Has the Electric Guitar taken a backseat in todays music? - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Maybe if we gave artists health insurance and a livable wage, we'd have a lot more guitarists making music right now!
There's no jobs. How many clubs you see with live bands around? So many guitarist, so few jobs. It's an illusion looking at the very few successful ones that earn mega bucks. Most musicians have day time jobs to support their playing. Been down that road. It's not the money, it's being able to have a consistent job.

Also, which club want to have the same band for more than a few months? it's like fashion, they need to keep changing. There is no job security, the longer you are on that job, the less job security you have. Then you have to fight to get another gig. So many competitions around.

You'd be surprised, if you get a gig, the money is NOT that low. The problem is no security. I am so glad I quit.
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post #62 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Maybe if we gave artists health insurance and a livable wage, we'd have a lot more guitarists making music right now!
Many musicians that graduate Julliard cannot find jobs. I was speaking to a friend of mine who was an Army recruiter, and he told me that almost all of the musical jobs in the Army are Julliard or equivalent graduates. One has to audition for those positions to be accepted and the competition is fierce. The reason being is there are very few musical occupations with steady pay, benefits, and retirement. I am sure the other services are the same.

With that said, this is nothing new. Almost every documentary or interview with bands/musicians since the 50's reveals how they were often broke living in dire straights before breaking into the industry.
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post #63 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 11:03 AM
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Guitar has taken a bit of a back seat in modern music, but what's far worse is that, even when guitars are featured (in pop or modern "rock"(ish) or country), it is almost always generic emotionless crap playing. Screaming guitar may be out of fashion for now, but a well played guitar can whisper even more impactfully than a screaming guitar (Mark Knopfler wrote the book on that), you just don't hear great meaningful emotional guitar playing almost at all today.
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post #64 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Maybe if we gave artists health insurance and a livable wage, we'd have a lot more guitarists making music right now!
Maybe if everyone was given affordable health insurance and a livable wage, we'd have.....



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #65 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 12:31 PM
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Joe Walsh splains it all.
Joe Walsh sounds like a total "party dude" when he talks, but he's a very smart guy and he always impresses me in interviews -- always funny with smart/deep comments throughout.
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post #66 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 01:01 PM
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Guitar has taken a bit of a back seat in modern music, but what's far worse is that, even when guitars are featured (in pop or modern "rock"(ish) or country), it is almost always generic emotionless crap playing. Screaming guitar may be out of fashion for now, but a well played guitar can whisper even more impactfully than a screaming guitar (Mark Knopfler wrote the book on that), you just don't hear great meaningful emotional guitar playing almost at all today.

I was never in the Van Halen days, those have better technique, but after a while, it's like aerobic, who can pick or hammer faster, just a lot of notes. Their technique is very different from the old timers like me, I remember in the late 90s while I went back to guitar a little bit, I was in the store testing guitar, there was a young kid there shreding on the guitar like nothing else, I was quite amazed by it. I said to him I like it. He said back to me " I was listening to you playing and I like it!!!" Funny I didn't know a thing how to play his style, nor he knew how to play mine!!!


I was on Fender Forum a few years back when I was designing the noise cancelling circuit for Fender Strat, people there did not like the new shreding style, they all go back to the old Eric Clapton, Hendrix stuffs. I don't know it's just that forum or it's the trend.


Last check, Clapton is still quite famous and still killing it at his old age!!!

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post #67 of 110 Old 07-08-2019, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
Many musicians that graduate Julliard cannot find jobs. I was speaking to a friend of mine who was an Army recruiter, and he told me that almost all of the musical jobs in the Army are Julliard or equivalent graduates. One has to audition for those positions to be accepted and the competition is fierce. The reason being is there are very few musical occupations with steady pay, benefits, and retirement. I am sure the other services are the same.

