Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pluck Your Magic Twanger, Froggy!!!

Read about this guy in todays' NY Times review of a Megadeth show.

May I just go on record as saying that I totally don't give a shit about this entire style of instrumental wanking? Seriously -- for all the use Broderick is making of the guitar as a rhythm instrument, he might as well be playing a flute. I say it's spinach and the hell with it.


TMink said...

Not really my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it as a parlour trick! I would appreciate it more if that top not was not flat.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Yep, he's got the chops all right but as Maxwell Smart would say, if only Mr. Broderick could have used his evil arpeggios for niceness instead of spinach ...

steve simels said...

BTW, I was obviously exagerrating to make a point. I actually think Megadeth is a pretty good band, if truth be told, and this guy obviously is a hell of a musician.

It's just that at some point this kind of stuff veers off into Yngvie territory, i.e. self parody. There's more to music than how fast you can wiggle your fingers, obviously...

Anonymous said...

While I understand your larger point, I have a small quibble with the video you've selected to make that point.

Had you chosen a song or performance by the artist, and had that been a poor quality song who's only reason for existing was to bookend some 23 minute guitar tapping solo, then your point would be more valid.

However, the vid is clearly an instructional one pointing out how to do a certain technique. As a long practicing guitar player (25 years)I can appreciate the technique even if it's not my own style. I also feel that just about ANY instructional video showing scale work is going to be devoid of soul and feel and long on cold how to's. This would be true no matter who the player is. Once you start breaking down the playing and explaining the how to's, it's going to lose the art and be all about craft.

Also, as a fan of many many genres of music, I always found the so called "punk" ethic of accepting instrumental incompetence as a badge of honor while shunning technique as "souless" to be a meritless point of view.

Just my $2.50.

TMink said...

Anon, I certainly see our point. But chops and the ability to communicate feeling through music are barely correlated. Our ipods are full of people who are technological wizzes at their instrument, but when you hear it, you just think about the technique. "Wow, that was fast" Or "How did he do that?"

Then take someone like Neil Young or Carlos Santana who do not have amazing chops but can make your heart move. I could, and still can feel the aggression and power of the Pistols without lots of technique.

Then there are people like Jimi who had both, he could play wild stuff with tons of joy and then do Little Wing and make you want to cry.

I guess from my pov, you don't need technique to get there, and all the technique in the world won't do it by itself. Cause it is really about how my heart feels when I listen.

What do you think?


steve simels said...

You guys won't let me get away with anything...

Seriously, Anon's right -- picking an instructional vid to make my point was a bit of a cheap shot, but like I said, I was exagerrating for comic effect. Or trying to, anyway. Also, in that Times review, it mentioned that the clip had become something of a minor classic on YouTube, so I thought it was fair game.

In any case, I agree -- the idea that incompetence is an end in itself is just as pretentious as thinking that fast fingers = musical quality.

And Trey:
I guess from my pov, you don't need technique to get there, and all the technique in the world won't do it by itself. Cause it is really about how my heart feels when I listen.


Cleveland Bob said...

Hey Steve,

I see that you've infected your idioms with Ghoul/Ghoulardi parlance. Nice homage to late night teevee hosts and some righteously silly guitar playing. Wanking indeed.

Turn Blue, Group!

Noam Sane said...

I was thinking about this just the other day, in a blues context.

Guitar Slim played the exact same solo on just about every song for his entire career; it could be argued that Jimmy Reed did too. And yet compared to the unlistenable post-Vaughn blues wankery that has taken over the genre, those guys sound fresh as spring to my ears.

Instrumental incompetence is in the ear of the behearer, but pointless wheedling is teh eternal suck.

TMink said...

Noam wrote: "Instrumental incompetence is in the ear of the behearer"

It really made me laugh out loud. I hope nobody in the office heard, they have suspicions about me already.


Anonymous said...

Who cares about this shit, I just came home from seeing "Shine A Light". It was incredible. That is real guitar playing!!! Broderick's style of guitar is wanking not real lovemaking.


steve simels said...

Plumber --

You liked "Shine a Light"?

Me too, rather more than I expected, although I don't think it was the Stones on a great night.

Anonymous said...

The Stones were good enough for me. Keith has played erratically for many years so it's what I expected and I thought Mick was great, the best he's been in the many Stones films.


TJWood said...

I checked out a couple of Broderick's other videos on YouTube. There's one of him playing a Mozart piece and another of him doing a jazz piece playing the guitar and bass parts simultaneously. Much more interesting than the "Betcha Can't Play This" (you'd win that bet, Chris) video. All in all, I'm more interested in guitar players closer to my ability (competent, not too much beyond that), but...pretty mindboggling nonetheless.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Betcha Can't Play This - but if I practiced enough I could. Same goes for belching the alphabet.