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Contentious Music/Gear Opinions
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Aeon
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Joined: 04 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject: Contentious Music/Gear Opinions Reply with quote

Too many people are afraid to make strong statements on guitar message boards in fear of offending other people. Or perhaps those boards are heavily moderated to the point where all you ever see are 'soft' opinions. So this thread is for you to be as direct as you want.

[Rant mode]

1. Guitar fetishism, I have come to realize, is quite stupid. Guitars are pieces of wood and metal, it's what is played on them that matters. Owning multiple guitars will not make you happy, it will just make you a hobbyist. How many of you really have enough time in the day to sit and play more than one or two guitars enough to warrant their ownership? Get a nice acoustic and a nice electric and be done with it. Use your imagination to get new sounds, not a slightly altered variation of the same instrument.

2. Backup guitars are (usually) stupid. Seriously, how often do you really need to bring multiple guitars to a show? Unless you're some sort of Sonic Youth band with a huge amount of alternate tunings, or an ultra aggressive metal band that snaps strings left and right, there's no need. Symphony musicians typically don't carry backup instruments -- do you know how crowded the stage would be if they did? If you own a decent guitar with a decent setup and don't play like some schizo you should be able to make it through a whole set without snapping strings. If you are snapping strings constantly the problem is the guitar, you, or both.

3. I find it incredibly pretentious to see these little local bands haul out a backline of like 5 guitars for 2 musicians. They are playing a 30-45 min set and yet they act as if they are playing some sort of high-production rock show. Worry about that when you have a guitar tech... I think it makes more sense in the long run for people to have just one, maybe two guitars as their main and only instruments. The only time you'd really need/want a lot of variety in timbre would be when you would record an album -- and guess what, most studios have a whole backline of fantastic varied (expensive!) instruments that you would have at your disposal for that purpose. You don't need to have access to 8 different guitars at home, you really don't. Wouldn't it be cooler anyways to have people associate one or two guitars you like with you anyways?

4. There are two types of guitars: Those that intonate and stay in tune properly; and those that don't. Anything else is just taste. In fact, it is often refreshing to see bands play knock off guitars with cheap pickups in them, because they don't sound like everyone else with their Fenders or Gibsons (of which you see a ton of in EVERY genre -- I realize that in some sub-genres like metal you might see stuff like Ibanez more often).
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Sublimedo
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahaha, you'd hate Swing Hailey.
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Will
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will NEVER have enough Danos.

But yeah, commodity fetishism. I'm worse with amps.

I consider it the amp companies' faults for not making an amp that will just make my guitar louder without all the BS.

Playing solo I like 1 backup, mostly because it looks funny to have 2 identical guitars on stage.
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bands (with one or two guitarists) need to take at least one backup guitar to each gig. It's looks unprofessional for a band to stop for a minute (or more!) while a guitarist restrings. The audience gets bored and any contact/rapport/goodwill/interest you've spent the previous however many songs building-up is broken. If the band is intentionally sloppy or a joke band I guess you can get away with it, get the bassist (it's always the fucking bassist) to crack wise in the dead air.

Re. commodification of guitars, I like guitars as objects- for their design, their history, the shapes and colours. For that reason I've guitars I'll look at or just enjoy owning rather than play often (how many people on here would actually play a plastic Hagstrom I daily when they've got a reissue Jaguar or Jazzmaster lying around). Similarly, I'm fascinated by the admittedly slight variations in sound between different single-coil pickups. I don't care if the audience can hear the difference, but it's something I care about.

Quote:
I find it incredibly pretentious to see these little local bands...
Actually not keen on your tone here. You seem to be suggesting that smaller bands don't have the same right to ensure they perform to the best of their ability, as true to their own musical vision, and on their own terms as larger, more established acts. Are you a sound guy? Lol.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We bring a spare guitar to bigger shows, everything else we play with just our core instruments, since I can change a string during a song and rejoin halfway through. The band sounds fine as a 3 piece.

It's only ever been once that I've broken a string, Gareth and I both change strings two days before we play live.
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Thom
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have taken 2 or 3 guitars in the past for songs in different tunings - certainly not something I want to be doing between songs. Other than that I usually just take one because I can't be bothered to carry more!
Having said that, it's nice to play different guitars I find...if you have them, why not.
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mickie08
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it incredibly pretentious that this guy would call anyone pretentious.

