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a different focus

I notice on anything based around guitar the people who populate places like WN are completely guitar obssesed, most everyone here seems to focus on the guitar in music and the way people play and their ability and ect. and ect. But I wonder what is the point, when music is good it's good and the ability of the guitar player in the band is not really of issue. So many people complain about Nirvana de-ballsing the guitar, making peopel afraid to solo and ect, but really what happened was that people came to realise that solo's and ect. aren't as needed in songs.
And they really aren't, to call a whole song bad or good because of it's solo is shortsided. I suppose the reason I've been very inactive on WN is that my focus on music has changed from all this guitar bs to a focus on the music itself. And I have become a much better guitarist for it.
But this isn't to put down people who focus on the guitar to become Randy Rhodes or Eric Clapton or somebody like that. I'm just saying that maybe people should lay off a bit and open their minds. Just because something is interesting and a little strange, and not really guitar focused doens't make it bad. Kurt Cobain was good because istead of the usual technique he devolped his own, creating his own sound and his own noise. Many play solo after solo and ect. when they forget the most important part of guitar... individuality. Music isn't about being a good guitarist.. it's about making music that you like.
And I know this plea will go unlooked at, and maybe even laughed at by the pompus people who laugh at anyone who shows a like for people who aren't guitar heroes, I ask you at WN to open your minds and try different styles and not get focused on this technique thing... just listen to music and forget the importance of the guitar for a week, and your mind will eb changed.. the guitar will become a new instrument when it isn't the most important part... forget ability focus on the music.
~Karl
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Re: a different focus

9/30/2003 9:27 PM

Dale Lindsey (8281) wrote:

Many people hear music that, to them, has no feeling, does not touch them emotionally, seems cheap, commercial, lifeless, empty. Unfortunately, these kinds of responses are often not satisfying to others, especially if they themselves enjoy the music in question. Those who like the artist or song will often press for a more detailed explanation, so the ones attempting to explain their feelings in greater detail will usually begin to focus on individual parts of the music rather than the music as a whole.

For instance, if someone says "Nirvana sucks", that doesn't give enough information for many people. I must admit that I myself have been one of the people who has said in the past that simply saying that an artist sucks isn't really saying anything, and it isn't. But sometimes, when you press someone for a better explanation, it is difficult for the other party to put their feelings into words.

For instance, when you ask, "Why does Nirvana suck?", the person being asked explain his/her feelings will feel compelled to take the music down to its component parts, rather than deal with the music as a whole. If they are a guitarist, they may be likely to focus on the guitar parts. They will point out that his solos are simplistic or his guitar sounds out of tune or something like that. Or they may focus on lyrics which say nothing of any concern to them.

In reality, I know that I don't need great guitar solos or meaningful lyrics, or in fact any lyrics at all to appreciate a song. In fact, I often listen to musical pieces that don't contain any guitar playing (shocking, I know!). So when you ask me "Why does Nirvana suck?", I will not try to give a detailed and technical guitar-centric answer. I will instead focus on the music as a whole and politely reply "They just do."

-Dale

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Re: a different focus

9/30/2003 9:56 PM

Bernardo Pires (4599) wrote:

Hi Karl,
How are you? Long time. Btw Good post, nice comments here. Music/melody is what matters.
All the best
Bernardo



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Re: a different focus

10/1/2003 6:33 PM

Karl Haikara (2330) wrote:

Hey,
Indeed long time :) I'm pretty good, how are you?
I'm happy that most people here have posted intellegent replys, it's refreshing to read people not slamming down other people and also who don't have the same ability veiw-point that quite a few do have.
Karl



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Re: a different focus

10/1/2003 8:52 PM

Bernardo Pires (4599) wrote:

I am ok, thanks. Yes, some nice replys.

