#1
It seems to me that a lot of guitarists are overly focused on their technique (specifically, what makes them fast or able to play complex lines) at the expense of the musical elements-theory, ear training, etc.

Don't get me wrong, you should work on your technique, but not at the expense of phrasing, rhythm, tone, etc.

Another thing: A lot of players, in my opinion, have spent so much time looking at tabs that their musical ears are poorly developed and neglected. You wouldn't say to your bandmates, "Ok we're gonna start a song on the 4th fret of the E string and go to the 7 and 5th frets of the D and G strings, then 6 and 4th frets.... "

I used to be more of a "tabs" player than an "ear" player, but now I'm working on both..especially my ear training. I don't think anything in music is harmful as long as it doesn't come at the expense of something else equally (or more) important.

Ok, that's the end of my little rant.
#3
Congratulations! You have realized that music's not all about how well or fast you can play, but it's what you play that matters!

Sorry if that sounded cynical, it wasn't meant to be.

Well, it was meant to be cynical, but not towards you.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#4
Ultimately, what sounds good, sounds good, regardless of speed, complexity, or for that matter musicianship involved.

Nirvana is a key example. Kurt is not a very good guitarist, but he is an effective guitar (imo). Obviously, we all have different opinions on Nirvana's sound, but even their grungy, dirty tracks (that you might struggle to call "musical") sound "good" to me.

Anyway, I agree about the tabs. I use them, they are definitely a GREAT resource (and free, at that), but like anything, must be used sparingly (and intelligently). They are frequently incorrect -- and while that can be a hindrance, the effort it takes us to correct those mistakes can improve our own playing/understanding.
Last edited by freakstylez at Jan 9, 2010,
#5
Quote by freakstylez
Ultimately, what sounds good, sounds good, regardless of speed, complexity, or for that matter musicianship involved.

Nirvana is a key example. Kurt is a rather poor guitarist, but he is an effective guitar (imo). Obviously, we all have different opinions on Nirvana's sound, but even their grungy, dirty tracks (that you might struggle to call "musical") sound "good" to me.
Fixed

There couldn't be more truth in what you said though. I myself think Nirvana is way overplayed/overrated. That's not to say that Kurt wasn't an excellent songwriter. I just don't agree that he was the be all end all of grunge music.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#6
Quote by food1010
Fixed

There couldn't be more truth in what you said though. I myself think Nirvana is way overplayed/overrated. That's not to say that Kurt wasn't an excellent songwriter. I just don't agree that he was the be all end all of grunge music.


No, if you ask me, Chris Cornell was the be all and end all of grunge music. And if you factor in Temple of the Dog, he and Eddie Veddar combined take the cake.

But still, I love Kurt, and I love Nirvana. Piss poor musicianship, amazing music -- imo. I agree that they/he is overplayed and overrated, though.
#7
I agree with you. A lot of players, particularly the self taught ones (as I was for the longest time), think that it's a step-by-step system. First learn technique, then learn theory, then, if you have the natural talent, you can write songs. It wasn't until I finally found a teacher that I learned that everything in that belief is 100% wrong.

If only I knew then what I know now...
#8
Quote by chrisweyers
I agree with you. A lot of players, particularly the self taught ones (as I was for the longest time), think that it's a step-by-step system. First learn technique, then learn theory, then, if you have the natural talent, you can write songs. It wasn't until I finally found a teacher that I learned that everything in that belief is 100% wrong.

If only I knew then what I know now...


Hind sight is always 20/20.
#9
i think learning how to improvise with a harmonic knowledge is key, a teacher will let you achieve good technique and theory. Personaly i still need to work on my hearing more so than the other aspects but its a lifetime process
#10
I half agree....I think there's a tendency to look back at your playing over the years, and say "well I was doing A for several years, then I wised up and starting doing B. If I'd only known what I know now, I have started working on B sooner". The only problem with this logic is that sometimes "A" - I mean a period where you focus on technique, is sometimes a necessary step needed to get to "B". In the early years, lack of technique is the biggest thing holding people back. Sure, they could spend more time writing, but their options are limited by their lack of technique and what they play doesn't sound too good because of the same reasons. And sometimes the growing dissatifaction with A - the feeling that there is more to it than all this endless practice with no complete pieces of music to show for it - is a big part of the energy that launches "B".
That said, the danger with this is that as you make progress with "A", you start substituting higher and higher goals for even better "A" - and you get stuck in this cycle of always needing a bit more "A" before you can finally do start doing more "B". That's bad, and I think it's the reason for there being some technically incredible players out there that are a bit on the bland side.
Like most things in life, you've got to find a happy medium between the two.
#11
Quote by SJPitrellifan
It seems to me that a lot of guitarists are overly focused on their technique (specifically, what makes them fast or able to play complex lines) at the expense of the musical elements-theory, ear training, etc.

