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diamondbanger
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« on: April 16, 2005, 11:30:47 PM »

I guess it was enough talking about it, time to give it another go.

Lately, I've given alot of thought to the question of to shred or not to shred?  Mostly this has come about for a number of reasons, but the main reason is being in a band situation where I share lead guitar duties with another guitar player named Chris Dixon.  It's nice to have the burden of lead guitar duties shared with another picker who knows how to get the job done.  This has allowed me to really concentrate on when I write my solos to sit back and take the time to make a statement with the guitar rather than killing a song with a wankfest.  I'm a bit of a technique junkie, I spend hours practicing trills, bends, vibrato, tapping, speed picking, arpeggios and artificial harmonics of all kinds: tapped, harp and pinches.  I practice these things like crazy, but when I approach a solo, I treat them like colours.  A solo or lead part to me is the canvas, and the notes and the techniques I use are the 'colours' in pallette.  I guess this comes from art classes I took while younger.  Why paint a bowl of fruit when a single pear will suffice?  
I've been paying alot of attention to my note choices, and I also practice just soloing over progressions that I program into powertab or just record it with cakewalk.  I take things like a simple I, IV & V progression (G, C & D) and just experiment.  I used to use a splatter method, just do it all, throw everything in my arsenal into these noodling experiments and hope something goes right.  I still do that from time to time when I get stuck, but I try to mentally visualize what kind of solo am I going to play over these simple vamps.  This is where technique and theory comes into the picture.  It is handy to hear something in my head and be able to pull it off.  
Also with keeping my note selections in mind, I'm also paying attention to the flow of the lead bit.  I think it's important that a solo should flow like a good story.  But to tell a story well, you need a good command of vocabulary, which takes us right back to technique.  The more licks, and tricks in your arsenal, the better.  You can't know too many, but you can use too many and even worse, use it at the wrong time.

I'd like to hear some of your thoughts and opinions on the topic of to shred or not to shred, so post away. Cool
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2005, 04:24:26 PM »

My favorite guitar players are Neil Young and Paul Simon. I lived through the Shrapnel records "look at me I'm kinda like Yngwie" phase of music and I just don;t like shredding at all anymore. It's kinda cool, but a lot of times people will use a lightning fast sweep instead of a well chosen note to fill space. Using your painting analogy, Simon is like a very sparse water color, and Young is throwing buckets of paint plus has an clogged airbrush on full bore.
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2005, 07:04:59 PM »

Shredding, while still often impressive to witness, is rarely enjoyable to simply listen to, for me.
I'm really not a big fan of guitar solos, but there are  some exceptions:

Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith & Dave Murray. - While not shredders, these guys are friggin' masters of tasty solos.
Like ... REALLY tasty.
Always complimenting what the other one is doing, but still have such a distinct soloing style of their own.
Those guys play perfectly together.
I'd rather hear them play solos than just about anybody else.

Megadeth - Dave is a shredding master ... to be certain, with a host of other scary-good-shreddy-guitar players along the way.
The stuff on Peace Sells, So Far, & Rust In Peace ... all ... solid gold.

Go for the tasty notes ... shred for transitions along the way to the next ones.
 evil
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2005, 10:40:12 PM »

Yes, those boys in Iron Maiden do know how to play their guitars quite well, I am seldom bored when it comes time for the guitar solos in a Maiden tune, cuz they're so damn good.

Kirk Hammet also plays some great solos back in the day, but my favourite Metallica solos are Hetfield's ie:  Nothing Else Matters, Dyer's Eve, and the intermission solo in Master of Puppets.  

It would appear that shred is making a comeback with guys like Alexis Laiho from Children of Bodom, Zakk Wylde and Dimebag gracing the covers of guitar mags lately.  To me that's great, I don't mind shred, but I'd prefer to hear a guy play with emotion if he's gonna wail away.  Joe Satriani is an example of a guy who can play like a motherfucker, but you can hum along to the melody lines.  It's great that guitar solos are back in style, it's been too long since a guy could let it rip and not have everybody look at him like he's on glue.

