Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Brian the Ax Man

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Brangwen Rocker user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 10:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A little thread prompted by my 19 year old son, when he asked me "how I rated Brian May as a guitarist?"

Now my son... shall we say... tolerates Queen, though he does acknowledge the curly haired one as a good guitarist, which coming from someone who is into SlipKnot, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Machine Head etc, etc, and various Finish metal bands, I think is saying something!

Anyhow, as for me, a difficult one to answer with a definity as BM has his own disitinctive style and is clearly respected by his peers.

He is up there in my opinion with your Blackmore's, Page's, Satriani's and Iommi's of this world, but cannot say with any certainty whether he is in fact better (whatever that means) or a lesser accomplished artizan of his craft.

Just wondered what everyone in Queenzoneland thought on the subject?


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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 12:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think he's pretty good.  They should keep him.

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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 12:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well the most pleasant surprise of the last album was voodoo because the style of guitar playing was not Brian but he did a good job on it. Off course he is a great guitar player but more important he can build a orchestra with only his guitar. But comparing is something completely different. You can''t compare Jimmy Hendrikx with David Gilmour but both are outstanding in their own league. Eric Clapton and George Harrison did admire each other but where completely different. Brian May is a big fan of Hank Marvin for instance. The only thing you can say about Brian May is that he unique, just as unique as Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Yngwie Malmsteen and so on and so on

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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 15:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Micrówave wrote:

I think he's pretty good.  They should keep him.


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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 20:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


Of course Page is on his own league... nobody play so awfully sloppy like him!!!!!! my god...



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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 20:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Markman38 wrote:

Well the most pleasant surprise of the last album was voodoo because the style of guitar playing was not Brian but he did a good job on it.

Nah - white bread blues. Sounded just like a Bad Company record, and Mick Ralphs is very limited as a guitar player. Don't get me wrong, I love BM, but he is not a blues player.







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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 21:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Micrówave wrote:

I think he's pretty good.  They should keep him.


I agree.  Plus, he's always got the PhD to fall back on if this whole music thing doesn't take off for him.







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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 22:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Brian is a guitar hero and genius, maybe his guitar playing is not as fast as Vai or Malmsteen, but the way he constructs his solos, the soul impregnated in every note that he plays and the sound that comes from him is simply amazing, absulotely out of this world, two examples of his greatness would be the solo of good company and the solo/last horizon of return of the champions - so much feeling in each and everyone of those notes! watching that made me realize brian is the greatest ever



:)
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Posted: 11 Nov 08, 22:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Brangwen Rocker wrote:

 SlipKnot, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Machine Head etc, etc, and various Finish metal bands, I think is saying something!


I can assure you all of those guitarists would say Brian is awesome, if not an inspiration of them




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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 00:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Brian is a better musician than he is a guitarist.(which is a good thing)


The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 00:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The mainstream will always be the mainstream...

But in the business, Brian is one of the most respected guitarists in the industry.  And his tone is definitely one of the most coveted tones ever.




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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 01:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Crazy LittleThing wrote:







Micrówave wrote:



I think he's pretty good.  They should keep him.



I agree.  Plus, he's always got the PhD to fall back on if this whole music thing doesn't take off for him.







true.





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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 03:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



teleman wrote:

Brian is a better musician than he is a guitarist.(which is a good thing)




what are you trying to sound like sebastion?....think for yourself young man!....Brian is in the same league as the other greats.  top 10 or 15 best in rock history?....sounds about right.




Brangwen Rocker user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 03:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for all your responses!
Perhaps not the most thought provoking of threads, as topics such as these are so subjective, when it comes to comparing whether one individual is better or worse than someone else in a similar field.

It's always nice to hear other peoples opinions nonetheless.

Thanks again.


Paul
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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 04:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think Brians sound is very distinctive. As soon as you hear his tone, you know who it is, which in my book makes him a good player? Thats my opinion anyway......

