#1
Who do you think would sound better, a guitarist with 100% perfect tecnique but about 50% developed ear, improvisation skills or someone with a perfect ear and a great sense of music but with poor technique maybe about 50% of the optimum level?
#3
The latter. Who gives a crap? What you can't do, MIDI can. Eh... okay, maybe it's a bit different for performers

Seriously, though, shredding is only impressive for 1 minute. After that you need to start coming up with some real music.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Apr 11, 2015,
#4
I think the latter would be better. You don't need to play technically difficult passages to make great music. With a few well chosen notes you can bring across your point as well, if not even better.
#5
That's not even debatable, ear will always trump technique. Think of some of the best solos of all time, Comfortably Numb, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stairway, all about melody, build up, tension and release. Now compare that to Malmsteen, all technique, but all his solos sound like Phrygian wankery.
#6
100% perfect technique doesn't mean playing fast, its sometimes harder to play something slow perfectly. Theres no point having a perfect ear and great sense of music if you dont have matching technique because then your music will be trapped in your head, unless the music you hear in your head sounds sloppy and has mistakes.
#7
Quote by Jimjambanx
That's not even debatable, ear will always trump technique. Think of some of the best solos of all time, Comfortably Numb, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stairway, all about melody, build up, tension and release. Now compare that to Malmsteen, all technique, but all his solos sound like Phrygian wankery.


^ Those guys were cutting edge for their time..guitar gods. They may not be technically advanced players by today's standards but they were for their time. Guys like Page & Hendix were the Malmsteen's/EVH's of their day..

Also, It's possible to use both ear (feel) and technique..

Just because something's fast/technical does'nt automatically make it unpleasing to the ear....or mean it lack's feel.

There are plenty of Malmsteen solo's that make my hair stand on end..
#8
I love shred but speed alone cannot make a poor piece interesting.
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#9
Quote by hanginout
Who do you think would sound better, a guitarist with 100% perfect tecnique but about 50% developed ear, improvisation skills or someone with a perfect ear and a great sense of music but with poor technique maybe about 50% of the optimum level?


It comes down to "do you like awesome songs or average songs"?

Which do you like more?
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#10
I firmly believe the ear is the most important thing a musician can develop, so i'd rather listen to someone who has taken the time to absorb the musical language as much as possible.

To find a loophole though, i enjoy quite a lot of jazz players. Most of them have phenomenal ears as well as technique. But if it is a question of either/or, i would throw my vote to players like B.B King rather than players like Michael Angelo Batio.
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#11
Quote by GodOfEmptyness
^ Those guys were cutting edge for their time..guitar gods. They may not be technically advanced players by today's standards but they were for their time. Guys like Page & Hendix were the Malmsteen's/EVH's of their day..

Also, It's possible to use both ear (feel) and technique..

Just because something's fast/technical does'nt automatically make it unpleasing to the ear....or mean it lack's feel.

There are plenty of Malmsteen solo's that make my hair stand on end..


Of course ear and technique are not mutually exclusive, but you get my point that between the two opposite sides of the spectrum, one is clearly more important that the other. It is however possible to have too little technique, sometimes I'll hear a blues guy improvising on just one note for a minute and all I can think is "For the love of god do something else already". That's why I love guys like Guthrie Govan and Jon Petrucci, whom manage to incorporate so much feel and memorability into fast solos.
#12
I think it really does depend on how you define technique.

In the simplest sense, the ability to actually play your instrument, then yeah technique is ridiculously important. Without it, you're not so much a musician who can play their chosen instrument well, you're just some random guy who can't.

Everyone needs technique. Having technique doesn't have to automatically mean Malmsteen. Even punks have a measure of technique. Okay, that's a stretch in some cases, but you get what I mean. If you don't physically have the ability to hold two-three fingers down on the neck of a guitar then... well...

Saying that, I still come down on the side of ear/feel. I've known many a compositional whizz who sounds flat out robotic when playing. It's an over reliance on "this note has to lead here, and that one has to fall there". Rather than going with what sounds best despite what their education is telling them, they'll go with what makes most theoretical sense.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Of course, there's also plenty of people with the perfect mix of technique and feel...
#13
Well, it depends. If both are playing the same piece, the guy with not that great ear/improvisation abilities could write his part in advance, and that way he could sound a lot better than the guy with a great ear. But if they played different stuff, I don't know. If they had to improvise, of course the guy with a good ear would sound better, because he would know what he's doing.