Guitars are not all the same and to say that is just plain stupidity. Well maybe not plain stupidity. That would assume that this level of stupidity is normal stupidity when in fact it is more like remaking "The dukes of Hazzard" stupidity.

having a back-up guitar is normal and professional. Yes, the bands that need 45 minutes to set up for their shows is ridiculous, but that is not the number of instruments, but the ability and laziness of the band. I used to play in a band with me, 2 other guitarists--one who played harmonica at times, a bassist, and a drummer/percussionist. I used 3 guitars every set....1 acoustic, 1 electric and 1 electric in open E. I also used dropped D at times and found it was too hard on the strings live to try and run 3 tunings on a regualr basis on one guitar and it led to broken strings. We could all load on stage in under 5 minutes, sound check in maybe 2 and be ready to play within 10 minutes of getting the stage.

And to say that owning multiple guitars will not make you happy is both idiotic and condescending. Of course buying something in and of itself will never create happiness. And I do believe that the people who hoard a ton of amazing vintage instruments are driving up the prices and keeping those instruments from real musicians. That said, each guitar has different sounds, feel, and abilities. You will never sound like a gretsch hollowbody when playing a strat and a strat will never sound like a fucking Les Paul.. Who are you to say that people who can afford to do so should not choose to have multiple guitars that they like and that give them different sonic abilities. This is in particularly true when it comes to recording and trying to get all of your tracks and mixing to really sound like you want them.

So, to reitterate.....

I find it incredibly pretentious that this guy would call anyone pretentious.

And, I am personally going to show up to my next gig with 14 guitars to celebrate my own pretentiousness.
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Justin J
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eh, the way i see it is i'm young, have no financial attachments, and like guitars. why shouldn't i spend my money on gear?
if you're happy owning one guitar, good for you. but why do you care what other people do with their time and money?
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mellowlogic
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread sucks Confused
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Reece
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aeon wrote:
1. Guitar fetishism, I have come to realize, is quite stupid. Guitars are pieces of wood and metal, it's what is played on them that matters. Owning multiple guitars will not make you happy, it will just make you a hobbyist. How many of you really have enough time in the day to sit and play more than one or two guitars enough to warrant their ownership? Get a nice acoustic and a nice electric and be done with it. Use your imagination to get new sounds, not a slightly altered variation of the same instrument.

Fuck off. Do you own one pair of shoes? Do you own a single jacket? Do you have one single room in your house that you have everything in? Seperate things for seperate purposes. I like my jaguar, I like my jazzmaster, they sounde completely different, to make the jaguar sound like the jazzy I would need a chisel.

A guitar is a piece of wood.
Clothes are just covering made from different materials.
Countries are just different bits of land.

You can't apply the "it's all the same really" argument to just one thing.

Aeon wrote:
2. Backup guitars are (usually) stupid. Seriously, how often do you really need to bring multiple guitars to a show? Unless you're some sort of Sonic Youth band with a huge amount of alternate tunings, or an ultra aggressive metal band that snaps strings left and right, there's no need. Symphony musicians typically don't carry backup instruments -- do you know how crowded the stage would be if they did? If you own a decent guitar with a decent setup and don't play like some schizo you should be able to make it through a whole set without snapping strings. If you are snapping strings constantly the problem is the guitar, you, or both.

Symphony musicians have a huge variety of sounds because of the usually large amount of musicians and different instruments there. Guitarists by and large don't, if your band had 10 guitarists each with one guitar then you could create massively different sounds with a guitar each, but for the moment I'm happy with two guitarists, four guitars and some pedals.

Also:
Aeon wrote:
2. Backup guitars are (usually) stupid.

Good luck mate.

Aeon wrote:
3. I find it incredibly pretentious to see these little local bands haul out a backline of like 5 guitars for 2 musicians. They are playing a 30-45 min set and yet they act as if they are playing some sort of high-production rock show. Worry about that when you have a guitar tech... I think it makes more sense in the long run for people to have just one, maybe two guitars as their main and only instruments. The only time you'd really need/want a lot of variety in timbre would be when you would record an album -- and guess what, most studios have a whole backline of fantastic varied (expensive!) instruments that you would have at your disposal for that purpose. You don't need to have access to 8 different guitars at home, you really don't. Wouldn't it be cooler anyways to have people associate one or two guitars you like with you anyways?

"They act as if.."? This is an assumption you've made yourself. I myself could see me need 3 guitars in a 45 minute set, I use E standard, open D and B standard quite often, it's nice to have 3 guitars setup for each so you don't have to retune. Also open B demands a bit of a different setup so I couldn't use one guitar and retune, that would be fucking ridiculous.

