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#1
Ok so I got into a debate with a freind the other day, we were talking about the level of guitar playing in bands in artists today vs older bands and artists.

Now the obvious thought is that things only improve over time and obviosly this is true when it comes to learning guitar with the Internet and modern technology musicians have it easy comparing to past generations. So you would think the answer is a no brainer, but is it?

On the other hand though current music IMO is watered down maybe I haven't found the right artists but I mean I look at the skill level of some bands and it just makes me laugh compared to the older guys.

What do you guys think also just a side thought do you think that modern technology and the ability to break everything down with tabs and that could actually be holding musicians back?
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chronowarp
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#2
Uh...dude.
The baseline for a guitar player is infinitely higher than it was 60 years ago.
Bands playing technically simple parts doesn't mean they aren't more capable than shred fags from the 80s or ...wait...when were guitar players ever good in history?
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#4
I think the question is a no brainer...
Actually called Mark!

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chronowarp
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#5
Quote by slap-a-bass
Led Zepp era was full of great guitar players that will never be matched in skill or talent by anyone ever

ya for sure
when jimmy page is the cream of the crop you know you've got some pretty big problems.
CelestialGuitar
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#7
What was considered impressive then:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4lrAxUuwkk

What is considered impressive now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkpZ645ztl0

Basically, yes, musicians have become so much more skilled it's untrue. As a musician in this era, I think music has moved on from the classic bands, and as for modern technology, I don't even think there's an argument to be had, it helps people play, and at this point in my career, I only really need to learn repertoire to analyse harmony, or for a technical exercise, so, for both, programs like Guitar Pro are incredibly useful, as it tells me everything I need to know in a quick glance. It's just like sheet music, really.
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Metalisnotmusic
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#10
look at that Van Halen, thinking he's tough shit. Sucking on that cigarette like he's worth a damn. Even with only half a brain in his head now from all the cancer he should be able to tell that's not music. What happened to the greats? Like the greatest guitar player to ever live, Steven Seagal. Now there's a guitar player, and a damn patriot too. You don't see Steven Seagal walking around with his tongue hanging out, pissing his pants and chasing the Ice Cream Man. No modern guitar players will ever be as good as the classics
ccannon1
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#13
I fail to see how modern technology could hold us back... that actually makes no sense at all.

Also, I don't know what you mean by skill. Like, how fast they can play? How skillful they are with crafting their own parts? With improvisation? It's too broad a question and really you can't debate it.
Raster
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#14
That's a relative question, but it's actually a smart one. Don't let the guys that show no opinion think this is stupid.
In my humble opinion, we have our lifes easier now, any person can simply pick up a guitar and search for a instructional video and be at a decent level in a short amount of time.
Back in the days, you could only learn how to master the guitar either by yourself, or with the help of someone you knew.
And that's the difference, we have tons of players out there today, that learned how to play with constant exercises teached by great players, this doesn't mean that you are a great player.
In the early stages of guitar playing everyone had to basically figure it out by themselves, which would create their own sound (Ex: Hendrix)
Nowadays when we look at the best guitar players we look at players that have a perfect technique and songwriting (Govan, Petrucci, Vai etc). And with this whole prog-metal scene you end up seeing bands trying to achieve perfection on every level, creating new techniques, over-mastering the old ones out there already (AAL, PTH etc.)

So it's like a 50/50 answer, back in the days everyone had to figure it out by themselves therefore creating their own sounds, styles and music.
Nowadays we tend to achieve perfection to create new sounds, styles and music. But we have that task easier, since there is so much information and teachers out there.
TheHydra
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#15
I wouldn't lump Govan in with the whole "perfect technique" crowd as if that's all he's about. He is impressive, yes, but he's also been obsessively learning music by ear on guitar since he was four years old. He has an extremely developed ear and sense of melody.
chronowarp
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#16
^for sure.

Govan isn't a consequence of his technique like a lot of shit modern players (petrucci, mab). He's just extremely technically gifted, because he work his ass off, but it's only a vehicle for his musical expression in the moment.
MaggaraMarine
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#17
Come on, this is completely subjective. It's about opinions. Some people like Petrucci's style, some like Hendrix's style. They are different but you can't say which style is better. But technically guitarists are so much better now than in the past. But it doesn't mean their music is more enjoyable to listen to.

