Page 1 of 2
#1
The guy has 148 studio albums and has worked on 50 albums from other artists! Please god tell me how he exists? Does he exist? Is he he some some sort of riffing demigod?

Really though, how could someone write that many riffs? Does he write something new each time he sits down to practice? Is his music any good?
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 13, 2015,
#3
His music is amazing, and very diverse. It's hard to tell you where to start if you want to hear some of it and it really depends on what style you like.

The Inbred Mountain trio are some offbeat, wacky songs, while Soothsayer is a more soulful song. A short heavy metal but still strange song would be one like Bloody Rainbow Spiraling Sherbet Scoop. Most people are fans of his albums Cuckoo Clocks Of Hell, Albino Slug, Decoding the Tomb of Bansheebot, Colma, Electric Tears, and Crime Slunk Scene, but I don't think you can go wrong.

Some of my favorite songs are King James, The Android of Notre Dame, Droid Assembly, Spokes for the Wheel of Torment, Electric Tears, Hall of Scalding Vats, Killing Cone, etc. I could go on all day about the songs I like from Buckethead, but I would end up naming them all.

I thought with all his Pikes series albums there would be tons of rehashed material, but a lot of it is fresh with a great sound to it.
Save a trip to the RT!
Quote by blake1221
If there's anything to take away from this thread, anything at all, it's to always cup the balls.


Top trolling abilities.

Quote by caeser1156
God dammit you had me 10/10
#5
Part of me thinks he's an android that can play any genre of music write and album with it within a couple of days, but the other part of me can't see how a robot can write something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nj1D2y-PY8
Also another good one that isn't mentioned often, Lotus Island
#7
Simple enough to do that. The example above takes advantage of a simple structure, based on a vi-IV chord progression, key of G#min, relative to B.

One can set up simple progressions like that and dink around all day long, and nothing he's doing is really that extraordinary. Sure, it sounds pretty and he's obviously talented and everything, but he's not really writing songs, imo.

It's very guitaristically minded music, and driven by that as a lead instrument, period. There's nothing wrong with that, but nothing particularly mysterious.

Get yourself a decent microphone (a Shure SM57 will do) and some good software and you're off and going.
#9
According to Les Claypool, Buckethead is John Stamos. That means that he probably has the entire Full House cast behind him.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#10
Quote by Enteroctopus
Simple enough to do that. The example above takes advantage of a simple structure, based on a vi-IV chord progression, key of G#min, relative to B.

One can set up simple progressions like that and dink around all day long, and nothing he's doing is really that extraordinary. Sure, it sounds pretty and he's obviously talented and everything, but he's not really writing songs, imo.

It's very guitaristically minded music, and driven by that as a lead instrument, period. There's nothing wrong with that, but nothing particularly mysterious.

Get yourself a decent microphone (a Shure SM57 will do) and some good software and you're off and going.

wat


Quote by Ironic Maiden
I think Buckethead is pretty neat but he doesn't belong in the Metal forum

At the time of making the original post I was under the impression he was exclusively a metal guitarist, I have since discovered that he does way more than that. I just don't know how to move the thread elsewhere.
#11
Quote by Cheeseshark

At the time of making the original post I was under the impression he was exclusively a metal guitarist, I have since discovered that he does way more than that. I just don't know how to move the thread elsewhere.

He has never done Metal as far as I am aware.

But you can PM a mod I think
#12
From what I've heard of his 498,000 albums it just sounds like the kind of stuff you'd come up with if you laid down a moderately complex backing track - say a couple of seventh chords - and then improvised over the top.

Sure, there are improv on top of improv, kind of a Classical approach like a Canon, maybe, but it's still not extremely complex or meaningful in terms of songwriting. It sounds like an exercise.

He's pretty good at it, but it's still kind of methodical sounding.
#13
I'm concerned by how many people in this thread seem to imply improvisation is lesser than playing pre-composed songs.
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within
Open up your funky mind and you can fly

Sumdeus
#14
Quote by romencer17
I'm concerned by how many people in this thread seem to imply improvisation is lesser than playing pre-composed songs.

It has its place, but I don't like bands/artists who rely too heavily on it.

I can tell when I listen to something and it's basically a bunch of noodling. Most Opeth for the past ten years or so is basically that:

Kinda cool little repetitious bass groove
Guitar goes: Floodly-doodly-doo

Let's call this one, "Windswept Shore" or some poetic crap like that...

Sorry, that's just not a song. That's you + ProTools thinking, "Oh crap, I better do something musical since I'm a famous musician.. Hmm.. Okay, that'll do!"
#15
I'm concerned by anyone who equates improvisation with 'noodling'. To say that a song focusing on a soloist improvising over a backing groove isn't a song is just absurd, and dumb.
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within
Open up your funky mind and you can fly

Sumdeus
#16
Quote by romencer17
I'm concerned by anyone who equates improvisation with 'noodling'. To say that a song focusing on a soloist improvising over a backing groove isn't a song is just absurd, and dumb.

