself. Why dont you take some responsibility for the country you live in and stand up for what you believe in. Just because punk bands do and your to lazy to doesn't give you any right to bash on them. Atleast punks sing about things worth addressing (for the most part minus all the drinking, partying funny songs). Just shut the *** up.
    hmmmmm, i like nu metal, a lot, one of my favourite genres, but i agree with everything you said in the article. i know a few nu metal heads like that. also, i listen to a lot of genres, but i prefer nu metal to classic rock, not on the basis that its better music wise, because it isnt, but the fact that it sounds better to me. so thats 2/2 articles from you that ive liked frigginjerk. another 5*
    hmmm the articles nice but ive read this one before a long time ago
    The rest of your article is fine, although there are a few technical errors. Hendrix was not a pschadelic artist, he was a bluesman first and foremost who experimented in the most happening musical genre at the time. Second, there will never be a "greatest" punk guitarist since that phrase contradicts itself. Punk is a genre defined by mediochre musical skills. However, in my opinion the greatest punk guitarist will always be Mick Jones. If they got any technically better they wouldn't be concidered punk. Third, Avril did not "want to sing her own songs", she wanted to sing songs written by about 10 other people. Other than that its fine.
    although i don't want to argue, you have some valid points, and i'll address them now in hopes of clearing them up. 1) Although Hendrix was a blues player, so was every rock musician of the 60's and 70's. Rock has it's roots in blues. But despite his influences, Hendrix's OVERALL sound was psychedilic, especially on "Are You Experienced," which is regarded as his seminal work. I know that Hendrix escapes true classification, but most music buffs will agree that his sound was pretty psychedelic. Even Robbie Krieger of The Doors (one of the most psychedelic bands ever) says Hendrix was psychedelic. But why worry about genre classifications when it comes to that sort of thing? I just wanted to make sure i mentioned all the players, and that each had their own unique style. 2. Good point about the punk guitarists. That might explain why no "punk virtuoso" has emerged. But we might need to adjust the scale to define a virtuoso for punk rock. That's all subjective, and i don't want to get into a punk debate with anyone. 3. For the Avril thing, what i meant to imply was that she was more interested in performing and recording than she was in wearing make-up and posing for magazines, and going to celebrity parties. She does all that stuff now, but at the onset, her image was more "down to earth." I know it's all bullshit corporate pop, but you see what i mean. Regardless of who wrote it, "sk8er boi" is still an Avril Lavigne song. peace.
    Blink is not a bad band but they are far from the best one. But that depends on what style of music you listten to. And Nu-Metal is not going to be new pop Iam going to make sure of that....
    it's all relative. So what if punk bands only use power chords, it's like saying "that song only used minor or major chords".
    the first part, about all that's left in guitar is punk, is very depressing... made me consider why i'm even playing
    And Sorry, I don't mean to get into a fight about punk, but this isnt about something like pop-punk or anything, so I just wanted to say that little bit.
    Emenius Sleepus
    nu-metal is just another form of musical expression, so there's no point bagging it. True, some people are too ***ing ignorant to accept other forms of music, but that goes for just about every form and genre. Ignorance doesn't help, but nu-metal isn't so bad when its not the only thing you listen to
    "Consider the opening riff to 'What's My Age Again?' It's just a barre chord. You don't even have to move your left hand." i was downloading a live version of that song (when i used to use kazaa and when i used to like blink-182) and at the beginning of the song tom delonge yells out "okay everybody shut up because this song is hard to play! SHUT THE FUCK UP!" then they started playing. i never bothered to learn that retarded song, but if tom cant play a few notes of a barre chord in his sleep he sucks ass. end of story.
    I like the article, but for whoever said GC and bolwing for soup were punk...WTF are u smoking man!? Blink 182 is debatable, and Green day imo is punk. but really, GC? wow, punk is basically in a summary anti-commercialism and GC is of going to places to sign contracts for their own t-shirt and action figures. im appauled and insulted that GC could even be in the back of someones head when they hear the word "punk". for any opposing gc fans, just think about it, reallize your ignorance on how stupid jocks and popular kids are singing songs on how people are rejected from society.... i mean c'mon! i went a little of topic didn't i? sry bout that
    added to what i said earlier to prove my point on how gc fans arnt punk, how many gc fans have heard of Pennywise or Dead Kennedys.
    how well put, i say we should start a frigginjerk fan club (p.s. ill post in a minute when i read knicks ...column *cough*)
    "i used to like blink182 but thats the problem its to simple on a live cd he said shut up this song is hard t play and it was whats my age again he is not good i have been playing for two years and have no problem playing it" for all you idiots who keep posting shit like this... it's so blatantly obvious that he's joking when he tells the crowd not to listen to him for the next 2 1/2 minutes because it's really hard to play... especially after they just finished talking about wearing their mother's underwear and seducing their dad... i mean, come on people, are you that stupid?
