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#1
So you've been playing for a while, you know the scales, you've wrote a few songs, heck you might even have perfect pitch.
Or you're a born natural..

But how do you really know whenever you're good enough to get on radio, MTV, or whatever. Use your imagination at will, but really, what's stopping the people on here getting to where some of times greatest are at now? I'm sure there are a lot of people on here who have a LOT of talent and skill on guitar, but they're simply sitting there with "hey I can play guitar" in mind, when there are famous guitarists out there who have "I can play guitar and the whole world knows it"

I know someone who can play guns n roses riffs on their guitar so well you couldn't tell the difference, so how come these people aren't famous guitarists?

I think my question is kinda vague here, but basically, when do you know you're good enough? How do you define good at the guitar?

Perhaps you can say "Yea, Joe Satriani is a FANTASTIC guitarist (which he is)" and maybe you can also say you can play some (or all) of his songs just as well as he can. So why does that make Joe Satriani better than you? (hypothetically speaking here, ofcourse)

Should spark some interesting discussion I hope..
#2
the thing about satch, and vai, and all of those people who are known as great or good guitar players, all have their own unique and origional sound. i mean sure some one can be technical as hell and rip fast, but if they dont have thier own style, the are just going to join the ranks of the other technical players that work at guitar center. i mean when a satch song comes on, or a song with duane allman comes on, you know that hey thats that guitar player. and when you do that, are you recognizing their own signature style.

but thats my 2 cents
straight edge party

hahahahahahahahah........ its an oxymoron

Originally posted by backup and lead
Freelance and by Freelance i mean self employed and by selfemployed i mean im a bum
#3
umm for me:

i dont WANT to be a famous bassist yet. if i got famous now, it probly would be because i'd have sold out to be in some half ass band i dont want to be in. i dont see any other way i would get well known in the next couple of years.

and i do NOT want to sell out. i'd rather just get by with the money i get from playing regular shows with some power metal band who are a great bunch of friends, just having a great time, and living my life to its fullest without selling out my soul to record companies and drooling masses.
#4
thats all well and good man but i think this kid is asking not about personal preference, however selfless it may be, but like when you know youre THAT good
straight edge party

hahahahahahahahah........ its an oxymoron

Originally posted by backup and lead
Freelance and by Freelance i mean self employed and by selfemployed i mean im a bum
#5
he and everyone else got that far mostly because they either were given a lucky break. who would know evh if gene simmons was'nt in that bar. or they pressed and never gave up on thier goal
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#6
In your example being able to play someone elses songs doesn't make u great, clearly ur good if u can play all satchs stuff, but the difference is that your not writing the songs, copying someone else is far easier than making up new ones. That to me is why people get famous, cos not only do they have talent for guitar lets say, but they can also write tunes using that talent
#7
One thing that makes the guitar players you worship better than you is they have a record deal and you don't lol

With the music business today, i'd rather sit in my living room playing for my kitty cat. She seems to like my playing
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#8
Quote by Dom0803
I know someone who can play guns n roses riffs on their guitar so well you couldn't tell the difference, so how come these people aren't famous guitarists?

Why? Because there are guitarists already playing those riffs for those bands.
Wow. You can play Sweet Child O'Mine perfectly. Too bad Guns N Roses already exists. The only option that I can see there is to be a cover band. Not much fun...

A guitarists skill isn't measured purely by his knowledge. He/She has to have creativity and originality.

Great, you know 125 different scales by heart. But can you take them and write songs out of them? How about even a single riff?

Get what I'm saying?
Spiral Out
#9
This has some interesting points in it.. I think the creativity has definitley got to be the err...'ooer' of all guitar players. Biohazardous had a good point, when someone comes on the radio and plays a song (you might not even have heard) just by the style you're guessing who it is, and you may even be right.

That and a mix of right place right time, it seems..
#10
I don't care much about fame for how good a player is. A lot of great players that I know just enjoy playing the music; they don't want to earn a living off it. As long as I'm well known enough where people will come to see me play, I don't care if its thirty or fifty, I can just have a good time and play music and connect with them.

