Technical guitarists vs melodic guitarists?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by D Rock, May 14, 2015.

  1. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    Which do you prefer?

    The frusciante thread got me thinking, he is one of my favorite guitarists to listen to, not super technical, but his main focus is making it sound good, and he does a great job of that.

    A lot of technical stuff just doesn't sound good to my ears as it seems they are trying way to hard. Arpeggio runs require a lot of practice and technical ability, but does that sound good at the end of the day?

    Different strokes for different folks?
     
  2. Der JD

    Der JD Member

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    I would prefer listening to music or artists that combine both. It's quite rare, however, so I usually settle for one or the other depending on my mood.

    A flurry of notes with no melody gets old but so do overly simple melodic lines that tend to get repeated over and over.
     
  3. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    You've never seen a thread on this subject here before?

    You answered your own question, different strokes, etc.
     
  4. guitarspaz

    guitarspaz Member

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    It's a discussion forum. Plenty of other threads here...
     
  5. guitarspaz

    guitarspaz Member

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    Best of both worlds

     
  6. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    Technical vs. melodic? I'm not sure that I see a contrast here. I've never heard a highly technical guitarist who wasn't complimenting the melody. Now, if you're talking about random noodling nonsense at high speeds which doesn't compliment the music other than as a "Wow, he/she can play fast!" factor, then sure.

    I'm thinking about guys like Steve Vai, Satriani, John Petrucci, and so on...all highly technical players who put a lot of emotion into their music, are highly technical, and live for a killer melody. I realize some people don't consider them "soulful," but I disagree. It's just a different perspective on what has been deemed as the social norm defining "soul" in music.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    I started a thread like this about a year ago and it didn't go well. But it did help me to understand that this is a false dichotomy, and you should really open your mind to seeing both technicality and melody as a part of every guitarist's playing.
     
  8. Hammered

    Hammered Supporting Member

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    I like both and right off the top of my head Michael Schenker fits the bill
     
  9. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I like good musicians. If it sounds good, it is good.
     
  10. Skub

    Skub Member

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    What works for the song is all that matters.
     
  11. Calaban

    Calaban Member

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    I'll choose melody over technical stuff every time if I must.

    But in general guitarists who combine both are my favorite.
     
  12. jbd3

    jbd3 Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear Silver Supporting Member

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    True. I feel like Neal Schon is the master of this.
     
  13. suckamc

    suckamc Member

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    False dichotomy. Most of the most melodic players can do both because they don't ONLY hear easy-to-play phrases. Most players who only play easy-to-play stuff let their hands tell their heads and hearts what to play. I mean, it'd be an awfully odd (i.e. suspicious) coincidence if you only ever imagined slow, easy, guitar-ish phrases, especially if you had any familiarity with classical or jazz. So yeah...most of the guys who only ever play easy, typical-for-guitar phrases are the REAL ones running muscular patterns.
     
  14. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Member

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    If I don't find the song appealing, then I don't care what the guitarist is doing. If I do like the song, then what I want to hear from the guitarist is something that fits the song.

    Song first, then everything else. Technical for the sake of technical within the confines of an uninteresting song is uninteresting to me.

    YMMV
     
  15. gtrdave

    gtrdave Member

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    I prefer a musician who plays what I like to listen to and possibly emulate. As such, I like both melodic and technical elements in other players.
    The two are not mutually exclusive.
     
  16. Oldschool59

    Oldschool59 Member

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    Funny, this seems to be more of a guitar-related question. Why is this so often viewed as an «either-or» question? Ask a classical pianist this question, you'll get blank stares. Technique is an array of tools (speed, precision, timing, theory, muscle memory, etc...) in the service of music. Melody is the musical idea; how it's translated from the musician's mind to the listener's ears is a matter of technique. Sometimes, sloppiness is a voluntary technique to convey a flavor to the melody. In my mind, if a guitarist is unable to convey the desired sense of melody, then he/she does not posses the appropriate level of technical ability, even if they can play 1,000 bpm. If a so-called «technical» player sounds like a machine gun, and it is not the intended effect, then that player should not be called «technical». In this light, «technical» may refer to a style of play, not an ability. Cheers.
     
  17. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    ^^^Great post. Guitarists seem to often use the word "technical" to describe a certain approach to playing that's inspired by certain types of scales or fingerings or other things of that nature, and that does exist. That kind of leaves me cold as a listener. The tail wags the dog, as the saying goes.

    To me technique simply means playing really well. It does suggest advanced knowledge, but more the use of that knowledge to make music, not to make technical playing. I'm not saying every player I like is all that technically proficient, some aren't, but some are very much so. But it's a means to an end, not the end itself.

    Redd Volkaert would be an example of a player that I think is superb at using great technical skill to make great music.
     
  18. jazzandmetal?

    jazzandmetal? Supporting Member

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    I prefer someone who does both or either well.

    In other words, if it sounds good I like it.
     
  19. dallasblues

    dallasblues Member

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    This makes me think of someone like John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. Why separate technique and melody? They could play a dizzying array of notes with beautiful execution AND have it mean something.
     
  20. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

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    All my favorite players are melodic and write songs, with singing and stuff. That's what I like -- or you can be both like Ty Tabor.
     

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