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#1
Could the guitar in an instrumental rock song be very simple and un-technical yet be a good song?
I never see any instrumental rock guitarists do this. ever. Usually they're either playing at a million beats per minute, or they're playing something that is extensively musically brilliant.

I'm just curious because of some studies I'm doing on the topic of this. Is it something that we're just into as guitarists?
We need something complex?
or is it what we've come to expect?

Edit:
I'm not sure if this fits somewhere else or not.
Sorry if it's in the wrong spot!
Last edited by JosephVincent at Dec 31, 2009,
#2
Too many questions.


I'll just answer the title.


Yes.
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#3
Yes, but it seems everyone today feels the need to show off their technical abilities, regardless of how it sounds in the song. People CAN be captivated by a small amount of notes.
#6
You're listening to the wrong music, methinks.
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#7
Look up "Soy Bomb" by Honest Bob and the Factory to Dealer Incentives.

Yes, instrumentals can be cool and simple at the same time.
Last edited by crazy8rgood at Dec 31, 2009,
#8
I feel like what Satch/Vai/Petrucci and all those cool dudes are usually doing isn't that crazy. I mean they definitely have some crazy riffs and incorporate sweeping all over the place in subtle ways but they also have a lot of songs that have a fair amount of simplicity to them (disregarding when they break into a solo of course). Usually their "verses" are pretty simple.

I don't know if it's some kind of innate desire; I just think it's the way the instrument is meant to be played. The notes become more fluid when played more quickly obviously and this often translates into sounding better overall. My personal opinion of course.
#9
Pretty Little Ditty by RHCP is relatively simple.

It's pretty simple technically speaking, and it's a pretty damn good song too. It's possible to be simple yet great.
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#10
I'm not saying just instrumentals that are played a million notes, but even the instrumentals like The Cliffs of Rock City,
I believe even that goes past what I mean,

I mean,
Could an instrumental be made up like a normal song,
(where it's basically riffs, and then a solo and then the main riffs again)
and be a good song that people actually enjoy?
Last edited by JosephVincent at Dec 31, 2009,
#11
Tommy Emmanuel is pretty simple, usually repeating around a simple collection of riffs.

Eric Johnson isnt too bad either, but his songs require some practice to get right.
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#12
Quote by JosephVincent
I'm not saying just instrumentals that are played a million notes, but even the instrumentals like The Cliffs of Rock City,
I believe even that goes past what I mean,

I mean,
Could an instrumental be made up like a normal song,
(where it's basically riffs, and then a solo and then the main riffs again)
and be a good song that people actually enjoy?



There's always somebody that'll enjoy it. However, for the masses, no. Most people only listen to instrumentals as white noise while they work anyways.
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#13
Yes as long as it's not just the same thing over and over. I really don't like Ywngie and stuff like that because it's just mindless shredding and doesn't even sound good. Satriani makes his guitar sing.
#15
Quite to the contrary,
I listen to instrumentals when I'm driving,
and when I go to sleep,
And when I'm in class not paying attention to the teacher...
All the time,
but that's probably because I'm a guitarist and I admire the musical skill involved...

Quote by RockInPeaceDime
I feel like what Satch/Vai/Petrucci and all those cool dudes are usually doing isn't that crazy. I mean they definitely have some crazy riffs and incorporate sweeping all over the place in subtle ways but they also have a lot of songs that have a fair amount of simplicity to them (disregarding when they break into a solo of course). Usually their "verses" are pretty simple.

I don't know if it's some kind of innate desire; I just think it's the way the instrument is meant to be played. The notes become more fluid when played more quickly obviously and this often translates into sounding better overall. My personal opinion of course.


Ah yes!
That's correct,
the best and most recognizable part of their songs are the simplest.

Ehhh.
the way the guitar should be played?
I don't think there's any specific way,
I think it's just,
played.
Last edited by JosephVincent at Dec 31, 2009,
#16
Quote by JosephVincent
I'm not saying just instrumentals that are played a million notes, but even the instrumentals like The Cliffs of Rock City,
I believe even that goes past what I mean,

I mean,
Could an instrumental be made up like a normal song,
(where it's basically riffs, and then a solo and then the main riffs again)
and be a good song that people actually enjoy?

Yeah of course...if the riff is interesting enough.
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#17
Listen to Maybeshewill or 65daysofstatic, both are mostly instrumental, but neither are especially complicated, as far as the guitars are concerned. Both have a significant amount of electronics, which reduce the required prominence of the guitar. Overall, neither band is very simple, but the guitar parts specifically, are not extremely difficult. Most bands in the post-rock realm are more focused on the overall sound of the music, and are not overly concerned with the sound of one instrument. So regardless of whether they are instrumental or not, all instruments contribute equally to the overall impact of the music, so the guitars are not relied upon to make up for the lack of vocals, instead, every instrument contributes a little bit more, reducing the guitar's impact on the song.
#18
Quote by JosephVincent
Quite to the contrary,
I listen to instrumentals when I'm driving,
and when I go to sleep,
And when I'm in class not paying attention to the teacher...
All the time,
but that's probably because I'm a guitarist and I admire the musical skill involved...


Ah yes!
That's correct,
the best and most recognizable part of their songs are the simplest.

Ehhh.
the way the guitar should be played?
I don't think there's any specific way,
I think it's just,
played.


You don't have to enjoy technical playing if your musician. I don't, and I know plenty of other UG'ers don't care much for it either.