That being said, there's an article on the front page about what separates the pros from the amateurs, and the biggest point (imo) was consistency. If you've ever had to sit down and record a part for the first time, you probably realized at that point that your consistency was lacking (unless you really put the time in practicing). Timing is off, notes are cut too short, sloppy runs... yes, perhaps you can get Eugene's Trick Bag mostly right on your tries, but Vai had to get that whole thing down in as few tries as possible. Digital editing can cover this up on recordings, but live, it's just you, the guitar, and one shot at nailing the whole thing. That is one of the biggest things that separates professional guitarists at any level from amateurs.
#11
And the ability to do things ORIGINAL! So what if you can play the entire Vai catalog, guess what? So can Vai! If you want to get good and famous, write original things, learn to jam. Stand out in a good way to catch peoples eyes. Record a CD, try pushing it out there and getting people to listen to you and give you gigs. Although I don't really listen to much shred and neoclassical, I bet thats how most of them started, standing out. If you just sit and play covers, your just like the millions of people posting videos of the Stairway to Heaven solo on You Tube.
#12
I think it's been said so I'll just sum it up in one sentence: Greatness is defined by your songwriting skills.
#13
Quote by The Mern
I think it's been said so I'll just sum it up in one sentence: Greatness is defined by your songwriting skills.


I think Bob Dylan is living proof of this.
#14
Uhm, well.

It's not just that you can play it on your guitar or sing it or write it.

You have to be able to sell it. To audiences, to labels. And to do that means you have to perform it, an aspect I wish I had down more than I do.

The vast majority of my playing takes place somewhere quiet with me and my acoustic. That's it. I play, and if there's nobody around to annoy, I'll sing. Every single person I have played for in this environment has reacted the same way (which is to say, they've been impressed) and I've even dropped a few jaws. However, for some reason, adding another element to that is difficult for me. Not other instruments, but electronics. I'm a very organic person when it comes to music... I write all my songs out on paper when my friends all use computer text editors. I draw pictures and **** when I write, I love to be outside playing.

Electronic stuff just feels really, really foreign. Which is strange because in high school I did musical theatre (and used these fancy headset mics, which I would use if they didn't destroy my street cred as a real artist) and sang a few solos for my choir, all of which used mics and went fine. I dunno, it's wierd.

Once I'm a little more comfortable with that (and I'm getting there, working with my buddy's PA) I'll be golden.
#15
Perhaps you can say "Yea, Joe Satriani is a FANTASTIC guitarist (which he is)" and maybe you can also say you can play some (or all) of his songs just as well as he can. So why does that make Joe Satriani better than you?


Because he wrote those songs and you didn't, which takes significantly more skill.
I generally classify a person as a "good" guitarist when they can move me, but there are far too many variables to consider.
#16
I think of Marty Friedman....and realise im ****e.....
Talk to Erowid

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#17
Guys, you dont need to be like Vai or Satch to be classed as "good". Anyway, what is good? Is good having a record deal? No. Is good being able to play Vai's stuff. No. How many songs do we know that have three chords? The greatest songs around have three of cfour easy, often open chords ! As said above, it's what you write, not what you play that counts. Music is an art, so is subjective. There is no "bad" and "good". I'm mainly a bassist, and i listen to people like Billy Sheehan and hate it. So i think his music is ****. he is a good bassist, but i dont care about that because his music is crap. I mean, how many poeple outside of guitar and rock have heard of Joe Satriani or Steve Vai. I bet if you asked ten random people at least 7 of them wouldnt know. Now ask them who Noel Gallagher is. Surprised? You shouldn't be.

Also, i think with music it's hard to see behind you, only whats in front. So you could be seriously **** hot, and still see people like Vai and Satch and think how crap you are. It's all relative.

The most important thing is creativity,and we should all make this part of practice. If you can't jam on your instrument, you aint **** in my book.
#18
Let's not confuse popularity and success with skill...
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

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#19
Being "Good" in my mind.. well i mean there are alot of good guitarists.. IMO theres a difference between being good and an advanced guitarist.

Once you start writting your own songs, be able to improvise some pretty decent solo's.. yeah you're good.

Being advanced.. Learning how to build chords together, anychord I tell you, could you figure it out? Understanding the guitar, there is more than just playing, knowing what note you're going to play before you even play it.


In rock music today, most bands only use basic powerchords, and if they solo it is a fairly basic penatonic solo. So it proves you don't have to know much to be big. Or you don't have to express your knowledge in your music I should say
#20
B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc. etc... None of those guys could play like Satch or Yngwie or any of those guys. But are they "good?" Certainly. I think being a "good" musician simply boils down to being able to communicate what you want through your instrument. Anything beyond that standard is really just personal opinion/snobbery. Billie Joe Armstrong is a "good" guitarist, in my mind, because he plays effectively within his genre. It's not like he's trying to be a shredder but then playing like he does in Green Day.

