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What makes an "amazing" guitar player?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Dereksys38, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Dereksys38

    Dereksys38 Tele-Meister

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    Stringbanger's post with the kid shredding Beethoven reminded me of how much I see that kind of performance(on TV and YouTube) viewed as the pinnacle of guitar playing, once you can shred and tap faster than greased lightning that's that, you're the best. But for me and a few others I noticed, it wasn't their style. Which made me think "what do they like?" So the question is, what makes a guitar player amazing(and listenable) to YOU?o_O
     
  2. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    Without wanting to sound overly wanky .... it's about creating a genuine emotional response from me.

    whether that is joy, sadness, excitement .. or whatever, if it makes my hairs stand on end that is amazing playing to me.
     
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  3. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Give me a Neil Young who plays with passion/feeling, or a jamming Garcia/Rice/Grisman, any day.

    To me it is very little about technical ability. I respect it, but it is about emotion.
     
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  4. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    I'm not a huge subscriber in the idea that guitar conveys emotion per se, but I do think the greats are identifiable and pleasing to the ear (needless to say), and keep it interesting enough that it makes me want to go figure out what it is they're doing.
     
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  5. badger51

    badger51 Tele-Meister

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    There are so many great players on you tube right now demoing gear and doing tutorials. But to me, an example of an amazing guitarist is jack Griffiths who I recently discovered on the videos for Peach guitars. What makes him amazing to me is that his sound is so fresh and interesting without the cliches and he is spot on technically too.
     
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  6. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    Right, that's why we listen to music isn't it? because it makes us feel something.

    That could be Neil Young or Kurt Cobain, it's whatever moves you personally,

    sometimes you can even explain it... there's a couple of examples of guitar playing that literally have me holding back tears and I can't even explain why, the note choices, a certain chord changes, the visceral nature of how it's played? I don't really know.
     
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  7. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I think that great lead playing (and I'm not a great lead player, not by a long stretch) is about serving the song perfectly. Guitar hero-ing got way out of hand a long time ago. Steve Cropper is kind of the ideal in that regard, but there are plenty of unsung heroes of guitar.
    It's as much about when to play and when not to play as how fast you can play. Guys like Peter Buck and Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams) are more examples of "great playing" that moves the song along.

    There's no right or wrong answer, it's just that for me, the kind of music I tend to like is not really about technical skills per se. I've tried a dozen times to listen to Cliffs of Dover and never been able to pay attention the whole way through. When it's about the playing itself, I lose interest almost completely.
     
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  8. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Holic

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    For my tastes it’s phrasing and vibrato
     
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  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Phrasing, melody, and the ability to perfect each note so it evokes emotions.

    That's why I love Jeff Beck. First time I saw him back in '82 or so, I had no idea who he was, and was amazed by the beauty of it. It's like the best players - Beck, SRV, Hendrix, Knoppfler, Gilmour, etc. - know instinctively where to take the music.
     
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  10. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    Knowing when to play and when NOT to play.

    I'm not a musician and what I most consistently marvel at is, "How did they know to play that when they played that?"
     
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  11. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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    Dunno, ask Jeff Beck or Bill Nelson...
     
  12. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Precisely. And agreed that it can be someone like a Cobain. Whatever connects you emotionally.

    I was listening to Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch’s Method Acting + Cortez the Killer earlier today and, while I felt that the Method Acting portion felt pretentious (to “me”), the transition to Cortez the Killer and the rest is a thing of beauty.
     
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  13. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    A guitar player thats amazing :rolleyes:
     
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  14. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

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    This ^^^

    I saw a band on TV the other night.
    They were pretty good.

    Female lead vocal strumming acoustic.
    Another guitar player electric rhythm....

    ... and a lead player.

    The lead guitar didn't know when to quit, wanking (not really, but I don't know what else to call it) all over the vocals.
    He was pretty good, but he didn't know when to lay back and let the vocals through.
    For me it ruined an otherwise good performance.
     
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  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Unpredictability combined with taste and restraint. That's what makes a guitarist listenable for me.
     
  16. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    I agree with the posts above. Shredding is fun, but count how many ways can you run a scale or an arpeggio vs. how many ways you can stretch and shake a note? My favorite players convey emotion through their instruments and take the listener on a journey. Andy Timmons is one of the best players, imo. Ultra versatile, very emotive, excellent technical abilities and phenomenal tone. I also enjoy his songwriting. Jeff Beck is another fave.
     
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  17. RobRiggs

    RobRiggs Tele-Meister

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    In 1974 or 75 I was hanging out with my cousin in his parents garage and I heard Jimi Hendrix’ version of All Along The Watchtower. I can still feel the same rush when I hear that song ten thousand repetitions later. He’s still one of my top three favorites. There are a lot of what you might call more technically excellent guitarists, but, to me, Jimi had that knack for making the guitar speak and evoke emotion.
     
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