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  #1  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:18 PM
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Default Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

This seems to be making the rounds today on Facebook...pretty well said: (sorry about the language...it's a direct quote)

“When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, ‘Oh, OK, that’s how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight f*cking hours with 800 people at a convention center and… then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it’s not f*ckin’ good enough.’ Can you imagine?” he implores. “It’s destroying the next generation of musicians! ...Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy and old f*cking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll f*cking start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. Because that’s exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some sh*tty old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-ass sh*t, and they became the biggest band in the world. That can happen again! You don’t need a f*cking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol.”
— Dave Grohl (via blacktooth100)
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I agree with most of what he says.

I think the Internet and computers are now vital in music making (at least in some genres) although I'll echo his sentiments and say that you definitely don't need a powerful or new computer to make great music. If you want to use a computer, go and buy a proverbial old computer and work out what you can do with it, with free software.

'Having a go' when you're still in your formative stages is really vital. I was terrible when I first played with other people, I was terrible for a long time (whereas now I'm 'acceptable') but we had fun, made music, irritated people with our noise and generally made music fun. Those bands never went anywhere but it was great fun and I learned a lot about life and about people - as well as music - in those first few bands that I joined.

You don't need expensive guitars. You don't need expensive computers. You don't need expensive drums, or amps or basses. It helps to know how to make the most out of them but you can do great things with (say) a low-end Squier or Yamaha Pacifica. Making the most of a limited budget or limited instruments (and ability!) is a great way of learning what is possible and finding out about yourself and your music.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I dunno, I don't think a budding young drummer or guitar player confuses a TV singing contest with being a musician. Today's youth is pretty cycnical about that stuff, and hopeful players don't have any illusions about TV being the path to a career. They know all about jamming and making recordings and posting them on Soundcloud and YouTube. A singer is a different matter, but they still need players, and/or someone with a computer, and the internet.

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post

I think the Internet and computers are now vital in music making (at least in some genres) although I'll echo his sentiments and say that you definitely don't need a powerful or new computer to make great music. If you want to use a computer, go and buy a proverbial old computer and work out what you can do with it, with free software.

.
I'd agree with you. You are almost nowhere without some use of computers in anything nowadays.....but Grohl's way is so much more fun.

I think the internet and computers have spoiled a lot of 'discovery' and made some aspects of life less exciting and adventurous.

As for his war against these Idol and Voice shows, .. Go Dave! I music needs a spokesperson like him.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I love this guy.

Not romantically of course but, I dig the candid spirit.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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I'd agree with you. You are almost nowhere without some use of computers in anything nowadays.....but Grohl's way is so much more fun.

I think the internet and computers have spoiled a lot of 'discovery' and made some aspects of life less exciting and adventurous.

As for his war against these Idol and Voice shows, .. Go Dave! I music needs a spokesperson like him.
In terms of discovery? Sometimes.

I'm in the fortunate position of being interested in some very obscure music and I can still get a kick from going to a record (vinyl) store and browsing through the 'Avant-Garde' section and then buying based on the price and/or cover. That's a great joy I have that isn't necessarily tempered by the Internet. I've discovered some great new music this way.

Old fashioned? Sure. Fun though!
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

The bit about buying a kit and just sucking in a garage somehow speaks to me... good old memories, I had dreams back then ;)

Now I just know I suck, lol.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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I can still get a kick from going to a record (vinyl) store and browsing through the 'Avant-Garde' section and then buying based on the price and/or cover. That's a great joy I have that isn't necessarily tempered by the Internet. I've discovered some great new music this way.
!
Absolutely. I'm sure many enjoy the convenience of iTunes etc. but to me going and holding the music in your hands is just as important. Moreover, just like in a book library, its the album next to the one's you're searching for and find by accident that are what I'm referring to as the fun of discovery. I'm not sure anybody finds anything on iTunes by accident.

But I'm just sounding old now. Of course there would be no DW 'back in the day' either.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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Absolutely. I'm sure many enjoy the convenience of iTunes etc. but to me going and holding the music in your hands is just as important. Moreover, just like in a book library, its the album next to the one's you're searching for and find by accident that are what I'm referring to as the fun of discovery. I'm not sure anybody finds anything on iTunes by accident.