Don't get me wrong, you should work on your technique, but not at the expense of phrasing, rhythm, tone, etc.

Another thing: A lot of players, in my opinion, have spent so much time looking at tabs that their musical ears are poorly developed and neglected. You wouldn't say to your bandmates, "Ok we're gonna start a song on the 4th fret of the E string and go to the 7 and 5th frets of the D and G strings, then 6 and 4th frets.... "

I used to be more of a "tabs" player than an "ear" player, but now I'm working on both..especially my ear training. I don't think anything in music is harmful as long as it doesn't come at the expense of something else equally (or more) important.

Ok, that's the end of my little rant.
Don't get me wrong, but you should mind your own business. People should work on what they choose to work on. In whatever ratios they see fit.

The roles of theory, ear-training, reading, scribing, expression, and nuance, are painfully obvious to anyone who wants to become a more complete musician. But if some kid just wants to learn to shred, so be it. If that doesn't meet with your approval, too bad. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

If your OP actually had some meat to it and helped someone who was interested by showing ways to apply some of these things, it might be useful. But being the pious, preachy, holier-than-thou BLOG that it is, your OP just sucks.

Have a nice day.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#12
I don't mean to offend anyone, but most guitarist have seperated themselves from the music realm. I don't mean they don't play music, but most other musicians read music, use their ears, are part of a group, and the more mature ones call themselves musicians, not guitarist, saxphonist, whatever. In my mind, the guitarists who are serious about what they do, should be more of a musician, able to communicate with other musicians, not neccisarily anouther guitarist, and maybe lose some ego. I think if you just want to play guitar as a hobby, or be a one man band that's anouther thing, but I'm tired of guitar, and the rest of the music world having such a large gap.
#13
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
Don't get me wrong, but you should mind your own business. People should work on what they choose to work on. In whatever ratios they see fit.

The roles of theory, ear-training, reading, scribing, expression, and nuance, are painfully obvious to anyone who wants to become a more complete musician. But if some kid just wants to learn to shred, so be it. If that doesn't meet with your approval, too bad. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

If your OP actually had some meat to it and helped someone who was interested by showing ways to apply some of these things, it might be useful. But being the pious, preachy, holier-than-thou BLOG that it is, your OP just sucks.

Have a nice day.

Dude, chill. There's no reason to jump in his @$$ for starting a decent discussion.

But like they say, "You don't know what you don't know". So those non-technique related skills are not always painfully obvious.
#14
Quote by chrisweyers
Dude, chill. There's no reason to jump in his @$$ for starting a decent discussion.

But like they say, "You don't know what you don't know". So those non-technique related skills are not always painfully obvious.
Chill yourself, "dude". If a "decent discussion" comes out of this it will be in spite of of that pretentious dookie of an OP, not because of it.

PROTIP: All those skills mentioned ARE techniques. Some of them aren't physical techniques, but all are techniques. What's interesting to note is that in addition to speed, there are very important lessons to be learned about the interaction of your fingers or pick with the strings. Nuances that are not speed-related. These are no less important than understanding theory or reading or ear-training. Did TS mention any of this? Why bother. It doesn't help him promote his self-righteous point of view.

The OP was presented as just another slant on the age-old speed vs everything else argument that's been rehashed countless times on UG. Wow, let's all make ourselves feel better about ourselves by bragging on how complete we are as musicians and wave our pointed fingers at the kid who's focused on speed. OMG, what a great discussion.