I'm sure all the best players learn music by ear and not using tabs. At that level it would be ridiculous to use tabs because people like Steve Vai and John Petrucci can play whatever comes to their mind.

And what's wrong with perfect technique? Isn't it a good thing? If your technique is perfect, you can make whatever sound good. I don't like all shredders (like Yngvie) but I do like John Petrucci. He has some beautiful solos. And I still appreciate the "perfect technique" shredders. They do their thing, some people like it, I don't. It's their opinion, this is mine.

And all that "today's music sucks, bring back the 80s" crap is just BS. Of course the mainstream bands will start to annoy you because you hear them all the time and all the mainstream bands sound the same. But wait ten years and listen to the band again, you might have that kind of nostalgic feeling or something and you start liking it. That has also to do with the fact that nobody does that kind of music any more. For example everybody hated the glam bands in the 80s but nowadays everybody's like: "They were awesome, I wish it was 80s right now." If it was the 80s, everybody would play glam stuff and you would get annoyed because most of the bands would sound the same. All the mainstream bands of course follow the contemporary trends and that's why they sound the same. And people only remember bands that have been a bit more original.

So basically my point is, mainstream music sucks and has always sucked. You only remember the "strongest" bands that invented something new, not the guys who just followed the contemporary trends.

OK, enough of this nonsense.
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#19
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Come on, this is completely subjective. It's about opinions. Some people like Petrucci's style, some like Hendrix's style. They are different but you can't say which style is better. But technically guitarists are so much better now than in the past. But it doesn't mean their music is more enjoyable to listen to.

I'm sure all the best players learn music by ear and not using tabs. At that level it would be ridiculous to use tabs because people like Steve Vai and John Petrucci can play whatever comes to their mind.

And what's wrong with perfect technique? Isn't it a good thing? If your technique is perfect, you can make whatever sound good. I don't like all shredders (like Yngvie) but I do like John Petrucci. He has some beautiful solos. And I still appreciate the "perfect technique" shredders. They do their thing, some people like it, I don't. It's their opinion, this is mine.

And all that "today's music sucks, bring back the 80s" crap is just BS. Of course the mainstream bands will start to annoy you because you hear them all the time and all the mainstream bands sound the same. But wait ten years and listen to the band again, you might have that kind of nostalgic feeling or something and you start liking it. That has also to do with the fact that nobody does that kind of music any more. For example everybody hated the glam bands in the 80s but nowadays everybody's like: "They were awesome, I wish it was 80s right now." If it was the 80s, everybody would play glam stuff and you would get annoyed because most of the bands would sound the same. All the mainstream bands of course follow the contemporary trends and that's why they sound the same. And people only remember bands that have been a bit more original.

So basically my point is, mainstream music sucks and has always sucked. You only remember the "strongest" bands that invented something new, not the guys who just followed the contemporary trends.

OK, enough of this nonsense.


Your comment, is -- as always -- the best.
evolucian
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#20
How can anyone pick on Eddie... that's just not right. The guy was extremely inventive and his feel is unsurpassed. Same with Hendrix.

I was reading an interview of CC de Ville this morning that kind of deals with this... kind of.
-> With some musician who you want to be like, he can make a mistake and it's like, don't worry, he's just having a bad night. If I make a mistake, its like "See? I told you he sucks!" We could be on our ninth album each one could sell like 5 million units... the tenth one sucks and one guy will go to another and say "I told you they wouldn't last. I told you it was luck."

