Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why DragonForce sucks like never before !

In response to my previous article about DragonForce, someone spotted my ignorance by saying : “find better guitar solos, YOU CANT!!!”. Infuriated, I searched in my CD collection for a better solo than anything DragonForce has ever recorded and, to my great disbelief, I actually couldn’t ! Nevertheless, I have listed at the end of this article some guitar soli that, though they can’t hold a candle to DragonForce's creativity, you may want to listen to, for, let’s say, your personal information... *giggle*

On a completely different matter, let’s have a little game for guitar players ! I know I sometimes sound like an arrogant arse and I wouldn’t like you to get too much of a negative opinion of me. So let's play together with something very different from my usual rant, a game called "the Joker" :
I’ve browsed a lot of Youtube stuff and picked up 2 videos of completely unknown guitar players, at random. Your mission, should you accept it, is to watch those 2 videos in their entirety (less than 5 minutes each) and find which one of the 2 guitar players is a total joke.

Since all my readers probably don’t share the same virtuosity level and/or theoric knowledge, here is a hint for the beginners : this joke of a guitar player does not only perform one of the cheapest and most boring pattern of swept arpeggio ever, he also has a sweep picking so far from perfection that you could play as good as he does within 2 weeks of practice. Enjoy !

Unknown guy #1 :

Unknown guy #2 :

I know it's kind of difficult, so it's okay to ask your guitar teacher or your friends to help you.

As promised, here are some soli that, as lame as they are, you may find decent :

Lynch Mob - Sweet Sister Mercy
Greg Howe - Divided World
Steve Stevens - Look in her Eyes
Brendt Allman - The Trees
Racer X - Lady killer (notice how the second solo sounds like Georges Lynch)
Extreme - Get the Funk Out
Dream Theater - Under a Glass Moon
Dokken - Kiss of Death
Steve Morse band - The Oz
Yngwie Malmsteen - Soldier without Faith
Steve Stevens - Atomic Playboys
Shawn Lane - So What (you can find some guy trying to play that lame solo here)
Eric Johnson - Venus Isle
Frank Gambale - Another Alternative (pretty long, due to a duel with the keyboard)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why the Guitar Community sucks.

You can’t say that 99% of people are dumbasses and allow yourself to think that the musician community has to be the God-chosen 1% left. Actually, guitar players are dumbasses too.
The more I read about them, the more I listen to them and the more I read their stupid comments on Youtube, the more I realize guitar players are true assholes.
How can I be certain ? Well, they’ve been giving proof of it for 20 years, you know.

When Van Halen became popular, the guitar community didn’t thought “whoah, the guy’s got great riffs !”, nor “whoah, the guy’s got a great sense of rhythm !”. No, the only thing that they focused on was his right hand on the fretboard and they went “whoah, that tapping stuff looks super-cool !”. Of course, I couldn’t blame all those wankers if they had come up with creative stuff like Joe Satriani’s “Day at the Beach” or Steve Vai’s “Building the Church”. That’s some interesting tapping. But no, all those morons came up with were triads arpeggios, except they were playing them with tapping, just to look cooler. Tapping had become nothing but a gimmick. From now on, tapping is compulsory in a solo.

Then came Yngwie Malmsteen. The guy was playing on shitty gear. First, a Fender strat guitar, which, as you may know, is not really what is recommended to play heavy metal stuff because single coils don’t sound fat enough. Then Marshall amps. Let it be known : Marshall amps sound like shit. If you read all those interviews in your 80’s-90’s guitar magazines, you’ll notice that all the guys are playing on “modified Marshall amps”. For your information, “modified” doesn’t mean that the volume pot has been customized in order to be able to go up to 11. It means that the amp doesn’t sound like a Marshall any longer, and the main reason for this customization is that Marshall amps sound like shit. Period. Look at the guitar players whose tones have been revered for decades : they just don’t play on Marshall amps and now you know why.
Ok, so comes this guy from Sweden, Yngwie, and he’s playing on shitty Marshall amps, with shitty single coils, and he sounds like a FUCKING JUGGERNAUT and guess what ? No one notices. No one notices the tone, the phrasing, the articulation. Once again, the guitar community will focus on the most irrelevant parts of Yngwie’s playing, the speed and the harmonic minor mode, and turn them into gimmicks. From now on, everybody will try to play as fast as possible.

Then comes Steve Vai and guitarists discover how to abuse the lydian mode and the whammy bar. This time, too, abuse of the whammy bar will become a gimmick and there you have it : 2 decades of shitty music. From now on, you can forget the Les Paul, the only thing you need is a good vomit-like painted Ibanez guitar with a fucking whammy bar. And 7 strings.

Sweeping has also been turned into a gimmick. Who uses sweeping correctly these days ? Frank Gambale, that’s all. 95% of the swept arpeggios you can hear on records are basic one-note-per-string-arpeggios, based on canonic positions. There is nothing creative in there, people do sweeping for the sake of it because, you know, “you have to be able to do it, and show it”.

And today you have a band like Dream Theater. Do you think guitar players gave a thought about Dream Theater’s use of weird time signatures ? Do you think when their album “Awake” was released the guys listened to the intro of “Scarred” and thought “hey, that’s tasteful” ? No, they went straight to “Erotomania” and practiced the string-skipping solo with strict alternate picking. That’s all the guitar morons learnt from Dream Theater : “I must improve my alternate picking !”. From now on, strict alternate picking is compulsory when not sweeping.

The result of all that mess is that most of guitar players picked the wrong things to learn from great guitar players and ended up playing fast boogies with a shitty tone (but in strict alternate picking !).

Dave Mustaine doesn’t have a whammy bar on his guitar, he didn’t go to Berklee and he OWNS you all. Because someone like Dave Mustaine didn’t fall for all those gimmicks. He doesn’t play shitty boogies to display his guitar prowesses in swept-and-tapped arpeggios and he doesn’t try to play faster than the next guy. He plays heavy metal songs.

Someone like Dave Mustaine probably belongs to the 1%. Do you ?