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Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

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Old 03-22-04, 09:02 AM   #1
Original Desmond
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Is an ACOUSTIC Performance a True Test of a Music Artist's Talent ?

I love Acoustic live recordings by music artists, i do believe it shows how talented a music artist or artists are.

Recently i saw Good Charlotte perform Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous acoustically and it was very impressive. Does make you see some music artists in a different light
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Old 03-22-04, 09:43 AM   #2
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Not necessarily, IMO.

Although it often show an interesting new side of the artist's work, some music is better in it's originally instrumentation.

Good example: Deftones - Live in Hawaii (Music In High Places series)

There are acoustic versions and "plugged" versions of their songs on it and although the acoustic versions sound quite good, it seemd to me that some songs just work better electric.

I definitely think it's possible an artist can define him/herself through the "original versions" of their songs.
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Old 03-22-04, 09:52 AM   #3
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You should definitely check out "Alice in Chains: Unplugged", probably the best unplugged show I've seen.
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Old 03-22-04, 10:46 AM   #4
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To answer the header, plain and simply:



NO.
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Old 03-22-04, 10:55 AM   #5
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I believe that a LIVE performance is a true test of an artist's true talent. Live, no ropes or nets.

I do not know how good of a guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica really is. All of his solos are note for note from the albums. I would prefer to hear him off the cuff, but as of now, I really don't think he's all that good.
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Old 03-22-04, 11:43 AM   #6
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so you think that artists should do more improv live? hendrix and jimmy page were masters at improving live.
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Old 03-22-04, 02:14 PM   #7
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No. Playing an acoustic guitar is almost identical to playing an electric guitar. A live performance would be more of a testament to their ability, but even then, it's iffy. Many bands just completely re-create the same sound live that they had on the cd, which is boring and "safe." To truly shine is to do something different with your songs, like playing extended versions or adding new lyrics or changing the tempo and the like.

On a side note, I believe the AIC Unplugged is the best performance from that series as well.
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Old 03-22-04, 02:44 PM   #8
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But then again, they may be great performers live and still be shitty songwriters.
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Old 03-22-04, 03:49 PM   #9
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Nevermind that this question more or less omits hip-hop. And 'no' otherwise, as well.
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Old 03-22-04, 03:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ergyu
No. Playing an acoustic guitar is almost identical to playing an electric guitar.
Not really. The sonic properties of the two are often completely different. Imagine the following three guitar players playing a predominantly acoustic set - Carlos Santana, The Edge, & David Gilmour. IMO all three are very talented guitar players, but much of their talent lies in coaxing great sounds out of electric guitars. Santana uses sustain like a master - acoustic guitars have little sustain. The Edge and Gilmour "play" their effects racks as musical instruments in their own right - try to picture them using acoustic guitars for the same purpose.

Talent can be expressed in different ways. Just because a person is not a virtuoso at live performance doesn't mean they aren't tremendously talented. Sometimes talent lies in composition, rather than performance. Other times it lies in improvisation, but the ability to play the same part the same way repeatedly should not be discounted, either.

ETA - threads or discussions which try in some way to quantify a thing like "talent" are IMO preposterous. Music is not athletics.
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Old 03-22-04, 03:53 PM   #11
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No. Look them in the eyes and ask what makes them feel. If you get a good answer, they are. If not, they're faking.
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Old 03-22-04, 04:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rypro 525
so you think that artists should do more improv live? hendrix and jimmy page were masters at improving live.
As a guitarist, I think that to me at least, a true measure of talent for a lead guitarist is improvisional ability. Page and Hendrix altered songs ON THE FLY. That is incredible.
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Old 03-22-04, 04:52 PM   #13
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talent? no. Songwriting ability? yes. I think a good song would be able to work on all instruments.
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Old 03-22-04, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rivero
To answer the header, plain and simply:



NO.
Ditto
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Old 03-22-04, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: Is an ACOUSTIC Performance a True Test of a Music Artist's Talent ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Original Desmond
I love Acoustic live recordings by music artists, i do believe it shows how talented a music artist or artists are.

Recently i saw Good Charlotte perform Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous acoustically and it was very impressive. Does make you see some music artists in a different light
I agree with you.