Up the Irons... evil
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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2005, 07:24:10 PM »

i highly, and i mean HIGHLY!!!! agree with Murray and Smith nailing down the good shit.  Like so many put it, it ain't about shredding your face of with them, it's tasty choice notes and shit.  Yet, i still know that someone like Murray can still shred with some of the best of 'em.  As for as to shred or not to shred, this is the question?  Me always trying to improve my leads, i am definitely all for shredding, but sometimes my mind is stuck in different influences ya know.  Sometimes i wanna hear a shred that's gonna fukin rip yur face off, like my two biggest influences Zakk and Dime.  Yet at other times i often prefer a lot more transitional skill and choice put into it.  Im not saying that Zakk or Dime have ever lacked this, infact i think Dime has come out with many of the best solo's i've ever heard and enjoyed.  I actually am beginning to put a lot more effort and taste into my solo's though.  Im starting to get down some sweeping, but aside from adding that in there a bit, i just wanna be able to include a whole big fukin range of soloing, and be able to change it up whenever it is necessary.  The newer solo's for Stillseed i find have a lot more thought put into them.  The songs on our EP i find were really rushed, but i sat down more with this new shit so it could get done proper, and i think it's only getting better.  As for shredding, it can for surely stay, i don't mind hearing a nice rippin' shred mixed with some change up's of all sorts...  Long live the fukin shred...

and yes, of course, Up The Irons!  evil
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 11:45:55 PM »

Up the irons !!!
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2005, 07:30:34 AM »

Quote
It's great that guitar solos are back in style, it's been too long since a guy could let it rip and not have everybody look at him like he's on glue.


I couldn't agree more...there was a period (like a decade) where no one soloed. I think this was a direct response to the over-shredding being done in the late 80s-early 90s. Someone like Cobain got sick of having to be a guitar god to get any respect and went exactly opposite (and ironically became a god).
Being a guitar player myself in the period mentioned, there was a lot of pressure to be very fast and of course get the neo-classic stuff in there. I didn't have the discipline to get to that point and always felt like a shitty player. The biggest compliment I ever received was that I had a Iommi vibe to my playing, and once I discovered Neil Young I never felt any more pressure.
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2005, 08:20:43 AM »

Neil Young rules.
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2005, 01:05:48 PM »

Dazzling speed and technique are terrific, however they can be boring to listen to if no attention is paid to breathing space and, well, song writing.  Sometimes shredding is called for, however it has no impact if that's the only thing happening.  The best players don't just show off all the tools in their toolbox, they craft them into something listenable.  I understand that it can be hard to hold back sometimes, because there can be a strong urge to show off your skills.  The most memorable playing, though, comes from players that know that not every moment has to be filled by a note, and that they don't have to unload their entire toolbox on every solo.  I recall Rob Halford talking about Glenn Tipton's playing (on the Classic Albums episode which fearured "British Steel") and saying "he's a very tasteful player .. the solos are almost as if they were delivered by a singer; he'll play a spot, then take a breath, then transition into another spot, then take another breath, then play another spot".  Kind of an interesting way to think of things.
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2005, 02:00:09 PM »

This is the coolest thread ever on SM
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2005, 02:12:45 PM »

Quote from: Bower
Neil Young rules.


I saw him a few years back with Crazy Horse and I was fucking crying... he just plays this monstrous WALL of noise but there seems to be all these shapes and melodies twisting around in it..

I've already forewarned my family that on the day he passes over, I will be AWOL for a couple days drinking.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2005, 02:33:08 PM »

Chester cries during TV commercial jingles, too.
He cries after sex.
He cries after supper.
He cries a LOT !!!
 wink
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2005, 02:49:44 PM »

No I don't  cry
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2005, 03:04:52 PM »

Oh bob leave him be...


