Thursday, June 30, 2011

Short and Sweet

Sorry, guys, I have nothing too lengthy today. I wanted to say that I really appreciate the comments I've been getting, and I hope I don't disappoint you guys!

Today is the birthday of a friend, and fellow local musician, Amanda P. aka If Humans Could Fly. She's a lone musician, who plays 90s and 00s rock covers, along with her own unique brand of original music. In our town, it's hard to get booked, if you're not playing the same imbecilic modern country songs everyone's heard a billion times, or if you're not playing incoherently screamed "metal" while dancing around like a jackass. To play music you personally think is good and actually get booked to play it is no small feat - and one If Humans Could Fly has most certainly accomplished.

Amanda is, by all accounts, very ambitious, and true to her own sense of aesthetics. If there were more people like her(*coughandmecough*), perhaps the scene in this city would be different.

Here's my favorite song of hers, dig that kick as intro:

Happy b-day, Amanda! And check out the rest of her music on her youtube channel! (same channel as the above video)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kitty cats, possums, and... country fusion?

We brought in this little kitten, the other day. Apparently, it was the only one out of the litter to have survived. The mother cat was long gone, possibly run over(we live near a busy intersection). It had been raining, so we decided it would be best to bring the cat in, even though it was pretty feral.

We feed a lot of cats around the complex. I have mixed feelings about it; we honestly shouldn't do it, because if we feed a few cats, then a bunch more are gonna start coming around, and that's not good. Still, it feels pretty cold blooded to let them go hungry, or die. Especially when you see them everyday.

On a funnier note, I was outside talking with some of the neighbors, and a possum comes out of nowhere! You'd think they be rummaging around at night, but apparently this one just couldn't wait! It gave my next door neighbor a scare, then ran off into the crawl space. Possums are generally harmless, but if they have rabies, they could bite and infect some of the pets around here. I suggested we call an exterminator to come take care of these things.

This kooky-looking group is the prodigious 70s/80s fusion group The Dixie Dregs. Now, if you're like a lot of people, you might not be into "country" music, because of how banal and insipid it can get, especially with modern country music. The Dregs, on the one hand, are a strictly instrumental group, with a rock n' roll jazz twist to the hoe-down madness.

The group was formed in Augustus, GA(my home state =p) in 1970 by Andy West and virtuoso guitarist Steve Morse. The line-up would change many times over the years, with even the great violinist, of Mahavishnu Orchestra fame, Jerry Goodman joining their ranks.

The Dregs pieced together a tight groove, with bluegrass, rock n' roll and funk overtones, blended with the then popular fusion scene, made popular by the likes of Miles Davis and John McLaughlin. Their music varies from incredibly technical, and diversely musical pieces, to more chilled-out commercial oriented, but still interesting, opuses.

I will say that my interest in this band comes in part from my geographical placement. I grew up surrounded by bluegrass/country stuff, so my liking this bands feels only natural. For those of you who are of the Yankee-urban persuasion, you might not like it, but can hopefully appreciate the talent and hard work these craftsmen put into their, admittedly, somewhat niche music.

For those of you who are into the Progressive Colossi who form the group Dream Theater, you might be interested in knowing that the Dregs were a primary influence to their music - especially to that of their guitarist John Petrucci.

Tomorrow i'll!

Probably my favorite youtube video. xD

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A bit cranky... but so what!

Jeez, I don't know if I just need to quit smoking(I only smoke a few a day, anyway), or something, but I was really kind of pissed for no reason today. 'Got up on the wrong side of the bed, I guess.

So, there's this strange guy hanging around my apartment complex by the mail boxes, just loitering, and talking to himself! I mean, I guess there's nothing wrong with that, if he's not bothering anyone, but he doesn't live here, obviously, and it's kinda awkward for people getting their mail. Who knows what the guy will do! We called the police, and they talked to him, but they didn't ask him to leave, or anything. Some help they are...

Today I felt like maybe discussing music theory, again. This blog is slowly turning into a music blog, but I do have other interests. Not sure how you guys would feel about reading a blog on Sumerian Archaeology, though. =p


This one's for you geetar players out there! So, you've been playing for a while, you know some theory, and hell, you can probably play some pretty challenging stuff! But, you feel like you're in a rut. Maybe you're playing the same patterns over and over again, maybe it's just the same scales, or the same chords. Perhaps it's time for a routine switch up. Check out this website:

There's a scale and chord calculator, and all kinds of neat stuff on this site. You can see which chords sound good with other chords, and learn scales and modes in any particular key center you like. It's a great way of exploring guitar playing, if you don't want to get bogged down in a lot of theory. I used this site a lot when I was first starting out, and it's still useful to me.

