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Thread: How many of you Prog fabs out there are MUSICIANS?

  1. #51
    Being a discussion board, I'd like to throw this out there. This thread has been tweaking me since I saw it. I'm not trolling here, just discussing how i feel about something.
    Anyway, I see I'm in a very small minority of people that aren't musicians that have responded to the tread. I think the idea that a non-musician having a hard time appreciating prog, or any other kind of music for that matter, is a bit snobbish to me. I don't believe that was the intent of the post at all, but its like saying because someone doesn't draw they wouldn't be able to appreciate my work. And I don't believe that to be true, at all.
    I've gone up to musicians to tell them how much I dug their work to have them ask me if I played, and upon hearing I didn't, turn away to talk with someone who did. As if I couldn't tell they had chops because i didn't play the instrument. I find it offensive actually. I really bugs me, because I think I have pretty good sense of music, and I certainly have exceptional taste!!
    I stated earlier I'm not a musician. I wanted to play vibes as a kid, and ended up at my dads urging, to play sax. Hated it actually, and never played anything else.
    I wish I still could read music like some of you can, I really would love to know whats really happening in a composition theoretically. At the same time, I've read posts where I came away happy I couldn't because it seemed like the theory got in the way of the enjoyment.
    I'm a fan of what a lot of you guys do, I may not understand what the hell your doing, but I dig it all the same! In fact, the more complex it is, the more I'm drawn to it.
    Just my three cents, and again, I'm not trying to poop in the cereal bowl, just discussing my take on the post.
    Cheers!

  2. #52
    Jefferson James
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    Judy Garland (of all people) once said something that really resonated with me, something to the effect of, "I'm always afraid one day the audience is going to realize I don't know what the hell I'm doing."

    That's exactly the way I feel; thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it. I try!

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by No Pride View Post
    I wouldn't think so! That sort of thing is allowed (and even encouraged) in jazz, but not in many other musical situations. In fact in jazz, if anybody's multiple bars of playing a polyrhythm against the beat causes you to lose the "one," you'll get vibed heavily by the other musicians. The embarrassment of having that happen a few times taught me how to focus on where the beat is while nobody is actually spelling it out. But many musical lessons are learned through trial and error, aren't they?! Anyway, you certainly play a killer blues shuffle now!

    Kerry, not a musician... right!
    Thanks for the shuffle comp. What used to kill me was seeing these jazz combos where seemingly *everyone* (not just the drummer) would go off on their own polyrhythmic journey and somehow not lose track of the 'one' and come back down on it. Never got that good, myself! Impressive, but most of the time I just prefer a killer groove.

    As far as Kerry is concerned, if Guy Evans considers you a musician, then you're a musician. Not too many musicians I respect more than Mr Evans!

  4. #54
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeccary View Post
    Being a discussion board, I'd like to throw this out there. This thread has been tweaking me since I saw it. I'm not trolling here, just discussing how i feel about something.
    Anyway, I see I'm in a very small minority of people that aren't musicians that have responded to the tread. I think the idea that a non-musician having a hard time appreciating prog, or any other kind of music for that matter, is a bit snobbish to me. I don't believe that was the intent of the post at all, but its like saying because someone doesn't draw they wouldn't be able to appreciate my work. And I don't believe that to be true, at all.
    I've gone up to musicians to tell them how much I dug their work to have them ask me if I played, and upon hearing I didn't, turn away to talk with someone who did. As if I couldn't tell they had chops because i didn't play the instrument. I find it offensive actually. I really bugs me, because I think I have pretty good sense of music, and I certainly have exceptional taste!!
    Those musicians were idiots. I can't tell you how many times somebody in the audience told me that they don't know anything about music, but they enjoyed what we were doing. I always tell them that all you have to know about music is whether you like it or not. Hell, I love books and movies and I don't know the first thing about how they're put together. You either connect with them or you don't.

