Are instrumentals 'songs'?

Greg_L

Banned
personally I don't get offended by speed and players who can clearly show virtuosity are not simply noodling. I get into this argument a lot with other people, it's a never ending debate that shit guitarists really seem to hate, because it reflects their disappointment in knowing they'll never ever be able to play like them :D

I will never be able to play like them, and I count that as a blessing. With the exception of Keith Moon, I don't like drummers that make it all about themselves either. I don't respect any kind of musical showing off. It takes away from the song, or it becomes the song, and that to me makes it suck. Guitar wankers make music for guitar players. It simply doesn't get any lamer than that. Sorry.
 

ido1957

9K Gold Member
I'm a guitar player and the only guy I ever really liked as an instrumentalist was Jeff Beck. I literally wore out his Blow By Blow album. I'm mainly a radio rocker though and noodlers just bore me. I do like a lot of lead players but mostly in the context of a song with lyrics - for example - Richie Blackmore on Highway Star or Hotel California's dual leads.
 

Greg_L

Banned
I'm a guitar player and the only guy I ever really liked as an instrumentalist was Jeff Beck. I literally wore out his Blow By Blow album. I'm mainly a radio rocker though and noodlers just bore me. I do like a lot of lead players but mostly in the context of a song with lyrics - for example - Richie Blackmore on Highway Star or Hotel California's dual leads.

I agree with you there buddy. I like a nice guitar solo that's part of the song, and not sitting on top of the song or taking over the song.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
The Grunge scene took it a bit far, mostly losing all the solos. Gary Moore went the other. I like Gary Moore, and I like a lot of Grunge, but you can listen to a lot more grunge than wank. I'm still a big fan of Dixie Dreggs; just tasteful licks on instrumental style. Gary Hoey, ditto.
 

Greg_L

Banned
The Grunge scene took it a bit far, mostly losing all the solos. Gary Moore went the other. I like Gary Moore, and I like a lot of Grunge, but you can listen to a lot more grunge than wank. I'm still a big fan of Dixie Dreggs; just tasteful licks on instrumental style. Gary Hoey, ditto.

"Grunge" still used the guitar solo, just not in the classic wankfest sense of the 70s and 80s. It was usually more like a melodic guitar break that blended in with the song instead of a barrage of scale notes at warp speed. The definitive song of that genre "Teen Spirit" has one of those guitar breaks. Lots of other 90s "grunge" songs did as well.
 

Chili

Site Moderator

Shredding = Playing guitar to show off your technical skills regardless of entertainment value.

Picker = Playing guitar to bring something nice to the song and entertain the listener.

Ido mentioned Jeff Beck and I like listening to him. I have respect for Eric Johnson, too. I think he can show off a bit while still making a song worth listening to.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
Picking is the usual groove. Shredding is everything above. Swept arpeggios, dive bombs, hammer ons, etc. etc. Usually fast and not limited to metal, but also used in jazz fusion and blues stylings...
Oh, and I did say mostly....grunge solos are usually very short, melodic riffs as opposed to the long, bluesy/shredding wank that got started in the 70s and got out of hand in the 80s.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
BTW, shredding can still be done tastefully and artistically. But for the most part, they just do a lot of "I can do this, can you?" stuff.
I've heard several guitarists who can play like Yngvie. Just Like John Petrucci, just like Paul Gilbert, etc. but can't do Highway Star justice. It's not that Have You Ever Loved a Woman" or "Dazed and Confused" are technically difficult. It's that they "speak" to you....
 

XploZiveToyz

All American Un-American
A solo is supposed to make a statement. To be a song within a song. That's what I meant by tastefulness. BB King is elequent in his simplicity. Just like Charlie Watts is on drums. Watts plays in the pocket, and only what's needed. No wasted energy. Eloquence!
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
BTW, shredding can still be done tastefully and artistically.

A solo is supposed to make a statement. To be a song within a song.

My observation is that there are different kinds of songs and instruments play different roles within them at different times. Sometimes, the song itself is all important and everything within it is subservient to it. Other times, the song is simply a vehicle for particular instrumentalists to strut their stuff. And given the thread subject question, it's inevitable that if instrumentals are songs, those vehicle type songs with lots of shredding {over here in the 80s and 90s, it was known, for some reason, as widdling} will have their place.
It's not as if it's a recent development either. In jazz, it's been commonplace for certain instruments to take off in all kinds of directions with lots of honking, plinking and shrrraaanging for three quarters of a century. Sometimes, the entire band does ! It can be immensely boring. It can also be unusually exhilarating.
There isn't really any particular style of playing that I intrinsically dislike. Even drum solos and bass slapping solos which I generally do find ever so ho~hum, in the right context and in the right song are fantastic. For me everything is about the piece of music in question. If I don't dig the song, it's rare these days that I'll give it a chance again, no matter how good and tasteful the playing is.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
To this day, I still can tell "Frankenstein" when it plays just from the sound of the first three drum hits. Those three hits own the beginning of the song.
There's lots of songs like that. You know the song just by hearing the tone and the feel of the first few notes.
 

XploZiveToyz

All American Un-American
My observation is that there are different kinds of songs and instruments play different roles within them at different times. Sometimes, the song itself is all important and everything within it is subservient to it. Other times, the song is simply a vehicle for particular instrumentalists to strut their stuff. And given the thread subject question, it's inevitable that if instrumentals are songs, those vehicle type songs with lots of shredding {over here in the 80s and 90s, it was known, for some reason, as widdling} will have their place.
It's not as if it's a recent development either. In jazz, it's been commonplace for certain instruments to take off in all kinds of directions with lots of honking, plinking and shrrraaanging for three quarters of a century. Sometimes, the entire band does ! It can be immensely boring. It can also be unusually exhilarating.
There isn't really any particular style of playing that I intrinsically dislike. Even drum solos and bass slapping solos which I generally do find ever so ho~hum, in the right context and in the right song are fantastic. For me everything is about the piece of music in question. If I don't dig the song, it's rare these days that I'll give it a chance again, no matter how good and tasteful the playing is.
We're on the same page so to speak. We both know what constitutes​ tastefulness. I'm a song guy, whether it's an instrumental or a song with lyrics. If the playing doesn't serve the song, it's basically just noise IMHO.:guitar:
 

RogTaylor

New member
In my opinion they are songs without lyrics. But I understand what you mean. The word "song" implies that there are lyrics to sing.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
For me a song can have lyrics, or a melody. Birds cannot speak, but they sing. Legally when you register a song, one question is "does it have lyrics?" you still register the song without lyrics when it becomes an instrumental as one definition - but for me it's easy. If it has a tune you can hum, whistle or sing, it's a song. It might even have verses and choruses. So - for me an insrumental may or may not be a song, depending on the musical form.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Come on......an instrumental is a song.

Of course....now someone is going to say...well.....if you have a guitar playing one chord for a minute with a horn playing the same note for a minute....is that a song?

2 cents worth of........is there a reason for the question?

Mick
 
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