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#1
Ok, I did a little searching and couldn’t find any conclusive threads on this one… though I could have missed some as I did it hastily, and kindly point me in the correct direction if I am restarting an old thread. (BTW: I also realize I attempted this in the past with a VERY closed mind, and thus that thread got closed… ironic):


I have in my possession a copy of Steve Vai’s album ‘Passion and Warfare’. Now, realize I’m a fan of music in general, but mostly listen to the likes of Slash, Gun ‘n’ Roses, Jimmy, Jimi, SRV, Muse, etc… I can completely see these artists pouring out their heart and soul through their music. But what I fail to see in an artist like Steve Vai is that soul and emotion. Now, PLEASE REALIZE, I’m NOT bashing them in saying this. I just do not see where the emotion lies, and even more to the point what emotions come through. Can someone into these guys, and Mr. Vai in particular, kindly point me down the correct path of knowledge here? I do realize that they are, but I fail to see where and how it lies within the music. Please provide examples from the Passion and Warefare album please. It's all I have of him. If you need another song, please provide a youtube video.

BTW: Even though I don’t see the emotions and soul of his, and other “shredder’s” music, I do enjoy listening to it. It’s a nice change up. Most of what I listen to consists of nothing but dirty distortion, but this is nice and clean, really quite spectacularly sparkly clean! Not only clean, but it’s through the distortion channels… WOH! Talk about spectacular technique and an endless amount of time spent on the dials trying to get a clean distortion/overdrive!
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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Jan 14, 2007,
#2
well im not much a vai fan but
most shredders make words with the guitar
in doing so, they create emotions..
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#3
I recently saw Vai playing live in the G3 Down Under Tour with Satriani and Petrucci.... Fantastic concert but thats not the point. Steve's performance was nothing short of amazing, he reali did put everything he could into it. From the Passion and Warfare album, i think "For the Love Of God" is a very expressive song. It has a mystical quality, maybe portraying a humans search for meaning. Steve did play this one live, and it was reali something. To add to the mystique, one of the rhythm guitars is a very unusual guitar, indian sounding...not exactly sure what it is.
#4
watch him in live videos. emotions in the fingers, hands, and face. and your ears. maybe your pooper. i dont know. maby its just me.

i used to think the same way of john petrucci. i still liked his music. but once i saw the Sense from New York DVD. it changed that.
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#5
I've seen him, satch, and petrucci live on that live in Tokyo DVD... He did get a good amount of "guitar face" in there... but what I don't hear (i.e. feel) is the soul or emotion. Hell, it's just dumbfounding to watch, leaves me feeling like I'll just never get there. But like I was asking where is the soul in the sounds and how they combine? To my brain, all I feel is this relentless amount of "beautiful noise" coming through my ears. But nothing stirs in my inner being, like it does when you let SRV have at it. I'm just wondering if maybe if I'm missing something here?

I've listened through most of the album thus far after creating the starting thread post...ending through blue powder right now... all that "boinging" at the end.

Anyways... yea, defiantly something going over the head here... err, over the soul

Edit:

I'm sitting here after listening to supposedly one of his greatest albums, and it just sorta... felt like nothing to me. Didn't go anywhere and take me with it... I'm not flying high like after some ozzy, or dusting off the seared parts of my soul after some hendrix... I dunno, mabey the notes are too fast for me to feel it or something?...

Yep, definatly missing something here...
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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Jan 14, 2007,
#6
You can tell if a musician is really expressing an emotion by seeing if he moves his mouth or not. I find that when I solo using a wah, alot of vibrato,andbending or something, I always move my mouth because its so emotional, its the only way I can hope to express it, by trying to mouth out what I want to say. Steve vai does this, as does alot of other shredders. Its not the quantity of notes, its the quality. If there are 10 notes in a section by hendrix that expresses emotion in 8 of them and 2 are filler, or a steve vai section that has 40 and and 38 are emotional, then id say its the same thing. Its just that not everyone can pick up on it because they are either not musicians themselves, or cannot appreciate the music or art.
#7
Quote by insideac
You can tell if a musician is really expressing an emotion by seeing if he moves his mouth or not.




Come on, let's be serious.
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#8
Quote by psychodelia


Come on, let's be serious.



Yeah man. If someone is playnig the guitar with a serious face on and doesnt look like he is enjoying it, then what is coming out isnt really emotional, its the same as a robot that can play a sad scale.
#9
Uh... Ok... Now I'm really dumbfounded. Just went through Chroma Key's Dead Air for Radios album... blew my infantile brain away with all that's going on, including the soul/emotion factor... hmmm something's afray here... And I just don't see it... Hmmm, anyone else wana try and help? (Thanks for the aid so far, if that is to be taken in any way seriously).
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#10
Quote by insideac
Yeah man. If someone is playnig the guitar with a serious face on and doesnt look like he is enjoying it, then what is coming out isnt really emotional, its the same as a robot that can play a sad scale.


