Should Bad Music Have A Speed Limit?

There’s nothing wrong with being an athlete, but there’s only so much the human body can do.

It’s bizarre. I don’t know why guitarists are obsessed with going faster and faster. What is it about the guitar that attracts this behavior? It doesn’t happen with other art forms, like writing or painting or sculpture. It certainly doesn’t improve the quality of the musical statement, any more than typing fast will improve the quality of a sentence.

Imagine if actors weren’t concerned with portraying characters, only with talking really fast. It would certainly be a novelty, but how long could you watch that? Wouldn’t it be missing the point, which is telling a great story?

At some point, all fastness conceptually blurs together into a solid stroke. Any attempt to go faster is still just plain-old, generic fast. You will be making the same artistic statement whether you can play 50 notes per second or 100. Once you’ve reached that level, you’re stuck at fast forever. Only about a dozen people can tell the difference between fast, faster, and fastest, so why bother?

Tempo has a limit.

On the other hand, making an artistic statement has no limit.

Hmm. Which one is the better investment of energy?

If guitarists want to be fast at something, they should pick one of the following worthy causes:

  • Identifying musical context.
  • Discovering the concept of musical roles.
  • Figuring out how to stop playing guitar on guitar and learn how to play music on guitar.


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3 Responses to “Should Bad Music Have A Speed Limit?”

  1. BL went to the beach and complained:

    yeah, that defeats the purpose of playing guitar. same goes for food eating contests.

  2. Carl King went to the beach and complained:

    You’ve got that right, BL. But you’ve never seen how fast I can eat, so be prepared.

  3. Lloyd went to the beach and complained:

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, you stupid twat.

    Go listen to Suspended Animation by John Petrucci, some fast shit on that album and its got tonnes of feeling and musical composition. You don’t know a thing.

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