Poll: Innovation Vs. Technique
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View poll results: Innovation Vs. Technique
Innovation
15 71%
Technique
6 29%
Voters: 21.
Page 1 of 5
#1
I'm interested in peoples opinions as to whether being innovative or having really good technique is more important when you look to move up from 'average' to 'awesome' guitarist.

I personally am a fan of technique and I actually find it quite annoying that Hendrix is constantly voted best guitarist ever when there are so many people that are technically better. Yes Hendrix made playing the guitar cool and he inspired many great guitarists (SRV, Gary Moore and Joe Satriani to name but a few - All technically better IMO) but he also made some absolutely awful music and I've seen footage of concerts where he was terrible; playing out of tune, out of time, etc.

The same with EVH; no doubt the guy can play! But can you really say that he's better than say Nuno Bettencourt or Paul Gilbert?

Again he's credited with being an innovator (some people will even tell you that he 'invented' tapping which I find highly unlikely) but even if it were true, does being the first to do something make you the best?

I should add that I'm in no way against moving music forwards and striving to do something different but in 2015 is there really anything anyone can do with a guitar that would be considered game changing? I myself when trying to come up with something totally new often find that the cool new style I've been working on has not only been done before, but there's a clip on Youtube of a 6 year old kid doing it blindfolded!
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#2
Well, firstly being a guitarist already makes you unimportant whether you innovate or not.
#3
Innovative. What good is a talented guitarist if they cannot create something truly exciting and new?

The world as a whole needs to get over technical mastery because they have let stagnation, homogeneousness and creative barren-ness take over. And releasing 50 albums a year is not a sign of said innovation so much as it is lacking the decency to put a filter on your uninspired guitar wankery.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 11, 2015,
#4
Quote by Banjocal
Innovative. What good is a talented guitarist if they cannot create something truly exciting and new?
Well, they can earn a lot of money, for a start. The public might never hear their name, that's all.
Quote by Banjocal

The world as a whole needs to get over technical mastery because they have let stagnation, homogeneousness and creative barren-ness take over. And releasing 50 albums a year is not a sign of said innovation so much as it is lacking the decency to put a filter on your uninspired guitar wankery.
Hard to disagree.
(I'm blissfully ignorant of such prolific wankery, but I'm sure it exists.)

But I'm not so sure the "world as a whole" needs to get over it. The world as a whole hardly cares either way. As GoldenGuitar rightly says, being a guitar player is not in itself interesting. (It used to be, many decades ago... sigh... )
Even the most "innovative" guitar player is only going to set a very small part of the world alight.

Matriani's point about Hendrix is based on hindsight. Jimi was simply astonishing in 1967. It's hard to imagine now, given the "wankery" that has largely ensued since then. Clapton, Page, Beck, Townshend - their jaws hit the floor and they all saw the game was up when Hendrix rolled in. A new game was afoot, and he'd moved the goalposts. THAT was what the electric guitar was capable of, and they'd never imagined such things before.

Now, of course, we listen to him with different ears. Some of it is still sublime, but some has not worn well. That dreadfully clumsy solo in Purple Haze, eg. that sounds like he's playing with gloves on. But the subtlety of his touch elsewhere - few have managed to equal that, for all their supposed "technical mastery".
#5
Everyone has their own opinion and I think there needs to a little of both in the mix but I'd grade it a 70/30 mix with 70 being innovation. You need to be able to play decently to start with and you can't be very innovative if you have poor technical skills but by the same token you can have massive technical skills and be a complete bore to listen to. For me personally being able to shred 16 notes a second isn't innovative, original or interesting. That style of playing where playing faster is considered better has been overdone. I want to be moved emotionally by music not amazed by technical skill. I'd rather hear one note played with feeling that a speed run with no thought behind it. In my opinion, memorizing a pattern and practicing for thousands of hours to play it as fast as possible is a great technical feat but once I've heard it and said "wow" I don't want to come back for another listen. When you compare a Jimi Hendrix or other players against each other it's always subjective.

