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Discussion Starter #1
I've just had a flashback to my youth. My thirteen year old son was talking with some friends about music, guitar and players when I realized that they are all of the opinion that if something is technically difficult to play, then the players that play it and the music itself must be good.

I remember being a young wipper-snapper and having similar beliefs - trying to write things that were difficult to play and comming up with riffs and licks that I hoped others couldn't mimic. The race started amongst my group of player friends as to who would become the most technically proficient and we suddenly quit being musicians and became guitar acrobats. I eventually had to put the guitar down as all I got sucked into playing fast, neo-classical type stuff and not playing was the only way to unlearn bad habbits. I remember my guitar teacher at the time trying to convince me not to go down that road, but I was young and stupid and didn't listen.

Is there anyone else out there that fell into a similar trap? Anyone out there that believes that difficult = good?

Just wondering...

Andy
 

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I think some of us played this out when discussing main stream music. In the end, lots of people think good=what they like, and everyone who doesnt conform is an idiot................
 

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I agree. I think being able to play super fast is overrated. Nothing wrong with playing fast, but if a person dosen't even know the notes of the first 2 strings, and still can sweep arpeggio "patterns" as fast as malmsteen, that cant be good as a musician.
 

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Difficult = talented musician, can't deny that. Good? Depends on the person listening. Personally I'm with Yngwie on this subject, I play as fast as I need to to express my thought(s) or ideas.
 

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Everyone reading this can probably play Heart of Gold. It's still one of the greatest, most loved songs.
Is Speed metal everyones favorite genre? It obviously takes talent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Difficult = talented musician, can't deny that...
That is exactly what I thought when I was younger. I think playing things that are difficult to play means that you are technically good, but I don't think that it has all that much to do with how good of a musician you are, and things that are difficult aren't necessarily good music. By the same token, it also doesn't mean that people that play complex music are all bad musicians and can't make good music.

This isn't just a guitar player thing either, it could apply to drummers or any other type of musician.

I agree totally that what one thinks is good music is up to each individual and thier tastes and mood; but playing flight of the bumble bee backwards might be technically difficult and might impress other musicians, but it doesn't mean that the player is a good (or bad) musician.

To me a good musician makes music with other musicians. It can be neo-classical, speed metal, blues, country or what ever genre you like, but just because something is complicated doesn't mean that it is good - and that's my point.

Just because something is difficult or challenging to play does not automatically make it good or bad. That's kind of like saying that all slow blues is good (or bad), or all girls with red hair are ugly.
 

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Back in my hair metal days, I used to think that chops meant the world. It takes more than chops to make a musician.. I'd rather listen to a tasteful player improvising rather than than a "guitar god" play the same old tired pentatonic flash licks all day..
 

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I agree with you noobcake, I'll take quality over quanity also. My chances of being a shred style guitarist are gone with the wind. A while ago I suffered from herniated discs in my neck, compressing the nerve bundle going to my left arm and shoulder area. That really put a damper on my playing, but I did what I could and in the process of my neck healing my approach to the guitar had to change. Out of this change came a lot of good, my playing became more melodic and dealing with the loss of use of the pinky I learned some cool tricks. Now that the pinky has returned it is even better....
 

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That is exactly what I thought when I was younger. I think playing things that are difficult to play means that you are technically good, but I don't think that it has all that much to do with how good of a musician you are, and things that are difficult aren't necessarily good music. By the same token, it also doesn't mean that people that play complex music are all bad musicians and can't make good music.

This isn't just a guitar player thing either, it could apply to drummers or any other type of musician.

I agree totally that what one thinks is good music is up to each individual and thier tastes and mood; but playing flight of the bumble bee backwards might be technically difficult and might impress other musicians, but it doesn't mean that the player is a good (or bad) musician.

To me a good musician makes music with other musicians. It can be neo-classical, speed metal, blues, country or what ever genre you like, but just because something is complicated doesn't mean that it is good - and that's my point.

