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#1
I've been playing rock and blues for years now and I feel pretty confident in my ability to play that style. But most of my friends play shred style guitar. I am taking lessons and trying to look at the guitar neck differently but it's hard to change the style I've had for years(mostly pentatonic). I wonder if I should even try to shred when everyone else can do it so well.
So I need advice........take a listen to the 2 songs I have on my profile and tell me which one you think is better. The bluesy song is complete but the modal song is just 55 seconds that I recorded while practicing the modal stuff. I would appreciate any feedback...but please only offer constructive criticism. Thanks!


http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ClassAxe/
#2
i didnt even read it, but dont shred. do something original and good sounding. please?
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#4
I say shred - that way, you can use elements of shred in your playing (such as sweeping in jazz, etc.)
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#5
Quote by korinaflyingv
Just do what you want, nobody should care if you can't shred


agree'd, just do what you like, that's the beauty of music also everybody and their dogs are shredding, so I wouldn't call it original....


if you wanna do it though, try combining it with some nice bluesy licks
#7
damn man i thought your modal thing was awesome! as far as im concerned learning to shred and actually shredding are two diff things, learn it just so you can, but you dont have to once you do.
but ya you were soundin pretty awesome already.
#8
Quote by Simsimius
I say shred - that way, you can use elements of shred in your playing (such as sweeping in jazz, etc.)

Or learn jazz, which is far more interesting and (in my opinion) a more skilful style.

You've been playing for 20 years, both tracks in your profile are far more interesting and impressive than what most modern shredders tend to do.
The only shred I ever listen to is when it's combined with another genre - blues, jazz, country etc. That's because it not only takes more skill to play shred tastefully, but it's easier to listen to.
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#9
It is better to play slow and beautiful (Gilmour style), than play fast just to impress.
#11
Do whatever you want. In the interest of improving at guitar, I say draw no lines when it comes to getting more proficient technique. Good technique means cleaner and smoother playing, regardless of the style or the speed.

Everyone telling you that you have to play slow to be "emotional" or "beautiful" are giving terrible and destructive advice. Whether or not you choose to play fast, good technique is something every guitarist should strive for.
Last edited by CowboyUp at Oct 11, 2008,
#12
My take on it is learn to shred, but only use it sparingly, instead of the 100% shred all the time approach most shredders choose.

From a musical perspective (as in not technical) Your shred clip was impressive, but your bluesy clip was a hundred times better. Combine them, or add just the slightest touch of shred to your blues/rock.
#13
Quote by ClassAxe
I've been playing rock and blues for years now and I feel pretty confident in my ability to play that style. But most of my friends play shred style guitar. I am taking lessons and trying to look at the guitar neck differently but it's hard to change the style I've had for years(mostly pentatonic). I wonder if I should even try to shred when everyone else can do it so well.
So I need advice........take a listen to the 2 songs I have on my profile and tell me which one you think is better. The bluesy song is complete but the modal song is just 55 seconds that I recorded while practicing the modal stuff. I would appreciate any feedback...but please only offer constructive criticism. Thanks!


http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ClassAxe/



You're a good player man. If you really like the shred style, go for it, but don't learn it for the wrong reasons. You dig the music yourself = the right reason. Doing it because you think you need to in order to prove something = the wrong reason. Be true to yourself. You already have a good style. Expand if you want, but on your own terms.

Technical proficiency can be found in all styles and can be exhibited in many ways.

Keep learning, keep improving, but most importantly.... keep enjoying the experience.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 11, 2008,
#14
Checked out your music, and I like both pieces. You play well.
Regarding your question - it depends on how you define shredder/shredding. If you define it as a technical ability thing - being able to play really fast if you want to, then yeah, thats a good thing. It only gives you more options if you can do more things well, you just use them if and when they're appropriate or you're just in the mood. Now if you're talking about shred as a style of music, then that's down to you. If you like that style of music, and are inspired by it, then go for it.
#15
^ I don't disagree, but want to point out that technical ability can be exhibited in more ways than just playing fast. I know you probably understand that, it's just that whenever I hear someone talk about technical proficiency they're almost always referring to playing fast.

I think the tendency for guitarists to focus on speed (often obsessively) is directly related to the inability to see anything beyond playing really fast as being technically proficient.

anyway, I'm not disagreeing with you, and I think your point is right on. I guess I'm just taking this opportunity to point out that I've rarely, and possibly never, seen anyone in this forum mention technical ability without using speed as a gauge for it. Something to think about anyway.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 11, 2008,
#16
Quote by GuitarMunky
it's just that whenever I hear someone talk about technical proficiency they're almost always referring to playing fast.
Speed is a big part of it, but he's right. Technical proficiency includes bend technique, dynamics, and vibrato, among other techniques of which I cannot think right now.
#17
^ I agree with guitar munky, about 1000%. From personal experience I found that just playing fast is really just the tip of the iceberg. Whenever I hear about things talked about in terms of notes per second, I think to myself "well, which notes were played in that second?". That's where the real proficiency comes in. Motor racing analogy - any experienced (normal) driver could go down one of the straights at maybe 120-130 mph. Not competitive racing speed, but still fast. Ok, now go through this crazy S bend at 80 mph with another driver on your ass! That's where the skill lies!
#18
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Speed is a big part of it, but he's right. Technical proficiency includes bend technique, dynamics, and vibrato, among other techniques of which I cannot think right now.