Who is the considered the better inventor, the guy who designed the first jet engine using technology already in place or the Wright Brothers who did something no one else had done before or even thought of doing? Same thing with Hendrix. I'm an old player who remembers an era before Hendrix, Cream and Led Zep. They were not building on sounds and ideas already in place, they were inventing them. Players who walk the path behind EVH and play the same things but faster, doesn't make them better.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 11, 2015,
#6
Has everything been done in music before? Absolutely not there's still many styles out there that could be created. Nothing is really new under the sun. Being innovative is just pretty much blending 2 styles together, and making them work.. Just like Paco De Lucia did with flamenco, and Jazz. Also i'm 100% sure EVH didn't create finger tapping he just made it popular. No hate on EVH, but I think he is completely overrated he's nothing, but a hair metal pop guitarist; that can kind of play fast, but extremely sloppy >.>.


Music is all recycled at the end of the day, and people just tend to build off of old ideas. Just pretty much refining them, and making them better. It's just like cell phones in the 90's they were huge, and compact. Now they're small, and like a mini computer. That's the definition of refinement right there... In addition Jimi Hendrix took his lead, rhythm style from Curtis Mayfield.. So was that really innovative when you think about it?

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Last edited by Black_devils at Sep 11, 2015,
#7
I agree with a lot of what you said except the Hendrix comparison to Curtis Mayfield. Curtis was still in his vocal group the Impressions in 1967 when Hendix's first album came out. He didn't go solo until 1970 the year Jimi died. I don't remember much lead work on the Impressions albums (at least not the ones I have). I haven't listened to them in years (my albums are vinyl and my turntable is old and useless) but I think I'm right about this. Curtis was an awesome talent and a great songwriter. I wouldn't be surprised to learn Jimi was influenced by Curtis's singing style. Curtis often sang a verse then "talked" a verse. I don't think anybody else was doing that. Jimi definitely did that often (especially on his 1st album).
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 11, 2015,
#8
I think technique needs to come first. Sounding decent requires that a certain amount of time be spent with the instrument learning and playing music, which is what you need in order to innovate. You just won't get an innate sense of musicality if you can't approach the instrument practically.

To innovate you actually need to know where the frontier of the art is, and intentionally push against it. That's not possible if you can't play the instrument well enough to understand the music that's already out there. Without some sense of what you're doing, innovation is left to pure chance.
Last edited by cdgraves at Sep 11, 2015,
#9
Honestly, I don't really care about either.

I care if someone is playing music that I enjoy hearing. New for the sake of new doesn't interest me - but neither does technique for the sake of technique.

I consider Jimi Hendrix awesome not because what he did was new (by the time I listened to him for the first time, he had been dead for decades), but because what he did was interesting (to me). Maybe Paul Gilbert is a more accomplished guitarist by some measure, but I've never listened to anything he's played and particularly felt the need to listen to it again.

Music is an art form, art that lasts generally does so because it moves people in some way. Hendrix moves a lot of people.

He's also communicating something. Now, maybe Nuno Bettencourt is communicating something, I don't know, I haven't listened to enough of his stuff (again, because it's never grabbed me by the lapels and insist that I do - which is a purely subjective thing and if he's done that for you, great). But the things Hendrix is saying about patriotism with his Star Spangled Banner, or about LSD in "The Wind Cries Mary" have moved a lot of people - and it's that movement, not novelty, that is responsible for his enduring appeal.
#10
Quote by HotspurJr
Honestly, I don't really care about either.

I care if someone is playing music that I enjoy hearing. New for the sake of new doesn't interest me - but neither does technique for the sake of technique.


Definitely this. Took the words right out of my mouth.

Well, it's not really that I don't care, but rather that innovation and technique have no direct bearing on my own personal enjoyment of music.

I'm sure that many of you would find the position of "innovative, therefore good" or "technical, therefore good" to be quite foolish.
#11
I don't think you can completely ignore history. You just can't. If I heard somebody doing similar stuff as Hendrix did in the 60s, I wouldn't be impressed at all.

At least history makes me respect certain guitarists and musicians more.

