#1
I've heard people say guitarists are a dime a dozen on this forum quite often, but is that referring to your standard indie/punk/metal guitarist etc? Like out of interest, are guitarists who play at this sort of level common? (As not being stuck in their main genre, easily able to branch out into others, have a very good understanding of music theory etc, Brazilians and Argentinians need not respond, technical music seems to be incredibly popular over there)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhRN9CNmkqQ
Last edited by nargoth at Mar 19, 2011,
#2
In England (Woop) I know so many people that are just content with simple strumming and open chord songs. Others who are quite happy to play everything as a power chord.

Me personally I learn how to form chords different ways depending on the style, different ways of getting to get them and adding those little touches. Learning theory. Learn styles and genres.

But there's nothing wrong with the above. But I hate mediocre Indie guitarists being praised when people don't appreciate Vai, Jimi, Hetfield, Satch, etc.
#3
People who just read tabs and don't know how to write for themselves are common as hell at every skill level, people with basic understanding of theory as applied to their own genres are less common, and even less common are highly versatile players that have a great understanding of theory.
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#4
Quote by Reisgar42
People who just read tabs and don't know how to write for themselves are common as hell at every skill level, people with basic understanding of theory as applied to their own genres are less common, and even less common are highly versatile players that have a great understanding of theory.



I don't see how you consider having a "great understanding of theory" a criteria for being a highly versatile played who can apply to many genres.
#5
Quote by nargoth
I've heard people say guitarists are a dime a dozen on this forum quite often, but is that referring to your standard indie/punk/metal guitarist etc? Like out of interest, are guitarists who play at this sort of level common? (As not being stuck in their main genre, easily able to branch out into others, have a very good understanding of music theory etc, Brazilians and Argentinians need not respond, technical music seems to be incredibly popular over there)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhRN9CNmkqQ

This made me laugh so much.

Are you asking if Guthrie Govan style players are common?
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#6
A dime a dozen my ass. If ever you come across a guitarist who plays like Guthrie Govan you're right. Otherwise it's just probably guitar players who can shred through the E minor scale at 240 bpm while playing 8 hours a day because they can't get any pussy. In that case, you're right, a dime a dozen. What would you care, anyway?
#7
Quote by Venice King
This made me laugh so much.

Are you asking if Guthrie Govan style players are common?


Not necessarily Guthrie style, but people who have that similar versatility and openmindedness towards music.

About the south american thing, I swear around 95% of shred videos I've seen were by Brazilians or Argentinians.
#8
Quote by Aindreas
I don't see how you consider having a "great understanding of theory" a criteria for being a highly versatile played who can apply to many genres.


I was just trying to put my response into black-and-white categories. I know there are tons of gray areas, but this is a quick reply to a quick question on the internet.
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#9
Quote by nargoth
Not necessarily Guthrie style, but people who have that similar versatility and openmindedness towards music.

About the south american thing, I swear around 95% of shred videos I've seen were by Brazilians or Argentinians.

Most musicians that I truelly love, say they listen to every kind of music.

Just seemed very specific.
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#10
Another perspective;

Your "standard rock guitarist" is, yes, a dime a dozen. There are zillions of us out there, and a lot of us are quite good.

So, you see your basic ad up "rock band looking for guitarist" and you probably need both of your hands to count the number of people that you know who could pull that gig off. As a point of comparison, how many oboe players do you know? Or.... browse through the bandleading forum and count all the "my band can't find a singer" gripes.

So, to ask (and answer) my favourite question: "So who cares? What's the point, anyways?"

As a rock guitarist, you need to have something that sets you apart from the other 5 000 people in your city who also play guitar and who do so every bit as good as you do.

Ways you can do this:
-be able to contribute vocals - at least backing vocals. A band can almost never have too many people who can sing well enough to do backing vox.
-be able to contribute skills on another instrument. If you're the person who can also jump in and play keys on some songs that this band has always wanted to play, for instance, that would make you a natural choice.
-have a sense of business - many bands NEED someone to basically help the band manage themselves - get gigs, etc.
-be up on technology - be the person who can do the band website, for instance
-have connections - people the band will want to have access to, for whatever purpose
-own a PA and/or have a rehearsal space (a lot of bands will fall all over themselves getting someone on board with this)
-probably most importantly - be the person other people WANT to play with.
-have the ability and resources to help a band make a demo or even a proper CD

CT
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#11
I think the countless youtube shredders prooved that being a good player means nothing.
I load up a new midi track and BOOM! there are my 5 octave wide 64th note arpeggios at 200bpm.

We have quite a few genrees nowadays which are not limited by the human skills and they are not became instantly better than any music before them.
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#12
Quote by nargoth
Not necessarily Guthrie style, but people who have that similar versatility and openmindedness towards music.