    Regarding nu-metal: that bit about you either love it or hate it, I don't totally agree with it. I like some nu-metal, but not enough to freak over it. I guess I'm just saying (and I'm sure you'll write a post contradicting me) that you shouldn't just asume that a certain genre is a love/hate genre
    As for good punk guitarists, there are some who (unfortunately) arent recognized. East Bay Ray (of the Dead Kennedys) and Dr.Know (of Bad Brains) are two of the best hardcore punk guitarists of the 80s and more recently El Hefe (of NOFX).
    id have to comment on your statement that "nobody has gone and revolutionized the symphony again." hmm in a way thats untrue with the newer 20th century composers have unglued themselves from the conformity of classical and romantic music styles...youd have to hear it to believe it but there have been new ventures into minimalism and all that atonal stuff... quite interesting...oh god too much freakin music in my head... oh well bloody good article. and i doubt the producers in high places in the record companies "discovered" avril, id say she was manufactured..... "an yone who doesn't like nu-metal is obviously stupid and a retard... it is sooo much better than old crap like zeplin and ac/dc... nu-metal bands don't care what anyone thinks, they're not sell-outs and pussies like Metallica and other shit like that" oh yeah, youre a tool, and i cant just sit here and ignore someone making themselves sound like a ***ing idoit. thats the most dumb thing ever, unless ur being sarcastic (plz god)
    i wonder what the UG straners would say if someone wrote an article that didn't mention any genre of music at all?
    good article.... like you said before, the old music is so good, because we listen to the best of it, whereas we listen to every single piece of crap coming out today... i mean out of the atists to come out in a year, only 2 or 3 will be remembered in 20 years time. your nu-metal point is very true, nu-metal breeds ignorance. as proof of this, i'll take myself. 4 years ago, i was all nu-metal, papa roach, korn, limp bizkit, whatever else. i disliked punk music, real rock, metal, classical, whatever else. but gradually i've gotten into metal, classic rock, and even some classical, and now i cant stand the old nu-metal stuff.... its simply image based music for the ignoramt generations, the rebels-without-a-cause-de pressed-kids, yet to see real music. as far as avril goes, i dont care for her. when people say they love her, i dont get angry, i just think of what they are missing out, that i have, which brings a smile to my face. great article
    ^ we've been over this. and over and over and over. don't worry about it more than you need to.
    I think that Wolfman is a fukkin bitttch. What kind of name is Wolfman anyway?
    "The punkers, meaning anyone who has an appreciation for music found outside the realm of Top 40" Exactly what planet are you living on? Good Charlotte, Blink 182, Greenday, NFG, Bowling For Soup and plenty of others have all featured in very prominent positions in the charts. And Avril was a country fan and sang country before she was manipulated and changed to cater for the newest trend, and now she is going on about being some kind of skater, and all that crap, and people are meant to see her as credible?!
    Basically, all these people into Nu-Metal and Pop-Punk will soon pass on to the next trend - yodelling. Believe me, you may laugh now, but you'll see.....
    mtv and vh1 do play all the same F**king rap songs all the time.... and every now and again a nu-metal song. But you're right about there being bad music in every generation. Like the partridge family or the monkeys are the backstreet boys and n'sync years ago.
    chung: the bands you listed, despite their punk roots, are techinically pop bands, simply BECAUSE they are in the top 40 charts. i'm not here to argue genre definitions though. all i meant was that most people who are really into punk and underground music don't care for top 40. cheers.
    Honestly I liked this article alot more than your last one. Better than most of the shit articles I suffer through. That said you are still misinformed. I, or any honest music fan, will not look back on today's music with any sense of nostalgia. I believe it is shit today, and I will still regard it as shit tommorrow.
    Look if you are going to keep writing this stuff, I'm going to keep contesting it.
    Death metal takes skill to play but not compose. I once "heard" deathmetal in a mall i went around the corner and it was a skill saw cutting some things for a shop they were working on. lol
    i know, but there's no need to have the same argument over and over and over. and that was just a tiny little paragraph of this whole article. what did you think of the rest of it? since we've already argued about modern music's quality, and come to some kind of agreement, you might as well discuss something else. let's not waste everyone's time with a long drawn out argument again.
    GJ (that means good job, I don't know if everyone knows this=)), it explains everything how it is and not how somebody thinks it is. 5 stars really.
    Im and seriously getting sick of all these so called punkers saying that every band sucks except the ones that nobody has ever heard of. Its ok to like a style of music but god damn every punker i talk too laughs wen i say i listen to the dead or jack johnson. U all need to chill out and stop cutting up bands jst because their on Mtv. Jeas
    and the UG Stanger above me is a ***ing moron with no life so ignore all the shit hes sayin.
    I totally agree on the first one, their can be only one great and people should try to be like or better than the greats, they should branch out and try to make new types of music.
    Backup Guitar
    The truly crappy music will only see a few months of popularity, but the great stuff endures for decades. Very true... I've been listening to the same songs that I have since a year ago... and I still like it, because its real music... crap music usually wears out after a week or two of listening. Great article, dude!
    Real Punk, Chung... *sigh* If i have learned anything from playing guitar over the last 4-5 years (I'm 13) Its that some times the simple stuff is the best stuff. I hate it when the guitarist get to much going on and complicated but sounds like crap..
    Ace From Space
    added to what i said earlier to prove my point on how gc fans arnt punk, how many gc fans have heard of Pennywise or Dead Kennedys.
    im sure they have cuz thats all mainstream/pop-punk now.