EVH pretty much started the whole shred thing. Not saying there was no shred before Eddie, but he was pretty much the main influence of the whole 80s "guitar hero" thing. He didn't really invent anything, but he made it all popular. And yeah, that's what all the "inventors" do.

Black_devils, how exactly is EVH a sloppy guitarist? I think his playing is pretty clean, at least it was in the 80s, don't know about today. When I think of a sloppy guitarist, Jimmy Page and Kirk Hammett are what come to my mind. Not saying I don't like them, because I do.


But yeah, who the "best" is is pretty much completely subjective. Why would I think somebody, who has amazing techinque but writes music that doesn't move me at all, would be the best guitarist in the world? And also, so what if somebody was influential. If I don't like his music, I don't think he's the best guitarist. But that's just my opinion. If I don't like his playing, why would I consider him to be the best?

I would take sloppy Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix over Michael Angelo Batio any day.
Quote by AlanHB
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#12
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I don't think you can completely ignore history. You just can't. If I heard somebody doing similar stuff as Hendrix did in the 60s, I wouldn't be impressed at all.


I totally get this. A song like "Yellow Ledbetter" or some of John Frusciante's work would be a lot more jaw-dropping if they weren't quoting Hendrix so clearly.

On the other hand, I still have gotten plenty of enjoyment out of "Yellow Ledbetter."
#13
Quote by HotspurJr
Honestly, I don't really care about either.

I care if someone is playing music that I enjoy hearing. New for the sake of new doesn't interest me - but neither does technique for the sake of technique.
Absolutely. It's probably sacrilege for a guitar player to say so (on a site like this), but guitar playing doesn't interest me particularly. It's songs and compositions that interest me, and improvisation; the sound of a whole band or production.
I often like music with no guitars in it at all.

I play guitar because (a) it's the coolest instrument (right guys?), and (b) it was cheap and easy. I also play other instruments too, and each one of them (including guitar) is a crude tool - some cruder than others. Ways of taking a stab towards the kinds of sounds I'd like to hear.

Then again, there is much to enjoy in the sonority of guitar itself. But that's there in very simple music, requiring no innovation and relatively little technical skill.
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 11, 2015,
#14
i've run tired on using leading questions and impassioned vague interpretations of things.

being able to replicate the sound you want is the most important part of being a sound artist music thing guy so if you want to know which is better, which one will help you reach your goal? that's the most important one.
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#17
GG hit it out of the park
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#18
TBH the poll was just an ad hoc thing I decided to add at the last minute. I was really more interested in peoples opinions.

It's probably my fault for giving examples of guitarists who are known for shred but when I said technique I wasn't necessarily referring to just playing fast. For instance what I admire most about Rory Gallagher's playing is his hybrid picking on songs like 'Unmilitary 2 step'
Likewise with SRV it was his accuracy more than his speed that impressed me (I feel that his cover of Little Wing is actually better than Hendrix's for this very reason)

I agree totally that music the moves you is far better than someone basically just playing scales at lightning speed. As my friend once said, "Dave Gilmour puts more feeling into one bend than Yngwie Malmsteen puts into a whole album" I personally feel that Jason Becker's music is very moving and emotional despite being mostly shred but I guess everyone is different.


In relation to my own playing; which is where my thoughts on this originated. I guess that I've been looking at it from an angle of, 'I can always improve my technique but it's a lot more difficult to come up with something totally original'
As I said originally, in 2015 is it really possible to come up with something that's never been done before? As far as I can see the electric guitar has been taken as far as it possible can in terms of innovation
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#19
^ Yes, it is possible. If we knew what it was, people would already have done it. I bet people have always thought that everything that is possible to do has already been done, but then there was another "Jimi Hendrix" who proved them wrong.

But yeah, today you will not stand out with amazing technique, because there are so many guitarists with amazing technique. You will most likely stand out by doing something new. Or then just don't worry about it and just keep playing. I think that's the best thing to do. You don't need to stand out as a guitarist, you can just write good music and hope that other people will like it too and listen to it.