About the south american thing, I swear around 95% of shred videos I've seen were by Brazilians or Argentinians.


your forgetting those 5 year old chinese prodigies
#13
No, Guthrie Govans are not common. Personally, I think he is one the best guitarists around today, which was proven to me especially when I was at a weeklong workshop he was teaching (he's also a great guy, btw). He can improvise absolutely anything, and even play entire melodies just by bending a string at one fret.

So no, players of that level are not common at all. Players who want to strum power chords all day and can solo in E minor pentatonic? Pick a random guy off the street, and there's a 50% chance you just found one.
#14
Quote by BradG4
In England (Woop) I know so many people that are just content with simple strumming and open chord songs. Others who are quite happy to play everything as a power chord.

Me personally I learn how to form chords different ways depending on the style, different ways of getting to get them and adding those little touches. Learning theory. Learn styles and genres.

But there's nothing wrong with the above. But I hate mediocre Indie guitarists being praised when people don't appreciate Vai, Jimi, Hetfield, Satch, etc.

Oh shut up. Vai, Satch etc are tasteless wankers, Jimi Hendrix is the single most overrated musician ever (he is the best out of the ones you mentioned though) and James Hetfield is a mediocre guitarist who happens to be quite fast at downpicking. That doesn't make him amazing.

Here's a "mediocre indie guitarist" who's far more talented than any of those guys!

(See, I can be elitist and act like my opinions are facts as well).
My name is Danny. Call me that.
#15
Quote by asator
Oh shut up. Vai, Satch etc are tasteless wankers, Jimi Hendrix is the single most overrated musician ever (he is the best out of the ones you mentioned though) and James Hetfield is a mediocre guitarist who happens to be quite fast at downpicking. That doesn't make him amazing.

Here's a "mediocre indie guitarist" who's far more talented than any of those guys!

(See, I can be elitist and act like my opinions are facts as well).


well marr can hardly be called a mediocre indie guitarist...he is very influential. he might not solo but he's hardly unappreciated.

while i dont particularly like vai and satch, hendrix is and is not overrated imo. while nowadays its easy to copy what he did, the way he sounds...its just inspirational. when i listen to him i want to play guitar. how can you be any more influential than that?
#16
Whilst there are a lot of guitarists out there, most bands at a professional level do have a lot of trouble finding a good one. A "good" guitarist is generally defined as someone who can adapt to a lot of different genres regardless of their personal preferences, learn their parts without being told to, show up to practice on time and have the required laid-back musician attitude.

The blues brothers tribute band I recently joined had a hell of a time trying to find a guitarist who could learn the songs quickly, and not shred all over everything. I auditioned guitarists for one of my bands last year and it went horribly. Either they could not read chord sheets, or didn't bother learning the tracks. I eventually gave up and just arranged my parts better to fill out the band.

As for the theory angle, quite often in a cover band you'll be told "we do this song in x key". Then you look on the net and realise it's in y key and has to be transposed. If you have no prior knowledge of music theory this can be quite a task. Also figuring out chords to original or covers can be quite difficult if you have no knowledge of chords or keys. Usually the tabs (including the ones on this site) are just plain incorrect. Then you consider that you have to work out these parts for 12-60 songs. Some people just can't do this.

But hey if you're simply considering a guitarist "good" if they can play really fast, sure, there's lots of those. How many would be suited to a band? Not many.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
Axeman =

My two cents:

There really are a lot of "good" guitar players out there. Hell, just take an hour browsing through guitar players and you can watch a ton of videos and think "Hey, this guy is pretty good."

There is a distinction that needs to be made, however, between "good" guitarist and "GREAT" guitarists. Paul Gilbert, for instance, is GREAT. Govan is "GREAT".

So yes, in the world of guitarists there is a large amount of us who are competent, capable musicians (even using TS's terms of being able to play multiple genres, decent knowledge of theory/technique). Would I call those people "good guitarists"? Yes. Most definitely. I do know, though, there is a smaller amount of guitarists who are "GREAT", and excel in leaps and bounds above the large group of "good" guitarists.

Also, a question; What makes, for instance, a guitarist who is exceptional at playing Metal (for example) but doesn't play, let's say, Country music very well NOT a good guitarist? Maybe all they want out of their guitar playing is to play one certain genre of music, so that's what they focus on. Are they not a "good" guitarist just because their interests aren't as broad as the next guy?
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#18
The rarest form of guitarist is a talented rhythm guitarist in my experience. as for rock and pop stuff...a dime a dozen.
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#19
Quote by Banjocal
The rarest form of guitarist is a talented rhythm guitarist in my experience. as for rock and pop stuff...a dime a dozen.



