Do You Consider a Slow Guitarist Good?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Gl4th, Dec 28, 2019.

Speed matters?

  1. Yes

    153 vote(s)
    22.0%
  2. No

    544 vote(s)
    78.0%
  1. GreatSatan

    GreatSatan Member

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    keef richards, is he good?
    i've never really cared about the technical proficiency of the guitarist, only how good the song is.
     
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  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Member

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    When I got into guitar you bet I wanted to play fast. I was really into some guys who could play fast. Tony Rice, Al DiMeola, Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck on occasion. But also lots of bands where the guitar was a prominent part of what I liked but wasn't necessarily "fast". Jethro Tull, Neil Young, the guys in Quicksilver Messenger Service. Since I didn't play guitar until I was in college, I didn't know that Neil Young "sucked" as a guitar player, I just memorized all his solos, made a bit easier by their economy of notes.

    Frank Zappa used to talk about "glandular" responses to certain types of music, and I think it holds true in this discussion. The faster a guy or gal plays (I was watching some Jennifer Batten yesterday) the more your response comes from your brain, in appreciation of "wow that is [obviously] hard to do". The more soulful a player is (whatever that means), then the center of your response sinks lower, and by the time you're at e.g. Joe Perry, below the belt. Not slagging Joe Perry... just going on his own statements that he has no particular technical knowledge about guitar playing.

    Notice that I didn't say that these things were exclusive - you can play fast and soulful, although the odds may be against it. As regards my own playing, it has reached a certain point after around 40 years and I don't see myself getting faster. With practice I do see myself getting better at hitting the notes I imagine while improvising or navigating different chord progressions better. I don't really think of my playing as "soulful" or "fast" when I am doing it though.
     
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  3. GYPSYPOP

    GYPSYPOP Member

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    I got to see him in concert once with Larry Clarke on bass and it was mind blowing.
     
  4. Hackdog69

    Hackdog69 Silver Supporting Member

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    Take the guitar out of it, in order to be an accomplished musician you have to be able to play at all speeds. This goes back centuries...
    Great music needs all the variety in volume, tone, speed, staccato, etc... the list is long...
     
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  5. ChipOnly

    ChipOnly Member

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    I consider a slow guitarist well.
     
  6. fierce_carrot

    fierce_carrot Member

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    The names of just these few, BB King, Jimmy Vaughn, Anson Funderburgh, Lee Roy Parnell, Greg Martin, Billy Gibbons, easily answer your question.
     
  7. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Is a slow guitarist good? Depends on the notes he chooses, and the spaces inbetween. Slow can connect really nicely with the heart if done right. And fast can scream right over the head of many listeners.
     
  8. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    If speed is required, it matters.
     
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  9. princetone

    princetone Member

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    This survey is a bit confusing. Do you consider a slow guitarist good? I click yes. Yes I do. Then the radio buttons have Speed matters? So I needed to change my vote.
     
    El Phaco likes this.
  10. Morgan Hill

    Morgan Hill Member

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    If it weren't for slow blues, I couldn't play no blues at all.
     
  11. boo radley

    boo radley Member

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    Born Under a Stop Sign! Great song -- favorite of TGP Dad Bands everywhere. :)
     
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  12. Vishnu

    Vishnu Member

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    I have learnt that the slower stuff is the harder of the two (fast and slow)
     
  13. _MonSTeR_

    _MonSTeR_ Member

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    Using someone’s ability to write a song as a measure of their ability as a guitarist, seems to miss the point of question somewhat...

    By that measure, Andrew Lloyd Webber should be a guitar hero...
     
    monty likes this.
  14. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    Phrasing and vibrato and tone are what matter to me. If you can't remember the melody of what you are playing don't play it.
     
    freedom's door, Gl4th and +NRG like this.
  15. Doug59

    Doug59 Supporting Member

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    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet (didn't read though all 9 pages of this thread) but I remember listening to an interview with Buddy Guy and he said the space between the notes was just as important as playing the notes you heard.

    I found this very profound.
     
  16. Morgan Hill

    Morgan Hill Member

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    Mississippi Queen
    The Sunshine of Your Love
    All Your Lovin' (I Miss Lovin')

    :p
     
  17. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Me too, but with timing.
    Here is Taj Mahal doing one of my all time favorite songs of his. I saw him in Oslo with a extended version of the intro (he actually started playing while offstage, came sauntering in and just kept it going!) and I wished it would never end. I hesitate to mention it is a banjo, but seriously this is slow playing with perfection.
    I think of it as micro-timing..slight minuscule hesitations and then playing with melody and beat to make something wonderful and make it swing.



    With a whole lot of Taj Mahal, specially on dobro, or acoustic, or alone, his timing is just something out of this world. He has melody too, but together with timing he creates dynamics, a feel of suspended time.
     
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  18. Marcfordsfuzz513

    Marcfordsfuzz513 Member

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    I live by the motto, its not what you say, but how you say it.
     
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  19. johngalt2004

    johngalt2004 Supporting Member

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    I sort of thought that post meant "it is how well you PLAY the song" not how well you write the song. Fitting the licks into the mood of the song is where "good player" comes in for me. I idolize Keith because I've seen him mix up tempos and completely change how he attacks certain songs over the years like Can't Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler or Sympathy... and it always sounds brilliant and perfect and creative. A great player can surprise you and make a smile crease your face. Any kid at guitar center can out-shred him but it matters zero.
     
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  20. fusgtr

    fusgtr Member

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    Jim Hall
    Eric Clapton

    PERIOD
     
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