Years ago my friend from Northern California insisted I see her guitar playing friend play a couple of songs. It was at a music merchandising convention so it was just the guitar player playing to a backing track. There was a decent crowd right as he was about to start. I’d say about 20-25 people standing around him.
He starts to play to the standard 80’s rock/metal backing tracks. Lots of notes, fast playing, legato, arpeggio, tapping, you name it. After about a minute I was getting a little bored because nothing changed. Just a lot of notes going on and on.
Of course I thought to myself that I was just being a snobby jerk because I was just bored and kind of wanted to leave. I thought, “Am I the only one who has lost interest here??” So I stopped watching him and look around the group of 20 or so people. About half either started looking at their phones or turned around to talk to a friend, or busy looking around someplace else.
So perhaps I was not the only a little bored by this amazing display of finger gymnastics.
As time has gone on and I’ve truly embraced that music is a language, I’ve started to think why I don’t care much for “Shred Guitar”.
Its simple, Shredding away on guitar is like the guy from television commercials in the 80s who spoke insanely fast. It was amusing and truly a sight to behold. Perfect for 30 second commercials. But I couldn’t imagine having a whole conversation with this guy if he talked like that on and on. Its fascinating for about a minute before you just can’t take it.
Now this is just me, I know there are lots of people who just a love someone shredding away endlessly on guitar, and they wish they could shred away endlessly on guitar. Cool. I’m just not someone who does like that type of music making. So guess what, I don’t do “Shredding” per se. Yeah I do play some fast guitar parts, but its in moderation depending on what it is I’m trying to say in my music.
Love Shred? Cool. But I might not be your guy. Guitar lines have to have a little bit of Soul. I know I’m in the right space when I can capture a listener with one note. :)