Just because something is difficult or challenging to play does not automatically make it good or bad. That's kind of like saying that all slow blues is good (or bad), or all girls with red hair are ugly.
Yeah I probably should have said talented player rather the musician. 'Cause anyone who can play fast and accurately has developed quite a talent (the hardest technique to master is speed IMO).

Good musician on the other hand would be incorporating like... every aspect of music into one category, including writing which is a whole seperate world then technique.

It's weird though 'cause I'm not a fan of anyone who can't play fast... I don't just say "Oh you can't play fast you suck... next!" or anything like that, it's more of a coincidence. Strange, I also don't listen to any bands that don't have leads in their songs... and I mainly listen to instrumentals... huh. Never really payed attention to that before today.

But as a player, speed is a tool I HAVE to have in my tool belt... impossible to play some Paul Gilbert without it.
 

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I've just had a flashback to my youth. My thirteen year old son was talking with some friends about music, guitar and players when I realized that they are all of the opinion that if something is technically difficult to play, then the players that play it and the music itself must be good.

I remember being a young wipper-snapper and having similar beliefs - trying to write things that were difficult to play and comming up with riffs and licks that I hoped others couldn't mimic. The race started amongst my group of player friends as to who would become the most technically proficient and we suddenly quit being musicians and became guitar acrobats. I eventually had to put the guitar down as all I got sucked into playing fast, neo-classical type stuff and not playing was the only way to unlearn bad habbits.<b> I remember my guitar teacher at the time trying to convince me not to go down that road, but I was young and stupid and didn't listen.</B>

Is there anyone else out there that fell into a similar trap? Anyone out there that believes that difficult = good?

Just wondering...

Andy
lol that part just sounded like... if in star wars, the dark side was technical playing without passion, sorry thats just how it sounded.

I don't think I really had that stage, but I know I have written a couple of overly difficult instrumental breaks in songs that I had to re-do because they just seemed ridiculously out of place.
 

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This is more or less like asking "What is Art?". Ask a million different people and you can get a million different answers. A piece of music that is difficult to play is not inherently "good" by act of simply containing more notes than another song. One person can listen to Neil Young and find it to be the most beautiful and deep music they've ever heard while another can be bored to tears. While the same can be said for any speed metal or other music that draws heavily upon technical expertise, Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder.
 

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Speed is definitely a great tool . Like a hammer . You could build a house without a hammer , but it's probably easier if you have one . On the other hand , if you only have a hammer and no nails...

I sometimes hear songs where there's a buildup in the solo , and there would be a spot where a super fast lick would fit in great , but the player just isn't good enough and it sounds like the solo doesn't take off . Almost every great player , even if they don't play at speed of light all the time , do have the "speed tool " , and use it tastefully . Eric Clapton is a good example I think .

And I also think that you can play fast all the time and be great . Macalpine , Malmsteen , Gilbert , etc. are all very musical to my ears .
 

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Speed is definitely a great tool . Like a hammer . You could build a house without a hammer , but it's probably easier if you have one . On the other hand , if you only have a hammer and no nails...

I sometimes hear songs where there's a buildup in the solo , and there would be a spot where a super fast lick would fit in great , but the player just isn't good enough and it sounds like the solo doesn't take off . Almost every great player , even if they don't play at speed of light all the time , do have the "speed tool " , and use it tastefully . Eric Clapton is a good example I think .

And I also think that you can play fast all the time and be great . Macalpine , Malmsteen , Gilbert , etc. are all very musical to my ears .
couldn't agree more, speed is a very important tool, but like all tools, it's not good to overuse it right? I agree with the Clapton statement, he uses speed tastefully.
 

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bleah. speed is nice, i suppose. i'd like to know what rates as an "easy" solo? pink floyd? tom petty (mike campbell)? eric clapton? neil young? george harrison?

i go to a LOT of live shows, i've done sound for a living for years. i've heard just about every cover tune you'd care to mention, and i've heard guitar players across the spectrum from terrible to wow, and i've heard them foul up just about every lead ever written. none of the great solos are easy. they might be easy to fake well enough to fool most people, but they're very hard to nail. they're even harder to write.
 
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