Things to Never Do #2: Play the Guitar really fast and think that makes you a good player/musician

8 Jan

This just turns me off even more

Once again, I was bored and searching through videos. This time, however, I have come up with an item that does not amuse me, but rather disheartens my hope for young musicians. It seems that a growing trend is developing that has young musicians equating guitar playing speed with skill and good playing. The sad thing is: there are so many people who can do that. With a lot of time on your hands and a basic knowledge of the pentatonic scales, you can most definitely teach yourself how to play with great speed on the guitar.

I am a guitar player myself and was shocked as I was offered a job teaching guitar to a young kid after he and his mother were listening to me. I was doing nothing impressive. I was testing out the action of the fretboard, just playing some of the aforementioned pentatonic scales. I also played the very beginning to classical gas. However, these people paid no heed to the older gentleman near me, who was playing beautiful blues on a guitar that he also could not afford. The trend leaves young musicians disregarding musicality and feeling, hoping to learn quick, easy ways to seem impressive to their friends or nearby girls. By the way, I am not insinuating that I am a great guitar player by any means. Check this video out:

Why this kid thinks he’s awesome is beyond me.

As far as this guy is concerned, I am left speechless. It is true that he can play extremely fast. So what? Can you listen to that for more than 5 seconds without

begging your fingers to type another URL into your browser? I didn’t last that 5 seconds.

So please, to all the young musicians out there: Please learn from the greats who have put all their emotion into their music. I am not saying that speed and technical proficiency don’t have their place, for they most certainly do. But please learn balance and where the line is that divides tasteful speed with showing off. Please Check out the following video of Joe Bonamassa. He employs exactly what I am talking about: a balance between speed and feeling, and utilizing speed in a way to express an idea. I wish you all good playing and a good 2010.

And with that, good luck on Saturday Jets.

One Response to “Things to Never Do #2: Play the Guitar really fast and think that makes you a good player/musician”

  1. Matt Coleman January 8, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Unfortunately modern shredding guitar playing is prevalent. People have attempted to change blues for a long time now but as much as a little change is not terrible, there is often a loss of feeling and no matter what anyone tells me shredding has no feeling. So, I agree

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