Yes. Anything can be "good".

Most Post-Rock is simple and repetitive, yet still absolutely brilliant. And a lot of it is instrumental also.
#19
As a guitarist though,
when I think "Instrumental Rock",
the first thoughts that come to mind are Satriani, Gilbert, Vai, Petrucci, Malmsteen, Gilmour, and Buckethead.

All of which make technically advanced music.

I never said I didn't enjoy it,
I've just started and instrumental album,
and I think I'm running out of Ideas and I'm only two songs in.
They are somewhat technically advanced, with changing tempos and strange sweep patterns. So now, I'm basically asking if it would be ok if I just basically made a bunch of simple riff filled songs, rather than the solo after solo after solo, which is what most instrumental rock guitarists do.
Last edited by JosephVincent at Dec 31, 2009,
#22
Quote by JosephVincent
As a guitarist though,
when I think "Instrumental Rock",
the first thoughts that come to mind are Satriani, Gilbert, Vai, Petrucci, Malmsteen, Gilmour, and Buckethead.

All of which make technically advanced music.

I never said I didn't enjoy it,
I've just started and instrumental album,
and I think I'm running out of Ideas and I'm only two songs in.
They are somewhat technically advanced, with changing tempos and strange sweep patterns. So now, I'm basically asking if it would be ok if I just basically made a bunch of simple riff filled songs, rather than the solo after solo after solo, which is what most instrumental rock guitarists do.


I know that you enjoy instrumental music, but your blaming your enjoyment of it on the fact that you play an instrument. No, that has nothing to do with it. You like because its your preference. Which there is nothing wrong with.

Its fine to use simple riffs instead of solos as long as it sounds good and isn't overused. There is a good balance. And keep in mind that some people might even like 10 minutes of the same exact riff and others might not. It all comes down to personal taste.
#23
Beef jerky by John Lennon..

its as simple as it gets... but i love it. its rockin.
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#24
Quote by i_lovemetallica
Tommy Emmanuel is pretty simple

Musically maybe, but the guy has some of the scariest chops in the world!

But sure you can have cool instrumental songs with simple guitar, look at the entire surf rock genre. There has to be something to create interest though, if not the impressiveness of the playing. Many good songs would be boring as shit without vocals, so you can't just take a typical one of these and not sing over it.
#25
Quote by JacobTheMe
I know that you enjoy instrumental music, but your blaming your enjoyment of it on the fact that you play an instrument. No, that has nothing to do with it. You like because its your preference. Which there is nothing wrong with.

Its fine to use simple riffs instead of solos as long as it sounds good and isn't overused. There is a good balance. And keep in mind that some people might even like 10 minutes of the same exact riff and others might not. It all comes down to personal taste.


It's the damnedest thing though,
I have yet to find an Instrumental Rock fan who isn't some sort of musician.
Maybe it's the type of person,
Because I know musicians who don't enjoy instrumental rock.
It may be that most people who listen to instrumental rock have some sort of personality where they want to express themselves artistically...

Quote by Beserker
Musically maybe, but the guy has some of the scariest chops in the world!

But sure you can have cool instrumental songs with simple guitar, look at the entire surf rock genre. There has to be something to create interest though, if not the impressiveness of the playing. Many good songs would be boring as shit without vocals, so you can't just take a typical one of these and not sing over it.


Yeah,
I know that, haha.
Anything I would make would be something very hard to sing over, because it would sound better instrumentally, alone...
Last edited by JosephVincent at Dec 31, 2009,
#26
Quote by ep1kz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzIK5FaC38w

this.

one of the greatest instrumental pieces i've ever heard and the guitar parts are all extremely simple (in comparison to the likes of vai and satch and whatnot)

That's funny, because I was just thinking of posting this!

Great taste
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#28
There are plenty of good, simple instrumental post-rock bands. If These Trees Could Talk, God Is An Astronaut...
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#30
It's music. There are no rules.
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#32
I think your talking about bands like Dream Theater etc.

To which I'd say a band like Isis is far less complex, , maybe not in terms of layering etc, but there are no crazy solos and such.

Edit: I'd say a lot of post rock/post metal bands.
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Last edited by frnzd at Dec 31, 2009,
#33
it can be whatever you want it to be just make sure that you arent worrying too much about if it sounds good just write a song that you will enjoy
#34
Play what you feel like playing, and at least someone will like it.
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#35
Listen to Isis, a lot of the guitar work is not technical yet it is captivating and wonderfully written. The music does have lyrics but it is no way the focal point of the songs (well usually).
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#37
It can be super "simple" and still be good. Depends on the album positioning and feel of the song. Take This for example.
#38
Quote by JosephVincent
I'm not saying just instrumentals that are played a million notes, but even the instrumentals like The Cliffs of Rock City,
I believe even that goes past what I mean,

I mean,
Could an instrumental be made up like a normal song,
(where it's basically riffs, and then a solo and then the main riffs again)
and be a good song that people actually enjoy?


This leads me to believe that you're hearing but not really listening. Even most instrumental pieces do follow the same "A-B-A-B-solo-B-A" format but a lot of people can't hear it because they can't seem to find the right parts of the song to latch onto as a section.

When I'm really listening to instrumental pieces I do watch out for repeated motifs and themes, common note selections, chord progressions and all that sort of stuff because it gives the song a more conventional feel rather than just the "stream of notes" that most people seem to hear.
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