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Re: Guitar good, keyboards bad

In response to Dave Stagner:

>Guitar is the driving instrument of rock music.  If you switch genres,
>say to jazz or classical, guitar is not held in the same regard.  In
>jazz, the guitarist is the guy who has to switch to a one-chord vamp
>for his solo because he can't play changes.  Bleh.

In non-fusion Jazz, the guitarist is usually denied the option of 
distortion, the primary method of imparting sustain upon a sustain-poor 
instrument.  It's my contention that the ability to impart a voice-(as in 
the human voice)like quality to the sound is very, very desirable in a 
instrument being deployed in the soloist role.  The ability to hold, 
bend, and modulate a note touches people deeply, hence the violin, 
saxaphone, trumpet, distorted electric guitar's dominance of this role, 
in pop music.
If you've got an instrument that doesn't sustain, once you've played your 
note, you're sort of pressed into playing another...quickly.  The pianist 
can't just sit on a note for four bars, whereas the above instruments can.

>When Bill Frisell is praised in jazz circles, he's compared to
>Thelonius Monk, not Jim Hall or Wes Montgomery or Charlie Christian.
>Keyboardists and horn players dominate jazz.  Electric guitars just
>gave us fusion.

My impression is that in jazz, the role of soloist is dominated by horn 
players, particularly trumpet and sax.  Interviews I've seen with jazz 
guitarists usually mention their desire for the chordal abilities of 
pianists, and the expressiveness of the horn player.

Also, I don't think that Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery or Charlie Christian 
were playing one-chord vamps while the other guy took a chorus.
>Here's an experiment for all of you who think the guitar is such a
>be-all solo intrument... try tuning to EADGCF for a few weeks.
>Straight fourths across the fretboard.  You'll soon realize how much
>you've been letting the instrument play you, rather than the other way
>around.  All those blues licks that infect your vocabulary will fall
>apart when they can no longer be played in one position.  Stick with
>it, and you'll soon learn the harmonic advantages of this tuning,
>advantages the much-maligned keyboardists have always enjoyed.

Patterns and stale licks are possible in any tuning.  As someone who 
plays in CGDAEG, and who played in EADGBE for a decade, I'll tell you 
that all tunings have their pros and cons, and if you were a hack in 
Standard, you'll be a hack in any tuning until you decide to change the 
way you play.
And, I'd say that the layout of the piano keyboard strongly encourages 
you to play in C.  Straight fourths, or fifths or whatever you pick are 
much more logical that the black and white key combo on a piano.
No tuning is perfect for any one role, and the limitations you may find 
are more likely limitations in yourself, not the instrument.