My point, is that speed is just part of it: not the largest part, or the smallest. there are so many other things to consider.

I think many people wrongly assume that if someone can play fast sweep arpeggios or alternate picked runs, that it means they are technically proficient in all areas.

Who is more technically proficient, Rusty Cooley, or someone like Andy Mckee, or Michael Hedges ?

^ I think alot of people would say Cooley...... and thats my point. His ability to play that fast doesn't necessarily mean that he can do what they do. And ofcourse the opposite is true as well.

Im just trying to expand the idea of what technical proficiency is to those that don't look beyond fast shred solos as their measuring stick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddn4MGaS3N4

This guy is quite proficient ! not a sweep arp or alt picked run in the entire piece. But man it sounds great, and its not easy to play.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 11, 2008,
#19
Quote by se012101
I think to myself "well, which notes were played in that second?"
While the note selections is important, vital actually, that is an issue of phrasing and creativity rather than physical technique.

Think about this: I could write a really interesting phrase for a flute. I have no physical ability to play the lick, but I have the creativity to write it. Conversely, I could program a computer a randomly select notes to play at high speed.

A good guitarist should be able to do both.
#20
Quote by bangoodcharlote

A good guitarist should be able to do both.


Lets not get into the "shoulds"..... thats purely subjective.

I'll buy that its what impresses you though.
shred is gaudy music
#21
Well let me just say both pieces sounded great! If you wanna shred then do it. You are pretty good at it already. Your blues jam was awesome as well. You really could do a lot with a guitar my friend.
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#22
Quote by bangoodcharlote
While the note selections is important, vital actually, that is an issue of phrasing and creativity rather than physical technique.


I guess my what I said was kind of vague.
The technique aspect of "which notes were played in the second" I was getting at was -

guitarist A plays a simple scalar run at 10 nps.
guitarist B plays a crazy wide interval, string skipping lick with large position shifts at 10 nps.

nps is the same, but the technical proficiency of guitarist B is obviously far greater.
#24
Quote by GuitarMunky
My point, is that speed is just part of it: not the largest part, or the smallest. there are so many other things to consider.

I think many people wrongly assume that if someone can play fast sweep arpeggios or alternate picked runs, that it means they are technically proficient in all areas.

Who is more technically proficient, Rusty Cooley, or someone like Andy Mckee, or Michael Hedges ?

^ I think alot of people would say Cooley...... and thats my point. His ability to play that fast doesn't necessarily mean that he can do what they do. And ofcourse the opposite is true as well.

Im just trying to expand the idea of what technical proficiency is to those that don't look beyond fast shred solos as their measuring stick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddn4MGaS3N4

This guy is quite proficient ! not a sweep arp or alt picked run in the entire piece. But man it sounds great, and its not easy to play.
He must REALLY hate his guitar because he treats it like a girlfriend.
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#25
Quote by bangoodcharlote
That is still somewhat of a phrasing issue, but string skippping is ridiculously hard, so I'll agree.


Keep in mind that playing something with an intricate rhythm also requires technical proficiency. So there could be a case where someone is playing only five notes in a second while demonstrating a higher level of technical proficiency than someone that is playing 15 notes in a second.

That's why using speed as a gauge is often inappropriate. There are just too many other factors to consider.

I think speed is one of the first factors guitarists consider in judging how technically proficient someone is. This is totally understandable considering the barrage of this point of view coming from the shred genre (meaning guys like Gilbert, Cooley, Becker & the gang). Because of this, I think a lot of guitarists have the view that they won't be taken seriously if they can't play fast. Personally, I think this is a shame because there is so much else to enjoy about music and playing the guitar. I think the people they can't see past this are missing out.

Quote by metal4all
He must REALLY hate his guitar because he treats it like a girlfriend.


LOL.

I'm sure it's quite the opposite though.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 11, 2008,
#26
Quote by GuitarMunky
So there could be a case where someone is playing only five notes in a second while demonstrating a higher level of technical proficiency than someone that is playing 15 notes in a second.
You're, perhaps intentionally using hyperbole to make a point, but your example is taking that to too much of an extreme unless you can find me an example, to which I am open; 15nps is really really fast. I'll agree that something like the Cliffs of Dover skipping lick played at 8-10 nps (EJ is closer to 15 or 18nps) is harder than an e-8p7p5- repeated lick at 12 nps (16th-note triplets at 120 bpm).

Quote by GuitarMunky
I think speed is one of the first factors guitars consider in judging how technically proficient someone is.
It's a pretty good gague. Other factors come into play, of course, else no one would consider Hendrix/Page/Clapton/SRV the best ever, but there is no opinion about speed. 20nps is 20nps and there is no argument.

