Saturday, September 15, 2012

What has the internet done to us?

When I started playing guitar, all the way back in 1990, people would talk about guitar players styles. Was it blues or neoclassical, did it remind them of zeppelin or Van Halen, maybe it was punk, alternative or main stream. Whatever equipment you were playing through was fine as long you were doing your thing well. Yeah he plays through a peavey stack but it's cool, he can shred. The focus was on how well that player did what he did. Now people on the internet are arguing over which version of the tube screamer circuit is the best sounding. And no one is talking about the guitarist themselves. You can spend a small fortune on cables. Or a pedal board. And it's so easy to get sucked in. I like gear, but I'm starting to wonder if this train of thought isn't part of a bigger problem. Although I'll admit some gear makes you want to play more than others, the music isn't IN the guitar. Many of my favorite guitarist, have simple set ups with a basic crybaby and a couple of Boss (I know) pedals running into a pretty straight forward amp. I was reading an article on the "Brooklynization" of the music scene. Bands everywhere aren't taking the time to find their own voice, Everyone is trying to sell you that they are the next big thing while sounding like everyone else. Even if they are slightly unique they aren't that different from everyone else. And bands who set out ONLY to be different are just awful. Is this part of a bigger problem? I think so, but what that problem is exactly I don't know. Everyone logs on the internet to share their opinion on everything, but what I've noticed is that most people don't have a clue as to what they are talking about. They have formed an opinion based on reading other peoples opinions. Not based on critical thinking and examination. These people are sheep. Even the ones that do know something may not know what your looking for. Many of these people share their opinions in an effort to help others, and that's a good thing. But mixed into these opinions are people who work for or closely to a manufacturer of a product or worse are trying to prove something. Music as a whole goes through cycles. It seems to get more complex and then simpler. Simpler relates to more people, complex is for the musician's and people who understand music can be more than a simple 3 chords and the truth. I love listening Tosin Abasi play the guitar. He is both melodic and technical, his music has groove and he has an awe inspiring understanding of music theory. On the same token, the Foo Fighters write great songs that grab people who would never understand just how incredible Tosin is. Is one better than the other? NO both are great at what they do. And if you were to ask advice from either one you could see how their advice applies to you. So why are we spending so much time asking people we don't know for advice on what pedal to buy? Most of your large retailers will let you send it back within a month. Order it and send it back if it doesn't work for you. If you have a store where you can try it out, do it. If you have a store where you can't try it out, don't buy from them, the're assholes. But the main thing is that we need to get back to playing, figure out how to make your equipment work for you and play, play, play.

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