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The guitar is a rotten instument

M. Ted (inactive) 18 Nov 99 - 05:12 PM
Allan C. 18 Nov 99 - 05:19 PM
Mbo 18 Nov 99 - 05:32 PM
Frank Hamilton 18 Nov 99 - 05:45 PM
Little Neophyte 18 Nov 99 - 05:45 PM
Frank Hamilton 18 Nov 99 - 05:49 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Nov 99 - 05:49 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 18 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM
18 Nov 99 - 05:51 PM
Art Thieme 18 Nov 99 - 05:56 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 18 Nov 99 - 06:01 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 18 Nov 99 - 06:07 PM
FivenSeven 18 Nov 99 - 07:22 PM
matt 18 Nov 99 - 07:46 PM
sophocleese 18 Nov 99 - 07:59 PM
Mbo 18 Nov 99 - 08:52 PM
Mbo 18 Nov 99 - 08:52 PM
Mbo 18 Nov 99 - 08:54 PM
Michael K. 18 Nov 99 - 09:20 PM
Paul G. 18 Nov 99 - 09:21 PM
Harvey Gerst 18 Nov 99 - 11:28 PM
Brendy 19 Nov 99 - 02:08 AM
Brendy 19 Nov 99 - 02:16 AM
Brendy 19 Nov 99 - 03:28 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Nov 99 - 03:45 AM
Neil Lowe 19 Nov 99 - 08:06 AM
WyoWoman 19 Nov 99 - 09:16 AM
Mbo 19 Nov 99 - 09:23 AM
Roger the skiffler 19 Nov 99 - 09:25 AM
WyoWoman 19 Nov 99 - 09:43 AM
Mbo 19 Nov 99 - 09:54 AM
Jon W. 19 Nov 99 - 10:20 AM
Bert 19 Nov 99 - 10:23 AM
Mbo 19 Nov 99 - 10:29 AM
Easy Rider 19 Nov 99 - 10:51 AM
Scotsbard 19 Nov 99 - 01:22 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 19 Nov 99 - 01:59 PM
MMario 19 Nov 99 - 01:59 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 04:13 PM
Bert 19 Nov 99 - 04:21 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 19 Nov 99 - 04:35 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 05:55 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 05:58 PM
Bert 19 Nov 99 - 06:10 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 19 Nov 99 - 06:29 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 06:29 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 06:44 PM
Mick Lowe 19 Nov 99 - 08:39 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 08:57 PM
sophocleese 19 Nov 99 - 11:41 PM
catspaw49 19 Nov 99 - 11:48 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Nov 99 - 11:59 PM
catspaw49 20 Nov 99 - 12:33 AM
Frank Hamilton 20 Nov 99 - 10:28 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 20 Nov 99 - 12:44 PM
JedMarum 21 Nov 99 - 01:04 AM
SingsIrish Songs 21 Nov 99 - 04:31 AM
Mick Lowe 21 Nov 99 - 08:00 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 21 Nov 99 - 09:33 PM
Mbo 22 Nov 99 - 08:40 AM
Terry Allan Hall 22 Nov 99 - 08:51 AM
Fortunato 22 Nov 99 - 09:50 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 22 Nov 99 - 10:23 AM
Fiddler 22 Nov 99 - 09:12 PM
Mark Clark 07 Feb 02 - 12:06 AM
Don Firth 07 Feb 02 - 01:58 AM
mack/misophist 07 Feb 02 - 10:01 AM
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Subject: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:12 PM

I just got back from California, and I visited with Uncle Albert, my old mentor, and we got out the old axes and played a bit, and a lot of the time, it just barely held together--

He mentioned that Barney Kessel told him it takes two great guitarists to play what one mediocre pianist can play, which was some consolation, but not much--

Why is this blasted instrument so hard? And, given that such a touchy thing, how did it get to be so important for so many different kinds of music? And why is it so hard to play bluegrass leads on guitar when banjo players can throw them off like nothing, and mandolin players can't even stop playing them?

And how come only Flameco guitarists can play lead and rhythm at the same time?

Inquiring minds want to know.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Allan C.
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:19 PM

But consider: A guitar is a little easier to carry than a piano. It is difficult to sing while playing a trumpet. A good guitar takes up a lot less space in your back seat than a good drum set.

