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#1
The more I read here, the more I see that it's important for those fingers to stay next to the fretboard and strings, to have control and aim for economy of movement.

I'm finding also that I'm much more critical of watching others play, even though they're still better than I am. I just want to make sure I'm not overdoing my "critical eye" here, and want to see what you guys think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtbtiKdXBUk
That's a video of someone I know from the OCR website (remixed video game music) who plays pretty damn well (I think, anyway), but the more I read on actual technique for guitar, the more I look at see his fingers hopping away so much.

Now, I dunno if that's tension, or just how he got used to playing, but is that still considered poor technique, if he plays as well as he does, and doesn't seem to have tension? Or is what he's doing actually not a problem with the way he's playing?
#3
This is just plain retarded. Who cares how far his fingers are from the fretboard? It doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

The guitar is a MUSICAL instrument. Playing should be judged on what music comes out, not how it looks. Personally, I thought his playing was at an intermediate level - he plays OK, but isn't terribly expressive and the TSO-lite music choice didn't do anything for me but wasn't offensive either.
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#4
Quote by Even Bigger D
This is just plain retarded. Who cares how far his fingers are from the fretboard? It doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

It does if you're trying to play something really fast with your fingers flying everywhere; You can't do it. Plus, it takes more energy to fling them around than keep them close and relaxed.

This is a technique forum, why would you say it doesn't make a difference? I smell a troll.
Last edited by tenfold at Dec 17, 2009,
#5
I'm all in favor of technique, but how far your fingers are from the fretboard is such a shallow view of technique it's absurd.

Ultimately, what matters first is whether you can play the material. While I didn't particularly like his choice of songs, the guy linked in the OP got through it OK. So he's fine there. Then what matters second is putting some nice musical touches on what you're doing. There he wasn't so good - he attempted some vibrato and other articulation, but it was fairly limited and lacked feel.

So there's things he can work on technique wise, but they're completely different from what the OP thought he did wrong.
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#7
There will always be tension. Without tension you can't even play a guitar. But yes the idea is to minimize that as much as possible.

Even Bigger D - Like tenfold said, this is a technique forum. Nothing more to be said than that.
#8
Quote by fixationdarknes
Even Bigger D - Like tenfold said, this is a technique forum.


That doesn't mean it has to be about the lowest common denominator of technique.
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#9
Quote by Even Bigger D
I'm all in favor of technique, but how far your fingers are from the fretboard is such a shallow view of technique it's absurd.

1) It looks stupid as hell.
2) The further away from the guitar you move your fingers, the less notes you will be able to play, the less accurate you will be, and not to mention the motion comes from the wrist so you don't develop proper finger independence.
3) No matter how shallow, every little thing that can be fixed misewell be. It will make a player just that much better.
4) This thread had nothing to do with his music in the first place. He came here asking about flying fingers, so if you have nothing positive to say about that then leave.
#10
I'm just gonna come out and say that i think he's not that good.

He doesn't use his pinky, it's like it's dead, curled up and just hanging there.
He mustn't mute the strings very well if he has a deadener. Makes that tapping much less impressive.
Vibrato is bad, no slides, reminds me of my first yr of electric guitar. But his timing is good, and I think that almost makes up for the rest of it.
#11
Quote by Even Bigger D
That doesn't mean it has to be about the lowest common denominator of technique.


??

The point of this forum is to provide/share knowledge about proper technique. Whether or not you, your mom, or John Petrucci play with ideal technique has nothing to do with it. When people here aim to have optimal technique, some of us attempt to aid them by pointing them to stickies/lessons or providing information on what to do. Then there are people like you who go around saying "but so-and-so does it this way, it's fine!" and bringing up irrelevant topics like musicality. Please... no one here is arguing that those who strive for ideal technique somehow ignore musical aspects. They are both factors of being a successful guitarist, but in a technique forum, lolmusicality and lol-a-famous-guy-did-it are not relevant.
#12
Quote by fixationdarknes
...bringing up irrelevant topics like musicality. Please... no one here is arguing that those who strive for ideal technique somehow ignore musical aspects. They are both factors of being a successful guitarist, but in a technique forum, lolmusicality and lol-a-famous-guy-did-it are not relevant.


