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> Don't Write Instrumental Music!
Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 6 2014, 06:35 PM
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hahah I knew that the thread topic would attract you to enter! biggrin.gif

But this is not a fraud! Marty Friedman said that phrase in a recent interview and I think that it would be cool to discuss about it.
Remember that we have been talking about instrumental guitar albums HERE

"First of all, instrumental music — don't even go there. Instrumental music is a tough genre. It's the funnest thing to play, because you don't have to deal with any singers. But in reality, it's a very limited amount of people who can stand it. To be honest with you, I'm not a big fan of instrumental music, myself." by Marty Friedman.



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Ben Higgins
post Feb 6 2014, 09:44 PM
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I shared this on FB too when I saw it..

I know what he is saying, of course instrumental music is always going to come 2nd best in terms of popularity and financial viability. Purely from a career decision point of view, he may have a point although I would base my choices on what it was I wanted to play and would make me fulfilled.

Everybody's life experiences are different. I can understand his views totally although I'm currently at the opposite end. After so long dealing with awkward people I'm loving the unrestrained freedom of working with myself. I don't have to please anybody else. I don't have to explain an unpopular decision to 4 other people 4 different times. I don't have to play nursemaid. I love it.



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Todd Simpson
post Feb 6 2014, 10:40 PM
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Well said smile.gif I must say I was mildly put off reading Marty say basically "nobody but me can really pull off instrumental music in an interesting way". I know what he's getting at on the other points, but it's hard not to hear that part as well.

Especially considering how much instrumental music he's made. Almost like Yngwie saying "Just stay away from Classical stuff, don't go there!!"

I have a great respect for Marty as a player, but I think his perm may be on to tight based on some of the things he says sad.gif



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Feb 6 2014, 03:44 PM) *
I shared this on FB too when I saw it..

I know what he is saying, of course instrumental music is always going to come 2nd best in terms of popularity and financial viability. Purely from a career decision point of view, he may have a point although I would base my choices on what it was I wanted to play and would make me fulfilled.

Everybody's life experiences are different. I can understand his views totally although I'm currently at the opposite end. After so long dealing with awkward people I'm loving the unrestrained freedom of working with myself. I don't have to please anybody else. I don't have to explain an unpopular decision to 4 other people 4 different times. I don't have to play nursemaid. I love it.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 6 2014, 10:43 PM
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I understand Marty's opinion as well as yours Ben. Just to give a recreation to your post, I would like to say that there is nothing more inspirational than collaborating with other musicians. When this reciprocity works, the creativity and results are endless. The results are not only musical, I feel that we grow as persons and musicians. I can note it in myself and also in famous musicians who recreate themselves after a collaboration. I know that sometimes is difficult to deal with band members, but maybe if we can't find the correct people to form a stable band, it doesn't mean that we should become isolated musicians, there numerous ways to create music with other musicians.


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Piotr Kaczor
post Feb 6 2014, 10:48 PM
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I knew it, I sensed it! ...and therefore I finished my Instrumental rock series smile.gif


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klasaine
post Feb 7 2014, 04:48 AM
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I get what he's saying especially with rock. It's a tough road. And I also agree that when the rock inst albums have several different genres on the same record it just loses people.

'Jazz' (and by extension fusion) has been pulling off instrumental music in interesting ways since like about 1886. It may not always be the biggest seller but at least it's consistent and has a loyal following. Film score type stuff as well as ethnic genres that incorporate 'instrumental' elements obviously have a lot of successful proponents.

A hint for the rockers who aspire to do successful instrumental albums would be to take a clue from jazz artists and keep your record stylistically consistent. Satriani and Holdsworth come to mind - there records are stylistically fairly consistent (I would personally like it more if Holdsworth and Satch left the vox tunes off their albums)
*Jeff Beck's 'blow by blow' and 'wired' should be required listening for any guitarist interested in non-vocal endeavors.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 7 2014, 03:45 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 7 2014, 06:21 AM
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Good points here. smile.gif For those reading, the idea of consistency and not alienating your audience or any audience by asking "too much of their ears" is something that comes in to play when you are actually trying to build/grow an audience. It's a good overall guideline.

However, this too depends on your goals. If you simply wish to express yourself, by all means, toss all of these suggestions aside and do whatever you like. smile.gif This too is a noble goal and worth doing. Especially for those just starting to release music. Sky is the limit, there's not any money on the table, so knock yourself out smile.gif

Also, despite what MARTY says, go ahead and make instrumental music, by yourself, and send it to MARTY with a note saying "other folks can make interesting instrumental music too fella!!"

Todd


QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 6 2014, 10:48 PM) *
I get what he's saying especially with rock. It's a tough road. And I also agree that when the rock inst albums have several different genres on the same record it just loses people.

'Jazz' (and by extension fusion) has been pulling off instrumental music in interesting ways since like about 1886. It may not always be the biggest seller but at least it's consistent and has a loyal following. Film score type stuff as well as ethnic genres that incorporate 'instrumental' elements obviously have a lot of successful proponents.