Quote by ^-^
I don't mean to offend anyone, but most guitarist have seperated themselves from the music realm. I don't mean they don't play music, but most other musicians read music, use their ears, are part of a group, and the more mature ones call themselves musicians, not guitarist, saxphonist, whatever. In my mind, the guitarists who are serious about what they do, should be more of a musician, able to communicate with other musicians, not neccisarily anouther guitarist, and maybe lose some ego. I think if you just want to play guitar as a hobby, or be a one man band that's anouther thing, but I'm tired of guitar, and the rest of the music world having such a large gap.
Just another load of pretentious, ego-inflating crap. Stop whining about what other are doing and just do what suits you best. If you wanna tell other people what they SHOULD be doing, rest assured I'm gonna tell them they can do what they bloody well chose to do.

You don't like there being a "gap" between guitarists and the rest of the music world? Look around, Junior. There are plenty of guitarists who ARE complete musicians. If you wanna work with them rather than guitarists who are focused on speed and mechanical skills, that's fully within your right to choose.

I, for one, am glad to see anyone being interested in guitar and music for any reason they choose. It's great that they're focused on any aspect of learning. If/when they choose to become more complete musicians, so much the better. But until that becomes their choice, I'm still glad to see them enjoy it for whatever they get out of it right now.

Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#15
Quote by ^-^
I don't mean to offend anyone, but most guitarist have seperated themselves from the music realm. I don't mean they don't play music, but most other musicians read music, use their ears, are part of a group, and the more mature ones call themselves musicians, not guitarist, saxphonist, whatever. In my mind, the guitarists who are serious about what they do, should be more of a musician, able to communicate with other musicians, not neccisarily anouther guitarist, and maybe lose some ego. I think if you just want to play guitar as a hobby, or be a one man band that's anouther thing, but I'm tired of guitar, and the rest of the music world having such a large gap.


I loled.
Quote by UtBDan
this man hits the nail on the head.
#16
Quote by SJPitrellifan
It seems to me that a lot of guitarists are overly focused on their technique (specifically, what makes them fast or able to play complex lines) at the expense of the musical elements-theory, ear training, etc.

like who? i cant think of any.

Don't get me wrong, you should work on your technique, but not at the expense of phrasing, rhythm, tone, etc.

i agree. but phrasing rhythm and tone also come down to technique.

Another thing: A lot of players, in my opinion, have spent so much time looking at tabs that their musical ears are poorly developed and neglected. You wouldn't say to your bandmates, "Ok we're gonna start a song on the 4th fret of the E string and go to the 7 and 5th frets of the D and G strings, then 6 and 4th frets.... "

i think you are thinking of amature guitarists. i doubt any serious player with experience doesnt know some basic theory like note names and keys and such.

I used to be more of a "tabs" player than an "ear" player, but now I'm working on both..especially my ear training. I don't think anything in music is harmful as long as it doesn't come at the expense of something else equally (or more) important.

yeah but whats important musically, is different to everyone.

it seems like a lot of people just automatically assume that a fast player only focuses on that and nothing else and the not so fast players somehow are more musical. its all relative. if you like a certain thing thats fine. speed is just a technique like anything else. it seems like a lot of people make excuses to make themselves feel like better musicians. its like when people say "well, he plays fast but i play with feeling". no you dont. one has nothing to do with the other.

how does taking the time to focus on techniques make you a worse musician than someone who doesnt? to me, i see it as they are trying to become more musically free. the faster you can play, and the more complex lines you can play, the more free you are and the closer you are able to express exacty what it is you want to express.

i think the best example is classical musicians. they wrote amazing pieces and spent a lot of time working on technique as well. listen to any classical pianist, or violin player or even guitarist and you will hear very fast playing. but for some reason the moment we apply that speed to any other genre and add an electric guitar, all of a sudden people start complaining about how its not musical enough or lacks soul. give me a break.

personally, i dont like people who play fast almost all the time. its impressive, but doesnt keep my attention. but i would never say it lacks any musicality. its all personal opinon. if you dont like it fine. they dont like playing slow all the time, and i dont like playing fast all the time. the point is, make the music you want to make. make whatever you need to in order to express yourself.