Thursday, June 04, 2009

Frustrating a Guitarist


Before you ask, I don't want to frustrate the pictured Mike Rutherford (Genesis). I'm the frustrated guitarist. Well, maybe I shouldn't call myself a guitarist. A "hacker" would be more appropriate.

Seriously, there are times when I will try to figure out a favorite tune, only to find that none of the chords I know seem to fit. Then I do a search for chords on line, and none of those seem to fit either.

It's then when I realize that the original guitarists who did the tune used an alternate tuning of some type, which they typically will not reveal. It is then that my frustration boils over. I don't have time to sit and twiddle knobs to figure out something I just want to do for pleasure.

I guess it's an "artist" or "proprietary" thing. What else could it be, other than wanting to frustrate people like me?

There's something these guys might ought to consider. You'd think any writer/performer would want their music to live on. Part of the way it lives on is by other people playing it, not just by listening to a CD.

How many bands that are popular now formed originally by getting together in the garage or basement to jam to popular songs that they like from other groups who have made it? If said band or guitarist uses normal chords, it's not a problem. But when a song has a weird or alternate tuning, the song just doesn't sound the same even if the chord you're using is "close" or technically the correct chord. And for me and my sensitive ears, if the song doesn't sound like it does on the record -- or if the chord is off -- I wince.

So, my professional guitarist friends, give it up for the rest of us hackers. I mean, it's a good thing to keep Maalox and Tums in business, but it's hard on our health.

P.S. In case you're wondering, this post is intended to kill time until I can come up with something more substantive.

4 comments:

DJP said...

Joni Mitchell famously did that.

Solameanie said...

"Help me, I think I'm fallin..."

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

As one lawyer said about his secret and why he never wrote a book, his answer was: "If I give away my secrets what leverage do I have?" Maybe that's why some artists remain close to the belt and don't give away their ability to sound different. Just a take. However, for you the frustrated guitarist, this comment might just frustrate you even more. Ha.

Be well Joel!