See, it does have some good points.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:32 PM

Us Classical guitarists know that you don't have to be a Flamenco guitarist to play melody and rhythm at the same time. Just a little Villa-Lobos will change your thinking for ever about the subject. Sure the guitar is tempermental, but it's better by a long shot than a piano in my book. I've had so much trouble with midis and such, because they're all based on the piano, and incapable of strumming. Also guitar chords are set up better than how they are played on the piano. A friend of mine, after hearing me talk about how much I love major seventh chords, play one on the piano. She said it sounded really dissonant, but when I played it on the guitar, it all made sense. Also, the guitar is responsible for many musical firsts, e.g the first anthology of music for for guitar, the first method for instrument playing was for the guitar, the first music with dynamics written in the score was for guitar. I could go on and on. Why did the guitar lose it's huge popularity? Because somebody had to go and invent the piano, and everyone was so interested in that, everyone forgot about guitar. Now we can't even play in orchestras because we're not loud enough. Sorry, the guitar, both Classical and folk, have been a major part of my life for the past six years. LONG LIVE THE GUITAR! Even after a nuclear holocaust, I bet the guitar would be the only instrument not to perish!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:45 PM

M. Ted, I think that guitars that are left out overnight in the rain tend to become rotten unless they are made of metal in which case they become rusty. I don't know which sounds worse, a rusty guitar or a rotten guitar. :)

Barney sounded much better with just one guitar than any mediocre pianist I ever heard. That's of course why he was Barney Kessel. He could swing, play rhythm and lead, and propel a band better than many pianists who were technically proficient.

Barney had a kind of modesty about him. He tended to low-key his abilities. It was a mark of excellence that he got to play with Bird since he was an entirely different personality, rather conservative and not into drug use. But Bird thought enough of his musicianship to record with him. That is significant as to his ability in my opinion.

I worked for Barney in Hollywood as a guitar teacher for his "Music World" store and on a sound track with him.

The guitar is a hard instrument to play well. You are right. It's more subtle than other stringed instruments because it's quieter and less geared for single string solo work than the mandolin or fast exciting Scruggs style fingerpicking but it is one of the most versatile instruments in the world.

But as an accompaniment for the human voice, I don't think any instrument is any better.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:45 PM

And if the ship sunk, so would the piano, brass and banjo, but I bet the guitar would keep on floating. Or would it?
You could hop onto a piece of plank wood and use the guitar as a paddle to get you a shore.

Little Neo has been honored with a new name.

Banjo Bonnie


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:49 PM

P.S. You really should hear Barney's fabulous jazz accompaniments on Julie London's recording. Not many pianists could equal that.

Frank


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:49 PM

Tempted to use my granmothers saying "it's a bad workman who blames his tools" but let's be honest, any instrument is difficult.

The guitar is one, IMO, that is actually quite easy to learn to do something with (playing basic chords to accompany voice) but to master it - I'd guess is very hard.

I "play" a variety of instruments and am master of none. I think that a lot of this depends on where you want to be with your instrument. I do believe that there is such thing as natural ability but even those who have it probably have to work very hard to make the most of it and the rest of us (like myself) at best can only expect to acheive a reasonable degree of competence... Fun all the same.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM

The guitar was also the first instument to be broken over the teacher's head--and another thing, you classical guitarist also know that you can't play either loud or fast enough for dancing, unless it is some wimpy baroque dance, and even at that, the recorders can overpower you--and you die when there is a formata;-)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From:
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:51 PM

I don't know how true it is, but I once saw the statement that there weren't any ancient guitars to compare with modern ones because guitars were too fragile to last.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:56 PM

Guitar is probably the most versatile instrument in the world. You can learn 3 (or 4) chords, "get by" and be perfectly satisfied with your progress, or you can study iy your whole life and not learn all the nuances and subtleties.

But it's ACTUALLY EASY to play rhythm and melody at the same time. Especially in the American traditional styles of the piedmont songsters----folks like Elizabeth Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt and Etta Baker. Similar to styles popularized by Merle Travis and Sam McGee. John Fahey and many others from the folk revival---me included---used the style almost exclusively as both backup and for instrumental breaks. In bluegrass and old-timey music, listen to Kenny Baker's work when he's not playing fiddle with Bill Monroe. Earl Scruggs is a monster finger-picker on songs like "Jimmy Brown The News Boy" and "You Are My Flower".

The style involves (basically) an alternated bass with your thumb to keep the beat, and melody played on the treble strings with your fingers. The syncopated sound of this guitar picking style mesmerized me when I was young. Tom Paley, doing Sam McGee's "Railroad Blues" at the first University of Chicago Folk Festival in 1961 just blew me away. I did it for the next 40 years---give or take a couple... That exceptionally traditional festival is still going strong---every February.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 06:01 PM

Frank,

You mention Barney in the past tense, but he is still with us--he had a stroke last year, and I am told that he lost movement in his right hand, but is still teaching, and showing his students how it's done on the left--

There seems to be a CD out with those cuts that he did with Julie London, though I haven't been able to find it--"Cry Me a River" was the hit they did together, but. according to Barney, they did many other sides with just the guitar and voice, all as good, some even better--

If anyone knows the name of the CD or the label, I would much appreciate it--


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 06:07 PM

Art, I thought Doc Watson once mentioned that it took him a solid year to master the thumb movement for that particular style of guitar playing--and let's not forget Old Ike Everly and Chet Atkins on the list of shady characters--


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: FivenSeven
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 07:22 PM

Yes... it can be "Rotten"....but then again... it has saved my mind more than once on a cold and lonely night. AND.... it introduced me to my husband! What more can you say?