Speed is not the sole factor in determining a guitatists' skill, but it's nice to have. Besdies, almost every great solo has at least a burst of speed in it.

Quote by metal4all
He must REALLY hate his guitar because he treats it like a girlfriend.
#27
You're, perhaps intentionally using hyperbole to make a point, but your example is taking that to too much of an extreme unless you can find me an example, to which I am open; 15nps is really really fast. I'll agree that something like the Cliffs of Dover skipping lick played at 8-10 nps (EJ is closer to 15 or 18nps) is harder than an e-8p7p5- repeated lick at 12 nps (16th-note triplets at 120 bpm).


5 vs 15 nps might be an extreme example, but I think its true. For me there were a few bits of 5th caprice that were already getting a little tricky even at 5nps initially, whereas hauling ass up and down the Em scale at 15nps just requires a bit of a warm up and a fast drum beat.
#29
Quote by Myung-trucci
More notes per second=more emotion per second.
We're here to help less experienced guitarists, not mislead them with ridiculous statements.
#30
Myung-trucci, I hope your kidding.
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#31
I just want to say "Thank You" to everyone for their comments and input. I think I understand where most of you are coming from. Technically I want to be able to play something other than just pentatonic scales. I want to be able to write something other than a I-IV-V....basically because I feel burnt out on that stuff.
I guess speed is not the only concern for me, but also being able to express myself a little differently. So, I think that I will continue to study modes and sweep picking...etc..etc., because I love music and I want to learn all I can about it....But....I will also try to use it sparingly (or creatively)...not just for the sake of speed.


Thanks again everyone! You guys here at UG are awesome!


C-ya,
Chad
#32
Quote by The_Sophist
Myung-trucci, I hope your kidding.


Yes I was kidding. But seriously perhaps a more helpful statement would be that learning shred will obviously improve your technique, so I'd say if you want to learn it than learn it.
#33
Quote by elliott FTW
i didnt even read it, but dont shred. do something original and good sounding. please?


God, does it hurt to be that ignorant?

To generalize and say that shredding = unoriginal and horrible sounding is retarded. Just because something is fast doesn't mean it can't be good. Some people mindlessly fly through scales, but you can be tasteful about it.
#34
Quote by ClassAxe
I just want to say "Thank You" to everyone for their comments and input. I think I understand where most of you are coming from. Technically I want to be able to play something other than just pentatonic scales. I want to be able to write something other than a I-IV-V....basically because I feel burnt out on that stuff.
I guess speed is not the only concern for me, but also being able to express myself a little differently. So, I think that I will continue to study modes and sweep picking...etc..etc., because I love music and I want to learn all I can about it....But....I will also try to use it sparingly (or creatively)...not just for the sake of speed.


Thanks again everyone! You guys here at UG are awesome!


C-ya,
Chad


use it musically & expressively, and your all set IMO.
shred is gaudy music
#35
Can we just delete any post that mentions david gilmour in a thread about shred? Im sick of hearing his name used by people who dont know enough to hate shred.

Go for it. Its a skill, i doubt ill ever really need tapping playing in a heavy blues band but i still have it there, you never know what new frames of thought you might get.

It just cant hurt.
#36
Quote by Gordita Supreme
God, does it hurt to be that ignorant?

To generalize and say that shredding = unoriginal and horrible sounding is retarded. Just because something is fast doesn't mean it can't be good. Some people mindlessly fly through scales, but you can be tasteful about it.


Shred can be fantastic if used properly-like I dont mean a full song of sweeps or whatever but there are certain situtations where shredding actually suits the 'emotion' of the song (Oh my god-shred and emotion in the same sentence? Yes, its true.)

Theres a difference between playing fast for the sake of the song, or playing fast for the sake of...well playing fast!
#37
Quote by Myung-trucci
More notes per second=more emotion per second.

sigged

Everyone else has already said everything there is to say. I guess all I can tell you is to play what you enjoy listening to and what you enjoy playing. If it involves a shred style, then learn shred.
Quote by Myung-trucci
More notes per second=more emotion per second.
#38
Quote by Myung-trucci
Shred can be fantastic if used properly-like I dont mean a full song of sweeps or whatever but there are certain situtations where shredding actually suits the 'emotion' of the song (Oh my god-shred and emotion in the same sentence? Yes, its true.)

Theres a difference between playing fast for the sake of the song, or playing fast for the sake of...well playing fast!


That was pretty much what I just said....
#39
Quote by Myung-trucci
there are certain situtations where shredding actually suits the 'emotion' of the song (Oh my god-shred and emotion in the same sentence? Yes, its true.)
Vivaldi's Summer pt. 3 is a great example of some very fast playing that is immensely respected by musicians (even if you don't like classical music, most modern music is, not surprisingly, based on it, so respect the old dudes).
#40
it depends on you..
if you like shredding, go for it...
and if you think what you play is good, then dont shred...
shredding is not everything..
you need to have the melody and the feel...
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