Musicality is never irrelevant. Surely the whole reason for developing your technique is to increase your ability to express musicality?

I agree that you can't say that people who strive for technique ignore musicality- but thats because these are not separate things! It's impossible to have a good technique and poor musicality, because if your technique is not expressive enough to show musicality then it is a poor technique. Sometimes you can't even put it down to certain movements of the hand.

The guy in the video, unfortunately, lacked both. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but the two are linked. He's using a dampener to compensate for poor muting, and he's using the whammy bar for vibrato! Also, his thumb is climbing over the top of the neck, putting his fingers into an awkward position.
#13
Quote by chainsawguitar
Musicality is never irrelevant. Surely the whole reason for developing your technique is to increase your ability to express musicality?


Of course this is the reason, but too many people follow the logic that because someone has written good compositions that show lots of musicality, knows how to play them on guitar, and has become famous --- must mean he has ideal technique. This is simply not the case.
#16
Quote by chainsawguitar
Musicality is never irrelevant. Surely the whole reason for developing your technique is to increase your ability to express musicality?

This - the only purpose of technique is musicality. Discussing one without the other is pointless. I get the feeling that some people on this forum think the purpose of technique is to look a certain way or something.
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#17
Quote by tenfold
1) It looks stupid as hell.

Looks like I was right

Notice it was #1
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#18
Quote by Even Bigger D
This - the only purpose of technique is musicality. Discussing one without the other is pointless. I get the feeling that some people on this forum think the purpose of technique is to look a certain way or something.


Someone's missing the point of the thread a bit...

I believe the original idea of the thread was to post people who manage to have that kind of decent musicality but who have poor examples of the actual physical technique.

To say that the people of this forum ignore musicality in such a thread is... well, just plain blind.

Now it's all very well and good saying that the only purpose of technique is to play music and express yourself but if you choose to play like this man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53B0gjU1vvc then you're not going to get there by any other means that pretty damn perfect technique and hours (days... years?) of pouring over the minutiae of the physical motions of what you're doing. This forum is for people with questions and we assume that this is the kind of level everyone wants to get to in our answers just in case.
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#19
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Someone's missing the point of the thread a bit...

I believe the original idea of the thread was to post people who manage to have that kind of decent musicality but who have poor examples of the actual physical technique.


Problem is

a) that's impossible - good technique is defined by the degree to which it is musical

and

b) the guy in OP's video isn't particularly musical
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 18, 2009,
#20
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

Now it's all very well and good saying that the only purpose of technique is to play music and express yourself but if you choose to play like this man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53B0gjU1vvc then you're not going to get there by any other means that pretty damn perfect technique and hours (days... years?) of pouring over the minutiae of the physical motions of what you're doing. This forum is for people with questions and we assume that this is the kind of level everyone wants to get to in our answers just in case.

Uh oh, you can't use him as an example of technique. His thumb isn't behind the neck classical style. In fact, it's all over the top of the neck. And his pinky's a mile off the fretboard. How can you even suggest he's an example of perfect technique
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#21
Quote by Even Bigger D
Uh oh, you can't use him as an example of technique. His thumb isn't behind the neck classical style. In fact, it's all over the top of the neck. And his pinky's a mile off the fretboard. How can you even suggest he's an example of perfect technique


When he's using his pinky it's close to the fretboard and having looked at the way he plays I can quite easily see why he doesn't use it in some instances, his switching between large stretch ideas, three note per string fingerings and four note per string fingerings makes it desirable in some cases to not use it so he can switch it up on the fly.

