What Makes a Player a Hack?

Cedar

Member
Messages
184
Been thinking about this lately after a recent experience...how do YOU define a "Hack" musician in the context of a band or potential bandmate?

List the specific qualities that you find hacky.

I would say...
  • Needs to look at chords to play song
  • Need to read lyrics from a print out to sing song
  • Crap, pawn shop gear when they can afford better, but just don't buy it
  • Has literally no concept of groove or time--what it is or why it matters
  • Dresses like a bum
  • Doesn't know the names of the parts of songs: like what a bridge is
  • Talks of "Touring" when their ability is barely above garage jamming
 

Mickey Shane

apolitical
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,316
Been thinking about this lately after a recent experience...how do YOU define a "Hack" musician in the context of a band or potential bandmate?

List the specific qualities that you find hacky.

I would say...
  • Needs to look at chords to play song
  • Need to read lyrics from a print out to sing song
  • Crap, pawn shop gear when they can afford better, but just don't buy it
  • Has literally no concept of groove or time--what it is or why it matters
  • Dresses like a bum
  • Doesn't know the names of the parts of songs: like what a bridge is
  • Talks of "Touring" when their ability is barely above garage jamming
Has literally no concept of groove or time--what it is or why it matters
Would not be a hack musician. Just a hack.
 

Jayyj

Supporting Member
Messages
6,945
What with hacking and that horrendous phrase 'life hacks' I though hack had been rebranded as a positive term these days!

I'd define hack simply as taking short cuts to get where you need to be, so I'm sure I'm a hack but I don't feel bad about it as long as I'm happy with the results. I think with music the only thing that matters is if you listen to the record or watch the performance you can appreciate the end result.

I used to work with a singer who was a nightmare for a musician to work with - never memorised lines, never practiced or prepped, battered her vocal chords, couldn't stay still for five minutes so getting her to actually put in more than an hour's work on a recording session was a waste of time. We just used to get her in, smash through half a dozen takes and send her sailing off into the night whilst I went through the takes picking out the best bits. So, total hack but those best bits... she was just brilliant when she was on stride and the comp take would be fantastic.

I wouldn't see dress sense or fanciful takes on someone's achievement level as anything to do with being a hack, and if I've learned anything from TGP it's that tone is in the fingers and if you have expensive gear you're probably just a collector who can't really play, so I don't think cheap gear counts as hacky!
 

D K Souther

Member
Messages
310
I don’t think of anyone as a “hack”. Poser maybe, but hack, no? Music shouldn’t be a competition. There are various skill levels. There are those that are better at selling the image. There are those that have third party investment in the image etc. I’m a wannabe. I’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money into something that will never pay that back or profit in any way. I do it because I love it. Maybe I’m a hack?
 

walldot

Member
Messages
45
  • Needs to look at chords to play song
  • Need to read lyrics from a print out to sing song
  • Crap, pawn shop gear when they can afford better, but just don't buy it
  • Has literally no concept of groove or time--what it is or why it matters
  • Dresses like a bum
  • Doesn't know the names of the parts of songs: like what a bridge is
  • Talks of "Touring" when their ability is barely above garage jamming
I dunno, I don't have a problem with any of these properties as long as it is a decent person who makes good music. Doesn't matter to me if they have a pawn shop guitar or don't know the difference between a march and a walz.

And for the record: I could afford more than this $200 guitar and a $400 amp (no pedals even) if I wanted to. I simply don't see why I should, there would be no benefit.
 




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