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#1
jazz fusion guitarists superior?
how many times have you seen this scenario.You have a jazz fusion guy,and standard shred metal guy,both real technical players,but no matter how many chops the metal guy has, jazz fusion guy just plays rings around him with equal technique etc....i love and play both styles,but i can' t just help wondrer if it does ring true,when it comes to both schools.I know that no form of music is better than the other,but ability speaking wise i've seen this too much...thoughts?
#2
jazz/fusion requires a lot more theory than standard shred. the theory promotes learning different techniques that shred metal guitarists don't particularly use. so when it comes to improvising or jamming, the jazz/fusion guitarist will be better equipped for it.

also another thing about jazz/fusion techniques is that they are so interchangeable between different genres and styles of music.
Last edited by Marshmelllow at Jul 4, 2011,
#3
Jazz is usually much more advanced theoretically and technically. Jazz Musicians also know how to play the ideas from their mind on their instruments, while Metal guitarists just learn shred licks and usually throw them around randomly to construct a solo. I'm generalizing here, but this is what I mostly see.

Also, consider the fact that most Jazz musicians study their instrument from a young age and into music college, while Metal guitarists just practice in their bedrooms.
#5
I think part of it could also just be the crowds the kinds of music draw. Metal appeals to a lot of people that just like the image and pick up a guitar as an aside, whereas jazz seems to draw a more "in it for the music" crowd. Which can only result in a better ratio of well versed guitarists.
#6
Al Di Meola is probably one of the most well known Jazz Fusion guitarist, along with John McLaughlin. Check out the records they appeared on back in the 70's.
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#7
IT seems to me in general the shred metal guy has a better handle on technique whereas the fusion player has a better handle on theory compare people like yngwei malmsteen and alan holdsworth directly, malmsteen's technical playing and phrasing are better than holdsworth, but holdsworth uses a much wider variety of chords/scales/harmony than malmsteen, its not that ones better or worse, just different
#8
i think jazz is just more theory and need to be more diverse then the shred guy

the shred guy can probaly do more andvanced techniques because thats morslt what he practices

id still rather be the fusion jazz guy
#9
The simple truth of it is you can bluff your way through metal to a certain degree, there's a lot of common things that tend to appear. The minor scale will work in many situations and songs are often straightforwardly in the key of the lowest string so if you get lost you can riff on the open string or chuck in a few powerchords and it'll usually sound ok. Essentially you can sound pretty great without actually knowing all that much or actually being all that good.

With fusion there's simply nowhere to hide, you have to know your theory and be able to follow lots of complex, fast chord changes. You're also often playing with little or no distortion, that means your technique has to be flawless.
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#10
Quote by Bad Kharmel
compare people like yngwei malmsteen and alan holdsworth directly, malmsteen's technical playing and phrasing are better than holdsworth


Allan is lightyears ahead of Yngwie in terms of technique.

I'm almost convinced you're trolling.
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#11
So much stereotyping. My god, people.

When everyone compares metal guitarists to jazz guitarists, it always seems like they're scraping the bottom of the metal barrel for that guitarist and reaching to the stars for the jazz guy.

In terms of raw technical skill, there really isn't much difference between a very skilled metal player and a very skilled jazz player. At the end of the day, riffs and solos at and above 200 bpm are going to require roughly the same raw skill to play. Since jazz fusion guitarists tend to worry more about different things than a metal guitarist does, it can appear that a good jazz player is better than the metal guitarist, but at the end of the day, they're going to be roughly on par with one another in terms of raw technical skill.

Yes, you can occasionally bluff in metal, but that (again) tends to be much truer for simpler stuff written by those bottom-of-the-barrel guys. There is no way on earth that you could expect to bluff through a BTBAM, Protest the Hero, or Human Abstract song the same way you would a Metallica song. It simply isn't possible to do so.

To make this even worse, a lot of crossover happens between the two genres, especially as you look at the higher echelons of players. Guys like Paul Waggoner from BTBAM use a lot of elements common in jazz in their riffs and solos and there is likely a fair bit of influence from metal guitarists in jazz player's repertoires. A number of players use both styles and fuse them such that the individual components are indistinguishable.

