Stealing And The Misery Of Being A Guitarist In The Music Scene

Stealing is, for guitar players (and of course, all musicians), part of the daily practice routine. Get the chops of Malmsteen, your tone like Jeff Beck and the note choice of Eric Johnson, etc. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, almost every guitar player who is visiting this site has the intention to grab some stuff to play and practice - or at least to get some inspiration. That's great and necessary to keep making progress with your playing. But, why steal the things mentioned above (chops, progressions, etc.) only from guitarists? What happens is that everything is growing from the same root. The guitarist-plant dusts itself. This devil circle pushes guitarists nowadays apart in modern (commercial) music! You may only get called for the studio gig to play some typical rock licks/funk licks.

But you and I know we are able to do much more than that. As we all are here - practicing our fingers to the bone - the only chance we see to get 'in demand' is to sit down and focus on (or record) our own weird stuff. That can be fun, but not so financially productive - and very lonely as well. My point is: the guitar is such a flexible instrument. How come this instrument doesn`t get the acknowledgment and attention it once had, and still deserves. The answer: we are not flexible enough!

What I want you to consider is playing dance floor - house - techno - ambient - trip-hop - acid jazz - etc. Adjust your thinking, expand your style, expand your audience! Playing (rock) guitar doesn`t have to mean that you get stuck in the rehearsal room, or your home studio. Just don`t be stubborn - it's all about music, the thing we love and live for.

For instance, have you ever tried copying dance floor synth arpeggios? Two handed? Swept? Using string skipping? Inverted? In three part harmony? Do it!

Bring your high-speed be-bop licks to an acid jazz jam!

Listen to, and recreate everyday life noises on guitar to get the trip-hop gig.

Practice sound effects on guitar. Get the chromatic or whole tone lines flashing above a techno groove!

Go to the biggest (!) house club in your town grab the DJ, and suggest an alliance! You support him playing heavy riffs or leads on his house beats, or fill spaces with wide, clean chorus/wah chords! You`ll see that it works because all these guys have is records and samples. He will love to deal with a human guitarist - he just hasn`t met one because he is from a different music scene. You`ll end up having a 500 to 1500 person audience, screaming, dancing, having fun - and you'll be getting paid very well! It's just a small step into a strange area but it's worth it! Don`t wait for chances to come to you, be the first one to make a step and cross the border! i did it, and didn`t regret it.

Be proud to play guitar - be really open minded and blend, mix and trade styles respectfully. Everything will come back to you.

Sven Stichter was born in 1974, raised in Germany and first picked up the guitar when he was 13. He completed his studies at the American Institute of Music (A.I.M.) at age 17.

After having been focused on rock and metal, his musical interests diversified into other styles such as pop, country, hip and trip hop without losing sight of the essentials of being a good guitarist and performer.

Tone, musicality, technical ability, a good commercial ear combined with his own personal magic have made Stichter a well booked musician in a variety of categories.

Sven Stichter