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The heretic thread approved by Roger Sadowsky or For those who pretend tone doesn't come from wood...


Hellzero

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Just to merge the two topics and play devils advocate. Is there a possibility that top luthiers are also artists and choose their materials according to their own tastes, experience and skill, including the wood as they know what they are trying to achieve. The audience are probably just teenage dorks and middle aged duffers talking twaddle on the internet?

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2 hours ago, tegs07 said:

Is there a possibility that top luthiers are also artists and choose their materials according to their own tastes

 

What sells well?

 

Looks pretty?

 

Their customers think sounds best?

 

Years of experience?

 

Is rare and exotic?

 

What they have in the lumber room?

 

CITE?

 

Habit?

 

Convention?

 

Independently refereed scientific research?

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

What sells well?

 

Looks pretty?

 

Their customers think sounds best?

 

Years of experience?

 

Is rare and exotic?

 

What they have in the lumber room?

 

CITE?

 

Habit?

 

Convention?

 

Independently refereed scientific research?

Possibly all of the above. Some luthiers will also not rely on volume sales and will be motivated by the best they can build. Ultimately there is no universal truth and most of us will just all filter information to match what we already believe.

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OK, this is video is by a guitar player and features some widdling (damn fine widdling though IMO), but you can skip past those. Chris Buck here addresses some of the very points raised in the last few pages. However, he doesn’t rant or get bent out of shape pushing his own agenda (or someone else’s), he just calmly makes a solid point that if you think something makes a difference (including breakfast cereal) and helps you perform better, it’s all good.

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, ezbass said:

OK, this is video is by a guitar player and features some widdling (damn fine widdling though IMO), but you can skip past those. Chris Buck here addresses some of the very points raised in the last few pages. However, he doesn’t rant or get bent out of shape pushing his own agenda (or someone else’s), he just calmly makes a solid point that if you think something makes a difference (including breakfast cereal) and helps you perform better, it’s all good.

 

 

 

Cardiff Castle!

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

What sells well?

 

Looks pretty?

 

Their customers think sounds best?

 

Years of experience?

 

Is rare and exotic?

 

What they have in the lumber room?

 

CITE?

 

Habit?

 

Convention?

 

Independently refereed scientific research?

You forgot "Easy to work with".

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1 hour ago, tegs07 said:

Possibly all of the above. Some luthiers will also not rely on volume sales and will be motivated by the best they can build. Ultimately there is no universal truth and most of us will just all filter information to match what we already believe.

And luthiers would would have to take a stand on tonewood, or how would they justify the eye watering cost of a fancy timber instrument, other than looks.

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1 hour ago, mikel said:

And luthiers would would have to take a stand on tonewood, or how would they justify the eye watering cost of a fancy timber instrument, other than looks.

I guess they should work for free like you certainly do for your day job...

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1 hour ago, mikel said:

And luthiers would would have to take a stand on tonewood, or how would they justify the eye watering cost of a fancy timber instrument, other than looks.

Wood is certainly expensive these days. Overall though Ash or Basswood are fairly reasonably priced. The top luthiers I suspect charge more for their time and experience than the materials used.

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35 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

My beef is with the way exotic, figured, scarce woods are lauded for their tonewood properties when they are really used for their aesthetic appearance.

I get people don’t like the extravagant marketing flim flam but it’s no worse than all the marketing drivel that goes with expensive perfume or performance cars. Ceramic brakes, expensive custom paint jobs etc. I’m sure if Lewis Hamilton had the vehicle it may be worth the outlay but most punters wouldn’t have a clue.

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On 19/11/2021 at 21:25, Stub Mandrel said:

I think I've been defending considering your audience as part of the creative process rather than "allowing them to dictate your creative decisions".

 

I've interpreted your position as being agnostic to any consideration of how your music may be received; you appear to think mine has been that the artists should bow to any whim of the listener.

 

That's not mine and may not be yours.

 

But I think my attempt to further explore the subtleties of the artist-audience relationship (something I have mused on for 40 years or so) are just flogging a dead horse.