With that said, this is nothing new. Almost every documentary or interview with bands/musicians since the 50's reveals how they were often broke living in dire straights before breaking into the industry.
This is so true. Music is hard. First you have to have the talent, you have to have the ears. You'd be surprised majority of the people cannot distinguish the notes and they don't even know if they sing out of key!! So many people don't even have the sense of the beat of the music. You have to have that as the minimum. You have to have talent, then you have to be willing to work hard and discipline. Don't think it's hip playing music, you don't know the hours sitting by yourself practicing. Hours a day. Then have to find people to form a band. You have all the different characters and ego going around and more often than not, the band break up before they even get to gigging stage.


Problem gets worst when there are so so many decent musician hungry for a chance. Most of the bands started out begging to play as fill in for 1/2 hour in the club for free just to have a change to showcase themselves. Clubs are never short of bands willing to play for free.



How many clubs can you have in a city with live band? In my days when I was living in SF, I know of about 10 to 15 clubs in the whole city. Let's just say I missed half and say San Francisco had 30 clubs that hired live band. How many bands in SF? how many guitarist in the city? All competing for that 30 job openings. The clubs don't have to be nice, don't have to promise anything. You take it or leave it. I am just so glad I left it. That's the best move of my life.

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post #68 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post

I was on Fender Forum a few years back when I was designing the noise cancelling circuit for Fender Strat, people there did not like the new shreding style, they all go back to the old Eric Clapton, Hendrix stuffs. I don't know it's just that forum or it's the trend.
That's because it's a Fender forum, i.e., traditionalists. Same with Gibson.

A lot of guitarists go back to the old stuff because it's easier to play. It's within their wheelhouse. Newer pro guitarists have upped their game to a point the average guitarist just can't mimic. There's still a reverence for the old guys, but today's guitarists have moved on. They want and need a bigger toolbox to stand out ... principally speed, but also other techniques like sweep picking, and most of all, precision. Put today's capabilities together with feel and you have some of Buckethead's work, or Nick Johnston's Remarkably Human album. Not poppy like the old guys, but nirvana for guitarists.
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post #69 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 05:21 AM
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These days since Satriani, Vai etc... popped up there is plenty of instumental guitar rock stuff. Before that there was (jazz rock) fusion with great guitarists who also did solo work, which started in the early seventies.


here a few of them
https://rateyourmusic.com/list/dem08...s_of_all_time/
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post #70 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 06:21 AM
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I have had the privilege to see this gentleman live on three occasions. I present to you Junior Brown.
On his “Guitsteel”

Six string

Whoa, full show.

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post #71 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 07:12 AM
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A lot of guitarists go back to the old stuff because it's easier to play. It's within their wheelhouse. Newer pro guitarists have upped their game to a point the average guitarist just can't mimic. There's still a reverence for the old guys, but today's guitarists have moved on. They want and need a bigger toolbox to stand out ... principally speed, but also other techniques like sweep picking, and most of all, precision. Put today's capabilities together with feel and you have some of Buckethead's work, or Nick Johnston's Remarkably Human album. Not poppy like the old guys, but nirvana for guitarists.
Agree with the above, but too few guitarists today put musicality and tone and expression over technical prowess. A lot of current jazz and technical instrumentals are "music for musicians" -- it's not music that moves you or that comes from the heart. Their tone is often awful and the melodies and solos are mathematical expressions.

I'm not sure old pros couldn't play more complex stuff, and I don't think guitarists who gravitate towards the older style are doing that because it's easier, I think in both instances they want to express themselves and play music that is musical and that means something. It's difficult to be technically complex and musical and emotional at the same time.

