Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Defining your guitar style?

MK 05 Apr 00 - 07:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Apr 00 - 07:37 PM
Jon Freeman 05 Apr 00 - 10:09 PM
Little Neophyte 05 Apr 00 - 10:39 PM
Kelida 05 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Apr 00 - 01:25 AM
Lady McMoo 06 Apr 00 - 06:13 AM
Spider Tom 06 Apr 00 - 07:15 AM
Hyperabid 06 Apr 00 - 07:20 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Apr 00 - 02:04 PM
BlueJay 06 Apr 00 - 02:13 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 04:21 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Apr 00 - 04:33 PM
Little Neophyte 06 Apr 00 - 05:34 PM
Pixie 06 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM
MK 06 Apr 00 - 08:29 PM
Mbo 06 Apr 00 - 08:53 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 11:28 PM
Benjamin 07 Apr 00 - 01:01 AM
Allan C. 07 Apr 00 - 08:07 AM
SDShad 07 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM
Easy Rider 07 Apr 00 - 09:56 AM
Bugsy 10 Apr 00 - 05:50 AM
Scotsbard 12 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM
Songster Bob 12 Apr 00 - 04:14 PM
Wesley S 12 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM
Eric the Viking 13 Apr 00 - 03:49 PM
Jim Krause 13 Apr 00 - 04:06 PM
kendall 13 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM
oggie 14 Apr 00 - 07:00 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: Defining your guitar style?
From: MK
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 07:00 PM

All things being equal I am sure that everyones' playing is a combination of all the influences they've been exposed to and tried to emulate in some manner.

The obsession with ''copping licks'' wherever you hear them (records, CDs, tabs, videos, teachers you've studied with--their respectives influences, etc.)...and of course the idea of incorporating all these licks into a ''style'' that has your personal musical DNA all over it.

Hard (but definitely not impossible) to find real innovators these days, because so much of it has already been done...and of course the guys who were pioneering it all back in the teens and twenties, were considered the innovators as they didn't have access to the multitudes of media formats that today we take for granted...so they just followed their ears, instincts and where their respective technical abilities led them, and of course what they could glean from each other.

'Course there are innovators out there who have managed to copy, twist, embellish, distort, re-invent and break all the accepted rules (if there really are any) in the process, creating a new style, that everyone else then tries to emulate.

Me? I'm still trying to figure out what ''my style'' is. A few others seem to recognize it as something that is beginning to emerge even if I can't quite see it myself. I only know that there is a lot of Merle Travis, Dave Bromberg, Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Duck Baker and Rick Fielding in there---all people who's musical approaches I greatly respect. I just seem to be a cacophony of these styles, and twist 'em around to suit my liking. Is that what a ''style'' is?

So what about you? How do you see yourself? How do others see your playing?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 07:37 PM

Trying to be original is a diversion from the real job, which is making the instrument make the sound that fits what you are trying to play. Originality sneaks in when you're not looking, and probably when you are trying to do something else, filling a gap in the music.

It's no different from when you're talking. You're trying to communicate, get something over in a way that convinces or explain or carry a picture. Saying things in a different way is fine, when it's a way of doing these things. Just for it's own sake, it's so much hot air.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:09 PM

Michael, I am no expert (and a lousy guitar player) but IMO, what you are doing is developing your own style. It sounds as though you have used a lot of influences but are combining them to suit your own playing and tastes and the resulting product surely must be unique to you.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:39 PM

Michael, do you mind if I refresh this Thread in let's say, oh two years from now, and tell you then?

Little Neo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Kelida
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM

There really is no reason to "define" your style. If you label yourself as something, it will catch on with other people and they will expect you to stick to that label. Eventually, you will realise that by labeling your style, you haven't allowed yourself as much room for growth.

Maybe you want to play blues now, but later on you may switch to acid jazz or classical or metal or sommething. I say, leave your options open.

I'm a big fan of traditional music for clarinet or tin whistle, but the first song I ever learned on guitar. . .was "Greensleeves". . .but the second one was "Come As You Are" by Nirvana.

Just don't get stuck in any kind of musical rut.

Peace--Keli


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 01:25 AM

I've absorbed something from everyone I've ever enjoyed hearing, but seem absolutely incapable of learning anything note for note. My left hand seems about 60 percent Merle Travis and my right is so bizarre it would take a month to even try and explain. (well an hour maybe)

I sure have fun though.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 06:13 AM

I grew up playing Irish music but enjoy listening to a very wide range of music from "folk" to "blues" to "jazz" to "classical" to "rock" (hate the boxes as I said before in another thread but that's a different issue!). If I like something I hear I tend to absorb it subconciously into my playing. Since recently moving away from a predominantly "celtic" environment of gigs and sessions into doing more of my own stuff, I have found my guitar playing has become a little more original (if there is such a thing) and inventive without conciously trying to make it so as McGrath said above.