 

I'd like to know how you can consider your audience when you don't know what your audience likes. If the current audience doesn't like your next outpouring, then a new audience that does like it can take over. After all, Mrs Zero likes "The Division Bell".

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7 hours ago, tauzero said:

 

I'd like to know how you can consider your audience when you don't know what your audience likes. If the current audience doesn't like your next outpouring, then a new audience that does like it can take over. After all, Mrs Zero likes "The Division Bell".

 

I doubt whether many successful bands don't know what their audience likes.

 

Otherwise Pink Floyd might still be playing Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast as part of their set...

 

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54 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

I doubt whether many successful bands don't know what their audience likes.

 

Otherwise Pink Floyd might still be playing Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast as part of their set...

 

 

So why do successful bands and artists completely change their sound, when their audiences like what they currently hear? Your example of Pink Floyd is very poor in that respect, they didn't suddenly go from Piper to Dark Side, there was an evolution where they took their audience with them.

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

I doubt whether many successful bands don't know what their audience likes.

 

Otherwise Pink Floyd might still be playing Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast as part of their set...

 

It’s a fair point though. Post-Syd Floyd for instance isn’t that much like Syd-era Floyd. Rather than gaining fans, they could have lost them all and disappeared forever. The fact that the reverse is true I’m sure was more by accident than design. Genesis could be argued as another example, PG and post-PG. They lost some fans, retained some fans, gained some fans, but they could just have died a death. 

 

And when gigging at pub/club level, unless you have a fan base that follows you round or are familiar with what you do, every gig is a completely clean slate in terms of audience reaction/expectation and each individual in the audience is an Individual clean slate. How can you possibly predict how each individual in a completely new audience is going to react to what you do (this obviously applies to their reaction to recordings too)? 
 

The more I’ve thought about this discussion - and I’ve thought about it a lot over the last few days - the more it has disturbed me.
 

I started drawing & painting for my own enjoyment pretty much as soon as I could hold a pencil/pen/brush and was always encouraged to do so. As soon as I was able I wrote stories for my own enjoyment, created characters and comic strips for my own enjoyment. Pre-teen and pre-superhero/fantasy action figures, I made models first out of plasticine and later all sorts of materials, so I could play with them and act out stories and adventures, for my own enjoyment. My friends did the same (my best friend eventually went on to work for Cosgrove Hall and Tim Burton). It was the most natural thing in the world for me (and them) and I never thought twice about it, just assumed anyone else who was so inclined would do the same.

 

When I got into music and subsequently started playing I immediately started writing my own songs as it was simply a continuation of my natural mindset - although by this time I had like-minded friends who were also writing for their own enjoyment. We started a band because we liked making music together, no other reason. Making music was enjoyable and exciting. At the same time I went to foundation course and then Uni studying fine art. Everyone there in my experience was there because they felt the urge to create, nothing more. They just wanted to further their art, learn more about it, perfect it. The odd one was thinking consciously about a career in art but most weren’t. Hardly any of them ever thought about an audience, it just wasn’t a consideration. So the majority of people I’ve ever mixed with have created art of some sort primarily for their own enjoyment. I’ve obviously been aware that there are people who do it for other reasons but that has never concerned me - that’s their choice and they’re perfectly entitled to do it for any reason they see fit and to find enjoyment in it any way they can - and I’ll admit I haven’t had much contact with people who do it for other reasons. 
 

What has terrified me about this discussion is that there have been comments that have suggested that creating something primarily for your own enjoyment is wrong, selfish, pretentious, inconsiderate, dismissive, something to be ridiculed. That has absolutely shocked me to the core.  Especially coming from musicians, as I’d always assumed the majority of musicians were likewise creative-minded (and open-minded) people. At this stage, creating my own music, for my own reasons, is the only thing I have left in life. I spent most of 2019 considering whether or not to take my own life, and luckily (?) made it through, although it remains a daily battle. However if anyone tried to take away my final reason for living, that is what I would do. 
 