Di :)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: matt
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 07:46 PM

The therapist told me I better keep playin' my guitar, "cause that was the only thing working in my life. I sit down, start pickin, and the alpha waves start flowin'.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: sophocleese
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 07:59 PM

Yes it is a rotten instrument all you have to do is hold a guitar and moan about your life on stage and you too can be a lousy singer/songwriter. Sorry sorry sorry, mixing my threads. I was once at a festival and saw a really bad performer and the only reason I could see for her being on stage rather than anybody else in the audience was that she owned the guitar. On the whole though I see interesting people at festivals, she was an exception.

I sing a cappella and play recorder but I am now learning guitar because there are songs that simply sound better with accompianment, I do have to get someone else to play if its a recorder tune though. I've been frightened of trying to learn it because of a lousy experience years ago when I first tried. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that its actually not that difficult to play a simple back up for my singing. Slowly I will improve but I will always be someone who sings first and plays second.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 08:52 PM

Yo, listen MTed! That kind of talk is exactly the kind of stuff the pianists have been dumping on us for the last 400 years! Who cares about bleedin' dancing? There's more to life than that! Regular ol' acoustic guitars take over the moronic job of play rhythms suitable for dancing. Classical guitarists is a higher calling, people like me who play CG have a higher demand for melodic beauty, ornamentation, harmony, and texture. Who really listens to dance music anyway? It's usually mundane because everone's too interested in flapping their legs to care about the music. Classical guitar is something to be studied and to be listened to intently. Hearing you talk like that about my guitar playing almost invalidates my years of study to create beautiful music. If I wanted to make people dance, I could have been like any other mook and learn three chords and not be very good at it. And also, the history of music for the classical guitar, lute, and vilhuela is rich and gorgeous. If all you think of Classical guitar is a "wimpy Baroque dance," I'll be glad to strap to down in a chair and force you to listen to Villa-Lobos' Choroses and Etudes from a guitarist 1 foot away. That stuff is so loud, you can hear it across a concert hall without amplification! As for not being able to hold our notes, I think it is one of the greatest things about guitars! If you want sustained notes, go play the trombone. If you want everything in one small wooden package, play a guitar. Beethoven himself said about the guitar "It's like a whole orchestra all in one instrument". And speaking of breaking guitars over people's heads...

--Mbo (a lover of ALL guitar music and proud of it!!)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 08:52 PM

Yo, listen MTed! That kind of talk is exactly the kind of stuff the pianists have been dumping on us for the last 400 years! Who cares about bleedin' dancing? There's more to life than that! Regular ol' acoustic guitars take over the moronic job of play rhythms suitable for dancing. Classical guitarists is a higher calling, people like me who play CG have a higher demand for melodic beauty, ornamentation, harmony, and texture. Who really listens to dance music anyway? It's usually mundane because everone's too interested in flapping their legs to care about the music. Classical guitar is something to be studied and to be listened to intently. Hearing you talk like that about my guitar playing almost invalidates my years of study to create beautiful music. If I wanted to make people dance, I could have been like any other mook and learn three chords and not be very good at it. And also, the history of music for the classical guitar, lute, and vilhuela is rich and gorgeous. If all you think of Classical guitar is a "wimpy Baroque dance," I'll be glad to strap to down in a chair and force you to listen to Villa-Lobos' Choroses and Etudes from a guitarist 1 foot away. That stuff is so loud, you can hear it across a concert hall without amplification! As for not being able to hold our notes, I think it is one of the greatest things about guitars! If you want sustained notes, go play the trombone. If you want everything in one small wooden package, play a guitar. Beethoven himself said about the guitar "It's like a whole orchestra all in one instrument". And speaking of breaking guitars over people's heads...

--Mbo (a lover of ALL guitar music and proud of it!!)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 08:54 PM

Oops! Posted twice. Maybe it'll sink in more that way!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Michael K.
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:20 PM

I have played and studied piano since age 4, gigged professionally as a keyboard player for 18 years, and consider myself a very accomplished player proficient in all styles.

I have been playing guitar a sum total of about 3 years. Sure you can get ''a sound'' out of the guitar without a lot of effort as you can with any instrument....but compared to piano (and as it relates to fingerstyle playing) I must say that I find guitar inherently more difficult than piano to really master and I tend to be a quick study with instruments and their nuances.

I.M.H.O. the guitar is a very unforgiving instrument. The level of precision required in both hands (with respect to fingerpicking and advanced fingerpicking) to achieve a clean and pleasing sound - at least to my ears - requires 10 or 20 times the amount of practise I ever spent with piano.