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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 04:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Adolfo wrote:



 



Brangwen Rocker wrote:



 SlipKnot, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Machine Head etc, etc, and various Finish metal bands, I think is saying something!



I can assure you all of those guitarists would say Brian is awesome, if not an inspiration of them




Not really a fan of Children of Bodom or Machine Head, but I like Slipknot and am a big Metallica fan... does that mean fans of the above bands have a lesser musical opinion in some way? :o)

...but, Jim Root is a top guitar player, James Hetfield can right one hell of a riff, and Kirk Hammett is a pretty damn fine player too (check out the solo on The Unforgiven III on Death Magnetic, awesome). I know for fact that all three of them respect Brian highly, and Hetfield has mentioned previously how [during the recordings of Load and Reload etc] how he was looking to get in some Brian May orchestrations to his playing etc.


John Bonham, Roger Taylor, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Chad Smith, John Otto, Mitch Mitchell...
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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 05:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



GreatKingSam wrote:



 



Adolfo wrote:



 



 



 



 



Brangwen Rocker wrote:



 



 SlipKnot, Metallica, Children of Bodom, Machine Head etc, etc, and various Finish metal bands, I think is saying something!



 


I can assure you all of those guitarists would say Brian is awesome, if not an inspiration of them




Not really a fan of Children of Bodom or Machine Head, but I like Slipknot and am a big Metallica fan... does that mean fans of the above bands have a lesser musical opinion in some way? :o)

...but, Jim Root is a top guitar player, James Hetfield can right one hell of a riff, and Kirk Hammett is a pretty damn fine player too (check out the solo on The Unforgiven III on Death Magnetic, awesome). I know for fact that all three of them respect Brian highly, and Hetfield has mentioned previously how [during the recordings of Load and Reload etc] how he was looking to get in some Brian May orchestrations to his playing etc.

I too am a fan of Metallica, and echo your comments re Hetfield/Hammett. I think fans of the heavier genres of "metal" perhaps favour the rich power chord/thrash style of playing, and to a degree I include myself in that thought process. Indeed, if you "ignore" (for the want of a better word) the growling vocal so prevelent with some of todays metal bands, the guitar work is at times brilliant.

As a kid, I was listening to Deep Purple, Sabbath, Floyd etc, and brought up with Blackmore, Gilmore et al, including of course Tony Iommi, who perhaps "invented" the heavy power chord riff. When I discovered Queen in 1970, and first listened to QI & QII was blown away by BM's fantastic new sound. In many ways I suppose he is in a league of his own, because whereas the likes of Hetfield/Hammett etc have taken the Iommi power chord style to a different level, nobody has been able to better the distinctive BM sound, which perhaps is a contributory factor as to why he is so respected?








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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 10:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Brian is the thinking man's guitar god.Ok he's not as fast as EVH or Vai or the like.His solos are more thoughful,melodic and tuneful.And in the past he had more orchestrations than you could twang a power chord at.


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Posted: 12 Nov 08, 14:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Here's where I make an ass of myself.

What attracted me to Brian May is that his guitar solos are almost little songs in themselves. They exist seperately from the main body of the song. For example, compare the Killer Queen solo to the solo from (say) Nirvana's Nevermind. In the latter, the solo is basically the same rhythm and melody as the song itself. It just follows the chord progression. Not very difficult and i.m.o. the mark of a guitarist with limited imagination. However, the Killer Queen solo is like a seperate creation from the rest of the song. It's much more interesting creating solos that way. Also, as mentioned by everyone else, Brian's orchestration is unique -- you always know it's him. And when he gets it right, which is more often than not, it sounds amazing. Finally, brian was never a speed merchant. Sometimes those guitarists who are really fast rely on that attribute as a kind of end in itself. While Brian can play fast at times, he never seems that comfortable with it. He therefore takes the time to think about the structure of his solos instead of just shredding. Lastly, in the studio he can make even a simple chord progression sound like something handed down from Olympus.





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Posted: 13 Nov 08, 07:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bugger it! I can say it with certainty. In my books he's the best!