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post #72 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 07:17 AM
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Continuing the thought above using a trumpet analogy, Wynton Marsalis is 10 times more technically skilled than Chet Baker ever was, but Chet was 10 times more musical than Wynton. Everything Chet played was simple, but every note meant something. I don't hear that musicality in music today almost at all, whether its on guitar or trumpet. That's why Chris Botti has done well, and finding success on trumpet today is even more difficult than it is with guitar. Chris is not a technical master, but his playing is emotional and musical in a world of instrumental music today that lacks musicality.
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post #73 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by machavez00 View Post
I have had the privilege to see this gentleman live on three occasions. I present to you Junior Brown.
On his “Guitsteel”
https://youtu.be/YEhv8OQ7KeM
https://youtu.be/1bHWhbu_mbk
https://youtu.be/aEGEY-kHDCY

Six string
https://youtu.be/bJUZB75kYg4

Whoa, full show.

https://youtu.be/GGHA4kwDWfw

The surf medley, man that's fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!
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post #74 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 08:29 AM
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I have had the privilege to see this gentleman live on three occasions. I present to you Junior Brown...
Pretty awesome! Freeborn Man is great.

My son plays guitar and I put together Spotify playlists for him to be exposed to a ton of different music. Will do that for Junior Brown, but as with many musicians who are spectacular live, the studio recordings (while still very good) don't quite match the level of energy of the live performances. Same story regarding "live performances versus studio" for Gary Moore.
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post #75 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 09:14 AM
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Agree with the above, but too few guitarists today put musicality and tone and expression over technical prowess. A lot of current jazz and technical instrumentals are "music for musicians" -- it's not music that moves you or that comes from the heart. Their tone is often awful and the melodies and solos are mathematical expressions.

I'm not sure old pros couldn't play more complex stuff, and I don't think guitarists who gravitate towards the older style are doing that because it's easier, I think in both instances they want to express themselves and play music that is musical and that means something. It's difficult to be technically complex and musical and emotional at the same time.
I since then, if I listen to guitarist, I listen to jazz guitarists. They can be just as fast technique wise, the good ones have feelings, soles have melody. But I mostly listen to piano and the songs. I really started to appreciate different instruments. I particular appreciate song writing. I like Dave Grusin and Daniel Ho of Kilauea from the 90s. It's all about song writing. Just listen to guitarist is just too limiting, it's like confine into a square box.

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post #76 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 11:05 AM
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Agree with the above, but too few guitarists today put musicality and tone and expression over technical prowess.
Yep. Catch-22, because there's no money in the commercial music market for guitarists. Unless you're in one of the extremely few popular touring guitar-centric bands (Metallica, Slipknot, etc.), the money is in endorsements and YouTube (content, merch, lessons, sponsors, affiliates). And for that your name recognition needs to stand out with other guitarists because they are your customers now. And technical prowess does that. It's not that they can't play with feel. I would argue that the more technical prowess you have, the easier it is to play with feel. You have a bigger toolbox to work with. But feel doesn't pay the bills.
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post #77 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 11:37 AM
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Music business is very different, most singers use studio recording musicians, musicians are all in the background. Band is no where as important as in the 60s to 70s. Guitarists have better luck working as studio musician than in the band. Studio recording is a completely different kind of work all together. Now that kind can have a little more steady jobs as you are just in the background. You spend majority of the time in studio, a lot of time alone just recording your track into the song. You might never see other musician, singer, just put on the headphone and record your part. It's not fun, just a job.


But still, there are a lot of people fighting for the job. Too many musician, dime a dozen.......ten dozen!!! Everyone started out with a big dream, but end up doing this.....in best case 99.9% of the time.

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post #78 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 11:56 AM
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I like Dave Grusin and Daniel Ho of Kilauea from the 90s. It's all about song writing. Just listen to guitarist is just too limiting, it's like confine into a square box.
Are you familiar with David Benoit? If you like Dave Grusin, I think you'd like David Benoit, too. His 2012 "Conversation" album is one of my favorites. Also anything Bob James, like his Cool album from 2007. Very Dave Grusin-esque. Or would you say Dave Grusin is very Bob James-esque?

Regarding Dave Grusin, have you ever listened to the "Harlequin" album, his collaboration with fellow GRP artist, guitarist Lee Ritenour? Good stuff if you're into fusion/smooth jazz.

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post #79 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 01:20 PM
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Are you familiar with David Benoit? If you like Dave Grusin, I think you'd like David Benoit, too. His 2012 "Conversation" album is one of my favorites. Also anything Bob James, like his Cool album from 2007. Very Dave Grusin-esque. Or would you say Dave Grusin is very Bob James-esque?

