The Majestic Music Appreciation Thread

I’m promising to be careful when posting in here. My taste in music is very wide and very varied… but it’s also sorta weird and it won’t appeal to many, many people.

For example, Negativland has come up before. Foundsound collages are really neat because an entire narrative or alternate universe is created and then destroyed for the duration of the track (except when it’s all about releasing forgotten reality into the world). But… some folks will find it annoying.

Some other stuff that’s been recently played:

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The only reason I’m using the Dunlop Tortex “purple” (1.14) picks is to get the Grant Green sound off my Ibanez AF-55, sort of an ES-175 clone, which is my only guitar at the moment, and to be able to shred things like “Communication Breakdown,” which I love. And other things from Ed Van Halen and so on.

I’m just a piano picker, really, but I’m enjoying re-discovering a very formidable instrument at the fingerboard.

Wes is more “my guy” when it comes to attack, as well as Jim Hall, and each of those use less of the attack given by the pick, so, I don’t spend too much time mastering true up-down alternate picking technique with the plectrum.

Well, I saw cEvin Key from Skinny Puppy and the NieR: Automata soundtrack so you’re all cool with me!

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Yeah and I believe Jimmy Page got that attack using those floppy Herco .75 nylon picks, which is crazy. I used to play big 1.44 picks when I was more focused on metal and alt-rock, but I find those sound really bad on acoustic for strumming. These days I’m kind of using 1.0 dunlop nylons as a compromise, but I experiment with picks a lot.

Not that I can approach ANY of his stuff, but my fav jazz guitarist has always been Joe Pass-

Beato did a video on his technique, but I haven’t even given it a shot yet.

Yeah, and when I was a young teenager/tween, I thought 0.11s were about as small as you could get.

Trust me, I truly did think Clapton and Freddie King were gods. I had no idea there even existed 0.09s.

In fact, I think the first piano “part” I learned off the record was off the Clapton/Mayall “Beano” Bluesbreaker album…that Rob’t Johnson tune in E, and so forth.

And now my dream set are the Thomastik-Infeld GB 14-58.

And now I’m hearing people like Pat Martino played 16s, at least for the top few unwound strings.

I’m not sure my nut can handle 14s without some very careful filing.

No, I think I’ve seen that one: basically an intro to those Pablo records we all know and love.

My first intro to Joe Pass was on those two albums with Les McCann as producer (and, of course, pianist, since…big ego or whatever) paired with Richard “Groove” Holmes on the Hammond.

That was a number of years ago, but I did think at the time, “Holy sh** this dude Joe Pass shreds!”

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Yah. And Billy Gibbons uses 0.07’s. Yikes.

On the other hand, SRV used 13’s and Dick Dale 16’s. I got tendinitis thinking about that just now.

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As I get older I still discover new things among those first few albums of ZZ Top.

No, for me and my crew when I was in my early twenties, those were critical albums, and really defined a sense of groove and soul.

And, of course, John Lee and his great music.

It was a way of re-connecting to kind of a pulse of the groove, I suppose, for us. Or bridging the gap between rock and roll and origins.

Of course, by that time, I’d already had all of my roots piano locked down, so it was more about trying to meld guitaristic rhythms with that solid piano and organ.


That was one of their best LPs too, and a good idea having Robert Margouleff produce it. Knowing his background, his work with Lothar and the Hand People (this cover from 1968 is rather Devo-esque)


@JakeGittes There is no way most people today if they heard that for the first time now would believe you if you told them that was from '68. That bassline could be straight out of anything from Krautrock to modern Indie. Incredible.

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For me it was AC/DC. I went forwards from there into metal (eventually extreme metal), but then also backwards into classic rock and blues.

No kidding. You know, I never thought too much about Jimmy Page’s picking-hand technique. I did have that Hal Leonard book of transcriptions of each instrument on a separate staff, with the tablature for bass and guitar and whatever one calls that drumming notation style.

The thing that kills me now, when it comes to “Communication Breakdown,” just how wide those barre chords are.

Yeah, I can make those on the Ibanez, sort of, but it’s really the opposite of playing pianos or organ: on those, to get speed, you have to have no tension at all and just sort of let everything flop down at the keys, and trust that you know the tune and all that.

But, at the fretboard, you’re contracting the flexor tendons in that hand. The picking/plucking hand? Yeah, same as pianos or organs, more or less (which is probably why I favor the Knopfler/Wes approach: less to think about, and am already used to using whatever finger is open to grab the next note in an improvised line).

Yeah, I know about how to hook the thumb around and grab the lowest string.

I don’t know how the shape of a Telecaster’s neck works with that. Only guitars I’ve ever played and owned are the 1974 Gibson SG Special, with a really low action, since sold, and now the Ibanez AF-55, which is, of course, a hollow-body archtop, and in this case, bridge and neck pickups of unimportant characteristics.


I do find that the main challenge is not just in the plucking/picking hand, but also controlling intonation with the fretting hand.

