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McSeven

Sloppy Page

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This should never be used as a way to place value on music. Saying that implys that bands that sell big, crummy like Blink 182, are better than the majority of all classic rock era bands because they sold more records. Personally I don't think sales mean anything more than that artist was lucky enough to sell lots of records. There's no explaining it, a great band like Mott The Hoople struggled to make a buck while a shitty band like REO Speedwagon cashed in big. It makes no sense.

Fair enough, I suppose. Let me put it this way, then: conduct a 'man in the street interview'- odds are the majority of people you'd ask would at least have heard of Jimmy Page; most of 'em, if you threw Malmsteen or Vai's name at them, they'd be like, "Who the fuck's that?!". Being able to play 10000 notes a second doesn't really mean shit if you can't translate that ability into a groovy record or being able to send 20000 fans in an arena into ecstacy. Off the top of my head, Edward Van Halen is the one of the few 'shredders' who could do that...and who does he cite as his inspiration? 'Sloppy' players like Page and Clapton!

I'm reminded of a quote by Robbie Robertson -decidedly one of the least shredder players you'll ever hear, though one of the masters at playing what is perfect for the song- something to the effect of, "A great guitar solo in a shitty song won't make the song great...it's still just a great solo in a shitty song!"

Edited by Nutrocker

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Fair enough, I suppose. Let me put it this way, then: conduct a 'man in the street interview'- odds are the majority of people you'd ask would at least have heard of Jimmy Page; most of 'em, if you threw Malmsteen or Vai's name at them, they'd be like, "Who the fuck's that?!". Being able to play 10000 notes a second doesn't really mean shit if you can't translate that ability into a groovy record or being able to send 20000 fans in an arena into ecstacy. Off the top of my head, Edward Van Halen is the one of the few 'shredders' who could do that...and who does he cite as his inspiration? 'Sloppy' players like Page and Clapton!

I'm reminded of a quote by Robbie Robertson -decidedly one of the least shredder players you'll ever hear, though one of the masters at playing what is perfect for the song- something to the effect of, "A great guitar solo in a shitty song won't make the song great...it's still just a great solo in a shitty song!"

Yeah I know where you are coming from with this stuff and I'm not trying to be contrary, well maybe I am, but again popularity is akin to success when it comes to determining music's value. For example one of my fave modern players ever is Jesse Ed Davis, I prefer his playing to almost all others, but I'll bet I am one of the few people participating in this thread that knows who he is if anyone at all does. But he had a heavy rep, even Clapton was awed by him and he was a go to guy for the classic rock era pros but he's not well known. Music is such a weird thing is almost impossible to assess a value to any of it because it's measured by the appreciation of the end user.

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I assume the idea is that they play fast enough to shred the strings (metaphorically, anyway)?

More like the pick, which is what Dick Dale does.

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Hmmm, I'm a guitarist and I hate shredding....

Guitarist is a broad term. If you aren't a shred player you may not like shredding. When I think of the prime demographic of the guitar magazines, they are hardcore shredders. Or at least they used to be in the early 90s when I was subscribed to Guitar for the Practicing Musician. Shredding is music for other shredders and wannabe shredders.

vai-cover-4.jpg

I don't like shredders who can't write songs that stand on their own. The great things about Zep was the ensemble. You really had a well balanced orchestration. There was something interesting going on between all of the instruments and the interplay between them. Shredding tends to be some superstar with a simple backbeat provided by session players, something that could have easily been added by a beat-box. It's just not a very three dimensional listening experience. I like being able to play a Zep track over and over and shift my attention to different instruments. Listen to Travelin' Riverside Blues JUST for the bass track, for instance. It's just a much richer tapestry.

One of Vai's recent albums he said he really tried to do the Jimmy Page guitar army thing, but when I listened to the preview tracks on amazon.com I was not convinced that he truly "got it". Maybe the missing element was not having a real band of equals.

Edited by mos6507

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One of Vai's recent albums he said he really tried to do the Jimmy Page guitar army thing, but when I listened to the preview tracks on amazon.com I was not convinced that he truly "got it". Maybe the missing element was not having a real band of equals.

