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  1. #1
    On Fire
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    This was from a different Guitar Room topic about Yngvie, but I thought it should have it's own thread. I'm gonna post it in both the Guitar Room and Music Meeting place forums. Apologies for the rudimenary cut/paste job. Peace GH4L

    ABE VAN HALEN WROTE
    Come on, now. This 'soul' and 'emotion' myth has got to go. Someone playing 10, 100, or 1000 notes a minute has NOTHING to do with the amount of 'soul' or 'emotion' in one's playing. Saying that such IS the case just exposes quite of bit of resentment and jealousy.

    Playing "blues", playing sloppy, or playing slowly and bending like mad had NOTHING to do with emotion either.

    Being a flog-rocker with pseudo-rebellious angst is not instant soul or emotion.

    I would argue that Randy Rhoads was as cold and sterile as anyone, and was simply going through the motions with Ozzy. If he were here today, he'd probably admit it. Let's face it: he was in the studio, making sure he duplicated his solos note-for-note so they could double- or triple-track them. How is that soulful or emotional? It wasn't; it was as mechanical as you can get.

    How about Bach (and others like him) who wrote without being near an instrument? Is that soul-less?

    When Horowitz flies through the opening strains of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, is that soul-less? After all, he must be playing a good 1200 notes per minute/per hand! Hell, that's like DOUBLE SOULLESSNESS.

    Al DiMeola whipping through a sizzling flamenco progression at 212 beats a minute-is that soulless too?

    Oh yeah, what about Eddie Van Halen? He played pretty damn fast at times, so he ain't got no soul. Shit, he must be another fucking wanker.

    John Coltrane was known to play around 1200 notes a minute as well. Man, what a soulless freak.

    Stevie Ray Vaughan would noodle endlessly on a damn E minor pentatonic scale. Damn fuckin' robot.

    I don't doubt Yngwie's conviction, emotion, or soul when he plays one damn bit. I don't particularly care to listen to him, but that doesn't mean that he's got no feel.

    And if 'anyone can play 1000 notes a minute if they wanted to', and that means they have no soul, if they slow down to 999 notes a minute, do they get that soul back?

    GTRHEAD4LIFE RESPONDED

    All music is the soul speaking, people either prefer, not prefer, understand, or not understand different types of music ( i.e. languages, accents, and vocabularies )

    The feel issue can be best summed up as whether someone is into their playing or burnt out and not into it. This is hard and damn impossible to fake and most people see it right away.

    Peace
    GH4L
    "Choose Wisely"

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Abe usually has a way of getting to the heart of the matter, and I couldn't agree more.
    That was a great post.

  3. #3
    Banned!
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I hate this stupid argument. I don't see why people get so into it and write 10 page explanations as to why so-and-so has soul and why so-and-so doesn't. The worst is the playing too fast argument - because he "plays too fast he has no soul." Jeez, who fuckin' cares. People are gonna listen to what they're gonna listen to and that's all there is to it. If someone thinks Joe Strummer is a great guitar player and The Clash were a great band then they will listen to them. They're not gonna stop because someone said they "have no soul." Of course there is always the case of the jealous guitar player who can't play a lead to save his life saying shit like Yngwie, Tony MacAlpine etc. have no soul since they play too fast. As if playing those runs is easy and a cheap way out of "having soul." Fuck that shit, my style is very similar to their's and if I "have no soul" then so be it. It'd actually be something to be proud of in my opinion if that was a correct assumption... although I'm pretty sure it's not.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    The "Soul" arguement has been going on since the late sixties and it's usually started by guitarists who can't play for shit or fans who like underwhelming guitarists.

    That said, nothing pisses me off more than a pointless guitar solo. The late 80's were full of them (Winger comes to mind) where you have a good song going and then the guitarist crams in this 750mph solo. It's like stuffing a Cornish Hen with a Turkey. A good guitarist knows what kind of solo is appropriate for the song he's playing. Steve Lukether is probably the best at applying the right guitar solo and he's a guy who can play the shit out of his instrument. I guess it's a maturity thing. When I was first starting out, I played an average of six to nine hours a day. Most of that time was running scales as fast as I could. I alternated between my acoustic and my electric so that I built my picking technique. Once I had found the source or Ed's and Holdsworth's soloing style and I added in the tapping I found that I could play as fast as I wanted to.

