Originally Posted by noodles
Not to pick on your post, but this really made me think about technical ability in music. It seems to be the only art form where talent is looked down upon. Some amazing older actor (like Anthony Hopkins) appears on screen next to a mediocre up and comer (like Chris Hemsworth in Thor), and everyone talks about how brilliant and talented the old guy is. No one is pulling Rembrandts off the walls of the museums to hang inferior paintings by some new hack artist "who really has feeling, man". For that matter, the classical and jazz worlds will chase you right out the door if you don't have the level of chops required to perform the music.
Why do we still have this discussion? I'm not saying that I don't enjoy a good pop song, and the Beatles didn't write anything that I wasn't capable of playing after a year or two of playing, but how does technical ability somehow diminish a song? Well, I don't believe it does. If Dream Theater's latest album is boring, then that is not because it is technical. After all, take a look at Cold Play, who are writing a bunch of simple songs that also happen to be boring as hell. Fault the composition and the performance, not the level of ability required to perform it. Like Sean, I also take enjoyment in seeing complicated concepts well executed. It gives me something to aspire to, and digging into the theory behind it helps me grow as a musician.
After all, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in D minor, Opus 125 is a compositional masterpiece AND a technical tour de force. If you can sit through that entire piece, and not once be moved emotionally, then you're either dead, or you're listening to a bunch of high school kids butchering the Ode to Joy section.
This is absolutely true.
You are making it seem like I don't appreciate skilled musicians. I do, and I take note of skilled musicians while listening. What I dislike are musicians that emphasize skill and theory. I just don't get the same emotional response. I like classical music, whacked out prog stuff, Paul Gilbert, etc. I hate players like Rusty Cooley, because he is fucking boring
It's not that I don't appreciate skilled musicians, it's just that I don't really use skill as criteria when I am judging a band or a player. The guys in Dream Theater, besides Labrie, are fucking monsters skill wise, but I find their music to be boring.
The Berklee syndrome is really what annoys me. I find it pretentious. But...opinions and all.