So Why Didn't 80's Shred Guitar Age Well..........?

vintage66

Member
Messages
6,649
So much hate for shred and '80's music?

I think it was a magical era. But I guess those who remember shred fondly are those who grew up smack dab in the middle of the era.
I remember the first time I heard the Alcatrazz-No Parole, and I was just blown away that someone could play that fast and cleanly. It really was a landmark. The problem was, that music had an edge and wasn't really trying to be commercial. Later on, when bands were trying to be commercial, a lot of times the music was crap. The term '80's music is such a mixed bag, from hair metal to overprocessed keyboard pop that the bad kind of outweighs the good so I kind of cringe, but there is good music to be had.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,317
You mean while you were holding the gun to the baby's head?
Exactly!
I lost count at 17 trigger "squeezes", but it was a sufficient number of times to where I had to use a pitchfork to load the remnants of my little musicological experiment into that dumpster...

But anyhow, all seriousness aside - I've been playing guitar for 5 decades now, and can actually play pretty fast; if I want to... (The guys in the CD packet over the visor in my truck tend to be guys like Vai, Satriani, Eric Johson, etc. - IOW, guys who play "fast" - but, guys who are serious musicians as well...)
The whole point of my previous post you referenced was that the sheer act of "playing fast" does not necessarily indicate superior musical "prowess" - (emphasis on "necessarily" - it MAY, but then again it MIGHT NOT...)
How the hell can anyone seriously argue with that simple statement of the obvious???
That is, other than a Saturday afternoon GC shredder who took umbrage to what I posted - or, someone simply looking to start an argument...

:)
 
Messages
158
My thoughts on shred are this:

If Im sitting on a park bench and some dude comes up and says "check it out, Im gonna run from this bench all the way to that tree over there really fast". I may be impressed by how fast he can run, I cant run fast. I may be impressed with his form and technique. I may admire how much time was spent on practice to be able to run that fast. But Im going to get board of it after about a minute. I can only think "wow, look at him go" so many times.

Now, same bench, same day a nice looking, well built young lady comes jogging by in yoga pants.....that I can watch all day. Fast, slow, perfect form, don't matter.


The point is if you play something with emotion and feeling I don't care how fast or slow you do it or if you have perfect technique while doing it.
But if your playing fast for the sake of playing fast I lose interest pretty quick.
 

sinasl1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,698
The guys who wrote stuff with heart, soul, and quality, good playing within good songs are all still around. And thriving. Satriani, Vai, Eric Johnson...

Hair metal got mixed up with virtuoso guitar... The 80's fashion, etc.

Bad songs+80's fashion+virtuoso guitar= bad, career goes downhill in 92

80's fashion+good instrumental songs+virtuoso guitar= you got a pass and lived on
 

Dasein

Member
Messages
4,384
The guys who wrote stuff with heart, soul, and quality, good playing within good songs are all still around. And thriving. Satriani, Vai, Eric Johnson...

Hair metal got mixed up with virtuoso guitar... The 80's fashion, etc.

Bad songs+80's fashion+virtuoso guitar= bad, career goes downhill in 92

80's fashion+good instrumental songs+virtuoso guitar= you got a pass and lived on
That's all that really needs to be said.
 

emdub123

Member
Messages
1,279
I just spent a few minutes listening to some 80s shred on YouTube and, as someone who grew up in the 80s, I'm not a hater. here are my observations:

1. Listen to the rhythm guitar parts. For the grand complexity of the lead parts, the rhythm parts in many cases are extremely simple and boring.

2. Melody. Where's the melody?

3. Derivative. Back in the day I would never have considered Racer X derivative of Iron Maiden, but the influence is pretty clear now. Same for a number of the other shred and hair metal bands, they were all mimicing the same set of influences.

4. Vocals. The high-pitched falsetto thing was totally contrived. Nobody was singing in a natural voice. Kind of like Bro-Country today with guys from Cleveland faking rural deep southern accents and Kermit the frog vocal affectations.