Come here chester *hug*
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2005, 03:16:14 PM »

the most interesting player i've seen live for shredding was definitely Jack Semple on the classical guitar.  Shit, he was doing everything on that man, was fukin shredding it up good.  Aside from his shredding though, his version of Classical Gas was surely the highlight of the night... Fuck that was a good show.   evil
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2005, 03:20:39 PM »

I think he's a perfect example of what some of us have been saying. He is lightning fast, but I have yet to get any kind of feeling from him. In his defense, most of my exposure has been on TV, and I've only seen him live once..
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2005, 03:30:31 PM »

Quote from: wannabe
This is the coolest thread ever on SM


That was the goal. wink

Rev mentioned breathing in the soloing.  I've been giving that alot of thought.  There is definitely a temptation when soloing to toss in every cool lick I know, but cool lick after cool lick does not a solo make.  

I also started playing in the era of shred, I have the Joe Satriani tab books to prove it.  I remember going through the phase of wanting to be like Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani and Alex Skolnick; they were my idols.  Not to say that to this day I don't use those guys as a reference point anymore, I've tried very hard to discover my own voice on the guitar.  Let's face it, nobody is ever going to be better than those guys at what they do.  What they play is 100% their own creation.  They put together their own styles, which should be the goal of every guitarist.  I will admit that there are times when I find that I do sound like a certain bearded,  Les Paul wielding guitarist, I see nothing wrong with a 'tip of the hat'  Wear your influences on your sleeve, and hopefully we all can be at a point when our influences become a source of inspiration rather than a obsession.
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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2005, 10:36:49 AM »

well... in personal opinion, it was definitely great to see, and i sure as hell had a great feeling walking out of that place...

yeah, i'll post back later im sure...

and this thread is good.
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2005, 10:15:50 PM »

Russel touched on something on a thread in here which made me think.  He posted about improvising.  I'll post my thoughts on it here though.  Improvising is an area a player should spend alot of time on.  For myself, it's about 50% of my practice regime.  It puts the pieces of the puzzle together for me.  If I learn a scale, I want to know how it works and sounds and the best way for me after I memorize it is to write a chord progression based on the scale and just noodle away.  It's surprising how alot of licks I've picked up over the years work when put into this context and I can usually come up with new licks of my own doing this.  I'm actually a really lazy player and haven't conscientiously learned anybody's solo's note for note in years, in fact, the only solos I know close to perfect are Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley.  In 14 years of playing guitar that's the sum of my learned solos and I don't feel too bad about it.  Sure, there are certainly merits to learning solos:  you gain yourself an arsenal of cool licks, your technique improves and if you figured it out by ear, then you get get props from me.  The downside to just learning other people's solos is that if you learn too many of a certain players solos, how long till you go to jam with people and all that you know is to play like that guitarist, you could be fucked.  Alex Skolnick licks might not work so shit hot over a 1, 4, 5 blues progression.
That being said, what's a guy to do if he's self taught like I was?  I took the easy way out and got a teacher.  If that isn't part of your plan, there is a shit pile of websites out there for guitarists, I'll give you a list of scales that you should look up and learn.  These scales will give you a wicked arsenal once you learn how to use them.  
1)  Learn the major and minor pentatonic scales and all 5 of their box shapes in all 12 keys.
2)  Learn the Blues Scale  - all 12 keys
3)  Learn the major scale and the 7 modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian & Locrian respectively) in all 12 keys.  (it sounds like alot of work, but really, it isn't)
4)  Learn the Harmonic Minor scale (made popular by Yngwie)

If a guitarist knows these, it's a fair assumption that he/she should be able to navigate just about any improvising/jam situation that they happen to come across.  If you do the math, and my math sucks, that gives you an arsenal of around 300 scales.  There are books ie: the Guitar Grimoire that show thousands of scales.  My advice, don't buy a book on scales, save your money for now.  If you don't have a teacher or a learned friend who can show you what I'm talking about, just pm me and I can make up scale charts of the above mentioned scales for you and email them to you or perhaps I'll even get ambitious and post em up on the Chopshop for you guys.

