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I'm tired of bad musicians being praised cause they play with "feeling"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Sorry, don't want to sound self-righteous, or that I'm complaining. But I've noticed a trend. It seems that with people (musician's and non-musician's alike) have a notion that if a group plays badly or aren't good musician's to start with, as long as they play with "feeling" and "emtion" that makes them better than a group who has good musicianship cause supposably the group with the musicianship are just wanking. Many times I've played with bands/musician's who praised themselves after a performance because they had the "intensity" going. But they fail to realize during that intensity that the guitarist blotched the intro riff, and the drummer dropped his sticks twice. I'm not saying that bands and musician's should play emotionless and churn out malmsteen style wankfest when they are playing, but I just don't think that the fact that a group had emotion in their playing should cancel out if they played badly.

    Just a few thoughts of mine. Don't want to sound like I'm complaining. What are your thoughts?
  2. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    People play music -- and listen to music, and go "see" music -- for different reasons. For some, enthusiasm is enough; for others, it's about chops or virtuoso musicianship. Personally, I'm into new and unique sounds, whether they're played "well" or not...

    Having said that, it's probably worth noting that the singer in my last band had horrible intonation problems when performing live -- mainly because he invested so much feeling into the performance that he would throw himself and his mic/stand all over the stage. The histrionics definitely got in the way, and frustrated the hell out of the rest of us...
  3. what about janis joplin? or SRV? or hell, even the singer for hot water music? all of them are far from the best singers in the world but if you don't think that you can hear their emotion when they sing and that it touches a nerve somewhere inside than i feel sorry for you.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    No, guys you don't understand what I'm saying. I'm not saying that musician's have to all have chops like Dream Theater or classically trained musician's. I'm talking about normal Rock/Country/Blues/Pop/Metal ect. bands who can't perform their music well (i.e. drummer getting off beat, guitarist playing in wrong key, singer hitting flat notes, bassist bottoming out ect.) Granted, Nirvana isn't a great band musicianship wise, but they performed what they did well. I'm just saying that there are bands who just can't "get it together" for some reason, but if they are playing with all of their emotion, it doesn't matter if they are playing badly, because "They are playing with emotion".
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Well, I think that once your ear reaches a certain level, you can tell - to a point - how inspired the music really is, and how much of themselves the musicians are really putting into it.

    Still, you can be as inspired as you like, but you still have to practice a certain amount in order to be able to express your ideas fluently, whether it's two chords or twenty polychords. Some players will never be able to play some lines, but that doesn't mean they can't make good music. Technique is a necessary thing, but when it's mixed with creativity, intuition and innovation, that equals what we call great music.

    In essence, I agree with you LM - you can play with more feeling than an Oscar winner and still suck!
  6. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    They tend to sing in key though.
  7. sorry for misunderstanding what you were trying to say. i gotta agree with that if a band sucks they suck and nothing can excuse that fact.
  8. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I agree with you too, LM. I have never seen a band stink it up on stage and I said, "Man, they really rocked out! I could feel their emotions." It was more like, "They sucked arse and somebody must have been feeling something, but it wasn't what they should have been feeling."

    On the other hand, if a band really has their stuff together and plays with feeling, that's icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.

    PS...I never "got" Janis, SRV or Jimi Hendrix -- does that make me an emotionless robot? ;)
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I agree 100%. It also amuses me that people think they need to flop around the stage like dying fish in order to "get into the music".
  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Upon reflection, I see such fellows play all the time at open mics. They can barely string chords together on the guitar, but they're throwing everything they have into those chords.

    Non-musicians aren't going to notice a sloppy change, a ragged tempo or fret noise - they can't be expected to recognize that stuff the way we can. They will recognize the emotion, effort and intensity first, because those are things that all human beings have.

    You have to give people credit for having that kind of energy, because not everyone can get up on stage and do that... but, at the same time, you CAN encourage them to learn how to play properly.
  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thrash Jazz, you summed up what I meant to say perfectly.

    No prob Voodoo, I should have made my point more clear. ;)

    I think that emotion should be the beginning factor that pushes your techinque/abilities.

    I enjoy untechnical music (Punk, simple folk, hardcore, ect.) and I enjoy highly technical music (prog rock, jazz, classical,) and I enjoy middle of the road music (rock, blues, country, metal) I just want the music to be played in time and in key. You know what I mean.
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    That's not the band's fault, though. It's the listener's fault. Some people don't know how to listen to music. They just go by the feeling it brings out in them without paying any attention to the artistry involved. I was in a record store yesterday and a guy came in asking the clerk if they had any CDs by "a very famous sax player", which turned out to be Kenny G. :rolleyes:

    Surreptitiously, I told the clerk I always wondered who buys that guy's records.

    To his defense, Kenny Gorelick (his full name) actually has some musicianship. All he's doing is giving crap to people who want to buy it.
  13. IronBass


    Jan 31, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    I think this is a great thread made by LiquidMidnight, well like my String bass instructor says, "Music has gone through Renaissance, baroque, Classical and Romantic, and now were in the BS period."
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Well I don't know... some of us don't like to say "those guys suck". I mean, if I'm at a talent show of younger/inexperienced/amateur players, and it seems that a group is trying very hard to put on a good show despite a lack of skill, and they don't look like they take themselves too seriously, then I would definitely say something positive (or non-negative) like "they're playing with feeling". (OTOH, if they had attitudes like they thought they were hot snot, then I might not be so nice... ;))

    I thought this thread was going to be yet another punk-bashing thread, but as you can hear Nirvana's genius, I was obviously wrong (and I'm happy I was wrong).
  15. i'm tired of musicians with no feeling being praised because they have chops.
  16. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    musicianship verses feeling...how about a holistic viewpoint?
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I'm sick of musicians with chops who play with feeling getting worse gigs than the insensitive chopmeisters and the untechnical schlockmeisters...

    ...I think we covered the gamut, haven't we?
  18. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Another thread at http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=51535&highlight=white+stripes got me thinking about the issue of feeling/enthusiasm versus chops/musicianship again.

    Check out this quote from a CMJ review of the much-hyped White Stripes' album "White Blood Cells":

    "Most of Cells feels like it was taken on first takes - Meg flubs beats, Jack mashes guitar notes and squeals off-key - but every mistake adds to the honest, approachable appeal."

    The full review is at http://music.yahoo.com/music/reviews/cmj/short.html?a=n/music/reviews/cmj/rock/61/p1, for anyone who wants to be upset further ... ;) :D
  19. Julien


    Dec 29, 2001
    it's the kind of reaction of people who are jealous of the succes of bands that are technically worse than them..well,music for people,it's not to be masturbating the neck of your guitar,so if they get more applause than you,then they're better than you!
  20. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings

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