It’s very easy to “slack” oneself into a very wide, BB King style vibrato. Whereas, for me, I’d rather use that only as an option, and otherwise be very precise at the fretboard.

To the point that one doesn’t really need frets, but I now see that the frets are necessary to accomodate everything available to the instrument.

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And yet-

…but Guthrie Govan is beyond us mortals.

Extreme metal? Yes please.
New-Wave inspired passages? Sure!
SAXOPHONE SOLOS IN METAL? Now we’re just showing off.

But that’s why this might be my record of the year.

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Yeah, I used to have a cheap guitar strap, a sting winder, dozens of Fender heavy/mediums and all that. And a nice little glass slide tha fit my pinky. Pretty sure my mother got rid of all that decades ago. Which, heck, I would have too.

This is old news to anybody who is into American roots music played with the slide. I wonder how high DT set or had set the action.

Brilliant player, of course, and uncannily precise when using the slide. Tone for days, and sustain, even on that little SG,

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Surprised to stumble into a thread full of guitar nerds and find no mention of John Fahey. Glad to remember that I discovered him before his older stuff (in particular) got “cool” and thus hideously overpriced. (I still ended up overpaying to plug up a few small holes in my collection, but that’s all right.)

Supposedly completists lose their minds over him, because when he had his own label he’d sometimes do new pressings of old LPs with one or two tracks slightly altered. But he couldn’t be bothered to tell you that he’d done so. lol.

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Wow… there’s a name I haven’t heard in an age, good lookin’ out! I love his stuff because he wasn’t worried about fitting a genre or hitting an audience. It’s music at its most pure- for its own joy.

The archive panic is definitely real… he was like what Buckethead is now in that regard.

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Oh man. I could get really punishing in this thread, so I’ll try and keep myself within reasonable bounds!

It’s Sunday, so I’ll start with a couple of firm weekend-end favourites

Jimmy Giuffrre 3 - Fusion

When you boil it down I’m basically a ‘Rock Guy’, so my taste for Jazz is pretty limited; too much I - IV - V during my formative years means I can’t handle much harmonic complexity. Rhythmic complexity? Sure. Timbral complexity? I’ll take as much as you’ve got. But if you throw a diminished chord or one too many 7ths at me my lizard brain will inevitably say ‘No More Homework’ and close up the shop for the day.

This hits the sweet spot. Not to say it’s Twinkle-Twinkle-Little-Star simple, far from it. But it’s got allot of space and an easy melodicism without being overly polite ECM style ‘Chamber Jazz’ or whatever. It’s certainly got something else under the hood. The odd glint of menace (was that a blade?) and Steve Swallow is not afraid to pop that Bass when the time calls for it.

No drummer, and a vaguely Free structure means it can be a bit too diffuse for some, and I don’t think it works as background music but I L-U-V spending some quality time with it of a Sunday morning.

Yasuaki Shimizu - Kakashi

I don’t really know much about this guy. I found out about him via an algorithm trying to move me on from a serious Hiroshi Yoshimura jag (I’ll no doubt eat-up loads of server space typing about that guy at some point). I honed in on this album because I like the cover and still haven’t felt the need to move beyond it.

He’s primarily a saxophonist but this is a electronic album. The first track is quite dense and has a melodic style that is very Yellow Magic Orchestra-esque which I know isn’t too everyone’s tastes (mine included) but worth sticking with it as the way it pays off into the second track is great. And then things start to change; it sort of slowly unfurls is probably the best way I can describe it. It isn’t ambient because it has a real rhythmic thrust but he layers rhythms in a really engaging way. It keeps the impact of four-on-the-floor but without wearing your ears out.

TL;DR - it sounds like a crisp autumn day feels.

I’m not quite all in on Fahey but The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death is never far from the top of the stack. His autobiography is worth a read, especially for the vicious shade he throws in the direction Henry Vestine from Canned Heat.

I’ve lived a ‘Metal adjacent’ life in that some of my best friends are serious Metal Heads, but Iron Maiden definitely gets through to me. If I’m honest I’m more about the Di’Anno era (which admittedly is very brief!) but I’m never not going to slide on my knees if Run For The Hills comes on the jukebox!


Must give a shout-out to my main woman: Tara Key of Antietam (not to be confused with L’Antietam: different group). Even if I wasn’t at this show. Yee-haw!!

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So I pretty must has to check out that Yasuaki Shimizu record- the cover art demanded it- and… yeah, that’s kind of the perfect description. It’s kind of bright and crisp and unhurried. I particularly liked the track below.

Haha, don’t worry… I’m saving the really weapons- grade stuff for when someone is totally daring me to go there.

Di’Anno is really overshadowed by Bruce Dickinson (which I think was inevitable, the man is unreal, both as a vocalist and a person) but was a much more capable vocalist than he gets credit for. My only super metal head friend and I recently traded Spotify playlists and she included this gem that I hadn’t listened to in forever, just a perfect New Wave of British Heavy Metal song-

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