Anyone Can’t Play Guitar


Viikko 33


Motion: THB that even if guitar-driven rock ’n roll is dead it can be resuscitated
Role: MP/Rep. (govt.)
Date: Aug 19th, 2016

The electric guitar used to be the instrument of choice among male teenagers the post-war world over. It could be heard on records from the Beatles to Def Leppard to Hole to Linkin Park. Now it seems, though, that young men cannot grab a guitar in the same sense as they used to, with a resulting impoverishment of pop music.

What is the secret of the guitar?

A couple of Freudian explanations have been offered to explain away the popularity of the guitar. Some have professed that the guitar is, because it is hard, long and thin when it comes to the neck, a phallic symbol. In consequence, when the guitarist is shredding on the frets, he is, in fact, doing what some people do under the duvet. When I first heard this explanation, I shrugged it off, because it felt plain wrong. I could have countered the claim by asking, ”what then about the girls who play guitar; are they also playing with their dong?”

Another explanation, this time one that I liked much better was that guitar was a token for the female body. Some have professed that the guitar is, because it is round, curvy and warm in a down-to-earth way when it comes to its body, a feminine presence. In consequence, when the guitarist is operating on the frets, he is, in fact, doing what guys do when they try to seduce someone and take the initiative, ”hitting on the Angel”. Someone else could have countered the claim by asking, ”what then about the girls who play guitar; are they also playing with their lesbian love?”

The Freudian explanations should go the way of Freud himself. Even though he contributed immensely to the vocabulary of psychology, and the conceptual cloakroom, his ideologies have met 21st-century minds that do not seem to operate anymore as perpetual sex machines. Thus, music shouldn’t be the only enclave left in the world to be stuck with interpretations of his kind. Not even if music as a word stems from the root word ”muse”, in a sly reference to antiquity that Mr Psychology was so enamoured of as a source for globally valid answers.

What…. then?

The guitar, I think, has been as good as a musical instrument gets, because is such a great interpreter of the male mind and its mood swings. Think about the whole package (and I’m here talking mostly about the electric guitar rather than its twin sisters Spanish/acoustic guitar or different halfway models):

  1. The guitar, when it’s electrified, can go very fast from a ”whisper” to a ”scream”. If the player wants to showcase his aggression, he has plenty of pedals and knobs to turn (to) to make it happen. This, however, does not prevent him from showing his gentler side in playing the guitar in a jangly, more treble-oriented way, or surf guitar (think Chris Isaak and his band), or a folky, campfire-in-the-woods kind of way (think ”Patience” by Gn’R or ”That’s the Way” (1970) by Led Zep).
  2. If the player is thinking in a fuzzy and dim way, he may use the low [end of the] strings.
  3. If the player is thinking in a lucid and sharp way, he may use the high [end of the] strings.
  4. If the player is sensing minimal movements of the mind, he may move his fingers only one # or b at a time back and forth on the chromatically organised fretboard.
  5. If the player is having escapist, exotic dreams, he may opt for playing more exotic scales from misty Celtic to religious Arabic to pentatonic Japanese ones.
  6. If the player is sensing maximal movements of the mind, he may put layer upon layer of effect-laden guitar on tape in the studio as long as he knows what he is doing (instead of hallucinating).
  7. Moreover, the guitar adapts well as a band instrument. It can perform solo over all the other instruments when amplified to a sufficient degree, or it may be used for just building a ”wall of sound”, shoring up the sound of the rest of the band like a good lieutenant. The guitar is such a good instrument, for it adapts to hierarchies, militancy, maverick soloing, conformity and solitary sidestepping, even if these are mutually contradictory directions. The guitar is a versatile workhorse, one of man’s best friends.

In any event, you have probably noticed that guitar has slowly but surely slid out of the soundscape of radio-played records. It has become rarer and rarer, and some stations have forsaken it completely.

For all that, the guitar alone shouldn’t be enough to satisfy a musician’s noise-source needs. It’s disappointing with what kind of equipment music is being churned out these days. I would say that it was better if a musician owned 200 different acoustic, amplified and electronic instruments and used some of them to produce his musical oeuvre, getting to know one of them each month in his career, than if a musician owned two instruments (a computer with software and a mixer) and used both of them to produce his entire musical output.

The guitar must be returned to the frontline.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 6 min 21 sek
Arvio: * * *. Puheessa on puolitehoinen alku, sillä alun verryttelyä ei todellakaan tarvita toimivaan puheeseen. Ennemminkin kyse on siitä, että sillä yritetään saada yleisö kuuntelemaan korvat höröllä, jotta sitten pystyttäisiin saamaan varsinainen pointti, eli soittimen suosion syyt yleisesti hyväksyttäviksi. Puheen rakentamisessa monesti unohdetaan, että liian tiivis, pointteja täynnä oleva puhe, usein sekoaa omaan näppäryyteensä ja menettää sen yhden henkilön, jota ei saisi menettää: kuulijan.



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