Phrasing vs. Speed

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by _arvin, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. _arvin

    _arvin Guest

    My band is in the midst of recording a high-quality demo CD. I sing and play mostly rhythm guitar, but I have a solo section (8 bars) in one of the songs. When recording, I didn't have a set thing to play, I mainly just have a skeleton of how the solo should progress and I improvised in the studio.

    Anyway, I'm listening back to the rough mix, and I find it amazing how much I prefer the simple bluesy rock solo I improvised in the studio as compared to our lead guitarist who tries all this sweeping/tapping/sweep-tap-slide shred trickery and it just sounds sloppy and our of place. So I think the moral of this rather pointless post is...

    SOLID TONE AND PHRASING > SPEED AND BAG O' TRICKS.
     
  2. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green Member

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    Absolutely! Thing is the great fast players have the ability to do TASTY parts - only fast. But the shiz is in the line itself. If it is an uninteresting phrase - it's gonna be uninteresting at any speed.
     
  3. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    I agree. I'm on my way down the improv path from a rhythm guitar player and I've learned this little bit: learn your phrasings and then partials and after time you'll get some speed that will sound meaningful and not just fast.

    Kinda like a good spicy chili or Buffalo wing. Sure hotter is better but there has to be an increased TASTE!!
     
  4. _arvin

    _arvin Guest

    Right. I'd rather have the intense bluesy sounding microtone bend and the exact correct amount of wah on the release of the note that makes you think I've been through war and back and lost my children in a fire and ran away on a freight train than to do that stupid minor arpeggio 3 string sweep lick with a tapped note on the top. Not saying sweepy things don't have their place, but... I wish I had a clip i could post. Maybe in a week once it's mixed. ;)
     
  5. V-man

    V-man Member

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    Can 'o worms.

    In context, the problem is sloppiness, which is ironically acceptable for the bluesy phrasing (page) by those who turn their nose up to the tricks. It also depends on the piece played. I agree 100% fast playing poorly executed < well phrased slow playing, but ususally these threads degenerate into hit pieces on shredding.
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Supporting Member

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    Yeah slop is slop. Everything has it's place, do what the song calls for.


    "SOLID TONE AND PHRASING > SPEED AND BAG O' TRICKS"

    Don't make it out like it has to be one or the other though. Plenty of players have both.
     
  7. _arvin

    _arvin Guest

    To try and quell any "I hate shred" sort of confusion..

    My favorite guitarist has to be Guthrie Govan. He's legendary. He plays with unbelievable speed, phrasing, and precision. So my criticism of fast playing isn't because I don't like it or because I can't pull it off. It's more a criticism of how a simpler phrase can convey more within the context of a song when the tricky guitar part right next to it seems to just.. be there to satisfy the lead guitarists need for attention.
     
  8. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    Yeah, no, nothing against "shred". It's not in my wheelhouse and by the way the OP was talking figured he and I were talking similar styles. Well, until Guthrie Govan, never heard of him :)
     
  9. Yngtchie Blacksteen

    Yngtchie Blacksteen Supporting Member

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    I like good guitar playing. I don't really buy this whole competitive aspect of things that the OP describes, I don't see guitar playing as a competition.
     
  10. mark norwine

    mark norwine Supporting Member

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    "speed" comes from "knowledge".

    Unfortunately, many guitarists use "speed" as an attempt to mask a lack of knowledge.

    2 essential lessons:

    - Never play faster than you can play accurately

    - If you practice fast, and you make mistakes....you're "practicing mistakes". Think about that for a moment.
     
  11. Melodic Dreamer

    Melodic Dreamer Supporting Member

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    The big thing is preference. One guys tone heaven is another man's trash. One person's idea of speed is slow and boring to another. If someone is going to play fast then I'm fine with that if they retain character and melody. When someone starts tapping and sweeping just to do so, that really isn't my thing. For speed, I'm fine with guys like Eric Johnson, Allen Hinds or Brett Garsed. They're guys who can play at a decent speed, but that are also thinking of tone and melody throughout the process.
     
  12. Satyrist

    Satyrist Member

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    Agree with most of the above. I especially liked the hot wings comparison. I LOVE spicy food, but the heat has to be balanced with flavor. So play as fast as you want, as long as you do it well and actually have something to say. Hell, Shawn Lane played faster than pretty much anybody on earth and yet never ran out of great musical ideas and always played with soul.
     
  13. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    How are your lyrics and hooks?
     
  14. J.T.

    J.T. Supporting Member

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    And even worse " Practice makes Permanent"
     
  15. gigs

    gigs Member

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    Thought about it. And it gave me a headache. I'd rather make mistakes in practice than in performance. And if I dont make mistakes in practice, then i'm probably not pushing myself or learning anythign new.

    Practice is reinforcing good stuff, working in new stuff, and working out mistake stuff.

    Think about that for a moment.
     
  16. craigoslo

    craigoslo Member

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    Rythm and groove are what I've been focusing on lately. Get more milage out of the notes I already use. But the most important thing is that the solo serves the song. Some songs call for shred, other songs want a simple melody.
     
  17. Phreekfuse

    Phreekfuse Supporting Member

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    I am a blues fusion player and am really into laying down slow bluesy solos on changes.... But i must point out a little confusion on my part

    Does great phrasing really mean playing at 80bpm and making a face o_O ??

    Does playing with feel always have to be below 120bpm :\ ???

    If speed and bag of tricks are so bad then how do we really enjoy guitarists like Vai, Guthrie Govan, Buckethead

    Also... being an avid Paul Gilbert fan, i analysed a lot of his songs for his phrasing style long ago... On closer notice, he is just playing scales up and down.... but he does them with sooo many rhythmic ideas and rhythmic motifs that his unique phrasing style is created by playing the basic everyday patterns that we all play....

    It's true that sometimes we just really feel ourselves going on our toes for a really beautiful blues solo... But as with the world everything has it's place... instead of comparing the two we could try merging them and probably phrase with speed or incorporate speed in our slow phrasing. :) !!

    Peace ^_^ !!
     
  18. Jay Mitchell

    Jay Mitchell Member

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    I'd add a paraphrase of something Hal Galper said: "Never play faster than you can hear."
     
  19. Yngtchie Blacksteen

    Yngtchie Blacksteen Supporting Member

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    I play with feeling, not technique.
     
  20. Drumongus

    Drumongus Member

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    but do you use your intellect?
     

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