Funk guitarists are amazing at rhythm.
#20
Quote by sjones
Axeman =

Also, a question; What makes, for instance, a guitarist who is exceptional at playing Metal (for example) but doesn't play, let's say, Country music very well NOT a good guitarist? Maybe all they want out of their guitar playing is to play one certain genre of music, so that's what they focus on. Are they not a "good" guitarist just because their interests aren't as broad as the next guy?


I agree with all of your post, but I liked this part the most. I always tell people that "Good" is relative; what's good to one person may not be so to the next. With that, it's important for all musicians to understand that while there is a certain standard of excellence everybody is looking for, their perception of how "good" you are is not as important as YOUR perception. (This of course is not to say that I support those who feel they are god and have nothing left to learn... those guitarists are shallow and ignorant) A guitarist who is good at a specific genre is still a good guitarist to me, but like what was said earlier, they're not "Great". And "Great" is what gets you places . Well, it used to.

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#21
Quote by nargoth
Funk guitarists are amazing at rhythm.


i kind of disagree

i play mostly funk when it comes to rhythm and its not really that hard. i practised it so its sort of easier to me

however i never played metal and i find it hard to the whole fast downpicks while palm muting.
#22
Quote by '93
i kind of disagree

i play mostly funk when it comes to rhythm and its not really that hard. i practised it so its sort of easier to me

however i never played metal and i find it hard to the whole fast downpicks while palm muting.


Funk guitarists are great for a usable rhythm.
I mean, yeah sure some thrash players have an incredibly good downstroke, but if a pop, rock, jazz, etc etc band wants a guitarist, they want someone with a lot of control over a natural rhythm, not a heavy downstroke!

As funk is pretty much all about the rhythm for guitarists, you can never go wrong with a funk guitarist when it comes down to rhythm!
#23
Quote by nargoth
I've heard people say guitarists are a dime a dozen on this forum quite often, but is that referring to your standard indie/punk/metal guitarist etc? Like out of interest, are guitarists who play at this sort of level common? (As not being stuck in their main genre, easily able to branch out into others, have a very good understanding of music theory etc, Brazilians and Argentinians need not respond, technical music seems to be incredibly popular over there)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhRN9CNmkqQ

they just mean its a lot easier to find a guitarist than pretty much any other instrument. i dont think it refers to them being any good or not.
#24
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Funk guitarists are great for a usable rhythm.
I mean, yeah sure some thrash players have an incredibly good downstroke, but if a pop, rock, jazz, etc etc band wants a guitarist, they want someone with a lot of control over a natural rhythm, not a heavy downstroke!

As funk is pretty much all about the rhythm for guitarists, you can never go wrong with a funk guitarist when it comes down to rhythm!


hmm...yeah true

funk is fun
#25
Quote by '93
i kind of disagree

i play mostly funk when it comes to rhythm and its not really that hard. i practised it so its sort of easier to me

however i never played metal and i find it hard to the whole fast downpicks while palm muting.



I find funk hard but sweep picking easy, just depends on what you practiced tbh, I spent ages on sweeping, not so much on funk.
#26
Quote by Carl_Berg
A dime a dozen my ass. If ever you come across a guitarist who plays like Guthrie Govan you're right. Otherwise it's just probably guitar players who can shred through the E minor scale at 240 bpm while playing 8 hours a day because they can't get any pussy. In that case, you're right, a dime a dozen. What would you care, anyway?

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#27
Quote by nargoth
I find funk hard but sweep picking easy, just depends on what you practiced tbh, I spent ages on sweeping, not so much on funk.


exactly...its kind of 'opinionated' in the sense that your good at what you praxctise
#28
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
they just mean its a lot easier to find a guitarist than pretty much any other instrument. i dont think it refers to them being any good or not.

this.... seriously like 75% of the musicians I've met play guitar the onther 25% is pretty much everything else.... it is the mostcommon part of a rock band to find
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#29
I'm not exactly sure what "a dime a dozen" means, but if it means that there are so many guitarists that playing guitar just isn't special anymore, that definitely happens over here where I live. Just about everyone with a slight interest in music here plays guitars. That's not to say that all of them play at a high level (most just strum a few chords, which is perfectly fine), but it does kind of get annoying after a while. I mean if you go to an audition for a talent show, just about everyone there will be playing guitar in some form. I just wish more people played other instruments, like, the cello or something. Being a guitar player myself I guess I'm a hypocrite now xD
Last edited by zincabopataurio at Mar 23, 2011,
#30
Quote by zincabopataurio
I'm not exactly sure what "a dime a dozen" means, but if it means that there are so many guitarists that playing guitar just isn't special anymore, that definitely happens over here where I live. Just about everyone with a slight interest in music here plays guitars. That's not to say that all of them play at a high level (most just strum a few chords, which is perfectly fine), but it does kind of get annoying after a while. I mean if you go to an audition for a talent show, just about everyone there will be playing guitar in some form. I just wish more people played other instruments, like, the cello or something. Being a guitar player myself I guess I'm a hypocrite now xD


I really appreciate it; there isn't much competition for vocals! Everybody else puts it as an afterthought, so if you take it seriously and practice, then it's an easy gig.
#31
There's a lot of different things to think about when you say that.

