does Robben Ford just understand music better than other players ?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by stumphead, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. takauya

    takauya Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Yeah... Maybe this guy's never heard of Kurt's playing. I truly hope so...
    I just can't believe what I read.
     
  2. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,866
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Malibu
    7 pages of my sportscar is faster...
    I'll say it again nothing has been added to electric guitar since the late 70s.

    You wanna know about Ford go back to Talk To Your Daughter or the Musselwhite or Witherspoon albums...no vibrato on bend notes. Great vibrato on stationary notes.
    Or the REH vids were Mock explains what he does.
     
    Jerrod likes this.
  3. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,551
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    At the end of the day, a consistent characteristic of deep musicians is this kind of humility. The thread could end with this quote. (But of course it won’t LOL).

    Robben has made choices in terms of his emphasis. His playing is sophisticated and harmonically informed, but by choice he’s not a deep jazzer. What makes him a monster is his touch, his tone, his huge pocket, and his taste. Other players make different choices, and plenty of players commit to deeper knowledge and/or play music demanding more harmonic depth. There is art and beauty in that, and it requires commitment, time, and discipline. But among those folks, just as among more “primitive” stylists, it will still be the ones with touch, tone, pocket, and taste that will rise to the top. Music ultimately is about moving people.
     
    frdagaa likes this.
  4. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,148
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Location:
    West Paris, ME
    They certainly did know what notes, patterns and scales go with what chords, in what songs and in what context, and what melody development is.

    Jimi was notorious for practicing guitar ALL the time, perfecting his skills and ideas, and so was SRV.

    You may not be calling music theory for what it is, but there is no hidden cavern of mysterious treasures where improvisation and ideas flow by miracle, without understanding and constant tending.

    Allan Holdsworth could not read music very well if at all, but he certainly had a more than a firm (and original) grasp on harmony and improvisation concepts.

    What makes the difference with all those great players, including Robben Ford, is that they absolutely know all this stuff and let go of it as soon as it was totally internalised.
     
    BriSol, PierreL and Dana Olsen like this.
  5. JohnnyBGoode

    JohnnyBGoode Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Robben Ford does his own thing. You can't do it better if you're not him. Good news though: if you do your own thing and bring your pesonality into your playing - RFwon't be able to do your thing better than you.
     
    John Alexander and BriSol like this.
  6. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

    Messages:
    23,688
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Location:
    Australia
    That's true.

    RF can't suck more than me.
     
    JohnnyBGoode likes this.
  7. RCCola

    RCCola (|@ / \ @ |.) Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,004
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Back! Back in the New York Groove!
  8. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,377
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    I like Robben. I own a lot of his CDs. I'd love to play as well as him. But he ain't Superman. OP, are you really claiming he's got something that other good players don't? Or just that you happen to like his particular brand of music.
     
  9. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

    Messages:
    17,674
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Link? Thx
     
  10. harmonicator

    harmonicator Member

    Messages:
    4,290
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Central CA
  11. JohnnyBGoode

    JohnnyBGoode Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Most players today go for covering a lot of techniques. RF, to some extent, comes from the school of players such as BB King and Albert Collins - where you focus on one genre, learn to do a few things really well and bring your personality to it. Try it.
     
  12. BriSol

    BriSol Member

    Messages:
    1,693
    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I like Robben for what he is and exactly what he says he is - mostly, a blues-based player who also dips his foot into jazz harmony and vocabulary a bit.

    The main thing that sets him apart from most other blues guitarists is that one foot in jazz vocabulary, and relatedly, less of a pure "blues-rock" approach. Most guitar players into blues are solidly coming from a rocker's camp, so the jazz elements can seem alien.

    But as others have indicated, he's not a "deep jazzer" or even a "deep fusioner" really though. Aside from some of that stuff with the Yellowjackets and his stint with Miles, the majority of what he does squarely falls into the "contemporary/modern blues" category. And he owns that domain like no other.
     
    harmonicator and Bluesful like this.
  13. ucnick

    ucnick Supporting Member

    Messages:
    640
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    East Bay Area CA
    Yes indeed.

