When I cruise through videos looking for new music to discuss on the Grapevine or just to hear what’s out there I usually look on YouTube. It is the site where most people place their music. It’s where we place our videos. When I listen to a band’s video I very seldom go in to the comments section. I’m not all that worried about what other people think about the song. Also, no big news break here, comment sections can be pretty toxic sometimes. Recently I was looking at videos to watch playing techniques to see what I can pick up. I’m an average player and I’m trying to learn new instruments so watching what some of the best players can do provides some interesting technique tips. When I’m looking through these videos I will often read the comments. A lot of times people will mention other musicians that I haven’t heard of before and it’s one more method of searching out new music and musicians. Unfortunately these comment sections sometimes devolve in to insults and name calling. The one I really don’t understand is the ‘GOAT’ theory. The idea that one individual is ‘the Greatest Of All Time’. These lists have been around forever. The Rolling Stone ‘top 100 guitarists of all time’ has been around since I was a kid. As humans we seem to have the need to rank everything. From cars to peanut butter to people. Here’s my take: I don’t believe there is a ‘greatest of all time’. The concept doesn’t make sense to me. Let’s just look at guitarists (you could pick any instrument). How do you judge the ‘best’ guitarist? There’s so many different techniques. Are you looking at guitarists in all the genres of music – classical, jazz, country, bluegrass, rock? I’m not even going to try to mention all the different styles of music in this post – rock music can be split in to lots of smaller categories as could all the other styles mentioned. Is it just playing techniques or are you also considering song writing? Do you take in to consideration the differences between acoustic and electric playing or how the music affects the audience? It’s a rabbit hole I see no purpose in going down. Yes, there are players who are more talented than others. But ‘greatest of all time’? Nonsense. Some of the best musicians may be sitting on their porch playing and never had any interest in playing in public. They may have been playing before there was a way to record music. And, as stated in a lot of previous posts, art is subjective. What moves me may not move you.
I’m going throw out a few guitar videos for you. This is not my ‘best of’ list (if you didn’t guess from the opening rant, I really don’t have one). Maybe there’s something here that you like and haven’t heard before. If you have anyone you think I should hear, hit me up with a comment or email. I’m always interested in learning something new.
Let’s start with some bluegrass. Cody Kilby won best bluegrass guitarist this year at the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards.
For a jazz selection here’s Wes Montgomery:
For classical, some Andres Segovia:
For rock, how about some Jeff Beck:
The videos of great players could go on forever. Listen to music with open ears. You might just find a new musical inspiration.