February 2, 2008


by Chris Randall

It's really too bad Europe isn't around any more, because this dude would fuckin' OWN in that band. The description for the video says "Playing wicked fucking solo on the keyboard totally origional ... fucking fast." [sic] He forgot to mention "tedious, sonically uninteresting, and never mind the ubiquitous grace notes."

Thank all the music gods that this sort of thing has gone away. At least for keyboard players. Anyways, I'm gonna be out of town for the next three days, as I have to help my mom move across a couple-three states. I may be able to post again before Tuesday, but don't count on it. In the event, this is an open thread, and the topic: is there still room for virtuosity (not counting the above, of course) in modern music? Many forms of music, including almost all electronic music genres, require little actual playing skill in order to make a perfectly viable product, and with editing and quantizing, you can get away without knowing how to actually play in virtually any form of music these days. Has skill in anything but editing/programming seen its last days?



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Feb.02.2008 @ 11:07 AM
no...if you have skills (at any instrument) it will lead you in interesting creative directions that you wouldn't discover without said skills. e.g. squarepusher is great at editing/programming, but in listening to his music it sounds to me like the editing is informed by his incredible instrumental skills.

Feb.02.2008 @ 11:14 AM
I think virtuosity still has its place, guys like James Blackshaw and Jack Rose strike me as applying skill to good use.

The trouble is most folk use virtuoso skill for evil, for showing off and adding little to the greater musical body of work.


Feb.02.2008 @ 11:17 AM
Wade Alin
I'm at a year and a half without a midi interface. The day before I bought the Lynx card was the last day I used an actual keyboard to input anything into Nuendo. It's just a different approach and I find that I'm actually more technical (in a good way) doing editing than I would ever be playing. I agree with scientist, being informed to begin with is key. That said, I still practice bass and guitar quite a bit - in a different room, nowhere near my computer. And my kid will sit down at a piano long before she sits down with a sequencer.

Feb.02.2008 @ 12:27 PM
Dave McAnally
"if you have skills (at any instrument) it will lead you in interesting creative directions that you wouldn't discover without said skills. e.g. "

Reeves Gabrels is a good guitarist example of that. The guy is more than capable of playing like Satriani or vai, but his stuff is way more interesting and innovative and a lot of it seems like its because of what he does on top of the playing (ala sampling guitars on Earthling, or the crazy pitch shift solo on Admit on the SMG Metropolis album).


Feb.02.2008 @ 12:40 PM
In the recorded context? I don't really know. It will certainly be some time before we see Emerson, Lake and Palmer-level jackoffery in popular music again. This is a good thing.

In live music, though? Well, there's Zac Hill from Team Sleep tearing shit up:

link [www.youtube.com]">link [www.youtube.com]

I know a drum solo is going to make people's eyes fucking bleed around these parts, but i like how the guy actually manages to find/ride a HOOK in amongst all the silliness.

And virtuosity still gets big play in metal circles, but I won't pursue that line of thought too far.


Feb.02.2008 @ 12:55 PM
Silence is golden.

Feb.02.2008 @ 2:59 PM
god. i could only make through about 20 seconds of that shit. BORING. learn to program a decent synth sound kid!

yes, there's always room for virtuosity in music. there's always room for someone who is bad ass so long as they aren't a wanker one trick pony. there's more to a good song than showing off. that said.. someone who's really talented and original and knows how appeal to an audience etc is really fun to watch.

a sort of example is kaki king. i like a lot of her music (didn't care for the latest album at all because its a little poppy and she sings). she's great to watch and the songs are good and distinct/original etc. i like what she does.


Feb.02.2008 @ 3:09 PM
the mars volta

Feb.02.2008 @ 3:31 PM
Well, Chris, if you are reffering to Europe, the swedish metal band that made "the final countdown" I'm afraid that this dude _can_ own them, since they reunited in 2003.

If there is some other band called Europe, I dont know what I'm talking about, sorry.

I'd rather learn to sing properly then to be virtuous on an unstrument again though.


Feb.02.2008 @ 4:12 PM
I almost made it to the one minute mark. I was way more interested by the cat playing the piano that made the internet rounds a while back.

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