    There is a bit of snobbism inherent in becoming a reasonably accomplished musician. When you learn the set of necessary skills, you can become impatient with other musicians who haven't. And there can be sour grapes about bands/artist who get a lot of praise while we're thinking they were out of tune or their time feel wasn't good or the playing and/or writing was too cliché, etc. It's kind of a curse at times. Sometimes I miss the time when I didn't know anything and didn't realize so-and-so was rushing or dragging the tempo or playing a scale that was wrong for the chord at hand... and all that kind of geeky stuff. There's also things a musician can play that sounds hard but really isn't and we sometimes roll our eyes when people are impressed by it. But really, that's our problem!

    Personally, I love the fact that so many non-musicians can appreciate complex music or music that's not initially accessible. All of you prog fans that aren't musicians are way cool in my book!

  5. #55
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    I remember the best thing my teacher ever said--to another student. I was waiting for my turn, and the student was playing a classical piece (Bach) very fast, when all of a sudden, my teacher yelled out, "No, man! Stop! That's bullshit. That's complete bullshit. Only amateurs flaunt their technique! Play the music, technique is only valid if it allows you to play the music. Play the music!"

    Technique, level of difficulty, complexity, all these things should be oblivious and irrelevant to an audience member. They are solely the musician's problem. Which he or she must solve and master in the practice room.

    For example, at the clinic I went to, Vic Juris demonstrated a wonderful way to comp-in a diverse way--over static (modal) harmony. It sounded wonderful and majestic. It would sound wonderful in terms of accompanying a singer or soloist.

    Then I went back to Vic's book, "Modern Chords", and studied them. The first thing I saw was that the voicings pretty much require 5 fret stretches, from nut to 12th fret. Yikes. Anyway, that's nobody's problem but the practitioner.

  6. #56
    I loved prog before I started playing keyboards. I'm a lousy keyboardplayer, not able to play my way out of a paper bag. Besides I get muscle-cramps within a minute or so. I stick to composing and the use of computers.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucka001 View Post
    By the time the blues band started ('88) I thought I was a really good drummer (what a goof I was) with the classic prog drummers being my main influences, and would proceed to play against time for a couple of measures (on classic r&b / blues tunes!) and thought it was okay because I came down on the 'one' eventually. Didn't go over too well.
    Sounds like the introduction to an article I read in Guitar Player back in the early 80's. It was a roundtable discussion on R&B "rhythm guitar", with various noted guitarists who specialized in that field. I think the guitarists in the piece included Nile Rodgers, Steve Cropper, and the late Eric Gale. The piece began with the author recounting the tale of how he got kicked out of his first band for playing with his erstwhile band mates referred to as "those damn Steve Howe licks" during their Motown medley, and for playing "Ralph Towner chords" during When A Man Loves A Woman.

  8. #58
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    To Gpecarry's post, I've known tons of non musicians who loved progressive music over the years, no worries there.

    Me, I've had melodies in my head as long as I remember, so had to try and become a musician to play them, though I can't always play them like I hear them, so I suppose whether or not I'm a 'real' musician is suspect.

  9. #59
    Being a musician has really helped me appreciate music more than I would if I had stuck with ballet. I want to make clear that I do not mean to denigrate anyone who doesn't play. Sorry if I gave that impression.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  10. #60
    ^^^Not me at any rate, didn't get that impression. And I don't think that's what the original author was after either. Just a little insecurity on my part and I just wanted to air it out is all. I felt like this was a good thread to do that BECAUSE no one was coming off like a that. Thanks!

  11. #61
    Member Lebofsky's Avatar
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    As both a fan and maker of prog (and other kinds of music) I'm always happy when the stuff I like or create reaches the ears and hearts of "non-musicians" (however you define that term - I like to think that anybody curious about music is a musician whether they play an instrument or not).

    I'm a huge fan of baseball, despite never playing the game beyond childhood. I'm not a chef, but I love good food. I'm not a director or screenwriter, but I love good movies. Why should prog only appeal to musicians? Personally I find that any music that only appeals to fellow musicians is broken.