Cya
Bernardo

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Re: a different focus

9/30/2003 10:37 PM

Laura Poston (243) wrote:

no bass = no so good, not "sucks"
....simple as that!

lp

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Re: a different focus

10/1/2003 5:25 PM

Andy Mckee (762) wrote:

I think you managed to articulate my views perfectly there. The reason i do anything i do in music is always the same. That it will allow me to write and play songs that i like more. When i learn theory its because i think it will allow me to write better songs, when i learn technique its because it will make my playing sound better. The reason has never been to become a better guitarist but always to become a better musician and somgwriter so i can write songs that i like even better than i can currently write. Nice to hear someone with a similiar veiw.

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Re: a different focus

10/1/2003 6:28 PM

Ron Huwe (164) wrote:

My teacher is without a doubt the best guitar player I have ever heard. (Bob Kalamaz,lead for a 1970's cult band called Damnation of Adam Blessing) Anybody recognize that group? Anyway, my 2 cents is, from my first lesson, He has always instilled in me the idea that I try to always compliment the song I am playing, not necesarilly become the focus of the song. Standing out does not mean good music. I learn and listen differently now to songs than before. While I love to listen to great guitar playing, I love great music, with or without the guitar, even more.

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Re: a different focus

10/1/2003 7:49 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

From your point of view this is how you see things. From the point of view of others, they may simply not agree with you. This does't mean we (er...I mean "they") are closed minded, it just means we see things differently.

I've been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I have a pretty good idea by now of what I think is right and wrong in the world of guitar playing, again from my point of view. These are the answers that are right for me.

You said "music isn't about being a good guitarist" but for many of us that is exactly what it is about. Your skills are a guitarist allow you to express yourself more fully. If you lack these skills, and make no attempt at improving yourself, you are limiting yourself as a musician. If you are a doctor you should be the best doctor you can be. If you are a teacher you should be the best teacher you can be. If you are a guitar player you should be the best guitar player you can be. Again, from MY point of view, the problem with modern rock is that people share the exact point of view that you are expressing here. Because of this, nobody is trying to be the best they can, they are simply happy with the feeble skills they have, and they go off and form these terrible bands and the public never expects more. The problem with Cobain was not that he was a bad guitar player, the problem was he didn't care how bad he was, and even worse...that other people didn't care how bad he was.

Where is the next Hendrix? Where is the next Van Halen? Where is the next Stevie Ray? They are no where to be seen. The state of rock guitar is pitiful. People don't care about playing well anymore. The best the rock world can give us is bands like the White Stripes or Korn, and for many of us these bands have nothing to offer.

This is my point of view and the view of a lot of others as well. We are not narrow minded because we are not able to see Kurt Cobain as some kind of genius. We simply hold different ideals than you do. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong, but the day I stop associating good musicianship with music that I like is the day I quit playing.

You need to do what's right for you, Karl. If you feel you have found it in what you are doing now then that's great. But it is not the right way for everyone.

-mike



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Re: a different focus

10/2/2003 11:04 AM

Andy Mckee (762) wrote:

I dont think your understanding what were saying. Im very motivated to become the best guitarist i can be. The difference is that my motivation comes from wanting to make better music that i can enjoy more not just to be good at what i do.

Youre asking where is the next Jimi, EVH and SRV? They are out there but the nature of commercial rock today means that they are not heard. Dont assume that all the rock etc bands of today are rubish based on the small minority which happen to make it into the mainstream because they are sellable. The underground music scene, at least in Manchester, is bigger than ever because of all the s--- band in the mainstream driving people there. There is a huge amount of talent to be found there too.



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Re: a different focus

10/2/2003 12:40 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

This may be what you are saying, but that is not what was said in the original post. If there are good musicians in Manchester, that's great, but it doesn't help me much in the NE United States. The feel I got from the original poster is that we should stop worrying about how good of a guitarist we are, we should just worry about creating music (like that superstar Kurt Cobain). Well, I draw no distinction between being a great guitarist and making good music. I can't see the reasoning that someone can write good music without being a good musician. Since Cobain was brought up, and since other people already said it, I will too: Cobain sucked, his music sucked, and his attitude sucked. If Cobain was a good musician AND innovative that would have been great, but all he proved was that you don't have to have talent to be an innovator. That's not good, if you care about the progression of the guitar as an instrument. That's why we're here isn't it?