Regarding Dave Grusin, have you ever listened to the "Harlequin" album, his collaboration with fellow GRP artist, guitarist Lee Ritenour? Good stuff if you're into fusion/smooth jazz.
Ha, I don't like Benoit. His playing is a little similar to Pat Coil, He is my all time favor artist for piano solo. Listen to him ripping the piano. His solos are like melody. I attached 3 of his songs, listen to the piano and sax, they're really jamming, good technique, good arrangement, not just a bunch of notes, it's hard solos with melodies. Almost 30 years, still impressed listening to these.





I like Gerald Albright sax here.




Never into Bob James. I like GRP bands with all their musicians.

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post #80 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 07:03 PM
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I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here.

I played in bands during the late 1970s and up to the mid-1980s -- new wave, garage or what have you. I played guitar and bass although I wasn't all that good. I did write and records songs though by myself and with others. The quality varies because that was the advent of home recording with some cassette 4 tracks of varying quality and also a lot of bouncing tracks from cassette deck to cassette deck.

The idea that guitar has taken a backseat in today's music is too broad of a question because it could mean what's on the radio, in the top 40 or jazz or alternative/indie stuff. I can tell you that the guitar is quite alive and well in alternative and indie music.

The guitar is a very expressive instrument with its quick attack and sometimes long decay. It is a voice that can be angry, overpowering, empowering, melodic, arty or whatever you want from it. For bands, the guitar is almost a weapon on stage that roars out to the audience and anyone can wield it. In the 70s, people learned that you didn't need to be a great guitar player to get attention or make a statement. It essentially was shown that anyone with the attitude, guts, charisma and musicality can start and play in a band.

I do want to add something here. Being in the circle of musicians in a town makes you realize how difficult it was for any musician (usually a guitar player or drummer) to focus and stay on task. I can't tell you how many great guitar players I saw who couldn't hold a band together. There is something about a lot of those people that just cannot stay with things.

If anyone is interested, I can link a few different types of songs I recorded (for myself -- not for any label).

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post #81 of 110 Old 07-09-2019, 08:00 PM
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This is my believe, but just remember I have been out of the music scene for 4 decades.



I think taking a back seat is not limiting to guitarist, in general, other instruments and even bands has taken a back seat. Remember bands really made popular by the Beatles, before that, a lot of them are singers, in the 60s to early 70s, the bands became popular, then it died down and back to singers. Musicians have to work more in studios instead of standing in front of the stage. Even live concerts, singers hire different musicians to go on the road, no specific band or anything. There are good Jazz musicians that work for famous singers, then in their off time, play their own kind of music. Dave Grusin's band are mostly those kind of musicians. His drummer in the 80s Carlos Vega was a fantastic drummer, he was on tour with James Taylor....sadly he committed suicide in the 90s.


Not too many bands that are famous, very few that last a long time like the Queens. Well, at least thanks to the Beatles that made a lot of musicians' dreams came true for a few years. It's Beatles that started the combos, then to Cream, Hendrix, Santana, Allman Bro. etal that brought guitar and other instruments to the fore front. but in the mid to late 70s, it really die down and back to singers. I don't know the band scene after the 70s, so I can't say much after the 70s.


After I quit in 1979, I completely change the kind of music I listen, no more Rock and Funk, all Jazz, piano and singing.

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post #82 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 05:00 AM
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To make it into the big time on guitar, both today and in the past, you have to have your own sound. There are tons of shredders and great guitar players, but without a unique sound, it's impossible to go anywhere because the overall talent pool is a hundred miles deep. Stevie Ray, Santana, Mark Knopfler, BB King, Neil Young, Gilmour, Clapton all have/had their own unique sound -- you can single them out in almost any recording. Having a unique sound (and being musical and emotional rather than technical) is far more important than technical skill for significant commercial success in guitar.