The hell...? What's coming out is MUSIC, regardless of the faces that accompany it.
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#11
Quote by Outside Octaves

I have in my possession a copy of Steve Vai’s album ‘Passion and Warfare’. Now, realize I’m a fan of music in general, but mostly listen to the likes of Slash, Gun ‘n’ Roses, Jimmy, Jimi, SRV, Muse, etc… I can completely see these artists pouring out their heart and soul through their music. But what I fail to see in an artist like Steve Vai is that soul and emotion. Now, PLEASE REALIZE, I’m NOT bashing them in saying this. I just do not see where the emotion lies, and even more to the point what emotions come through. Can someone into these guys, and Mr. Vai in particular, kindly point me down the correct path of knowledge here? I do realize that they are, but I fail to see where and how it lies within the music. Please provide examples from the Passion and Warefare album please. It's all I have of him. If you need another song, please provide a youtube video.


You must be tone deaf. Forget the emotion. There is some expression and lyricism in the guitaring. In a band situation, the lead guitarist has only like 30 seconds to play a solo, and everything is said in that. In a band situation, the lead guitarist has to not only play a solo that compliments the song, but to also to take the song higher/someplace else/provide a climax. In case of solo artists, they have the entire song to themselves, and therefore, it's a different situation for them. Want examples from Passion and Warfare? Listen to For The Love of God. It's a song without words. If you like SRV, you can relate this to some of his intrumentals.

Go ahead everyone, flame me.
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#12
*Puts on $40 USD Altec Lansing Headset*
*sets For the Love of God on loop in windows media player*
... I'm going to listen to this a few times to see if anything 'l click...


I don't think I'm tone def ... I can tell the difference between any 1 note, and that same note bent like 1/4th of a semistep . (Thats how much I've payed attention to my guitar :biggrin: )

Hmm...


Hmm... Yea, I'm seeing something here... at least the glimmering silver thread of a ray of hope...
Part of my problem in figuring all this out is that his music starts out soaring, leaving it nowhere to go really... at least this piece in particular... only thing it does really is get faster and change notes a bit
(Note, this is all to my currently green to shread ears)

*************************

Ok... I broke out the 2nd of 3 shread albums I have (Passion and Warfare, Rising Force: Marching out, and Guitars That Rule the World Vol. 1) And well... Malmsteen... that album's shreading really has a soul to it, a vibe... something really driving going on... plus the emotional and soul is reall there... Hmmm... more clues may be unfolding before my very eyes, only to be blind due to ignorence?

Possibly it's cause it has words to express the emotion? I dunno, mabey I'm just to f*cking simple of a person to understand the emotional/soul content of a Vai piece?
that I doubt... as I can take in the "soul" of this malmsteen album... who knows, am I just a simple f*ckup or what? I mean, I only just started listening to music within the past 2-3 years truely. (though I've been messing around with guitar for 4). Mabey that's a part of this problem, I dunno .
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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Jan 15, 2007,
#13
Well, I'm not particularly familiar with that album.
However the only thing I'll say is that songs do not innately have emotion in them, the song has things like rhythm and melody which we subconsciously interpret as emotions. Honestly if you get nothing from a song, I don't think you can really force yourself to learn to, so much as you can slowly learn to appreciate different qualities.
#14
Ok... Yep... I can tell you were really making that simple for me, but can you simplify that a bit more for me? Thanks though...


(I think I'm begining to see why I wasn't good in school...)

It feels like I'm grasping and groaping for something so slippery I just can't grab a hold of it... And is driving me bonkers/up a wall...

And in the way that I work, I won't be able to listen to anything else untill this comes clear, or I fail and just move on eventually in a few days/weeks...
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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Jan 15, 2007,
#15
What I'm saying(if you were talking to me), is that a song doesn't have emotion in it. The song has a tempo, a selection of notes inside of it, melodies, licks etc. A song, not being a living being, can't actually have any emotion in it. What an artist does is translate their emotions into tempo's, selections of notes, melodies, licks etc, and what a listener does is translate those things into emotions again. If the listener hears something they do not like, usually it's because they get no emotional response because of the way their brain works.

It all kind of comes down to what you've learned to listen for in a song. You can eventually expand your horizons to enjoy different types of music, but you can't really do it overnight by willing it.