So yeah, keep on improving your technique. It won't hurt. Those who "revolutionized" guitar playing didn't just come up with new stuff off top of their head. I'm sure they learned about many different guitarists (and other musicians). I'm pretty sure their thought process wasn't "I need to invent something new... What has not been done yet?" I'm pretty sure they just took what their influences had done to the next level. EVH didn't invent tapping. He most likely just saw somebody tap and thought it looks/sounds cool, and started experimenting with it and it became his style.

But yeah, if somebody's going to invent something new when it comes to guitar playing, it's not going to be about speed. People already play more than fast enough, and nobody will be impressed about that any more. People have already seen it.
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
#20
Quote by GoldenGuitar
Well, firstly being a guitarist already makes you unimportant whether you innovate or not.


While I'm not gonna argue with that, it is kind of funny coming from somebody that went to school for composition.
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#21
Technique. Every. Single. Time.

Here's the thing, everything that can be innovated by playing slowly has been innovated. People who still worship Slash, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton are doing absolutely nothing, and if you pretend that by bending strings and looking constipated you're doing something new, rebelling against the movement of technically perfect guitarists or something, you're actually going backwards. So, how do you create something new? By being better than the person before you. Michael Romeo (Symphony X) is a better guitarist than Eddie Van Halen, and that is why he could take tapping further (Compare Sea of Lies to Eruption), and then, of course, Chris Broderick's famous 'Betcha Can't Play This' Video, where we got even closer to ambidextrous guitar playing. Again, the first time sweep picking came out, it wasn't what it is today, you needed skilled players like Luca Turilli, Tosin Abasi, etc, to pull it further, and these kinds of techniques will always improve as players do.

Even if you're the type of person to snort at the names of mentioned and go 'herp no soul lols', you need to be a technical player, because the truth is, older styles of guitar playing are stagnating. They always say 'The new thing in blues!' and it's some kid clinging onto his pentatonic scale like it's a life raft, and bands that still play classic rock are still playing small pubs, selling next to no copies of their EP. If you don't have technique, you can't innovate, you're not memorable, and you're using the whole 'well I have melody and soul' thing to excuse the fact that you can't play very well. You wouldn't see this in any other genre, you'd never find a sloppy violinist playing Vivaldi's Winter and getting away with it because he has 'feel', or a pianist refusing to play all three movements because the third one has 'no soul, man'. It's a terrible attitude to get into, if you want to play for a hobby and still love Guns N Roses, more power to you, learn those songs and play like that, but the moment you say 'I want to be a serious musician', you've got to get that technique going, because otherwise, it severely limits your job opportunities.
#22
Quote by CelestialGuitar
Technique. Every. Single. Time.

Here's the thing, everything that can be innovated by playing slowly has been innovated.
This is the attitude of someone without the creativity to find and/or create such work. Furthermore, such a statement has no proof. You know about Ryoji Ikeda's room installation works like Matrix? Or the influence of simplistic ICM on sludge metal? Such an attitude is acceptance of stagnation that does not necessarily exist.

You know about the range of human hearing, how many different tuning systems can be used, alternative systems of notation like Schillinger's? How many genres there are, how slowly you can play before tempo becomes indistinguishable? You know about the noise-side of music, where there's a whole other world of information that can be used to create rhythms, textures, a message, a physical presence? You know about the ways in which certain musics can affect a person's biology and mental state? Frequencies and oscillations that can tear down bridges and maybe more? We've barely touched on combining these things let alone further exploring them.

We mostly use Equal Temperament. If we in the West switched to just intonation and related systems on a large scale we would already open new doors to things we could do, blends we could make, etc. At the end of the day, a rhythmically, harmonically or otherwise sonically complex piece can still be played at a decent speed. You can make a fast piece sound quite wonderful by slowing it right down (and vice-versa).

The most recent avant-gardism I saw that required extreme technique was a mathematically-defined piece that used every permutation, note, and (reasonable) gap in time a piano player could use in western harmony. But at the end of the day, you could half the tempo and it would still work.

And ambidextrous guitar playing/players already exist(s).
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Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 12, 2015,
#23
Quote by CelestialGuitar
Here's the thing, everything that can be innovated by playing slowly has been innovated.


