Any form of single note vaguely technical playing out of fasion/ discriminated against...

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by charlysays, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. charlysays

    charlysays Member

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    I've noticed this as a trend in the last 10 years in a number of bands I've played in including a current band. It's almost like an unwritten rule that there be no guitar solos which happen to demonstrate much in the way of single note technical ability. I'm not talking shredding, just some moderately quick bluesy pentatonic stuff with an emphasis on complementing the rest of the arrangement. We play about 30 songs in a set sometimes and I've had criticism for literally 10-15 seconds of wailing type soloing in the whole 2.5 hour set spread over a few songs. TBH I wonder if it comes from insecurities about their own (the other band members) playing- they all play guitar (as well as the instruments they're playing in the band) but I am the lead guitarist due to ability and equipment reasons and none of them have good single note ability or much improvisational soloing ability.
    I've made the point to them that it's unreasonably restrictive to say to a guitarist that they can't ever play anything approaching 16th notes for example... when put into those terms even they concede that the "rule" is a bit silly.

    Maybe I'm being paranoid, but there seems to have been a movement in the last decade or so where less technically able guitarists pour scorn on any flourishes made by more technically advanced guitarists on the grounds that slow and simple is always more effective because such and such a famous guitarist has the technical ability but didn't use it on such and such an album.... even though said guitarist (john frusciante for example) goes wild in live performances and has in the past recorded fairly technical work in the studio.

    I think I need to be in a different type of band really- a more energetic funkier band where not every song has erratic/ wayward strummy rhythm acoustic guitar on it. Can't even have any drum drop outs because they freak out and lose their rhythmn, inevitably rushing in on the first beat the drums are coming back in on.

    The band described above plays in local pubs mostly.
    They threw a poody over us doing one Hendrix song (little wing) and one RHCP song (under the bridge) at my suggestion out of 30 other songs (about 50% of which are covers- of the original songs I've contributed some cool very un Hendrix/ RHCP like guitar parts which have really set the songs alight) claiming that the band was turning into one of the bands they were in as teenagers.... due to two covers (I totally nailed the guitar parts in them too and the audience liked that). Meanwhile covers they have introduced include stuff like Dumb by Nirvana and Where Is My Mind by The Pixies- I like those songs, but they're not exactly good pub cover fodder).

    Sorry for the rant but I'll bet there are some other aspiring guitarists who can sympathise!
     
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  2. scott-colorado2016

    scott-colorado2016 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, lot to unpack there. I don't necessarily believe every rock song needs a solo, Lick It Up by Kiss doesn't have one, but I'd guess you're more of a punk/alt band (based on the two covers you mentioned) with a little bit of blues inspiration? I dunno, are you more of a blue/rock guitarist, or do fit the band pretty well?
    You've got more ability and guts than I do to get on stage, but it doesn't sound like your getting what you want out of the show. Rules that are admitted (by all) to be silly and have no agreed reason behind them, need to go, causes friction and tension. You don't sound unreasonable as to your desire to solo in songs. You're not asking for a center stage, 80s metal wank-fest solo spot in the show, are you? A couple of measures of tastily played notes never hurt any song, much less a whole band.
    I suspect, if this can't be reasoned out, you may very well have stated what you need to do (especially if you're not getting all the enjoyment of playing from the experience). Good luck to you in this, I hope a solution can be found.
     
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  3. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Gilmour has been playing 1 note solos for years.
    So has Lindsey Buckingham.

    And they are rich and famous now
     
  4. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    First things first, it was WAY worse in the 90s, where except in metal circles lead guitar playing was pretty much obliterated. Being able to play leads beyond simple slow pentatonic stuff was defined as uncool by most musicians (obviously as a reaction to 80s rock, and in the wake of the grunge/brit-pop wave). It has gotten much better these days. If anything, the Instagram/Youtube phenomenon has made super technical players kinda hip again, even to the point of excess (I see lots of kids trying to wank mindlessly even when the song doesn't call for it, and my guitar teacher friends have as much problems as ever trying to tech their students to be good rhythm players first before trying to shred). But it definitely isn't uncool anymore to be super fast. If anything, lots of players tend to sound kinda the same: fusion-fueled shreddy with lots of Gambale/Petrucci/MacAlpine-influenced sweeps, very modal playing too. Seems to be all the rage on social networks, and I definitely see lots of players tending to sound that way these days.

    Regarding your situation, I guess it comes down to one thing: the band you're in and the musicians you're playing with don't work for you. Simple as that. Unless it's your job, or you're making decent coin with the band (which doesn't seem to be the case), or you're tight with some of the players, I'd advise you to move on and look for like-minded musicians. If anything, the better the guys you'll be playing with, the best they'll understand that it's all about context, some songs call for restrained playing (or even no soloing at all), some call for all-out burning, so you need to be able to do both. But from your post, I take it you're frustrated with the "erratic/ wayward strummy rhythm acoustic guitar" thing and their general mindset (which doesn't strike me as indicating they're very advanced musicians either, be it technically or in their approach to music).
    So yeah, time to move on.
     
  5. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    If you're going to quit, make sure you go out with a bang with an impromptu cover of Eruption in between a couple of songs.
     
  6. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Well-Known Member

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  7. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    If you ad lib a solo that was not part of the song and causes timing confusion amongst band members, then don't do it...