Of course, as with 90%+ of things in music, this is just my opinion.
#16
Hmmm... Well, besides the "emotion and soul" what is there to listen for? I guess I'm just only used to listening to blusy pieces and the emotions poured out through them?
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#17
I mean that you listen for (X), and when you hear (X) you think of (X) as emotion in a song, whereas someone who despises (X) might hear emotion in (Y) instead.
(X is just a variable standing for some part of music you particularly feel)
#18
of course the first time you listen to the complacated zappa stuff it didn't get me because it was all to new for me... Now I can really enjoy it!

my guess would be: Vai isn't really your thing!
#19
Quote by flamencogod
of course the first time you listen to the complacated zappa stuff it didn't get me because it was all to new for me... Now I can really enjoy it!

my guess would be: Vai isn't really your thing!


yeah, same with me and Allan Holdsworth. Now every night, I just turn the lights off and listen to Sand on headphones. Great stuff.
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#20
Well firstly, there is no emotional content in music whatsoever. Any emotional stimulation you get from music is purely due to your own personnal tastes and perceptions. There is no correlation between how much a musician cares about what he's playing, and what you'll feel.

I remember first getting PAW and thinking to myself that it wasn't quite as good as everybody made it out to be. But, with time, it really got a firm grip of me. That's all it may take, a little more time.

As for parts of PAW that stir me, listen to The Riddle. After a few minutes, and a build up of rather *cough* suggestive groans, Steve busts into a solo. I get one of those great guitargasms everytime it kicks off. The climax in Blue Powder also has quite an effect on me.
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#21
Quote by Prophet of Page
Well firstly, there is no emotional content in music whatsoever. Any emotional stimulation you get from music is purely due to your own personnal tastes and perceptions. There is no correlation between how much a musician cares about what he's playing, and what you'll feel.

I remember first getting PAW and thinking to myself that it wasn't quite as good as everybody made it out to be. But, with time, it really got a firm grip of me. That's all it may take, a little more time.

As for parts of PAW that stir me, listen to The Riddle. After a few minutes, and a build up of rather *cough* suggestive groans, Steve busts into a solo. I get one of those great guitargasms everytime it kicks off. The climax in Blue Powder also has quite an effect on me.


QFT

Especially with the Blue Powder thing. Mmmm....
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#22
You can't think you know what "shred" is because you've listened to Yngwie, Petrucci, Vai and Satriani... That's like saying you don't like shirts because you've seen some ugly ones

I'm not a particular fan of any of the staple "shredders", so I think you've just not gone far enough yet.

And yeah, as Tom said, emotion is nowhere in music, it's in you. Wether you allow yourself subconsciously to enjoy it or not is what's making the difference here.
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#23
uh, I enjoy all forms of music...I don't think any thing is "ugly" here so to speak... and I know I'm green to shred, after all I already mentioned that. I know I have a LONG way to go to get to knowing anything about shred.

See, my main goal in this is to begin to be able to appreciate all forms of music, from classical to shread, rock to emo, heavy metal to death/scream-o-metal...

While I can listen to most anything and find the "beauty" in it, I can't really appreciate it... Like I can't really find this quote unquote "soul and heart" of the music (as stated many times so far).

So it's what I allow myself to feel eh? hmmm...

Here's some questions for ya:

(I know that all music is subjective, and that what one person would hear isn't neccissarily what another should/will hear )

In general, what should I be "listening for" in Mr. Vai's stuff?

I know their's a huge range and it varies from song to song, but I mean... like in blues the general thing you can listen for is something like a searing, soul torching "entity" within the music that moves ya... In Heavy Metal in general it's something that takes you from where you are to soaring highs (or that "endless black cavern" so to speak for the explicitly dark stuff)... In pop you are listening for something "fun and catchy"...

In the peticular case of For the Love of God, what are some specific "things" to listen for?

Again, I know... music is almost entirely, if not entirely what you make of it. But I'm just looking for some ideas to kickstart thing somewhat, now that I'm understanding this a bit better now.

BTW: Thanks for the help so far guys, you are definatly helping towards "musical maturity."



-Outside Octaves
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#24
ok, every song in the world is created by musicians. The create the song with their emotions, and how they feel at the time ...
when you hear a song, you may feel happy, or sad etc
well not everyone is able to listen to music and feel something, you need to enjoy the music before you find any emotion
Also, emotion is all personal pref. i could hear a song and think well im very happy, while someone else could listen to it and feel sad

so if you dont feel any emotion in Vai's work ... well who care
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#25
Well, in the end it's only I that cares so much I guess, but still I would like to "further myself" here. Hell, I thing via's stuff is gorgious, I just don't get it really... That's the thing right there... DOH!