Here's the thing, comma splices are bad.

But seriously...

Here's the thing: everything that can be innovated by playing slowly has not been invented. I'm not sure how you can even think that. So you're saying that there are no musical ideas that can be developed. There are no things that haven't been done before? There are tons of things that haven't been explored thoroughly, if at all.

Like Cal said, non 12-TET is a big one. Fusion genres, incorporating non-standard instrumentation (and therefore new textures and timbres) in genres, experimenting sonically with new effects and things such as prepared instruments, etc are all things that can be done to push genres and create new sounds.

You're really not thinking outside of the box at all.
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#24
Quote by Matriani

As I said originally, in 2015 is it really possible to come up with something that's never been done before?
Yes.
Quote by Matriani
As far as I can see the electric guitar has been taken as far as it possible can in terms of innovation
They probably thought that in 1966. Then Jimi Hendrix came along.

Mind you, I agree it is difficult to see how anything really new can be done within the genre of rock (however we want to define that). Rock music is a pretty conservative genre, and has not really seen much innovation in the last 40 years (certainly less than in the first 20). Most people are happy to recycle the successful formulas of the past. If it ain't broke....
What's most people's favourite guitar? Probably one of two kinds that were first designed in the early 1950s. Amps? old-fashioned tube technology. Songs? traditional functional harmony and R&B influences, for the most part.

IOW, I'd say one has to look beyond rock to see any signs of worthwhile innovation in music. Put that electric guitar down. Put away that drum kit (at least give the snare on 2 and 4 a rest, for chrissake...) Now what you can you do? Almost certainly something more original than before....
#25
Just as a point of reference for 'never been done before', if you effectively and thoroughly shuffle a deck of cards, you will /almost/ certainly end up with the cards in a truly unique order.

People treat avant-garde as something attainable only by the very upper echelons of artistic creativity, but in truth it is both attainable in the simplest of ways as is it totally unattainable to anyone who knows anything of any culture. True too is the individual's experience relative to the avant-garde. Show Merzbow to a six year old and it truly will be like nothing they have ever heard (radio static now something that doesn't really happen), and yet if you show it to a noise fan they will likely yawn with impudence.
Last edited by Banjocal at Sep 12, 2015,
#26
Quote by jongtr
Put that electric guitar down.


Not even. Even with the electric guitar, there are certain innovations that have not been explored to their fullest, especially outside of certain genres. I'm talking about things like guitar synth, fretless guitar, guitars with microtonal frets, moveable frets, string benders (well developed with in country but not elsewhere), digital retuning (think Line6 Variax), etc.

Those are things that could all lead to many new ideas even within electric guitar based rock music. It creates the possibility for guitarists to explore new textures, timbres, tonality, and tuning systems that have not been touched within the genre.
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#27
Quote by Matriani
I'm interested in peoples opinions as to whether being innovative or having really good technique is more important when you look to move up from 'average' to 'awesome' guitarist.

I personally am a fan of technique and I actually find it quite annoying that Hendrix is constantly voted best guitarist ever when there are so many people that are technically better. Yes Hendrix made playing the guitar cool and he inspired many great guitarists (SRV, Gary Moore and Joe Satriani to name but a few - All technically better IMO) but he also made some absolutely awful music and I've seen footage of concerts where he was terrible; playing out of tune, out of time, etc.

The same with EVH; no doubt the guy can play! But can you really say that he's better than say Nuno Bettencourt or Paul Gilbert?

Again he's credited with being an innovator (some people will even tell you that he 'invented' tapping which I find highly unlikely) but even if it were true, does being the first to do something make you the best?

I should add that I'm in no way against moving music forwards and striving to do something different but in 2015 is there really anything anyone can do with a guitar that would be considered game changing? I myself when trying to come up with something totally new often find that the cool new style I've been working on has not only been done before, but there's a clip on Youtube of a 6 year old kid doing it blindfolded!


I assume by technique, you're not just talking about playing at speed. That is just one avenue of technique. There are many other considerations.

You need enough technique to play whatever you want play ... but that's probably not the same as being able to really connect with your listeners.

