Caz’s Corner: Where Has Musicianship Gone in Today’s Music?

Lewis 'Caz' Tidrick

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I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around.”–Jimi Hendrix, musician

 Is It Even Music?

            Rap, Hip Hop, R&B; that’s the majority of popular music nowadays. People like the beats, people like the odd distorted sounds, but there aren’t many actual instruments being played in popular music anymore! From what I’ve heard of this popular music, guitars have practically disappeared as important instruments in the Top 100! Why? Thirty years ago, playing guitar made you a superstar! Now “musicians” don’t need it? What is so good about this weird, distorted sound that you hear on the radio nowadays?

            At the same time, there are many people (i.e. Taylor Swift) who claim to be  playing older genres like country and rock, but they sound nothing like it. I find people who play an instrument like guitar less and less. So again I’ve been brought to the question: What is so good about the distorted sound?

            In my opinion to be able to even be considered as a musician you should have someone playing with you who can play an instrument. (not to mention if you can play one yourself) I’ve grown up listening to music like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Queen, and many more, so I might not be the best person to ask. I wasn’t introduced to this new popular music until the school buses started playing the radio back in elementary school and the instant I heard it, I couldn’t stand it.

Does Personal Background Affect It?

            I, personally, think that culture or your personal background might have something to do with it. Why do I like Classic Rock, Alternative, and Punk? Because that’s what I was introduced to at a very young age. As I type this, I’m listening to a playlist consisting of songs like Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf, Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds, and American Eulogy by Green Day. All of the music I listen to has guitar as a big part of the sound to the song. I always classify myself as a “guitar fan,” not Classic Rock or any other genre.

            But having grown up with guitar music playing all the time, for me to follow along and listen to that kind of music doesn’t surprise me. So let me ask you this: What kind of music did your parent/guardian listen to when you were a child? Was it rap? Was it country? Was it show tunes? Was it R&B? Was it Classic Rock?

            And then compare that to yourself. Do you listen to that same kind of music? Do you listen to the exact opposite? Why? Maybe this sounds like some kind of essay you’d see in your English class, but I’ve thought about it for a long time and my results were this:

            My mom didn’t really listen to music around me unless it was also with my dad. My dad listened to music all the time. He listened to old school rap, Classic Rock, Alternative, Punk, and some Country. Now I listen to Classic Rock, Alternative, Punk, Wizard Rock (yes, I did say Wizard Rock. HINT: Read my next column for more information), and maybe another one or two.

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