Is there anywhere else to go with guitars, distortion, and skill?

lowatter

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Seasick Steve, The Black Keys, The Dead South, Tyler Bryant. Band of Horses or Samantha Fish etc...tons of other entries could be listed here.
 

loopfinding

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sure. there are a ton of extended techniques out there, many of which in the past have only been used for effects instead of fleshed out as compositional devices. there are a ton of compositional and signal processing techniques in synthesizer land that have never really been implemented widely in guitar playing, but totally could be. there are styles of music that have scarcely been brought to the guitar, and bringing them to the guitar would inherently change the music and the instrument.





if you keep looking towards established guitar-based genres, you're probably not going to find new styles of playing.
 
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Refugee

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sure. there are a ton of extended techniques out there, many of which in the past have only been used for effects instead of fleshed out as compositional devices. there are a ton of compositional and signal processing techniques in synthesizer land that have never really been implemented widely in guitar playing. there are styles of music that have scarcely been brought to the guitar, and bringing them to the guitar would inherently change the music and the instrument.





if you keep looking towards established guitar-based genres, you're probably not going to find new styles of playing.


First vid is wow. What is that 7/8?

2nd one sounds killer, but I don't have that much time to devote, currently.
 

loopfinding

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First vid is wow. What is that 7/8?

2nd one sounds killer, but I don't have that much time to devote, currently.

first one i know for a while they were arbitrarily chopping recordings of themselves digitally without any respect to measure (like CD skipping stuff) and then learning how to actually play them.

second one i think they're on to something, and they've done some remixes with underground techno artists. but they kind of hit a plateau with the form (they said something like "we just want to do this piece over and over again and see how it comes out every time" or something to that effect).
 

ReverendRevolver

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the super-technique of those you mentioned didn't even begin to exhaust the possibilities of guitar, IMO.

the area of guitar i really care about is not in technique, but in the instrument's evocative qualities. this has only a little to do with technique. i think of the 1st time i heard Santana's Black Magic Woman. it absolutely carried me away. it was the most exotic thing i'd ever heard and all these years later, i haven't ever come close to getting tired of it.

another example of what i see as evocative is Mick Taylor with the Stones, mainly the live bootlegs from 71-73. there is no highly evolved technique there, nothing like shred, but it just delights me to hear. much, much more than any fast shred guitar i've ever heard.

there are still many miles to go before guitar is exhausted. the way forward is in song construction, not hyper technique, in my humble opinion. putting licks on songs that excite something deep in the heart. that'll never end and guitar can do it very well.

(Professor Blunderturd's lecture concludes)

Guitarists remember the solo, EVERYONE remembers the song
These two points. I grew up in the 90s and 00s, 80s shredding was a joke by then when compared to the blues based solos of the 60s/70s or the anti flashy playing of grunge.
It's a neat magic trick until you know how it's done.
Writing for the good of the song was Always better that being a firehose of notes. EVH and Randy Rhodes both defined that style of playing by writing things you could hum and remember.

I feel like genres of Metal have already taken the speed freak mentality to its limits and proven that its pretty niche.
Well written songs (as a whole entity) are still the pinnacle, not 80s shred.
With the advent of digital distribution of music and the relative demise of LPs and CDs, the popular music industry has shifted such that those who have commodified the product, to a large extent, control its content.

I heard an industry insider describe how one online music distribution company is trying to decrease singles to about 35 seconds in order to both influence the consumer to embrace shorter songs and, surprise, surprise… have a scheme where they could make more money on a “per song “ payment format. I guess they’re betting on shorter attention spans.

Until it becomes possible to wrestle the reigns of popular music away from the digital predators I suspect popular music content will suffer for all legitimate musicians.

I can recall when you could regularly hear an instrumental (no lyrics) on the radio. That seemed to die out in the 80s.

That being said, I’ve seen some GREAT young talent across the board on many instruments from all over the globe who impress the heck out of me. In fact, I think there are more technically impressive players now than ever before… I just hope they develop over time and become, for lack of a better word, more “soulful.”
This.

I've been in a bit if an existential plight lately, because I feel like Dee Boone had a brilliant idea for 2022 back when the Minutemen made albums full of short songs designed to be heard in succession as part of a whole. That's what people have attention spans for. But most of us are used to writing 3-5 minute songs, and switching it up would be like trying to cram a novel into 2 pages.

But I completely agree with the landscape having changed. Time will tell what happens next. I forsee good music taking some effort to find for awhile longer.
 

1955

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There’s always somewhere to go with art, but not too many want to trade most of their lives to break new ground.

It comes easier to some, but it usually involves an intense period of relentless immersion, combining different elements in such a way as to capture the imagination of the public with a singular, unmistakable voice.
 