When I was studying piano, and went to learn a new tune or arrangment whether classical or jazz or ragtime - whatever, it never took me more than a week to 2 weeks to have it down cold (talking 3-4 hours a day of practise.) The keys on a piano are wide (and forgiving).

The fretting required on a guitar is like a pinpoint on that little sweet spot at the end of your finger. Miss it by an angstrom and you have a buzz or a muted sound. You have to nail things with you fretting hand at just the right angle and just the right amount of arch with those fingers. (I'm sure it's the same for fiddle players as well, or any other stringed instrument.)

How many of us (intermediate to even advanced or professional guitar players) have tunes or arrangements we've been working on for literally months, perhaps years, that we've not yet mastered or have them sounding the way we want them to? Lots I'll bet.

I've been working on an arrangement of ''Dallas Rag'' part Dave Laibman, part David Bromberg for more than a year, and I still cannot play the tune from beginning to end without a glitch, buzz or mistake...but it's a labour of love with me and one day I will play it perfectly. All in all it seems that feel is more important than technical precision anyway.....but I aspire to have both, even if it takes me the rest of my life. I love playing the guitar that much and perhaps it's because I have to work so much harder to get a sound pleasing to my ears with the guitar, as opposed to piano, that I get such a tremendous sense of accomplishment and gratification - that eludes me with piano....although I still love to tickle the ivories as well.

Duck Baker says in one of his video lessons: ''The guitar is not your friend.'' What I think he means is, the way we sometimes have to contort our fingers and tendons into totally un-natural positions (sometimes quite painful,) in order to make certain chord sturctures, which enhance the sound of a given arrangement.

I think deep down most serious guitar players are also masochists. (grin) We like a little pain with our pleasure.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Paul G.
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:21 PM

M.Ted, find yourself a Gamble Rogers Album and bask in the sheer joy of exquisite travis picking melodies and thumb-thumping...and gain a little Florida Philosopy in the balance. Would never have worked with a piano, and what a tragedy that would have been...

pg


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Harvey Gerst
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:28 PM

Frank Hamilton wrote: < Barney had a kind of modesty about him. He tended to low-key his abilities. It was a mark of excellence that he got to play with Bird since he was an entirely different personality, rather conservative and not into drug use. But Bird thought enough of his musicianship to record with him. That is significant as to his ability in my opinion.

I worked for Barney in Hollywood as a guitar teacher for his "Music World" store and on a sound track with him.>>

And I was in the next room over at Music World, taking guitar lessons from Barney - at $5 an hour. His intro to "Cry Me A River" is still one of my favorite exercises (and I still use it on Billie Holiday's song, "Blue Prelude").


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 02:08 AM

It ain't really all that difficult
"You just put your fingers together and go." (sic)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 02:16 AM

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En Français: Hamilton franc a écrit: < J'ai travaillé pour la prise de bec dans Hollywood en tant que professeur de guitare pour le sien

To translate, type plain text or the address (URL) of a Web page here: Frank Hamilton wrote: < Barney had a kind of modesty about him. He tended to low-key his abilities. It was a mark of excellence that he got to play with Bird since he was an entirely different personality, rather conservative and not into drug use. But Bird thought enough of his musicianship to record with him. That is significant as to his ability in my opinion.

I worked for Barney in Hollywood as a guitar teacher for his Translate from: English to French English to German English to Italian English to Portuguese English to Spanish French to English German to English Italian to English Spanish to English Portuguese to English

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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 03:28 AM

No, sorry about those last 2 posts (It should have been on the HTML thread)
But yes the guitar is a total bastard. It makes your hands look like the only muscular part of your body, it pisses off friends and family (by your constant humming and jammin')
But why else would you do it?
About 20 years ago a very good mate of mine, Liam Deery, at that time the guitarist/bassist(Sir Toby Fylde) of "Ferdia" came up with the first two parts of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer". He did it in a standard tuning.
I went home (after several days or weeks, I can't remember which), tuned my axe to G, then Dropped d, then DAF#DAD.
It still is the tune that seperates me from slightly pissediness, or total sobrietyy. I have all four pieces, thanks to Liam.
Because without his interest in the tune, I probably wouldn't have even botherd my arse.
Apropos the worthy Neophyte, in an earlier episode; Why limit yourself to one person's view of things.
I have talked to Monsieur Grossman on this subject.
And he agrees with me (name dropping*BG*), that individuality is the key. I learned "Dallas Rag" from a live recording of his. I do it in DBGDGD. Funny thing was, he recorded it in D, and 'Dropped D' at that.

The Guitar is a weird and wonderful object. The guy who perfected it's design, may he reign in Heaven. I am very grateful to my instruments for putting up with my little foibles, my anger, my empathy, my dissillusionment.
The guitar is a rotten instrument..yes...but only in the context of speaking about a newly married couple who have just had their first argument.

Keep at it, you'll learn to love it (just like New York).
The fingers may bleed, the point of no return passed, then all that's left, is your imagination.>br> Keep on pluckin'
Brendy........


