Was Hendrix overrated…?

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Quaco
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Quaco » 05 Feb 2024, 21:43

I've been watching some Mahavishnu Orchestra videos lately, and McLaughlin makes mistakes too. He's not perfect. (Although I didn't hear any in the Shakti videos. Maybe he got better.) The truly "best" guitarist in a technical sense wouldn't be McLaughlin or Zappa or Hendrix — those are all in the same category for me, great players who are not note-for-note perfect and who you simply rate based on how much you like what they do. Some people prefer fewer notes, just like some people like minimalistic room decor, while others like a lot of stuff in their room. If you like more minimalistic playing, you may prefer Hank Marvin or Curtis Mayfield, and if you like busy music you may prefer John McLaughlin or Trevor Rabin. The technically best player would be someone we've probably never heard of. Or maybe it would be Allan Holdsworth, who to be fair probably doesn't make mistakes.

Hendrix is not perfect in a technical sense — he probably couldn't have done session playing where you have to be able to play a certain style at the drop of a hat — but he is rather magical. A lot of expert guitarists still don't quite know what he was doing. He also had easily put in his 10,000 hours so the instrument sat in his hand like it was part of his body, not always the case even among great players. He was busy being himself.

I don't know the context of the TV show, if it's just a quirk of the character's personality that he would say Jimi is overrated, or if the show is deliberately trying to be nonconformist or controversial. But I don't trust it. I personally hear Jimi being overrated all the time, because people just automatically call him the best guitar player of all time, which is really just a matter of opinion. But I think he's underrated too, because that kind of thinking doesn't take subtleties into account. His writing, lyrics, singing, rhythm playing (I'd sooner have him back me up than McLaughlin or Zappa or Hank Marvin even) and arranging ideas are all interesting and worth getting into.

He's one of my favorites but not my very favorite. He's not "the best" but he might be "the greatest". Like The Beatles, when people say they're overrated, I usually sense I'm in the presence of someone trying to be edgy or iconoclastic, even though there's some truth to it. They're way overrated especially by some of their more rabid fans, but they're also underrated or misunderstood.
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robertff
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby robertff » 08 Feb 2024, 16:45

Image


Looks as though Neil didn't think so.


.

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Six String
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Six String » 08 Feb 2024, 17:11

Quaco wrote:I've been watching some Mahavishnu Orchestra videos lately, and McLaughlin makes mistakes too. He's not perfect. (Although I didn't hear any in the Shakti videos. Maybe he got better.) The truly "best" guitarist in a technical sense wouldn't be McLaughlin or Zappa or Hendrix — those are all in the same category for me, great players who are not note-for-note perfect and who you simply rate based on how much you like what they do. Some people prefer fewer notes, just like some people like minimalistic room decor, while others like a lot of stuff in their room. If you like more minimalistic playing, you may prefer Hank Marvin or Curtis Mayfield, and if you like busy music you may prefer John McLaughlin or Trevor Rabin. The technically best player would be someone we've probably never heard of. Or maybe it would be Allan Holdsworth, who to be fair probably doesn't make mistakes.

Hendrix is not perfect in a technical sense — he probably couldn't have done session playing where you have to be able to play a certain style at the drop of a hat — but he is rather magical. A lot of expert guitarists still don't quite know what he was doing. He also had easily put in his 10,000 hours so the instrument sat in his hand like it was part of his body, not always the case even among great players. He was busy being himself.

I don't know the context of the TV show, if it's just a quirk of the character's personality that he would say Jimi is overrated, or if the show is deliberately trying to be nonconformist or controversial. But I don't trust it. I personally hear Jimi being overrated all the time, because people just automatically call him the best guitar player of all time, which is really just a matter of opinion. But I think he's underrated too, because that kind of thinking doesn't take subtleties into account. His writing, lyrics, singing, rhythm playing (I'd sooner have him back me up than McLaughlin or Zappa or Hank Marvin even) and arranging ideas are all interesting and worth getting into.

He's one of my favorites but not my very favorite. He's not "the best" but he might be "the greatest". Like The Beatles, when people say they're overrated, I usually sense I'm in the presence of someone trying to be edgy or iconoclastic, even though there's some truth to it. They're way overrated especially by some of their more rabid fans, but they're also underrated or misunderstood.


