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#1
A guitar vituoso is someone who knows a certain amount of music theory and who can play at a high speed. Right?

I understand the music theory bit, but why speed? I'm wondering if you can be considered a virtuoso without playing at an excessive speed.
#2
Course you can, speed just implies a lot of control. It's not *needed* to be a virtuoso
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#3
Because to play correctly and easily at high speed requires years of hard and constant practice.

Also, this has nothing to do with music theory. A virtuoso can have absolutely no idea about music theory and be a virtuoso.

"A virtuoso is an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability in the fine arts, at singing or playing a musical instrument"


I doubt you will find something that is outsandingly technical to play without being very fast.


Quote by pigeonmafia
Course you can, speed just implies a lot of control. It's not *needed* to be a virtuoso



Wikipedia begs to differ!
#4
Quote by Zeletros
Because to play correctly and easily at high speed requires years of hard and constant practice.

Also, this has nothing to do with music theory. A virtuoso can have absolutely no idea about music theory and be a virtuoso.

"A virtuoso is an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability in the fine arts, at singing or playing a musical instrument"


I doubt you will find something that is outsandingly technical to play without being very fast.


Wikipedia begs to differ!


Speed = technical ability

Technical ability =/= speed
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#6
just google vituoso and read the wiki. its not necessarily speed. its just someone who has mastered their instrument.

also I have always went with the idea that one can not refer to himself as a virtuoso, one can only be called a virtuoso by others. i made this part up.
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#7
Quote by ThatDarnDavid

also I have always went with the idea that one can not refer to himself as a virtuoso, one can only be called a virtuoso by others. i made this part up.

That just goes without saying.

That'd be like James Dean having to tell everyone he was cool.
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#8
How about someone like David Gilmour? He was never known for his speed, rather his phenominal bending and vibrato skills. He is one of my personal all time favorites.

It's all about personal preference. As a guitarist you can appreciate the skills it takes to place fast, but speed does not guarantee that it will sound great or be an elite guitarist.
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#9
Quote by pigeonmafia
Speed = technical ability

Technical ability =/= speed

This.

Ron Jarzombek is a guitar virtuoso.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTbcMk2vovs

Does that song have fast passages? No. Does it have a very complex rhythm to it? Hell yes.
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#10
Quote by thetalonguy
How about someone like David Gilmour? He was never known for his speed, rather his phenominal bending and vibrato skills. He is one of my personal all time favorites.

It's all about personal preference. As a guitarist you can appreciate the skills it takes to place fast, but speed does not guarantee that it will sound great or be an elite guitarist.

great example. another example would be Wes Montgomery. not defined as fast but yet one of the best jazz guitarists of all time.
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#11
Quote by ThatDarnDavid

also I have always went with the idea that one can not refer to himself as a virtuoso, one can only be called a virtuoso by others. i made this part up.



i realized that too. you can't consider yourself a virtuoso, people have to consider you one. if not you're one big fat mass of ego
#12
Quote by Flibo
This.

Ron Jarzombek is a guitar virtuoso.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTbcMk2vovs

Does that song have fast passages? No. Does it have a very complex rhythm to it? Hell yes.



Lol, for the entire thing I was wondering when the intro ends and the songs starts... . It got boring after the first 10 seconds but to each his own..
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#13
speed is a necessary skill in every instrument.
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#14
Quote by Flibo
This.

Ron Jarzombek is a guitar virtuoso.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTbcMk2vovs

Does that song have fast passages? No. Does it have a very complex rhythm to it? Hell yes.

I think ol' Ron was trolling everybody there; nobody seriously listens to that and they sure as hell don't consider that an example of total guitar virtuosity.
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#15
Quote by Flibo
This.

Ron Jarzombek is a guitar virtuoso.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTbcMk2vovs

Does that song have fast passages? No. Does it have a very complex rhythm to it? Hell yes.

uh is this a joke lol?

EDIT: @the person who wanted to hear me play:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/%21Mike%21/music/all/play1054125

sorry i took so long i was trying to find out how to upload mp3s, but yeah i didnt bother learning more then 10 seconds because he does the same thing with simple variations over and over and theres no increase/decrease in difficulty
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Last edited by !Mike! at Oct 23, 2011,
#16
Quote by Sleaze Disease
I think ol' Ron was trolling everybody there; nobody seriously listens to that and they sure as hell don't consider that an example of total guitar virtuosity.


Not that track any ways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WjdpG7e2zg


Both Ron and his brother are very talented at their instruments.
#17
Quote by severed-metal
Not that track any ways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WjdpG7e2zg


Both Ron and his brother are very talented at their instruments.

i think that is a better representation of his skills lol
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#19
Quote by AcousticMirror
speed is a necessary skill in every instrument.


No.

Now back to the question. A virtuoso is as said someone who have mastered their instrument very well, you can master a instrument without going for speed.