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 03:45 AM

I was gonna say the guitar is probably the most versatile instrument in the world, but Art strikes again! My only regret (other than not being able to play better) is that there's nowhere to stand your beer. This is where pianists come onto their own. Hey - join a band and stand next to the piano!


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 08:06 AM

...maybe part of the problem is that you can buy one for $25 U.S. dollars. It's been a while since I've seen a $25 piano...

I was about ready to agree with the idea that the guitar is less suited than the piano to playing rhythm and melody simultaneously until Art assiduously reminded me of the thumbpickers (how quickly one forgets..apologies to my Dad, who impressed upon me constantly that Chet Atkins rules)...

Saw a concert recently that featured a couple of musicians, Steve Rector and Eddie Pennington, who are continuing the "Muhlenberg County" thumbpicking style. These guys made mention of a lesser known but accomplished picker, Mose Rager, as a major influence in their musical careers, as well as being the mentor of Merle Travis.

Neil

Then there's Ike Everly


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:16 AM

All God's creatures got a place in the choir
Some play easy and some play higher

Ok, ok. So it's a stretch. Still, I love 'em both and would be happy if I could even minimally conquer either. I've been intermittently sitting down with the guitar for several months and still can't play worth a darn because I just don't have the time to devote to the thing. And the piano, although I did slog through the piano lessons of my youth, also remains un-doable for me.

So I am simply filled with admiration for any of you who can actually play either. I'll have to be mostly satisfied to lend you my voice when you want someone to bring some words to your music.

WW


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:23 AM

How do you feel about singing the 17th century John Dowland classic "Flow My Tears?" It's in English! And it rules! Does this sound tempting?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:25 AM

Every time I saw the late Joe Pass I could hardly believe it was only one pair of hands on one guitar that were producing so much music with (seemingly) so little effort.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:43 AM

Mbo-- Sounds loverly. How can I hear it? Know of a recording I could lay hands on?

WW


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:54 AM

There is a good recording I found at amazon.com. It's cheap, and has 25 John Dowland songs on it by a female voice with actual lute accompaniament. Personally, I love Renaissance lute music, but as my classical guitar teacher once said that all Dowland's songs are either about crying or "letting laid." Well! "I Saw My Lady Weep" and "Come Again" are also on this album, and are very good. If you can get download the ABC program ABCMUS, I can make you a ABC of the song, and you can use the program to convert it into a midi. Also, if you want the sheet music, I'd be happy to scan it and send it to you!

--Mbo (my guitar teacher and I once joined voices in a male baritone duo of the song! Hee hee!


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Jon W.
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 10:20 AM

I remember reading somewhere an older blues guitarist (Maybe Skip James?) said that you can do more with a guitar than a piano, because when you play the guitar you have three hands instead of two. I.E. The right thumb is one hand, doing the work of the piano left hand. The right hand fingers are another, doing the work of the piano right hand. And the left hand is the third, filling in with slides, pull-offs, hammer-ons, etc.

Personally I play both guitar and banjo - neither very well. Banjo is much easier for playing melodies but guitar is better for rhythm.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 10:23 AM

ESPECIALLY when someone else is playing it well. Rotten &$@%$#^& showoffs.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 10:29 AM

Oops! Forgot to say the name of the album is "Dowland: Flow My Tears" and it also appears that the voice is male, but really, either works well on Dowland songs.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Easy Rider
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 10:51 AM

I suspect that the banjo might be easier to play because it is always tuned to an open chord. I recently tuned my guitar to open D (DADF#AD) and found that it is MUCH easier to play that way than in standard tuning.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Scotsbard
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 01:22 PM

Darned right, the guitar is a rotten instrument; always slipping out of tune, buzzing on the frets, busting strings at the worst moments, warping when the weather changes and all that other &%$*^# that goes along with portable acoustic instruments,

... but ...

you don't have to blow guitars, they make more different timbres than a banjo, play more notes at once (and often in better tune) than a fiddle, are much easier to tune than a harp and they bend pitches or slur between notes much better than a piano.

Darn tootin' its a rotten instrument from everybody else's perspective, (and sometimes from the musicians's when the licks just ain't there.) I think guitars are both among the easiest instruments to play, and the most difficult to master.

~S~


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 01:59 PM

Someone mentioned bad singer songwriters, and on occasion, the guitar seems to encourage people to be creative who really shouldn't be doing it--

It strikes me to that songs written on the guitar (not classical pieces, mind you, but "popular" songs--especially singer/songwriter type things) tend to be rather weak in terms of melody--many songwriters tend to put together the words first and then play chords along with it--which may work very well, but as I said, the melodies often won't hold your interest on their own.