The original poster said: "So many people complain about Nirvana de-ballsing the guitar, making peopel afraid to solo and ect, but really what happened was that people came to realise that solo's and ect. aren't as needed in songs."

Who saw this? Who says this is right? Not everyone believes this and not everyone agrees with this. The original poster made comments and stated them as fact, when what they were is a matter of opinion held by some and not others.

If this is not what you think then fine, but these are the things I was responding to in the original post.

-mike



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Re: a different focus

10/3/2003 8:22 AM

Andy Mckee (762) wrote:

Fair enough.



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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 1:58 PM

Karl Haikara (2330) wrote:

Okay so let me do something, let's reverse the tables just as an experiment and let's see how you feel when you read this.. vai sucks his attitude sucks his style sucks, if Vai was anygood he would know that his msuci is stupid and pointless wanking... I dunno if you like Vai or anythign, but this is a template based on what you said about Kurt Cobain.. just because you don't like Cobain's music doesn't mean he sucks.. people like you and many others who have said Nirvana or any band suck just because of ability on this website, or any website, make me more mad than I could imagine, because you show yourself to be closeminded.. just because you don;t like the music doesnt mean it sucks.. Kurt Cobain put his life into his music.. he put his soul into his music, and though not everyone can appreaceate that, you can least have some respect, I respect Vai, Satriani, Santana or most anyone who plays music and puts their lives into music.. I don't care their ability level or whatever, just as long as they love music I will at least have respect.. obviously you don't have respect for all musicians, and only respect for people who are good, and that to me is the most close-minded a person can be.. and this is going out to everyone that has said a band sucks and completely and totally means it.. I say to you all that what you are saying is wrong... if someone loves music then there's no way you can't at least respect them a little bit.



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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 2:39 PM

Dale Lindsey (8281) wrote:

That's just the point. You are a ALLOWED to have an opinion. People here have criticized Yngwe Malmsteen because they say that he has great technical ability but he doesn't have feeling. Other people have said that Cobain had feeling but didn't have any technical ability. Other threads have explored which is most important, technical ability or feeling. And this is OK. Because that's what we do here. We discuss things and give our opinions. That's why we have an "Artists" forum. Not so we can only say that every artist is wonderful because he/she is giving themself to music (that would get boring quickly), but to discuss the finer points of guitar playing, which is something we all have an interest in. Because this is a site about guitar playing. (I wouldn't be surprised if they discuss bass playing on the ActiveBass site.)

If you think that Vai sucks, that's fine, tell us why. Tell us the fine points of his technique that you find lacking and how you would do it better. That's all we want to know. If we are limited to taking an extremely broad view of everything, then all we are left with is saying "It's great" or "It sucks". And then what would we talk about? We would all have to go back to work or our boring lives or something! (Hehe)

-Dale





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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 3:49 PM

Karl Haikara (2330) wrote:

I wasn't sayign Vai sucks.. I was just being sarcastic, I don't have any strong feelings about Vai, but on the other hand if one says Nirvana sucks, let's go into the details of why exactly, I agree with you, on a guitar site we go into detail about the way they play, but that doesn't mean that people suck or whatever, we just know that some people aren't as good in terms of ability, but they could be good in other ways, so we must keep everything in perspective. i was mad when I wrote the above post, so please excuse me.





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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 4:39 PM

Dale Lindsey (8281) wrote:

Oh, I know you weren't saying that as a fact. I was just using your own example, that it was alright for you to hold that opinion. I have never said that Nirvana, or any other band sucks in this forum. Again, I was simply using your example. As I said, I was one of the people in an earlier thread said that I didn't want to hear anyone just saying that an artists sucks, but if you have a reasonable criticism, that was OK. But in your original post, you sounded like you had a problem with people on a guitar site picking apart guitar solos and such. That is something you would expect on a guitar site. I expect that people on a bass-related site pick apart bass lines. And I wouldn't expect everyone to have nothing but good things to say about artists in the Artist forum. I would expect some criticism as well. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My point in my original post was that if you limit yourself to broad generalities, then if you say you don't like someone and someone asked you why, then the only thing you can say is "They just suck!" or something like that. I think that Mike Rapp, in his post below, expressed why he doesn't like Cobain's music very eloquently. You may not agree with him, but if you simply dismiss his right to have such an opinion then you would certainly be off-base in calling someone else closed-minded.