I can actually hear it right now. I was like that. I thought all those guys sucked because they weren't doing Michael Schenker. If it wasn't the speed of U.F.O.'s Force it, then I thought it sucked. Now that I'm older, I never want to make that mistake, but I can identify with the kids that did make that mistake. I learned at an early age, wait a minute, thats not what it's really all about. Don't ever sacrifice the playing for the coolness. You can do both. <- CC de Ville; Guitar, October 1990


The older you get, the more you realise how something is actually brilliant. I'm finding that out myself as time dawdles on. Picking up on all the nuances of the yesteryear guitarists that made them brilliant in the day and still today - opinions may vary on this matter as the thread suggests. Jimmy Page did have shoddy technique and a disgusting vibrato - but he made it work for his songs and the band as a whole. They were the greatest band ever and so frikkin huge - it's actually not easy to imagine by how much until you read a roadies biography on the band. He was also very embarrased about his fingerstyle technique but HFS!! It was amazing what he did! To compare to Govan is ridiculous. I've listened to "Erotic Cakes" and didn't find anything great in it. Not even Kotzen's solo could save it for me - but some others do like it so whatever they gain from it is good enough for me. Govan can not write in that vein (Led Zep) although he can do anything and immitate various animals/artists and looks like a bum. An interesting test would be to have Page/Plant write something and have Govan/Madonna write something and see which one actually hits the charts/outsells the other. It would be a tough challenge.

Was listening to Arch Enemy's "Khaos Legions" earlier and these guys just have the sweetest sound/compositions. Problem is; I can't compare it to any current or yesteryear band as it doesn't seem fair to do that. Each has their own qualities from which they draw to stand out and they each do a brilliant job of it. But I digress.

In the spirit of the opening post, skill of a guitarist is much more than technique. It encompasses composition too, amongst other things - but the composition aspect is the thing I look at as it shows the use of their techniques in a song context. And let's face it - many people can blow their wad and suck. It's just how nature intended them to be.

The late 70's/80's was all about wad blowing, and only a few managed to survive that era. Tapping came into the forefront and if you didn't do it then you were just plain awful. So people had to become inventive as the Boss at the time (Eddie) was still blowing people's minds with his creative uses and wasn't stopping. Reb Beach was a cool guitarist and inventive in his soloing and then...Beavis and Butthead killed Winger. Sad day, shit episode.

Nuno Bettencourt - another frikkin legend from the 90's. Man could this guy play. Then Gary Cherone mistakenly decides to do the van Halen album and the next Extreme album bombs just as bad and they go bye bye. Stuck to doing Adele tours. Ah well. But anyways... another guitarist which no one can compare to. I digress again...

No! One can not compare today with yesteryear bands. It's not fair. We just have to live with today's music as its almost all we have and it would be fair to give them a chance as they grow into their sound. Technology today is something one has good things and bad things about. Valves still return... just saying.
Jehannum
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#21
Compositional style >> technique for me. They can be the most basic player who ever lived but if the note choices are right I'll listen. I don't listen to much new stuff. Much of what I've heard in recent metal doesn't inspire me despite the advances made in guitar playing and drumming since the 80s when I got into that genre. There's something missing. I don't know what it is, but it isn't technical ability.
MaggaraMarine
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#22
Quote by Jehannum
Compositional style >> technique for me. They can be the most basic player who ever lived but if the note choices are right I'll listen. I don't listen to much new stuff. Much of what I've heard in recent metal doesn't inspire me despite the advances made in guitar playing and drumming since the 80s when I got into that genre. There's something missing. I don't know what it is, but it isn't technical ability.

I agree. I'm also fan of old stuff (though I like some new stuff too).

But I think new music should really be new to be interesting. Some new bands just play the same stuff people have been playing since the 90s. Music hasn't changed a lot and they repeat the same cliches. I'm talking about particular subgenres. For example listen to Iron Maiden's new albums and listen to their old albums. They repeat the same cliches, they can't come up with anything new that fits the same style. The songs are OK but it just doesn't have the same feel as their older albums when the genre was new. I think "best" contemporary music is something else than classic metal for example. Classic metal has pretty much been composed. Of course people can write new classic metal songs but they just don't feel the same as the old stuff when the metal cliches weren't invented yet.

So if people write similar stuff than they wrote in the 70s or 80s, no wonder that it doesn't sound that interesting. I rather listen to old records if I want to listen to an old style of music (like NWOBHM).
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#23
Quote by supersac
^yeah but van halen looks alot cooler


i agree with your whole post though



IMO, EVH sounds alot better too.
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#25
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I agree. I'm also fan of old stuff (though I like some new stuff too).