You have session guitarists, probably the smallest category of guitarist. Generally with a very high technical skill and know their instrument inside out and normally know their theory.

You then have performance guitarist, the guys in the band. It takes a special kind of person to get up on stage and captivate an audience with their instrument, whether it's their music or someone else's. One of the things that people can't necessarily do even if they know a certain song written by someone else inside and out.

Then you just about everyone else, which can range from your hobbyist, to someone who just strums a few chords. These are the people that are the most abundant.

But to find a good session guitarist, or performer, it is much harder and they are more rare.


It's kind of like saying baseball players are a dime a dozen, yea, there are little league teams and school teams, easily tens of thousands of teams. At the same time you still only have so many that are in the "big leagues".
#32
Quote by scguitarking927
You have session guitarists, probably the smallest category of guitarist. Generally with a very high technical skill and know their instrument inside out and normally know their theory.

You then have performance guitarist, the guys in the band. It takes a special kind of person to get up on stage and captivate an audience with their instrument, whether it's their music or someone else's. One of the things that people can't necessarily do even if they know a certain song written by someone else inside and out.

Then you just about everyone else, which can range from your hobbyist, to someone who just strums a few chords. These are the people that are the most abundant.

But to find a good session guitarist, or performer, it is much harder and they are more rare.


Huh?

Ok let's get our definitions straight. A "session guitarist" is a guitarist who is paid to play whatever they're told to, and should be able to play it immediately upon seeing the sheet music. Whilst they are often known as the guys who played guitar on that hit song (think Justin Bieber's guitarist), they also generally tour with that same person as they already know the guitar part and can be trusted to play it.

As for the concept of the "performance guitarist", every professional guitarist enjoys playing live otherwise they wouldn't have entered the industry in the first place. To think that a "session guitarist" couldn't (and doesn't) play live is just silly. Why pay two people when you can just pay one?

As for not caring what music is played, that's something every guitarist should learn to do if they wish to get more gigs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#33
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Aronoff

Not a guitarist, but probably one of the most "in demand" session guys of all time. He has played in the studio and live with so many big-name acts, it will make your head spin.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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#34
Look at it like this. There are a damn sight more guitarists than bassists, drummers and keyboard players. Fact.

Musicians of exeptional skill are harder to find than mediocre players, regardless of what instrument they play, but because there are in general more guitarists than other musicians, then exeptional guitarists are easier to find than exeptional bassists or drummers or keyboard players.

Basicaly it boils down to this, regardless of what sort of band you are putting together, whether it's something like a very simple punk band or a very complicated jazz or classical group, it will probably be the guitarist that is easiest to find.
#35
Once again (and I guess I'm really just paraphrasing my post on the first page for conversations sake) the "(good) guitarists are a 'dime a dozen'" statement really depends on how you use the word "good".

Hell, go out and catch a cover band at a local pub. In my experience, sure, I'd consider the majority of them "good" players (even using the TS's psuedo-pre-reqs, ie. Technique, Some knowledge of theory/scales, and some versatility between styles/genres). Very few of them are what you'd consider "great" or "extraordinary".

So all in all, to me this question/statement boils down to:
- How you define a "good guitarist". Is Paul Gilbert is "great". Govan is "great". Standard lead guitarist in rock 'n roll band. He's "good" (probably, lol)
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#36
IMO, a guitarist with his/her own recognizable style is what is truely special. It's certainly rare today, because people have been playing popular music for over 60 years, but look at Hendrix, Angus Young, Zakk Wylde, Slash, etc. You can listen to them play and recognize them because of how their guitar sounds, or the techniques that they use or whatever.

I don't think I've heard a guitarist lately who's had a style that I could recognize, so maybe the days of finding a fresh innovative guitarist are over. I wasn't around in the 70s or 80s though, so I wouldn't know about the people who were around before EVH came and blew everyone's minds.

That said, there are thousands of good guitarists out there who can shred like crazy, but they're all ****ing EVH clones, or Vai clones, or whoever. I think the shred scene is running out of gas, cause they're running out of new stuff to do! Nobody's digging into new technology and beating their guitar to shit anymore, but EVH came up with all kinds of ****ed up noise like Cathedral and Spanish Fly. That's the stuff that deserves recognition, twisting the conventions of your instrument so you can do whatever sick little things that come into your head with it! :P

Again, I did say at the beginning of my post, "in my opinion"!
#37
With the industry so tentative over the last number of years, the last thing it wants to do is take chances.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.