    - Matt

  12. #62
    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    Player here. Guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, keys, lead vocals (when absolutely necessary), and harmony vocals. Played pro in my younger days, but after marriage I realized I needed steady income, and I couldn't seem to get it out of music. So, I've been semi-pro since then, hating my day job for 30 years or so (REALLY hating it right now). But I've created and raised two wonderful kids with that day job, so I can't complain TOO much.

    I don't think one needs to be a musician to appreciate any kind of music; after all, big band jazz was highly popular for a while, and their audiences weren't made of just musicians! So I see no reason to snob someone just because they're not a player; rather, I'm happy that what I did resonated in some way with them.
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

  13. #63
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I did cringe a little when I saw this thread title since I figured some might be offended, but...

    I have been playing guitar for 32 years, bass for the last 15. But I still don't consider myself a real musician. I've only had about a dozen lessons or so, I can't read music, and I only know some very, very basic theory about diatonic harmony. I don't know a whole lot of lyrics (can't remember them), can't pull out 300 songs on my acoustic guitar around a campfire (barely a couple), etc. But tell me what the chords are or what key it's in and I can find the chords or solo over a progression (on guitar). I barely ever learned entire songs on my own, just bits and pieces.

    It's only been in the last 15-18 years that I started playing with bands. For a few years on guitar (but I got tired of the volume wars with the other guitar player) then later on bass which is mostly what I've been doing for the last 15 years. And it's only been in these last 10 years that I've started to think "hey, maybe I AM becoming a musician". There's nothing like the education provided by playing with others and I've been fortunate to play with people much better than I was who inspired me to improve enough so it didn't look like I was out of my league.

    I used to think I could sing pretty well, but as my ears developed I realized how much I sucked (especially way back in high school). Now allergies make anything more than a few backup vocals nearly impossible...or at least it seems like more trouble than it's worth.

    I can't say I'm super ambitious about improving as a musician any more. I learn my parts so I can play the songs (it's been getting easier in recent years to remember song structures), but in between I don't work on technique. The real fun is playing with other musicians, playing with that energy boost you get from playing in front of people, and I have to say that at that point I really don't care what kind of music it is. I have just as much fun playing corny steel drum tunes as I do playing cheesy '80s music on bass.

    But still, when I have a guitar in hand and someone says "play something" I still don't know what to do. What am I gonna do, play the bass line to some obscure soca? It just doesn't convey, lol...

    In spite of myself I have somehow continued to improve. And there are plenty of opportunities locally. It helps if you show up on time and aren't hard to deal with.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  14. #64
    Member mightcould Tim's Avatar
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    As Garth once said in Wayne's World, "I like to play." But unlike him, guitar, not drums.

  15. #65
    This is a really interesting thread, I learned to read music at a very young age and played the oboe in the school orchestra, after I left school I learned the flute, I can bang out a tune on the piano (but not by ear) I am rubbish at string instruments. So I guess I have a basic knowledge which has enabled me to appreciate good players and not so good (like me ) I would NEVER in a million years describe myself as a musician and I haven't picked up my flute since the day Theo Travis - to my absolute delight - gave it a test drive and made it sing - I just don't see the point, I'd rather listen to him .

    I am very lucky to be closely involved with The Tangent because Andy is my Fiance and soul mate - we have been together five years, in that five years I have learned soooo much more than I would have ever imagined about music, however it has made me far more critical and I listen to music in a different way than before. There are some bands that I used to love that I can't bear to listen to any longer and others that I found uninteresting at one time have become firm favourites. I have learned more about composition and sound recording so whereas I would once forgive poor production in order to hear my favourite artists, I now find that hard.