There is way more musical innovation to be unlockled in experimenting with rhythm and phrasing, and different ways of applying / abusing theory. Feel play is immensely important. Playing with great time too.


Make sure your chord knowledge is really good (chord types, voicings, function, substitution) ... all offers great possibilities for expanding musically. Soloing, that translates into (fragments) of arpeggios as and when.


I know a LOT of players with great accurate speed, but it just sounds like scale and arpeggio practice. Slow them down, they have very little to say.

I know others with ridiculous technique, but they don't overuse it ... because they have a lot of other aspects to their playing, and they play what suits the music.

I'd advise keeping it all bubbling along, and work on both ... just keep learning, keep improving.
#28
Quote by theogonia777
Not even. Even with the electric guitar, there are certain innovations that have not been explored to their fullest, especially outside of certain genres. I'm talking about things like guitar synth, fretless guitar, guitars with microtonal frets, moveable frets, string benders (well developed with in country but not elsewhere), digital retuning (think Line6 Variax), etc.

Those are things that could all lead to many new ideas even within electric guitar based rock music. It creates the possibility for guitarists to explore new textures, timbres, tonality, and tuning systems that have not been touched within the genre.


Lot of good points there.

Guitar synth will definitely hold a spotlight to technique, an dshow up any weaknesses very fast.
#29
Quote by theogonia777
Not even. Even with the electric guitar, there are certain innovations that have not been explored to their fullest, especially outside of certain genres. I'm talking about things like guitar synth, fretless guitar, guitars with microtonal frets, moveable frets, string benders (well developed with in country but not elsewhere), digital retuning (think Line6 Variax), etc.

Those are things that could all lead to many new ideas even within electric guitar based rock music. It creates the possibility for guitarists to explore new textures, timbres, tonality, and tuning systems that have not been touched within the genre.
True enough.
Let me change it to: put that electric guitar down, and pick up one of those.... (if you dare...)
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 12, 2015,
#30
We had a very similar discussion about innovation to the instrument in EG this week. I really love Turkish bağlama music, and so I've been listening recently to a clasdical guitarist by the name of Tolgahan Çoğulu that recently developed a system for moving, adding, and removing frets (individually per string, I might add).

https://youtu.be/MYK_PF9WTRE

Something like that could allow tons of harmonic ideas that wouldn't be practical on a conventional guitar.
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#31
Quote by Banjocal
This is the attitude of someone without the creativity to find and/or create such work. Furthermore, such a statement has no proof.


Technique is part of innovation. It seems a bit self-defeating to pursue innovation by confining one's self to material that's easy to play.

Not everyone who is musically innovative is a virtuoso, of course, but then we're not necessarily talking about instrumental proficiency so much as composition and production (which are skills in themselves). And either way, there needs to be some level of technical proficiency just to get the music played, even if it's simple.

I don't think a person needs to push the limits of technique to be innovative, but they do need to be competent and able to deal with challenges. A good musical idea is worthless if someone can't actually play it.
#32
Quote by cdgraves
A good musical idea is worthless if someone can't actually play it.


Why does it matter if you can play it or not? How many classical composers do you think wrote things that they couldn't play themselves, either because it is beyond their ability on that instrument or because they didn't even play that instrument?

Do you think Bizet could have performed the lead role in Carmen?

Scott Joplin could barely hack half of the stuff he wrote.

Conlon Nancarrow wrote pieces for player piano that are impossible for any human to play.

Xenakis composed "graphic" music that can't be played other than by a special machine.

Many musicians, such as EDM producers, create pieces of music that are entirely programmed feature step sequences, drums beats, or sampled instruments that they are unable to play themselves, and in some cases that almost no human could likely play.

So are all those ideas worthless?
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Sep 12, 2015,
#33
Quote by Matriani

As I said originally, in 2015 is it really possible to come up with something that's never been done before? As far as I can see the electric guitar has been taken as far as it possible can in terms of innovation



"Humans will never be able to reach the skies where the birds fly above it's impossible!"

Then the Wright brothers invented the airplane.
#34
Quote by Black_devils
"Humans will never be able to reach the skies where the birds fly above it's impossible!"