A hint for the rockers who aspire to do successful instrumental albums would be to take a clue from jazz artists and keep your record stylistically consistent. Satriani and Holdsworth come to mind - there records are stylistically fairly consistent (I would personally if Holdsworth and Satch left the vox tunes off their albums)
*Jeff Beck's 'blow by blow' and 'wired' should be required listening for any guitarist interested in non-vocal endeavors.



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Darius Wave
post Feb 7 2014, 10:07 AM
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It's scary and sad but I do agree with all his words. Of course I understand that sometimes doing instrumental music is a purpose of Your life but You have to be prepared for how the world works and what to expect in return for all Your work...


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Kristofer Dahl
post Feb 7 2014, 10:42 AM
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Rock is dead, long live Marty!!

Hopefully he is just trying to say that a lot of instrumental music is just shred based and does not carry much musical value.


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Ben Higgins
post Feb 7 2014, 11:32 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 7 2014, 03:48 AM) *
A hint for the rockers who aspire to do successful instrumental albums would be to take a clue from jazz artists and keep your record stylistically consistent. Satriani and Holdsworth come to mind - there records are stylistically fairly consistent (I would personally if Holdsworth and Satch left the vox tunes off their albums)


I agree with this.. I do think it's asking a lot of listeners if you're expecting them to embrace a gamut of different styles. I think Steve Vai walks that line a bit... I don't know how he gets away with it but he does somehow ! rolleyes.gif

Do you remember the Sensational Alex Harvey Band from the 70's ? Great musicians with some cracking tracks but I think they suffered from that approach. Rock one minute, cabaret the next.. I think it's why they struggled to get any lasting success.


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wrk
post Feb 7 2014, 11:59 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 6 2014, 10:40 PM) *
Well said smile.gif I must say I was mildly put off reading Marty say basically "nobody but me can really pull off instrumental music in an interesting way". I know what he's getting at on the other points, but it's hard not to hear that part as well.

Especially considering how much instrumental music he's made. Almost like Yngwie saying "Just stay away from Classical stuff, don't go there!!"

I have a great respect for Marty as a player, but I think his perm may be on to tight based on some of the things he says sad.gif


Hm, i think he didn't came over like this at all. The question was "how to enter and be successful in the music business as a guitar player" and he gave a good answer to that. Don't try to be successful by focusing on instrumental music. He didn't said don't do it at all, just don't try to start and base your career on this route.



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klasaine
post Feb 7 2014, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Feb 7 2014, 01:42 AM) *
Hopefully he is just trying to say that a lot of instrumental music is just shred based and does not carry much musical value.


I think this is the point he's alluding to - that his bar is really high (for making instrumental music). Not necessarily don't do it or that only he can do it but that you really need to treat it carefully.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 7 2014, 03:56 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 7 2014, 08:54 PM
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He actually did sorta say don't do it at all. Here is a direct quote.

"First of all, instrumental music — don't even go there."

Seems pretty plain and simple eh? He's got a point to be sure smile.gif It's really tough to make any money doing instrumental stuff, but it's really hard to make any money on music in general. Beyond "biz" he says that he basically finds most instrumental music just boring. But he also says his instrumental music is more like "band music" so it's ok for him. Then he says he's not being arrogant. hmm.

Again, I have huge respect for him as a player and as the top notch pro and legend that he is. I wish he would have been a bit more encouraging for all the people just starting to play who want to learn his instrumental music/cacophony etc. Instead of "don't go there" that's what sorta put me off.


QUOTE (wrk @ Feb 7 2014, 05:59 AM) *
Hm, i think he didn't came over like this at all. The question was "how to enter and be successful in the music business as a guitar player" and he gave a good answer to that. Don't try to be successful by focusing on instrumental music. He didn't said don't do it at all, just don't try to start and base your career on this route.


I would like to think that's what he "meant" smile.gif Sadly, it's just not what he said. So we'd be reading in to it quite a bit to pull that out of it.
QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 7 2014, 09:55 AM) *
I think this is the point he's alluding to - that his bar is really high (for making instrumental music). Not necessarily don't do it or that only he can do it but that you really need to treat it carefully.


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Hajduk
post Feb 7 2014, 09:41 PM
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I think you could do instrumental music right, although rare but my fave artist Joe satriani, Surfing with the Alien was played on pop radio stations ( always with me, always with you) was in the top of the charts and the record went platinum in the states. I was in high school when it came out and people that never played guitars would have surfing or satch boogie turned right up in there Iroc z.







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wrk
post Feb 8 2014, 02:52 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 7 2014, 08:54 PM) *
He actually did sorta say don't do it at all. Here is a direct quote.

"First of all, instrumental music — don't even go there."