Jazz music does not play at a high speed (often) and still that level of guitar playing is extremly hard to master.

As pointed out, you can still be a master of your instrument. But depending on your style a virtuoso have different skills. Gilmour as said is godlike at bending and vibrato.
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#20
Quote by Sickz
No.


Technically, yes, because if you have no speed you'll never make it to the next note.
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#21
Quote by severed-metal
Not that track any ways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WjdpG7e2zg


Both Ron and his brother are very talented at their instruments.

I still don't get it.

All he does is use a lot of start/stop rhythms and plays a lot of "outside" licks.

How exactly is that song an example of virtuosity? Explain it to me.
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#22
I would say that a virtuoso is someone who can accurately, fluently and passionately express himself through his instrument. For some musicians, this will require the use of fast passages. Others have no desire to play fast. It's all about being able to play what you feel.
#23
Alvin Lee of, "Ten Years After", used to play really fast, and I suppose he was, at least at the time, considered a "virtuoso" by many. However,"Ten Years After", recorded some of the most forgettable shit you've ever heard.

I suspect that very few guitarists who've heard, "Comfortably Numb", have ever forgotten it! This song doesn't have blazing speed, but it does take you many places, in a big, big hurry.....
#24
Quote by YYMMalmsteen
A guitar vituoso is someone who knows a certain amount of music theory and who can play at a high speed.


>A guitar vituoso is someone who knows a certain amount of music theory and who can play at a high speed.
>A guitar vituoso is someone who can play at a high speed.
> virtuoso
> high speed

You got something messed up here...
While is speed is a great "skill" and is needed to be a good guitarist, it is not crucial for being a virtuoso. Virtuoso is usually associated with thinks like good sound and a lots of feeling.

However you turn it, speed is far from being the only skill a good guitarist needs. You also need good technique for good sound, being able to produce variety of sounds and styles, good knowledge on harmony, improvisational skills, "good ear" and lots of other stuff.
#25
extreme speed isnt needed to make playing sound good a good guitar player can play 3 notes and make it sound good
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#26
Quote by stevosmusic1
extreme speed isnt needed to make playing sound good a good guitar player can play 3 notes and make it sound good


An equally great guitarist could turn 100 notes in to one sound.

This is an entirely stupid thread in my opinion but since the mods have left it open I can only imagine they don't think it's that bad...
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#27
Quote by ThatDarnDavid
just google vituoso and read the wiki. its not necessarily speed. its just someone who has mastered their instrument.

also I have always went with the idea that one can not refer to himself as a virtuoso, one can only be called a virtuoso by others. i made this part up.

This sums it up well imo, a virtuoso is simply someone who has mastered his instrument and is considerably skilled at it. Speed is, of course, a skill, but it's not the only skill a player needs to be good at his instrument.
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#29
^Steffen Schackinger is one of my favorite guitarists of all time.
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#30
Honestly, I think if you've got astounding technical ability, you should be able to play very, very fast indeed. If you're excellent at bending and vibrato, improvisation, etc, you may well be an excellent specialist in those techniques, and you can be a fantastic guitar player, but I wouldn't say you've got all-round astounding technique if you can't play quickly.
#31
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
An equally great guitarist could turn 100 notes in to one sound.

This is an entirely stupid thread in my opinion but since the mods have left it open I can only imagine they don't think it's that bad...
Ive often wondered why people post on threads they think are "entirely stupid"

The original question was a good one... why is speed considered a key of being a vituoso?

Is there anything around here more overrated than speed? How many threads a week are started by newer players who want tips on getting faster?
he of tranquil mind
#33
I consider someone who is a virtuoso master has the technical ability to hit blistering speed when the music calls for it but is still only one of the tools in their box of tricks

A virtuoso master has the power, but knows when to use it and when not to.

Just cause you have the power, doesn't mean you should use it all the time, everytime.
#34
Personally I believe a virtuoso guitarist is a player who can take any piece of music ever written and play it to perfection, which obviously includes fast playing. I don't think you have to be able to write well, but you have to be able to play accurately, quickly, and with the correct accenting all when needed. A player who sounds great with only a few notes but perfect accenting, but can't play quickly and accurately is no more a virtuoso than someone who can play quickly and accurately but can't get the required tone out of their playing.

The fact is that speed and accuracy are but a few of the measurements you can use to define a virtuoso, however I believe a virtuoso has to be a master of ALL elements of playing the instrument (although maybe this is genre specific, for example, I can't imagine Petrucci playing like Gabriela.. not to say that he can't).
#35
Quote by Sleaze Disease
I still don't get it.

All he does is use a lot of start/stop rhythms and plays a lot of "outside" licks.

How exactly is that song an example of virtuosity? Explain it to me.




I don't think he's a virtuoso, I just put up a better video.
#36
Quote by Freepower
... because the ability to play fast and clean is evidence of excellent technique?

cmon man... Im with you there

the original question:
"I'm wondering if you can be considered a virtuoso without playing at an excessive speed."