Quote by Peaceful Rocker
In rock music today, most bands only use basic powerchords, and if they solo it is a fairly basic penatonic solo. So it proves you don't have to know much to be big. Or you don't have to express your knowledge in your music I should say


By "in rock music today" do you mean throughout the history of rock & roll?
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Jun 8, 2006,
#21
I think being good means how well you can use what you know and create a sound pleasing to the ear. I don't get tangled up in all this theory stuff, if it sounds good, it sounds good.
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#22
Quote by Dirk Gently
B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc. etc... None of those guys could play like Satch or Yngwie or any of those guys. But are they "good?" Certainly. I think being a "good" musician simply boils down to being able to communicate what you want through your instrument. Anything beyond that standard is really just personal opinion/snobbery. Billie Joe Armstrong is a "good" guitarist, in my mind, because he plays effectively within his genre. It's not like he's trying to be a shredder but then playing like he does in Green Day.


By "in rock music today" do you mean throughout the history of rock & roll?

uh.. no i mean what i said
#23
Well, if you mean what you said, then you have a very limited perspective on rock music. The pentatonic has ALWAYS been the core sound of the rock solo. Hell, the riff to "Purple Haze" is, note for note, within the E major pentatonic. And the I-IV-V chord progression has had the same overarching impact. Even moreso, really, since you can pick up on variations of the I-IV-V in almost every type of music out there. Most of the well known guitarists throughout rock history have not been master theorists. That's not to say they weren't versed in some theory, but the idea that you have to be well-versed in theory to be a "good" or "advanced" guitarist only came about really at the end of the 70s/early 80s, and it's still not an idea that's been latched on to widely. I agree with you that you don't have to know much to make it big. But again, that's nothing new. Non-musicians don't give a **** if you can form a C#min7b5. They don't care if Hendrix was soloing in a minor pentatonic with Mixolydian inflection. It's not like hippies or mods or greasers or anyone from the 50s, 60s, or 70s were somehow more intelligent music listeners. They weren't. And actually, the music made then was in many ways much more basic than the stuff that's popular now.
Hi, I'm Peter
#24
I think you're the only person who can tell you that you're "good", when someone else tells you that you're a good player that's their opinion but you might not accept that as you're more likely to see the flaws in you're playing more.

Also lets not confuse success with skill, some people are saying a record deal makes you good, which is wrong..I'm pretty sure most people on here could waste Billy Joe...what gets poeple these record deals is either alot of hard work and a lucky break or knowing the right people.

As for what makes a great guitarist, in my opinion a great guitarist is the ability to write and play in any style they like without boundaries of incorrect technique, lack of knowledge and lack of skill....so for example I mean guitarists like Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai..shawn Lane...etc etc....these players who can just play whatever ever style they choose and it sounds great, they're not held back by anything.
'If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the Universe' - Carl Sagan.
#25
I don't think you're quite right. For example, I've heard Yngwie play "blues," and yeah, he plays the correct blues scales and throws in just the right bluesy notes, but I'd rather listen to B. B. King make Lucille sing than listen to Yngwie shred through the blues. I don't think you need to show multi-genre virtuosity in order to be "great."
Hi, I'm Peter
#26
Agreed. It's certainly a skill. But by your rationale, BB king isn';t good because he can't shred. Which is obvioulsy bollocks. As i said before "good" is a subjective term. I would say there are plenty of people on this site who can play better than, say, Kurt Cobain. but so what? being good is not about technical ability exclusively.

I give me songs the "whistle test". If someone hears them and i hear them whistling the song, then i think i must have done something right ! but it's only "good" to that person. you may hate it.

We cant judge art
#27
Quote by Applehead
We cant judge art

You can judge anything you want. You just can't expect your opinion to mean more than anyone else's. For instance, someone likes colors splattered randomly on a canvas. I personally think it looks like vomit. Both of us are right.
Hi, I'm Peter
#28
^ exactly, which is why you cant judge it. I dont mean it literally Dirk. The point you make about what i can only assume is Jackson Pollock is a good one. I personally like Pollocks art a lot. But as you said, it's just paint splattered on canvas. So, is he good, or not? The point i am trying (badly) to make is that in art there is no good and bad, only different.
#29
Quote by Applehead
in art there is no good and bad, only different.

Hi, I'm Peter
#30
is there any way to actually make a living being a musician without bein f***in rich and playing in front of millions anyway??
#31
Quote by sk8z
is there any way to actually make a living being a musician without bein f***in rich and playing in front of millions anyway??