If you'd like a suggestion, I would try the Bebop Dominant scale. It's really outside, and sounds awesome, when applied correctly. Here's the Memphis Monster, himself, to show you a neat pattern you could learn:

Yeah, this one is really, really challenging. Pretty much an expert level lick. You need to have practiced a lot to play something like this. But, it's cool - even if you find this lick impossible to do, you'll still learn a lot from trying to play it, trust me. Sometimes, you got to really push your limits, and get out of your comfort zone to get better. I've been meticulously scoping out this entire Instructional for the past week, or so, and the licks Shawn Lane plays in it are BLISTERING! King Kong ain't got shit on Shawn Lane.

Powdered Toast Man!


Monday, June 27, 2011

And now for something a bit more modern...

The Djentlemen depicted in this picture are the members of the band Animals As Leaders, a modern Progressive Metal band. What makes them so striking is the unique instrumentation of their group, as well as their strictly instrumental approach. They've toured with bands such as Veil of Maya and The Faceless, and are currently set to support Between The Buried and Me in Europe this fall.

The group was led, and formed, by Tosin Abasi. This 8-string guitar wizard is a phenomenon in and of himself, with a mathematical sense of rhythm, coupled with an anomalous technical approach and melodic aesthetic. Tosin formed the group after graduating from college; Prosthetic Records had, years earlier while playing a stint with the metalcore band Reflux, offered him a solo deal with their company, which he had originally declined. He brought along fellow musicians Javier Reyes and Navene Koperwies for live sets, but producer Misha Mansoor programmed most of the drum and synth parts for their self-titled first album, released in 2009.

The music itself is a woven tapestry of poly-rhythms, desperate sectional segways, Meshuggah-like metal riffs and passages, and fiery solos. The drum tracks a combination of your usual metal drumming, along with instances of electronica-esque drum tracks. It's a breath of fresh air from the other acts with whom Animals as Leaders is associated; the style certainly feels much different than other math-oriented bands of the scene, such as Sikth. If anything, it's musically reminiscent of Mr Bungle, or Frank Zappa, coupled with Holdsworthian fusion sensibilities - but well within the spirit personified by some of their metal and deathcore counterparts. Particularly good tacks to look out for are "Song of Solomon" and "Tempting Time."

Although there doesn't seem to be any kind of a new album in the works, AaL members Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes are currently involved in a project with Suicidal Tendencies drummer Eric Moore and Mars Volta woodwind player Adrian Terrazas, "T.R.A.M." The new act strips off the metal trappings of the former band to reveal a much more fusion oriented group. Whether the group will flourish as well as AaL is to be seen.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Practice makes... not so perfect... And other assorted things!

So, I've rickshawin' for the past couple of hours, as per usual. Practice, practice, practice all the damn time, and I still feel like I'm getting no where. I undertook my biggest musical challenge so far months ago, and I've yet to see much fruit from my labor. Paganini's fifth might be easier to play on guitar, but I definitely can't tell.

I guess if you could just instantly learn things, music wouldn't be very fun or challenging. Still, I see prodigies all the time, shreddin' it up like no body's business. It's kinda frustrating to see that, but I have complete respect for that kind discipline and talent. It's rare, and even rarer to see those talents used to their full potential.

But... enough bitching. Let's talk politics for a second:

Now, by no means is politics my strong suit. Seriously, I've tried. I've watched the news; CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. I've gone on new sites. I've done all kinds of things, but politics bewilders the hell out of me.

You know how you meet someone, and they have a set of really zealous beliefs? They really believe something is the way they think it is, and will not even so much as look at other possibilities. Fox News comes across that way, to me. As I've said, I've watched Fox, and am not just going by stuff that Jon Stewart says on The Daily Show. I know one could argue, even utilize some credible statistics, to prove that Fox does have, in their regular news programs, your fairly typical reporting format. I can't criticize that, but their opinion-based stuff... just comes across as really self-righteous, and with misplaced indignation. It's as if they want galvanize their viewers into a frenzy over a perceived since of minority in the political spectrum. Then again, Jon Stewart can be just as bad at times. And Seth MacFarland's uber liberalism pisses me off just as much as anything on Fox.