Then the Wright brothers invented the airplane.


flight was around waaay before the Wright bros smh
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#35
newbie here
whats the jest about that guitarists are not important?
do u mean like singers are always in the spotlight or its hard to make a living being a guitarist, or something?
i voted for technique coz i probably have good innovation but can't play for shit yet so i ruined the poll out of spite
Last edited by percydw at Sep 12, 2015,
#36
Quote by percydw
newbie here
whats the jest about that guitarists are not important?
do u mean like singers are always in the spotlight or its hard to make a living being a guitarist, or something?
i voted for technique coz i probably have good innovation but can't play for shit yet so i ruined the poll out of spite


Guitarists, particularly in the rock family, tend to believe that their instrument (and their genre of music) is somehow the most important or some kind of driving force in culture the way it was in the 60s and 70s when in fact the guitar hasn't been less significant to music as a whole since the 1930s or so.

Basically guitar doesn't feature prominently into most popular music outside of country.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Sep 12, 2015,
#37
Quote by theogonia777
flight was around waaay before the Wright bros smh



Yeah Gustav Whitehead flew 2 years before the Wright brothers, but that's not the point i'm trying to make SMH..
#38
Quote by Black_devils
Yeah Gustav Whitehead flew 2 years before the Wright brothers, but that's not the point i'm trying to make SMH..


People flew on big kites more than 1000 years ago in China, lighter than air flight has been around for over 200 years, heavier than air flight has been around since the mid 19th century, etc. The Wright Brothers' only real innovation was powered, controllable, sustained flight, but people were flying way before that. Get your facts straight.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#39
^ Still not my point you're completely missing it. Regardless "innovation" is based on refining past inventions. Also where's the middle finger emoji when you need it? I'm really getting tired of these internet trolls...


#40
Quote by CelestialGuitar
Technique. Every. Single. Time.

Yes, some technique is always needed for innovation. But you don't need to be the most technical player to come up with something new.

Actually, now that I think of it, you are wrong. You can be innovative by using effects and technology in a new way. Take Tom Morello. Definitely not known for his technique (yes, he can play fast when needed, but that's not what he's known for - he's known for using bizarre effects). And then there's Edge from U2 who has a pretty distinct playing style that also relies on effects (though, I understood he wasn't the first to play in that style).

Here's the thing, everything that can be innovated by playing slowly has been innovated.

How do you know?

People who still worship Slash, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton are doing absolutely nothing, and if you pretend that by bending strings and looking constipated you're doing something new, rebelling against the movement of technically perfect guitarists or something, you're actually going backwards.

There have already been at least two different movements where people have been anti-technique (punk and grunge) (and I see a good reason for that - 70s was full of prog musicians, 80s was full of shred guitarists and people got fed up with that). I don't know why there couldn't be a third one.

Kurt Cobain is more famous than Tosin Abasi. Doesn't mean he's better, but he did have a far bigger impact on music, and in that way was "innovative" - he showed people that you can play simple stuff on guitar and still make good sounding music (well, that's about opinions, but they did sell a lot of records).

There's nothing wrong with "worshipping" Jimi Hendrix and Slash and whoever. If you like their playing, why shouldn't you listen to them and be influenced by them?

So, how do you create something new? By being better than the person before you.

Not really. One can be better than anybody at tapping (have more clean technique, whatever), but can't use the technique musically. You don't need to be better at playing it technically. You need to find a way to make the technique sound interesting. Well, of course in that sense you may be better than the person before you, but it doesn't have to be about how technical you are. It's more about how you apply it to music.

Michael Romeo (Symphony X) is a better guitarist than Eddie Van Halen

Opinions. If we are talking solely about technique, then yes.

and that is why he could take tapping further (Compare Sea of Lies to Eruption), and then, of course, Chris Broderick's famous 'Betcha Can't Play This' Video, where we got even closer to ambidextrous guitar playing. Again, the first time sweep picking came out, it wasn't what it is today, you needed skilled players like Luca Turilli, Tosin Abasi, etc, to pull it further, and these kinds of techniques will always improve as players do.

