Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by mbene085 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:31 am

The "best guitarist" bullshit was just the boomer/magazine era's equivalent of clickbait. This ONE TRICK will make you SHRED! Guitar teachers HATE HIM! Same deal, different era.

Anyone who views music as a competition has missed the point so thoroughly that there's no point engaging them on the topic.

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:49 am

One of the most refreshing days of my life was when I was a budding guitar player, and I was going through the guitar magazines, and then Joey Santiago of the Pixies had been interviewed by the magazine. He basically said that he didn't really practice or make much effort to try and get "better", that he found himself capable of doing what interested him and so he didn't really care about the rest of the stuff.

And the letters to the editor section next month lit the fuck up, people were enraged at Joey Santiago for not taking guitar playing as seriously as they thought he should. It was like he had mocked their god or something.

I thought it was hilarious, and it changed my perspective on things pretty quickly. Not saying I didn't work hard at playing guitar and music after that, I did, but I basically threw out the concept of "rules" of what consisted a "good" guitar player that I was somehow absorbing.
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:34 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:49 am
One of the most refreshing days of my life was when I was a budding guitar player, and I was going through the guitar magazines, and then Joey Santiago of the Pixies had been interviewed by the magazine. He basically said that he didn't really practice or make much effort to try and get "better", that he found himself capable of doing what interested him and so he didn't really care about the rest of the stuff.

And the letters to the editor section next month lit the fuck up, people were enraged at Joey Santiago for not taking guitar playing as seriously as they thought he should. It was like he had mocked their god or something.

I thought it was hilarious, and it changed my perspective on things pretty quickly. Not saying I didn't work hard at playing guitar and music after that, I did, but I basically threw out the concept of "rules" of what consisted a "good" guitar player that I was somehow absorbing.
yeah. i remember when i was a teenager reading guitar mags and reading someone say something along the lines of "i find shred really boring" and the next few weeks on the magazine's myspace, everyone was saying "how dare you post someone who doesn't take guitar seriously, he's just jellous that people like steve vai and zak wyld are better guitar players than he'll ever be" and demanding the magazine publish an apology for posting that line.

i also remember them reviewing a squier duo-sonic and calling it a "fun guitar" and seeing people say "why are you posting reviews of guitars that are actively hindering the playing of so many guitar players? if they dont take guitar seriously then they dont deserve instruments"
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by BoringPostcards » Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:51 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:23 am
I never could shred. Never really tried.

People are handed a canon of classic rock in at least English speaking Western nations, and this comes with some kind of ranking about who is the "best" guitar players and shit. I worked with a guy who told me that Eric Clapton was one of the "best" guitar players and I could not understand what that meant.

In what way? Did that mean that he wrote great songs (hint: he didn't) or maybe he didn't write great songs but the guitar playing was still great? I just never knew what he meant and I doubt he had given much thought to it, either, there simply is a Classic Rock Guitar Hero canon and Eric Clapton is in it.

What always used to mystify me was Jeff Beck... I'm an old guy, but he's still talked about as if he was part of the same triumvirate of Yardbirds guitar players. Don't believe me? Go to the Gear Page right now.

Like it's 1965 and the Yardbirds are still a thing, and we just gloss over the new five decades of mediocrity with some of these people, the Michelob ads, the fusion albums no one bought and shit.
All very solid points. Cream wrote good songs, some of which were very unique. Clapton solo is nothing really unique or special at all. Mostly just cover songs, and ripping himself off over and over again. Original songs? Cocaine... yea, real special stuff.
Jeff Beck is on another level. He came up with techniques that pushed guitar forward, and never really sounded much like his contemporaries, melodically or structurally. Not my type of music, but to hear Jeff Beck and not hear this big difference is peculiar at best.
He belongs nowhere near the same lists as Clapton. His volume knob work and strat vibrato use alone puts Clapton nowhere near him.
That would be akin to comparing Zappa's guitar playing to Santana's, because they both use an SG and had big orchestral bands behind them.
Santana played latin style on an electric, often simply playing cover songs for his studio career. Zappa tossed the rules out and reinvented the wheel.
Some of his techniques are still underappreciated, due to his output being so odd and in left field. His playing style is largely unexplored and ignored, while Santana is revered.