    I love to play fast. I love the power I feel as I zip up and down the neck. I believe the only other people who can relate to this feeling are fighter pilots. The problem is that most people either don't want to hear it or don't care. Why do most people love Van Halen but not George Lynch or Al Di Meola? Some of it is the style of music, DiMeola was fusion which always had a limited audience. Ed, it seems , could get away with what he did because he's an honest player. Plus, he didn't always go for the speed switch(Ain't talkin Bout Love and Everyboby wants Some are examples) where Lynch, for a variety of reasons, became predictable.

    The sad thing for us is that most of the top ten rock songs have no guitar solos at all.

    Will somebody tell me why this doe not apply to Country and Western audiences? They love guitar solos.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  5. #5
    Good Enough
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    "Stuffing a cornish hen with a turkey".

    COOL phrase. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] (but what if it's a really small turkey?)

    A lot of it boils down to comprehension and appreciation. I think too many people are trying to hear every note as an individual entity, as though it was a word being sung. The notion of contour is lost on most listeners, and they simply are left confused.

    Taking a melody and embellishing it allows a LOT of room for playing. Building a melody out of embellishments and omitting the initial melody is a common mistake leading to a non-musical excursion. This argument goes back well into the Baroque era. I think the bottom line is that too much of even the finest delicacy will render one nauseous.

    Phrasing is another area; a player with a great sense of phrasing and note placement can get away with a lot of musical no-nos. (Eddie being a prime example, especially on the first 4 records)

    Then there's the Shrapnel problem. Here was a guy obsessed with gothic neo-Baroque music, and encouraged everyone on his label to follow suit. While Jason Becker's early work (well, actually just about everything he did before the Roth cd) exhibits wonderful technique, his compositions were generally little more than etudes; they make for great practice, and show an aptitude for using the 'right' scales and arpeggios, but the end result falls somewhat short of 'music'. When Bach wrote 4 minutes of solid 16th notes, he managed to generate rhythm, melody, contrast, modulation, etc. He was doing the job of an orchestra all by himself on an organ. Many players who claim Bach as a main influence simply skimmed the flashy stuff and a few chord progressions and never got deeper into what was really going on. Too bad; they missed the good stuff.

    It's one thing to take a tiny little set of notes and build a massive fugue out of them. It's another to take those same notes and simply repeat them ad infinitum, typically at extremely high speeds. Now, had they started with a STRONG foundation, (ie a good song), then perhaps their excursions would have been more palatable.

    And therein lies the real problem: if you don't have a decent piece of music to begin with, all the noodling in the world isn't gonna make up for it....

    "Hey...like wow man, I finally got that m7b5 arpeggio up to speed; now I'm gonna write something so i can play it (168 times in under 1 minute)." gee, thanks, that was nice. NEXT!

    --or--

    "Whoa...I just learned how to tap ala Eruption; let me stick that same idea in the middle of this traditional 12 bar blues." oil and water don't mix, pal.

    --or--

    "Hey...I know this is a Stray Cats cover band, but that Paganini line is just too cool not to use every chance I get." drop crack pipe. go to the school bus parking lot. find the short bus. get in. wait for driver.

    Technique is the means to an end, and music is the end. The reverse is not applicable.

    The acceptance (perhaps desirability) of guitar solos isn't the only oddity of country music. Within that genre you will find people who actually SING. You will find the finest production in any of the 'popular' genres. I haven't seen any country folks wearing freaky masks or makeup, nor do they have a travelling entourage called a posse. It's basically the only area in pop music where being an obnoxious, no-talent freak is frowned upon. Unfortunately, try as I might, I can't stomach country music, but I respect what they do.

    Well, everyone except Garth Brooks.

    For those of today's generation who have managed to set things up so that they can do all their playing with one finger, well, I have a finger of my own for them. [img]graemlins/devil.gif[/img]
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! jimmy's Avatar
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    04.29.16 @ 07:05 AM
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    To analyze music seems pointless to me.......music means something different to everyone......if a piece of music touches and inspires you then embrace and cherish those notes......

    interesting posts nevertheless.....It seems like this could be like a college course.
    Actually I think most of us are Dave, Sam, and Mike fans. There's just a small group of people who have strange allegiances and like to get into petty pissing contests that I can't believe everyone on this site isn't bored of. - Brett

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    09.15.15 @ 08:40 AM
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    excellent post abe. [img]smile.gif[/img]

 

 

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