But I think new music should really be new to be interesting. Some new bands just play the same stuff people have been playing since the 90s. Music hasn't changed a lot and they repeat the same cliches. I'm talking about particular subgenres. For example listen to Iron Maiden's new albums and listen to their old albums. They repeat the same cliches, they can't come up with anything new that fits the same style. The songs are OK but it just doesn't have the same feel as their older albums when the genre was new. I think "best" contemporary music is something else than classic metal for example. Classic metal has pretty much been composed. Of course people can write new classic metal songs but they just don't feel the same as the old stuff when the metal cliches weren't invented yet.

So if people write similar stuff than they wrote in the 70s or 80s, no wonder that it doesn't sound that interesting. I rather listen to old records if I want to listen to an old style of music (like NWOBHM).


I'm sorry, but IM is a bad example. As good as Harris is, he doesn't seem to be capable of writing anything outside the key of E.

Quote by chronowarp
thats because chris broderick is the shit.


fixed
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#28
I would also like to point out Tosin Abasi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihqT1aA4Q88
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evolucian
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#29
^ its a matter of personal opinion really. Tosin vs Robert Fripp. I think one of them will make the other cry... it depends on you who you think it will be.

*pls note that I did not use Alex Lifeson. Or Zappa. Tosin is good, don't get me wrong. But its way too technical and not enough music - MO of course. But they all have their good qualities and shitty drawbacks. When you listen to AAL you go HFS!!!! You listen to Fripp in whichever incarnation and you go "Nice, easy enough"... until you try it. Then they're on equal footing again. Fml
Last edited by evolucian at Mar 7, 2013,
chronowarp
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#30
Quote by Archer250
I'm sorry, but IM is a bad example. As good as Harris is, he doesn't seem to be capable of writing anything outside the key of E.


fixed

ya i sure do love his benign, melody-less ****ing garbage slop two handed tapping, and his really rigid poorly executed "classical" performances. Get real.
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#32
I agree that this thread is useless as every post is probably going to be biased towards the poster's favourite guitarist/band, but I like putting my opinion out there anyways.

Quote by evolucian
^ its a matter of personal opinion really. Tosin vs Robert Fripp. I think one of them will make the other cry... it depends on you who you think it will be.

*pls note that I did not use Alex Lifeson. Or Zappa. Tosin is good, don't get me wrong. But its way too technical and not enough music - MO of course. But they all have their good qualities and shitty drawbacks. When you listen to AAL you go HFS!!!! You listen to Fripp in whichever incarnation and you go "Nice, easy enough"... until you try it. Then they're on equal footing again. Fml


Evolucian, post a good song that showcases Robert Fripp. I know he plays NST, but thats all I know. I love Tosin Abasi, and Guthrie Govan because they can change styles seamlessly in a song, or even mix them. Tosin Abasi for example studied jazz at the Atlanta Institute of Sound (iirc, called something like that). AAL is very heavy music with a down tuned 8 string guitar, but it is also very jazz influenced. Abasi could be fingerpicking a melody, while also thumping out a moving bassline, like Joe Pass for example (who is another amazing guitarist by himself).
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evolucian
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#33
Quote by AWACS
I agree that this thread is useless as every post is probably going to be biased towards the poster's favourite guitarist/band, but I like putting my opinion out there anyways.


Evolucian, post a good song that showcases Robert Fripp. I know he plays NST, but thats all I know. I love Tosin Abasi, and Guthrie Govan because they can change styles seamlessly in a song, or even mix them. Tosin Abasi for example studied jazz at the Atlanta Institute of Sound (iirc, called something like that). AAL is very heavy music with a down tuned 8 string guitar, but it is also very jazz influenced. Abasi could be fingerpicking a melody, while also thumping out a moving bassline, like Joe Pass for example (who is another amazing guitarist by himself).


Remember, repost: I think one of them will make the other cry... it depends on you who you think it will be.
The other part is, do some homework. If you don't know much about him, youtube is your friend, as is google. He's an old man and he is not slow either. He also composes supremely hectic shit, very very inventive and avante garde to most. Above all, just your not so average english gentleman. Prog champion. So do your music education a favour and have at it. You can thank me later

*edit* very much a chameleon too
Last edited by evolucian at Mar 7, 2013,
AWACS
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#34
I asked for an example. I gave you a video of Abasi; I would like a video/song by/with Fripp that you think exemplifies him well. I feel like you're coming across a little bit cocky as well, talking about Fripp, just saying.
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Archer250
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#35
Quote by chronowarp
ya i sure do love his benign, melody-less ****ing garbage slop two handed tapping, and his really rigid poorly executed "classical" performances. Get real.