Which guitarists today have their own sound? Not many, I would say. Most modern guitar players are either too technical/nonemotional/uninventive or too derivative (in other words, they are blend of everything from the past -- they sound impressive, but nothing distinguishes them or their music). Is the problem that record producers are abandoning guitarists or are modern guitarists failing to distinguish themselves? I think it's a bit of both, but more the latter than the former.

.
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post #83 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 09:14 AM
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As stated there are these YouTube stars like guitarist Buckethead. Also all sort of guitar players, even children and woman, get lots of hits on YouTube. There is the G tour which is a tour of guitarists started by Satriani in 1996. The ''old'' guitar stars also get plenty of attention these days.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G3_(tour)

In music in which guitarists are prominent bandmembers there seems to be a decline, rock music, hard rock, metal etc...
https://spinditty.com/genres/rock-music-comeback
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post #84 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 09:26 AM
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As stated there are these YouTube stars like guitarist Buckethead. Also all sort of guitar players, even children and woman, get lots of hits on YouTube. There is the G tour which is a tour of guitarists started by Satriani in 1996. The ''old'' guitar stars also get plenty of attention these days.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G3_(tour)

In music in which guitarists are prominent bandmembers there seems to be a decline, rock music, hard rock, metal etc...
https://spinditty.com/genres/rock-music-comeback
I wouldn't consider Buckethead a YouTube star. I mean he has toured with several bands, and it's not like he has a channel of his own. I still argue that he is probably one of the most technically proficient guitarists I have ever heard. I will fully grant you that much of his stuff is well shall we say hard to listen to. But you would have trouble finding anyone else who could play it. He is and always has been in my top 5 guitarists along with Dimebag Darrell.
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post #85 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 09:49 AM
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To make it into the big time on guitar, both today and in the past, you have to have your own sound. There are tons of shredders and great guitar players, but without a unique sound, it's impossible to go anywhere because the overall talent pool is a hundred miles deep. Stevie Ray, Santana, Mark Knopfler, BB King, Neil Young, Gilmour, Clapton all have/had their own unique sound -- you can single them out in almost any recording. Having a unique sound (and being musical and emotional rather than technical) is far more important than technical skill for significant commercial success in guitar.

Which guitarists today have their own sound? Not many, I would say. Most modern guitar players are either too technical/nonemotional/uninventive or too derivative (in other words, they are blend of everything from the past -- they sound impressive, but nothing distinguishes them or their music). Is the problem that record producers are abandoning guitarists or are modern guitarists failing to distinguish themselves? I think it's a bit of both, but more the latter than the former.

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My most favorite guitarist back in the days was Carlos Santana. Do you mean Neil Schon of the Journey instead of Neil Young?

I don't want to sound like a sour grapes and said the newer style of shreding are just a lot of notes only because I don't know how to play those. It's just not the music I would sit and listen for extended period of time. It's boring. Don't get me wrong, I admire good technique and difficult lines. I went to Jazz because of that. Not only people have to have good technique, fast picking, the progression of Jazz is more complicate and people have to think of the progression to solo into the music. This not only requires technique, also understand of music progression and "ride" on it. People just cannot shred and "walk" into jazz music. It just require a whole lot more. That I really appreciate.
Just listen to the piano of Pat Coil that I link a few posts before, how his solo "ride" with the progression of the song, the solo sounds like melody but still a lot of fast notes.

Those days I liked Santana, his solo is like a melody also, of cause it's not difficult to play, but it's pretty.

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post #86 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 11:07 AM
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I wouldn't consider Buckethead a YouTube star. I mean he has toured with several bands, and it's not like he has a channel of his own. I still argue that he is probably one of the most technically proficient guitarists I have ever heard. I will fully grant you that much of his stuff is well shall we say hard to listen to. But you would have trouble finding anyone else who could play it. He is and always has been in my top 5 guitarists along with Dimebag Darrell.
I look at the hits lots of his stuff on YouTube gets that is why i call him a YouTube star.

