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> What Threshold Must One Cross To Be Considered A "guitarist"?, Is there even a threshold?
Mudbone
post Sep 1 2010, 03:31 AM
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When you first picked up playing guitar you weren't a guitarist, just to state the obvious. You couldn't play a C chord or the A minor scale because, again, you weren't a guitarist. Malmsteen, Hendrix, Vaughan - when they all started off they weren't guitarist, obviously. So, now that that has been established, is there a threshold to cross to be considered a guitarist? Is it just learning a few basic chords that you can strum on, or is there more to it than that?


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jafomatic
post Sep 1 2010, 05:58 AM
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Is this about the difficulty numbers again? How about you become a guitarist when you agree to fill that role?


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Mudbone
post Sep 1 2010, 06:14 AM
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QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 1 2010, 12:58 AM) *
Is this about the difficulty numbers again? How about you become a guitarist when you agree to fill that role?


No this has nothing to do with the difficulty - the guitarist of The Ramones only plays at level 2, and no one questions whether or not he is a guitarist tongue.gif I'm just wondering if anyone thinks there is a standard to reach before you can call yourself one. I personally think as long as you can perform something, then you're a guitarist. Of course it must have some musical quality, thats the whole point of playing any instrument. I think by saying you're a guitarist, you're claiming you can perform a specific task related to that field, no matter how rudimentary it may be - its a skill set just like anything else.


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JamesT
post Sep 1 2010, 06:32 AM
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I remember I used to think about this kind of definition. It was kind of in the beginning when I knew I wanted to get good, but didn't know if I should walk around telling everyone, "yeah, I'm a guitarist". ... you know, before I was good enough to call myself a guitarist. And you know (I'll use one of Kris's lines. tongue.gif ) ... I'm still not good enough to be a guitarist. laugh.gif But that doesn't stop me from calling myself one.

I think once you realize that you're committed to the instrument, and that you know you want to continue playing no matter how good you think you can get or whatever that you can then call yourself a guitarist. It's just something you do, even if just for fun, but you play guitar so you're a guitarist.



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Mudbone
post Sep 1 2010, 06:51 AM
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QUOTE (JamesT @ Sep 1 2010, 01:32 AM) *
I remember I used to think about this kind of definition. It was kind of in the beginning when I knew I wanted to get good, but didn't know if I should walk around telling everyone, "yeah, I'm a guitarist". ... you know, before I was good enough to call myself a guitarist. And you know (I'll use one of Kris's lines. tongue.gif ) ... I'm still not good enough to be a guitarist. laugh.gif But that doesn't stop me from calling myself one.

I think once you realize that you're committed to the instrument, and that you know you want to continue playing no matter how good you think you can get or whatever that you can then call yourself a guitarist. It's just something you do, even if just for fun, but you play guitar so you're a guitarist.


Great perspective JamesT, I think thats the best way to look at it.


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He who laughs last thinks slowest.

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
Amps: Mississippi Boom Box
Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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Fran
post Sep 1 2010, 07:44 AM
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Hmmm. Tough question!

The other day I went to see some friends who are in a band practice. They played pop stuff, which was simple, based on usual chords and some arrangements here and there. I could have played along with them if I had the tabs, or at least the chords written on paper along with the lyrics, but I hadn't, so I didn't play with them because I didn't want to make them stop rehearsing to tell me "Now it's G-D-Dm" etc etc.

If my ear was trained enough, and watching their guitarist play in front of me, I should have been able to play along with them without much problem. Maybe doing the strummimngs/rhythms differently, but playing the right stuff and catching the changes (chorus, main riffs, etc) reasonably fast.

Why do I tell you guys this story? Well, since that day I believe that anyone who calls himself a guitarist should be able tro blend with other musicians and play "simple" stuff just hearing and watching them. Of course trhis doesn't apply to complex metal songs, but to the usual pop/rock stuff which you play and sing along to.

Just my thoughts. Afaik there's no written "law" as to when you can be called a guitarist. We all will agree that a guitarist is a person who earns their living playing/teaching guitar. (Not just those, but those are for sure).


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sted
post Sep 1 2010, 08:21 AM
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I guess the first time it occurred to me that I had crossed a line from hobby to, well, something else, was when someone paid me to play! I agree with Fran here though, bedroom guitar is great, anyone who plays an instrument is cool in my book, but music is all about sharing with other musicians, I look for jam nights to go to just to engage with other musicians, sometimes I'm the best player in the room, sometimes im the worst but it doesnt matter, when you're out there performing with other musicians in any context but especially to other people its just a great feeling.
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Fingerspasm
post Sep 1 2010, 12:29 PM
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I think there are different types of guitar players. You have the younger players who might be following a career in music. Maybe in band and music classes at school and planning on following it up with other courses in college. Very structured players.

Then there are the guys that have been through school and have played in some bands but are now spending most of their time teaching and trying to make a living that way.

Then you have the guys that are in a band and have tons of talent and a great ear but not much music theory but they can play anything they hear and they tear it up night after night in a local band.

