What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Jeremiah Lawson
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:34 am

Echoing thoughts already expressed, the most cringe-worthy statements I've seen are to the effect that the guitar is somehow unsuited to sonata forms or to fugues.

Sor wrote a sonata form in E flat major in his Op. 29 etudes. I'm not even a third the guitarist Sor was but I've written sonatas in F minor and C sharp minor and am working on a sonata in E flat major that's an homage to Stevie Wonder. All three of these sonatas are in standard tuning.

As for fugues, as of this year we've got cycles of preludes for solo guitar and not just the one composed by Nikita Koshkin. Just a few weeks ago I learned of the cycle by German Dzhaparidze that I've been listening to. There's, er, also the one I composed, too. Igor Rekhin's cycle of preludes and fugues is more than twenty years old and another Puget Sound area guitarist, Philip Quackenbush, has composed a cycle of fugues. So that's at LEAST five cycles of preludes and fugues written for solo guitar by people who are all, as best I know, alive right now. That's not even counting fugues composed by Biberian, Brouwer, and others. They may not all be at the same level of contrapuntal mastery but there's no shortage of fugues for solo guitar.

An irritating trait in much discussion of music is presuming it's all "emotional" in some sense of being only "right hemisphere". I'm not much for the sorts of composers who are set against "expression" in the Brian Ferneyhough vein, but I'm also not that stoked about people for whom music is all "right hemisphere". I like to think that when music is well made and well-played the entire brain is involved in each phase of perception and enjoyment.

I think the thing that's exasperating about the snobbery that can show up in guitarist scenes is the contrast between guitar literature that is usually performed and the sea of music composed by non-guitarists for other idioms. I really do like the guitar sonatas of Matiegka, for instance, but Matiegka was so clearly indebted to Haydn's work that I can hear riffs from Haydn's piano trios and piano sonatas in Matiegka's works. I adore the work of Haydn. I don't mind hearing Bach's partitas and sonatas on the guitar but if I have the chance to hear the same works performed by Hilary Hahn or Zoltan Szekely the guitarist always "loses" by comparison. A lot of the material that's considered most profound within the guitar scene was 1) never written for the guitar to begin with and 2) tends toward Romantic character pieces. It makes the snobbery that can be in the guitar scene all the fussier knowing that a lot of what passes for the deep end of the pool is considered so modest compared to, say, a Mahler symphony.

ddray
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by ddray » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:53 am

Jeremiah Lawson wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:34 am
I don't mind hearing Bach's partitas and sonatas on the guitar but if I have the chance to hear the same works performed by Hilary Hahn or Zoltan Szekely the guitarist always "loses" by comparison.
I agree with most of what you said overall but I'd have to disagree with that part. I think the guitar adaptations of the violin and cello works, expertly played, can sound as beautiful and satisfying on guitar as on the original instruments. I'd rather hear Parkening's recording of the BWV 1000 fugue (adapted from the BWV 1001 sonata) over any performance on violin. I think sometimes guitarists can have a little bit of an inferiority complex too, as if they and the instrument they play can never be as good as violins, cellos and pianos and their players.

RainyDayMan
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by RainyDayMan » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:57 am

ddray wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:53 am
Jeremiah Lawson wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:34 am
I don't mind hearing Bach's partitas and sonatas on the guitar but if I have the chance to hear the same works performed by Hilary Hahn or Zoltan Szekely the guitarist always "loses" by comparison.
I agree with most of what you said overall but I'd have to disagree with that part. I think the guitar adaptations of the violin and cello works, expertly played, can sound as beautiful and satisfying on guitar as on the original instruments. I'd rather hear Parkening's recording of the BWV 1000 fugue (adapted from the BWV 1001 sonata) over any performance on violin. I think sometimes guitarists can have a little bit of an inferiority complex too, as if they and the instrument they play can never be as good as violins, cellos and pianos and their players.
I also agree certain violin and cello works, notably Bach, can be as moving on guitar as any other instrument. The musical sensitivity of the performer makes huge difference, apart from technical ability. Parkening's Bach recordings are some of the finest of Bach solo works, ditto Galbraith.

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Contreras
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Contreras » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:49 am

gitgeezer wrote:
Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:21 am
Knowing that classical guitar strings are made of the same material as panty hose.
I asked my girlfriend to take off her panty hose, but she didn't believe my story about the broken string ...
Put down the bagpipes ...
... and no one gets hurt.

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Contreras
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Contreras » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:10 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:39 pm
David_Norton wrote:The fixation on female player's appearance and clothing choices, versus their musical talents.
So you think guitar culture has the monopoly on that?
Image
It certainly doesn't ... I went to see Nina Kotova in London a few years ago, and a total stranger next to me said 'I was hoping she would be playing her glass cello this evening'. 😨
Put down the bagpipes ...
... and no one gets hurt.

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Guitar-ded
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Guitar-ded » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:42 pm

Talking of 'cringiest' - Guitar Orchestras - the worst thing ever.
I know that, particularly in situations like summer camps, teachers want to get lots of players through (and paying) in a short time, but really, these are horrible things. By all means use them as a method to get a group of people working at the same time, but just don't inflict them on the concert going public. Whoever came up with the idea should be publicly castigated IMHO. Ban them I say!

