When less is more

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Offline Guitar74

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When less is more
« on: May 21, 2021, 12:27:05 PM »
So today at lunch our newest employee, who is a very cool guy that is new to guitar but a VERY good critical listener, and I got into a music discussion that eventually landed on Ringo Starr. He was talking about everyone slagging on him for being a crappy drummer on the internet and how one person made the point to look up Paperback Writer and think about how it would sound with someone like Bobby Rock (who would probably play for the song as dude has some mad skills and great instincts) or Mike Portnoy playing the way everyone expects THEM to. It would not be as great a song which got us on to the topic of sometimes less is DEFINITELY more. That saying even goes for metal and other genres. There are times when you can just do too much and destroy a golden opportunity to tease an audience or listener.

I think one time that that idea MORE than spoke for itself was at an audition for a metal band when I was in college. This was in 1993, I was 19, and the group I was auditioning for was pretty well established. The guys were on average about 10 years older than me. I show up with my rack half stack, and guitar. I plug in, and start warming up. I was a HUGE Savatage freak back then and once I got my fingers warm I would always play the guitar parts for Temptation Revelation (the instrumental that segues in to When the Crowds are Gone) just to make a mental check (bends good, fingers limber time to play). I finish my warmup and play Temptation Revelation thinking, okay they are gonna "suit up" and we will jam some stuff just to see if we gel musically. Instead they look at me and the drummer says,"You wanna' go have a smoke?" Sure. There is this guy sitting next to the singer that asks if he can check out my guitar and rig. Not thinking too much about it I tell him sure. I walk outside and notice that only the drummer and myself are outside having a cig and this kid is inside just blowing smoke on my gear. I realize that he is auditioning too and think to myself,"Man why didn't I go through Scarified and show them what I REALLY can do?" So Jay, the drummer and I are talking and having a smoke, all the while I am listening to this guy just literally do nothing but six string sweeps (which I could do, but just didn't because I was just trying to warm up my hands after coming in from the outside in central Illinois in January), and I am ready to pack everything up once I am done with my smoke when Mike, the other guitarist, and Kevin, the bassist come outside to join us. Mike looks at Jay and says,"I don't know about you but I heard enough in the first twenty seconds to last a lifetime. I get it, kid you can shred." Then all three of them look at me and Jay says,"You want the job?" I tell him of course. This was an established band, with a great sound, great following, so I was really sweating this audition. I ask them why they chose me over the other guy and they answer, "We have seen you with other groups. We know what you're capable of. We also know that even though you're young, you have enough restraint to let a song breathe. Besides that, you nailed that instrumental when you were warming up. You got the job."

That was one of the best compliments I have ever gotten as a guitarist. It was even more important for a 19 yr old kid who by the standards of these guys was inexperienced. After that, I wasn't even mad that the other guy auditioned on my gear under false pretense.

Moral of the story? Don't play everything you know in an audition. Just play enough that they get an understanding of who you are as a player. If they ask for more, give it to them.

If you're having one of those days where everyone is on your case and is just getting on your nerves, it's probably not everyone else

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: When less is more
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 01:45:54 PM »
If you can play something like "Scarified" you must be a very good player. I would never even have dreamed of playing something like that.

And I agree that this was a great compliment.

Rock on.
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Offline buddroyce

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Re: When less is more
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 01:48:18 PM »
That's awesome!!! I love stories like these!
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Offline Guitar74

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Re: When less is more
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2021, 12:27:51 PM »
If you can play something like "Scarified" you must be a very good player. I would never even have dreamed of playing something like that.

And I agree that this was a great compliment.

Rock on.

Scarified was a while ago. I am sure that I would fall on my face with that one these days. Here's a link to some of my stuff:

www.acadams.bandcamp.com

Noting quite as chops heavy as Scarified though. I was a big Racer X fan when I was a teenager because Paul wasn't much older than me so I learnedas much as his stuff as I could back then with the attitude of,"If he can do it at that age, then why shouldn't I be able to." LOT'S of woodshedding back then.
If you're having one of those days where everyone is on your case and is just getting on your nerves, it's probably not everyone else