Bewildered, like I said. I really have no intelligent input on the subject, at the moment, and I apologize for that. I would like to do more astute pieces on politics in the future, but for now, this is what I got. 'Mainly just trying to convey to you guys the conflict I have with it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's an Art

"Tatum has been the only jazz musician to date who has made an attempt to conceive a style based upon all styles, to master the mannerisms of all schools and then synthesize those into something personal." - Benny Green

There are many things that can be said of the pianist Art Tatum; many grandiose superlatives, and an extensive library of flattering adjectives which could be applied. What I can certainly say about him, after enjoying his music for a number of years, is that he was a musician. A true musician. Someone who went beyond influences and musical styles. A musician who could utilize many forms of music, while creating, not a combination or a fusion, but something new and incredible.

Art was born in Toledo, Ohio to a musical family. His father, Art Tatum Sr., and Mildred Hoskins, his mother, encouraged Art in his music from a young age. He was born with perfect pitch, and started in music by picking out Hymnals on the piano. He was also very sensitive to intonation, and requested that the piano be tuned often.

He studied with various teachers, at various schools, one being the Jefferson School for the Blind. He developed cataracts in his youth, and was nearly blind his whole life. By 19 he was playing with Jon Hendricks at the local Waiters and Bellman's Club in Toledo. The modern stride scene was a huge inspiration to him - guys like Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, and Willie "The Lion" Smith, whom were the giants of the scene at the time. The musical intricacies of stride captivated the young Tatum. The extended harmonies, rhythmic variations, and musical liberties which could be taken in the context of the style seemed endless. Art would eventually meet his heroes on the bar room floor for a cutting contest in New York City, from whence he would emerge the "victor."

His reputation spread(to even the great Duke Ellington, himself) rather quickly in the clubs and bars of Toledo. He'd eventually take his place as a power player amongst the musical elite. He was universally praised; his forerunners, contemporaries, and those whom he influenced - all spoke very highly of him. Indeed, there seemed little to critic of the technique and musicality of Art. Stride great Fats Waller, is quoted as saying of Tatum, one night at a club he and Tatum were to perform, "I only play the piano, but tonight God is in the house."

Art had developed his own particular technical approach at the instrument from watching others play. His left and right hand were equally verse and extremely well trained. Blistering pentatonic patterns, as well as more complex runs based of chord changes, were prodigiously executed, along with steady patterns ranging from simple ostinato, to the more monstrous oom-pah stride bass with the widely extended harmonies, in the left hand. Art never seemed as though he was exerting himself when he played - he never jumped around in a hammy expression of showmanship. His playing was methodical and purposeful. All this is even more extraordinary in the light of his heavy drinking habits; he was usually consuming while performing, yet never missed a beat or made any kind of mistake.

Art's popularity came to a peak in about the late-thirties, early-forties, after recording a string of widely played radio hits. One of his most notorious tunes was his arrangement of the song, "Tiger Rag" which still continues to mesmerize and intimidate musicians to this day. Particularly, the bebop saxophone giant, Charlie Parker, while washing dishes at a Manhattan club, would listen intently to Tatum, whom was newly arrived from the midwest, saying, "I wish I could play like Tatum’s right hand!"

Art worked with many different bands throughout his career, but remained predominantly a solo artist. Many former bandmates commented at the difficulty of keeping up with the extreme tempos, and falling short in contributing material to Art's playing. Art commented once that a band "hampers" him, and certainly preferred playing solo. This, in part, led to a trickling out of his career, as bebop became a mainstay, and solo piano became sort of novelty.

Tatum continued playing throughout the forties and fifty, remaining a strong musical influence to the new scene of music, but in a far lesser role. He spent the last two years of his life at the Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit. He died of Uremia in 1956, at the age of 47, leaving behind a musical legacy that remains strong over 60 years later.

I had started listening to Art Tatum when I was about 14 years old. My former music teacher, Carlos Barrientos, introduced him to me, along with many other greats such as Thelonious Monk. Art inspired me to be the best musician I could possibly be. Tatum's music still continues to remind me that I have so much to learn about music - about the performance of music, the technicality of music, and the interpretation of music. He inspires me to know where music has been, but to be ambitious and innovative, as well. He pushes me in my practices, to find new lines and new ways of interpreting my old ones.

What else is there to say?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Outlaw Star Ending 1 - "Hiru no Tsuki"

Just wanted to make this quick post. Pure nostalgia. You guys know what I mean!

Oh, just one more thing...

