The Clashing Interests Conundrum

In this article, I will discuss how to handle differing oppinions when it comes to songwriting, guitarstyle, and music in general. Whether the arguments are with your bandmates, or with your friends, music seems to be something that no one ever fully agrees on, and this article is dedicated to trying to ensure that we all get along as a breed. A breed of guitarists, bassists, drummers, singers, keyboardists, and music enthusiasts alike.

Ultimate Guitar

To start off, I'll let you know a little bit about myself. I'm a bluesy, folksy, country like, and jazzy hard rock guitarist. I listen to alot of different styles of music, everything from early jazz to the pop of the 60's to the alternative of the 90's. I love folk and hard rock and blues, and even some country (but only from the late 60's), but along with all the music styles I love, there are still alot of music styles that I absolutely hate. For instance, I absolutely hate metal (early Black Sabbath being the only exception), and I hate modern pop, and rap, and anything with autotune and/or any kind of sound effect, but the thing is... everyone else in my town loves that stuff, and through the experience of being surrounded by people with very different oppions than mine, I came across a state of mind.

I used to think that everyone that didn't love Led Zeppelin as much as me was an idiot, and that anyone who didn't agree that Duane Allman wasn't the greatest guitar player ever was musically ignorant, and that anybody and everybody that listened to rap, or metal, or modern pop, or techno was a 'retard', as I would say, but now I have come to a true conclusion that is both simple and incredibly complex. Just because something is different, that doesn't mean it isn't good.

I've always had a way of analyzing things, and that both helped and nearly prevented my realisation. As people around me went on and on about Metallica and System of a Down, I would think to myself: 'The difference between bands like that, and the bands I listen to, is that, those bands aren't as "mature" as the bands I like.' And while that may be true, It still didn't give me a right to completely and totally speak out against those bands to the people that liked them. Even though I had to endure people saying things like, "Stairway to Heaven sucks ass, because it's so long and boring," that still didn't give me the right to think less of that person because of their musical taste.

Even with guitar styles there are degrees and levels of maturity. Pin metal guitar against folk guitar, and really dissect the two. Metal guitar is a generally simple style, that is partly influenced by classical music, and partly influenced by hard rock. It entails fast picking and fast (yet relatively simple) fretting, and even a few unique techniques, such as, pinch harmonics, and tapping. Folk guitar, on the other hand, is slightly more complex. The picking is some of the most complex in music and is only rivaled by certain jazz guitar styles (see Eddie Lang). The fretting is a little more complex than metal guitar, but is typically played at much slower speeds. Now with those rather basic analysises, you could probably come to the conclusion that folk (primarily fingerplucking) guitar style is more complex than metal guitar, but it isn't as simple as that. I've never met a metal guitar player who could play a lick of folk, and I've never met a folk guitar player that could play a meatal solo. Even though I've come to the conclusion that folk is more complex than metal (I'm sure some would disagree with me) It doesn't mean that one is better, or worse, or easier, or harder than the other... It just means that folk guitarists, and metal guitarists have very different styles.

Heading back to the maturity argument, some may think that one type of music is less mature than the other, and while yes, Katy Perry singing about girls from California is nowhere near as mature or intellectually powered as Lennon singing about Imagining a world without religion, there are still plenty of areas of "good ol' rock n' roll" that is just as immature as the modern pop artist. Take the Beach Boys for instance, they too mostly just sang about cars, and girls and surfing, or look at blues. Take a lyric from 'Red House' for instance. "If my baby won't love me no more, I know her sister will" you can't really argue that that lyric is more intelligent than some of the more modern lyrics. Even the Beatles started out singing about holding hands, and simple stuff like that, no genre or time period of music is innocent from being immature and even moronic at times, and no person is innocent of enjoying a little bit of immaturity. I, for example, listen to alot of Lennon, and Townshend, and some Dylan, but I still like to listen to some Stooges, and some Iggy Pop every once in a while. Do I think Iggy Pop is a better songwriter than Ronnie James Dio or Katy Perry? No, I honestly don't. I think what we should all realise is that no matter how smart you are, or whether or not you're an intellectual or just the average joe, when it comes to art, nothing is ever black and white.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You're stupid. Not because you think art is equal, but because you say metal and folk are both complicated and have separate strengths and weaknesses, but that since you like folk you think its more complicated. Way to ignore your own advice. Oh, and all art isn't created equal.
    How are Metallica and System less mature than Led Zeppelin anyways? I'm not a huge fan of either band but I still don't see how they are immature. Plus that folk guitar argument is so wrong. That would be like someone saying that since Obscura has more complex fret work than Leonard Cohen, metal is more complex than folk, which obviously isn't true either, as it depends on the band/artist.
    pineaple expres
    hey dude. i respect what ur saying, and im gonna let u finish, but this article is stupid. i freak out on my gf wen it comes to music. not bcuz i like the beatles and she doesnt or bcuz she likes lil wayne and i dont. but its bcuz she doesnt give the beatles respect for wat they did. i dont care wat genre of music u like thats ur choice but if u dont give credit where its due thats wat pisses me off.