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> Guitarists Who Sound Similar But...., ...Carved Out Their Own Identity
Ben Higgins
post Apr 15 2015, 11:35 AM
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Guitarists That Are Similar But Carved Out Their Own Identity.

We all know that, in order to develop as a musician, you borrow a lot from other players. You can't avoid this. Just by picking up a guitar with strings and plugging it into an amp we're already following a path that others have trodden before. By playing chord shapes that have been universally used and recognised for centuries we are imitating others that came before us.

To a certain extent, we have to copy.. it's how we learn. Just like learning to speak our native language, or another. We listen, we see, we imitate. We've all learned other people's songs and their licks. We may still use their licks now, alongside the rest of our repertoire. But there are many famous guitarists out there who are notable for sounding quite similar to other players. If it's an obvious case of sounding like a clone then it's not really a good thing. What value is there in replicating somebody else's personality and art? I mean, Eddie and Yngwie certainly had their imitators, right? Still do, as Youtube shows us......

But there are many players who have obvious similarities to others but which still went on to forge a unique identity which is respected in its own right. I'm sure we can come up with a few examples between us. I'll start off with a couple...

Vito Bratta - obvious similarities with: Eddie Van Halen



Let's be honest. It's just the tapping and dive bombed pinch harmonics that sound like EVH. But, as I've said before, techniques are just vehicles for delivering music. We can't all use completely unique techniques. That would mean that we all had to develop different ways of strumming, fretting, bending... it goes on. So just because you use two handed tapping, what's the difference between you and a guy who uses palm muting or accented 16th note funky strumming? Somebody had to invent and / or popularise a technique. Doesn't mean it shouldn't be used by others.. does it?

So get a load of Vito's outrageously melodic playing. Forgetting the tapping for a moment, his approach is refreshingly tuneful, given that he was writing this stuff in the 80's - the height of guitar self indulgence. It's a crime that he never recorded a solo album because my guess is that it would be one of the most coveted albums we would have ever had.

Vinnie Moore - obvious similarities with: Yngwie Malmsteen

Ok, this is the wild card of the bunch. In truth, Vinnie didn't sound like Yngwie at all. It was the music he was composing on his first 2 solo albums that sounded like Yng, due mainly to the record company's insistence that he tap into the current popularity of neo classical guitar. So Vin delivered oodles of harmonic minor / phyrgian dominant runs and arpeggios a plenty, all with typical Baroque inspired chord progressions. And it's got nothing to do with a certain guitar player from Sweden, you hear? Total coincidence, ok? Thankfully, Vinnie showed us his real self with his subsequent albums and showed us that not only was he NOT an Yngwie impersonator (in fact, there were others who were much more guilty of that) but that he possesses some of the tastiest phrasing ever. Win-win for guitar fans, I'd say!

Early Vinnie:



Later Vinnie:



I'm sure you can think of loads more players who've taken obvious cues from other players but who carved out their own unique style.. so let's have it!

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Apr 15 2015, 11:38 AM


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klasaine
post Apr 15 2015, 02:57 PM
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Robin Trower = Jimi Hendrix
Every blues player = every other blues player (past and present)


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AK Rich
post Apr 15 2015, 05:19 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Apr 15 2015, 05:57 AM) *
Robin Trower = Jimi Hendrix
Every blues player = every other blues player (past and present)

Great example! And you beat me to it. Robin Trower AKA The white Jimi.
PS: Although I can't think of any one in particular at the moment, it seems to me that there have been a handful of guys that sounded a bit like, or were obviously influenced by Jimmy Page and then went on to further develop their own style.

This post has been edited by AK Rich: Apr 15 2015, 05:25 PM


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klasaine
post Apr 15 2015, 05:25 PM
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The great Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry (just passed) used to say ...
"Imitate, assimilate, innovate".


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Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 15 2015, 08:55 PM
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Cool topic - I realize now that compared to others I have done very little copying. There are only a handful tunes I ever bothered learning as a whole, and I never did the cover band thing.

I did try to copy some licks from old REH tapes but I was never really good at that either.

Now I am happy about my shortcomings because I think it will be easier for me to try to 'shake off' the obvious influences I might have. But I struggled a lot with motivation during long periods of my practicing career, because I could never play anything that sounded like "something"...if that makes sense.

I tried to play my own stuff and it never sounded as good as the records and that can be discouraging - and it was for me. Though possibly rewarding if you stick to it.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Apr 15 2015, 02:57 PM) *
Robin Trower = Jimi Hendrix
Every blues player = every other blues player (past and present)


Ok - but somebody must have been first?? ph34r.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Apr 16 2015, 09:04 AM
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[quote name='Kristofer Dahl' date='Apr 15 2015, 07:55 PM' post='709833']
Cool topic - I realize now that compared to others I have done very little copying. There are only a handful tunes I ever bothered learning as a whole, and I never did the cover band thing.

I did try to copy some licks from old REH tapes but I was never really good at that either.

Now I am happy about my shortcomings because I think it will be easier for me to try to 'shake off' the obvious influences I might have. But I struggled a lot with motivation during long periods of my practicing career, because I could never play anything that sounded like "something"...if that makes sense.

I tried to play my own stuff and it never sounded as good as the records and that can be discouraging - and it was for me. Though possibly rewarding if you stick to it.


[/quote

Good point. Now that I think of it, you don't really sound like anybody else.................. ph34r.gif

What witchcraft is this ???


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klasaine
post Apr 16 2015, 02:42 PM
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You don't have to copy guitar solos exactly or even at all to 'sound' like or be influenced by another player. Everybody sounds like somebody else for awhile ... some, a lot longer.

I haven't actively learned an entire solo in 20 years.
Licks here and there, a chord voicing, a song, a concept ... sure.
But I can tell you (and probably show you) from where and from whom I've gotten every three note sequence or chord voicing I've ever (and probably ever will) put together.

You can find every - and I mean every - SRV lick in one Hendrix tune or another (and a whole lot of Albert and Freddie King tunes as well). But Stevie applied it to straight, Texas blues playing (at a time the blues was not so popular here) whereas JH was way more psychedelic, hard rock, experimental and even jazzy and funky (though it all came from his heavy blues and R&B upbringing). SRV had great feel, huge tone and amazing commitment to what he played (and sang). Rarely has there been a more confident player - even though he's totally derivative. It doesn't matter.

Ain't nothin' new under the sun. It's all about how you contextualize it.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Apr 16 2015, 04:31 PM


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