This
#19
I put forth Fripp and Eno's Frippertonics or Wind on Water to challenge that.
HESSIAN HAREM
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE HESSIAN CULTURE. STAY TRUE.
#20
The original point of the thread was, "How does Buckethead exist?"

I explained: the guy improvises over reasonably intelligent backing tracks, records it, and calls it a record. There's a big difference between doing that and writing songs, hence bands like Borknagar don't have 468 albums.

I personally prefer Borknagar. I can tell they spent time ironing it out, on the back end it takes me several listens to unravel it all. In truth I am still uncovering new little twists and turns in that stuff.

Buckethead? Impressive, but I figure it out in, like, 0.5 seconds. All of it. Nothing to unravel, no depth or development.

It's just a different, far more efficient writing process.

I also mentioned post-Blackwater Park Opeth, which strikes me the same way. A few standout tracks, like "Ghost of Perdition" are obviously well-developed masterpieces. But the back end of that album I frankly skip...

Now I have to add something important here: I like Opeth "Pale Communion" A LOT!

Why do I like it? It's not hiding, masquerading as a "metal album" anymore. It's fusion, or "progressive rock" if you like to call it that. As a fan of 70's fusion I have heard better, but Pale Communion is really, really good for a modern effort. Pale Communion is far superior to Heritage, or frankly anything Mikael and company have put out for the past ten years.

It's improv. It's Jazzy. It's great!

One thing it's not is metal.

..and neither is Buckethead.

To be metal the music has to be approached differently. There has to be intentionality to it, things need to fall into place for a reason - at least I feel that way.

One band I really dig right now is Ne Obliviscaris.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPGz9jAvrb8

Now THAT is fusion-metal! Amateur shot, but you get the idea. Truly brilliant band.
Last edited by Enteroctopus at Apr 8, 2015,
#21
Quote by Enteroctopus
The original point of the thread was, "How does Buckethead exist?"

I explained: the guy improvises over reasonably intelligent backing tracks, records it, and calls it a record. Hey, great for him!


But like... you say that like there's something wrong with that or like it doesn't make the composition or creative process legitimate. The purpose of the backing track in instrumental music like that is to simply provide rhythmic and harmonic context to the lead playing.

They are there to serve a practical purpose rather than an artistic one and to that end they serve their purpose. Why do all the elements of the music have to be super complex and overly thought out?

Why does music have to be a deep, complex, layered experience for the self-proclaimed musical intellectual that just wants to feel superior because they can analyze "complex" music?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#22
Quote by theogonia777
The purpose of the backing track in instrumental music like that is to simply provide rhythmic and harmonic context to the lead playing.

My problem with it as a consumer is that I want more than what I perceive to be a "backing track" with some impressive lead playing over the top.

I don't get much into Vai, Satriani, that sort of thing for the same reason. I guess I could compare it to sports. I don't get into watching people swim back and forth in a pool, although I can appreciate the strength and dedication required.

An artist or athlete can demonstrate how far superior they are to everyone else all day long, but bottom line it's straight-up boring.

I'd rather someone paint a couple of stripes on a canvas, if it's interesting to look at.

Quote by theogonia777
Why do all the elements of the music have to be super complex and overly thought out?

They don't. The elements have to exist for a reason, and I have to care about that.

I can write vignettes about shadowy figures turning corners in alleyways pumping shotgun shells into unsuspecting waitresses all day long. Anyone can write that shit.

Who is the waitress?

What's the relationship?

..a story, see? Characters. Without that context no one cares.

Quote by theogonia777
Why does music have to be a deep, complex, layered experience...?

Why not?

I like that sort of stuff. Does that make me a snob?
Last edited by Enteroctopus at Apr 8, 2015,
#23
Quote by Enteroctopus
If you tapped me on the shoulder right now and shoved a filet mignon into my mouth I would probably punch you in the face.
That's just goddamn rude

I try to do something nice for you and you punch me in the face.
#24
Quote by Ironic Maiden
That's just goddamn rude

I try to do something nice for you and you punch me in the face.



I needed a laugh. Thanks!
#25
Quote by Enteroctopus
Does that make me a snob?


