Re: shut up, pack your shit, and get the fuck out... RIGHT NOW

3:41:08 AM

What a fantastic rant! I have a real hard time with it, because I'm such a whore. 30 years of playing bass for Jimi/Stevie Ray/Clapton/CCR wankers has taken it's toll. I agree with you completely, but at the same time I cringe because I'm a fucking hack. To clarify, I mean I agree with the part about playing simple. The absolute best fucking drummer I ever played with gave me a really hard time one night at a cafe after a gig at McGregor's in Manchester, NH. He just kept asking me "why do you play so many notes?" and when I ran out of answers ("Jaco" and "because I'm bored shitless with the blues, that's why!") I realized he had a point. The very next night I cut my playing to the bone. I just hit straight quarter-notes and half-notes all night. You know something? He was absolutely right! That night I discovered the true secret of bass, which is that it is a FUNCTION of music. I started getting tons of work, with some of the best players in town. I just stuck my head in the bass drum and rode out the night. Now, back to the rest of your rant; Music is like porno. Did you ever have a stroke-manual that was nearly as interesting two weeks after you got it than it was the day you brought it home and "broke it in?" Nope. For the same reason, music must affect you somehow or it's shit (say, Bolton strangling his pipes on "Georgia on my mind" ferinstance). And the stuff that really makes your nipples hard one day won't feel the same the next time you play it. It has to rise a bit, be more dynamic. Hit a little harder each time. The musicians have to be PLAYED. Now the problem is that just like porno, music can just be slam-bam gimme-everything-right-now (Godsmack) or pieces of influences spread throughout your music until it becomes your identifiable style (think Hendrix without the guitar or Stockhausen, Glass, those guys). The whole added dimension of DYNAMICS throws most guitar-twangers for a loop, much less drummers. It's like 3-D chess. There's all kinds of subtleties going on that someone who learned to play their instrument from listening to cassettes of Nirvana just ain't going to even be aware of. The big problem with guitar as an expressive instrument is that most guys learn chords first instead of intervals. Technically, that means that most of them branch off from chords into melody and harmony, whereas every other instrument requires the opposite. Think of a sax player. He's got to know the notes first, then apply those to chords that usually exist only in his head. That's why horn sections are so popular. With a horn or keys, you start learning where the melody fits almost as second nature to the backdrop of chords. You communicate that stuff with the "numbers" (flatted ___ and augmented ____ or minor ....), show me a guitarist who started with the opening riff to "Sweet Child of Mine" and he's going to be totally fucked. I think what you're looking for is yourself on the other instruments. Kurt wouldn't play predictable I-IV-V or drop minor-7ths every chance he gets, so the guitarist better not either. Take a whack at whole-tone scales, bud, make some mistakes, or pack your shit and get the fuck out of here. Like I say, I agree with you, but I can't help cringing a bit. (Oh God I'm such a whore.) Hey Kurt, do you play any Blink 182 songs?



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