I can "shred", but it is only because I spent many years playing Gypsy swing and Balkan music with a small combo, and it was never because I wanted to be a guitar "God". It was just part of the music to use arpeggios and fast runs, so I drilled the techniques until they felt natural, as you would with learning any new style.
Turns out, a lot of metal uses the same techniques, so you can also suddenly play metal after learning Gypsy.
The speed didn't impress me, it was the melody and harmony involved that blew my mind. The Eastern European and Romany modes and scales were fresh to me
I was in my mid twenties, when I got into this type of guitar playing, and had already been playing and performing music since I was a small child. I didn't even start on guitar. I played piano and bass with family bands for years before trying a guitar (Newfoundland Traditional Music).
This was common where I live. Newfoundland traditionally had a huge per capita percentage of musicians. Everybody could play something. The internet and globalization has absolutely fucked that up though. Kids these days listen to autotuned crap, don't want to play traditional music with their families as children, and really dont want to be told how shitty that is.
They want to play Call of Duty all day and listen to Lil Whoever's latest trap rap.

Not to derail the conversation entirely, but I notice a big difference in the perception of 'guitar skill' between those who were raised in musical families, or are multi instrumentalists, and those who only ever played guitar and picked it up later in life.
The former generally doesn't care about speed or technique, only that you are willing to learn, and that you are willing to try and improvise or create on the spot.
It's more about experience, a certain level of adaptability and general musical vocabulary. If you meet those metrics, you are considered a competent musician, no matter how fast or slow you are.

The latter group of guitarists seem to be mostly impressed by surface level skills, such as speed and intensity.
This is just an observation I have had from playing with both types of guitar player over the years. The guys that only care about guitar, seem to appreciate flashy playing more and put it on a pedestal. They care about guitar gods.

Anyone can get fast and loud with practice, but what can they do with this skill? There are thousands of well trained technical guitarists in every genre, but how many of them actually play stuff worth listening to?
Much of it is too cerebral and exists simply to show off speed and 'skill'. Even in Jazz, you get guitarists like Pat Methany, who is an absolute genius player, yet I can barely tolerate his work. Some of it is really amazing and will move you. Most of it is cerebral and seems to only exist to highlight all the wild ideas he comes up with.

My own original music uses none of these techniques, as they don't fit the music. My solo stuff sounds like a mix of a bunch of my influences, some obvious, some not at all, but I don't use much fancy schmancy playing techniques at all, unless it actually fits the piece.

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by BoringPostcards » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:05 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:43 pm
burpgun wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:34 pm
But my broader point stands: Rap dumbed down live music in a way that devalued musicians in live settings, which is a net negative for guitars.
Did you click on either of my links to watch Brother Ali performing his intelligent and original music with a full live band, including a guitarist?

My point is that "rap" is a massively diverse umbrella and I have yet to find a human being with two ears and a heart who can't recognize that Brother Ali has chops.

He came up alongside some other fantastic underground artists like Atmosphere and it's pretty hard to lump those guys in with the stuff that tops charts.

Once again, that performance featured a Toronado...these guys' guitarists know what's up.

These guys are a force of nature live and my point is that they help disprove the hypothesis that "rap" killed live performance.