I don't think this problem is unique to shred. This is why I almost always prefer established bands to artists that use studio musicians as support. Many a great song has been squandered by not having backing musicians establishing the groove. There are a few exceptions to this, tight knit scenes like Motown and the Chicago blues scene had a small community of musicians that were somwhat interchangable.

As for Vai he tends to play with the same guys, Tony and Billy. But I think his "problem" for me to get into it is musical ideas not consistant with my own. I understand he's a great musician but I don't really get into his sound. It happens, I don't like The Who either. Just because I don't like something doesn't mean someone else ins't ga-ga for it and I'm sure Vai has plenty of fans that adore what he does.

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I don't think this problem is unique to shred. This is why I almost always prefer established bands to artists that use studio musicians as support. Many a great song has been squandered by not having backing musicians establishing the groove. There are a few exceptions to this, tight knit scenes like Motown and the Chicago blues scene had a small community of musicians that were somwhat interchangable.

As for Vai he tends to play with the same guys, Tony and Billy. But I think his "problem" for me to get into it is musical ideas not consistant with my own. I understand he's a great musician but I don't really get into his sound. It happens, I don't like The Who either. Just because I don't like something doesn't mean someone else ins't ga-ga for it and I'm sure Vai has plenty of fans that adore what he does.

I saw Steve Vai a few years ago. No denying he's a great guitar player but I found him a bit too into the whole "guitar God" role. He's someone I'd say is more technically proficient than passionate to my ears. The guy who opened for him I thought was much more interesting - Eric Sardinas.

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Nugent has had many "words" about Page over the years. While I find Nugent to be a good axman, his opinion of Page is rather childish and foolish.

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Hmm, you guys are stereotyping technical guitarists. You're saying they have no soul or emotion and they just play sped-up complex scales. The people you've chosen to "represent" this are possibly the worst examples of a technical guitarist (Malmsteem, Vai, Satch etc.) There are many tech. guitar players who are more focussed on writing beautiful melodies and making their music sound good. Here's an example of what I mean - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrACYkXFqY. He plays with excitement and has brilliant phrasing.

One of the things you have to understand is, that to be a musician you have to know your craft. You need to learn music theory and learn to apply it to your playing. There's a reason why guitarists are so looked down upon by the rest of the musician community. It's because there are so many talentless guitar players who can barely play anything besides the major triad chords who make more money in a month than an amazing Jazz saxophone player.

Of course, nothing at all against Jimmy Page. I like his (and other similar players') playing alot more than the kind of players I mentioned. Just trying to clear up some of the stereotypes.

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Hmm, you guys are stereotyping technical guitarists. You're saying they have no soul or emotion and they just play sped-up complex scales. The people you've chosen to "represent" this are possibly the worst examples of a technical guitarist (Malmsteem, Vai, Satch etc.) There are many tech. guitar players who are more focussed on writing beautiful melodies and making their music sound good. Here's an example of what I mean - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrACYkXFqY. He plays with excitement and has brilliant phrasing.

One of the things you have to understand is, that to be a musician you have to know your craft. You need to learn music theory and learn to apply it to your playing. There's a reason why guitarists are so looked down upon by the rest of the musician community. It's because there are so many talentless guitar players who can barely play anything besides the major triad chords who make more money in a month than an amazing Jazz saxophone player.

Of course, nothing at all against Jimmy Page. I like his (and other similar players') playing alot more than the kind of players I mentioned. Just trying to clear up some of the stereotypes.

Respectfully disagree. I think people have pointed out that some guitarists are technical with a lot of passion/soul or whatever emotion you want to insert, but some aren't. And many of those people are also guitarists or musicians so I think they are speaking not just from their opinions, but experience as a musician :)

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Hmm, you guys are stereotyping technical guitarists. You're saying they have no soul or emotion and they just play sped-up complex scales. The people you've chosen to "represent" this are possibly the worst examples of a technical guitarist (Malmsteem, Vai, Satch etc.) There are many tech. guitar players who are more focussed on writing beautiful melodies and making their music sound good. Here's an example of what I mean - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrACYkXFqY. He plays with excitement and has brilliant phrasing.