-Dale



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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 2:57 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

Firstly, I owned several Nirvana albums in the past, when they were new in the early '90s. I DID give them a chance. I listened to the band thoroughly before deciding my opinion. Some stuff was okay, but overall their music made me wonder why they even wanted to be musicians. Cobain should have just been a poet or something, he could have more easily vented his angst that way without having to pretend he was a guitar player. Secondly, I don't say I dislike them so therefore they suck. I am saying I dislike them BECAUSE they suck. Cobain was a terrible guitarist, and he was terrible because of his attitude. He apparently didn't see the point in practicing or trying to improve himself. I refuse to "respect" someone who obviously doesn't even respect himself. I don't agree that he put his heart into his music. If he did, he never would have let some of the things that he put on those records pass as acceptable. Cobain had a lot of issues in his life, and as a person I feel badly for him, but musicially I think he missed the boat. I think his music was about having a lousy attitude and not caring about what people think, which then became the the prevailing thing in rock music and continues to this day. That makes me sick. Hey, who cares if someone can't play...any putz can get a record deal nowadays. My friends and I used to joke that "alternative" music was an alternative for guys who didn't feel like learning their instruments.

Whatever a person does in life, especially something they want to be their career, they should try their best at. If that is being a guitarist then you should be the best you can. That doesn't mean you have to be a virtuoso. There is nothing wrong with more simplistic music, but do it well for heavens sake. I like Green Day, they are not complexed, but they sound solid and professional, which Nirvana never did to me. I even like Foo Fighters, so there must have been talent on that band somewhere. I DO like more simplistic bands, but I refuse to accept sub-par musicianship. Even if you play more simplistically, PLAY WELL. Cobains solos made me cringe, and many of his riffs were pathetic. THIS is why I think he is so terrible, and to me it ruined his music. He didn't have to be Steve Vai to impress me, he just had to play what he was trying to play better. Try harder and be a professional for God's sake. Can you honestly listen to the solo from "Smells like Teen Spirit" and tell me that is worth putting on a CD? Was that really the best take they had of that solo? Cripes, a chimp could play a better solo accidentally.

Just because someone doesn't share your point of view doesn't make them closed minded. I think about things deeply before I form my opinions, and my thoughts on this are no different. If you don't agree with me, that is your perogative. Maybe it is you who should stop to think that there is another possible point of view besides your own. Maybe it is you who are closed minded. I am not going to let people sway my musical values by questioning my integrity or offering guilt trips about having no respect for lesser skilled guitarists. If you were trying to change my mind, you are going about it the wrong way.

-mike



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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 3:39 PM

Randy Evans (6450) wrote:

For the Record...I think Nirvana singlehandedly changed what we hear everyday on Radio. Curt did'nt wanna be a star.. he was exorcising his troubled soul. The guitar work and sounds on that album..I thought were the biggest things to get out in a long time!! Never Mind is sitting in front of me while I toil on my PC!! Solo from Teen Spirit was perfect...full of angst..rage..I got it the first time I heard that album!! Yeah Curt...I believe every guitar player should practice till they hurt ..But to have made the statement they did..WOW..I even have the video for that song on my puter...There was a change in Music History after their album broke!! (Opinion!) I'm so happy cause today I found my friends...in my head!





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Re: a different focus

10/18/2003 1:24 AM

Inactive Member wrote:

I think Nirvana singlehandedly changed what we hear everyday on Radio

Indeed.

-mike



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Re: a different focus

10/17/2003 3:53 PM

Karl Haikara (2330) wrote:

I do accept your veiws, and am not being close-minded. Now that you have explained yourself more I understand how you have come to your opinions, it's just i disagree completely, and now I don't feel like arguing anymore.. you know my position, and I know yours, and I don't see much of a point in either of us trying to sway the other.

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