No. Give it up! It'll never happen!

You either are nothing or a superstar, there is no interim!

[sarcasm off]
#32
its definately alot harder to put solos and great shred in song context, alot of people can shred really fast but suck at writing good songs
#35
Quote by TrigFunction
in my opinion if your good, and want to be famous. you can do it you just gotta go balls deep never give up


i like you!!!!
#36
Quote by Applehead
^ exactly, which is why you cant judge it. I dont mean it literally Dirk. The point you make about what i can only assume is Jackson Pollock is a good one. I personally like Pollocks art a lot. But as you said, it's just paint splattered on canvas. So, is he good, or not? The point i am trying (badly) to make is that in art there is no good and bad, only different.

Forgive me for jumping the gun here, I may be wrong - but what I think you're trying to say is, it's not the technique, it's the finished product. The technique may be childs play (literally) by throwing paint on a canvas from 8 feet away, and easy as ****, but it's the finished result. Personally I'd take that over some months old "masterpiece" but only because paintings of birds are boring.

It seems if one wishes to escalate to guitar god that sure maybe he doesn't need to do the theory, but it's a real bonus... (before someone assumes, I was wanting opinions not suggestions or tips, but as it seems a necessity...) where can I learn the different scales? A friend of mine also said that to be of the best and to jam like Young you gotta know the scales.. that way you know what sounds right before you even play at.. as previously mentioned (I think) so is there any reputable sources I can learn these scales? I used to be able to play the pentatonic on the piano
#37
Quote by Dom0803
So you've been playing for a while, you know the scales, you've wrote a few songs, heck you might even have perfect pitch.
Or you're a born natural..

But how do you really know whenever you're good enough to get on radio, MTV, or whatever. Use your imagination at will, but really, what's stopping the people on here getting to where some of times greatest are at now? I'm sure there are a lot of people on here who have a LOT of talent and skill on guitar, but they're simply sitting there with "hey I can play guitar" in mind, when there are famous guitarists out there who have "I can play guitar and the whole world knows it"

I know someone who can play guns n roses riffs on their guitar so well you couldn't tell the difference, so how come these people aren't famous guitarists?

I think my question is kinda vague here, but basically, when do you know you're good enough? How do you define good at the guitar?

Perhaps you can say "Yea, Joe Satriani is a FANTASTIC guitarist (which he is)" and maybe you can also say you can play some (or all) of his songs just as well as he can. So why does that make Joe Satriani better than you? (hypothetically speaking here, ofcourse)

Should spark some interesting discussion I hope..

Don't you mean how worse you can get? How watered down, stripped of emotion, overproduced, you can get with a false image of being a rebel by playing what everyone else is to get on MTV?
#39
When becoming a famous guitar player, the most important thing, in my opinion, is having your own sound. Yes their are millions of people that can play guitar really well, but mainly all they're doing is playing some one else's sound and songs. Take for example Jonny Greenwood, he doesnt play 20 minute long solo's as fast as he possibly can, but I still consider him the best guitar player around. He has his own sound, way of playing, and use's unique pedals, which inturn give him a sound like no other, which is why I enjoy his work so much. Practically anyone who practices and puts forth effort on the guitar can not play the same but similar to say Slash, or Zakk Wilde (dont bash for that, just opinion) those are good guitar players but because they where alot farther down the line when sounding like they do they arnt original, and in turn sound like rip offs of older people that originalized the sound, or juke box's that play other people stuff. I guess what im trying to say is, if you play good and put forth enough effort to be creative and make your own sound unlike anyone else, then i think you are a good guitar player.
The Devil may.
#40
ok IM just gonna voice my opinion on this i didnt read all the posts just most of them.

I feel there are two definitions of good. Skillfully good and creativly good.

I Feel Creativly good is far superior to Skillfully good.

Skillfully good are GUitarists like Vai, Satch, etc you know the Virtuosos. They are amazing guitarists but there music is stale and boring and gets old so quickly.Thats why it is not so popular because Skillfuly its amazing but creativly it is absolutly garbage.

Then there is Creativly Good which is better of the two. Honestly name one song writer better than Bob Dylan you probably cant. Being creativly good is being able to connect with as many ppl as possible. Bob DYlan, Johnny Cash, BB King, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, James Hetfield, etc all amazing songwriters. They may not be able to shred like Vai or Satch but they are much better musicians and songwriters than the virtuosos are.

Thats my opinion take it as you will
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