Seems pretty plain and simple eh? He's got a point to be sure smile.gif It's really tough to make any money doing instrumental stuff, but it's really hard to make any money on music in general. Beyond "biz" he says that he basically finds most instrumental music just boring. But he also says his instrumental music is more like "band music" so it's ok for him. Then he says he's not being arrogant. hmm.

Again, I have huge respect for him as a player and as the top notch pro and legend that he is. I wish he would have been a bit more encouraging for all the people just starting to play who want to learn his instrumental music/cacophony etc. Instead of "don't go there" that's what sorta put me off.

I have difficulties to hear the arrogancy in his words the way you do, but ok …

As you know, he started his career when shred guitar was quite new, during the Shrapnel Records/Mike Varney era. Somehow it became and still is today his ”job definition” to do instrumental albums. He just seem to think that this is not anymore the best approach to start a career this way for to be successful. Bar is extremely high and very limited amount of people listening to these kind of albums.

Right or wrong .. everybody is free to decide on it’s own, but nothing arrogant about this wink.gif






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Todd Simpson
post Feb 8 2014, 04:37 AM
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Those were the days eh? When you could hear actual musicians on broadcast radio smile.gif Our "Rock" station here in Atlanta died and was replaced with a channel that plays nothing but Bieber and Rhianna. Thank goodness for the interwebs smile.gif

QUOTE (Hajduk @ Feb 7 2014, 03:41 PM) *
I think you could do instrumental music right, although rare but my fave artist Joe satriani, Surfing with the Alien was played on pop radio stations ( always with me, always with you) was in the top of the charts and the record went platinum in the states. I was in high school when it came out and people that never played guitars would have surfing or satch boogie turned right up in there Iroc z.


Hmm. Well, the part where he says it's OK for him to make instrumental music, because he works to a "higher standard" (not to mention most of the songs on his new album are instrumental by his own admission) but that for everyone else it's something to be avoided. It's hard not to hear the arrogance of that imho. Some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is baffling. I remember another interview where he basically said he "never practices technique of any kind and neither should anybody else". This coming from a founding member of Cacophony. But I agree, everyone has every right to their opine smile.gif And he is well within his rights to say whatever he wants. Well within mine to call him on it.




QUOTE (wrk @ Feb 7 2014, 08:52 PM) *
I have difficulties to hear the arrogancy in his words the way you do, but ok …

As you know, he started his career when shred guitar was quite new, during the Shrapnel Records/Mike Varney era. Somehow it became and still is today his ”job definition” to do instrumental albums. He just seem to think that this is not anymore the best approach to start a career this way for to be successful. Bar is extremely high and very limited amount of people listening to these kind of albums.

Right or wrong .. everybody is free to decide on it’s own, but nothing arrogant about this wink.gif


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MonkeyDAthos
post Feb 8 2014, 04:37 AM
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Instrumental music doesn't necessarily means a guitar oriented album. that's my whole thought on the issue.
But i can understand where Marty is going.

This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: Feb 8 2014, 04:38 AM


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wrk
post Feb 8 2014, 05:12 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 8 2014, 04:37 AM) *
Hmm. Well, the part where he says it's OK for him to make instrumental music, because he works to a "higher standard" (not to mention most of the songs on his new album are instrumental by his own admission) but that for everyone else it's something to be avoided. It's hard not to hear the arrogance of that imho. Some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is baffling. I remember another interview where he basically said he "never practices technique of any kind and neither should anybody else". This coming from a founding member of Cacophony. But I agree, everyone has every right to their opine smile.gif And he is well within his rights to say whatever he wants. Well within mine to call him on it.

Too bad, he always seemed to be a nice guy to me, but you obviously made up your mind about him. Never mind then ..




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Todd Simpson
post Feb 8 2014, 06:54 AM
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Eh? As I mentioned several times in this very thread, I've got enormous respect for him as we player. I'm a BIG FAN Of him and his work. I think you've misunderstood what I'm saying if that's what you got out of it sad.gif To put it simply, without trying to "infer" or "intrepret" what he "means". I'm just going on what he said and what he said is honestly a bit dissapointing IMHO and a pinch hypocritical. It's possible to think someone has something something dissapointing/hypocritical without losing all respect for him and his work.

I'm sad to see him essentially discourage people from doing what he himself has done most of his life. "E.g. not going there as far as instrumental music goes". As a fan, I was more hoping he would say a few words of encouragement for new players especially. Instead of trying to talk them out of attemping to create music on their own terms.




QUOTE (wrk @ Feb 7 2014, 11:12 PM) *
Too bad, he always seemed to be a nice guy to me, but you obviously made up your mind about him. Never mind then ..


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Ben Higgins
post Feb 8 2014, 10:12 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 8 2014, 05:54 AM) *
I'm sad to see him essentially discourage people from doing what he himself has done most of his life. "E.g. not going there as far as instrumental music goes". As a fan, I was more hoping he would say a few words of encouragement for new players especially. Instead of trying to talk them out of attemping to create music on their own terms.


I think this is very clearly put and I tend to agree with you, Todd. smile.gif


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