What makes someones guitar style "work"?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Matt Plescher, May 14, 2003.

  1. Matt Plescher

    Matt Plescher Tele-Holic

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    What is it about a guitarists style that makes the playing "work" and not just be a boring rehash of some guitar hero? So many players with great chops are boring to listen to. What brings a player beyond this?

    by the way...Tele-meister!
    I hope I got here with quality not quantity!

    Cheers
    Matt
     
  2. Joel Terry

    Joel Terry Poster Extraordinaire

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    This might sound like a pat answer...

    but it has to be about infusing one's playing with one's personality, I honestly believe.

    We've all met men and women who are nice, presentable, well-mannered, and everything else socially acceptable--but they're just boring. You could mistake them for any number of other people because they have a non-descript personality. The same holds true with musical ability, I feel. Like everyone here, I've seen and heard players who were so technically proficient as to be considered "near perfect"; however, they didn't have their own sound; they sounded like someone else.

    I have a large amalgam of musical influences (and not just guitarists), and I borrow liberally from each of them at any given moment; sometimes, I have several influences going at once. But, it's always a battle amongst the influences...the minute the Stevie Ray influence pops up, the Bill Frisell influence gives Stevie Ray a good wallop, et cetera. :lol: But hopefully, the mix mutates into something that sounds like me.

    When I'm composing, I mostly try to develop chord progressions and chord structures that I haven't really heard a lot of other people use (which is absurd, really, because guitar chords and inversions are finite in number, so chances are I'm copying something already out there, of course). When I solo, I try my best to project my voice into my playing--like I'm trying to have a conversation or tell a story using my guitar instead of my vocal cords; in other words, I try to impart my personality--which derives from the soul, IMHO--into my playing.

    This is a very hard subject to tackle, really. But I believe it is related to personality and soul.

    Joel
     
  3. Darrell

    Darrell Friend of Leo's

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    mine is simple...

    A pure appreciation of the melody, intent of the song, or the rhythm. The rhythm is the key though. Anyone can play a riff, but making it musical is something special. Even silence is musical when it is put in the right place.
     
  4. telefreak

    telefreak Tele-Holic

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    I try not to write stuff thats all the same, I'll write something that has a hint of this and a hint of that, but never a rip off of someone else.
    I guess my syle is mostly funk/punk based with good doses of blues and jazz thrown in for good measure
     
  5. Lew UK

    Lew UK Tele-Afflicted

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    yup

    What Joel said.

    IMO i think you have to find a balance-technique and chops are important but IMO its only a way to get you to what you hear in your head quicker.

    you gotta play with your soul first then fret( :rolleyes: ) about your hands.

    Oh yeah...and read ZEN guitar 8)

    Hope i'm not too far off topic
     
  6. 0le FUZZY

    0le FUZZY Former Member

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    Chris S. nailed it!!

    <li>Thats it inna nutshell.
    <li>Put yer heart in it and it will "work".

    Has fer me with my three chords fer many years.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. telepaw

    telepaw TDPRI Member

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    Here's my criteria for defining what "works" and d

    Wise man once said (can't rememeber who it was): Pipes (read: chops) are great, but its phrasing (and I'll add, note choice) that makes your hair stand on end.
     
  8. benbo

    benbo Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with Joel Terry

    its all about the personality and the true feeling a person puts into what they play, no matter what isntrument, you can tell a difference in someone who just has chops and someone who has chops with feeling and personality....... thats my quarters worth....benbo
     
  9. jericho60

    jericho60 formerly ye olde fretmonkey

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    I like the guys who can take fairly common elements, then smash em together in some unusual ways...that and getting it right in the ol' pocket with the rhythm section. If all that works right, then that's the real avenue for emotion and feeling to come out.
     
  10. Brick

    Brick Tele-Holic

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    What I think

    There are thousands that can recreate. There are only a few that can create.
    The players that really get to me do it with the fewest notes. The songwriters that get to me do it with two verses and a chorus and three or four chords.
     
  11. Gary Lamb

    Gary Lamb TDPRI Member

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    Originality!

    Brick said it.

    This is why I don't bow down to a certain blues-rock deity who I shall not mention (by name)... :twisted:
    GL
     
  12. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    Food for thought...

    You've got to find some way of saying it without saying it. – Duke Ellington

    Music is eternity, so keep it melodic. – Dominick Bianco

    No artist is pleased...there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a strange, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others. – Martha Graham

    When you make music you are acting as a philosopher. You can either do that consciously or you can do it unconsciously, but you're doing it. – John Cage

    Music is the language that can only be heard when you get your own thoughts out of the way. – Danielle Egnew

    Why use an axe when a hatchet would work as well? – Confucius

    Silence is very important. The silence between the notes are as important as the notes themselves. – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    The question is, "What are you saying with the guitar?" - Not "Can you play this lick?" or "What's your speed like?" It's, "What are you saying with your instrument? What is being communicated in this song?" – The Edge, U2

    Every real creation of art is independent, more powerful than the artist himself and returns to the Divine through its manifestation. It is one with man only in this, that it bears testimony to the mediation of the Divine in him. – Beethoven

    The mind must be trained to follow the flow of the heart's river. – Michael Hedges

    Music is the language that can only be heard when you get your own thoughts out of the way. – Danielle Egnew

    Creating your image requires looking outside yourself. Creating your music requires looking inside yourself. In entertainment, we are no different than the Campbell's Soup Can, where the outside sells the inside. – Danielle Egnew

    Do not be afraid to be yourself. An image will crumble under the first sign of weight without some truth in its construction. – Danielle Egnew
     
  13. 'ol hank pank

    'ol hank pank Tele-Holic

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    for myself

    I love to hear guitar that MOVES me. Combination of tone, note selection and mojo = EMOTION.

    In my case I am happy if anything I play doesn't sound like a cat in a blender. :lol:
     
  14. Todd68

    Todd68 Tele-Meister

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    Simplicity and emotion

    Those who can do more with less tend to impress me. The first two notes of the Hendrix solo in Machine Gun just make the hair on my neck stand up. There is such an outpouring of emotion in those two notes. I picture Jimi with his eyes closed, mouth open, head back and arm raised high just soaking them in. The amazing thing about the Band of Gypsies Filmore recordings is, he doesn't do the same thing twice. Thank god someone caught that solo. David Gilmour knows how to bend really well too. A nice bend with consistent vibrato really seems to express a lot of emotion.
     
  15. Darrell

    Darrell Friend of Leo's

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    I'll quote one of my favorite artists

    "alcohol"
     
  16. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    What Chris said

    here's another way of putting it, from the ceramic sculptor Robert Arneson:

    "Technique in art is like technique in lovemaking: heartfelt ineptitude has its charms, and so does heartless skill, but what we all want is passionate virtuosity."
     
  17. trag-o-caster

    trag-o-caster R.I.P.

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    Gotta have a song............

    When one's playing sounds like a song. Like someone singing.

    The REAL test is to sit a guitarist down with an acoustic (the crappier the better) and make him/her noodle unaccompanied. If they're a musical player they'll play songs, or something resembling a song. If they just noodle on leads they'll have coherent flow that'll have a song-like quality to it. Otherwise it'll sound like gobbledeegook, especially if they engage in that slop picking Jimmy Page "Heartbreaker" stuff (duck!). They'll sound like that on the bandstand too. Other players that don't know better may point and say "Wow he's fast!", but all it takes is one player who's melodically inventive, and doles out speed creatively and in short bursts (if at all) to make the slop pickers go back to the woodshed.

    Extensive use of detail work, like vibrato (no immediate vibrato either - let the note develop before you shake it), bends (up and down), and picking hand techniques for different sounds will help bring out the song-like quality in your playing too.

    Emotion is everything too. If you feel like your guitar is singing, it'll be an emotional experience - guaranteed!
     
  18. 90wreck

    90wreck TDPRI Member

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    It's all about tone and phrasing!!!!!
    Not how many or how few # of notes.
    Your phrasing and tone is what makes people listen and like or dislike your playing.
    I known some great players with tone that is lacking, and it hurts some people to listen to it.
    Great example is the one and only Danny Gatton(by the way, one of my favorites), his tone was always lacking IMO. Not because of the use of the Tele, it was his amp setup. Once again, IMO!
     
  19. Brad

    Brad Tele-Afflicted

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    Tone and phrasing

    Boy oh boy, I agree with that 100%! I have a friend who attended GIT the very first year of it's existance. He was pretty good before he went, and a moster when he came out. But....the one thing in all these years he never developed was tone and touch. He can play jazz, blues, rock, classical, et al...but it all sounds ( to me anyway ) the same. Very sterile. This is the dichotomy. He has the chops to hang with the best, and can certainly play circles around me....but somethings missing. When you hear someone like Greg Martin, ( Kentucky Headhunters ) who does not play super fast or technical stuff, but his playing just drips with emotion, tone and taste. While I would love to be more technically proficient on the guitar, I'll take taste and tone over that anyday.
     
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