As for a player-by-player comparison, I don't know enough jazz fusion players to make a long comparison. That said, it's going to come to personal taste at the end of the day, but in terms of raw technical skill, I'd say the best metal guitarists out there include MAB, Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, and Paul Waggoner, all of whom are almost certainly on par with fellows like Shawn Lane and Alan Holdsworth in terms of raw technical skill.

Now, as for who writes better music, that's your own problem.
#12
Quote by Geldin
As for a player-by-player comparison, I don't know enough jazz fusion players to make a long comparison. That said, it's going to come to personal taste at the end of the day, but in terms of raw technical skill, I'd say the best metal guitarists out there include MAB, Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, and Paul Waggoner, all of whom are almost certainly on par with fellows like Shawn Lane and Alan Holdsworth in terms of raw technical skill.


I would totally disagree.

I'm not familiar with Waggoner, but I'm very comfortable saying that none of Batio, Becker or Petrucci is on par with Shawn Lane, though I wouldn't say Gilbert is far behind. I'd also be comfortable stating that Lane is the only player I can think of where somebody could make a strong case for him being on par with Holdsworth.
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#13
Speaking purely in terms of speed and cleanliness of technique, all of those guys are on par with with Holdsworth and Lane. As for feel, that's another question entirely, though I'd put Waggoner on par with most any guitarist you could name in that category.
#14
i swear there was a thread exactly like this in the pit a couple of months, I think the op was basically word for word. . . weird
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#15
Quote by Geldin
Speaking purely in terms of speed and cleanliness of technique, all of those guys are on par with with Holdsworth and Lane. As for feel, that's another question entirely, though I'd put Waggoner on par with most any guitarist you could name in that category.


There's a lot more to technique than just speed and cleanliness.
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Last edited by Prophet of Page at Jul 4, 2011,
#16
The comparison is totally unfair.

A good metal player will spend most of his time playing riffs and learning or writing songs.
A good fusion player will spend most of his time practising his lead improvisation and chord comping.

So is it any surprise that the guy who spends the more time learning to improvise solos is better at... improvising solos?

A guy I studied with once pointed this out - jazz lines are much more challenging, but jazz form is much easier.

Compare the amount of memorisation in these two tunes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL6dy1J_dxU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22W38jJk81s

No contest, are jazz fusion guitarists terrible because they can't memorise lots of riffs?


In terms of raw technical skill, there really isn't much difference between a very skilled metal player and a very skilled jazz player. At the end of the day, riffs and solos at and above 200 bpm are going to require roughly the same raw skill to play.


That's just not true at all. Some lines are just physically far harder than others, regardless of tempo.

Generally speaking, jazz/fusion lines are more just more demanding, using a wider variety of intervals, note choices and articulation.

I'd say the best metal guitarists out there include MAB, Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, and Paul Waggoner, all of whom are almost certainly on par with fellows like Shawn Lane and Alan Holdsworth in terms of raw technical skill.


Speaking purely in terms of speed and cleanliness of technique, all of those guys are on par with with Holdsworth and Lane.


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!?!

Go and look up some more Shawn Lane videos. He's just faster than everyone else, even if you ignore the fact that what he's playing is often monstrously difficult. (although to be fair, he's often a bit sloppy compared to Gilbert or Waggoner!)

Like seriously, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhTHxkIllvU - in the first 30 seconds he just destroyed every metal player I can think of. Rusty or some other legato monster could probably nail the runs up till about 22 seconds, but that run starting at 24s... Seriously.

And Allan Holdsworth? To paraphrase Steve Freakin' Vai (who bear in mind, transcribed Zappa for a living) - "I have no conception of how Allan does what he does."

There's no comparison. If you left those two guys out of the discussion then we might have some kind of parity, but just no.

When playing Guitarist Showdown, never, ever mention Holdsworth.


tl; dr

Fusion guitarists are good at solos because they have to practice them more.
#17
Quote by Prophet of Page
I would totally disagree.

