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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Too many notes; chords?? Blues/Rock content..

Next 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

Calif. Foothills

Aug 8th, 2016 12:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Say, I attend as many concerts as possible, mostly Blues Fests, when they are nearby (No. Cal.)....Seems like me and my associates often agree that the players are too busy, strident, notesy, etc..
I think most white blues players around here have grown up listening to modern blues guys (SRV?), and modern Rock guys (Van Halen?), Of course I did also...
They also listened to the original blues guys on records (Muddy;T-Bone; Albert; BB, Memphis Slim, etc.)...It seems rare to find a modern blues guy who doesn't "showboat; i.e. watch how many loud, fast notes I can play"...
I find myself longing for some subtlety, some "air" between the phrases, some SOUL....Yes, there are a few guys 'n gals that still wanna keep it spare, where each note/drum hit is in the groove....I try to do this when I attend Blues Jams....an uphill climb...I believe the audience prefers subtlety....After all, when you hear a player that uses every note they know in every song, well, you become saturated....
There are so many awesome players on the scene these days; please take this to heart!! Sometimes less is more..
Thanx for listening to this rant!! Bye, Scotty

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Aug 8th, 2016 12:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

I went to an open mic last night and a bunch of us were talking about this very thing afterword. It happens with many local players too.

As great as Gary Moore was, I think some of this can go back to the "Still Got The Blues" recordings where he would be incredibly soulful then just explode. Very busy.

Contributing Member


Aug 8th, 2016 12:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

A fine line separates what some of us would define as wanking and what would cause our girlfriends to climb up on our shoulders and fire up a lighter. I've heard "too many notes" from people who wet themselves when Clapton rips into an accelerated phrase, cite the "what's the rush, son?" tidbit but love to hear their favorite blues/rock guy explode. It's a funny business and I think most half decent guitarists know when to call a wank a wank, and, well, we've probably all done it at some time.

But I generally agree, whether it's blues, rock or any genre; put some spaces and commas in there and let the room breathe.

Contributing Member

Calif. Foothills

Aug 8th, 2016 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Excellent way to put it littleuch; more power to commas, and spaces!! Damn!! Rinto

Contributing Member

South Florida

Aug 8th, 2016 10:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a hard time with it. I paid for all those frets and I swear I'm gonna use em all.

Tony Wright

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 8th, 2016 11:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Larry: I think you SHOULD use them...you are right, you DID pay for them. But, if you don't mind, I would prefer if it took you several years to play them all. (yeah, my kids didn't mind me either...)

I subscribe to the "Less is more" philosophy.


What It Was!

cross-dressing for Rodan
Aug 9th, 2016 06:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's the "look at me! look at me!" syndrome.

It ain't an Olympic event : (

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Aug 9th, 2016 06:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Johnny Ramone was a WAY better guitarist (due to precisely this issue) than most other guitarists think he was. It's about the song.

Listen to B.B. King: his fills and solos are punctuation for his vocal parts. Total master.

Some wankery is sometimes warranted, but there's always a surplus.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Aug 9th, 2016 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recently watched one of the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festivals (2013 maybe?) and I found myself fast forwarding through huge amounts of of the guitar solos.
I hate to say it, but I just found it monotonous.
I even found Buddy Guy (actually have for years) over the top.

I agree that "greatness" is too often equated with speed. There are times when I wish I could play faster, but I just can't. I have *no* shred-ability.
"Shred Blues" just does absolutely nothing for me.

Contributing Member

South Florida

Aug 9th, 2016 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Larry: I think you SHOULD use them...you are right, you DID pay for them. But, if you don't mind, I would prefer if it took you several years to play them all..."

I'm in my 50th year. So I figure I spent 2 years per fret. I think it comes to 4 months per string per fret.

I really ought to know more by now.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Aug 10th, 2016 05:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

when I started in this cover band I was left to cut loose here and there, and I quickly learned that keeping it simple and bold was the most effective.

Quite good work, but...


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Aug 10th, 2016 04:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Seek out Matt Schofield. He a white guy player who has all the technical chops, but doesn't feel the need to show them off. Very soulful player.


Irishman in Paris

Forget Tone - go with Note Choice
Aug 10th, 2016 06:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

Like Peegoo said, I think of B.B. King first. If you're worried about playing too much, try to play like B.B.. Stay in one part of the guitar neck, limit yourself to 4 or 5 notes. Aim for 50% space.

Wankery can be a great thing in the right place but many players don't know where/when that is. I find that some of the most jaw-dropping fast runs work best as punctuation, a quick flourish finishing an otherwise vocal-like phrase.

Contributing Member


numb, yes...comfortable? Not so much
Aug 10th, 2016 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm most certainly not a great guitar player, but the beauty of that is I can't bust loose & rip out a blazing fast solo full of 3 octaves worth of notes in 30 seconds. Sometimes being limited to plodding along has its benefits

Contributing Member

Edmond, OK

Aug 11th, 2016 09:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Au contraire', I must disagree! Wankery is never a good thing and has no place in music.

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Aug 11th, 2016 09:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Jeff Beck is the master of "ripping into an accelerated phrase", and then laying back.

Some times, actually, a lot of times, less is (way) more.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Aug 11th, 2016 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I saw Walter Trout a few years ago. He seemed to blow it all by the second song. He came out ripping and shredding and had nowhere else to go. It was like going sight seeing in a car that slammed the gas to the floor and never let up.

Billy Gibbon's playing on "Perfectamundo" (his solo album) is the essence of fine playing. Not one more note than is needed.

I love Joe Bonamassa. He plays a lot of notes. He does it perfectly.

Steve Morse was my favorite guitar player for decades. I sort of burned out on his playing, although he's remains fantastic.

Jeff Beck's playing on "Loud Hailer", his new album, is great.

On Sirius/XM's Bluesville, they often play early BB King. He didn't always play the same 4 licks over and over. He was a far more complicated, busy player early on. His early vocals included a lot of sort of howling, which was a signature he abandoned over the years.

I play in a three piece. This is the first band our guitar player has played lead in. He always was a rhythm player.

Everyone, especially me and the drummer, LOVE his playing. No showing off...nothing to prove, just the appropriate solo for the song.

My last band had a "better" guitar player, but my wife and I prefer my current guitar player far better.

What you do with what you know is key.

Joe Bonamassa plays in a side project..."Rock Candy Funk Party." They have two albums. The first is my all time favorite album.

It's an instrumental, 70's style funk group. Ron DeJesus, the other guitar player is equal to Joe, in fact, it's hard to tell them apart much of the time.

Lots of notes...never a bad one or one too many.

We Want Groove

Contributing Member

Calif. Foothills

Aug 11th, 2016 05:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

Say gdw3, So funny you described Matt Schofield; oddly enough, he's the player who inspired this thread....saw him last week,as a power trio; every song had lotsa guitar solos, each one, to my ears, was busy, frenetic, etc....however...I was impressed..
It's clear the guy is awesome, seems to be able to play anything, has great tone, great voice, more.... I kept thinking: "If only he'd back off a bit, I could really grok/grasp his moves....they went by so fast, I had scant time to absorb them properly....I noticed the nearby fans were no longer rapt during solos, etc. etc. (Disclaimer: Folks over 50!)
I guess I'm Jones'n to hear some of that "Down Home Blues"!!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Aug 11th, 2016 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

"... I could really grok/grasp his moves...."

Well there ya go, I learnt a new word today...

I thought "grok" was a very bad typo....


Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Aug 12th, 2016 09:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

"It ain't an Olympic event."

It may as well be: many of the participants are on performance-enhancing drugs!

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Too many notes; chords?? Blues/Rock content..

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