All the best,

mcmoo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Spider Tom
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 07:15 AM

Style, as with anything starts out as a sloppy reflection of your influences.
In time you will often develop your own style, especially if you play as many types of music as you can.
Playing in sessions is especially helpful as it takes you to that place whare you just respond instinctively instead of consciously.
The old blues greats wouldn't play the same thing twice in the same way, all credit too them, they knew you go with the feel of the mucic, let the song carry you and you will find your style will float to the surface.
The tragedy is there are many fine players who think it sacrilidge to ,not copy the original, who wants to be a human jukebox?
My style, is my style.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Hyperabid
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 07:20 AM

I guess if I am in a position to give advice - those who have heard me play may think otherwise - your style will out no matter what you try and make it because on a whole such things are a reflection of your personality.

So the bad news is - if you want to be a king of heavy rock but jazz chords live in your soul - you ain't gonna be Slash or Richie Sambora.

The good news is - everybody has a style and they are all original and individual.

Hyp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM

I think that your personal musical style only begins to come out when you stop playing from your memory and start playing from your imagination--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:04 PM

Well put MTed - one of the joys of the Mudcat is every now and then someone says something that neatly sums up precisely what you've been thinking in a way that makes it clearer to yourself just what it was you were in fact thinking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: BlueJay
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:13 PM

I don't think "style" is something you rehearse but rather fall in to after an undefined period of time. I still don't know what my "style" is. But my friends probably do. I like to lay back, play along. I personally dread when they turn the spotlight to me and say "Play one, Jay"! But when someone jogs my memory by requesting a song about dogs, religion, politics, snow, or bricklaying, I can usually pull one off to good effect. I guess I'm kind of shy, but get bolder when I recall an old song, especially if it's obscure. I made it a point to never learn how to play "Stairway To Heaven".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 04:21 PM

McGrath, thanks for the kind words--I must confess I like the thought myself---


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 04:33 PM

Jeez MTed, another gem. You're on a roll this week.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 05:34 PM

Wisewords Elder MTed.
But at this point in my development, I honestly could not say what my style is.
Like Gargoyle once advised me "Little Grasshopper, why don't you sit back and learn from the others. (we don't have to mention he said shut-up)
I would love to run with my imagination, but before I can do that I must build on a foundation of other's styles as a base.
When I first started playing the banjo, I did run with my imagination, but as Rick can tell you, it was not going to get me too far.

Little Neo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Pixie
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM

Style???? My style is totally based on "wonderment"....and I consider myself a 3-chord wonder - I wonder if I can play that in 3 chords? I have to concentrate tooooo hard on singing on key, remembering the words and the chords, projecting my voice to the people in the audience sitting closest to me, and not throwing up to worry about developing a style....God I love it though!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: MK
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 08:29 PM

Neo,and M.Ted
Agree with you. The more you learn, the more you can add to your ''arsenal of tricks'', and THEN, you can let your imagination run. But you need a solid foundation to work from and need a mental reference library to draw from. The biggest thing that was holding me back was the ability to play varieties of chords and chord shapes up and down the neck...I'm working on it, and finding ways to take that knowledge and apply it places where I wouldn't have thought to go before.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Mbo
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 08:53 PM

My personal guitar style is influenced by every piece of music I've ever heard. It's like a snowball, keeps picking up more and more and more...

--Mbo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 11:28 PM

Rick--you wouldn't believe the weird frame of mind I am in today--I am sick and can hardly walk, and I am working manically on a the Brochure for a Convention in Philadelphia, and doing research for two topical ballads-- My mind is racing between restaurants and nightspots on one hand, to police reports from the murder scene on the other-

That said, I will pass along a little guitar excercise that I would be playing through now, if I wasn't so busy--

I take a simple chord change, like D7 to G, and play it with a strong rhythmic feel (for some reason, I settled on a slow Salsa/Merengue for this one)-and then on each pass, I walk down a differnent string to the alternate chord--(just single notes, and no fancy licks, just keeping the beat) After I have played through one chord shape, I go on to another til I've used them all--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Benjamin
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 01:01 AM

I'm having a hard time seeing much influnce right now in playing. I bought a video on playing African Fingerstyle Guitar (from Stefan Grosman's Guitar Workshop) hoping that would influnce my playing. I haven't gone far though. I've tried to take in some Brownie McGhee, but I can never figure out what he's doing! I've also tried to take some influnce from Jr. Walker (okay, so he plays Saxaphone. He's still a great musicain).

My teacher has had a big influnce on my playing (especially my classical playing). He taught me to think musicly and to think about two parts (bass and melody). Who knows what I'll come up with in my playing? It should be exciting to find out!

Benjamin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Allan C.
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 08:07 AM

Essentially, I am a balladeer. This may slant my thinking about this a little. It may also slant others' ideas of what my style might be. For me the guitar is not the main thing. It is all about the song. I play whatever the song dictates - or at least, as close as I can come to playing what the voices in my head tell me to play to back up the song. Yes, it is pretty cool when a few chords seem to fall together in a certain way that gives rise to some good stylistic embellishments. But I try to keep the embellishments to a minimum. I have seen a lot of artists who let the guitar get in the way of the song. It seems to be more important to them to throw in some showy licks than it is to be true to the mood of the song.