Finally, in my opinion, what really sets hair metal/shred apart is that the bands they were copying were their contemporaries. Maiden and Metallica copies were putting out records at the same time Maiden and Metallica were. Hair Metal and Shred was a phenomenon that kind of fed on itself and once the originators moved on or lost their audiences, the imitators were left with nowhere to go.
 

paranoid70

Member
Messages
6,459
It's blowing my mind how many people here are confusing 80's 'hair metal' with Shred guitar. Most shred guitar is instrumental based bad-ass guitar slinging - kind of limited yeah, but that's what it was. And it really was never that popular. Hair Metal was the MTV approved, spandex, songs about sex, etc. that seems like a self parody in 2014.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,317
It's blowing my mind how many people here are confusing 80's 'hair metal' with Shred guitar. Most shred guitar is instrumental based bad-ass guitar slinging - kind of limited yeah, but that's what it was. And it really was never that popular. Hair Metal was the MTV approved, spandex, songs about sex, etc. that seems like a self parody in 2014.
Agreed... When I think of "shred", what immediately comes to mind are players like those "Shrapnel" label guys, etc.

To me, the typical 1980's guitar solo in the middle of the ubiquitous 3-minute MTV song may have some elements of "fast playing" included in it - but it's not enough to be technically defined as "shredding..."

YMMV, however...
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,202
It's blowing my mind how many people here are confusing 80's 'hair metal' with Shred guitar. Most shred guitar is instrumental based bad-ass guitar slinging - kind of limited yeah, but that's what it was. And it really was never that popular. Hair Metal was the MTV approved, spandex, songs about sex, etc. that seems like a self parody in 2014.
Cuz a beard, vintage clothing bought at a thrift store, and men wearing girl jeans won't ever be unhip and a parody. :puh
 

Luke

Senior Member
Messages
11,898
You don't like these lyrics?

"Breaking The Chains"

Sit there thinkin'
In your room
You feel the pressure
You're goin' crazy too
The walls around you
Closin' in
You need a change

Claustrophobic
Feelin' scared
You need somebody
But no one seems to care
A one way ticket
A change of pace
You've had enough
Can't take no more

[Chorus 1:]
Breaking the chains around you
Nobody else can bind you
Take a good look around you
Now you're breaking the chains

Got this letter
Came today
From my baby
Who left me yesterday
Said she loves
She'll come back
She wants to try

I won't let her
She'll be upset
I know it's better
Than somethin' I'll regret
She's been dishonest
And insincere
I lost my mind
Twenty times a year

[Chorus 2:]
Breaking the chains around me
Nobody else can bind me
Take a good look around me
Now I'm breaking the chains

[Solo]

Woke up today
I'm alone
I look around
But baby you were gone
But I don't mind
And I don't worry
I will survive

I'm alone
Now that you're gone
Don't need nobody
To hold or tie me down
I broke the chains
So let me be
I've gotta be free

[Repeat Chorus 2]
[Repeat Chorus 2]
 

guitguy28

Member
Messages
1,163
This reminds me of an editorial in an old Guitar World (or maybe Guitar Player) magazine I had from 1990 or so...

The article was talking about a guitar competition the magazine was hosting. And they received thousands of demos… many of them from young, Steve Vai wannabes.
But in most of those demos, there was just endless shredding. No melodies, no grooves, no space… just an endless blizzard of notes.

And the magazine editors thought to themselves: What's the point to all of this? What's the big deal about being able to shred now, when all it means is that you have had the free time to practice harmonic minor scales for 14 hours a day?
And where's the actual music in all of this?

That article came out before grunge became popular, but you could tell shred was on its way out at that point… things needed to get back to basics...
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,202
That article came out before grunge became popular, but you could tell shred was on its way out at that point… things needed to get back to basics...
We've been back to basics for a while but I don't think this will ever change.
 

MrMagician

Member
Messages
323
A thread full of navel gazing nonsense on TGP? No, never.


Technically, playing those speedy scales is a primarily a matter of muscle memory and knowing where those "modal" positions are on the neck... There is no other way to explain those 14-year old kids who show up every Saturday afternoon to shred their wares at your local Guitar Center... Those little guys can play FAST as hell...

BUT: if you put a .357 Mag upside one's head and said "either play an Amaj7 chord or I pull the trigger on this baby..."

Well, you're gonna have one dead punk on your hands...

Heh-heh-heh...

:)
God bless Texas, they sure as hell need it.
 




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