Is being able to shred on your guitar important to you as a musician?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by IGuitUpIGuitDown, Sep 5, 2018.

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Is being able to shred on your guitar important to you as a musician?

  1. Yes

    18.8%
  2. No

    54.7%
  3. Sometimes (please elaborate)

    26.5%
  1. Comanche5

    Comanche5 Member

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    For me it's quality over quantity. Whether it's fast or slow, it's gotta work for the song. I'd take soul over shred any day of the week.
     
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  2. GT40

    GT40 Member

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    Why would I not want to strive for a high degree of technical proficiency? Being able to play fast and accurate when necessary doesn't stop one from being able to also play slow and sloppy when necessary. Or anything in between those two extremes.

    Claiming that technical ability and feeling are mutually exclusive is ridiculous.
     
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  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    F*ck yea, if that’s the case I love to shred! But by that definition a guy like Neil Young shreds super hard, but I doubt many would consider him a shredder...
     
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  4. muzishun

    muzishun Member

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    But, don't you want to toss in some specific types of music or players that really bug you .. .for instance metal wankers? ;)
     
  5. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    First off, I do not call playing ideas super fast like Benson, Coltrane, Parker, Rodney Jones, some Jeff Beck etc etc shredding. Shredding is playing those stupid 3 note per string and finger patterns, or arpeggios and the like up and down fast. So no, I could care less about shredding. When I first started playing, it was VERY important to me, but 3 or 4 years in, you realize (many of us anyway) how useless and unfulfilling it is creatively or artistically speaking. If you get chills reading poetry or listening to great lyrics, would you care how fast someone could say the alphabet?? To me, its the same thing. Its why someone like Dexter Gordon can be every bit as interesting as Cannonball. They both play ideas, regardless of the fact Cannon could play 3 times faster. Both players had great IDEAS.
     
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  6. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Gilmour once said he realized he could never play fast. So he specifically used his abilities to play in a slower, emotive style.

    So why didn't he strive to become as technically proficient as other much faster lead guitarists?

    Because it's a tool. And not every form of expression requires the use of all tools.

    That's how I can fully admire and enjoy some shredders but dislike others. Because it's about emotion and what the fingers are saying to the listener.

    And Gilmour would still be in my list of the very best lead guitarists. Because he surpassed the limitations of playing slower to become one of the most respected musicians by non-musicians.

    When you can reach more people with your playing style, you don't need supersonic shredding abilities. Supposedly one in three people have heard TDSOTM. I don't know if that's possible but that's an extremely familiar album, so perhaps.

    It's all about the song.
     
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  7. JK1965

    JK1965 Member

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    Great music has absolutely nothing to do with how fast or complicated it may be. Great music surely can have fast and complicated playing. For me its about playing tasteful stuff that fits the song being played. Its a work in progress. I've had to work at slowing way down and playing something more musical. But it gets better and better over time. Being able to do some faster things is certainly not a bad thing. I'm also working on making what I do play fast smoother and better. So for me a good mix of slow, medium and occasionally faster stuff to get the job done. No emphasis on any of them and the real focus on playing something that sounds great, hopefully!
     
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  8. Bussman

    Bussman Member

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    I find playing very slow infinitely more difficult than playing very fast.
     
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  9. Lephty

    Lephty Member

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    Even as a teenager in the 80's, I kinda dug EVH and those guys, but never had any desire whatsoever to play like that. Was always more attracted to melody.
     
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  10. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    I have no idea if I've got the chops to shred, but it's definitely not "the sound I hear in my head" that makes me want to play guitar, so I haven't tried. I've been working on a lot of flat picking fiddle tunes, and they're challenging enough to appeal to the part of me that wants to improve my technique.
     
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  11. Tmidiman

    Tmidiman Member

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    It’s important to me, so I can play whatever I hear. I also enjoy scaring the kids at GC when they think I can only play blues, jazz, and Latin jazz. I also love a challenge, which kept me looking for new things I can’t do that interests me.

    Got my butt handed to me trying to cop some Holdsworth. Aggghhhh I can’t do it,...yet! That said the improvement in technique is appreciated. Actually I can get a few moves, but I want the deeper understanding too. This ain’t just about flapping my fingers.

    But between Holdsworth and Gambale I don’t care as much about alternate pick. Just seems like wasting time now.
     
  12. Pitar

    Pitar Member

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    Shred. This is a variable term.

    If it means using a flat pick and speed soloing then, no, that doesn't appeal to me. I can appreciate it but that's not what playing a guitar is all about to me. Once done with the solo....bo...ring.