Also if you'll notice his thumb is behind the neck, again, when it matters, i.e. during wide stretch ideas and the like, at all other times he keeps it above the neck to help with the huge amount of sometimes very wide bends and wide vibrato he uses.

However, very well, if you want the closest thing to perfect technique that I can think of off the top of my head (i.e. without actually looking for it) then this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsIHdTueLbA&feature=related You try playing like him with technique that is in any way flawed.

Quote by Even Bigger D
Problem is

a) that's impossible - good technique is defined by the degree to which it is musical

and

b) the guy in OP's video isn't particularly musical


Good technique is defined by the point to which it is good. I do agree that technique should always serve the music and to practice pure technique without any musical content is pointless BUT the fact remains that you can consider technique without actually making it about the music.

And I quite liked the video really, it's a song from a game that I like, I liked the tapping runs and the one sweep and in general I thought it was quite good. You can't just say "That's not musical.".
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Dec 18, 2009,
#22
It's OK to be critical of other players, from the standpoint of observing their technique. I would hesitate to judge them on it though because you should consider that perhaps they strive to be technically ideal, but just haven't gotten there yet.

Now if said object of your criticism claims to be the most technically proficient guitar player ever, then I would say you could feel free to criticize.
#23
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

Good technique is defined by the point to which it is good.


The absurdity of this circular definition should be obvious. What makes it good? The answer of course is that the sounds resulting from the technique in question are musical. If they're not, then what's the purpose of the technique.

As to the first video you posted, you're missing the point. I actually though rather highly of his playing - he sounded good, followed the changes pretty well, and produced some interesting lines. As improvs go, it was pretty good. The reason I pointed out his technique "sins" is not because they somehow make him bad, but rather to point out that you're not really following your own standards. The guy sticks his thumb over the top of the neck whenever it's the comfortable thing to do, which I believe is what I've been advocating all along.
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#24
Quote by Even Bigger D
The absurdity of this circular definition should be obvious. What makes it good? The answer of course is that the sounds resulting from the technique in question are musical. If they're not, then what's the purpose of the technique.

As to the first video you posted, you're missing the point. I actually though rather highly of his playing - he sounded good, followed the changes pretty well, and produced some interesting lines. As improvs go, it was pretty good. The reason I pointed out his technique "sins" is not because they somehow make him bad, but rather to point out that you're not really following your own standards. The guy sticks his thumb over the top of the neck whenever it's the comfortable thing to do, which I believe is what I've been advocating all along.


It may sound like an absurd circular definition but that's only because the sheer number of things that go into making good technique were, and still are, a bit too much for me to want to type up right now. By your rationale if I strike a note in such a manner that I'm tense to the point of injury but it still sounds good then the technique is good... clearly you can see how ridiculous that is. The purpose of good technique is, in my opinion at least, to allow more free expression of ideas and there are clearly some things that do not facilitate this. That is what I would call bad technique, along with anything that may cause undue strain or any injury.

I have clearly pointed out what I see as being good reasons for what you see as Guthrie's weaker technical points, if you would care to actually refute them Ill be glad to answer you further but until then I consider myself vindicated.
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#25
Well, great. You may be posting ridiculous nonsense, but you consider yourself vindicated. Wonderful.

I guess it's a sign of the times.
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#26
You can separate technicality from the musical aspect of playing, it just might not be the ideal thing to do. Sure, the main reason to be more proficient technically is to allow you to play anything better, easier, and broaden the range of what you can do, and that should be everyone's goal, but striving for technical skill without worrying about the musical aspect is possible.

I don't really understand the argument you two are having. Both aspects are important, but you can shift the focus more onto one than the other. You can have poor technique and be a good guitarist musically; you can have great technique but have zero soul or creativity. You can also have a balance of both.

And let me also clear up that, when I say technique, I'm generally talking about finger independence, finger flying, etc. Vibrato, bends, muting and the like weren't particularly on my mind.