Then you have guys like me. I am older with a kid and college and one about to graduate. I work hard all day and just look forward to playing guitar as a reward. Guitar is like Yoga for me. Its a journey that I look forward to taking for as long as I can continue playing. I have no major goal other than to be able to play and improve for no other reason than the act of doing it. It gives me an escape. My own personal Nirvana.

I think that if you have a love for the guitar and you play it on a regular basis and work on improving your skill then you are a guitarist. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Fingerspasm: Sep 1 2010, 01:18 PM


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emirb
post Sep 1 2010, 03:47 PM
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Interesting topic! I actually play many gigs when I was younger and then I definitely considered myself as a guitarist because:
1. I was in a band smile.gif
2. Everyone thought of me as a guitarist

But now when I joined GMC and saw all of the awesomeness here (both instructors and students) I'm doubting that I ever was a guitarist heheh smile.gif
No seriously, I think when you are doing something on a regular basis and try to accomplish something then you are sooner or later (sooner than you think) considered to be that (too). I like to build stuff (use my hands) and for instance I made some furniture, does that make me a carpenter? Probably not from an eye of a professional carpenter but maybe in the eyes of my girlfrends mother -maybe? smile.gif


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Fingerspasm
post Sep 1 2010, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (emirb @ Sep 1 2010, 09:47 AM) *
I like to build stuff (use my hands) and for instance I made some furniture, does that make me a carpenter? Probably not from an eye of a professional carpenter but maybe in the eyes of my girlfrends mother -maybe? smile.gif


I think this does make you a carpenter for that moment in time. You might be at a low skill level at that time but while you are producing the furniture you are a carpenter. Will you continue down that path and become a better Carpenter? Thats how I like to look at it anyway. smile.gif


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Bear Rose
post Sep 1 2010, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE (JamesT @ Sep 1 2010, 01:32 AM) *
I think once you realize that you're committed to the instrument, and that you know you want to continue playing no matter how good you think you can get or whatever that you can then call yourself a guitarist. It's just something you do, even if just for fun, but you play guitar so you're a guitarist.


I think this is an excellent definition of a guitarist! Well said!


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Sep 1 2010, 07:11 PM
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When you start sleeping with the guitar biggrin.gif


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Gitarrero
post Sep 2 2010, 05:50 AM
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IMO, you are a guitarist when you are able to play a few chords, especially barré chords, and play different rhythms and you are able to remember written songs/chord progressions or play them along watching on your tab sheet. Cause this is when you can join a band or play songs for your friends by the fire.

This post has been edited by Gitarrero: Sep 2 2010, 05:50 AM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 2 2010, 03:21 PM
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It's different for everyone. Guitar is just an instrument for expressing yourself. If you find a good way to express yourself through your instrument, then you are guitarist. Personality and originality comes through.


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Azzaboi
post Sep 2 2010, 07:54 PM
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MELODY and PASSION is what makes a great guitarist stand out!


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Sollesnes
post Sep 3 2010, 05:53 PM
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It took me two years or so before I could think of myself as a guitarist. I could sweep, I could play relatively fast and all that, but I didn't know any theory and barely any chords, and thus I never dared think of myself as a guitarist, until I sat down and learned some basic theory smile.gif I think you are a guitarist when you first feel yourself that you've crossed your personal barrier smile.gif
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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Sep 8 2010, 11:54 AM
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I think that when you learn to play regular chords, open position and other, barre, and if you can play some easy pop songs, and easiest solos, you ARE a guitarist!


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Mudbone
post Sep 8 2010, 02:23 PM
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QUOTE (Vasilije Vukmirovic @ Sep 8 2010, 06:54 AM) *
I think that when you learn to play regular chords, open position and other, barre, and if you can play some easy pop songs, and easiest solos, you ARE a guitarist!


Everybody had really good opinions about what it means to be a guitarist, but I think you pretty much summed up what it means to be one. So, just to reiterate what you just said: For one to be considered a guitarist, he/she must know basic theory, simple chords, and be able to perform easy pop songs. The key word is "perform". Do we have a consensus? tongue.gif

With that being said, I need to get to work on becoming a guitarist biggrin.gif


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"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
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Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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maharzan
post Sep 8 2010, 03:40 PM
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Yea it depends on the crowd. If its a group of best guitarists in the world, probably you won't be called a guitarist.. They will think you suck and a noobie who is trying to impress us.. biggrin.gif

If you are 15 and in school and can play chords and make others sing then you will become the best guitarist in the school. biggrin.gif (shh.. I was this guy for sometime) wink.gif wink.gif

Yea.. I think at this point, if you can play with a band and can listen to them and improvise, I will call him a guitarist. I won't call anyone who can strum a guitar a guitarist. smile.gif I am still yet to become that guitarist though if you ask me.


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Sep 10 2010, 09:03 PM
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@Mudbone
Yeah. I just wanted to said that guitar shouldn't be mystified, if you can play guitar, you are therefor a guitarist.
On the other hand there are beginners, intermediate level players and top players...
There are no actual facts except maybe in musical schools, it's all just matter of agreement...


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