What makes a guitarist a guitar Virtuoso?

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
Booligan
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believe it or not, but Zakk Wylde put it the best: "When you can tell a player after hearing only 2 notes, you know you´re listening to a virtuoso"

or something like that :P
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leigh01
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Booligan wrote:believe it or not, but Zakk Wylde put it the best: "When you can tell a player after hearing only 2 notes, you know you´re listening to a virtuoso"

or something like that :P
:lol: that's quite a cool thing to say, as when you think about it when you hear Vai or Satch play two notes, those two note most likely will sound impressive.
Ultraviolet
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Interesting,....I believe if one has the ability for all of those mechanical qualities on the guitar, then I would say they those abilities add to the formula of "Virtuoso" creation.
However, you forgot that I said it was NOT the fact that the song is stuck in someone's head,...but that it makes them FEEL BETTER to sing that song, or melody, or notes like I do when I sing Steve's songs aloud. IT really does have to do, solely with the opinions of the fans, after all that is what counts. Would you think you are a virtuoso, if you were playing for 30 years, and "the largest %" of the fans all say, "That is something that mostly no other guitarrist can physically accomplish." Then, can you tell me what happens once some kid in their 20's plays every one of your songs in front of an audience? Your "virtuoso" ability has just been stolen by a 21 year old.
So like I said, skills really only add to the equation of creating a virtuoso, but where the gravy is, lies in the HEART, of the musician, and their ability to deliver fun, and INSPIRATION to others, making them take your music elsewhere, in the sense of the fans, carrying on a piece of your own heart. Eric Clapton's Layla is not what made him one of history's guitar virtuosos. It was the HEART, and tallent he put in to his playing for all those years, with ALL of his music, as well as his ability to make his fans feel GOOD. For example the HOFFMAN BROTHERS, Brian, and Eric, from DEICIDE can most likely play anything MR. VAI can, and have been playing faster, more technical, and harder than EVERY other famous guitarrist in history, acting as human 64T-S metranomes since 1987. (It's interesting to hear what famous musicians think of other famous musicians) but have you EVER heard anybody refer to those two PHENOMENAL guitarrists as "Virtuosos?" nope, simply because there is a lesser portion of individuals who are not aware of their tallent, because of how the band portrays itself to the masses. Some people are turned off just by the band's name, and don't even give them a chance to be heard. Word of mouth goes a long way,..and counts for everything. People who have been "inspired" by STEVE VAI for example, go out of their way on their own time, to go and say to people, "Hey, you've gotta listen to Steve VAI, he's wicked good, and he will make you feel great when you hear his wonderful music" Whereas people who are merely "impressed" realize just that, and usually think that to themselves, until asked what they think. :) hope this helps, and again this is just my opinion. :) peace
Bababoey
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can i just yell at people and tell them im a virtuoso like The "Great" Kat does???
slash89
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Very few virtuosi (yes, the word virtuosi is the plural form of virtuoso) would call themselves a virtuoso.

People can argue on whether a person creates great music or not, but people can not argue on whether a person is a virtuoso or not.

Think about an insanely talented heavy shredder and a classical trained piano wizard. At first sight they have nothing in common, but if you look under the surface you will see that it all melts down to this; their amazing musical talent. This is what separates gold from sand.
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burnt out
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Bababoey wrote:can i just yell at people and tell them im a virtuoso like The "Great" Kat does???
:lol: She typifies how I think 90% or more of all metalheads act.They seem to disrespect rock and yet metal isn't really even any good so it's funny because they're moronic.Like her. :lol:
Ultraviolet
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Yeah but isn't it great,..that no matter who we are,...we all have one thing in common,...Music!!! It unifies every human,.. and it's been proven to affect even our pets,....I wonder about what we can't see or hear. Here's some diversity for ya,....I usually like Mr. Vai,...or Madonna,...but right now I'm listening to the Huey Luis and the news collection. ;)
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leigh01
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Nice post ultraviolet, That's made virtuosity come a bit more bitesize. :)
j3
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A virtuoso is someone who can play what 99% of other trained musicians cannot...without fighting the instrument to get the sounds. Because there is such a complex matrix of technique, power and timing involved in the pursuit of this standard, a virtuoso, by default, is going to have a unique sound--or even one so transparent that all you hear is the music. In short, one does not hear the hands of a virtuoso, only the sounds. In this way, some players are virtuosos some days and simply talented players struggling to get through difficult music on other days.
A virtuoso doesn't even have to be a composer. The only thing that has to be original is a musician's approach to the instrument, but like great technique, an original approach to the instrument is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the virtuoso.
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Ricardo
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I think this term has to do with playing level. I think of terms like "pro" or "amature" as something else. You have beginner. Some people stay at "beginner" level their entire lives, even though they take lessons for years. They may later call themselves intermediate simply because they are not really "beginners" like when they first started out.

Then you have true intermediate players. Advanced players would be next. And above advanced you could have "very" or "highly advanced" players, "virtuosos" or "masters". I guess you could consider them all the same or similar. I think there could be amature "virtuosos" who only playe for fun, and Professional players that are very low level.

So what is it that separates these levels? Most people associate technical skill to "virtuosos". I think this is certainly part of it, but unfortunately, many think technique=speed. To me there is a lot more to technique than "speed". There is clearity and control of sound, that is the main thing technique is for. To make expression easier. Many listener hear good technique so they think, but technique is not something anyone should "notice". In fact anything noticeable would be technique problems, ie missing notes or otherwise not making the music clear.

Anyway, I have thought about it over the years and have come to the conclusion that the main factor in separating levels is the amount of RHYTHMIC control a player has. It sort of ties in to technique, but what I find is the more ADVANCED a player is, from Beginner to Virtuoso, the BETTER his/her rhythm is. Speed and clearity is only part of what it means to be in control of rhythm. It comes down to the minutest details of timing that make the differences between advance players. Players like Vai, Dimeola, Gilbert, Bettencourt, Paco de Lucia, etc, have always stressed the importance of rhythm when interviewed.

Ricardo
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another virtuoso
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i dont think it could be said much better than that.
i guess that wraps up this thread. lol.
MarkRobinson
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Words fit the definition YOU give to them and more often than not are very flexible by nature. Ask a hundred people to define the word "virtuoso" in other words and they'll likely all come up with different things...

To me its about control of your instrument and freedom to make whatever sounds you will with it. To others its something different altogether...
spanishphrygian
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I thought that carpet munching helped. :?
shader
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I think most of you are trying to apply an objective, concrete definition to something that's relatively subjective. ESPECIALLY when you get to things outside the realm of "what you can physically play", i.e. the realm of "inspiration" and the realm of "do i like it", where you can't quantify things or effectively compare them.
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leigh01
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shader wrote:I think most of you are trying to apply an objective, concrete definition to something that's relatively subjective. ESPECIALLY when you get to things outside the realm of "what you can physically play", i.e. the realm of "inspiration" and the realm of "do i like it", where you can't quantify things or effectively compare them.
:? Wow dense.
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