You're right, Vai and Yngwie aren't the best examples but they are certainly the most recognizable. No doubt Chris is a great player but unless people here are Megadeth fans it's doubtful any know who he is. The well known names always get thrown into it despite not being the "best" examples. I agree that many tend to throw a blanket over all technical players and describe it as emotionless if they are trying to make a point about their favorite less technical player. I'm not sure why it happens and IMO it's unneccessary, music should never be judged by complexity or lack of.

As long as we're gonna toss out obscure examples of great players I'll add this, guys like this tend to get pushed to the back of the bus by everyone, even the shred crowd tends to look down on twang.

This guy does some tricky stuff.

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You're right, Vai and Yngwie aren't the best examples but they are certainly the most recognizable. No doubt Chris is a great player but unless people here are Megadeth fans it's doubtful any know who he is. The well known names always get thrown into it despite not being the "best" examples. I agree that many tend to throw a blanket over all technical players and describe it as emotionless if they are trying to make a point about their favorite less technical player. I'm not sure why it happens and IMO it's unneccessary, music should never be judged by complexity or lack of.

As long as we're gonna toss out obscure examples of great players I'll add this, guys like this tend to get pushed to the back of the bus by everyone, even the shred crowd tends to look down on twang.

This guy does some tricky stuff.

:o :o :o Wow that's pretty amazing playing there! Never heard of him. Interesting description on the link of what he's doing.

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For me sloppy = tight but loose.

Sobriety or the lack of it aside, I've often wondered whether some of the "mistakes" he made were intentional.

One of his endearing attributes is his (and LZ's) ability to improvise live and challenging themselves by playing outside the box, as it were.

Regardless of Jimmy's technical ability in a live situation, not many even Eddie, Vai, Malsteem and Satriani can hold a candle to him in the recording studio.

Having said that I like some of what they play and appreciate their skillset.

The production techniques he employed by multi tracking and guitar layering were cutting edge from the outset, plus being a very much in demand session player he took all he learned from those days in the studio and expanded it with LZ.

I remember him talking about playing 32nd, 64th and possibly 128th notes long before "shredding" was ever conceived of.

Imagine what he could've done with todays digital technology way back then.

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For me sloppy = tight but loose.

Sobriety or the lack of it aside, I've often wondered whether some of the "mistakes" he made were intentional.

One of his endearing attributes is his (and LZ's) ability to improvise live and challenging themselves by playing outside the box, as it were.

Regardless of Jimmy's technical ability in a live situation, not many even Eddie, Vai, Malsteem and Satriani can hold a candle to him in the recording studio.

Having said that I like some of what they play and appreciate their skillset.

The production techniques he employed by multi tracking and guitar layering were cutting edge from the outset, plus being a very much in demand session player he took all he learned from those days in the studio and expanded it with LZ.

I remember him talking about playing 32nd, 64th and possibly 128th notes long before "shredding" was ever conceived of.

Imagine what he could've done with todays digital technology way back then.

Great points you made here Reggie.

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For me sloppy = tight but loose.

Sobriety or the lack of it aside, I've often wondered whether some of the "mistakes" he made were intentional.

One of his endearing attributes is his (and LZ's) ability to improvise live and challenging themselves by playing outside the box, as it were.

Regardless of Jimmy's technical ability in a live situation, not many even Eddie, Vai, Malsteem and Satriani can hold a candle to him in the recording studio.

Having said that I like some of what they play and appreciate their skillset.

The production techniques he employed by multi tracking and guitar layering were cutting edge from the outset, plus being a very much in demand session player he took all he learned from those days in the studio and expanded it with LZ.

I remember him talking about playing 32nd, 64th and possibly 128th notes long before "shredding" was ever conceived of.

Imagine what he could've done with todays digital technology way back then.

Great post there Reggie. I agree with you points.

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Sobriety or the lack of it aside, I've often wondered whether some of the "mistakes" he made were intentional.

I know this actually happened. For one the music called for it, to play convincing "gut bucket" blues requires conveying a loose feel. Jimmy understood that, so did countless others who cut their teeth on guys like Freddie King and Eddie Taylor. Blues without edginess is friggin' icky IMO, that's why guys like Robben Ford make me gag, it sounds anemic.

There are times where playing the "wrong" way is the "right" way. It's important to keep that in mind as a musician and as a listener. People who listen to music and obsess over rules, theory and technique are listening for the wrong reasons.