As an aside--I am familiar with classical guitar music, as well as lots of other classical music, because I a)like it, an b)studied composition theory at music school, so I am not speaking out of ignorance--as to the comments about Gamble Rogers, I can actually Travis-pick whatever mean little melody you might want to hear--and hereby swear--it is not that easy to learn to do it, and even when you can do it, your are pretty much stuck with the same underlying rhythm, which is great when you want to play"The Great "Speckled Bird" but becomes somewhat strained if you want to move into "Stella By Starlight"--

As to the snide remarks about dance music--dance music is really central to classical music, and it has been bread and butter music for folk musicians since forever--where would we play if people didn't need music for square and contra dancing, clogging, Horas, kolos, polkas, swing, etc etc?


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: MMario
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 01:59 PM

wyo - there's a midi of "flow my tears" at this site:

http://www.nifty.ne.jp/forum/fmidicla/htmls/votedat.html

about two screens down

MMario


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 04:13 PM

M Ted I have a question
If I create a melody that kind of sounds classical and then someone develops my piece into a popular commercial tune. Some will say, I 'sold my soul' to sell more CDs. Those with degrees in classical music will put me down for not struggling from the beginning and learning the hard way.
Are these conflicts just 'part and parcel' of the territory?
Sorry if I have side tracked this discussion but I thought it was a perfect place to get M Ted's attention. Or anyone's attention for that matter.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 04:21 PM

Hi Banjo Bonnie baby, By 'sounds classical' do you mean 'sounds bloody awful'?


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 04:35 PM

Sour grapes--as far as I am concerned, any criticism of someone elses musical success is just sour grapes--

Most of the great songwriters had little or no classical music training, and many of the great composers learned what they knew from informal study and private instruction and working apprenticeships rather than in formal degree programs--

Mozart was a child prodigy--not a lot of time there for struggling up the ladder or paying dues--

In a whole other area, I am told that Lionel Bart used to hum his melodies into a tape recorder--

If you can make up catchy tunes, no one care where you went to school, or how long you studied, and if you can't, a whole stack of degrees won't help--

My advice is to make sure you get composer credit for the melody--


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 05:55 PM

Thanks so much Ted,
I would take the approprate step to assure credit, but it kind of seems meaningless in the big picture.
I'd rather put my energies toward creating my next tune than feel depleted worring about the last.
To know that my melody sparked or layed the foundation for someone else's creativity is more rewarding than struggling to maintain legal credit.

Banjo Bonnie


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 05:58 PM

Sorry, I meant M.Ted


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 06:10 PM

Aw! just teasin'


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 06:29 PM

Well, there are two ways to look at it--but it is is your melody, and your work. If the other individual make money, but you don't, it isn't really fair to you--

Of course, there is also the idea that if this worked, the person probably will want to work with you more in the future--and, even if no one makes any money, the collaboration will help to build your reputation as a creative artist--

If you are serious about music, it is important that you learn about the business side of it, particularly the copyright and royalties side, and make sure that everything is laid out and understood clearly before hand--

There is nothing sadder than the situation that comes up where an agreement made at a very early stage in your career when you didn't understand what was going on, comes back to haunt you much later--

Fortunes have been spent fighting over things that could have been straighted outwith a few strokes of a pen, if they had been made in time--


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 06:29 PM

That's okay Ernie


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 06:44 PM

I follow what you are saying MTed.
I would love to work with someone who wanted to expand on something I created. I think that kind of sharing is wonderful but I guess it can get complicated like any business partnership arrangement can become. I've run into some of these issue when I wanted to co-author a cookbook. Seemed very romantic in theory but the legalities had to be thoroughly worked through.

Very important points to keep in mind
Thanks
Bonnie


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 08:39 PM

Just to take this to a slightly different tangent, yeah like I don't always...
When you get your first Martin then any such thoughts of the guitar being a rotten instrument goes out the window.. you are confronted by the musical equivicant of a beautiful woman (sorry for any sexist overtones here.. merely stating a typical male trait). you want to do the best you can to please her, and the more you try/excel the more she does for you.. funny how we think of guitars as being feminine..
which the above drivel could be condensed into.. the better the instrument, the better you play and the more you want to play better
Mick


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 08:57 PM

How can you not think guitars as female when they are shaped so voluptuously. The trouble is, they are so particular about where they want you to put your fingers.
Don't get me started Mick

Banjo Bonnie


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 11:41 PM

Yeah, what with thongs and coconuts you don't want to get her talking about G-strings either. Or me for that matter. Since my guitar is what my husband calls a three quarter size how would you like me to refer to it as a male? Does size matter?


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 11:48 PM

Uh BB....You need to ask your teacher about that female shape=female guitar thing. He calls that 0 of his "Woody" and has also had a "Tex" and the infamous "Implosive Pedro"...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 11:59 PM

And what do you think BB stands for Catspaw?


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 12:33 AM

Well I was thinking Banjo Bonnie. Makes me wonder what kind of reputation I have around this place? I simply shorten a name to initials and its supposed to mean something else? You were expecting what?