I could not have been more surprised when Moonchild described me as "a fancy guitar player". I really think of my playing as being rather plain. So maybe style is not something one can define for themselves. I think it just develops. It happens after a time. And it is there for someone else to find and put a name to if it pleases them to do so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: SDShad
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM

My guitar style? "Strummy."

I suppose you could describe my guitar, like Allan does of himself, as "plain," but unlike Allan, no one's ever accused me of being "fancy" either. Like Allan, though, I'm really much more a singer--I picked up guitar many years later so I'd have some sort of accompaniment when I wanted to sing at home in my room with no musicians around, and I'm one of those idiosyncratic "self-taught" types mentioned in Rick's wonderful "What the F" thread.

Got to get an actual guitar teacher one of these days.

Chris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Easy Rider
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 09:56 AM

I don't have a style of my own. I'm just busy learning to play some of the great fingerstyle blues, folk and ragtime songs of the old guys and building my technique and repertoire. I'm not at the stage where I can look to develop a style of my own; I don't know enough. I think you have to master the basics and the techniques of others before you have a decent toolkit with which to strike out on your own. Right now, I'm just happy to learn some songs I really like and get more familiar with the fingerboard.

This Intermediate has a long way to go, but I'm having the time of my life doing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Bugsy
Date: 10 Apr 00 - 05:50 AM

Define my guitar style???

Medium to poor!!!!

Cheers

Bugsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Scotsbard
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 03:48 PM

Hearing Pierre Bensusan and John Renbourn play in a small acoustic venue last night was both inspiring and discouraging.

I guess that one of the things I found really impressive was how smoothly they blended elements from different genres into some pieces; the classical and jazz influences in Renbourn's celtic ballads, and the latin and arabic textures in Bensusan's modern compositions. The cleanliness of both fretting and picking was incredibly smooth for both players, and I'd is was simply the best couple of hours of acoustic guitar playing I've ever heard.

Some of the experimenting I've done with percussive techniques in modern pieces and counter-melodies for celtic accompaniment seem relatively normal after listening to those two guys play. On the other hand, ... damn ... they are really good.

I dunno what my style is anymore, but I sure have a lot of learning left.

~S~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 04:14 PM

I once complained audibly that I didn't have a style to my music (whatever instrument is involved), but two things made me think. One was being told by Ferrara that of course I had a style, and to shut up. The other was hearing myself playing banjo from across the room. Turns out it was someone playing from my banjo book. And I realized that the choice of notes and the technique to get those notes, though influenced heavily by any given player at a time, was what had become my style.

Now, all I have to do is break out of my musical rut and get some new note-choices and techniques available to me, and my style will be refreshed.

Bob Clayton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Wesley S
Date: 12 Apr 00 - 04:58 PM

Scotsbard - I saw the same concert last Sunday night in Dallas. Great show. And such nice guys. We got there early and walked in on the soundcheck. Now THOSE guys have a guitar style. Hearing them made me feel like a clumsy weenie with thumbs for fingers when I picked up my guitar the other day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 03:49 PM

My influences are Jimmi Hendrix, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch,Joe Satriani and many more, this has led me into areas of music from Iron Maiden to Segovia and after many years of hard work I am able to specifically define my guitar style as CRAP!! Cheers Eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: Jim Krause
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 04:06 PM

I remember a number of years ago when I wanted to be the National Flatpicking Champion. Then in a couple of years I saw how much the technique had advance, and I hadn't kept up. So I decided I wanted to be the next Fingerpicking National Champ. And once again, I saw how I had not kept up with technical advances. I gave up. I decided to go back to doing what I do best, singing and entertaining. Now that I've quit trying to "show off" I have discovered at the open mic nights, and the songwriter's circle that I am about the only one who really picks the guitar. Yeah, I'm the first one to admit that there ain't one original lick in my playing, having lifted stuff off of Happy Traum, Doc Watson (who hasn't?) Merle Travis, and my hero of heroes, Blind Blake. I think the next guy I'll try to swipe a lick or two from might be Pat Donohue. He seems like a likely candidate.

Really, I look at the guitar as an accompaniment device, something to help me drive the song. Guitar breaks are put there simply to accomplish two things: 1. give my voice a rest, and 2. give me time to remember the words to the second verse!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM

A Canadian DJ and columnist once called me a "guitar stylist"... I have no idea what that means, but, it sure sounds polite.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Defining your guitar style?
From: oggie
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 07:00 PM

Does it matter so long as you (and your listeners) enjoy what you play?

Mind you has anyone else noticed how our first or main instrument colours everything else we play? As mine was an anglo-concertina it makes for odd guitar playing )as well as mandolin,whistle etc - why do we all seem to play so many instruments?)

Cheers

oggie (steve@oggsanddoggs.com)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 October 5:57 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.