    I was guilty of doing that in my early years of playing with a band and gigging on a monthly basis....I would sneak in a pinch harmonic squeals and divebombs out of nowhere.... My band weren't too happy about it....
     
  8. stringtree

    stringtree Well-Known Member

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    You got any clips of said solo/lead work there upset with....
     
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  9. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    It's the band that bitches. BUt does the audience? I improvise a fair bit in our shows in the cover bands. No one has ever complained. I've had compliments to be honest about ripping it up now n then. I like pinch screeches so I put 'em in. I gotta be me and they let me be me. I am rather animated when I play and that's part of the appeal, I guess.
    Different strokes right? As long as it doesn't throw the band off. i'm playing for fun we don't get paid much so fuck 'em. I make it fun.
     
  10. Lo-Tek

    Lo-Tek Well-Known Member

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    I haven't noticed any trend away from leads but obviously it depends on what genre we're talking about.
    I tend to agree with Burnthesky- it sounds like this particular band might not be the best fit for you. If you're mostly playing in local pubs the most important thing is probably having fun. If you have fun in this band perhaps start a second side project to pursue another style?
     
  11. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    setting on my hands here.
     
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  12. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Well-Blown Member Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Screenshot_20200115-183417~01.png
     
  13. charlysays

    charlysays Member

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    Spot on. Last gig we played I had plenty of compliments on my playing, one of which was "phenomenal guitarist" (massive overstatement). Literally 20 seconds of soloing in 2.5 hours of songs, spread over several songs... so a handful of 5-10 second solos only. The gig went down well and we got £160 split 4 ways, drinks and food.
    I think the main wingebag (acoustic guitarist/ singer) might well be withdrawing from the band anyway now judging by his lack of comms and not showing up for rehearsals. The bass player sings and writes his own songs and I can sing quite well (need practice with playing though) so it may be we can get a 3 piece going within a couple of months with less of the drudgy strumming songs and more riffage.
     
  14. charlysays

    charlysays Member

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    Possibly yes, I'll have a look or do some vids of me playing on my own. Last time I was doing a lot of gigs etc was before the smartphone craze so video evidence is thin on the ground!
     
  15. charlysays

    charlysays Member

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    That's what you'd think was happening but it's not, which is why I find myself venting on a forum lol. I rarely take any solos and hardly ever add in anything beyond the original arrangement unless agreed with the band. At the last gig I did three or four solos of around 10 seconds each in 2.5 hours of songs with only a fraction of that improvised. To give you an idea of the band leaders issues he told me once that I was "over complicating" little wing despite having learned it note for note off chris zoupas lessons on youtube and practicing til I could play it as well as chris zoupa (I think he did a pretty good job of that song, hence why I learned it off his videos). The guy just likes to invent problems from nothing and yet won't sort out his terrible sense of rhythm as he thinks that proper guitar practice where you learn something from the ground up is for wannabes and stifles creativity. As I said in another post tho I think the situation might be sorting itself out and we might go forward as a 3 piece with 90% of the bitching removed by losing one member who seems to be withdrawing himself. I wish him all the best in whatever he does next :)
     
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  16. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

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    I suppose I wouldn't like that either - I mean I get what the other band member are thinking, it's a gig, people wanna hear the tunes the way they remember them, but then again, doing a cover and just adding a little something to a solo is where the fun lies for us lol, it's not like you're playing the entire song your way, you're merely adding those accents you mentioned, I wouldn't think that would bother other members, especially if they're true "artists" at heart (they'd relate). Best of luck...and yep, a different band is probably in your future.
     
  17. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    One of rock's greatest "no guitar" performances .....



    Had a drummer once......no, ONCE , didn't care to learn the songs in the set. RUINED the one gig I did with him . He knew he wasn't gettin a call back .
    But decided to close out the show with a .....drum solo ,displaying every lick he learned from a Dennis Chambers video. It was comical as hell, 'cept it was my gig.......
     
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  18. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes one needs to be a team player...perhaps your improv throws the other guy off rhythm.... believe, me it does happen... there was a guitar player in a church band I played with briefly who used to do that... he’s not the most technical guy, but he has a good ear and and sense of rhythm... he would throw in a couple of few sneaky riffs, it didnt “feel” right with the band....

    maybe ask the guy to join a band elsewhere if he is the one causing problems..
     
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  19. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned the other guitarist was a acoustic guy..Sometimes those type of players don't like soloing, sometimes they can't play well enough to be able to solo well, and aren't willing to put in the work and practice it takes in order to be able to do so..So they simply fall back on strumming and singing, and have a tendency to be jealous of the better players, but hide behind the "Let's keep it simple" cop-out.

    I personally don't care for bands that don't do lead solos, either as a member of the band or a member of the audience..Boring.

    Hope it works out for you. Sounds to me like the problem is the other guy, and if he don't move on then maybe you should.
     
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  20. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    playing in a band without solos is like:

    1)Coffee without Caffeine
    2)Beer without alcohol
    3)Woman without pussy
    4)Automatic Cars
    5)Cars with less than 6 cylinders (before criticism: real Porsches are H6)

    It won't bring you any joy.


    Leave the band, put a better one together and enjoy!
     

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