Great guitarists who are far more interesting to watch than to listen to.

TheCheapGuitarist

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We all know that there is a perfect balance between good guitar playing and good songwriting that = a great song. We also probably agree that a great song is still a great song without incredible guitar playing. Then there are guitarists who are extremely good on the instrument, but their songwriting isn't the greatest.

In these cases, I'm noticing that I enjoy watching them play, but the songs themselves do absolutely nothing for me.

Joe Bonamassa. I can't name one song that he does, but I instantly recognize his playing which is obviously incredible. I like to watch live videos of him, but I can't sit through an audio CD. I've tried.

SRV. I can only name like two of his songs, but again, I recognize his style immediately. I like watching live videos of him, but there's no way I can sit through a CD of that.

Michael Angelo Batio. I'm glued to the monitor watching him play. The guy is super human, I can watch that for hours. I couldn't imagine having to sit through an album of that stuff, though.

Yngwie Malmsteen. Same thing. I can't name a single song he does, but I instantly recognize his style and I am enthralled by watching him perform on video. I tried sitting through an album once and couldn't take it.

Ted Nugent. Never been known as a deep and meaningful songwriter, unless you consider "she pulled my thang so hard it stretched", etc. meaningful songwriting. But again, instantly recognizable style and I could watch him perform concerts on video for hours. He's not released one album I can sit through.

Steve Vai, Satriani. I group them together, because I consider them similar. Same story: amazing to watch, I've tried listening to their CDs and simply can't do it. Except "Eat 'em and Smile", but anything with DLR it's going to be fun to listen to.

[NOTE: these are obviously my opinions, I am no expert and I'm not making any declarations as to the song writing capability of any of these guys.]
 
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PennyroyalFrog

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I was never a fan watching or listen to, but gwar comes to mind. I never knew anybody that had one of their albums, never heard a song on the radio, and people just seem to know of them for their shtick of dressing up like an even more childish version of KISS "on steroids." Oh, and them having a certain body part spray a certain (fake) something on their audience. Granted virtually, but not entirely, all of my exposure of them was from Beavis and Butthead "watching" their videos. Bland shock rock.
 

arlum

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We all know that there is a perfect balance between good guitar playing and good songwriting that = a great song. We also probably agree that a great song is still a great song without incredible guitar playing. Then there are guitarists who are extremely good on the instrument, but their songwriting isn't the greatest.

In these cases, I'm noticing that I enjoy watching them play, but the songs themselves do absolutely nothing for me.

Joe Bonamassa. I can't name one song that he does, but I instantly recognize his playing which is obviously incredible. I like to watch live videos of him, but I can't sit through an audio CD. I've tried.

SRV. I can only name like two of his songs, but again, I recognize his style immediately. I like watching live videos of him, but there's no way I can sit through a CD of that.

Michael Angelo Batio. I'm glued to the monitor watching him play. The guy is super human, I can watch that for hours. I couldn't imagine having to sit through an album of that stuff, though.

Yngwie Malmsteen. Same thing. I can't name a single song he does, but I instantly recognize his style and I am enthralled by watching him perform on video. I tried sitting through an album once and couldn't take it.

Ted Nugent. Never been known as a deep and meaningful songwriter, unless you consider "she pulled my thang so hard it stretched", etc. meaningful songwriting. But again, instantly recognizable style and I could watch him perform concerts on video for hours. He's not released one album I can sit through.

Steve Vai, Satriani. I group them together, because I consider them similar. Same story: amazing to watch, I've tried listening to their CDs and simply can't do it. Except "Eat 'em and Smile", but anything with DLR it's going to be fun to listen to.

[NOTE: these are obviously my opinions, I am no expert and I'm not making any declarations as to the song writing capability of any of these guys.]
I hear where you're coming from and agree with most of your selections. Technical skills are more apparent visually while artistic skills are more apparent audibly. I would like to note that both Satch and Vai have songs in their catalogs, ( just a few apiece), that are outstanding even when only listened to but not seen. Steve Vai ..... For The Love Of God & Whispering a Prayer. Satch ...... Always With Me, Always With You, Flying In A Blue Dream, If I Could Fly and The Souls Of Distortion. Also, in case his name comes up ..... Paul Gilbert. Yes. A Shredder and music instructor on countless "How to Shred" lesson videos. Before you down him check out his album "Burning Organ". Skip the first track and then listen to the next five tracks. No eyes needed. Ear Candy!
 

Skyhook

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For me, Hendrix is the ultimate to watch, but of course, I love to listen to him also.

There is so much going on that you can't tell by listening...
Yeah, Hendrix is both a good watch and a good listen if you go by the earlier stuff.
When you get to The Cry of Love you really start yearning for more Red House, Voodoo Chile and Killing Floor.
 

Skyhook

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Jannick Gers! Iron Maiden's dancing monkey on a leash.

119_artist.jpg

'eavy met'l, innit?

Sure... he plays his parts in the studio, but live...?
Well... he mostly runs about flailing and posing and not actually touching the guitar all that much.
He can do this with impunity because Iron Maiden already has two guitarists(Murray and Smith) who always are solid
and lay down the parts as they should. This leaves room for Gers to do... well... whatever the heck he's doing.
This also leaves room for me to ask: Why does Iron Maiden need Jannick Gers?
 

KyAnne

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Great guitarists who are far more entertaining to watch than listen to are nonexistent. Those people are known as showmen or entertainers. While I'd rather watch Susanna Hoffs play guitar, or even do her nails, I'd prefer to listen to George Benson or Paco deLucia, no offense to Ms. Hoffs.
Absolutely. You have entertainers and you have musicians. Occasionally we get one who is a great bit of both and "they" are amazing.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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I can think of a direct opposite — one of the worst performers I ever saw live: Eric Clapton on his 2001 tour. He sounded great. But for me, at that show he was 100% musician and 0% performer,
I had a girlfriend a long time ago who went to a Drivin and Cryin concert - she told me they sucked. I liked a couple of their songs and I told her I don't think they sucked; she said on stage they just stood there, zero stage presence. Fast forward to around 2000 or so when I saw them opening for Neil Young - they literally just stood there, playing their instruments. Stage statues. And for some strange reason the guitarist/vocalist, instead of playing their hits with a good amount of overdrive (like they were recorded), he played a strat on the #2 position through a nearly clean amp..... if I didn't know any better I would have thought they were intentionally trying to bore us.
 




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