    If it means strumming and acoustic like a wild man like Justin Hayward on the song Question, then no, that doesn't appeal to me either.

    If it means finger picking an alternate tuning melody in up tempo like Leo Kottke then, yes, that's what I enjoy doing.

    I answered yes to the poll because shredding an acoustic, or classical guitar, is important to me. It hurts my motor to go slow. If I play Somewhere Over The Rainbow it's because a doe-eyed lass requested it or there's a gun to my head.
     
  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    But with Eddie, you can slow his stuff down and it drips with feel and quirky phrasing. It was so much more than just speed here at the total package from tone, taste and ....technique !!! Ain’t no one touched him!
     
  14. smj

    smj Member

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    If you're playing tunes that are 200bpm or faster... you have to have a certain amount of technique to even keep up. Even triplets at that tempo are fast! That's like sextuplets at 110bpm. I wouldn't call that shredding, that's just playing the tune.

    Sometimes the time just calls for it. Doesn't mean you can't play melodically whilst playing fast lines.

    Sean Meredith-Jones
    www.seanmeredithjones.com
     
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  15. ieso

    ieso Member

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    My favorite solo is Young's Hurricane on the Live Rust album. I wore out my copy of that album when I was 13 and 14

    I still regularly listen to it all these years later.

    @3:02
     
  16. ieso

    ieso Member

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    That raises an interesting point. There are electronic/industrial styles commonly using tempos that guitarists with traditional techniques cannot reach or with such difficulty that you basically don't find the guitar represented in those genres -- not that the guitar wouldn't be cool but because they don't have the technical resources to participate in it.
     
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  17. Rufus

    Rufus Member

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    These days, I tend to think of it in terms of allocation of resources. I grew up on 80s shred, so yes, I have a natural affinity for some of that stuff. But, maintaining that level of technique (to the extent that I even can attain it) takes a lot of work. And at this stage of my musical journey, I'm less interested in putting in that kind of work. I'd rather spend my limited musical time getting better at other aspects of playing such as timing and phrasing and so on. Or, just learning other instruments aside from the guitar.
     
  18. Beto

    Beto Supporting Member

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    The electric guitar seems to be the only instrument where you don't have to be able to play fast and complex passages to be considered a true virtuoso.

    It also seems to be the only instrument which causes so many people showing disregard for those who have the skills to play fast and complex passages.

    Go figure... :dunno

    (Of course, I know and agree that not everything fast sounds good, nor something has to be fast to sound good. This is not the point of my comment, and you know that.)
     
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  19. BriSol

    BriSol Member

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    I think a lot of guitarists go through at least a "phase" where they are concerned with playing fast and adventurously and pushing themselves with soloing. I certainly did. And it can be a good thing to an extent, a period of creativity and inspiration and "reaching" for something. But I think once you do at least somewhat get your foot in the door with "adventurous soloing" and do it for a while, you can reach a point where it isn't so important.

    Rather, I think a number of other things start to become more important: "consistency" in execution and refinement of one's musical content in general, particularly in the the ability to truly control your musical ideas. Basically, "how smartly am I crafting my lines?" and "how much can I really say with my fast playing?" and "how consistently clean is my playing really?" become pretty important concerns to be self-aware about.

    And I think many people find that there is sometimes a gap between the speed at which they are truly in musically control and the general speed at which they can play. Then you have to match the two. Which could sometimes mean actually slowing down in certain situations, because "pushing it" is making you sound inarticulate. At least if you want to sound good rather than like you're "trying to do something".

    Ultimately, I found when it comes to being on stage or recording something in a studio, I'd rather play a somewhat more reserved, but melodically and rythmically articulate solo that doesn't use my full speed potential, than play a wild and fast solo that pushes the limits of my abilities and I am not smartly thinking my way through and is possibly getting sloppy, and too often amounting to me running through my favorite patterns.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  20. blueworm

    blueworm Member

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    Good point. I'm not sure it is the case. I'm sure there must be some techno-metal or EDM-metal or techno-EDM-jazz cats doing stuff like that out there :D;) ... Not that I'm aware of, but there must be. The oldest thing I know which can be somewhat related to that is a band called 'Lonely Bears' which was kind of a spin off of the Jeff beck group from Guitar Shop (Terry Bozzio, Tony Hymas, Tony Coe, and the guitar player was Hugh Burns, a great player used to session work - he famously did the guitar solo on 'Baker Street'). They did couple albums in the early 90s that sound like nothing else and you might quite like it. There are moments of ecstatic full shred with that band.
     
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