Apparently.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#26
hey man everyone just wants to make rad tunes bruh
lstfm

I'm a Nazi, baby
I'm a Nazi, yes I am
I'm a Nazi schatzi, you know I'll fight for the Fatherland
#27
my issue is still that improvisation is being equated with someone practicing their chops. it's so silly to diminish it to that or act like improv cannot make for complex layered music with substance.

if anything, I think the sports example is the opposite. Composition is the ego going "look at what I wrote! this is MINE! It all came from MY head! isn't it complex and special and unique? aren't I the best for writing something so complex?" Improv takes that ego out of the equation and it becomes "here is what I felt". But you cannot claim your feeling as some special thing you thought of, it's just what you happened to feel in that moment. The feeling came to you out of nowhere and expressed itself through you spontaneously.

since you say 'bottom line is it's straight up boring" and your examples so far have been Opeth, Vai and Satriani, maybe you just have never heard any improv worth a damn?

something like this would fucking suck if they were trying to play a composition from sheet music exactly the way it's written without any room for self-expression. Luckily, they improvise, and know how to do it well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3L-gL4XmjM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldoaglz7Qcg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk60ObnbIOk

this is why I weep for Indian classical music today... Probably the oldest and most complex music tradition on the planet and in 2015 we have people saying improvisation is just boring noodling...
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within
Open up your funky mind and you can fly

Sumdeus
Last edited by romencer17 at Apr 8, 2015,
#28
Composed music can also express what its author felt, as with improvised music. If anything, it allows a composer to explore various elements/structures to communicate a feeling, something that would not be possible with the immediacy of improvisation.
lstfm

I'm a Nazi, baby
I'm a Nazi, yes I am
I'm a Nazi schatzi, you know I'll fight for the Fatherland
Last edited by The Wildchild at Apr 8, 2015,
#29
Quote by romencer17
my issue is still that improvisation is being equated with someone practicing their chops.

It's not. Miles Davis =/= Buckethead

Any number of examples can be drawn from Jazz in which TIGHT bands improvise upon complex compositions. That's Jazz.

All respect to that. I study Jazz myself, as any serious musician should - unless of course you want to be strict Classical school, that's okay but quite limiting in certain respects.

Quote by romencer17
it's so silly to diminish it to that or act like improv cannot make for complex layered music with substance.

It's silly to be on Internet forums period as it's quite a colossal waste of time, yet here we are.

Improv can definitely make for complex, layered music with substance. As I said, Jazz.
Quote by romencer17
Composition is the ego going "look at what I wrote! this is MINE! It all came from MY head! isn't it complex and special and unique? aren't I the best for writing something so complex?"

Ooooookay..?

*flushes anything ever written by anyone down the toilet*

Being a completely arrogant tool and creating great art are not mutually exclusive. Neither are they related, so what's your point?
Quote by romencer17
since you say 'bottom line is it's straight up boring" and your examples so far have been Opeth, Vai and Satriani, maybe you just have never heard any improv worth a damn?

Never. Thanks for enlightening me.

And yes, Vai, Satriani, that sort of drivel is boring. No, that's not what I'd call good improv.

I rather like Opeth, felt they kind of ran into a creative desert (more or less released great songs at a far slower pace with a good bit of filler since BwP, Deliverance...), and did mention they surprised me pleasantly with their latest effort, which I also mentioned bore similarities to 70's fusion, of which I am a big fan:

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew, Tribute to Jack Johnson. Check those out. Great stuff!
Mahavishnu Orchestra - First three records with original lineup were killer!!

..John McLaughin (Maha Orchestra) does have a reputation of being a bit of a douche. Hell of a guitar player!

Don't really care about his personality as I don't have to hang out with him.
Quote by romencer17
this is why I weep for Indian classical music today... Probably the oldest and most complex music tradition on the planet and in 2015 we have people saying improvisation is just boring noodling...

You weep for Indian classical music, why?

Who said anything about that?

I know the difference between an actual composition and an exercise. Some of Satriani's work, "Always With Me, Always With You," for example, elevate to the level of compositions.

A lot of it sounds, to me, like a carnival show. He might as well be juggling, doing BMX tricks, whatever. It's all, "look at me and all this great shit I can do on a guitar," and that's great...

But it's not Coltrane. It's not Paganini.

I have to ask, by the way, did I manage to urinate further than you did?
#30
Quote by romencer17
Composition is the ego going "look at what I wrote! this is MINE! It all came from MY head! isn't it complex and special and unique? aren't I the best for writing something so complex?" Improv takes that ego out of the equation and it becomes "here is what I felt". But you cannot claim your feeling as some special thing you thought of, it's just what you happened to feel in that moment. The feeling came to you out of nowhere and expressed itself through you spontaneously.


I disagree. The way I see it is that there is ego pouring out into just about anything we do. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but you can't tell me you've never heard improvisation which wasn't utter wankery. The ego was the start of many of mankind's greatest achievements, as well as many of its shortcomings. It's how you use it which matters. I think the ego is what drives us to be as awesome as we can be and stand out ahead of the rest.

