Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shred

There seems to be a relentless obsession lately with making bikes simpler (which is good—to an extent) and making riding more complicated (which is good—to an extent). If a single tailwhip is good, a double tailwhip must be even better. Why do one trick when you can do two? Why do two when you can do three? How can this possibly be bad?

Well, if you feel that way, then you probably think this:



is better than this:



Which is fine. To be honest, neither is worse than the other. There's room for both. Some people like shredders like Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen, others like traditional blues guys like Buddy Guy or John Lee Hooker. But to think that more difficult is always better, that's a slippery slope that leads to, well, guys like Steve Vai.

It's also how you get kids trying "sponsor me" tricks without bothering to learn the basics first, which is how you wind up with 14-year-olds who can tailwhip but can't air out of a quarter or manual three parking spaces. It also leads to kids giving up on riding without ever realizing that it's supposed to be fun first. Ride because you like it. If you want to make money, start a hedge fund.

Believe it or not, it's possible to enjoy riding without learning a new trick every week, just as it's possible to enjoy riding a bike that weighs more than 30 pounds. Never lose sight of that and you'll be OK. It's pretty common-sense stuff, but a reminder never hurts.

(Yngwie Malmsteen once recorded an album called Odyssey. Conspiracy?)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

My dad had a steve vai guitar with the sickest vines all up the neck, but his band only played neil young and shit. That's thee right idea in all aspects.

pdxbmx said...

One made me say, Holy Fucking Shit, the other made me say Fuck Yeah man.

g. edward jones, jr. said...

Yngwie will unleash the fookin fury on your ass, man. (And for those of you who didn't start playing guitar in the 80s that's "ING-vay"

Alan said...

Phil Campbell = JTML?

vanchovancho said...

interesting to note, malmsteen uses scalloped frets. meaning that its bowled out in between the frets. making it easier to get as nasty as he does. not trying to take anything away from him, cause he is wild, but i feel there is a connection to be made to machined headtubes on that one.

aaronholter said...

i saw yngwie last weekend at the dallas guitar show. the dude is such a tool. but he's got chops for sure.

joey said...

john lee hooker had THE BLUES.
i was hoping the video was never get outta these blues alive....