    I think my point is that musicians are bound to be interested in this genre because of its complexity and variations in style, however I don't think that it means that people who aren't musicians appreciate it any less, just in a different way. I actually feel quite sad that I can't listen in the naive way I used to, I have lost something there, but I have gained something too. This is such a huge and varied genre there is something for everyone, long live Prog and huge thanks to all the musicians who join in here and teach us all so much more about the music than we could ever learn by listening alone xXx

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by gpeccary View Post
    I think the idea that a non-musician having a hard time appreciating prog, or any other kind of music for that matter, is a bit snobbish to me. I don't believe that was the intent of the post at all, but its like saying because someone doesn't draw they wouldn't be able to appreciate my work. And I don't believe that to be true, at all.
    I've gone up to musicians to tell them how much I dug their work to have them ask me if I played, and upon hearing I didn't, turn away to talk with someone who did. As if I couldn't tell they had chops because i didn't play the instrument. I find it offensive actually. I really bugs me, because I think I have pretty good sense of music, and I certainly have exceptional taste!!
    I totally get what you're saying here and I agree...it's snobbish. The behavior you mention above just reflects poorly on those musicians, IMHO. I actually have much more of a problem with certain musicians who come up after a gig and want to talk about equipment or theory or whatever...not interested. That always feels phony to me. Would much rather talk about real-world stuff with someone who has more on their mind than scales and gear.

  17. #67
    Played bass in bands in my teens and 20's. Still bang around on the bass today playing along with Rush tunes.

    Been playing classical guitar since my teens also and picked up on fingerpicking blues/ragtime guitar in my 30's. Non-musician friends are always blown away when they hear me play, maybe they can't picture me being able to play an instrument. I'm much more critical of my guitar playing; even after 40+ years I'm still a clumsy player, with fingertips and fingernails on my fretting hand making contact with other strings and causing squonks and other undesirable sounds.

    I go through phases and play certain styles or instruments for awhile then put them down. Right now I'm all hepped up on playing electric slide on my Telecaster, Mississippi Fred McDowell tunes and the like. Haven't picked up the basses in months. I also have a mandolin and a lap dulcimer that I should spend more time messing with.

    Like a few others, I sight-read well but have a hard time picking things out by ear.
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  18. #68
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    I decided I wanted to be a guitarist after seeing Steve Howe play at age 13 (Drama tour). Spent much of high school practicing but never played with other people until I got to college. I didn't have too good an ear or dexterity when I started.

    My college band was pretty mediocre to be frank but we were only a trio so I had to do both lead and rhythm parts on a lot of songs. Over time I learned to figure out most any song by ear (we did everything from Beatles to AC/DC to Smiths and the Cure; no prog, too complicated!). After playing together for 2 years we had achieved the status of actually getting paid for gigs and no one wanting their money back. But one thing none of us developed were songwriting skills. Our originals just plain sucked. Thus at graduation time I guess I was mature enough to see that there was no future in it for me and moved on.

    But I picked up a guitar and played/sang in front of people for the first time in 25 years last year at a church talent show. We have some professional musicians at our church and they made comments like "hey man those are great songs". I wonder if there was a little bit of strategically faint praise in that!

  19. #69
    I have two very separate musical lives: experimental electronic musician, and vocalist in various more commercial styles.

  20. #70
    I'm a musician and a prog fan, but I was an avid fan from an early age and only bought my first guitar when i was 18. So, the love and appreciation came long before any chops or practical muso knowledge.
    If anything, this musicianship earned knowledge, let's call it muso-craft, has only inhibited my appreciation of music as opposed to expanding it or making it more pure or refined. I find it almost impossible to turn off that inner critic, that part of me engaged in continually assessing one's own musical creations to ensure that they are as good as they could be. This means that everyone else's music get's the same critical listening treatment and I rarely give myself the license to just listen and enjoy.
    I view this as a personal character flaw.
    It's kind of like: Remember when you were a kid, and everything was new and exciting? No bills to pay, jobs to do, just 'play' and 'experience' .... I long to be able to hear new music with that same kind of 'wide eyed wonder' that I had before I played a single note, and learned something about the 'secret source'.
    Every so often something new comes along which somehow bypasses the inner critic and get's listened to for its own sake ..... Big Big Train and Sanguine Hum come to mind.
    Maybe, as I get older, the inner critic will take more of a back seat and I'll get to enjoy more music. Let's hope so