I'm not familiar with Waggoner, but I'm very comfortable saying that none of Batio, Becker or Petrucci is on par with Shawn Lane, though I wouldn't say Gilbert is far behind. I'd also be comfortable stating that Lane is the only player I can think of where somebody could make a strong case for him being on par with Holdsworth.



holy shit you did not just say what i think you said..did you? Jason Becker isn't at par with Shawn Lane. But GILBERT isn't far behind. Wow. You obviously don;t listen to any of those guys. Gilbert is fricken amazing i mean AMAZING but Jason Becker technique wise and especially music wise has written some of the best sounding music of his genre. Especially songs like air.
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#19
Quote by GoodOl'trashbag
holy shit you did not just say what i think you said..did you? Jason Becker isn't at par with Shawn Lane. But GILBERT isn't far behind. Wow. You obviously don;t listen to any of those guys. Gilbert is fricken amazing i mean AMAZING but Jason Becker technique wise and especially music wise has written some of the best sounding music of his genre. Especially songs like air.


No, he's right and you're wrong. Becker's picking technique was pretty damn bad; had had a lot of speed and dexterity but in terms of mechanics and the difficulty of the lines being played Gilbert leaves him in the dust. I would wager that in his prime (when he was still sweeping) Gilbert could have played almost any Becker piece but Becker simply didn't have the mechanics of playing down smooth enough to do what Gilbert still does now.

Lane far outstrips both of them and Holdsworth... I don't even know what to say. If the term "guitarists guitarist" was ever to mean anything and refer to one person, it would be him.
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#20
Quote by GoodOl'trashbag
holy shit you did not just say what i think you said..did you? Jason Becker isn't at par with Shawn Lane. But GILBERT isn't far behind. Wow. You obviously don;t listen to any of those guys. Gilbert is fricken amazing i mean AMAZING but Jason Becker technique wise and especially music wise has written some of the best sounding music of his genre. Especially songs like air.


Firstly, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with people's musical preferences.

Secondly, I'm very familiar with Jason Becker's playing. I own both Cacophony albums and both Perpetual Burn and Perspective. I've probabably been listening to Jason longer than you've been playing.

I have listened extensively to Jason, Paul and Shawn. I've also spent time learning their material, and analysing their playing.

Jason was an excellent player, but he wasn't on Paul's level. Neither of them were on par with Shawn.

A lot of people seem to feel that after a certain point, everybody is at the same level, but it's just not true. I remember that "Satriani vs. Vai" threads, asking who had superior technique, were fairly common here at one point. People would usually respond that music isn't a competition, that the players themselves are much more interested in being good musicians than in worrying about where they fit on some technique ranking table. That's perfectly true, but it doesn't change the fact that purely in terms of technique, there's an order of magnitude of difference between them.
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#21
People would usually respond that music isn't a competition, that the players themselves are much more interested in being good musicians than in worrying about where they fit on some technique ranking table. That's perfectly true, but it doesn't change the fact that purely in terms of technique, there's an order of magnitude of difference between them.


True dat.

Most of the scariest players I've met have been totally unconcerned with "ranking", just whether they satisfy their own musical goals.

Quote by GoodOl'trashbag
holy shit you did not just say what i think you said..did you? Jason Becker isn't at par with Shawn Lane. But GILBERT isn't far behind. Wow. You obviously don;t listen to any of those guys. Gilbert is fricken amazing i mean AMAZING but Jason Becker technique wise and especially music wise has written some of the best sounding music of his genre. Especially songs like air.


Gilbert is stealth-scary. Every time doubt him I check out the into solo here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPGA3vjMLgE

Those string skips are ****ing monstrous. And he makes it look easy and sound so good!

Becker is a monster player and I think in some ways I'd consider him better than Paul, but he's just not as consistent, as clean, or, erm, as fast (outside of sweeping) - so imho, I'd say Paul's significantly better. Although I don't think there's that much between them.

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I first found that out when arguing with GuitarMunky. After like, hundreds of words on what it means to be a great guitarist, someone mentioned Holdsy and all we could do was shrug and agree.
#22
Quote by Freepower


I first found that out when arguing with GuitarMunky. After like, hundreds of words on what it means to be a great guitarist, someone mentioned Holdsy and all we could do was shrug and agree.