Big Boobs?
Broad Butt?
Bulbous Bottom?
Bimbo Bitch?
Braless Behemoth?
Braindead Blonde?
Big Bertha?

No, Phyte...I was just thinking BB was short for Banjo Bonnie....And Rick IS high on you. Says real great stuff like he did here even behind your back!!! Sounds to me like you're doing just great.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 10:28 AM

The guitar is not quite as logical as the piano. And when something is done that is truly spectacular like a Django Reinhardt solo, it tends not to be noticed as much by people who haven't had a musical background. The electric guitar changed this by becoming an agressive solo instrument in rock bands. Jimmy Hendrix was noticed by the general public. Eddie Lang comparitively was not.

The volume of the accoustic guitar is the reason. The harder you beat to get it to sound loud or have carrying power, it the worse it sounds. Even Count Basie's Freddie Greene was miced a lot of the time.

Bottom line. The accoustic guitar was never meant to be a showy instrument, Doc or Django withstanding. It's a rotten instrument if blazing virtuosity is what you're looking for such as in the hands of a Horowitz, Eddy Peabody, Dizzy Gillespie, Hendrix or ?. It will always be upstaged by a flashy fiddler, pianist, even mandolinist or banjo player. But as an accompaniment instrument, I believe it has no equal. It's more intimate than the piano, friendlier to the voice, supportive of other instruments, a great rhythm instrument, a versatile instrument accepted worldwide and beautiful to look at. What more could anyone ask for?

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 12:44 PM

I don't know what it is about us Frank, but somehow or another, we always disagree ;-)--Eddie Lang was very popular in his time,so much so that they wanted to make a movie star out of him, and, so I have been told, he died do to compliations from the comsmetic surgery that the studios thought that he needed--

You can't forget Nick Lucas here, because he was a phenomenal guitarist, and his movie appearance, playing "Tip-Toe through the Tulips", was what turned the guitar into a mainstream instrument--If you want to hear some mind-blowing guitar work, listen to that recording!

Guitar does tend to be an accompanists instruments, but when Manitas de Plata played, there was no one who could upstage him, fiddle or not--

Guitar is a rhythm instrument that can play chords and melody, and in the hands of a master, there is a polyrhymical thing that you can get going that no other instrument can touch--check out Bola Sete, either his Bossa recordings, or classical stuff, such as his unbelievable recordings of works by the above mentioned Villa-Lobos--


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 01:04 AM

I rarely feel limited by my guitar ... by my ability to play it, perhaps, but I think the guitar is a beautiful instrument, for accompaniment or solo. You can play melody and keep the rythym, finger or flat picking. It is limited perhaps, compared to a piano, but it offers much more creative exploration than I expect I'll ever achieve!


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 04:31 AM

Ah the guitar....

My view as to the shape is this: so that females can play it more easily.....(I'll let you guys think about that.)

And Mick Lowe, your metaphor re the guitar being the musical equivalent of a beautiful woman aroused me BIG TIME! It also made me think of The Saw Doctors song "D'ya Wanna Hear My Guitar?" (Songs From Sun Street cd). I quote the pertinent lines:

You can take it in your hands a while
You have it now, that's the style
Between the finger and the thumb
A gentle steady strum,
See I told ya loveen,
It's not that hard.
D'ya wanna play my guitar?
D'ya know what I mean Martina?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Now I don't play the guitar (I play flute)...but I do love to hear it! It is a great instrument, and like with any instrument, the better the quality you can afford, the happier you will be with the sound as you learn.

Mary Kate


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 08:00 PM

The one great thing that us guitar players has above other " melody instruments" is that for the main part we can sing whilst accomanying ourselves.. try that with the trumpet/flute .. whatever..
I daren't answer sophocleese because the G string is the one I usually break.. and there's a good reason for that, in that it has the highest tension than the other strings on a standard accoustic...
And I have to agree with Frank re Django Rheinhardt.. how anyone could play the guitar with (was it two or three) fingers missing off his left hand, just blows my mind
If like me, you're into "Irish" music, and you play the guitar, you'll soon know your place.. your not going to be the star of the show.. but if like me you are fortunate enough to be associated with a "true musician" who can play all the diddly stuff.. even if they don't come outright and say it.. you know just how important the guitar is in laying down that accompanying ryhthym is...
So never be discouraged... the guitar is here to stay.
Mick


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 09:33 PM

Mick--It is not so easy to play guitar for Irish music, what with having to keep a fairly quick tempo and all--they never say much in appreciation, but just drag behind or play a wrong chord, then they'll say something outright enough!!


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:40 AM

Hey, M.Ted, I'm sorry if I sounded rude or insulted you. It's just that I've been living in my own world of music for so long now, cut off from other musicians, that I tend to get very hot on the subject of music I like, especially when someone with differing opinions takes it down a notch. I guess some Classical guitar stuff is not everyone's cup of tea, but to me, all those silly wimpy little Baroque dances are a great pleasure to hear and play.