I don't get it, what an epiphony. Now here's the real question, what is his music about generally speaking? (I know, music is subjective to the individual.. again, only getting at generalities here .)
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#26
i dont listen to vai to much, so i cant help ...
but one exanple

John Petcrucci - Glassglow Kiss
- Feels like an irish gig, very happy
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#27
Quote by Outside Octaves
I don't get it, what an epiphony. Now here's the real question, what is his music about generally speaking? (I know, music is subjective to the individual.. again, only getting at generalities here .)


According to himself, his best works have been written about his spirituality. As such, joy, dispair, confusion and a sense of grandour are common themes throughout his work. If you pick up on any of it, then great, if not, then you don't.

He also writes quite alot of music about that special act between men and women, you know, the one all the pop songs are about.
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#28
Hmm... You know... I've deffinatly picked up on that sence of grandure in his music... hmmm...

U know... all I ever really listen to is soul searing stuff... this "new forey" into other genres again (my last attempt failed misserably, if u recall any of my past threads) is opening up my mind to other things. I'm basicly begining to see that it doesn't have to sear your soul to be an awsome piece of music...
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#29
Different songs move different people in different ways. As a few people have said, it's about your perception and how it stirs your inner self.

I have listened to PAW probably more than a 100 times. I bought it when it first came out in 1990. Here's the interesting thing, 'For The Love of God' doesn't particularly move me but 'Answers' and 'I Would Love To' do.

Maybe another Vai album you should get is Alien Love Secrets. My favourite songs on that one are the dark and moody 'Bad Horsie' and the hyped up fun 'Juice'.

Keep listening over a period of time and if it still doesn't click then put on some Hendrix or Beck or something : )
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#30
Quote by Resiliance
............ Wether you allow yourself


Finally
Resi has made a spelling mistake
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#31
Quote by pavan
Finally
Resi has made a spelling mistake


quick, take a screenshot and save it before he edit's both yours and his post!
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#34
Quote by Outside Octaves


While I can listen to most anything and find the "beauty" in it, I can't really appreciate it...


I think you've answered yourself.

Quote by Outside Octaves

Here's some questions for ya:

In general, what should I be "listening for" in Mr. Vai's stuff?

In the peticular case of For the Love of God, what are some specific "things" to listen for?


Read my previous post.
"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." - Richard Feynman
#35
When suggesting artists, I always choose Satriani. I've found Vai to be a bit... eclectic, eccentric. It took me a while to warm up to Vai. I don't know what it is... I've just never seen so much of one man's soul put into a sole performance. My answer to you watching the G3 DVD? You're watching a show, not experiencing it. I went to the first G3 show in Brisbane last year; frigging amazing. Awe inspiring. Vai exploded to life.

As other people have said, he's just not your thing, like I can appreciate what goes into Hendrix's work; but I just don't like it. The man loves Evo (his main guitar) and the music he creates; he makes music because he wants to express himself, and it doesn't occur to him whether people will "get it" or not.

So yeah. You can appreciate all that he puts into his work; but you don't have to like it. For example, I can appreciate what Malmsteen puts into his stuff, but I don't like it.

It's the same for any artist, really.
#36
Quote by pavan
Finally
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Well, you know, wouldn't want you all to believe I'm some kind of deity or something... That's the entire reason why I did it purposefully. On purpose. Because I meant to. Absolutely. Yes... That's it.

I loves me some castrated r4mZ.

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#37
LOLZORGASM! ok, now THAT was funny Resi!

Ok... I guess I got some growing and learning to do then .

BTW, For the Love of God... woh. He did put a lot of bluesy sorta feel in that, and that I do appreciate myself. Good stuff... yea, good stuff, wierd, but good... yea...uh... hmm...
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#38
I only like Tender Surrender......

Anyway, who is on your playlist of shred tunes, Resi ??
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#40
Quote by Outside Octaves
LOLZORGASM! ok, now THAT was funny Resi!

Ok... I guess I got some growing and learning to do then .

BTW, For the Love of God... woh. He did put a lot of bluesy sorta feel in that, and that I do appreciate myself. Good stuff... yea, good stuff, wierd, but good... yea...uh... hmm...

I thought it interesting that you'd pick Vai. For me, Vai is one of the most emotive "shredders." A great Vai album is "The 7th Song," which is a compilation of the 7th songs from all of his albums (up to that point, of course). Vai always makes the 7th song on each album a sort of instrumental power ballad.

Now, if you chose to talk about the lack of soul in Shawn Lane or M. A. "The Shredding Sheepdog" Batio, I'd jump right on that bandwagon.
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