  21. #71
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    I call myself a musician but others probably don't. Played the piano as a boy (self taught) and played organ for the local church for a while. It could be the only church in the world where Soon (by Yes) was played regularly before Sunday morning service started . Then we put on a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Whatsit - I acquired an electronic keyboard and was joined by a drummer, guitarist and bass player and so discovered the fun of being part of a band. A few years later a work colleague suggested a talent competition in the office for Christmas Eve. There were others in the office who played drums, guitars, bass and sax, so we got together and did Johnny B Goode in the council's highway design office whilst colleagues watched open-mouthed. It was pretty cr*p but we were hooked on trying to make something of it so started regular rehearsals. 12 years later we are a well respected 'covers' band playing things like Led Zepp's Rock and Roll, Quo numbers, House of the Rising Sun, Dire Straits, Beatles, Kinks, Comfortably Numb. The average age of the band is about 55 but we can still rock. There aren't many better feelings than when we're going flat out, gelling and there's 100+ dancers on the floor having a whale of a time. This has been my mid-life crisis.

    I've struggled to get the other band members interested in playing more 'prog'. They're not familiar with it, and in any case it wouldn't go down well with most of our audiences. So my own listening habits and playing in the band are generally separate. I have spent the last 8 months trying to perfect the piano intro to Firth of Fifth in the privacy of my own home. I am yet to play it completely free of errors.
    Last edited by 2 Sheds; 09-11-2013 at 06:33 AM. Reason: typo

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by gpeccary View Post
    Being a discussion board, I'd like to throw this out there. This thread has been tweaking me since I saw it. I'm not trolling here, just discussing how i feel about something.
    Anyway, I see I'm in a very small minority of people that aren't musicians that have responded to the tread. I think the idea that a non-musician having a hard time appreciating prog, or any other kind of music for that matter, is a bit snobbish to me. I don't believe that was the intent of the post at all, but its like saying because someone doesn't draw they wouldn't be able to appreciate my work. And I don't believe that to be true, at all.
    I've gone up to musicians to tell them how much I dug their work to have them ask me if I played, and upon hearing I didn't, turn away to talk with someone who did. As if I couldn't tell they had chops because i didn't play the instrument. I find it offensive actually. I really bugs me, because I think I have pretty good sense of music, and I certainly have exceptional taste!!
    I stated earlier I'm not a musician. I wanted to play vibes as a kid, and ended up at my dads urging, to play sax. Hated it actually, and never played anything else.
    I wish I still could read music like some of you can, I really would love to know whats really happening in a composition theoretically. At the same time, I've read posts where I came away happy I couldn't because it seemed like the theory got in the way of the enjoyment.
    I'm a fan of what a lot of you guys do, I may not understand what the hell your doing, but I dig it all the same! In fact, the more complex it is, the more I'm drawn to it.
    Just my three cents, and again, I'm not trying to poop in the cereal bowl, just discussing my take on the
    Cheers!

    Sorry if you got a negative vibe from the post. It wasn't intended at all.
    My honest feeling is that non-musicians should get MORE CREDIT for liking Prog than musicians
    should, because non-musicians won't have as much "technical" interest in the musicianship as a musician might, and have somehow developed a sophisticated sense of esthetic without being concerned with, (for example) "Wow, that's a real difficult guitar part" or, "Oh, man, I wish I could
    play those left-hand arpeggios like Keith Emerson. I gotta' work on that", etc etc
    A non-musician appreciating such sophisticated music often brings (IMO) a more-developed sense of overall music esthetics
    to the listening experience, without being overly impressed (or distracted) by the technical side of the music
    , as musicians can get at times.

