Scientists believe melodies can be heard. I believe that too. Scientists probably also believe that extremely fast melodies are harder to hear (as in harder to identify as single notes). I believe that too. So can we scientifically conclude that less shred could equal more listenable melodies? The one weird trick to lose a lot of fat right now (without bananas!)
Seriously though. It's kind of funny to see that the guitarists going for 'primarily instrumental' music very often go more for the cool technical stuff they can pull off, as opposed to more 'simple' stuff that can be actually distinguished from 'unprofessional' listeners. And if they do, it just has to be Blues. Now personally, I'm not a believer in any sort of link between technique and feeling, meaning that neither fast playing feels worse nor slow playing feels better - but I am pretty convinced that more clearly listenable stuff will have greater human impact. And the thing is, if you're not a trained listener (as in transcribed enough to hate transcribing), then more complication as in density, speed, and 'information' generally will produce music that is harder to understand (and will have far less reach and impact, at least in terms of numbers).
This is not intended to be a call for 'the end of shred', nor do I want to say that everything should sound the same, or end up as simple. But just going with guitarists here, I get the somewhat overwhelming impressions that it's either all about shred in the style of your favorite template (be that Satch, or Vai, or Satch, or Yngwie, or Satch even) or recycling blues licks just for the sake of it. And even if that's what everybody wants right now, maybe (just maybe) the instrument plus some variations on mechanical elements might be capable of doing more than Satryngvai Shredblues. Maybe even take some inspiration from other styles that don't have guitars (the blasphemy!)
So I'm not sure just how arrogant or confrontational this article came off now, but in conclusion I want to say that it just seems to me like guitar playing in general (especially the more instrumental variety) has come to be stuck in something of a rut. That is not to say that that's not enjoyable, but perhaps a little less uber-inspired note-sequencing and more composition/arrangement might be nice. Or, more cooperation between guitarists to pull off something new. At this rate, all new output will basically go on in the same vein as they always have until enough people had their overdose of guitar melodies - and being a witness to that I think would be a sad thing.
But who am I kidding - not like I never needed my fix of Vai. Still, hope dies last. And maybe some people who felt trolled just a little by this article will start something new. Ya never know!
David Sertl is a composer and guitarist based in Vienna, Austria. He also runs David`s Music Guild, the Youtube channel tellign you everything you (n)ever wanted to know about music.
He independently released his album "Elegie" in April of 2015, which is available from Amazon and other online outlets.
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