But I'm just sounding old now. Of course there would be no DW 'back in the day' either.
I would quite happily say that in many regards I'm old-fashioned (I'm 24). I adore buying vinyl records and browsing book shops. Over-organisation of second-hand shops drives me around the bend because it's all about that joy of discovery. I've been to some great bookshops where there are quite literally piles of books (It's in Morecambe, Lancashire the one I'm referring to if anybody is from around there) and there was always something interesting, hidden under other books. I can spend hours rifling through and I love it.

Now I'm out of the avant-garde scene (curse you, University graduation!) it's one of the few ways I have of discovering the really obscure bands. If they are as obscure as some of the records I've found, there's no hope I'll ever find them on my own using Google.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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The bit about buying a kit and just sucking in a garage somehow speaks to me... good old memories, I had dreams back then ;)

Now I just know I suck, lol.
It's speaking to me A LOT right now...but it is a blast! Lol
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I can't say you don't need the Internet.

Nirvana broke thought before the net was big. Now, having a myspace/soundclud/fb is pretty essential to have for a band that is trying to do something. No one just walks down the street checking random garages for potential bands.

Although Dave is still right, practice in the garage and write songs BEFORE you do all that.

As for Idol, I never watch it, and don't care for it. But I have buddies who do/have toured as the drummer behind past AI contestants. If it wasn't for the show, they wouldn't have those gigs.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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The bit about buying a kit and just sucking in a garage somehow speaks to me... good old memories, I had dreams back then ;)

Now I just know I suck, lol.
Glory Days Indeed !!!!!!!!
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl is one of my favorite musicians but he omitted the part about luck. I'm too old to be a rockstar, I have a day job that I'm thankful for and I play drums after work... either alone, or with friends, but I have a great time. I think that's what it's all about. Being a rockstar is just winning the lottery.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I will preface this by saying that I'm a huge fan of Dave's playing with Nirvana, Them Crooked Vultures, QOTSA, Foo Fighters, Probot, and others. I also admire greatly the fact that he was able to write, and record every instrument by himself for the Foo Fighters s/t (Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, backup vox!) and proved himself to be a great musician on many fronts.

That said, some of his rants and general "message" have been contradictory or just misplaced. What does American Idol have to do with making the next Nirvana? Does the fact that 800 unknowns lineup to sing to become the next "big thing" have any connection at all with kids getting excited about rock, metal, whatever and tinkering around with their instruments until they become gigging musicians in the next generation? Would Kurt Cobain have gone on American Idol? I really don't see any connection at all personally.

Also, for all his anti-digital rants, Foo Fighters records were chopped up, pro-tooled to hell and back, and recorded section by section then edited together. Doesn't that seem hypocritical? There's music made without click tracks, excessive pro-tooling, and minimal overdubs that is just as boring and cliche as bands that use digital studio sticks extensively. Just different ways of making music that aren't any more valid or less "real" than more natural recordings. As soon as you use any effects, punch-ins, multitracking and altering the music period you aren't playing live, raw music.

I think American Idol isn't going away any time soon because a lot of people love the idea that "anyone" (with a hard to obtain, fairly rare skillset) can become the next pop singer, the next model, the next VJ, the next business mogel, whatever. How many people remember Idol winners, and how many actually have a career other than Kelly Clarkson though? Just my two cents.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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I will preface this by saying that I'm a huge fan of Dave's playing with Nirvana, Them Crooked Vultures, QOTSA, Foo Fighters, Probot, and others. I also admire greatly the fact that he was able to write, and record every instrument by himself for the Foo Fighters s/t (Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, backup vox!) and proved himself to be a great musician on many fronts.

That said, some of his rants and general "message" have been contradictory or just misplaced. What does American Idol have to do with making the next Nirvana? Does the fact that 800 unknowns lineup to sing to become the next "big thing" have any connection at all with kids getting excited about rock, metal, whatever and tinkering around with their instruments until they become gigging musicians in the next generation? Would Kurt Cobain have gone on American Idol? I really don't see any connection at all personally.

Also, for all his anti-digital rants, Foo Fighters records were chopped up, pro-tooled to hell and back, and recorded section by section then edited together. Doesn't that seem hypocritical? There's music made without click tracks, excessive pro-tooling, and minimal overdubs that is just as boring and cliche as bands that use digital studio sticks extensively. Just different ways of making music that aren't any more valid or less "real" than more natural recordings. As soon as you use any effects, punch-ins, multitracking and altering the music period you aren't playing live, raw music.