I'm very saddened by the death of Peter Falk, the seminal actor who played quirky "Columbo" on the series by the same name. Apparently, Peter had been suffering from Alzheimer's for a number of years, to the point of even forgetting the role, entirely. I've had members of my own family suffer from Alzheimer's. It's not an easy thing to deal with. My heart goes out to Falk's relatives in the hopes that their grief will be ameliorated soon.

I used to watch the show when I was younger. I certainly didn't see it when it originally aired, back in the 70s, but I do feel a certain attachment to it. Even though television had changed over the decades, and I was probably much more in tune with modern programming, I genuinely liked it. It's one of those shows that's timeless, like M*A*S*H or Twilight Zone. It's something that people will remember.


Inhibited and Uninspired

I was standing outside earlier, trying to figure out what to blog about today. I guess I'm still not used to the whole blogging thing, yet. I'm really not hard wired for it. I'm usually quite around people, at parties, around the water cooler, ect. I like to listen to other people, rather than to run my mouth. I've never considered myself a profound or thoughtful person. Not exactly the best attitude to have for a blogger.

So I decided that I'll say a few things about myself, and where I come from, since I haven't taken the time to really do that yet. The readers need to have some kind of idea of what I'm like, right?

I hail from Georgia. If you're not from here, you might have a somewhat skewed opinion of what it's like in these here parts. Yeah, we got a lot of stupid people, it's pretty laid back and usually uneventful, and there's vast amounts of empty country everywhere... but it's really not that bad. The quaint, vacant atmosphere can definitely help you clear your head. The way the sunlight hits the land at twilight, or at sun up, is quite beautiful to me... I suppose it's probably like that everywhere else, though.

If you were to come here, you'd find that just about everyone between the ages of 15 - 30 wants to "get the hell out of here." Just about every person I meet is restless, and abhors the complete lack of activity. Maybe I'm missing something; maybe I'm just complacent. I certainly don't feel the same way. What I really dislike about living here, though, is the total lack of opportunities. Take what I want to do for example: Music. I'd give anything to be able to rent out a space at a music shop, and teach music. Hell, even if it didn't pay much, I'd still do it, just for the experience. Even just working at a music store would be nice. Because of my age, or perhaps because I'm not "in" with the scene and don't know enough people, that probably won't happen, until I either move, or go to school - Even then, it might not happen.

I'm pretty relegated, especially considering my transportation issues. My city isn't like New York, or any other modern urban city, with mass transport - trains, buses, trams, and the like. We do have a bus, but it'll only take you to anywhere within a small area of the city. If you work on the outskirts of town, and don't have a car, well... you better start walkin'!

I can't make excuses, though. If I'm jobless, that's my fault. You can't just blame circumstance. Is it too much to ask that you get to do something you've put a lot of work into, though?

Anyway, that's about all I got for today. I might post another blog later, but for now, here's Jeff Loomis:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shut up and play your saxotar!

Ahh... so I went to the Chinese food place by my apartment today. I haven't had real Chinese food in so long, I forgot how good it was. 'Got a chicken and vegetable combination. Good stuff!

So I wanted to talk a little about "jazz" music today. I don't really like to call it "jazz." In fact, few musicians, especially from the third stream/bebop era, would ever like to think of themselves as "jazz" musicians. It was kind of a demeaning term, in the light of some social circles' use of it. I like to think of it as American Classical Music, as grandiloquent as that sounds. I digress, though...

It's been a good while since I've explained theory, since I don't seem to have any students these days, but I'd like to discuss, for a bit, jazz harmony. Even if you're a newbie when it comes to music, you've probably heard of the most common chord progression, the ii-V-I turnaround. Believe it or not, it's probably even more common than the I-IV-V change you hear in music all the time, as hard as that is to believe.

The guy depicted in the picture above is John Coltrane, and he had a very unique way of perceiving harmony. In fact, he came up with harmonic innovations so often, that he got bored with it altogether, and decided to take a more modal approach later in his career. One sequence he used often was called, "Coltrane Changes." You take the simple ii-V-I, and add in a more complex series of chords, based off of a certain interpretation of thirds within the context of the Circle of Fifths.

Let's say you have:

Gm7 - C7 - FM7

A ii-V-I sequence in the key of F major. Let's pretend that each chord gets four beats, with one additional FM7 at the end to make it a four bar progression. You want to turn that sequence all jazzy, ala Coltrane? Check it.