Happy shredding.
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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2005, 10:48:11 AM »

www.ibreathmusic.co m is an amazing site. Ben Winoski use's it and shit. Sure you knew that. I've been looking at the beginners shredding stuff...im no where near shredding..but there is some really cool exercizes.
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2005, 02:11:00 PM »

Yeah, Ben told me about IBreathe when I first started taking lessons from him.  I actually use the site as my homepage on my browser.  It's probably the best guitar related site I've found out there.
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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2005, 10:10:56 AM »

I figure I'll write about the modes today... I haven't been thinking about theory much, but maybe writing about it will bring some of it back.  The modes used to stump me for years.  I'd heard about them,  but never quite understood how or why they worked or really, what the hell are they?  Basically, the modes are based from the major scale.  Don't know what a major scale is?  I guess we'll start there.  The major scale is pretty much the foundation of what Western music is based from.  Everything from Mozart to Dimmu Borgir comes from this in one way or another.  Even the minor sounding stuff like Black Sabbath and Metallica.  The minor scale comes from the sixth mode of the major scale, more on that later.  To get a major scale, you simply take a root note, we'll use C, since there are no sharps or flats in the key of C Major.  From C, you simply apply the following formula and you get the C Major Scale.  The formula is Whole Step, Whole Step, Half Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Half Step.  A step is the distance between pitches, on the guitar, a half step is one fret away, a whole step is 2 frets away.  So, using that formula, we get the following notes, C D E F G A B and then C.
So, now if you have a grasp of all the notes on the guitar, it should be easy to figure out a box pattern, or you can look it up on the internet (www.looknohands.com) has a page which will show fretboard diagrams for you.
The simplest way I know how to get a grasp of the modes is this:  Let's take the word 'mode' for example.  If you take the first letter of that word and put it at the end, you get the word 'odem', do that again, you get 'demo' one more time, 'emod'  This is the same principle for the modes.  Take the C Major scale, and starting on the 2nd step of that scale, you get, D E F G A B C D, or the D Dorian mode.  Starting on the 3rd note of that C Major scale, you get E F G A B C D E - the E Phrygian mode.  Lost you yet?  Hope not.
I'll post a chart below of the 7 modes based from the C major scale.  This concept can be applied to any major scale.  Before I post that chart, there are 7 modes, Ionian (major scale) Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian (relative minor scale, commonly referred to as the minor scale) and Locrian.  To remember the names, I was taught to make up a phrase that used the first letter of each mode name, I Don't Play Like My Aunt Lucy
Now for that chart of modes based from C Major:
Ionian: C D E F G A B C
Dorian: D E F G A B C D
Phrygian: E F G A B C D E
Lydian: F G A B C D E F
Mixolydian: G A B C D E F G
Aeolian: A B C D E F G A
Locrian: B C D E F G A B

I will post another article in a few days about what to do with these modes. 
Happy Shredding  grin
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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2005, 12:09:51 PM »

for once i've actually read something and understood it....  kick ass!  i've still managed to get as far as i have without a teacher or theory, but i guess it's always interesting and good to know...

happy shredding indeed!
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2005, 10:27:45 PM »

I'll take that as a compliment Spud, wait till the next article which will deal with what to do with these modes.  I should have it up in a few days, it'll definitely kick ass. evil
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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2005, 10:14:21 PM »

i learned about a lot of this once.  harmonized scale and shit.  but my memory basically sucks.  i still have books and sheets and shit though.  i never did give that stuff to you, did i spud.  you'll probably learn it just as good or better here anywho.
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2006, 05:17:23 PM »