I think American Idol isn't going away any time soon because a lot of people love the idea that "anyone" (with a hard to obtain, fairly rare skillset) can become the next pop singer, the next model, the next VJ, the next business mogel, whatever. How many people remember Idol winners, and how many actually have a career other than Kelly Clarkson though? Just my two cents.
Thanks for pointing this out. For a church thing, I recently had to learn a Foo Fighters song note-for-note. It was completely obvious that it was spliced together. The tempos weren't even matched all that well. I don't watch Idol at all, but I have heard Grohl rant before. Watch the Lemmy biopic on Palladia and you'll get to hear Grohl rant: "F**k Keith Richards". I, too, get tired of his potty-mouthed philosophy.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I see his point more as there's no instant road to fame for 99.9% of us, you have pay the dues and start at the bottom like everyone else. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it on the way up. Many of our young folk today (when did my mother show up?) seem to all want reward without the work and they want it now. A lot of these AI shows seem to reinforce that.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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. What does American Idol have to do with making the next Nirvana? Does the fact that 800 unknowns lineup to sing to become the next "big thing" have any connection at all with kids getting excited about rock, metal, whatever and tinkering around with their instruments until they become gigging musicians in the next generation? Would Kurt Cobain have gone on American Idol? I really don't see any connection at all personally.
Fair point.

I think the rant is essentially, singers no longer go looking for bands, they "line up".
But you make a valid point that the singers that would join a rock band and the singers who would apply to be on AI aren't really the same types of people (with a few exceptions)

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Originally Posted by _Leviathan_ View Post
Also, for all his anti-digital rants, Foo Fighters records were chopped up, pro-tooled to hell and back, and recorded section by section then edited together. Doesn't that seem hypocritical? There's music made without click tracks, excessive pro-tooling, and minimal overdubs that is just as boring and cliche as bands that use digital studio sticks extensively. Just different ways of making music that aren't any more valid or less "real" than more natural recordings. As soon as you use any effects, punch-ins, multitracking and altering the music period you aren't playing live, raw music..
I tend to agree.

I recall on a Classic Albums: Nirvana – Nevermind, one song was Kurt strumming to guitar, and Grohl's parts were recorded bar by bar and lined up to the strumming.

Obviously, there is something to be said for doing one take all the way through, but the fact remains many,many classic albums consistent of tape cuts, and compilations of various takes to make the final recording.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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That said, some of his rants and general "message" have been contradictory or just misplaced. What does American Idol have to do with making the next Nirvana? Does the fact that 800 unknowns lineup to sing to become the next "big thing" have any connection at all with kids getting excited about rock, metal, whatever and tinkering around with their instruments until they become gigging musicians in the next generation?
I think his keynote address at SXSW was more of what he's talking about here. Toward the end of that speech, after demonstrating that all you need to get started making your own songs is a a couple super cheap cassette recorders, a guitar and an IDEA, he explained that in the end, it's all about the inspired idea, developing it, recording it, and using it; and it's about "finding your own voice". He went on to rhetorically ask if he was the best drummer in the world ("not even close") or the best song-writer ("not even in this room"), and despite that he's not anywhere near the best at anything, he said that what worked for him was finding his voice in music; an identity of his own that was a reflection of his tastes and everything he held sacred about music.

I think he's pointing out that if you're getting wrapped around the 'Idol' axle, you're in a competition of chops in any number of bland and cliche forms that has absolutely nothing to do with chasing your muse and finding your own unique voice. It isn't even art.

That's a point I wholeheartedly agree with. I've known far too many players in my years of playing that were so consumed with getting "good" (in the technical sense) that they never took the time to develop their own tastes or follow their own musical instincts. Most of them don't even play anymore.

I'm a sucker for awesome technique and can stomach some pretty bad music for the sake of the good players playing it (I admit it: I love listening to Dave Weckl, but mostly just the stuff that sounds like one big Weather Report rip-off! The elevator stuff, not so much). Speaking only for myself, I've found this middle area where I still get wrapped around technique axles, but only insofar as I can use it in the music I'm playing. I don't learn technique for its own sake in the hopes that someday it'll come in handy (like at a drum competition, for example! ;-)
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy and old f*cking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too.
He just described my teenage years. Lots of fun but I ended up working in offices for 25 years. I enjoy Dave's straightforwardness but he forgot the bit about talent (and luck, as Jookbox said).