Gm7 - Ab7 | Db - E7 | A - C7 | F

The interval relationship between those chords is: minor second, perfect fifth, minor third, perfect fifth, minor third, perfect fifth. Whew... this theory stuff is a headache, eh? It involves a lot of math, and I damn sure am not good with math. But, if you think about the chords, in terms of their interval relationship, then it may be easier for you to get. Here's an example of the Coltrane Changes in action:

Anyway, hope this was informative, to some degree. And sorry I was confusing, or if I confused anything. There's probably some music harmony sticklers out there who could teach me a thing or two. =p

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken 'N' Brice''Front Porch Jam''

Here's a video of me playing guitar. I'm not particularly proud of it, and it's a bit too long and redundant. 'Just messing around mostly, we had been drinkin' and stuff, so it was just foolin' around(also kind of out of tune). I was also showing my friend the different effects on the pedal I had.

So you want to solve a Rubik's Cube, kid? Weeeelll, whoop-de-doo!

Well, well well... That dang Rubik's Cube still laying unsolved on your dresser? Still can't figure it out? Well, I got TWO WORDS for you, kid! ALGORITHMS!

What you may, or may not, know but there's a trick to solving this thing. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out, either. Here's a few things to get you started:


1. Fi U Li Ui

2. Ri Di R D

3. U R Ui Ri Ui Fi U F

4. Ui Li U L U F Ui Fi

5. F R U Ri Ui Fi

6. R U Ri U R U U Ri

7. U R Ui Li U Ri Ui L

8. Ri Di R D


Here's some useful nomenclature for dat ass:

Hold the cube to where there's a side facing you, a side in your right hand, and a side in your left hand. That forward side is the front, or "F". Right side is "R", left side is "L", top side is "U", and the down side "D."

The turning notation is like so - when it says "F" turn the front clockwise. When it's "Fi" turn it counterclockwise. When it says "R" turn the side in your right hand away from you. When it says "Ri" turn it towards you. When it says "D" turn the bottom side to the right. When it says "Di" turn the bottom side to the left. When it says "L" turn the left side toward you. When it says "Li" turn the left side away from you. When it says "U" turn the upside away from you. When it says "Ui" turn the upside towards you. Are we good? Good...

Now here comes the fun part: Solving the Cube!

You can start on any side, but I suggest the green to start you off. Green is a very offensive color to the eyes, so it sticks out(no, really!). Hold it to where the middle green square is on top.

Ignore the corner pieces for a moment, 'cause all you're going to want to do is get a green cross on top. You know, like the kind Jesus was crucified on. The kind that looks like a plus sign. BUT! You're going to want to get the squares to correspond to the right color scheme! So you'll be looking for green squares with white, yellow, orange, and red on the other side of them. So, hold that Cube to where the green middle square is on top, and start figuring out that cross!

Occasionally, you'll run into a problem where you turn the cube to get the green square on top, but, damn! The colors are inverted! Green is where yellow should be, and yellow is where green should be! Don't fret, because the first algorithm can help you with that. Hold it to where the side with the inverted square is facing you. Read the turning notation to make sure you're turning it the right way; the first couple of times you do it, you're bound to screw it up, but you'll get used to it quick - trust me.

Once you've got that cross notated correctly, you'll now want to focus on the corner squares of the green portion. With the green still on top, find the corner squares that correspond to the right color scheme, even if they don't match. Say you find the green, red and yellow square. Move that square to where it's in the bottom right corner of the front face, and also being directly under where it needs to be. Use algorithm number 2 to get that square where it needs to be. You'll probably have to keep doing it a few times to finally get it placed correctly, but that's cool. Do the same thing for all the corner pieces for green, until you got that part solved.

Well congrats! You've solved 1/3 of the cube! Feel awesome yet? Good. 'Cause from here, it gets tricky.

Now you're going to want to flip the cube to where the green parts on the bottom, and the blue parts on top. Find a top, middle(a square that would be part of the cross) square that doesn't have blue in it, and move it to where it corresponds to the side it belongs to. For instance, if you have a white and red square, with the white facing you and the red on top, flip the top around to make it correspond to the white side. And make sure you hold it to where the white side is now facing you.