Pop and "live" performance have had a rocky history independent of rap. From Top of The Pops to Milli Vanilli, it's been many decades of live pop music being more of a visual aid for prerecorded performance so you can't pin that on rap.
Socually conscious hip hop and hip hop employing live bands went nowhere. They still exist and lots of it is great.
You won't see it on MTV or hear it on the radio nowadays though, like you would in the 90s.
A Tribe Called Quest were pretty big and you'd hear them before and after gangster rap like Wu Tang (who also had some real gems in their catalog, and who did push the genre in many ways) on the top 40 lists.
This is not the case anymore. Almost all of the socially conscious hiphop is underground now, and you need to dig for it.
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by BoringPostcards » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:17 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:31 am
Anyone who views music as a competition has missed the point so thoroughly that there's no point engaging them on the topic.
FACT.
Any music school will make you aware of this very quickly. You might do well in music school and graduate with that mindset, but nobody will want you in their combo or pit, and no professor is ever going to call you up to sub for him down the line.
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by mbene085 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:19 pm

BoringPostcards wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:05 pm
This is not the case anymore. Almost all of the socially conscious hiphop is underground now, and you need to dig for it.
I don't disagree, but when has the best stuff ever not been underground?

Doesn't matter which modern genre, the most interesting stuff is rarely popular beyond a cult following. My point was that there are still great artists making great music that breaks from the stereotypes that burpgun was citing when writing off "rap music" (which is as silly as writing off "sung music", since neither are a genre).

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by BoringPostcards » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:44 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:19 pm
BoringPostcards wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:05 pm
This is not the case anymore. Almost all of the socially conscious hiphop is underground now, and you need to dig for it.
I don't disagree, but when has the best stuff ever not been underground?

Doesn't matter which modern genre, the most interesting stuff is rarely popular beyond a cult following. My point was that there are still great artists making great music that breaks from the stereotypes that burpgun was citing when writing off "rap music" (which is as silly as writing off "sung music", since neither are a genre).
I wasn't really disagreeing with you, more just adding to it, and lamenting the state of popular hip hop right now.
A group like Tribe Called Quest would be seen as 'boring oldhead junk' to many of today's hip hop fans.

I agree that the underground is where the real gems have always been and will remain so.

An interesting underground hip hop artist I have been enjoying is Aesop Rock. He has been around for a decade or longer, and is still puttijg out good stuff. He is from New York.
Guys like ASAP Rocky, who basically ripped off his name from him, are making obscene money with flashy low effort music and nobody really knows who Aesop Rock is.
He has the largest vocabulary of any hip hop artist in history, in that he has used more words than anyone else.
He is a story teller, he doesn't just make hooks.

He did have one song that really blew up a few years back, but got overshadowed by lesser stuff.
The track is called 'None Shall Pass'.

If anyone likes darker sounding hip hop, a gpod artist to be aware of is MF DOOM.
He is an absolute wizard of a lyricist. His supervillain shtick is corny, but he doesn't follow hip hop rules at all, and his flow is absolutely ridiculous.
He made an entire album about food. He worked with Cartoon Network and had an album with Danger Mouse, that sampled Adult Swim cartoons.
Juat about every huge artist name drops him like he is spmething to check out.
Even with these popular associations, he remains underground. He will kake you think, and some people just wanna listen to bangers.


@OP
Popular music is rarely stuff that gets you thinking, it just needs to make you move.
I have never really hated pop music. I enjoy some of today's stuff, just for what it is.
You got to think like a studio musician. Pop is pop. It's just fun, and who cares if the good stuff is harder to find? You can get paid to play the junk stuff, and real easily, if you can get past caring about image or "making it in the scene."
Making it on the scene is a relic of the past now top.
People get huge from their living rooms now.

Remember Phil X? People hate him for his hyper activity, but guys like him have it figured out.
Music isn't serious business, when it comes down to the actual playing aspect. Have some fun. Sell out and tour with Bon Jovi even, it really doesn't matter.
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by mbene085 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:51 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:49 am
One of the most refreshing days of my life was when I was a budding guitar player, and I was going through the guitar magazines, and then Joey Santiago of the Pixies had been interviewed by the magazine. He basically said that he didn't really practice or make much effort to try and get "better", that he found himself capable of doing what interested him and so he didn't really care about the rest of the stuff.

