Monday, 8 June, 2009

The fad called Guitar.

Isn't it weird that suddenly out of nowhere there are guys and girls who are proclaiming to be neo-Jimi Hendrix, Roger Walters, Kirk Hammet, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Van Halen or even better? Isn't it weird that the people who claim to be the sole reincarnation of these solo kings have not even heard complete albums or know how they look? Isn't it weird that every second person you know is forming a band and what not? Isn't it weird that all that they learn is guitar but not any other instrument as if the other instruments don't even exist?

well, yes, of course, it is weird. what's more weird is that this sudden blast of "Yooness" has come about after the famed release and success of "rock on!!" which in itself was a fashion overstatement (Sorry "Real Rock" Lovers) with nothing more than mediocre performances which went overboard due to media hype. This coupled with generous doses of Salman Khan magically playing the guitar with only his right hand while the left hand is flexing its biceps year on year has produced the current situation where now almost every second guy and girl i know is playing "Rock" or worse, "Death Metal". and if you ask why is "Rock music" or "death metal" (or for that matter any other kind of music)
named so and what are their origins? The answer will come flying "Erm, watevr dude, jus yoo. peace out man neway ssup?" and if you are really really really unlucky then "jai mata de, lets rock" :|

Neither do they not know how Sa Re Ga Ma is related to Linkin Park (or Metallica or Foo Fighters or GnR or RATM or whoever) but they also don't know how Do Ri Me Fa is related to the same. Neither do they know about what the notes of the 6 strings are and why they are that way nor do they understand terms like pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, meter, articulation, dynamics, timbre, texture or scales which are the minimum prequisites of understanding music. At best, they will know tabs. I am not expecting people to know about Chuck Berry, Manna Dey or Bo Diddley but understanding how Aretha Franklin is related to Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar to Eminem and Md.Rafi to Bob Dylan forms the foundation of music. Because C# (known as C sharp) and teevra Sa aren't all that dissimilar.

So can they play a particular song? Yes, of course, there are tabs.
So can you not solve a calculus problem (or even E=mc2)? Yes, of course you can, there are answer sheets. Will you be able to solve any given problem that you don't haven't cheated the answer already? But naturally, you can't. Can they play any given song or music? Of course, not. Just like you can never ever invent a differential calculus problem on your own with an elegant answer if you don't know the basics of math. In the exact same way, they can never make a song if they don't understand the basics of music. And this is exactly why, Unfortunately, for all of us, although more people seem to be playing music but very few are actually learning it. which is why we aren't creating any vast array of new music but we are rather focusing our inept talent of "re"creating music which was already there, thereby ending up with more of the same and less of the different, creating pseudo and plagiarised new music which neither makes musical nor any other sense.

The focus is not on learning or even playing music but on donning skin like Goths with black nail polish, ring on their right ear, band on their right hand and legs, generous dollops of eye shadow, liner etc and fashioning curly long hair. Not just that but people who have no idea whatsoever of music or its farthest cousins are all headbanging their ass off to midteen crisis of cigarette, alcohol, drugs and chicks. A potent mixture of which leaves them impotent by age 27.

Well, how do you recognise this particular brand of people? Its simple, their social networking profiles will have it clearly written that they are quasi-guitar gods and have been only held back because of reasons which can't be understood by the non-yoo community. They will also be wearing shades (preferably in an already dark room), holding the guitar in a way deemed impossible (look at the photo above for details) and have a bowel clogged constipated look on their face (sorry, can't upload nude pics on my blog). Don't believe me? just sign onto your favourite social networking site and just type the keyword "guitar" and abracadabra there you have him- your local, very own, very sassy "yoo-man".

Just like an apple tree won't give you a mango, love for fame can never give these guys the knowledge of music.
In the morass and mire of the fad, fashion and "yooness" we have conclusively lost the art of music and have sold it off to business and limelight of "YOO-MEN" and their "RRAAWWWKSsTAAARSISSSSMM!!!".
All of it reminds me of a very famous song by Metallica called "Sad but true" and makes me question "How many more of these morons do i have to go through before my ears bleed to death?" i guess, "the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind" as said by Bob Dylan :)


Rajiv Mohapatra said...

There have always been people who think they have been neck deep, when they are still in shallow waters; it only goes on to prove their lack of knowledge.