These days if players of real time instruments don't have a musical education it is very hard to get decent gigs that actually pay money in this competitive environment (at least in Sydney). What's left of the scene is crawling with trained players.

Really like your post, Mike, though I don't think an idea is enough any more.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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I think his keynote address at SXSW was more of what he's talking about here. Toward the end of that speech, after demonstrating that all you need to get started making your own songs is a a couple super cheap cassette recorders, a guitar and an IDEA, he explained that in the end, it's all about the inspired idea, developing it, recording it, and using it; and it's about "finding your own voice". He went on to rhetorically ask if he was the best drummer in the world ("not even close") or the best song-writer ("not even in this room"), and despite that he's not anywhere near the best at anything, he said that what worked for him was finding his voice in music; an identity of his own that was a reflection of his tastes and everything he held sacred about music.

I think he's pointing out that if you're getting wrapped around the 'Idol' axle, you're in a competition of chops in any number of bland and cliche forms that has absolutely nothing to do with chasing your muse and finding your own unique voice. It isn't even art.

That's a point I wholeheartedly agree with. I've known far too many players in my years of playing that were so consumed with getting "good" (in the technical sense) that they never took the time to develop their own tastes or follow their own musical instincts. Most of them don't even play anymore.

I'm a sucker for awesome technique and can stomach some pretty bad music for the sake of the good players playing it (I admit it: I love listening to Dave Weckl, but mostly just the stuff that sounds like one big Weather Report rip-off! The elevator stuff, not so much). Speaking only for myself, I've found this middle area where I still get wrapped around technique axles, but only insofar as I can use it in the music I'm playing. I don't learn technique for its own sake in the hopes that someday it'll come in handy (like at a drum competition, for example! ;-)
That is a fair point. Liking your own voice and expressing yourself fully is an important part of playing any instrument, maybe the most important. But that takes confidence, hard work, and getting a lot of honest feedback from peers, friends, teachers, bandmates, and so on. I think a lot of the problem is some of the Idol kids who get torn apart were people who couldn't sing but were brought there because of mom and dad, or being just lied to by friends. Wasn't there that famous story of Bird being shamed off the stage by the crash cymbal being tossed, and becoming a legend because of the work he put in after that?
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

Raise your hand if you suck! (raising hand)

The all or nothing point is a good one.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:34 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

Dave came out of the DC hardcore punk scene. What punk was back in the day before Nirvana and mainstream alternative music, was an anti-corporate arty original vibrant and energetic music. Bands like the Minutemen couldn't be classified as just punk or be classified at all. Dave's old band Scream combined metal and classic rock in to their punk rock mix. These bands were original and had their own sound. Idol to me is finding a good voice and "molding" them into a mainstream pop act. Even people like Crystal Bowersox and Bo Bice had bad power ballads on their post Idol albums, then got dropped, went indie and sounded like themselves again.

I think that is what he is talking about. Daughtry, David Cook and such. Band guys leaving their bands and going on Idol to make a name for themselves, and then doing mainstream rock. Music to me should be an open canvas. You paint your colors, not just what hues other tell you to be. "Britney is pink, so uh, be pink..." Or worse, you just copy what is already popular and reap the easy rewards.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:39 AM
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Plus we all know what it was like to be young. We all had crappy beginner axes and drums and made one hell of a noise. But in that we got better, tighter and developed a unique sound. Our noise became music. Maybe a unique genre of music was formed. Imagine if Black Sabbath had remained a blues cover band? Rush decided to go "power pop"?
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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I think his keynote address at SXSW was more of what he's talking about here. Toward the end of that speech, after demonstrating that all you need to get started making your own songs is a a couple super cheap cassette recorders, a guitar and an IDEA, he explained that in the end, it's all about the inspired idea, developing it, recording it, and using it; and it's about "finding your own voice". He went on to rhetorically ask if he was the best drummer in the world ("not even close") or the best song-writer ("not even in this room"), and despite that he's not anywhere near the best at anything, he said that what worked for him was finding his voice in music; an identity of his own that was a reflection of his tastes and everything he held sacred about music.

I think he's pointing out that if you're getting wrapped around the 'Idol' axle, you're in a competition of chops in any number of bland and cliche forms that has absolutely nothing to do with chasing your muse and finding your own unique voice. It isn't even art.

