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Thread: The guitar: A musical compromise?

  1. #61
    Registered User tara_bara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len H
    The violin can play double and triple stops (I think it can do triples, Tara Bara, can you verify?), but it has the limitations of having 4 strings that are not close to the same geometric plane.
    yeah you can...but its usually reserved for ends of pieces/sections etc....but you can find them elsewhere as well....but yeah it is limited in that sense and yeah the guitar is awsome if you want this!! i love both for their differences...but i am biased!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    doctors examined my head, and found nothing.... surprise surprise!!
    -t

  2. #62
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    I agree with the point that piano's don't have vibrato, sliding, bending and effects that other instruments have that may or may not give someone an instantaneously regonizeable sound...but jumping from that to claiming that the piano is in some way limited in it's capability to express emotion is just flat out WRONG.

    No other instrument can create as much dissonance as a piano can. No other instrument, besides drums, can accoustically span the dynamic range that a piano can. No other instrument spans as many octaves as a piano. The three main ways of expressing emotion and the piano has everything beat. Harmonically it is unsurpassed and melodically, in my oppinion, only the saxophone and violin are capable of keeping up. It's the most complete instrument we have. How many more outlets are you looking for in which to express emotion?

    I think we'd all agree that the emotional level of a piece is determined by how you play something rather then what you play. And I think we'd also all agree that phrasing trumps all other aspects when it comes to how you play something. Sure you can add some vibrato or bend a note, but if it isn't rythmically there then no amount of tone is going to save you. So, if the emotional level of a piece is determined by how you play something which is basically determined by how you phrase something and the only way a piano player has of differentiating themselves from the rest of the piano players is through phrasing, don't you think that a piano player is going to spend a very significant amount of time working on phrasing, which is pretty much his or her unique voice and emotional outlet all rolled into one?

    So you have to look at the broader picture and maybe wait till the end of the song to determine who it is rather then after a few notes, but the difference between Bud Powel, Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock is as great as the difference between Steve Vai, Eric Clapton and Jim Hall.

    One of the most emotionally charged pieces of music I have ever witnessed was a solo piano rendition of happy birthday.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 11-18-2005 at 05:58 AM.

  3. #63
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    Piano is my favorite jazz instrument for jazz.

  4. #64
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    Dude EVERY instrument has its limitation, and every one has strengths. Variety is what it's all about, otherwise we'd all still be playing the harpsichord and nothing else.

    Let's see now, which other instrument can sound as raw and powerful as a guitar? You cannot turn up the overdrive on a piano and bust out some insane riffs that almost take your head clean off, then whip out some shredass solo that threatens to make the jump into hyperspace ended off with some crazy whammy bar dive bomb that comes up in a harmonic scream (ala Dimebag Darrel R.I.P).

    I think the guitar is only thing that limits the guitar is our own mind; we set the boudaries. Take some of the milestones of guitar, Hendrix, Halen, Satch and Vai. They all pioneered evolution in the instrument because they weren't confined to what had been done in the past.

    I actually think the guitar scene is a bit stale at the moment, Vai and Satch have...well (no offence to anyone) gone off the boil, if I can put it that way. We need someone to shake it up man, it hasn't been done in a while and we have some cobwebs and dead wood to get rid of. That's why you hear people proclaiming "the death of the guitar solo", what a crock. It's only dead cos no one's doing it right. But rest assured, sooner or later a rain will come and wash the scum from the streets.

    Well that's what I think anyway. I want to be proved wrong so if anyone out there does have a name of a new kid on the block who's rattling the cages, then let me know.

  5. #65
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    Don't get me wrong, I'm very aware of the guitaristic things that don't exist on any other instrument and how every instrument has similar traits. I was simply responding to the notion that somehow these aren't as prevailing on the piano and that in some way inhibits it's ability to convey emotion.

    As for this generation of guitarists being kind of stale...that wouldn't have been my first choice of words. I would have probably used something along the lines of SCARY in order to describe the talent of the current generation and the up and comming generation. Bryan Baker, Lage Lund, Mike Moreno, Wayne Krantz, Rosenwinkel, 100 other guys living in New York that we'll never hear of...the talent of the current and up in comming generation is stronger then it has ever been.

  6. #66
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    I'm rattling the cages, or learning to.

  7. #67
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    Thanks dude

    [QUOTE=silent-storm]
    I would have probably used something along the lines of SCARY in order to describe the talent of the current generation and the up and comming generation. Bryan Baker, Lage Lund, Mike Moreno, Wayne Krantz, Rosenwinkel, QUOTE]

    Thanks Silent Storm, I'll check these guys out. I think the problem is that there are too many Vai and Satch happy guitarists, and consequentially the up-an-coming boys often don't get a look in. Hopefully these guys will shake up my own personal views of what the guitar is capable of.