It's funny... that's actually the truth! There's really no other guitarist you can look to and go "What is going on.. and how does he do it..". I mean there's Shawn Lane, but he's a different kind of "What is going on". Though, for having as small of hands as he does I'm EXTREMELY impressed that he can fast Augmented string-skipping arpeggios...

I'm surprised no one's brought up Govan I personally think he's definitely up there with the likes of Gilbert, Becker, Vai and the gang, but a wee bit below Holdsworth and Lane.
#24
Quote by DiminishedFifth
I'm surprised no one's brought up Govan I personally think he's definitely up there with the likes of Gilbert, Becker, Vai and the gang, but a wee bit below Holdsworth and Lane.


I was a little surprised not to see him mentioned a little sooner too. I think the reason people rate him so highly is because he's a great all-rounder. Joel Hoekstra is a similarly fantastic all-rounder, though unfortunately you won't see much of what he's really capable of just by searching Youtube.

As specialists go, I think Brett Garsed deserves a mention. With the the exception of Holdsworth, I think he's probably got the best legato technique around, and his hybrid picking and slide technique are also incredible.
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#25
Quote by Prophet of Page
I was a little surprised not to see him mentioned a little sooner too. I think the reason people rate him so highly is because he's a great all-rounder. Joel Hoekstra is a similarly fantastic all-rounder, though unfortunately you won't see much of what he's really capable of just by searching Youtube.


Guessing he's even MORE unknown than Govan?

As specialists go, I think Brett Garsed deserves a mention. With the the exception of Holdsworth, I think he's probably got the best legato technique around, and his hybrid picking and slide technique are also incredible.

I just found Garsed not too long ago as a hybrid picking mention... man, do I want his technique. When I'm ready and comfortable enough to begin working on it, he's the go-to guy for HPT.
#26
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Guessing he's even MORE unknown than Govan?


Yeah, more unknown than Govan. He's released two electric instrumental CDs, Undefind and The Moon Is Falling (I think he also has an acoustic album). Both are excellent, but I prefer the first. At the moment, he's playing with the '80s rock band Night Ranger. I don't feel it really showcases just how good he really is.

He used to take lessons from TJ Helmerich. He also used to play a lot with TJ and Brett Garsed during the Quid Pro Quo/Exempt era. I think he must have learned a lot from them, his legato playing and 8-finger tapping techniques are astonishing.
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#28
Quote by Freepower
^ go-to-guy for hpt?

Man, you need to check out these dudes -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfBSIe3SKdE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYzajpeAWuA

I'm sure any serious country player could name 5 more guys that blow Brett out of the water. (As much as I love Brett's hybrid articulation!)

That's amazing and all, but I don't quite know if it counts I mean yeah they have the pick connected to their thumb, but they have all 4 fingers open. I'm talking about first finger and thumb on pick, and hybrid pick with my remaining 3.
#30
^ true dat!

That's amazing and all, but I don't quite know if it counts I mean yeah they have the pick connected to their thumb, but they have all 4 fingers open. I'm talking about first finger and thumb on pick, and hybrid pick with my remaining 3.


I count it if they include long single note picked lines in their general playing style. If they were just using the thumbpick the same way you'd use a thumb then I would agree it "doesn't count". I wouldn't hold the pick if I could find a thumbpick that works as well for me as a J3.

And I know about Broderick's method, I just haven't got round to it yet.
#31
generally there is much more great guitarists in jazz than in metal, because in metal you can get away with just bashing power chords and occasional pentatonic blues like solo

for best metal guitarists i would nominate Rusty Cooley (newsflash isnt it?) and Chris Broderick (is there anything that guy cant do nominally well?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97LTj-_8at0

judging by that video alone i think Rusty could match Lanes speed with more cleanliness (thats probably due to Shawns method of learning, play fast now, clean up on the way, got to build a bad habit or two)


by the way, to anyone who knows how to play Scarified by Gilbert, how hard are those string skipping runs on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being ****ing hard!). It doesnt seem to be out of my current speed range, but i barely practiced string skipping at all and if those arent that hard (say up to 5 - 6) i could give it a shot
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Last edited by hr113 at Jul 5, 2011,
#32
Quote by Freepower
I count it if they include long single note picked lines in their general playing style. If they were just using the thumbpick the same way you'd use a thumb then I would agree it "doesn't count". I wouldn't hold the pick if I could find a thumbpick that works as well for me as a J3.