" You don't need to have access to 8 different guitars at home, you really don't" - You don't need access to more than one TV. You don't need to have the innternet, you don't need a house, you could live in a box under a bridge if you wanted. Humans want more, it's what we do, our whole lives are spent working to get more money to buy things and having children.
Aeon wrote:
4. There are two types of guitars: Those that intonate and stay in tune properly; and those that don't. Anything else is just taste. In fact, it is often refreshing to see bands play knock off guitars with cheap pickups in them, because they don't sound like everyone else with their Fenders or Gibsons (of which you see a ton of in EVERY genre -- I realize that in some sub-genres like metal you might see stuff like Ibanez more often).

Back to the "it's all the same" argument are we, oh well.

There are two types of person. Cunt and non-cunt. After this thread we all know which type of person you are.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Reece
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I can't stand someone calling people pretentious for something like that. this is the least pretentious forum I've ever been to.
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euan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play my Tele differently from my Mustang. I can imagine if I owned a LP it would play it a lot differently as well. From in there lies why different guitars are useful.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly.

I have three Fender guitars all with single coils. They are all completely different.

Jaguar /= Duo-Sonic II /= Telecaster
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paul_
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Too many people are afraid to make strong statements on guitar message boards in fear of offending other people.


I dunno about that, this place is fairly anti-Gibson, there's even plenty of Stratocaster hate when they're mentioned. I've heard quite strong statements against both. 2 most popular electric guitars in the world right there, shot down.
This seems more like a thread for you to showcase opinions which no-one else has afforded you the oppourtunity to do in a more subtle manner.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can totally appreciate that people like Les Pauls and Stratocasters, and I understand why they're super popular. However I always feel uncomfortable and/or dumb playing them and feel unsatisfied by the sounds I get with them. Maybe one day I'll buy a Stratocaster, but I doubt it.
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Will
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaphod's comment about the symphony is dead on. It's easy for them to get a varied sound with one instrument a piece because there's ~110 different instruments total.

You're also assuming all guitarists just play one style and that's it. I have my solo folky/jazz stuff, which is all Danelectro. I have the band, which is either a 335 (modern songs) or mustang (early Beatles). Classical, etc. Then there's acoustics. None could really sub for the others. The 335 and mustang will never sound as clear, rich, and detailed as the Danos. The Danos will never have the chunk of the 335 or the snap of the mustang. The 335 will never sound bright and twangy.
And, like timhulio, I enjoy the history behind certain guitars. Plus my sentimental attachment to things like my first electric and acoustic.

So yeah, fuck off. My set is languid enough without having to stop for 2 minutes to tune or change a string.
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aphasiac
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I see it, guitars and pedals are a really good investment.

I could put cash into savings into the bank, and then every month get emailed a piece of paper telling me my balance (assuming it's still there - UK banking system is currently f##ked). OR I could put cash into guitars, having something rocking to play and unlike electrical items or other commedities, they hold their valve. Actually if you're smart with your purchases, their value goes up!

Yeh, real tough decision. I own about 5 electrics at the moment, and I play them all regularly. way to generalise.
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Fran
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, some fair points i suppose. I'll try to answer from my point of view although Zaphod has about closed the discussion..
First off i dont think people here walk on egg shells as much as most forums, and certainly people like myself, Icey, Sloan, possibly Mezz and even Nick among others willingly admit to liking guitars that quite obviously wont be popular here.
Wood and metal? Yes and No. Guitars are very personal to their owners, we all know this. Dont forget the craftsmanship, design, aesthetics and sound. I like the idea of exploring the one instrument and truly 'getting to know' it, its something not many guitarists do anymore, perhaps due to an easily accessible market. Its quite easy nor expensive for the average guy to own half a dozen decent quality guitars, it was'nt so much this way prior to the mid 1980's.
Owning multiple guitars wont make you happy, i agree, because usually by this point you are becomming a 'collector' and you always have gas for guitars that are rare or expensive. But what you can do is try to cover most eventuallities, some musical compositions require different things.
Indeed, i have guitars i dont touch between 6 month periods but they hold sentimental value and mean a lot to me.

Everyone in a band atleast, should have a backup guitar. Its the unwritten law.

Local bands with multiple guitars are usually one of two things;
1/ Over enthusiastic and new(ish) to playing live.
2/ Pretentious

But obviously if they play a wide range of music then 3 to 4 guitars per musician is not so ridiculous.

I too like to see bands using 'budget' gear or something out of the ordinary. And there is a lot to be said for that. Some of the best guitars i have owned have been the cheapest ones, some of that maybe psychological. If there is a lot of money tied up in a guitar it can make you nervous onstage and you dont enjoy playing the gig as much. Squier in particular is absolutely brilliant and Vintage is also good.

You forgot one thing though Aeon..... guitar is fun. You make some valid points, but the manner of the thread is too serious. Its not politics its rock n roll.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not afraid to share my opinion, that this thread fucking sucks.
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