    In that way, a non-musician's appreciation may well be deeper and based on a more holistic sense of appreciation
    than that of many musicians, who are often dazzled and
    impressed more by the sheer technical difficulty of the music, at least at first.

    I honestly feel this is true, and am not trying to be patronizing in any way.

    Non-musician Prog fans must have an advanced esthetic, IMHO.

    Heck, I'm 62, and, as a long-time guitar player, I still get sucked-in being overly impressed by some shred-guitar player who can play 500 notes/per second, even though
    it may not be artistic or creative at all. That is one vulnerability of being a musician, which would not distract a non-musician away
    from a lack of quality in the music.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I did cringe a little when I saw this thread title since I figured some might be offended, but...

    I have been playing guitar for 32 years, bass for the last 15. But I still don't consider myself a real musician. I've only had about a dozen lessons or so, I can't read music, and I only know some very, very basic theory about diatonic harmony. I don't know a whole lot of lyrics (can't remember them), can't pull out 300 songs on my acoustic guitar around a campfire (barely a couple), etc. But tell me what the chords are or what key it's in and I can find the chords or solo over a progression (on guitar). I barely ever learned entire songs on my own, just bits and pieces.

    It's only been in the last 15-18 years that I started playing with bands. For a few years on guitar (but I got tired of the volume wars with the other guitar player) then later on bass which is mostly what I've been doing for the last 15 years. And it's only been in these last 10 years that I've started to think "hey, maybe I AM becoming a musician". There's nothing like the education provided by playing with others and I've been fortunate to play with people much better than I was who inspired me to improve enough so it didn't look like I was out of my league.

    I used to think I could sing pretty well, but as my ears developed I realized how much I sucked (especially way back in high school). Now allergies make anything more than a few backup vocals nearly impossible...or at least it seems like more trouble than it's worth.

    I can't say I'm super ambitious about improving as a musician any more. I learn my parts so I can play the songs (it's been getting easier in recent years to remember song structures), but in between I don't work on technique. The real fun is playing with other musicians, playing with that energy boost you get from playing in front of people, and I have to say that at that point I really don't care what kind of music it is. I have just as much fun playing corny steel drum tunes as I do playing cheesy '80s music on bass.

    But still, when I have a guitar in hand and someone says "play something" I still don't know what to do. What am I gonna do, play the bass line to some obscure soca? It just doesn't convey, lol...

    In spite of myself I have somehow continued to improve. And there are plenty of opportunities locally. It helps if you show up on time and aren't hard to deal with.
    This is a bit OT, but I think folks who live in Vermont are both lucky, and cool.
    An enlightened State, for sure.

  24. #74
    Oh No! Bass Solo! klothos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeccary View Post
    B
    Anyway, I see I'm in a very small minority of people that aren't musicians that have responded to the tread. I think the idea that a non-musician having a hard time appreciating prog, or any other kind of music for that matter, is a bit snobbish to me.

    Hmmm...I am hoping that I never insinuated that in any of my posts. As a matter of fact, I usually respect a non-players opinion about music because you are listening and enjoying something without musician bias. A lot of musicians tend to prejudice themselves toward music based on their primary instrument(s) of choice and the mastery of what they listen to. Heck, I know some players that tune out vocals in their heads when listening to a song because they are "non-essential" to their listening experience. This certainly does not apply to every musician, but I dont know everybody here personally, so I dont know who does what here. But its almost a guarantee that the non-player ear wont have that bias and that kind of ear tends to encompass everything with equal degree and you are more likely to get the message of the song than some guy dissecting its parts by playability.

    In my experience, guitar players are the worst ...I know guys whose single criteria to judge how great a song is by the skill of the guitar parts (and a few of those judge the song by the guitar solo) even if everything else in the song sucks-azz..........
    Last edited by klothos; 09-11-2013 at 06:18 PM.

  25. #75
    I'm a cat wrangler by trade, so, no.
    "Young man says you are what you eat, eat well."
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