And I know about Broderick's method, I just haven't got round to it yet.

I would totally use a thumbpick if I could jam on those all day better than a J3 Especially like that Scotty guy and Tommy Emanuel. There has to be a metal/jazz guy who can do it!
#33
Oh, and Shawn Lane was monster at hybrid picking, how could I forget? XD

judging by that video alone i think Rusty could match Lanes speed with more cleanliness (thats probably due to Shawns method of learning, play fast now, clean up on the way, got to build a bad habit or two)


First off, a few years ago I was talking to Rusty via email about Shawn, I don't know if he'd agree with you.

Although Rusty is monster fast and clean, even the rather conservative willjay has some clips showing Shawn picks about 20% faster. I don't think anyone's even managed to get an accurate handle on Shawn's legato stuff but you can bet it's ludicrous.

And, once again, often playing monster lines that are unplayable at normal tempos.

And finally, I really do have to point out Shawn is talking about dealing with roadblocks in building speed. He's not talking about general practice. If you listen to what he says, he's talking about fracturing a process. It's not how he generally practised.

Although yeah, towards the end, he was a bit sloppy.
#34
Quote by Freepower

Although yeah, towards the end, he was a bit sloppy.

I think that had more to do with what was going on in his life rather than his actual playing. I mean have been more about just... playing without care rather than trying to be spot on. He knew his time was coming and it might have been his way of showing that.

This discussion makes me sad now
#35
I don't know if he didn't care, but his problems with his hands and with his medication certainly did no favours to his playing. One thing I've always admired about Shawn was that he'd often try for things barely in his grasp - you do that often, sometimes you slip.

Same thing happened when I saw Holdsy, he was going for things he just couldn't get sometimes, but in trying and failing he was more honest and inspiring than a million Theodore Ziras clones.

Sorry Theo... >.>
#36
Quote by hr113
for best metal guitarists i would nominate Rusty Cooley (newsflash isnt it?) and Chris Broderick (is there anything that guy cant do nominally well?)


I wouldn't agree there at all, personally for all his speed and clean playing I find Rusty to be massively overrated. Best metal guitarists for me are guys like Paul Masvidal (formerly of Death and now in Cynic) and Santiago Dobles (Aghora) who are both truly insane players in terms of skill and also to me much more musically interesting.


I also think if we're talking in terms of skills (while we're here and doing this thing ) I think Marshall Harrison deserves and honorable mention. For all his douchebaggery in lessons on youtube he's still an absolute beast.
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#37
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I wouldn't agree there at all, personally for all his speed and clean playing I find Rusty to be massively overrated. Best metal guitarists for me are guys like Paul Masvidal (formerly of Death and now in Cynic) and Santiago Dobles (Aghora) who are both truly insane players in terms of skill and also to me much more musically interesting.

Yes to Paul!
I also nominate Michael Romeo. There's Paul Ortiz of Chimp Spanner, Misha Mansoor (Bulb) of Periphery, and, of course, Tosin Abasi (also surprised he hasn't gotten a mention!).
#38
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Yes to Paul!
I also nominate Michael Romeo. There's Paul Ortiz of Chimp Spanner, Misha Mansoor (Bulb) of Periphery, and, of course, Tosin Abasi (also surprised he hasn't gotten a mention!).


Djent up the ass, huh?
I can only listen to so many breakdowns and "spoken word" vocals before I wanna puke.

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#40
Quote by Freepower
I think out of the "djent" guitarists, only Tosin is an example of world class technique.


I think Nolly could give a lot of people a run for their money, the guy is a beast. Not like... Lane or Tosin level or anything like that but he's got some serious chops no doubt about that.
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