Well said Jim. It really doesn come down to opinions for the most part. I stopped rating any one musician as “best” or “greatest” for that reason. I do think Jimi’s exploration into guitar sounds was ahead of most people at the time and as you say, he really put in the time long before he became known with The Experience. How long he would have kept up his innovation we can’t say but he not only had ideas but he was executing them up until the end.
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Darkness_Fish
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 09 Feb 2024, 10:05

When it comes to talk of greatness of guitar playing, I think David Fair's article on how to play guitar should be referenced:

"I taught myself to play guitar. It's incredibly easy when you understand the science of it. The skinny strings play the high sounds, and the fat strings play the low sounds. If you put your finger on the string farther out by the tuning end it makes a lower sound. If you want to play fast, move your hand fast and if you want to play slower move your hand slower. That's all there is to it. You can learn the names of notes and how to make chords that other people use, but that's pretty limiting. Even if you took a few years and learned all the chords you'd still have a limited number of options. If you ignore the chords your options are infinite and you can master guitar playing in one day.

Traditionally, guitars have a fat string on the top and they get skinnier and skinnier as they go down. But the thing to remember is it's your guitar and you can put whatever you want on it. I like to put six different sized strings on it because that gives the most variety, but my brother used to put all of the same thickness on so he wouldn't have so much to worry about. What ever string he hit had to be the right one because they were all the same.
Tuning the guitar is kind of a ridiculous notion. If you have to wind the tuning pegs to just a certain place, that implies that every other place would be wrong. But that's absurd. How could it be wrong? It's your guitar and you're the one playing it. It's completely up to you to decide how it should sound. In fact I don't tune by the sound at all. I wind the strings until they're all about the same tightness. I highly recommend electric guitars for a couple of reasons. First of all they don't depend on body resonating for the sound so it doesn't matter if you paint them. As also, if you put all the knobs on your amplifier on 10 you can get a much higher reaction to effort ratio with an electric guitar than you can with an acoustic. Just a tiny tap on the strings can rattle your windows, and when you slam the strings, with your amp on 10, you can strip the paint off the walls.

The first guitar I bought was a Silvertone. Later I bought a Fender Telecaster, but it really doesn't matter what kind you buy as long as the tuning pegs are on the end of the neck where they belong. A few years back someone came out with a guitar that tunes at the other end. I've never tried one. I guess they sound alright but they look ridiculous and I imagine you'd feel pretty foolish holding one. That would affect your playing. The idea isn't to feel foolish. The idea is to put a pick in one hand and a guitar in the other and with a tiny movement rule the world."
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Swiftie
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 09 Feb 2024, 11:21

Six String wrote:I stopped rating any one musician as “best” or “greatest”


Quaco wrote: "best" [...] "the greatest"


But, we are not rating/discussing the best/greatest

Overrated, to me at least, means something else





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mudshark wrote:Where is he anyway, that very soft lad?

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mudshark
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby mudshark » 09 Feb 2024, 20:52

There's is this myth out there that Hendrix and Zappa once did a guitar battle. I've read about it many, many moons ago. That would have been something to behold: the arguably most overrated and underrated axemen whipping it out on stage. The Zappa trust keeps on saying that there's a tape somewhere in the vault but that nobody can find it. Surely they'd hire a person whose only job it would be to dive in and don't come up until he or she found it. I've been rummaging a bit on the internet in the hope to find evidence that I'm right about reading about the FZ/JH battle. All I've come up with us this:

"Jimi came to our house one time with Buddy Miles, when we were living in New York. They walked in, said hello, Buddy sat on the sofa and immediately passed out and was snoring. Shortly thereafter Jimi who was wearing green velvet pants demonstrated some sort of intricate dance step and ripped the inside of his pants. Gail (Zappa’s wife) had to sew them back up for him. Then when they were ready to leave, Jimi woke up Buddy Miles. He said ‘goodbye Frank’ and they went out the door”.

Evidently Jimi was at one point an underthreaded guitarist.
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Swiftie
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 20 Mar 2024, 17:19

mudshark wrote:There's is this myth out there that Hendrix and Zappa once did a guitar battle. I've read about it many, many moons ago. That would have been something to behold: the arguably most overrated and underrated axemen whipping it out on stage. The Zappa trust keeps on saying that there's a tape somewhere in the vault but that nobody can find it. Surely they'd hire a person whose only job it would be to dive in and don't come up until he or she found it. I've been rummaging a bit on the internet in the hope to find evidence that I'm right about reading about the FZ/JH battle. All I've come up with us this:

"Jimi came to our house one time with Buddy Miles, when we were living in New York. They walked in, said hello, Buddy sat on the sofa and immediately passed out and was snoring. Shortly thereafter Jimi who was wearing green velvet pants demonstrated some sort of intricate dance step and ripped the inside of his pants. Gail (Zappa’s wife) had to sew them back up for him. Then when they were ready to leave, Jimi woke up Buddy Miles. He said ‘goodbye Frank’ and they went out the door”.

Evidently Jimi was at one point an underthreaded guitarist.


Now that's interesting....!



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mudshark wrote:Where is he anyway, that very soft lad?


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