I had new respect for KISS, LL Cool J, and a few others when I saw them perform unplugged. It can show artists do their stuff without all the usual processing equipment(still used but different stuff) and cover up shit.
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Old 03-22-04, 06:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by wendersfan
Not really. The sonic properties of the two are often completely different. Imagine the following three guitar players playing a predominantly acoustic set - Carlos Santana, The Edge, & David Gilmour. IMO all three are very talented guitar players, but much of their talent lies in coaxing great sounds out of electric guitars. Santana uses sustain like a master - acoustic guitars have little sustain. The Edge and Gilmour "play" their effects racks as musical instruments in their own right - try to picture them using acoustic guitars for the same purpose.

Talent can be expressed in different ways. Just because a person is not a virtuoso at live performance doesn't mean they aren't tremendously talented. Sometimes talent lies in composition, rather than performance. Other times it lies in improvisation, but the ability to play the same part the same way repeatedly should not be discounted, either.

ETA - threads or discussions which try in some way to quantify a thing like "talent" are IMO preposterous. Music is not athletics.

Good call. I was going to mention the use of effects and specific techniques used when playing Electric guitar, but didn't. This is very true though, many great guitarists have developed their own sound based on the way they manipulate their electric guitar. But, in the end they are still playing the same notes. It's different, yes, but not radically different. In the case of players of that calibre, an acoustic performance might radically change some of their tunes, but in general I don't find many acoustic performances by other artists particularily interesting. I actually find the vocals of acoustic rock performances the most interesting due to the fact that a lot of rock singers typically scream their lyrics, and it's nice to hear them sing for a change.

But thanks for pointing that out, as I should have mentioned it also!
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Old 04-03-04, 05:18 PM   #17
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cool guys
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Old 04-03-04, 05:24 PM   #18
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In the case of The Edge and David Gilmour, the songs of Pink Floyd and U2 are strong enough to survive in an acoustic setting, even stripped of the effects.

But in answer to the question, I don't think it's any kind of test. Look at Brian Wilson. For a period in the 60's, he was an amazing composer, arranger, and singer. If he did an acoustic show after Pet Sounds came out, he probably wouldn't have done so well, but that doesn't diminish his talent in any way.

Another good example is John Lennon, whose live appearances were always sporadic, under-rehearsed, and generally nowhere near as strong as his records. But that doesn't change the fact that he was one of the most talented songwriters ever.
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Old 04-03-04, 05:52 PM   #19
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No. It's a test of a certain niche of performance ability, not their merit as an artist - exceptions might include the classical musician whose sole job is live performance or jazz musician if the thrust of their art is live improvisation.

Brian Wilson, for instance, is a lousy performer.

Personally, I don't have any need for pop songs to "work" in a stripped-down context to validate their overall merit.
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Old 04-04-04, 04:25 AM   #20
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typical dvdtalk snobs
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Old 04-04-04, 07:08 AM   #21
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I've always considered the true measure of an artist's talent is whether or not they sound better live than they do on cd. Few artists do.
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Old 04-04-04, 07:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by kilcher
I've always considered the true measure of an artist's talent is whether or not they sound better live than they do on cd. Few artists do.

great point.
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Old 04-04-04, 01:07 PM   #23
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For a very electric artist, acoustic might say more about their performance talent, since the guitars won't be as screaming & processed, and they'll have to use their singing voice more.

But I dont think it says anything about their talent in composition or in guitar playing ability, since they're just playing the same chords on a different guitar (power chords might just be changed into full barre chords...).

I think everyone has a different view of talent; or maybe, concentrates on certain areas when judging it. When I'm judging a guitarist's talent I focus on improv ability (lyrical and instrumental) and unique chord voicings. Using voicings other than barres and open chords adds a lot to a song because you can control the melody on each string, and this adds so much texture to a song. Improv is exciting just because you can play the cd if you want to hear the cd. No use getting stuck in traffic and paying $45 for seats

This is why I like John Mayer. He uses few traditional chord voicings and is awesome at improv... i think anyone would agree if they saw him live. Most say he's sorority girl music but I don't think he'd be playing with blues legends like Buddy Guy (who says he cant get sick of hearing john play) and Double Trouble if there was nothing to him.
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Old 04-04-04, 01:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Giantrobo

great point.
Snob!

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Old 04-04-04, 02:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ralph Wiggum
No. It's a test of a certain niche of performance ability, not their merit as an artist - exceptions might include the classical musician whose sole job is live performance or jazz musician if the thrust of their art is live improvisation.

Brian Wilson, for instance, is a lousy performer.

Personally, I don't have any need for pop songs to "work" in a stripped-down context to validate their overall merit.
Exactly.
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