The great irony of course is that those who perceive they’re being looked down on by ‘selfish, pretentious creative types’ and object to that are guilty of exactly the same thing in reverse. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, 4000 said:

It’s a fair point though. Post-Syd Floyd for instance isn’t that much like Syd-era Floyd. Rather than gaining fans, they could have lost them all and disappeared forever. The fact that the reverse is true I’m sure was more by accident than design. 

 

I doubt it was a consideration, they couldn't keep doing the same, the songwriter wasn't there any more, so they just continued. They almost certainly lost fans and they gained more.

 

5 hours ago, 4000 said:

What has terrified me about this discussion is that there have been comments that have suggested that creating something primarily for your own enjoyment is wrong, selfish, pretentious, inconsiderate, dismissive, something to be ridiculed. That has absolutely shocked me to the core.  Especially coming from musicians, as I’d always assumed the majority of musicians were likewise creative-minded (and open-minded) people. At this stage, creating my own music, for my own reasons, is the only thing I have left in life. I spent most of 2019 considering whether or not to take my own life, and luckily (?) made it through, although it remains a daily battle. However if anyone tried to take away my final reason for living, that is what I would do. 

 

I honestly think the whole argument is just a misunderstand in the words, not the concepts. When I go and buy a bass, I play it and I either enjoy playing it or I don't. I listen to the sound and not once have I ever thought 'I bet an audience would like the sound of this', and I seriously doubt anyone has. It is all 'about me' when selecting equipment, which is why we are getting different stuff, apart from those people who get some instrument because it matches, and I guess that is restricted mostly to people in tribute groups or very specific genres of music (and here I am aware that I played motown on a shuker uberhorn).

 

Learning music can be either incredibly selfish if you are self taught or very public if you are classically trained, where you learn to play the right way for exams, and have to learn what people want to hear and play it in the right way. I remember my mum getting annoyed I was playing the same thing over and over, becuase i liked the sound of it.

 

What I mean is that I think there is less distance from the two extremes of this thread than it would seem. I play cover band stuff in public because my own stuff wouldn't be interesting to anyone. I think both are valid.

 

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2 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

What I mean is that I think there is less distance from the two extremes of this thread than it would seem. I play cover band stuff in public because my own stuff wouldn't be interesting to anyone. I think both are valid.

Except that this is absolutely not what this thread was about, but as it's a deaf and blind people world, why not continue talking about something else.

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1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

Except that this is absolutely not what this thread was about, but as it's a deaf and blind people world, why not continue talking about something else.


I am talking about what the thread has been talking about for the thread has been about for the last few pages, I have literally no clue what you are talking about with the deaf and blind people.

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2 hours ago, Hellzero said:

Except that this is absolutely not what this thread was about, but as it's a deaf and blind people world, why not continue talking about something else.

Once again Hellzero, apologies for the derailment - which I thought had previously righted itself - hopefully this can now be an end to it. I know I’ve definitely had enough of it. 

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On 20/11/2021 at 15:54, tegs07 said:

I get people don’t like the extravagant marketing flim flam but it’s no worse than all the marketing drivel that goes with expensive perfume or performance cars. Ceramic brakes, expensive custom paint jobs etc. I’m sure if Lewis Hamilton had the vehicle it may be worth the outlay but most punters wouldn’t have a clue.

'Marketing flim flam'...it might be no worse, but it's certainly no better. Ceramic brakes, of course, actually do work better than their cheaper alternatives at high temperatures, that there's a scientific fact. Expensive custom paint jobs...look nice, if you like that sort of thing. And as for expensive perfume...I was bought some of that Johnny Depp's Sausage aftershave last Christmas, and I'm still waiting for my Mustang convertible... 😕

 

I doubt if Roger S said 'Look, it doesn't matter much what wood it's made from, but we make them really, really well, and they look lovely' his sales would go up...I'd still stand by the fact that yes, he has an expensive product to sell, but making extravagant claims which have no scientific basis* is chicanery and I'm calling it... 🙂

 

* I'm always willing to reconsider this should something actually be proven but, like James Randi's million dollars, I'm staying put till this happens.

 

 

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