- You don’t seem to be very fond of shredders.
- I’m not very fond of playing just for the sake of impressing people.
- But shredders still get a large audience.
- Virtuosity always did.
- And a lot of people love their music, too.
- Yes, the music can be nice but most of it was written 200 years ago. And still, guitar shredders can’t reach the level of professional violinists. The point is: use the technique that your music asks for, not the other way round.
- However, these guys do amazing things.
- And often ridiculous.
- What about two-handed tapping?
- I didn’t hear yet great music using this technique. In Midnight, Satriani uses a simple tapping technique. Stanley Jordan is a great technician but I don’t like his tone. It’s also hard to reach a great diversity of sound color while tapping. Only Steve Vai and Van Halen seem to use tapping only as much as their solos ask for, from a musically point of view.
- If they are not valuable musically, why do people appreciate them so much?
- People appreciate hard work and think that shred techniques are hard to acquire.
- Aren’t they?
- Much less that you think. Just do your homework!
- Shred is used not only in neo-classic rock but also in fusion.
- Yes, you’re right. I liked fusion when it was called hard-rock and was played by John McLaughlin, Al di Meola and Miles Davis. Jeff Beck is a guitarist of great taste but, somehow, he softened the fusion of the ‘70s. As for now, fusion is really in bad shape.
- What do you mean?
- Musicians play fusion just to show off with their technical skills, the sound is awfully synthesized, the music is cheesy. I understand, guitarists invested a great deal of their lives acquiring all those technical skills and they are eager to let anyone know how good they are but this is not what music should be about.
- What should it be about?
- About feelings, thoughts, going into trance, going beyond. But this is another issue and it deserves to be debated properly.
- You mean you don’t listen to neo-classic and fusion?
- No, I have to. All my students want to get as technical as possible. I have to learn everything that has to do with guitar playing and shredders contributed a lot.
Jason Becker - Paganini's 5th Caprice
Michael Angelo de Batio - Double-Guitar Live
Joe Satriani - Midnight
Steve Vai - Triple-Guitar Live
Van Halen - Eruption
John McLaughlin - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Al di Meola - Kiss My Axe
Miles Davis - Jean Pierre
Jeff Beck - 'Cause We've Ended as Lovers