What you're going to want to do at this point is solve the middle portion of the cube, and to do this, you'll need to first do what I described in the last paragraph. Then, based upon how the square is positioned, use algorithm three or four to get the middle portion solved. -- Let's go back to the red/white example, for a second. The white portion of the square is facing you(corresponding the white side, if you positioned it correctly), and the red is on top. The red side is to the right of the white side, so you'll want to use algorithm number 3 to get it into the correct position. Conversely, if you have a square that is white facing you, and orange on top, you'll want to use the fourth algorithm. --

If you're ever in a position to where there's nothing but squares with blue on top, find a piece in the middle portion that that doesn't correspond correctly. Say you turn it to the yellow side, and there's a yellow and orange piece where there should be a yellow and red piece. Do algorithm number 4, and you'll find that the piece is now on the the top side, opposite of you.

Frustrating, eh? If you've persevered, followed my directions, and done this correctly, then you've solved the middle. That's 2/3 the way done! You're almost at the top of the mountain!

Now you're going to be solving the top layer - the blue portion. What you're going to want to do is look for an backwards L shape, that should be in the top left corner. If you don't see one - don't fret! Just do algorithm number five until you see either a blue cross, a blue line, or that backwards L shape. Once you've gotten the blue cross, you're ready for the next step - corresponding the colors of the cross correctly. If you have two sides beside each other that match hold it to there one side is opposite of you and the other is to your right. Use algorithm number 6, with one last U to get the cross in it's correct position. This is a step you might have to play with a bit. There's different combinations of blue that you'll have after having solved the middle, and each time it will be different. Don't get discouraged.

Now you're ready for semi-final step. This one is probably the trickiest of them all... well, to me, at least...

You're gonna want to look for corner pieces that are in the correct position, but don't match the color scheme. Say you have a yellow blue and orange piece with the yellow on top, but orange on the yellow side, and the blue on the orange side. Use algorithm number 7, with the that piece in the upper right corner of the front face. You shouldn't have to use the algorithm more than twice to get all of the corner pieces where they need to be, but still not necessarily in the correct positions. Like in my last example, but not just with one corner, but all of them. At this point, you're ready for final step.

One last note on the semi-final step - this step is an enigma to me. Sometimes, I've been able to solve the cube in this step, without using the last step, and sometimes I can't even get the corners where the need to be with the algorithm. Sometime I get two pieces aligned absolutely correctly, with two pieces still mismatched, but on the correct side. It'll probably be the same for you, but if you play around with it long enough, eventually you'll either solve it, or get it into a position where you can solve it.

The final step is easy. Basically, after you've gotten the pieces where they need to be, use the last algorithm repeatedly, starting on whatever side(with the square on the front side, top right), until you've solved for that square. Then move the up portion of the cube to where the next scrambled square is in the position the solved one was in, then do the same until it is solved. Do this for all of the squares, and once you've done this the cube should be solved.


WHEW! Lawdy, I hope it takes you a shorter amount of time to solve the cube than it took for me to write and proof read all of that! My apologies if I was unclear or erroneous at any point. I intend on revising this how-to in the near future. Comments and criticisms are certainly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Musicians Take on the Gamification of Music... or maybe it's the Musification of Games?

Guitar Hero, Rock Band... We've all played these games at some point, and we've all heard the, sometimes pretentious, arguments regarding their legitimacy. You might especially hear musicians talking about them, derisively:

"It's not like playing a REAL guitar!"
The complaints themselves are understandable. Sure, you got these teens and kids running around, thinking they're hot stuff, because they got 100% on a Buckethead piece. It's no small feat , sure, but it's not like playing a piece on a actual instrument. Playing a real guitar takes years of dedication! It's a craft, and it takes talent, and real musicianship! I mean, where do those gamers get off, huh?

Well... it's really not as bad as all that... I don't think. Actually, I think these games have helped music in a way. I know from personal experience that there are tons of kids who have been inspired to pick up an instrument after playing Guitar Hero. Non-musicians can also get a taste of what it's like to actually pick up a guitar, and have to get all of the notes right(in an artificial environment, of course). It's still not the same as a real guitar, but it's conducive to an understanding of it. Picking up that controller, and sucking it up on your first couple of songs is, in a way, synonymous with picking up your first guitar, and realizing that you won't be able to play your favorite songs right off of the bat. It can be a frustrating experience, on both ends.

I can only urge everyone to look at the issue differently. Yes, it's not like playing a real guitar, but it's not suppose to be. Just like a racing game is not suppose be like actual racing.

To those interested in this issue, I'll be making a more personalized(I.E. a blog with more rambling, and run on sentences) and analytical blog post about this at a later date. This one's just to get my blog-legs stretched!