Only two kinds of people can laugh at life, those who know nothing and those who know everything. Same goes for knowledge which feels inadequate the more and more you learn it. I have had friends who are perfectly ear-trained to recognize music but still say they need to improve on their technique.

Maybe we are beginning to face the death of rock even before it really started over here. This debate is already over in the west after hip-hop and rap took over. It is upto the elite few to carry on the tradition of rock. As with anything there is some sort of dilution bound to happen if you take something to the masses. I guess we have to live with it or turn a blind ear to the diluted rock being played by umpteenth band playing around.

simply chandan said...

well,this phenomenon is realy "sad but true" as quoted by the quest of instant fame,many people play d guitar without even knowing d basics n it has been a style statement now-a-days.but music is itself a "sadhana" which demands enormous committment n i just hope that these so called rock band performers understand it soon that there is no shortcut to success.

Nirvan Nanda said...

coolness supreme is such a shady indulgence.

As Kurt said “That's what music is entertainment. The more you put yourself into it, the more of you comes out in it.”

Nothing goes in so nothing comes out.


Nirvan Nanda said...

but don't wild whims lead to great discoveries?

let them play we may someday find a 'purple haze' among us.

i know i am being naive but success hardly comes to pessimistic practical peoples.


Anonymous said...

You definitely have a point.Though these ppl r ubiquitous,one can make a conscious effort 2 ignore them.Even if we criticize they get the cheap publicity they want

sikha sarkar said...

what an amazing piece of write up :)
i wish more people thought like you did.

i have been learning piano for 7 years and i know exactly what you mean.

music has become a fashion statement and lost its inner soul.

and i looooooooooooooooooooooooooooove the doggie :P

Sudipta Das .M. said...

"The focus is not on learning or even playing music but on donning skin like Goths with black nail polish, ring on their right ear, band on their right hand and legs, generous dollops of eye shadow and liner and fashioning curly long hair."

So true. I have a few names in ind but I better not speak of them. ;)

And may all pesudo-Hendrix'es' be murdered by their pseudo-managers as well. lol


Anubha said...

It started long before even "Rock on" released. People perceive music merely as a fashion statement now. They don't do it out of passion, but just for showing off, to show people how "cool" they are with their nails painted black, bellies pierced and a guitar in their arms!
Sad, but true..!

vikas666 said...

So true!!!

i totally agree with what you are saying...n m sure you would agree with me on the note that these bands won't last long..they will never be able to make any kinda impact to the rock music scenario.

Lot more to say...but being a member of a band, I would let my music say what i wish to say...
I'm sure you(rana) got what i mean

n yes...

Jai mata di, let's rock!!!

utkarsh said...

amazing write up man!!!
i am just completely blown away by your style and nature of your writing.

there are things that you have written so well that i can't even thank you enough.

anyway, its good to see some true musicians writing about the plight of the others who can't pen down things as beautifully as you do.

i wish more people understood what you have written and realised things that they haven't already.

thank you for being our mouth piece

(when you come to delhi again, let us -ahem your old friends {ex band members- me, rusi, akash...and YOUR HORDES OF GURL PALS} who never got to play with you or listen to you live, in your prime- know. btw i heard the recording which ricky got from you a month back. my god you are good. what the fuck are you doing in that fucked up jungle?- oh sorry are your jungle pals form the jungle state reading this? i dont give a fuck :D cum back you )

ritika parmar said...

the best blog i have ever read on RAWKSTARRRISM :D
took my heart away, the writing ofcourse ;)

ritika parmar (dps class of 2003)

your blog was linked up from the parent directory.


ProdigalEinstein said...

Saw the link to your blog on a \kewll/ orkut community.

Eye catching blog you've created up there. Y'know, a lot of times, i wonder about something very similar to this. I play the guitar too, since the age of 13, before Rock On released, I also am a singer.

But, I've never come across something like this. It's like a kick on the butts of all the "kewl" wannabes out there.


7worldss said...

u jz pik ne group of frns n dey'l shower u wid all d local bands dey kno...n still worse..if dey kno u sing..dey'l introduce u 2 dose morons who'l beat u 2 death with all dose messedup chords n drums!!
ne bathroom singer who can copy woh lamhe..arranges 2 f his alikes n starts a punkband with a subbtle band name!ugh!

ps:pity d poor guitar!!