That's a point I wholeheartedly agree with. I've known far too many players in my years of playing that were so consumed with getting "good" (in the technical sense) that they never took the time to develop their own tastes or follow their own musical instincts. Most of them don't even play anymore.

I'm a sucker for awesome technique and can stomach some pretty bad music for the sake of the good players playing it (I admit it: I love listening to Dave Weckl, but mostly just the stuff that sounds like one big Weather Report rip-off! The elevator stuff, not so much). Speaking only for myself, I've found this middle area where I still get wrapped around technique axles, but only insofar as I can use it in the music I'm playing. I don't learn technique for its own sake in the hopes that someday it'll come in handy (like at a drum competition, for example! ;-)
Nicely said Mike

When I first played with a band in a garage all those years ago, we didn't suck, we were the best band ever. Our first song "It's Clean And Fresh At Sainsburys" was the best song anyone had ever written. We were immense! We were so good I later went out and bought a snare drum to go with my bass drum and hi hat.

I think its easy to lose sight of the fact that making music is a journey, an adventure. I remember an interview with some young lad in a boy band (name escapes me as they all blend into one), he said that he wanted to make it big in the "music industry". Talk about missing the point!

I had the time of my life playing in bands and writing music, and that has never left me. I wonder which industry that boy band singer is hoping to make it big in now?
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

But it is clean and fresh at Sainsburys!

Unless you buy a Findus lasange... sorry... couldn't help it. I will disable 'smug vegetarian' mode for a moment...
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
But it is clean and fresh at Sainsburys!

Unless you buy a Findus lasange... sorry... couldn't help it. I will disable 'smug vegetarian' mode for a moment...
Yukkk...they're definitely not clean and fresh...

THEY'RE OFF !!!!!
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

I'm so hungry you ate a horse...
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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But it is clean and fresh at Sainsburys!
haha, unlike us members of Screaming Fish who were about as unclean a bunch of spotty teenagers you could ever wish to meet. We changed our name after the first gig and dropped "Its Cleand And Fresh At Sainsburys", on second thoughts we decided it was a rubbish song. But you should have heard the song that followed...!
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

If I start a band then that is going to be the name of the first song. Sorry but it's just too good to pass up.

Naturally, you will get no credit or kickbacks...
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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If I start a band then that is going to be the name of the first song. Sorry but it's just too good to pass up.

Naturally, you will get no credit or kickbacks...
I knew we should have taped it and then sent it to ourselves via Royal Mail to stop unscrupulous music hijackers of the future stealing it once they realise it's true artistic value and potential. Still, there are plenty more where that came from, including "Uncle Wally's Dead".
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

That can be the name of the band.

You're a goldmine.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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I dunno, I don't think a budding young drummer or guitar player confuses a TV singing contest with being a musician. Today's youth is pretty cycnical about that stuff, and hopeful players don't have any illusions about TV being the path to a career. They know all about jamming and making recordings and posting them on Soundcloud and YouTube. A singer is a different matter, but they still need players, and/or someone with a computer, and the internet.

Bermuda
I would say that is fairly accurate; he has been on this mini crusade ever since he bought the old mixing board and then made a movie about it. He comes across as too hip for shoes but he is no slouch in the self promotion craft.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

"Biggest band in the world", gee, doesn't think much of himself does he? The grunge movement, like rock and roll originally, found an audience with the disaffected. There were the big arena bands that were more about showmanship and very highly produced pop music (although now we revere the grooves that Gadd, Pocaro, Mason & company laid down), so if you wanted to be an "individual" with the other contrarian individuals, Nirvana was it. A lucky hodge-podge of folks with enough raw talent to overcome their backwards thinking and other foibles (well, some of them) to find an audience for their adolescent angst.

But hardly the biggest band in the world beyond a musical history nano-second amongst a fringe audience.

Concentrating on music is a great thing. There is more to music than just technique or theory. But neither is music the absence or repudiation of those things.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Pearls of Wisdom from Dave Grohl

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Originally Posted by _Leviathan_ View Post
. How many people remember Idol winners, and how many actually have a career other than Kelly Clarkson though? Just my two cents.
Let's see... Wasnt there some cutie named Carrie something or other a few years back?

Chris Daughtry has done pretty well for himself and so has Constantine Maroulis. Jennifer Hudson, too.
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