Friday, 24 February 2012

This Note's For You

Q:  What does Steve Vai have in common with Neil Young?

A:  They play the same.

WTF?  Lightening fast, tone king, astonishing guitar god Vai plays like Neil Young?   Slow, meandering, slightly out of tune, always distorted, likes to solo over top of dirges, did-the-note-really-fit-there? Neil?

Sure.  Just like Neil plays like Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen and every shredder.

The only difference is speed.  They all meander.  They all choose weird notes.

Thing is chicks will get up and dance to Neil Young (or sing along).  And it's not just because he writes great songs and has a compelling (some might say fabulous, others would not) voice.  It's because his solos fit the song.  They move it a long.

I never listen to a Neil Young song without feeling both mesmerized and baffled.  I'm always thinkng:  Why am I so enthralled by this crappy solo?  How does he get away with it?  I know it's no good, so why am I listening so hard?

Because he's giving you just what the song needs.  Unlike the others mentioned above, he doesn't stand up and say, "Hey! look at this!"  I never listen to those guys without thinking:  Impressive, maybe, so what?  It's just not musical.

So diddle away, Neil.  I might not want to play your solos, but I know I can sing 'em = and they fit your great songs.

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