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  • Open Your Mind

    Stealing from other guitarists, "reflex-licks'n'riffs", "chromatic swirls"? Sven reincarnates a trio of previously written articles and adds a touch of 'the force'. Read you must.

    Stealing And The Misery Of Being A Guitarist In The Music Scene Nowadays

    Stealing is for guitar players (and of course all musicians) part of the daily practice routine. Get the chops like Malmsteen, your tone like Jeff Beck and the note choice of Eric Johnson etc. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, everybody who has open ears has the intention to grab some stuff to play and practice or at least to get some inspiration from others. That's great and necessary to progress your playing. BUT why steal things mentioned above (chops, progressions etc.) only from guitarists?

    What happens is that everything is growing from the same root. The guitarists-plant dusts itself. It is a vicious circle that pushes guitarists nowadays in the background in modern (commercial) music! You only get called for the studio gig to play some typical rock licks/funk licks etc. But you and i know we are able to do much more than that. As we all are here - practiced our fingers to the bone - the only chance we see to be in demand is to sit down and focus on (or record) our own weird stuff. That can be fun but not so financially beneficial and very lonely as well.

    My point is: the guitar is such a flexible instrument. How come this instrument doesn't get the acknowledgment and attention it once had and still deserves. My answer: we are not flexible enough!

    What I want you to consider is playing dance floor - house - techno - ambient - triphop - acidjazz - etc. !!! Adjust your thinking, expand your style, expand your audience! Playing (rock) guitar doesn't have to mean that you get stuck in the rehearsal room or your home studio. Just don't be stubborn - its all about music, the thing we love and live for.

    - for instance, ever tried copying dance floor synth-arpeggios? Double handedly? Sweeped? Stringskipped? Inverted? In three part harmony? Do it!
    - Bring your hi-speed bebop licks to an acidjazz jam!
    - Listen, and recreate everyday life noises on guitar to get the triphop gig
    - Practice sound effects on guitar - get the chromatic or wholetone lines flashing above a techno groove!
    - Or go to the biggest (!) house club in your town grab the DJ and suggest an alliance! You support him playing heavy riffs or leads on his house beats or fill spaces with wide clean chorus/wah chords!

    You'll see that it works cause all these guys have is records and samples. He will love to deal with a human guitarist - he just hasn't met one cause he is from a different music scene.

    You'll end up having a 500 - 1500 people audience, screaming, dancing, having fun, and your are getting paid very well! Its just a small step into a strange area but it’s worth it! Don't wait for chances to come to you, be the first one to take this step. Cross the border! I did and don't regret it at all.

    Be proud to play guitar - be really open minded and trade styles and people respectfully. Approach musicians that come from totally different musical areas. If we keep on playing our same old clichés, it is no wonder that we only get “used” to maintain these clichés.

    So be brave and everything will come back to you.
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