Honestly I don't get how people think sometimes and this is an example of how music snobs piss me off. When Kurt Cobain tears into a noisy solo full of dissonance snobs say he's sloppy and doesn't know how to play. When Glenn Branca does it it's avant-garde. This is akin to how snobs view Jimmy, even those that should know better. When Jimmy plays something raunchy he's sloppy but when Muddy Waters does it it's authentic. Honestly it drives me crazy, it's not like Jimmy was a jazzer, he played what the music he was playing called for. I said this earlier in the thread and I'll say it again. I don't think you can judge Jimmy's mastery or lack of soley by what he did in LZ. His playing in LZ is not indicative of the precision he was capable of, music doesn't need to be "perfect", it's the variances that give it flavor and make it breathe.

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There are times where playing the "wrong" way is the "right" way. It's important to keep that in mind as a musician and as a listener. People who listen to music and obsess over rules, theory and technique are listening for the wrong reasons.

Very true. There are times when being too conscious of theory is totally inhibiting and boxes a player in.

If everybody played by the rules, literally, there would be no blues and no rock 'n' roll.

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Very true. There are times when being too conscious of theory is totally inhibiting and boxes a player in.

If everybody played by the rules, literally, there would be no blues and no rock 'n' roll.

That's what I was getting at, happenstance is creativity's friend, sometimes not having knowledge of rules leads people to great places. Good players can cross the line, for others it sounds forced. That's another mark of a truly great player, being able to betray your skill. It's tougher than it seems.

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I know this actually happened. For one the music called for it, to play convincing "gut bucket" blues requires conveying a loose feel. Jimmy understood that, so did countless others who cut their teeth on guys like Freddie King and Eddie Taylor. Blues without edginess is friggin' icky IMO, that's why guys like Robben Ford make me gag, it sounds anemic.

There are times where playing the "wrong" way is the "right" way. It's important to keep that in mind as a musician and as a listener. People who listen to music and obsess over rules, theory and technique are listening for the wrong reasons.

Honestly I don't get how people think sometimes and this is an example of how music snobs piss me off. When Kurt Cobain tears into a noisy solo full of dissonance snobs say he's sloppy and doesn't know how to play. When Glenn Branca does it it's avant-garde. This is akin to how snobs view Jimmy, even those that should know better. When Jimmy plays something raunchy he's sloppy but when Muddy Waters does it it's authentic. Honestly it drives me crazy, it's not like Jimmy was a jazzer, he played what the music he was playing called for. I said this earlier in the thread and I'll say it again. I don't think you can judge Jimmy's mastery or lack of soley by what he did in LZ. His playing in LZ is not indicative of the precision he was capable of, music doesn't need to be "perfect", it's the variances that give it flavor and make it breathe.

Again, another well stated post! As a musician who has studied theory, my feeling on it is it can be useful in certain musical situations but I absolutely do not listen to music based on rules, theory or technique. Which is why I tend to gravitate towards players like Jimmy who capture that certain something - indescribable but absolutely amazing so well and technical players, while I can respect and appreciate their ability, tend not to hold my interest. I like different - those who think outside the box, challenge their instrument and music's parameters.

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There are times where playing the "wrong" way is the "right" way. It's important to keep that in mind as a musician and as a listener. People who listen to music and obsess over rules, theory and technique are listening for the wrong reasons.

The "blue" note is a point in question.

I admire players who are disciplined, take their theory serious and develop their own technique or signature if you like.

However, IMO the best players are those who play by instinct and passion with the other ingredients thrown in, in controlled measures.

It is better to be fluid than superfast, sometimes it's what is not played rather than playing endless and indulgent solos at breakneck speed.

Something Jimmy is certainly not guilty of.

Thrashing power chords is fine only when the concept of less is more is applied.

As a rhythm guitarist I play a lot the "wrong" way but believe me it is not intentional and it doesn't improve my sound! :slapface:

I do enjoy it nonetheless! B)

Edited by Reggie29

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I don't buy that bullshit that Page is a bad live guitarist. Almost anyone who has listened to at least 20 different Zeppelin bootlegs will agree that Page was a better live player than a studio one. Don't forget that Page is a pure improviser -- he hasn't played the same solo twice.

Edited by Geezer

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