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Where?!
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Alex Skolnick: The Shred Epidemic

The guy's blog posts on the GP website have been uniformly good reading material so far. He comes across as being extremely intelligent and articulate.
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
:bowdown:

I do agree with what he says, and it's one reason I could never really stomach Black Label Society or Rising Force, since those bands pretty much existed only to create a semi-legitimate platform for their respective guitarists to shred around. It's also why I don't like a lot of the super technical death metal stuff around today.

Something that's hooky and melodic and says something, that's something I can get behind. It's why I have moved so far away from a lot of modern metal; so much senseless aggression and technical wankery with no real message.
 

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NSLALP
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Something that's hooky and melodic and says something, that's something I can get behind. It's why I have moved so far away from a lot of modern metal; so much senseless aggression and technical wankery with no real message.
It makes me feel old, but yeah, dude. My current band is about 7.2 miles from my last one... I went from prog-groove-death or something to "radio" metal. We're trying to write the stuff that we like to hear and that we think will get people excited. That doesn't mean it's not headbangable, it's just that we're trying to really focus on memorable and accessible songwriting.
 

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Premium Member
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32,450 Posts
I don't relate to the so called "shred community." Shred community? Ok, maybe it's just me, but I fail to find anything communal about a bunch of half-mad monkeys with whammy bars enviously eyeballing each other as they compete over who can play the fastest.
Awesome! :lol:
 

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Premium Member
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9,388 Posts
the shred genre is a failing neighborhood of music, populated by sonically impoverished guitarists (and occasionally other instrumentalists as well), unwilling or unable to rise above the oppression of their own egos.
:agreed:
 

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\m/ Tits & Beer \m/
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1,150 Posts
I TOTALLY relate to this blog, 100% I sometimes almost cringe at the fact that people refer to me as a shredder, but like Alex said they do it with complimentary intentions so I smile and appreciate the fact that they didn't run away upon hearing me. Alex is quite a philosophical, almost "Zen" type of musician which I always appreciated. Thanks for the great read!
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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11,837 Posts
with no real message.
This is one of my personal issues. I have no message at all. I dont have any message i'm trying to convey, i just play. I just want to rock.
I'v moved from the shred aspect to trade it with more complex song structure, but ultimatly, what are you supposed to do when your not really trying to convey a message?
I just find the sounds of music pleasing. (this isnt directed at you josh, its just one of the things i struggle with.)
 

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Bro of Bros, Bro.
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15,373 Posts
Very good article. Great analogies. If you guys would have had the sweet potato fries my girlfriend made tonight, you would have agreed with paragraph 2. TOO MUCH CAYENNE!

Anyway... I used to really like "shredding". And I guess I'm talking 80's shredding. Vinnie Moore, Tony Macalpine, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, etc. It used to be about playing very fast, but done in a fitting and tasteful manner. I don't even think it's the "playing fast" as much as it was "playing at tempo".

It's kind of like a comedian delivering a good joke in an abrupt manner. It really catches us off guard, but in a good way. Sometimes the same joke wouldn't be so well receive with a downbeat and labored delivery.

I'd say 99% of the shredding out there these days that I've personally heard is mediocre at best. It's become a speed competition, and I mean it's like come on, you can only play so fast at some point, and only hear so many notes at some point that it becomes trivial.

The bottom line is that the key ingredient that is missing these days is the most important: phrasing.
 

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Pallin' around
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9,532 Posts
^^ totally agreed. I have been working hard at phrasing, because I admit, I am one of those players that shreds (poorly) without feel and purpose. Skolnick is totally right, shredding is a tool to be used in a project, it isn't a project itself.
 

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Read Only
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Great article indeed, with a caveat. While he's spot on just about everywhere, I consider myself a shredder. I shred because I enjoy the hell out of it. I'd never do it constantly in the context of a band, but when I'm just jamming around at home, shredding's 90% of what I do because it's how I get the most enjoyment out of my guitar playing. (Which is, to me, the whole point).

To me, speed is that pungent, strong spice, an effective and powerful ingredient to be used when appropriate-please take note of those last two words: "when appropriate." I'm going to say them once more: WHEN APPROPRIATE!
He's right, but who's to say when it's appropriate when music is completely subjective? To take the obvious pick, Rusty Cooley's playing might not be for everyone, but the dude shreds, loves to shred, and loves to play guitar. His playing isn't "inappropriate", it's what he likes to play and like anything, it's up to you if you want to listen to it or not. If anything I say good on Rusty for being ballsy enough to stick to his guns and record the music that he likes to play.

This article makes some good points, but they're all points on how Alex likes his music to be. Which is just fine, but still nothing more than his opinion.
 

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I dislike Porcupine Tree.
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189 Posts
He's right, but who's to say when it's appropriate when music is completely subjective? To take the obvious pick, Rusty Cooley's playing might not be for everyone, but the dude shreds, loves to shred, and loves to play guitar. His playing isn't "inappropriate", it's what he likes to play and like anything, it's up to you if you want to listen to it or not. If anything I say good on Rusty for being ballsy enough to stick to his guns and record the music that he likes to play.
+all of it
 
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