Yes, because everybody's perfect. Right?


Oh and to all the "it's too technical, it's not music" BS; it's because of mindsets like that that ended up with crap like this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Qp9tpiQ0w
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Last edited by Archer250 at Mar 7, 2013,
evolucian
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#36
Quote by AWACS
I asked for an example. I gave you a video of Abasi; I would like a video/song by/with Fripp that you think exemplifies him well. I feel like you're coming across a little bit cocky as well, talking about Fripp, just saying.

Lol, you never gave me a video, you gave the thread a video... one I've already seen and was kinda meh for me anyway. I know how Abasi plays and would love to see AAL live, but country permitting, not gonna happen. The truth is, you cannot just pick one (and this goes for Abasi as well). If Vai and Satch decided to have him on board for a G3 spectacle - then he can't be that shit... right?

So seriously, go find out about him. To just know about a tuning is not going to help you at all - you have to dig deeper. And its up to you... I informed you about it - if you are truly interested to discover the roots of your favourite genre, then you will put in the effort. If you choose not to, that is your choice to make.

Sidenote - the youtube vid "solos" is about effective as Zappa's "solos" album was... null and void. It didn't capture the true magic no matter how impressive or let down. So skip it.

If its too much of a minefield for you, then here's a hint: King Crimson
Last edited by evolucian at Mar 7, 2013,
MaggaraMarine
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#37
The thing just is that today's guitarists are technically much better. In the 70s there were good guitarists but today there are more of them. There are lots of pretty unknown guitarists in Youtube that can play pretty well. That doesn't mean they are better guitarists but they are technically more advanced. I'm sure a (technically) good guitarist in the 70s would still be good guitarist but there are those guys that can do even more with their guitar. Though I don't really care about that kind of technique showing off. If it doesn't sound good I don't care how difficult it's to play.

My point is: In the 70s guitarists with excellent technique were more rare. I know there were technical players back then but you can't deny the fact that today there are more of them and some of them have much better technique. I think that has to do with the Internet and better education in music. Everything has come easier.

And I know people like Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix have good enough technique and they were also very innovative guitarists. They can play the music they want to play (though you can hear that they play a bit sloppily sometimes). And IMO that's enough. If you'll never play stuff like Tosin Abasi, you don't need to have as good technique as him. You need to have as good technique as you need for the songs you want to play. So guitarists in the 70s weren't by no means bad but today there simply are more technical players. And again, it really doesn't matter to me because I don't care about technically challenging music if it doesn't sound interesting.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 7, 2013,
bondmorkret
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#38
I think technically guitarists have come on leaps and bound in the last decade or so, these days every man and his dog can play crazy fast licks that they've memorized note for note. I put this down to the resources we have available these days. With online instructional material, basically anyone can learn from the greats.

Also, with the internet, more or less anyone can get there music out there to an international audience. How does this affect listeners? Well I think these days you have to wade through a lot of crap to find real musical talent, and young players are more focused on regurgitated licks and learning other peoples solos note for note than developing their own improvising.

Anyone involved in my online lessons will know that I teach primarily improvisation based concepts, which to me is the most important aspect of players that I personally like.

Interesting debate!
Jehannum
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#39
I just want to hear some good metal riffs, technical or not. Something that makes my head move or my spine tingle. If I go to my CD collection from the mid 80s that's not a problem; if I turn on the radio it is.

Everything sounds much clearer and sharper (and yes, better played) now than it used to - just like TV programmes look much better in high definition - but the content isn't there. There's literally nothing I really like in today's metal scene. That's a bit depressing. I listen to Kerrang to and from work and all I get is American frat boy vocal harmonies and guitar tones polished to within a millimetre of their life.
Nietsche
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#40
Quote by Jehannum
There's literally nothing I really like in today's metal scene... I listen to Kerrang to and from work


I think we may have found the real issue here.
.