Yeah, of course. But it's also about finding new ways to use the technique musically.

Even if you're the type of person to snort at the names of mentioned and go 'herp no soul lols', you need to be a technical player, because the truth is, older styles of guitar playing are stagnating. They always say 'The new thing in blues!' and it's some kid clinging onto his pentatonic scale like it's a life raft, and bands that still play classic rock are still playing small pubs, selling next to no copies of their EP.

Yes, technique doesn't hurt, but really, nobody listens to the guitarist. It's more about what kind of music you write. If you want to be memorable, write music that people want to listen to.

Are you implying that shred guitarists who are innovative are selling more records? I don't think so. The average Joe just doesn't (usually) pay attention to the techniques the guitarist uses. They just listen to the music, and if it sounds good, it is good.

If you don't have technique, you can't innovate, you're not memorable, and you're using the whole 'well I have melody and soul' thing to excuse the fact that you can't play very well.

As I said, you can be innovative in different ways.

And melody is pretty important, at least if you want to sell your music. Most people want to hear melodies, not random technical wankage. That's just how it goes. Not saying you couldn't write technical songs that have melodies in them, or that playing slowly automatically makes music have more soul.

You wouldn't see this in any other genre, you'd never find a sloppy violinist playing Vivaldi's Winter and getting away with it because he has 'feel', or a pianist refusing to play all three movements because the third one has 'no soul, man'.

So? We are talking about different things. Famous guitarists write popular music. Famous classical violinists and pianists and whatever play other people's music. They are two different things. If you are the songwriter, people listen to your music, and you become famous because of your music, not (only) because you played everything 100% clean and used impressive techniques. Of course it's more enjoyable to listen to your music if you are also playing it accurately. But I don't even know any popular bands who play sloppy (well, of course all bands make mistakes, and some make them more often than others, but I don't know any bands where the sloppiness would distract me from listening to the music - at least I don't listen to those bands). Also, when it comes to your own music, you can decide what kind of parts you want to play. You don't need to make it extremely technical. But when you are playing other people's music, it is what it is, and you play it how it was written (well, at least that's how it goes in classical - in pop when you do a cover version of a song, it leaves a lot more room for experimentation). But whatever, this gets a bit sidetracked. How is a classical violinist playing Vivaldi any innovative?
It's a terrible attitude to get into, if you want to play for a hobby and still love Guns N Roses, more power to you, learn those songs and play like that, but the moment you say 'I want to be a serious musician', you've got to get that technique going, because otherwise, it severely limits your job opportunities.

Why couldn't a serious musician love Guns N Roses?

If you want to be a professional musician and have a more steady income instead of relying on luck, of course you need technique. You need to be versatile and be able to play all different styles. You can't be a one trick pony. Actually, guitarists like EVH would not be good session musicians. But that's whole another thing. They do their own thing and people like it. They write music where doing their own thing works. And I think that's what being innovative is - it is about doing your own thing. You can't really be that innovative if you are just playing in some pop singer's background band.

But yeah, a session musician needs to have technique and needs to be able to adapt to different situations.

Also, of course you need technique to sound good. Technique is not all about speed, it also affects your tone. Somebody with a good technique is more enjoyable to listen to. Playing slowly and sounding good also requires technique.

If you are going to play your own music, it really doesn't matter if you are at Tosin Abasi or Angus Young technical level (unless the music you play is solo guitar music like Joe Satriani). Because in your own music you can decide which parts you want to play. If you want to be innovative, it's about finding a new way of using a technique. It doesn't need to be technically challenging. It can just be musically innovative - you figure out a new way of playing the guitar. It could even be very minimalistic or ambient style stuff. That could also be innovative. Or using guitars in some new genre. Whatever. There are so many different possibilities. It doesn't need to be rock guitar or shred guitar.

Actually, even if we are talking about being innovative in rock guitar, you could use the guitar for another role in the band. Not play solos or riffs on guitar or anything like that. Do something different. Shred solos are so 80s, there's nothing innovative in them.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Sep 12, 2015,
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