The question is a little vague but of ALL the various techniques and skills talked about here which one dominates? I would have to say speed. And where is that on the level of importance as far as guitar mastery? I would say it can be a key to playing but I would also say no skill here is more overrated

And this is nothing but one fool man's opinion, I think many of the great players who have amazing technical skills and speed are actually hurt by that.

I mean look at SRV. Could anyone play better? Technique wise he's (duh) sick. On the flip side half of what Hendrix plays is slop. Who is more influential? Who's music is more moving? Maybe there are better examples but Im just trying illuminate speed and technical genius w/ SRV had vs someone who self expression through his play is equally genius.

The original question was "excessive speed" no just speed in general. All great players can play fast. Not all can blaze or shred or whatever you want to call it. Does it really matter? Does it make them less great?
he of tranquil mind
#37
I think it might be important at this juncture to make a distinction between "speed" in a vacuum and "speed" in a musical context (with meaningful note selection and phrasing going on simultaneously).

Of course anyone who is a virtuoso is going to have the capability of playing fast. But the mere fact that a guitarist can pick fast isn't particularly impressive to me. It's what they do with it that can make me think they're a virtuoso. There are tons of guitar players other there with speed who aren't virtuosos at all, because there isn't much else to go on to demonstrate their allegedly brilliant musicianship. A virtuoso will blown the dime-a-dozen-fast-player out of the water on sheer account of their well developed and diverse musicality on the instrument.

It's the difference between a Shawn Lane and a random rock shredder.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Oct 25, 2011,
#38
Quote by fishmike
cmon man... Im with you there... etc


I think when he says "excessive speed" he means like shred. I don't really consider SRV to play at "excessive speed".

I suppose "excessive" speed is subjective though... as I said earlier a virtuoso guitarist should be able to play virtually any piece of music accurately (including music at high speeds) because that is indicative of their technical ability - whether or not that actually do on a regular basis and how well their music is perceived is another point, and has no bearing on whether or not they are a virtuoso player.

Maybe I've just misinterpreted "virtuoso", but to me it says "outstanding technical ability to play an instrument", not "they make great music".

Whether or not you like fast technical playing is another thing, and is entirely subjective.

Also, slightly different point, but I really dislike it when people say that shred/fast technical playing has no feel and no soul - I'm sure decent shred improvisers out there (of which I am not one) would disagree - shred has its own unique tone and feel as much as vibrato and accenting, and to people that can do it well, sweeping the right arpeggios and putting the right runs in can come as naturally from the soul as any blues improvisation.
#39
Quote by llBlackenedll
I think when he says "excessive speed" he means like shred. I don't really consider SRV to play at "excessive speed".

I suppose "excessive" speed is subjective though... as I said earlier a virtuoso guitarist should be able to play virtually any piece of music accurately (including music at high speeds) because that is indicative of their technical ability - whether or not that actually do on a regular basis and how well their music is perceived is another point, and has no bearing on whether or not they are a virtuoso player.

Maybe I've just misinterpreted "virtuoso", but to me it says "outstanding technical ability to play an instrument", not "they make great music".

Whether or not you like fast technical playing is another thing, and is entirely subjective.

Also, slightly different point, but I really dislike it when people say that shred/fast technical playing has no feel and no soul - I'm sure decent shred improvisers out there (of which I am not one) would disagree - shred has its own unique tone and feel as much as vibrato and accenting, and to people that can do it well, sweeping the right arpeggios and putting the right runs in can come as naturally from the soul as any blues improvisation.
your points are well taken, especially the last. Its not really my cup of tea but just because I dont identify with it doesnt mean it cant inspire the same level of emotion.

This is interesting...
"Maybe I've just misinterpreted "virtuoso", but to me it says "outstanding technical ability to play an instrument", not "they make great music".
I hear what your saying, but who can you be a virtuoso musician and NOT be able to make great music? You can certainly make great music without being one, but we are talking about musical instrument. It there to make music. When you consider the theory and understanding to being a virtuoso shouldnt the ability to make great music go hand in hand?
he of tranquil mind
#40
Quote by fishmike
your points are well taken, especially the last. Its not really my cup of tea but just because I dont identify with it doesnt mean it cant inspire the same level of emotion.

This is interesting...
I hear what your saying, but who can you be a virtuoso musician and NOT be able to make great music? You can certainly make great music without being one, but we are talking about musical instrument. It there to make music. When you consider the theory and understanding to being a virtuoso shouldnt the ability to make great music go hand in hand?


I see what you're saying, but if all the "best" music comes from feel and expression, then simply understanding what you're playing does not mean you can write music people consider to be great. Aside from that, my interpretation is that it's your ability to play an instrument not to write the accompanying music that defines you as a virtuoso guitarist (as opposed to "virtuoso musician"). Again, I may have interpreted this wrong.
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