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Alex and His Guitar


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#1 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:54 PM

I am wondering if those of you who are musicians can tell me if Alex's guitar parts are complicated or simple to write.  

The reason why I am asking is because the more I listen to Rush, the more I realize how important he is to the songs, and a lot of his music is beautiful.  I don't know the technical terms to use.  Some of his chorus parts (by that I mean a certain few notes he will repeat over and over) are very emotional.

Sorry for the ignorant way I have worded this.

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#2 MMCXII

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:08 PM

all I know is Alex is the under-rated third of Rush. Ged and Neil are always called the best in their game but Alex rules the "under-rated" category!

I know pretty much nothing about playing guitar but I'm still going to say his stuff is very difficult to write/play. I get a good impression of this just by watching his fingers!

also; with Geddy and Neils's parts being so upfront and in your face, Alex had to assume the role of filling in the empty space and rhythm playing etc.. instead of being a shredder like his hero's. I wonder if this was hard for him to do or if he even enjoyed it. its a good thing it happened though because Alex is hugely responsible for everyone saying "wow, it sounds like way more than three people!"

#3 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:12 PM

View PostMMCXII, on 07 January 2015 - 02:08 PM, said:

all I know is Alex is the under-rated third of Rush. Ged and Neil are always called the best in their game but Alex rules the "under-rated" category!

I know pretty much nothing about playing guitar but I'm still going to say his stuff is very difficult to write/play. I get a good impression of this just by watching his fingers!

also; with Geddy and Neils's parts being so upfront and in your face, Alex had to assume the role of filling in the empty space and rhythm playing etc.. instead of being a shredder like his hero's. I wonder if this was hard for him to do or if he even enjoyed it. its a good thing it happened though because Alex is hugely responsible for everyone saying "wow, it sounds like way more than three people!"

I can't agree with you more, and all that you wrote is what I would have liked to have written.  It's true that, for the man who is responsible for Rush even existing, he and his guitar take a back seat to the other two, yet it is usually always Alex that makes the song.  

I can't tell you how many Rush songs Alex has saved me from disliking intensely.  If it wasn't for Alex, I'd still despise Snakes and Arrows.   That's just one example.

#4 Blue J

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:17 PM

Yes- I would say most of Alex's parts are difficult.

I only started playing guitar about 2-3 years ago, and I only play rhythm parts, rather than lead lines. But I looked at some chord sheets and tabs for some Rush songs, and I thought to myself that Alex's playing comes from...somewhere else. It is far out! He's a master.

#5 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:21 PM

View PostBlue J, on 07 January 2015 - 02:17 PM, said:

Yes- I would say most of Alex's parts are difficult.

I only started playing guitar about 2-3 years ago, and I only play rhythm parts, rather than lead lines. But I looked at some chord sheets and tabs for some Rush songs, and I thought to myself that Alex's playing comes from...somewhere else. It is far out! He's a master.
As I read your post, I am listening to Natural Science.  Yes, he is a master!

#6 canadianice

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:31 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 02:12 PM, said:

View PostMMCXII, on 07 January 2015 - 02:08 PM, said:

all I know is Alex is the under-rated third of Rush. Ged and Neil are always called the best in their game but Alex rules the "under-rated" category!

I know pretty much nothing about playing guitar but I'm still going to say his stuff is very difficult to write/play. I get a good impression of this just by watching his fingers!

also; with Geddy and Neils's parts being so upfront and in your face, Alex had to assume the role of filling in the empty space and rhythm playing etc.. instead of being a shredder like his hero's. I wonder if this was hard for him to do or if he even enjoyed it. its a good thing it happened though because Alex is hugely responsible for everyone saying "wow, it sounds like way more than three people!"

I can't agree with you more, and all that you wrote is what I would have liked to have written.  It's true that, for the man who is responsible for Rush even existing, he and his guitar take a back seat to the other two, yet it is usually always Alex that makes the song.  

I can't tell you how many Rush songs Alex has saved me from disliking intensely.  If it wasn't for Alex, I'd still despise Snakes and Arrows.   That's just one example.
  What is wrong with S& A???

#7 Narps

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:34 PM

View Postcanadianice, on 07 January 2015 - 02:31 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 02:12 PM, said:

View PostMMCXII, on 07 January 2015 - 02:08 PM, said:

all I know is Alex is the under-rated third of Rush. Ged and Neil are always called the best in their game but Alex rules the "under-rated" category!

I know pretty much nothing about playing guitar but I'm still going to say his stuff is very difficult to write/play. I get a good impression of this just by watching his fingers!

also; with Geddy and Neils's parts being so upfront and in your face, Alex had to assume the role of filling in the empty space and rhythm playing etc.. instead of being a shredder like his hero's. I wonder if this was hard for him to do or if he even enjoyed it. its a good thing it happened though because Alex is hugely responsible for everyone saying "wow, it sounds like way more than three people!"

I can't agree with you more, and all that you wrote is what I would have liked to have written.  It's true that, for the man who is responsible for Rush even existing, he and his guitar take a back seat to the other two, yet it is usually always Alex that makes the song.  

I can't tell you how many Rush songs Alex has saved me from disliking intensely.  If it wasn't for Alex, I'd still despise Snakes and Arrows.   That's just one example.
  What is wrong with S& A???
:ph34r: :popcorn: ....

#8 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:35 PM

:scared:

#9 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:36 PM

View Postcanadianice, on 07 January 2015 - 02:31 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 02:12 PM, said:

View PostMMCXII, on 07 January 2015 - 02:08 PM, said:

all I know is Alex is the under-rated third of Rush. Ged and Neil are always called the best in their game but Alex rules the "under-rated" category!

