If you played half the notes, you'd be twice the guitar player

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by kenoflife, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Powered by Coffee Gold Supporting Member

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    Finding beauty in the dissonance
    +1

    Phil Keaggy taught me that a long time ago and it's one of the most valuable things I've ever done to improve my playing.
     
  2. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Well said David ...
    Useless Crud comes with da package ...
     
  3. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    David - are you saying that people can't benefit from informed and intelligent criticism? In my own case, I know that having an editor helps me as a writer, photographer, and heck - even as a musician.

    I reserve the right to continue down the road I'm on, and I reserve the right to determine that a particular critic/editor/teacher is *wrong* for me or *wrong* about this particular case. But sometimes they are right, and it is often valuable for me to hear their assessments of what I'm doing either way.

    You as a producer must make assessments of performances and I imagine you provide suggestions for different approaches to a performance that a musician might take. I know you wouldn't tell Coltrane to play fewer notes, nor Jerry Garcia to play more. But you must give pointers towards more interesting ways to construct a song or performance, no?

    While the OP's critic wasn't a producer of his music, nor was s/he a teacher, the criticism obviously hit the mark because the OP has remembered it to this day and has taken it to heart.

    There are intolerant morons for whom music must fit inside this strait jacket of a definition, and yeah, screw 'em - they are only adding heat to the discourse, not light. But there are thoughtful critics for whom this performance or this approach to a song just isn't working. And I think letting the person know why it isn't working for you adds value, regardless of whether they choose to take you up on the suggestions or not.

    I'm not attacking or disputing here - I'm just trying to understand your position.
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Some of us are lead so easily.
     
  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    awesome post. It is just guitar after all. Do what you want and f'em.

    Worst than anything is somebody trying to be something they're not.
     
  6. strat a various

    strat a various Guest

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    John McLaughlin plays twice as many notes as anybody. He's a GREAT player. He eats that bass player for a snack and s**ts him out later. I'm frankly sick of neat little cliches that pass as bits of wisdom. They are bits of B.S.
    We read letters on a page by seeing the white paper around the black ink. We're reading the blank. That's a fact. You could make the analogy that notes have existence by virtue of being separated by silence, so we're hearing the space between the notes. That's nonsense.
    If you are a good player, you may proceed to decide to play like Clapton ... one note every five seconds, or like Al Dimeola, one bajillion notes per second. Doesn't matter. If you think you are too busy, you are, but there are guys out there that do both, slow and meaningful, then fast and furious - Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, etc.
    These pearls of wisdom like "play half as much" are worse than inaccurate, they are misleading. A player may play half as many wrong notes and still be playing wrong notes. Yeah, that reduces the damage in total, but it's hardly constructive. I'd have told that bass player this: "If you talked half as much, you'd be 50% less annoying, so shut up ... who asked you?"
    If you are insecure in your playing and want to improve, concentrate on the notes you're playing, the phrasing, the context, and forget platitudes. Simple rules are for simple minds. Music is like the totality of our experience and lives, varied, complex, surprising, and unexpected.
     
  7. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    This is the version I've heard too....

    When you don't have anything to say, you can sometimes fool people by playing a lot of notes at a fast pace. When you have something to say, you need fewer notes.
     
  8. strat a various

    strat a various Guest

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    Two great players, one was a smartass, the other was John Coltrane.

    Miles asked Chet Baker, "What do you think of the sound on my new record?"
    Chet answered, "I could help you fix that."
     
  9. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    What's the difference between a blues guitarist and a jazz guitarist?

    A blues guitarist plays three chords for a thousand people.
    A jazz guitarist plays ...
     
  10. strat a various

    strat a various Guest

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    How do you make a rock guitarist turn down?
    Put sheet music in front of him.
     
  11. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    BRAVO /// :agree/// very well said ... should be a Sticky ..
     
  12. RichardB

    RichardB Senior Member

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    Ok.

    Firstly, McLaughlin's improvisations suffer HUGELY from him overplaying and having a weak sense of phrasing, so he is actually a great example of what NOT to do when constructing a solo.

    The final fact which is applicable almost always is the ntion of VARIETY.

    Variety in rhythms (including rests, of course). Variey in melodic note choice and variety in the harmonic sphere and variety in timbre/tone.

    When I say VARIETY I mean this:

    There is a continuum from "expected" or "inside" or "symmetrical" all the way to "unexpected", "outside" and "assymetrical". Most good music uses the entire continuum.
    Sometimes a single "slice" of the continuum is deliberately focused on exclusively, but this is always for a desired effect, and can hardly be maintained for longer than a single piece.
    Mostly the continuum is conditioned by the human need for rationality, repetition and a vocal-like approach.
    So it ends up that music should have probably about 2/3's falling closer to the "expected" side, balanced by the remainder being in the "unexpected".

    Musicians who deliberately flout these "ideas", end up w/ music that has very limited emotional reach and not much resonance beyond a cerebral appeal...
     
  13. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Richard the Bad strikes again... U is always good for a laugh my friend ..

    What I wonder is ...how many folk here at TGP realize what a good player you is ...
    because U is ...:)
     
  14. RichardB

    RichardB Senior Member

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    Haha ;-)

    Jim,

    Just 'cause you cant hear the things I refer to, doesn't make you a bad bloke, (it does makes you relatively "deaf", but that's another thread, another day) but that "crazy" gif at the end does make you rude. Bastard!!!
     
  15. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I'm one of those folks you don't need to wonder about.
    Good player would be an understatement.

    Hmmm . . .
     
  16. RichardB

    RichardB Senior Member

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    George?????? You mean when Kev Van Sant posted to RMMGJ as "George"?

    You're probably getting mixed up w/ the other time when a friend of mine posted my "comic" vids to AAJ using my name...and I was accused of self-shilling...that thing still hurts/haunts me...

    C'mon, I am only kiddin' with ya, anyway.
    Don't we, like, have this comic repartee, where you bag me and I return the favour?
     
  17. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Nevermind.......comments retracted.

    No reason to get into this......it's just opinions.

    Carry on.
     
  18. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    bringing back some bad memories,

    my jazz teacher had me play, 1 note per minute, worked a week on that, and the variations, half notes, quarter notes, eigth notes, sixteenth notes, thirty second notes, the higher counts got easier, but I really hated that week of practice to show I could do it, he was happy at the lesson, so we worked on more fun stuff.


    one of the drills that was really enlightening was to skip a beat in a 16 timing

    1 eh and ah 2 eh and ah 3 eh and ah 4 ea and

    ..... eh and ah 2 eh and ah 3 eh and ah 4 ea and eh


    pretty amazing when you do it for all 16 variations, worked on that one that week as well just so I would not have to spend more time on it.
     
  19. Drumongus

    Drumongus Member

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    Ah, I knew someone was supposed to remove a horn. the details had obviously slipped my mind. Thanks for the mental update!


    the last thing i need to do is take the guitar out of my hands. (then it would clearly get broken by the bassist)
     
  20. guitbeef

    guitbeef Member

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    I totally agree with this post. As far as speed=energy, I recall paul Gilbert saying in an interview that rock music in general by definition contained a certain energy and so why wouldn't fast, energetic playing go hand in hand with that? (I'm paraphrasing, of course).

    And as far as the "fast run in a slow tune" statement, I think of Clifford Brown, particularly his recording of "Stardust" on the Clifford Brown with strings LP.


    But then again, I still love to hear David Gilmour play well within the confines of his technique. And sometimes Thelonious letting a chord ring over a bop tune (where most guys would outline the changes with a single-note run) is totally effective for me.
     

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