If by technique you mean pure speed, then I would say it doesn't matter that much. But I would say technique is all about control. If you have perfect technique, you can control the sounds your instrument makes. You can do exactly what you want to do. It doesn't matter if you can't improvise. You can always write all your solos. Though I think to use your technique to its full potential, you need to also have a good ear.


It's a hard question to answer. Could you provide some examples of guitarists with a good ear but not that great technique, and also guitarists that you think have great technique but not a good ear? Also, even if you shred, it doesn't mean you don't have good ear. I'm pretty sure Yngwie Malmsteen has a great ear. The music you play has nothing to do with how good or bad your ear is. What if Yngwie just hears neo classical shred in his head and plays what he hears?

Technique and ear aren't exclusive, but I would take a great ear over great technique. I don't need to be able to play super fast, but I would like to be able to play what I hear in my head. Of course that also requires technique, because what if I hear something really technical? That would mean I couldn't play what I hear in my head. Let's just say both are very important. But to write good music, you don't need to be that technical. A lot of music doesn't require amazing technique.
Quote by AlanHB
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Apr 12, 2015,
#14
^ But a good ear would probably also improve the writing.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Apr 12, 2015,
#15
Using Malmsteen as an example of 100% technique and no-ear is laughable. Listen to what he did with Alcatrazz... The dude's sense of harmony is insane even comparing him to the cutting edge that has followed him. And no-one has achieved a more evolved use of vibrato since. That's pure ear and completely besides taste in music.

But see it like this - 99% of the most famous players on the electric guitar have never reached the level of techniques that are commonly found among classical musicians. They never needed to. Jazz, blues, rock and metal doesn't rely on accurate recitals of intricately written classical pieces - it's mostly about ear and improvisation, really.

And in that, we can make adjustments to not show the technical things we're bad at.
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#16
^ I disagree (with your second point).

There are some really easy classical pieces, just like there are some really hard rock or metal pieces, especially if we are talking about progressive rock/metal.

And jazz is usually also pretty technical. Of course it depends on the jazz we are talking about.

You really can't compare different genres. They have different kind of difficulties in them. Yes, classical is a bit more technically "perfect" than other genres, and that's what makes it difficult. And some pieces are really technical. Other genres are usually more free than classical.

Yes, you can choose not to play technical stuff (you can also choose not to play technical classical pieces), but even though the genres are more free, there are still a lot of parts that are carefully thought out. You have to play them exactly the way they are written. This is not a classical only thing. Some songs are more improvisation based, some leave no room for it. You can improvise in a classical piece too (for example basso continuo - and who says you can't change the melody a bit). It also depends on if you are playing a solo piece or in a bigger band. The bigger band you are playing in, the less room it leaves for improvisation. And this doesn't only apply to classical, it applies to all genres.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#17
I think progressive rock and metal fits comfortably in that 1% I gave room for in my rather broad generalisation.

And furthermore, a professional classical musician probably can't expect to only play "really easy classical pieces". They need to be able to sight read and play technically perfect every time mostly...
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

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#18
There really isn't a point in comparing one against another. Because honestly, who really cares? Music is more than technique or the ear.
#19
it's music
do whatever you want
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#21
Quote by Elintasokas
^ But a good ear would probably also improve the writing.

But good ear doesn't necessarily mean good ideas. It just means you can figure out stuff by ear.

And what if you didn't write your songs, somebody else wrote your parts and you just played them with your perfect technique? The question was what would sound better. And I think the answer could be either, it really depends on the situation. But somebody with a poor technique will not sound good, no matter how good ideas he has. If you have a poor technique, you can't really take advantage of your good ear.

But now we are just speculating. As I said, it's not either or. Most people with good technique also have a good ear (and when I say technique, I'm not talking about just speed - there are a lot of bedroom shredders who are pure speed, nothing else, and I wouldn't really consider their technique great).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#22
The guy with the auto-tune is the best.
"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. This is my religion." -- Abraham Lincoln
#23
Best of both worlds: Randy Rhoads.

What I like best about Randy's work is it's not necessarily some exotic scale or chord. Often it's just a blues pentatonic or minor triplet thing, like Goodbye to Romance. By modern standards that's a very easy solo, but it's put together in a very clever way.

I'd compare some of his work on Blizzard of Ozz with Mark Twain. Great writing using the fairly minimalistic "dialect" of heavy metal. He's saying something with that work. It speaks to people.
#24
I prefer best of neither world:

Allan Holdsworth.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp