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Guitar based bands are boring.

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Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:56 am

I’m not being inflammatory here, and I love the guitar, but I’m feeling like I did when I was about eight years old, I thought that music in general was boring, and I was on the look out for new things. Orchestras, voices, all seemed very boring and generic, they were like aural wallpaper, and all sounded the same to me. I now feel the same about guitar bands, the sound of a distorted guitar has been so assimilated into our consciousness that it's no longer capable of being heard by me, it’s like that orchestra all those years ago, it’s become so generic it’s no longer interesting in any way, the synthesiser is almost there too, but not quite, yet.
I live in hope that we haven’t actually come to the end of discovering revolutionary new instruments and sounds, although that hope is virtually non-existent.
Some would say that new sounds aren’t an issue anymore, that it’s all about re-contextualisation of musical ideas now anyway, but I’m just bored again, I’m in that place when I was 8 years old, the guitar has become the orchestra, it’s just a noise that’s there, bland, boring, defused, tamed.
I want to have that feeling I had when I first heard a synthesiser, or when I heard Brian Eno on the first Roxy Music album, or Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells, or King Crimsons Larks Tongues In Aspic. Wendy Carlos made me very happy at that time with her album Switched On Bach, so did Morton Subotnik with his abstract electronics, what were all these fantastic new instruments they were all using? They answered my prayers.
The electric guitar wasn’t a revolutionary instrument even back then, but it was being used in very interesting ways, by people that were taking it to new heights, and no one has ever really surpassed Jimi Hendrix in this respect.
There are only a very small number of guitarists that interest me today, to the point where I don’t automatically lapse into a permanent coma, those are the late Derek Bailey, Bill Frizell, Robert Fripp, Daniel Lanois, Neil Young, and John McKay. That’s it.
The guitar is dead, long live the guitar.
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:11 pm

I could not agree more! :bouncy:
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby John Egan » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:55 pm

A lot of guitar bands are boring. In equal measure, so are a lot of other kinds of band. However, content is what matters, not instrumental line up.
I started to learn guitar because the music at the time (late 1950s) excited me and made me want to play. The best of that music still sounds fresh and vibrant, as does the best of the music from other generations. Fortunately, we can all make our individual judgements about what constitutes the best - and they will all be different! I can still marvel at Django Reinhardt's playing and 20th Century American blues singers and Jeff Beck's virtuosity and the output of the Beatles (just a small selection - I could go on forever). For me, none of that is jaded.
If you don't enjoy it, don't listen to it! And play for enjoyment. That way, you could create something that others find inspiring. I'm still trying!

Regards, John
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:17 pm

There was a point, somewhere around Pat Benetar's first album where they "Boss multiFX" guitar sound tipped over in my head from an organic voice to insipid, toothless music by numbers from which it hasn't really recovered.

Acoustic guitar seems to have taken over but the same thing has happened to the acoustic in US country.
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:44 pm

Arpangel wrote:I’m not being inflammatory here.....

I think that pretty guarantees that you are... ;)
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby desmond » Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:55 pm

Hmm, seems to be a bit of confusion between personal opinion and sweeping generalisations, here... :roll: :tongue:

Listen to what you love, don't listen to stuff that isn't moving or interesting to you...
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:12 pm

desmond wrote:Hmm, seems to be a bit of confusion between personal opinion and sweeping generalisations, here... :roll: :tongue:

Listen to what you love, don't listen to stuff that isn't moving or interesting to you...

Fair point but it is kind of implied in the title.
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:14 pm

Listen to different guitar-based bands...
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby SecretSam » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:29 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I’m not being inflammatory here.....

I think that pretty guarantees that you are... ;)

It's not a good week for sentences beginning "I'm not being ..."
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby SecretSam » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:33 pm

Anyway, I rather enjoy Dan Patlansky. Does his stuff ever make it that far north?

I got hauled to one of his gigs on the grounds that he is a good blues guitarist, which I usually take to mean that he only knows four chords and three scales. In this instance, I had my prejudices squashed. He is a great musician, and a great guitarist. (Sadly, the two don't always go together.)
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:45 pm

shufflebeat wrote:There was a point, somewhere around Pat Benetar's first album where they "Boss multiFX" guitar sound tipped over in my head from an organic voice to insipid, toothless music by numbers from which it hasn't really recovered.

I think I know what you mean. I always felt that it coincided with the emergence of the 'rock school' where everyone seemed to be taught the same techniques with no room for individuality.
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby al_diablo » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:02 pm

There is still plenty of room to originate, mainly by tuning lower and adding more strings (I listen to a lot of metal).

There are people in rock still doing interesting / new things with their playing. Tosin Abasi is a good example.
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:42 pm

I believe that, in the last 20 or 30 years, there has been more innovation amongst acoustic musicians that their mainstream electric brethren. Especially in the folk world where bands like Bellowhead fused folk and jazz*, and Davey Spillane and Eliza Carthy did the same with folk and Hip-Hop.

* Admittedly Québécois band "La Bottine Souriante" had been doing it since the 70's but with less profile in the UK at least.
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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:01 pm

James Perrett wrote: ...the 'rock school'...

Is there a "shudder" emoji?

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Re: Guitar based bands are boring.

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:11 pm

al_diablo wrote:There is still plenty of room to originate, mainly by tuning lower and adding more strings (I listen to a lot of metal).

There are people in rock still doing interesting / new things with their playing. Tosin Abasi is a good example.

#3 is quite the metal-head and has bor..., I mean enlightened me greatly on the finer points of Nordic Death Metal which, while it's not my cup of virgin's blood, has a vitality and emotional integrity I like to hear. Guitar sounds could maybe do with more direction but that's probably me spoiling it already.
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