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Author Topic: Who is the better musician?  (Read 4992 times)

Offline kewltunes

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Who is the better musician?
« on: July 30, 2006, 02:46:25 AM »
I watched Paul Simon in concert tonight. He was very good, and gracious enough to do THREE encores! His band was also very good, most of them playing several instruments to get the many sounds of Simon along with singing backup for him. Now Paul is an amazingly gifted songwriter and while he plays well he's no virtuoso. This prompted a discussion on the way home in the car...who is a better musician, the headliner who writes the songs or the talented musicians that bring them to fullness?

Some singer/songwriters are exceptional players, but a lot are not. Many session or band members are incredibly talented but aren't writing the material. So who's better? and why? I'd love to get the forum's thoughts on this.

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Offline Jack Mars

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006, 07:24:30 AM »
That's an interesting question! IMO, a great musician is someone who can write his own music and play the instrument (we'll say guitar for instance.  A GREAT guitarist, again IMO, is someone who has suck a great knowledge of his scales that he can write his own music, yet play with talent.  A GOOD guitarist, is someone who can play whatever is put in front of him (music) with talent.  Many guitarists can play nearly every song in the world with virtually zero flaw, however, they cannot write anything new and original.  The guitarists who play but cannot write are still good musicians, but i think the guitarists who can write music and play it with equally good talent are better musicians.  This is just my opinion.
 

Offline Fretless Johnny

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 09:56:48 PM »
That is a good question.  As a side man, I'd have to say it's anyone who can play professionally.  By that I mean they bring the appropriate tone and style to the song they are playing on, as well as having skill and good ears.  Someone who plays enough to make the song fuller, but not over or under playing.  Songwriting is a skill all to itself.

I can't write songs for dookie.  My brother is a composer and writes songs all day long.  Drake drops songs like loose change.  For these guys writing is just second nature.  Not for me.  Now, I listen to the whole song and have a good ear for arrangment and harmony, just not writing from scratch.  I don't think that makes Drake or my brother better musicians than I am.  To me it's apples and bass players.

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Offline The Ringer

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 12:38:46 PM »
That brings up the conversation what is valued more: The better musician or the better songwriter?

Clearly in popular culture the better sonwriter is valued.

Virtuosity on an instrument is vauled by a select niche, while great songs are admired by a larger spectrum of people...

Any thoughts?
 

Offline Fretless Johnny

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 01:16:22 PM »
Ooooh, that's a tough one.  Gotta admit that the song must come first.  You'll sell (insert very large number here) times more albums with good songs than albums of virtuous shredding.

However, I think they are all parts of the whole.  There are plenty of good songwriters who can't play drums, or bass, or whatever. Therefore, they need others to fill out the sound.  

If skilled musicians never put Mozart's scores into real music we could hear, all we'd have is a bunch of notes on a page.  

I keep thinking of the new Paul Simon album.  He's clearly a brilliant songwriter, but his album features three of the world's greatest bass players--Abe Laboriel, Pino Paladino, Alex Al--along with Steve Gadd and all the other great musicians on the disc, it is the collective the brings the music to life.

Then again, I'm sure the publishing royalties and songwriting credits are worth far more than the performance royalties.

Dang.

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Offline Talmane

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2006, 11:51:58 AM »
Seems like two different things to me, not something to compare - but two different categories.
 

Offline The Ringer

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2006, 09:32:41 AM »
Blending the two different categories of musicians and songwriters are there excpetions that are both?
 

Offline kewltunes

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 07:44:08 AM »
Some good answers here. Let me try to refine my question then...given a singer/songwriter who plays adequately (my original example being Paul Simon) vs. a multi-talented musician (sings some backup, plays multiple instruments or perhaps one really well) say an Eddie Van Halen. I'd probably exclude performers (say David Lee Roth or a Michael Bolton [8D] remember these are just examples [8D]).

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Offline FlyMolo

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 09:23:42 AM »
In my opinion you can't have one without the other. FJ mentioned below about musicians never playing Mozart. It's a great analogy. Great songwriters/composers are, I think, far fewer than great instrumentalists or singers. But if a great songwriter can't get great performers to play the music, there's still not as much to gain. Get the two together, and you have something truly phenomenal. If Paul didn't have these magnificent performers behind him, he probably wouldn't be viewed so greatly, because by himself (or with lesser performers) he wouldn't be able to bring out the sound of his music that makes it so great to listen to.

I can't personally say that one is better than the other, as they are two ingredients that combined bring out the most in music.

Just my two cents.

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Offline cappy61

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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2006, 08:23:31 PM »
Why Yani of course. don't know if I spelled his name right.

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Offline kewltunes

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2006, 08:47:29 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by FlyMolo

[...]
I can't personally say that one is better than the other, as they are two ingredients that combined bring out the most in music.

Just my two cents.

FlyMolo
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I think I'm leaning towards FlyMolo's way of thinking, that the sum is better than tne parts...for example, I like Crosby, Stills & Nash, but much better as a group than any one of them as a solo artist.

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 03:12:53 PM »
Getting back to your question I think the obvious answer would be both first it took someone to write it and it took somebody to play or sing it and if people who heard it liked it, then well they have entertained us haven't they.A writer is just a writer until somebody plays or sings the song its nothing but paper until then without both we have nothing but empty air.As for who is the greatest, well I'm still waiting until its played.louis

Offline drake

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2006, 04:21:30 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by The Ringer

Blending the two different categories of musicians and songwriters are there excpetions that are both?



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Offline millenium

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Who is the better musician?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 12:49:35 PM »
I AM...... of course...[8D][:D][:)][:(]

I do has some of you guys..... paul simon, yanni, etc...

BUT..... SERGE FIORI... is a great guitar player... you guys should try to listen to this band HARMONIUM.... check on net for it... It' a band from Québec in during 1976-1979 (4 album)....Ok, they're singing in french.. but so what.. MUSIC is the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

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« Last Edit: August 29, 2006, 10:07:27 AM by millenium »
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 05:24:42 PM »
By the way Yan did you know our guitars are a Millenium Edition and ONLY sold in Canada,hey.louis[:p]