    In terms of the piano/guitar debate, I think you have a point in some respects, but at the end of the day it's down to the musician to express emotion, not the instrument. Maybe the piano is more versatile, and I definitely have no hesitation in using it for a compositional tool. That said though, the guitar (for me) has and always will reign supreme; it's just too cool.

  8. #68
    Headbang Master Slaindude's Avatar
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    On a rythmic point of view, i would really like to see some palm muting with a piano!

    i think they are a lot of techniques that cannot be done on other instrument than guitar.. palm muting, sliding, bending, legato (vs picking).

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaindude
    On a rythmic point of view, i would really like to see some palm muting with a piano!
    well, that's why I left out rhythm. I usually consider a guitar to be a rhythmic instrument before I consider it as a melodic or harmonic instrument becuase in most great guitaristic music that takes pressident over the actual notes or chords that are being played. A very basic example is Freddy Green...the guy didn't even have to play notes, he could've (and probably did quite often) just muted the strings and banged out four to the floor...the end result would be the same.

  10. #70
    Registered User tara_bara's Avatar
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    i feel bad bout what i said before... i didnt mean it as harshly as i said and think people took it too seriously!!! SORRY!!!!!
    what i meant was..... (now how do i say this without getting myself into more trouble...) i meant that it was alot more difficult to bring out alot of emotion on piano...(im on a limited time here...2 mins to go... so sorry bout the dodgyness of it...) ahh i still think that if you get eight ppl to play twinkle it will sound similar every time...but i didnt mean that it couldnt sound different...i just meant that it is alot more difficult and that emotion is hard to portray....
    sorry if i offended anyone through my dodgey ways of explaining things...
    22 seconds to spare!!
    doctors examined my head, and found nothing.... surprise surprise!!
    -t

  11. #71
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
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    I think, as it seems has been stipulated, each instrument has it's own strengths and weaknesses. But there is one thing that bothers me about this thread. When some one speaks of guitar, what they are really talking about are guitarS. Both acoustic and eletric, as well as "effects". Well, what happens if instead of piano, you use the term keyboards? Then all of a sudden you do have the ability to use most, if not all, of the techniques guitarist have. With samplers and benders you can surely create any sounds a guitarist can, can't you? Plus, you retain all of the advantages the piano (keyboard) has.


    Just a thought.
    "It ain't what you play man! Its how you play it."
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  12. #72
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    well, that's why I tried to justify my piano argument sticking with just accoustic and comparing it to everything that is guitar. Reason beeing is that if you want to get into keyboards that would naturally lead to synth pianos and then you'd have to get into synth guitars and seeing as the newer ones are able to do exteremly accurate renditions of anything from violins to saxophones to shattering glass, we really aren't dealing with anything resembling the original instrument. Would you consider a keyboard that could sound like an organ an effect that still keeps the pianistic qualities? Because that is one of the most basic effects you can have on a keyboard, but it also happens to make is sound like a completely different instrument...where as a guitar with a fuzz or a wah still sounds like a guitar.

    Of course if you're just talking about using guitar effects on a keyboard then you would get similar results to that of a guitar.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 11-29-2005 at 08:22 PM.

  13. #73
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    A piano can floor any guitar when it comes to alterations and inversions of chords.
    One really cool thing about the guitar is you can sound like a FAT chord w/ just a few notes. Really, compare the 'Hendrix' E7#9 4-note chord grip to what that sounds like on a piano. Guitar blows piano away.

    A trumpet/saxophone can outdo a guitar when it comes to melodies.
    Since these instruments are intimately tied to your body (via breath) they have lots of great phrasing abilities. That should INSPIRE you to try to phrase like that on the guitar!

    It seems to me that the guitar falls between instruments, a comprimise where some qualities are sacrificed for an all-round instrument which can't really excel in other settings except when playing solo and unaccompanied.
    I think its always more the musician than the instrument
    Also, maybe you aren't listening to the right guitarists?
    Finally, if you don't like guitar players you hear, don't listen to guitar! I went thru a long period of just listening to piano players. Then another stretch of just horn players.

    I do think guitar is the HARDEST instrument to master because the notes run up and down the neck and across the strings; and it has little natural sustain; and you can typically only get 4 notes in a chord voicing; and some voicing (like stuff w/ minor 2nds) are really hard if not impossible. But all of these can be overcome. In fact, I've been doing 2 and 3 note chord voicings ala Scofield and Jim Hall and they kill!

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