I know pretty much nothing about playing guitar but I'm still going to say his stuff is very difficult to write/play. I get a good impression of this just by watching his fingers!

also; with Geddy and Neils's parts being so upfront and in your face, Alex had to assume the role of filling in the empty space and rhythm playing etc.. instead of being a shredder like his hero's. I wonder if this was hard for him to do or if he even enjoyed it. its a good thing it happened though because Alex is hugely responsible for everyone saying "wow, it sounds like way more than three people!"

I can't agree with you more, and all that you wrote is what I would have liked to have written.  It's true that, for the man who is responsible for Rush even existing, he and his guitar take a back seat to the other two, yet it is usually always Alex that makes the song.  

I can't tell you how many Rush songs Alex has saved me from disliking intensely.  If it wasn't for Alex, I'd still despise Snakes and Arrows.   That's just one example.
  What is wrong with S& A???
Nothing anymore.

Thanks to Alex!

:cheers:

#10 Narps

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:36 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 02:35 PM, said:

:scared:
:rfl: Oops....

#11 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:39 PM

That was a close call.  :unsure:

#12 EagleMoon

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:48 PM

Technically I would say most of Alex's guitar parts aren't hugely difficult, BUT it's all in his phrasing. In other words, it's not as much the notes he plays but where and how he plays them. One thing that has always stood out about his playing is how emotive his solos are. He puts a lot of himself in those notes. Geddy said he is a very emotional person, and his playing shows that.

#13 grasbo

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:55 PM

Ok i am a guitarist ,playing 40 odd years.I could write pages on this subject,but i will try and keep it short.His early stuff was fairly basic compared to what came later and inspired by his heroes, Page etc.His sound was the typical Gibson guitar thru Marshall stack,in other words 'rawk'.Things started changing around 2112,AFTK.Soundwise he had found the Roland chorus pedal,an effect that makes the guitar sound swirling and rotary ,listen to the oracle.Technically he started using different chord shapes to get different voicings(sounds)as opposed to the standard power chords.Some of these are inversions and can be difficult to play(jazz snobs do this).As for his lead soloing and general playing the big change came about with GUP,which was well documented in Guitar Player interview at the time.It also featured Eddy Van Halen interview on Diver Down who was carrying on about faster than lightning playing.Alex was distancing himself from that and i see the Analog Kid as one of his last fast solos.His solos were more thought out and for the song.By this time he was under the spell of Andy Summers,the Edge,etc.Even though they sounde simple you still have to have a serious knowledge of the guitar.We all know this change alienated some fans as well as the haircuts.But for serious guitar pyrotechnics listen to Kid Gloves , a solo i still cant play properly.At this time his gear changed,Fender style guitars(a wiry ,less fuller sound)Gaillen Kruger ampsand heaps of effects.Delays are used a lot.Jump forward to Counterparts and he starts going all grungy big amps ,Gibson guitar,but still the guitar parts are tricky.The solo on Nobodys Hero is sounds simple but you just have to be Alex to pull it off

#14 JARG

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:58 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 01:54 PM, said:

I am wondering if those of you who are musicians can tell me if Alex's guitar parts are complicated or simple to write.

Depends on the era. Lots of his stuff is relatively easy to play, but it's stuff I'd never think to write. His approach to the guitar from a creative perspective is where his strength lies.

#15 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:59 PM

Grasbo, go on.....

:popcorn:

#16 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:59 PM

View PostJARG, on 07 January 2015 - 02:58 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 01:54 PM, said:

I am wondering if those of you who are musicians can tell me if Alex's guitar parts are complicated or simple to write.

Depends on the era. Lots of his stuff is relatively easy to play, but it's stuff I'd never think to write. His approach to the guitar from a creative perspective is where his strength lies.

What do you mean by your last sentence?

And why do you say it is stuff you'd never think to write?  Especially you???  :)

Edited by Lorraine, 07 January 2015 - 03:00 PM.


#17 grasbo

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:03 PM

View PostEagleMoon, on 07 January 2015 - 02:48 PM, said:

Technically I would say most of Alex's guitar parts aren't hugely difficult, BUT it's all in his phrasing. In other words, it's not as much the notes he plays but where and how he plays them. One thing that has always stood out about his playing is how emotive his solos are. He puts a lot of himself in those notes. Geddy said he is a very emotional person, and his playing shows that.
The phrasing,the choice of notes,economy and the emotion.Thats why his playing will stand the test of time over the speed freaks.Could you imagine Yngwie Widdlesteen restraining himself on Bravodo.

#18 Lorraine

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:09 PM

Well, if Rush hadn't gotten an overabundance of talents when talent was being handed out, maybe I would have been given one or two and would know what you musicians are talking about.  :eh:

If you only knew how I wish I did know what you are talking about...

Edited by Lorraine, 07 January 2015 - 03:09 PM.


#19 Narps

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:11 PM

View PostLorraine, on 07 January 2015 - 02:59 PM, said:

Grasbo, go on.....

:popcorn:
JARG, go on.... :popcorn: :)

#20 Narps

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:12 PM

View Postgrasbo, on 07 January 2015 - 03:03 PM, said:

View PostEagleMoon, on 07 January 2015 - 02:48 PM, said:

Technically I would say most of Alex's guitar parts aren't hugely difficult, BUT it's all in his phrasing. In other words, it's not as much the notes he plays but where and how he plays them. One thing that has always stood out about his playing is how emotive his solos are. He puts a lot of himself in those notes. Geddy said he is a very emotional person, and his playing shows that.
Widdlesteen
:rfl: .... needed that.... :cheers:




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