And the letters to the editor section next month lit the fuck up, people were enraged at Joey Santiago for not taking guitar playing as seriously as they thought he should. It was like he had mocked their god or something.

I thought it was hilarious, and it changed my perspective on things pretty quickly. Not saying I didn't work hard at playing guitar and music after that, I did, but I basically threw out the concept of "rules" of what consisted a "good" guitar player that I was somehow absorbing.
That's an awesome story. It also reminds me of something very wise a guitar teacher once said to me when I was younger.

We were talking theory, and I made a comment along the lines of, "I really need to learn jazz guitar." He asked, "why?" I said, "because it would fill in so many gaps in my skills that I have coming from a classical background."

He just paused and asked me, "do you enjoy listening to jazz guitar?" I was a bit taken aback - after all, jazz was one of his bread and butter genres for gigging and teaching, so I assumed he'd be happy to launch into that direction. I answered honestly and said, "no, not really, I just admire the talent it takes and want to be able to play that myself." He asked, "why would you want to spend that much time practising something you don't enjoy when you could be working on something you do?"

I had all these silly teenage notions that I needed to learn heavy metal shredding and jazz comping because they were somehow "essential guitar skills" even though I couldn't handle listening to that kind of playing for more than five minutes without getting bored. He made me realize that there was no shame in acknowledging that other people can do things that I won't ever be able to do simply because it doesn't interest me enough to practice those things.

It also absolved me of the guilt I felt when I explored instruments other than the guitar, which I was worried were "wasting" practice time I could be using to become a guitar god. Bass, ukulele, piano, clarinet, saxophone, cajon - there are all sorts of things that I took a bit of a break from guitar to explore for anywhere from weeks to years as my main "thing" for a while, and all of them made me a better musician, even if they didn't directly make me a better guitarist.

I've never enjoyed electric guitar solos, so I've never really practiced them. For many years that felt like some sort of admission of inferiority in guitar culture, where the lead player is considered king and "rhythm player" was some sort of code for "guy who can barely keep up." But do I want to actually listen to anything played by Joe Bonamassa or 25 year-old Jeff Beck or whoever the fuck the guitar forums tell you to worship? God no.

I've always been a songwriter, and while searching for video demos of Firebirds, I happened across one involving Joe Bonamassa. It showed him in the studio, and he first line he sang (I didn't even know he sang) was a regurgitated pentatonic line that started, "I'm a poor boy" and I just turned that the fuck off. I literally had a physical reaction of revulsion to it.

The middle-aged white guy with the world's biggest collection of vintage Gibsons is singing the blues about being a fucking poor boy? Jesus fucking Christ. That's fucking tasteless, is what that is. You weren't born to Black parents on a cotton plantation in 1925 so don't try to write a fucking B.B. King song. I don't care how fast he can rip pentatonics scales, real music comes from a place of honesty no matter the genre.

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:18 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:51 pm


I've always been a songwriter, and while searching for video demos of Firebirds, I happened across one involving Joe Bonamassa. It showed him in the studio, and he first line he sang (I didn't even know he sang) was a regurgitated pentatonic line that started, "I'm a poor boy" and I just turned that the fuck off. I literally had a physical reaction of revulsion to it.

The middle-aged white guy with the world's biggest collection of vintage Gibsons is singing the blues about being a fucking poor boy? Jesus fucking Christ. That's fucking tasteless, is what that is. You weren't born to Black parents on a cotton plantation in 1925 so don't try to write a fucking B.B. King song. I don't care how fast he can rip pentatonics scales, real music comes from a place of honesty no matter the genre.
I hear you. I actually bought two Firebirds and I was trying to watch videos to see what they were all about beforehand. It was a nightmare.

