I totally dig and respect all guitarists and guitar fans, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get cranky when I feel something is getting rather wiggy with some of y’all. I have a “for example,” but it’s a bit of a narrative twister, so please hang on, and let’s all hope it makes sense by the end.
First, it’s still rather upsetting when players find tremendous glee in ripping other guitarists to shreds. And it gets downright hilarious in a very sad and disappointing way when I discover the “critic” hasn’t heard the target of their venom actually perform. Like, at all. Believe it or not, this happens quite frequently.
In these cases, the eviscerations are typically triggered by purely visual cues: the player is a woman, the player has tattoos and/or piercings, or the player has peculiar hair and/or silly clothes and wears makeup. To be fair, there are other triggers, as well—everything from jealousy over perceived “undeserved breaks” to reactions against a player’s unfounded arrogance.
Then, there’s the situation where a player feels he or she just kills the competition, yet has become angry and cynical because the notoriety they’re getting is far below their opinions of themselves. The kicker in this instance is these disgruntled musicians seldom pit themselves against the players they deem unworthy, or even jam with “competitors” to truly test their mettle. Nor do they look in the mirror to see if perhaps some personal or professional issues are impeding career growth.
Lastly, there are those who constantly jabber on about how hard they are working to market themselves, but then launch absolutely zero effort to manifest any success. It’s the all “all talk, no action” maxim.
So here’s the main point of this rant: All three of the above psychodramas could be laid to rest if the personality types in question actually bucked up, took action, and entered Guitar Player’s Guitar Superstar 2010 competition. There’s still time—the entry phase closes on June 30. I mean, confidence is cool—and even over confidence can fire up some transcendent creativity—but proving yourself in a public forum is the stuff of legend, right? So can I please see a few more of you self-assured types click to guitarplayer.com/superstar2010 and show us your chops? I would love that, because I hate being cranky with you guys, and I do adore seeing great players burnin’ all kinds of hot. —Michael Molenda