In any case, I've never seen Guthrie play until now, but downloaded an album of his over a year ago - I always enjoyed his stuff. He's damn good, and aside from the curled up pinky (which is understandable when he's not using it), his technique seems great. 'sides, if I could play that controlled, that quickly, and have that much musical skill, I wouldn't give a damn about the nuances of technique as I do now. Sure, I'd hope to improve still, because everyone should probably be pushing themselves a bit, just to see how far they can go, but I'd by no means lose sleep if I never got any better than that.
#27
Quote by She Died Alone

And let me also clear up that, when I say technique, I'm generally talking about finger independence, finger flying, etc. Vibrato, bends, muting and the like weren't particularly on my mind.



This is what I'm talking about when I say this forum is reducing technique to the least common denominator. Finger independence and "flying" are some of the least relevant technical details when it comes to sounding good. I can''t imagine how that has come to be the most talked about aspect of technique.

Where's the discussion of good right hand rhythm, for starters? Without good feel there, everything sounds like garbage no matter how it's fretted. For example, I think a less than stellar right hand is a lot of what's wrong with the guy in the OP's video.
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#28
Quote by She Died Alone
Sure, I'd hope to improve still, because everyone should probably be pushing themselves a bit, just to see how far they can go, but I'd by no means lose sleep if I never got any better than that.


I guess that's also part of my point. I've been playing for two decades. I've played all the hard stuff - fast bop tunes, over the top shred stuff, chord-melody, chicken picking etc. Of those, the chord-melody is by far the hardest despite being the slowest. Anyways, I know I can do it, and that I'll never need more precise technique than what I've got because anything faster than that stuff wouldn't be musical anyways. So when I hear people being overly anal about techique, I know they're wrong because I've been where they were and looking back I see how silly it all was. What matters is what I play, not the minutia of how I play it.
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#29
Quote by Even Bigger D
Well, great. You may be posting ridiculous nonsense, but you consider yourself vindicated. Wonderful.

I guess it's a sign of the times.


Tell me how I'm not then. Unless you can tell me in what way I am wrong I have no reason to believe you.

Quote by Even Bigger D
Anyways, I know I can do it, and that I'll never need more precise technique than what I've got because anything faster than that stuff wouldn't be musical anyways.


Please tell me you're not equating speed with lacking musicality... if you are I will probably ignore everything you have to say because if you can't get past such an elementary barrier in your understanding of music I really don't think you have any valuable insight.
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#30
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

Please tell me you're not equating speed with lacking musicality... if you are I will probably ignore everything you have to say because if you can't get past such an elementary barrier in your understanding of music I really don't think you have any valuable insight.


Up to a point, speed can be musical. For all the shit he gets, Yngwie is a good example of doing it right - he's fast, but he's clearly playing music. But there are counterexamples - someone posted a Petrucci alternate picking video a while back that sounded more or less like an electric drill. Impressive? Yeah, from a mechanical POV. Musical? Hell no. So there is a limit.
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#31
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Tell me how I'm not then. Unless you can tell me in what way I am wrong I have no reason to believe you.


You've been told repeatedly. Telling you again would just be a waste of time and effort. And I really don't care if you "believe" me because ultimately you'll find out that I'm right, or else bull headedly soldier on and spend your life in musical isolation with "great" but meaningless technique and no one to play with and no audience.
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 18, 2009,
#32
Quote by Even Bigger D
Up to a point, speed can be musical. For all the shit he gets, Yngwie is a good example of doing it right - he's fast, but he's clearly playing music. But there are counterexamples - someone posted a Petrucci alternate picking video a while back that sounded more or less like an electric drill. Impressive? Yeah, from a mechanical POV. Musical? Hell no. So there is a limit.


There are faster and less musical people than Petrucci... there are also faster and MORE musical people than Petrucci, think about it for just one second and you might realize that speed, in and of itself, doesn't mean that a given line is musical or un-musical, it depends entirely on the content of the line itself.

