Forgive me, because this is going to be a long one. This may just be me, but I gotta see if anybody else has noticed this. I made the mistake of wandering onto a guitar message board, and I found this weird attitude when discussing other guitar players. I checked three more boards to see if this was an anomaly, but I found this attitude everywhere I went. The posters there almost universally have an opinion I've never heard from people on any other instrument: Technical ability/speed = No emotion/feeling/soul Now I'm not talking about overplaying, that's a whole different debate. I mean people literally saying "So-and-so plays too perfectly, he's got no soul." What gives? I was classically trained on bass clarinet from 12 to 20 and never heard this from symphony musicians. "Yeah, that Itzhak Perlman's got no feel. Too fast." How about "Yo-Yo Ma is so clean, he sounds like a machine. He sucks!" I've never heard jazz sax players make similar remarks about Coltrane or Bird. I never hear my fellow bass players say this stuff. Just because Victor Wooten can play a gajillion notes, I don't think anybody would say he plays without soul. We can talk about overplaying all the time. We can always argue about whether somebody likes to hear "over the top" bass playing as opposed to support playing or grooving. But nobody seems to say Michael Manring has no emotion in his playing. Same with Jaco, Stanley Clarke, or Jeff Berlin. Technique does not exclude emotion. So what's the problem with guitar players? If they don't like someone's playing, fine; say so. If they think someone needs to go to Notes Anonymous to learn how to play less, fine; say so. But how can you say Guitarist X plays with more emotion than Guitarist Y just b/c Guitarist Y has more technical ability? As if emotion were something you could quantify and measure. For the life of me, it doesn't make sense! Sloppier playing or avoiding anything shorter than a whole note can't equal more feel, soul, or emotion, can they? So tell me, am I alone here? Do any of you hear guitar players (usually rock guitar players) say this stuff? Will I ever understand guitar players?