Eventhough he toured with bands he has a huge solo productivity, way beyond what vast majority of artists produce...plenty of it is posted on YouTube. I checked out lots of his music including his pikes. There is a lot there i like which i whould not consider hard to listen to. He is probably the greatest guitar phenomenon alive.
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post #87 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 11:23 AM
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I look at the hits lots of his stuff on YouTube gets that is why i call him a YouTube star.

Eventhough he toured with bands he has a huge solo productivity, way beyond what vast majority of artists produce...plenty of it is posted on YouTube. I checked out lots of his music including his pikes. There is a lot there i like which i whould not consider hard to listen to. He is probably the greatest guitar phenomenon alive.
I'm curious, do you actually play guitar?
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post #88 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 11:28 AM
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My most favorite guitarist back in the days was Carlos Santana. Do you mean Neil Schon of the Journey instead of Neil Young?

I don't want to sound like a sour grapes and said the newer style of shreding are just a lot of notes only because I don't know how to play those. It's just not the music I would sit and listen for extended period of time. It's boring. Don't get me wrong, I admire good technique and difficult lines. I went to Jazz because of that. Not only people have to have good technique, fast picking, the progression of Jazz is more complicate and people have to think of the progression to solo into the music. This not only requires technique, also understand of music progression and "ride" on it. People just cannot shred and "walk" into jazz music. It just require a whole lot more. That I really appreciate.
Just listen to the piano of Pat Coil that I link a few posts before, how his solo "ride" with the progression of the song, the solo sounds like melody but still a lot of fast notes.

Those days I liked Santana, his solo is like a melody also, of cause it's not difficult to play, but it's pretty.
I actually did mean Neil Young. He's not in the same league as the other guitarists I mentioned from a technical perspective, but his sound is unique and it just works for what he does. That's maybe the starkest example of my point.

Jazz has always been complicated -- they've had crazy chord progressions since the 40's or earlier. Les Paul used to play weekly at Iridium in NYC until he died at age 94 -- he was still very sharp and very funny in his banter between songs. One time he made the offhand comment that "jazz musicians would rather saw off their own arm than play a G major chord". It was very funny, and even more true. The jazz standards through the 60's or so had very complex chord changes underpinning great, simple, beautiful melodies (typically from broadway shows). For a lot of jazz coming out today, that complexity has moved heavily into the melody instead of just underpinning a beautiful melody -- and most of it just doesn't move me at all. It's music for musicians, but it's not music for broad consumption, so many of them seal their own fate by not being relatable (in my opinion).

I knew Santana was an influence for you when I listened to the track you posted (which was very nice) -- your guitar is unique and independent of Santana, but the overall feel and rhythm section is definitely influenced by Santana (which is a good thing).

Santana is another example. Many people are critical that the range of what Santana plays is very limited, which I think is true on a technical basis, but it's better to find your sound and do it well. Few, if any, do that better than he does, regardless of what critics think of his technical abilities.
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post #89 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 11:53 AM
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I'm curious, do you actually play guitar?
No. I often felt that good guitar performance in a (pop) song would give the piece/the band extra weight, and bad guitar performance would lower the quality of the song. Also like plenty of guitarist solo albums. I have been paying attention to guitarists performance in music for 30 or so years. btw A brother in law of mine is a very skilled acoustic /electric guitarist who knows all the tricks. He also met a few famous guitarists..like John Scofield. He is currently a electric guitar teacher.
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post #90 of 110 Old 07-10-2019, 11:55 AM
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I look at the hits lots of his stuff on YouTube gets that is why i call him a YouTube star.

Eventhough he toured with bands he has a huge solo productivity, way beyond what vast majority of artists produce...plenty of it is posted on YouTube. I checked out lots of his music including his pikes. There is a lot there i like which i whould not consider hard to listen to. He is probably the greatest guitar phenomenon alive.
True, I say some is hard to listen to because it really depends on your tastes. But we do agree on his talent for sure. He is an absolute BEAST when it comes to putting out music. I remember looking at some of his guitar tabs and I broke my mind trying to read it LOL.
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