Wanting to be the most badass MFer around is a pretty powerful motivator to do amazing things.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
#31
I think this was a case of miscommunication, the only reason I was getting worked up was cause I thought you were making generalizations about improvisation in general and were throwing all the great stuff you just mentioned in your last post in the same "not real songs" category. I still don't think I would go so far as to say the really simple stuff discussed earlier shouldn't be considered real songs but I get your point now. my bad if i seemed dickish, I really had your stance in a completely different perspective.

and I want to clarify on what i said about composition, I don't mean that I think it is all ego and cannot be good, as of course there are countless amazing things that come from both approaches to music. But in the context of the sports example I feel like composition is still more ego-driven, at least for most cases. I think too many get caught up in trying to reach perfection with it and working endlessly on one piece, while with improv you do it once and that was it, and you take the chance of making a mistake for the chance to play something new and wonderful.
and jacob I don't disagree with you and they certainly both have advantages and disadvantages, I think often though like I said above the composer gets too distracted by smaller details and as more time is spent on the less important stuff they get further away from the original feeling they had for the bigger picture. If you can avoid that though then that's really the place to be, of course, and then you can reach Frank Zappa mode, where everything is as it should be.
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within
Open up your funky mind and you can fly

Sumdeus
#32
Quote by The Wildchild
Composed music can also express what its author felt, as with improvised music. If anything, it allows a composer to explore various elements/structures to communicate a feeling, something that would not be possible with the immediacy of improvisation.

The trick is to do both.
#33
Just mastering one would suffice
lstfm

I'm a Nazi, baby
I'm a Nazi, yes I am
I'm a Nazi schatzi, you know I'll fight for the Fatherland
#34
Zappa was prolific, but definitely not perfect.

I'm partial to the Grand Wazoo, but then I like brass sections quite a bit anyway. Weasels Ripped My Flesh was an interesting album, too.

He's a case of what Vai or Satriani could be. Zappa was obviously a frikkin' genius, though. While I consider them in the same school of guitar playing virtuosity, there was just something different about Uncle Frank.

Different in a good way.
#35
Quote by Enteroctopus
My problem with it as a consumer is that I want more than what I perceive to be a "backing track" with some impressive lead playing over the top.

I don't get much into Vai, Satriani, that sort of thing for the same reason. I guess I could compare it to sports. I don't get into watching people swim back and forth in a pool, although I can appreciate the strength and dedication required.


Totally agree. I do appreciate the musicianship (and I try to borrow a bit or two from their techniques), I can listen to it for a short while, but it gets boring very quickly. I want to listen to songs, and I think many of those super-guitarists are shit at songwriting, or should I say their songs are often just an empty stage to play their leadwork on (I clearly have that feeling with Buckethead).

On the opposite side, I like Nirvana a lot. Musicianship is not exactly the most impressive there, but they're fantastic, powerful songs that I can really enjoy again and again.

Or take Darkthrone, wilfully primitive, but focussed and powerful. Give me that any day over Satriani or Buckethead.

That's not to say I don't like sophisticated/complicated music--I just chose these two as the most striking examples--but the songs have to be great, not just the leadwork.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Apr 9, 2015,
#36
His parents made sweet, unprotected love.
Last edited by MeTallIcA313 at Apr 10, 2015,
#37
A few days ago, Buckethead released another of his Pikes. Number 216 already (which is really the number of albums he released since 2013). You can find most of them on Bandcamp with lots of samples to listen to!
Last edited by daFat at Jan 2, 2016,
#38
You see, when a kfc chicken bucket and sexy sexy licks REALLY love each other...
The quest for your perfect gear is like being under the surface of a huge, overpowering lake. When you've nearly swam to the light on the surface it shoots far out of your sight again. Still, I'll enjoy the swim. What'd I do if I reached the top?
#39
Quote by Cheeseshark
The guy has 148 studio albums and has worked on 50 albums from other artists! Please god tell me how he exists? Does he exist? Is he he some some sort of riffing demigod?

Really though, how could someone write that many riffs? Does he write something new each time he sits down to practice? Is his music any good?


The guys not normal that's for sure, Buckethead used to live in a closet that les claypool rented to him.
SANDBLAST YOURSELF.


Quote by i_lovemetallica
If you think Gollum was sober with his whole "Gollum/Smeagol" thing and thinking he was invisible with the ring, then you need to remove the cotton wool from your eyes.

Wake up sheeple.

Sunaj
#40
I honestly think he has a mental issue of some sort. Kind of like the blind mentally handicapped guy who plays the piano insanely well. It seems like when you are missing part of your mind another part takes over. Just watching any "interview" with bucket head kinda confirms my thoughts.
Page 1 of 2