RhythmFender

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I think the notion of guitar "going" anywhere is flawed in the first place. Most of guitar playing is not subject to "progress", and whatever part of it is (speed, acrobatics, whatever) is beside the point. '80's shredding is seen as "beyond" simple acoustic strumming. But you know what '80's shredding is terrible for? Simple acoustic strumming. We weren't strumming cowboy chords because we were waiting for something "more" to come along. We did it because it sounded good and it was the sound we wanted to make.

Of course, '80's shredding is fine too. But there have always been fast guitarists with great technique and deep understanding of theory. And any idiot could turn their amp up till it distorted. My point being that there's more to the phenomenon than simple "progress".

Write good songs and work so that there is no barrier between what your brain imagines and what you physically accomplish. If that involves technique then great, get that, but realize it's also secondary to making music. Unless, of course, you want to be a specific type of guitar nerd, which is absolutely fine and valid. Just recognize that that's a different conversation that you're having with a different group of people. It's like fine-tuning a car to move the curve on a graph past some theoretical point vs. what makes a difference in enjoying driving the thing.
I like this and as a “not so technically accomplished guitar player” who likes to write and play and sing, needed to hear it, so thanks.
 

Tonetele

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I played two LLoyd- Weber musicals with our state's Symphony Orchestra. I got the job because my sight reading was really acurate and quick ( even had a page turner).. A lot was Distortion and all I used was a borrowed Teisco and a Fender 5F1 .
Other guys, with much more sophisticated gear, and could've been better players, were angry I got the job, but as I said, I read the first few bars and was quick off the mark. Distortion can be achieved by cranking up an amp with a mic in front. I actually never( hardly ever ) use it though I have a BOSS distion pedal and a Kitana amp. Not my favourite sound at all. Hate Mark knopfler's " Money for Nothing". It all boils down to YOUR own taste. I like my 65 Princeton Blackface , clean. I love it's tone. Deluxe Reverbs also.
 

24 track

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Guitars are still pieces of wood with metal and wires, distortion does the same thing that it always has, and guitar-playing skill probably peaked in the late 1980's. Is there anywhere left to go with any of this? After a few people post-EVH (Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.) nudged the goalposts a little further, nobody has really moved past that point. Distortion (ahem.... "overdrive") pedals come in all kinds of paint designs, shapes, sizes, with all kinds of cool names, but what are they doing any differently now than say, 30+ years ago?

It even became unfashionable for a while to be a good guitarist. That wore off, but I digress.
yes there is more, it has to do with working with what you have and move outside your comfort zone, to push what you have learned to the realm of creativity , if you write songs what do you hear? bass lines , melody lines , how do you hear the melody or vocals ? if all you hear is well played 20 min guitar masterbations then once you have done that then what? you cant do 30 songs with that formula.
Mutt Lang had Def leopard play each chord recording one note of the chord at a time then mixed it into the track to form the chords.
Page worked out with Jones that Jones would only play the chord root note on the Bass and Page would play the 3rd 5th 7th 9th etc over top in escence breaking the chords up to allow for instrument voicings .

this is only 2 examples there is a ton more, but its that spark the moves from the mundaine to the exceptional, the other thing even if you have the chops is to apply what you know in the right spot with taste ,and know where to apply the silences.

20 original songs in the same style is boring , it may be pleasing and fun to play these tunes but too much the same is counter productive. JMHO
 

archtop_fjk

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This.

I've been in a bit if an existential plight lately, because I feel like Dee Boone had a brilliant idea for 2022 back when the Minutemen made albums full of short songs designed to be heard in succession as part of a whole. That's what people have attention spans for. But most of us are used to writing 3-5 minute songs, and switching it up would be like trying to cram a novel into 2 pages.

But I completely agree with the landscape having changed. Time will tell what happens next. I forsee good music taking some effort to find for awhile longer.
The Who did this in 1969 with the album “Tommy”. Maybe the rock opera is making a comeback? :)
 

teletail

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There’s nothing new until there’s something new.

It’s probably out there now, waiting to be discovered, drowning in a sea of generic mediocrity.
 

Toast

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There's no artistic direction to move in when the public sphere has been effectively shut down. Nobody can talk about anything (plagues, religion, democracy, etc...) when good faith debate is impossible. People are polarized and conditioned to turn away from difference. It doesn't make for fertile artistic ground.
 
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buster poser

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"The public sphere is shut down" I said (in perpetuity) to a worldwide audience via my telephone. Good faith debate gave us the deep artistry of Yngwie Malmsteen, but now metal is illegal and artists have literally quit making it altogether. All music is free, and I can run Senegalese folk music to ground on a Sunday morning over YouTube, but this is bad because I miss that a narrow style of hard rock was popular on radio and MTV for a few years, the true mark of creative/artistic pluralism.
 




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