Learn all the rules, then forget them ~ Beethoven
Here's a way to make your solos and melodies tastier, while not exerting alot of mental muscle.  Say you have a chord progression in E minor ( Em, F#dim, G, Am, Bm, C, D, & E)  The chords you come up with are Em, G, D then off to Am, C, Bm.  It would make perfect sense to noodle over this progression in Eminor, and a great place for that is at the 12th fret box.  But here's something to try...  why not switch keys during the Am, C & Bm part of the vamp?  Don't freak out, the key change is easy, requires no position shifting and only requires flatting one note... The key change would be Am at the 12th fret check out what I mean:
E minor - E F# G A B C D E
A minor - A B C D E F G A
Notice that both scales share 6 out of 7 notes, the F's in both keys differ, in E minor, the F is sharped, but not in A minor.  And while one note may not seem to make a big deal, it can.  Of course, to pull of a key change like that would mean you would have to pay attention to the switch and make sure to spend time hanging on the Roots, the 3rd, 4ths & 5ths will help. 
One you have that mastered, try switching keys with each chord in that progression or at least try switching modes, more on that later...

Happy Shredding


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The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very very badly...
I expected times like this:  but never thought they'd be so bad, so long and so frequent.
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteor hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteorite.
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« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2006, 05:38:45 PM »

Ben actully made scales and shit make sense to me the past few days. I've spent the day improvising with a blues progression with the A minor pentatonic (plus albert box) and a g major latin thing. Its so much fun AND actully sounds like i know what im doin.


Man what the fuck have I been doin for these 5 years haha.
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2006, 11:59:23 PM »

The same thing I've done for 20 ?
LOLZ !
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« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2006, 09:07:55 PM »

Quote
I lived through the Shrapnel records "look at me I'm kinda like Yngwie"

And I just discovered all this last year....you should give all of those albums to me.

But just to comment on the Yngwie thing... how come anyone who aspires to play that style of guitar, but isn't as good as him, is always shunned? He's an inspiration just like anyone who is the best at their game. But it always seems to be shredding that's not allowed unless you can match great. He does have his slow parts too. Anyways, with him I figure if you like classical music you will like him..well..fast classical music lol.

But for the nonshredding music...wow I have to say Spanish flamenco/malaguena style guitar is amazing, it's still kind of a mystery to me. It almost seems like a lot of it is improvised, like with blues, like there are so many notes that technically shouldn't be there but fit perfectly, but comes out with a whole different expression.
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2006, 10:46:40 PM »

For an eye opening guitar playing extravaganza that is both spanish flavoured and is also a balls-out shredfest, check out Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin & Paco Delucia tear up the fretboards on their accoustics in Friday Night in San Fransisco.
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« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2006, 01:05:35 AM »

Al diMeola is to fucking good.
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2006, 04:29:08 PM »

For sure. Speaking of acoustic shredding, I think Zakk Wylde's acoustic solo's are impressive and cooler than his usual stuff.

For the other side of the spectrum...not sure if anyone here listens to Diana Krall, but thereare some pretty cool jazz riffs in there. I can't remember who plays them though.
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« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2006, 09:28:30 AM »

Quote
But just to comment on the Yngwie thing... how come anyone who aspires to play that style of guitar, but isn't as good as him, is always shunned? He's an inspiration just like anyone who is the best at their game. But it always seems to be shredding that's not allowed unless you can match great.

I don't think there is anything wrong with aspiring to play like Malmsteen, it's just that he is so talented that it would take a long time to get to his level.  You can amaze 90% of the population by playing Back in Black and it doesn't take much to make that sound good, but trying to noodle away like Malmsteen without the ability just sounds bad usually. Again, back to my youth, everyone wanted to shred, and as a result there was a large segment of the guitar playing population who could 'play fast' but really had no finesse or style. I'm sure music store employees are grateful that this scene disappeared.
Due to Malmsteen's reputation as an arrogant jerk, any aspiration to be like him includes that negative vibe too plus human nature seems to require scorn and ridicule before encouragement. Shoot too high and you are brought down pretty fast. Fuck em all. 
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2006, 03:10:13 PM »

Quote
You can amaze 90% of the population by playing Back in Black

ahahahaaa.. It's the sad truth.

By 'fuck em all,' do you mean all players who shred?
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« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2006, 03:27:09 PM »

No fuck anyone who shuns or tries to bring you down.
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