I find it very interesting that most people didn't answer the quiz - I assume because you realized the point I was making, if you were interested though:
1 was Anton Oparin at before he was 10
2 was Ben Teacher, does he sound better now you know he has one arm?
3 was Larry Coryell
4 was 6 year old Sungh Junga
5 was Tosin Abasi
6 was a younger me unable to bend in tune! haha
The whole point of the last blog was to introduce the idea that music is for listening to, and we listen with our ears. All too often though we let our other senses taint what we're hearing, most often our eyes.
This idea isn't new, and makes sense too. After all, the music business is just that, a business where product is created and sold. It never hurt that Elvis was an attractive white man, that's an easy thing to sell to the masses right? Who cares that he doesn't write material?
The key part there though is that Elvis had a great voice too. He was, and still is, a pleasure to listen to. The same thing could be said about numerous boy and girl bands over the years, Westlife, Boyzone, The Spice Girls etc. Sure, there might not be quite as much natural talent there, but things can be tightened up digitally in the studio to make a product that sounds good and looks good. But what happens when you start letting your eyes get the better of you?
It's important to understand there are two sides to this. There is no right and wrong either, just questionable actions from both listeners and artists depending on which side they fit.
"Always sexy when I meet the female guitarists in the bar of the studio where we practice." seriously? How is that sexy? A fellow human has the same hobby as you and when you talk to them about said hobby it's somehow arousing? Perhaps you should stop having a band practice and instead practice being a fucking decent person?
I know people are allowed to be attracted to whatever they're attracted to, I genuinely don't have an issue with that. I really like redheads and curves, sue me. The difference is that I don't make people feel like objects for my gratification rather than a person. Running a group of 30k people (with a large amount of those being women) what right do you have when they post a video to say "you're so beautiful" or "hey baby ;)" it genuinely makes me feel sick. Do you think that they're going to read your comments, get in touch, fall in love, move in with your parents and you and spend the rest of your lives happy together? Get a grip.
"She is an excellent guitarist, one of the best." - Right, let's dig into that one. Without asking, It's not entirely clear if they're suggesting that said guitarist is one of the best guitarists, or one of the best female guitarists. Both are patently false, and you'd know that if you just listened to the playing rather than watching it.
If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. People like Jacqueline or Sarah Michelle or any other human who happens to have breasts and plays the guitar deserve to be listened to with your ears. Judge them for what they're passionate about, their music. When I type in girl guitarist into YouTube, the top result should not be "Battle of the best female guitarists in the world! Round 1 - Hot!"
While proof reading this article and taking a break I came across this news story - I rest my case. Men. You disgust me.
Woman hits back at 10 years of harassment online by sharing messages of abuse on Instagram
Let's go for the obvious case study here, which was suggested by many of you when I hinted a blog on female guitarists was coming! Interestingly though, I take a different stance than those who suggested it might have expected.... always the contrarian eh?
I like Jess, I really do, she's a smart girl and she knows what she's doing. If she can cope with the luddites she'll attract from the previous section, good luck to her. Just don't let the marketing tactics get the better of you – bring it on home and ask yourself. Does it sound good? If so, it IS good.
Let's close up with my favourite example then... Orianthi playing Beat It. I hear she got the gig with Michael because of this solo. I've heard it played better in clubs by middle aged men. Jennifer Batten used to play it better too.... but neither of those are too hot to look at so.... yeah... you keep telling yourself you're in work because you're a shit hot player and I'll use my ears and tell you it's because you're hot.