    I have been a fan of Robben's and have seen him at numerous shows here in the SF Bay area. So, last year I pulled the trigger and attended Robben's camp last summer in Big Indian, NY. I had the good fortune to be able to hear him play every night for 4 nights, talk to him during dinner and around the resort, and even had the chance to be up on stage standing next to him and jam. Amazing amazing guitarist. Did I say amazing? Some night his playing made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, it was so good.

    He gave master classes pretty much every day, and one afternoon I and a few others had a private class with him, he thoroughly knows his theory and more importantly it's applications. As I recall, he said he started out totally immersed in the blues and that when he was learning to play he bought the two Mickey Baker books and worked his way through them and that all his chording came from them, he said he uses like 35 or 39 chords total or something like that, don't know how serious he was about the number, as he could be a little tongue in cheek at times. He strongly recommended them to us all (I have since purchased them and am slowly working my way through them) and also strongly recommended that we master triads and their applications, in fact all the musician/instructors, with the exception of Hari (the drummer), did the same. He also has that same sort of emphasis on triads in his Blues Revolution video compilation, of which I have just scratched the surface.

    You can hear his evolution from when he started out and was playing predominantly blues-typer licks and then started to morph his playing into what it has become. He is an outstanding virtuoso and a really great human being and I am very glad that I went to the camp, extraordinary chance to interact with him and the rest of the guys!

    BTW, the guy who mentioned about playing the melodic minor scale over the dominant chord and starting a half step up - Robben's guitar tech, Rick Wheeler (another fantastic guy and a great jazzer in his own right) had a class in which we played "Freddy The Freeloader" and used that exact method to mix in the MM scale to start a solo. I like to use it on occasion when I manage to think of it... :oops:
     
  14. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,377
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Wait, what?
     
    harmonicator likes this.
  15. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

    Messages:
    23,688
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Location:
    Australia
    I think that's just subjective, because I don't necessarily share that view.

    Are you talking just on that record, or in general?
     
    Jerrod likes this.
  16. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,166
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    If Robben (who is awesome) knows music so much better than anyone else, why has Keef sold so many more records (downloads)?
    It’s not a damn contest of genius....it is who can connect with people
     
  17. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Messages:
    25,861
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Yo ...
    No one is sayin Keef isn't gifted too..
    Because he sure as hell is ... :)
     
  18. BriSol

    BriSol Member

    Messages:
    1,693
    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    That's a funny way to miss the point. Which has nothing inherently to do with measuring "chops", but being accurate about what people's stylistic tendencies are. Robben Ford, by choice and by style, does not generally play jazz material. But he does often play blues that's informed by jazz. And he can hang on standards. But I see it as simply being accurate to not put him in the same stylistic category as John Coltrane or Chick Corea, because he isn't. He isn't *devoted* to jazz. That's not based on measuring chops but making distinctions about stylistic strong suites, based on informed jazz listening, and just taking Robben's own solo career catalogue for what it is, which is generally a mix of contemporary blues and light fusion.

    I could also just as easily say your comment was misinterpreting me and others as making a knock on Robben Ford. It's not a knock. I'm a fan.

    Implying that me and others lack ears for making distinctions of subtlety about style is quite bold.

    I think most people who are jazz listeners are able to understand exactly why this distinction is being made, without any of the things you are projecting onto them being applicable.

    I don't consider myself as a musician to be a "deep jazzer" for the same reason I don't consider Robben Ford to be. I'm aware of what the guys who are truly devoted to it do, and it's not what I do. Neither is it what Robben Ford does.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  19. comealongway

    comealongway Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Sorry I missed your point!
    I'm definitely not casting aspersions on your discrimination.
    I was simply making the point that Ford (for all his lighweight jazz credentials) sounds much better than Diorio (who has the heavyweight jazz credentials)does on that record.
    What conclusion can be drawn from this seemingly impenetrable paradox?
    I know you would agree with this assessment, but enough of this now.
    Those that have ears to hear will hear.
     
  20. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,377
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Dude. For someone who seemingly is smart enough to type this (There's really just "music" and you either play it well, or you don't), it's not such a long stretch to get to "you either like it or you don't." Perhaps you just don't care for "deep jazz" and like Ford more. That's just fine. There's no paradox, and there's no conclusion to draw from it.
     

Share This Page