On the subject of the guitar in general, I think (as others have said) that it's not such a great melody instrument, like the violin or banjo, or has the simplicity that maybe the piano has, but I think the guitar is better by far. All the soloists, pianist, fiddler, banjo players, trumpeter, etc. are the icing on the cake, playing their flashy melodies and all. But the guitar is the cake! The guitar and bass are the structure upon which everything else is built, and a building with no frame falls down! A guitarist (and bass players as well) don't often get the recognition the melodists get-they tend to stay in the background. I am satisfied of that, and would rather be the humble understructuring than the guy playing the melody.

Here's an analogy: there are two vehicles, a flashy new sports car with no trunk or storager space, and an old pickup truck. The sports car looks nice and always starts right up, and people always tell you how beautiful it is, and wish they had one. Then there's the old pickup truck. Muddy, cantankerous, but with a lot of heart, and a veteran of many hauling and moving jobs. Nobody ever notices it, but it's there in the background, doing all the heavy and hard work that no one really wants to do. To me, the ol' pickup is nobler by far--so too is the guitar, and bass, and drums, and all us folks supporting the melody. We don't care about not being in the front, and we see our playing as a call to duty to support our fellow musicians.

--Mbo (here's to all the musicians of the world, for we are such stuff that dreams are made on)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:51 AM

Must disagree...the guitar is a wonderful instrument...what other instrument can do all that a guitar can do, and still fit across your back?

A very wise man once told me "If you truly wish to become proficient on any instrument, you must understand that the learning process takes your entire life time."

32 years and counting! ;-)


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Fortunato
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 09:50 AM

So I'm talking to Bill, guitar salesman at Chuck Levins, telling him not to get his nipples hard for a sale 'cause I have to go play a Bourgeois and a Collings which he ain't got. I must because I've sold my Martins and my old mainstay Gibson is wearing out. He said: "Ah. You need a new friend."

'Nuff said?"


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 10:23 AM

Mbo,

Of course, you have to understand that I was just making a point about the guitar not having enough punch to dominate melodically in an ensemble situation, particularly for dance music--The "wimpy" was kind of droll, I meant that even in the most subdued dance music, (and you must agree that baroque dances are more subdued than, say clogging, or swing, or any of that more contemporary stuff), the guitar can't really hold the floor for very long--

Of course, when you play electric music, it is all different--the lead guitar can do "everything", and everybody has to bow down--but you aren't really using the instrument to it's full potential, and it is hard to amplify in a way that enhances the great subtlety of timbre and pitch that the guitar affords--

It has occassionally occurred to me that it would be great to get together an acoustic guitar duo and show off all the things you really can do with a guitar--Country, Blues, Blue Grass, Jazz, Rock--the idea being that two guitars can do way more than any other two instruments, including play that driving dance stuff--

The problem has been that even though a two guitars can do that stuff, the guitar players have to be really super--


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Fiddler
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 09:12 PM

Being a fiddler I don't give a Sh..


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 12:06 AM


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 01:58 AM

. . . even in the most subdued dance music, (and you must agree that baroque dances are more subdued than, say clogging, or swing, or any of that more contemporary stuff), the guitar can't really hold the floor for very long . . .

Well, there is flamenco. I'd hardly call that subdued. A flamenco guitar is plenty loud and it cuts right throught the singing, the clapping, and the heel work. Accompanying flamenco with anything but a guitar just doesn't sound right.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: mack/misophist
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:01 AM

Checkers is probably the easiest game in the world to play. Any little kid can learn to play checkers. But only a handful of old men in the South abd Midwest have really mastered it. Kinda like the guitar.


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: RichM
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM

The guitar has too many strings!

That's my opinion...and that's why i now mainly play upright bass, and recently started the octave mandolin.


I suppose I must be a masochist, because I've also ordered an anglo concertina....

Still, the guitar is such a seductress....

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: GUEST,c-flat
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 02:55 PM

the guitar is probably the most versatile instrument in existence,crossing almost every musical boundary whether played by a solo instrumentalist,as a vocal accompaniment or as part of a larger group.I'm no master of any style but have had years of pleasure with my guitar playing in many different musical situations.As far as being a "rotten instrument" I can sympathise to some extent.Just when you think your getting somewhere someone plays you your first "Django" so you sweat and study and your getting close until a "mate" drops by with his new "rosenberg trio"CD.I've been playing for 30 years and I have days when the only difference between my 6 string and my mandolin is the length of time they would take to burn! Picking up the guitar as a kid is still the best thing I ever did!


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Subject: RE: The guitar is a rotten instument
From: 53
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:38 PM

Don't tell Gibson, Taylor, Fender, or Takamine, or it would break their hearts.


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