reply to post by DieSektor
Electric or nothing!
Your mileage may vary. People like Yngwie Malmsteen are pretty much nothing but muscle memory too--indeed, I see strong similarities between the
musical attitudes of the 'drifting' acoustic players shown above and that of electric-guitar showoffs like Malmsteen, Van Halen, Satriani et
. For all their athleticism, the harmonic, dynamic and emotional range of their music is limited and rather primitive.
Acoustic guitar is, on the whole, harder to play convincingly than electric. I play both, and regard them as different instruments. Electric guitar is
undoubtedly the most versatile of all musical instruments in terms of tonal variety and the range of different ways it can be played. Someone who
thinks of it in terms of licks and tricks (scales and speed) is actually missing out on most of the instrument's potential.
Acoustic guitar is far less forgiving than electric but can, for that very reason, be a whole lot more rewarding. Its intimacy and harmonic
richness--look at an oscilloscope trace of an acoustic guitar note and see how much more complex it is than a note played on an electric--create a
much wider emotional
range, even in the hands of a slightly-better-than-average guitarist, than most electric experts can achieve. It takes
many years to learn how to get a good sound out of an acoustic guitar--and every new acoustic you pick up has to be learnt and mastered before it will
sound good for you--but the rewards can be enormous.
When I play electric guitar, I think of myself as a painter--splashing colours and shapes across the canvas created for me by the rhythm section, or
creating washes of tonal light and shade--or as a singer, telling people a story through my instrument. When I play acoustic guitar, it is the guitar
that speaks, and my job is to help it tell its tale and not get in the way. In exchange, it will do the same for me if I use it to accompany my own
My personal taste isn't really relevant here, but for the record I like electric players whose guitar showmanship is framed with musicality,
compositional nous and taste, as well people whose playing is informed by tradition and soul. I have never cared for jazz, with its tawdry faux
sophistication and its laughable intellectual pretensions--though the best jazz, like all the best music, is exempt from the faults of its provenance
and genre--but I like late Classical and Romantic music as well as a lot of early modern stuff. If you want harmonic innovation, nothing beats the
great Romantic composers. Serialism was only invented because the Romantics had exhausted conventional tonality. 'World music' is, of course, mostly