It is also worth pointing out right about now that on average Yngwie plays faster than Petrucci anyway.

Quote by Even Bigger D
You've been told repeatedly. Telling you again would just be a waste of time and effort. And I really don't care if you "believe" me because ultimately you'll find out that I'm right, or else bull headedly soldier on and spend your life in musical isolation with "great" but meaningless technique and no one to play with and no audience.


No, you haven't, you came up with some weak spots and I came back with some justifications for those, unless you can tell me that those are actually wrong without simply saying "you're wrong" then I don't see how you've told me anything.

I also laugh at the idea that I need an audience, anyone who plays for anyone other than themselves (with the exception of session work) is an idiot and worthy of nothing but derision. I don't care if I end up with no audience at all because I play for me, if other people like it then good if not... no biggie. It might also amuse you to know that I'm in a band so musical isolation is hardly something I'm in.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Dec 18, 2009,
#33
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

I also laugh at the idea that I need an audience, anyone who plays for anyone other than themselves (with the exception of session work) is an idiot and worthy of nothing but derision.


Man, you're a joke. Music is a performance art - you, the band (unless playing solo), and the audience interacting. Passing up all that makes you, well, not a musician at all.

I said this to another poster, but I'll say it to you too. You have the musical attitudes of a child. That's how I knew without you saying so that you didn't actually play with or for anyone.

Eventually that may change. I hope for your sake it does.
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#34
Quote by Even Bigger D
Man, you're a joke. Music is a performance art - you, the band (unless playing solo), and the audience interacting. Passing up all that makes you, well, not a musician at all.

I said this to another poster, but I'll say it to you too. You have the musical attitudes of a child. That's how I knew without you saying so that you didn't actually play with or for anyone.

Eventually that may change. I hope for your sake it does.


http://www.myspace.com/angelesquemusic - my band.

What now?

Like I said, I don't NEED an audience for my music because I don't care, I don't need other people to validate my expression. I'm not going to pass it up if I can get an audience but I certainly don't need one to feel like a musician.
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#35
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
http://www.myspace.com/angelesquemusic - my band.

What now?

Like I said, I don't NEED an audience for my music because I don't care, I don't need other people to validate my expression. I'm not going to pass it up if I can get an audience but I certainly don't need one to feel like a musician.



That's nice. If a child shreds in the forest, and no one wants to hear it, who gives a shit?
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#36
Quote by Even Bigger D
That's nice. If a child shreds in the forest, and no one wants to hear it, who gives a shit?


Certainly not me, seeing as how I have intent of actually trying to make any money from my music I can quite safely say that there's no reason for me to care if no one listens. I play in my spare time for fun, anything beyond entertaining myself is a bonus.
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#37
Whatever floats your boat, man. But you really can't expect others to take the same view. Some people here actually enjoy being musicians.
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#38
Quote by Even Bigger D
Whatever floats your boat, man. But you really can't expect others to take the same view. Some people here actually enjoy being musicians.


I'll help them in any way I can towards that and the world will be a better place for it while in the mean time I'll sit here and enjoy being an amateur, isn't it great?
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#39
This doesn't have anything to do with being an amateur vs, being a professional. That distinction is about whether you get paid and how much and isn't very relevant.

The real distinction has to do with being a musician or not. That is, it's about going out an actually making music. You've pretty clearly state which side of that gulf you fall on.

I guarantee you you're not helping anyone.
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#40
Quote by Even Bigger D
This doesn't have anything to do with being an amateur vs, being a professional. That distinction is about whether you get paid and how much and isn't very relevant.

The real distinction has to do with being a musician or not. That is, it's about going out an actually making music. You've pretty clearly state which side of that gulf you fall on.

I guarantee you you're not helping anyone.


So... at what point am I not making music? "playing to an audience" =/= making music. Writing and recording songs is making music and I can quite happily do that without having to go anywhere.
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