You know the drill, you try to support some organisation by going along to their 'end of event' concert and they make you sit through this horror show. Throw in the now ubiquitous Piazzolla pieces and you (well, I anyway) wonder whether the classical guitar has the right to any future. Who ever said "I took up classical guitar because I saw this great guitar orchestra..." Possibly there is some such person here but sssh! ...you do my point no good. :wink:

Ours isn't an orchestral instrument people, not on it's own anyway, and before someone says "what about the Aranjuez et al" they don't count 'cause it's not all guitars up there... and anyway, most of those people can hold a tune.
:lol:
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:17 pm

I once sat through a performance by a mandolin orchestra, so count yourself lucky to have the guitar orchestra,

Laudiesdad69
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:39 am

String shaming...but this only happens when they find out you strung your guitar up with D'Addario.

dory
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by dory » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:51 am

What size do you mean when you say orchestra? Guitar quartets can be wonderful (I just saw--or heard the los Angeles guitar quartet. Wonderful.)
Dory

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Peter Lovett
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Peter Lovett » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:10 am

Guitar-ded wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:42 pm
Talking of 'cringiest' - Guitar Orchestras - the worst thing ever.
I know that, particularly in situations like summer camps, teachers want to get lots of players through (and paying) in a short time, but really, these are horrible things. By all means use them as a method to get a group of people working at the same time, but just don't inflict them on the concert going public. Whoever came up with the idea should be publicly castigated IMHO. Ban them I say!

You know the drill, you try to support some organisation by going along to their 'end of event' concert and they make you sit through this horror show. Throw in the now ubiquitous Piazzolla pieces and you (well, I anyway) wonder whether the classical guitar has the right to any future. Who ever said "I took up classical guitar because I saw this great guitar orchestra..." Possibly there is some such person here but sssh! ...you do my point no good. :wink:

Ours isn't an orchestral instrument people, not on it's own anyway, and before someone says "what about the Aranjuez et al" they don't count 'cause it's not all guitars up there... and anyway, most of those people can hold a tune.
:lol:
Amen to that.

To take up Dory's point about quartets, yes I agree. I sometimes play in a group of about 10 (essentially a guitar quartet with 2 or 3 players on each line) and I would not like to see more than that. The videos of 20 or more guitarists hammering away just make me cringe.
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dory
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by dory » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:24 pm

Ok. 20 is too many but I am about to go play with a group of six-- one to two people on each line, and it sounds pretty decent-- apart from the fact that all but one of us are amateurs. I might not like a group of 20. I have not heard one.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:57 pm

Guitar-ded wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:42 pm
Talking of 'cringiest' - Guitar Orchestras - the worst thing ever....
It can be quite painful.

But if you took the musical experience and technical command of each of those 20 or so players and infused them randomly into the members of a conventional orchestra, I suggest you would prefer to hear the guitar orchestra every time.

The point being that when it is bad, it might be because it isn't being done very well, by people who don't practice it very often (even if they are strong players), with a conductor, if there is one, who hasn't exactly studied the subject, and hasn't trained the players to watch them if they have. That and often playing inappropriate repertoire, such as first position quartets, lack of extended range instruments such as bass at one end and requinto at the other ... In short, there are several things that can be done to make it at least a much less painful experience - but guitarists tend not to care enough to make it good, and that to me is a fairly cringey thing.
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celestemcc
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by celestemcc » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:23 pm

I'm not a big fan of guitar orchestras either... but it isn't in our tradition. Re mandolins, it actually is in the tradition, both in Europe and in the US as well before the turn of the last century into the 20th century. When they're good, they can be very, very good indeed, but it's just not always the case.

Like Dory, I'm a fan of smaller ensembles. I've played guitar in many classical duets, trios, and quartets with mandolins, and the music can truly be lovely.

OTOH, classical guitar society orchestras are ways to get people into playing classical guitar, particularly at amateur and beginner levels. If it introduces people to the instrument, it's a good thing. (I just prefer not to play in one, I admit. And who knows, I may change my mind...!)
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Jeremiah Lawson
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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:31 am

I've heard some mandolin orchestra works that were actually pretty good and, as celestemcc put it, there is a tradition of mandolin orchestra playing.

I can understand that a lot of music not originally written for the guitar still sounds great on the guitar, but for me the violin and cello have an in-built sustain that's a necessary element of the majority of musical textures for the literature. I've done arrangements, such as arranging a Hindemith viola sonata movement or two for solo guitar, and part of one of his piano sonatas. I'm even open to Bach transcriptions, it's just that I find that for string music there's a lot that gets lost in translation.

I have heard guitar quartet music I like by Ourkouzounov and Tamulionis but above four guitars and I tend to lose interest. So I kind of agree about the guitar orchestra thing often not coming off well.

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Re: What's the most cringiest thing about guitar culture?

Post by leslietranter » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:41 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:
Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:35 am
Mouth gyrations and eye fluttering while playing
Sorry to hear that. I found that it is an affliction which has come on me while playing with increasing age and I am not conscious of it.

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