Regarding Joe Bonamassa, I have no grudge against him per se, he has a product that people want and he sells it. It's fine and he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

That being said, some years ago he was giving an interview and he was lamenting how he never gets any kind of respect and the White Stripes do, and I was like, shit, dog... you really can't see it, can you?
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by mbene085 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:30 pm

I wish I could have that attitude about it, and when it comes to playing boring half-century-old blues rock licks to cheering crowds of cargo-shorted white boomers, I'm with you. I've always said that anyone who can make a living playing music is ok in my books. But my god, that was before he opened his mouth and that line came gurgling out. It's a special mix of cultural appropriation, white privilege, and total and utter dishonestly in writing lyrics that gets to me.

I mean, I could write an album of chain-gang songs, but it would be utter shit and tone-deaf because I've never been in a chain gang. Sing about losing your woman or not gettin' no respect or what have you (use the White Stripes as inspiration!), there are plenty of elements of the Joe Bonamassa life experience that people could relate to, you know? I briefly looked him up to see if he somehow overcame growing up on food stamps or something, but the guy took guitar lessons from Danny Gatton and opened for B.B. King when he was 12 years old, and he's internet-famous for owning over a million dollars' worth of vintage Gibson '59 bursts alone.

What on earth would possess him to open a newly-written track with, "I'm a poor boy?" I just...can't. Selling a single one of his nine bursts as his sole source of income for two entire years would put him above the median American income for those two years. Just...no, buddy. Don't.

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by DeathJag » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:45 pm

As sad as it is, I kind of like the idea that kids will demand the music be loud because they are already deaf from headphones. Call me weird.

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:13 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:30 pm
But my god, that was before he opened his mouth and that line came gurgling out. It's a special mix of cultural appropriation, white privilege, and total and utter dishonestly in writing lyrics that gets to me.

What an accurate description.

I get it... it's really dreadful stuff. It's about as authentic as some animatronic figure in a museum somewhere lecturing the kids about the gold rush and the Spirit of '49, plastic beard half fallen off and shit.

Maybe I'm just bitter though because my album "Chant Down Babylon Jah Ras Tafari" did so poorly for me.
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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by smjenkins » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:30 pm

What's djent?

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Re: Is loud guitar-based music destined to be "throwback" music from here outwards?

Post by BoringPostcards » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:44 pm

:D
Larry, you really know how to break up a tense discussion with choice humour.

Apologize for my messy posts above. Was posting from a really bad phone earlier. Typos galore.

Bonamassa is a perfect example of everything wrong with modern Blues rock culture.
It is strange to see people worshipping the skills of a person, who is a copy of a copy and a caricature of a caricature.
The guy hasn't an original bone in his body.

John Mayer gets shit on a lot too for his blues wankery, but he has at least done a ton of work elsewhere, that shows he isn't a one trick pony.
I am not a fan of this other work either, but it is a world away from the blues wankery.
His early acoustic stuff. The love songs, and his covers of Kid A and such. I have endured a lot of his work via Ex Girlfriends.
He's got a lot of talent and creativity. I am not sure why he even engages with the blues scene. He clearly never needed to. Maybe he wouldn't be looked down on, if he just stuck to his original folk style music, and never bothered tagging along with the Blues festival circuit lifestyle.
He grew up in it, so I guess he can't stay away from it.

Anyways, I didn't even really comment on the main theme of this thread. I do think guitae centric music is slowly becoming fringe, but it will never go away, and it is likely there could be another big wave of it in the mainstream.
Anything is possible.
It is far from dead. Australia has a ton of new rock acts worth knowing about right now, and much of it is fresh enough to create a buzz.
Lots of great rock bands in Canada and the UK right now too, you just have to find them.

As to whether or not guitar centric music has become a bit of a throwback? I think that lies in perception.
Nirvana was thirty years ago. I definitely considered 90s acts like Edwyn Collins to be sort of throwback style, and he was a contemporary of grunge.
You could have said the same about Jon Spencer in the nineties.
Does this mean Nirvana type grunge rock is throwback now? Sure, why not? And does it even matter?
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