The Feeling of Hard Rock Music : There’s a certain power that comes with hard rock music. I love it. There’s just something about the sound of a nice, thick, electric guitar and pounding drums that creates a feeling in me that really does give me what you might call a natural high. I mean, over the years, there have been songs created in other styles that make me think, “oooh, I really like that” but by and large, it’s the rock music scene that does it for me more than any other. You can probably already tell by reading this far that I’m a rock musician, and so I guess I’m influenced a little more by that fact as well. For me I would have to say that my fascination with bands and rock music was probably started by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Now I recognize that in this day and age, Tom is not generally regarded as a hard rock icon, and probably never really was.
However, I was young and impressionable and I watched him on television one night with my parents. I don’t remember the song, or anything like that, but I do remember what it looked like, the guitars, the lights, the man singing into the microphone. I wouldn’t say I made a conscious decision to be a rocker at that point, but when I think back, I can say for sure it’s one of my earliest rock memories. Even as I look back to that night now, I realize that I was attracted to the music biz, even at that young age.
As I grew into my teen years, I found that I had a particular love for bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, W.A.S.P. and the like. I guess what all of these bands had in common was that they all had songs were really all driven by guitar riffs. That dirty, crunchy, distorted guitar sound is the sound for me that made me decide that I needed to spend more time playing guitar as well. In fact, one of the first songs I was shown how to play by a friend in that time frame was the song “Number of The Beast” by Iron Maiden. I loved the riff then (I still do now), and to this day I still love the harmony guitars that frequent so many Iron Maiden songs. I guess you could say that Iron Maiden were really pioneers in the realm of Heavy Metal more so than hard rock music, but they still have the same kind of vibe that I like, and I think it’s fairly consistent with what we could consider to be more mainstream rock these days.
Bands like Bon Jovi or Aerosmith, Nickelback and the like write music that has power and emotion that to me, the electronic music of today just lacks. That’s not to say that electronic music is no good, I’m not saying that at all, it’s just that to me it’s different. Take a song like “Fall to Pieces” by Velvet Revolver. That song has so much power in the way the guitar chords are hit with the pick, you can actually feel it every time a chord is played. You can “feel” the tubes in Slash’s amp working every time he digs in to pick a note.
Maybe you have to be a guitar player or musician to get it, maybe not. What I know for sure, is that while I do personally utilize electronic instruments for the purpose of writing my own songs, to write songs that have no guitar playing in them just seems to make a song lack emotion. The emotion in most current music seems to come from the delivery of the vocal lines by my estimation. That’s cool, the same thing applies to hard rock music lyrics, however it seems that it’s just more natural to be able to show your emotion with real instruments, rather than programed synths that are pitch perfect, even with vibrato added to it. Don’t get me wrong, I like things to be in tune, it’s one of the things that makes me crazy when playing live music in fact, however the point I’m trying to make is that the synth instruments, particularly VST instruments (Virtual Studio Technology) instruments seem to be just a little sterile at times. That music perfection definitely creates music that is well executed and “tight” but it just doesn’t have the raw emotion.
In any case, if you too are a lover of hard rock music, then I probably don’t have to work too hard to convince you as to how cool and powerful an experience it can be. We need more of it in this day and age. With every song on the radio auto-tuned to the point of people sounding like they’re using their robot voice in every song, it would be nice to hear more music that is using the familiar instruments, bass, guitar, drums, and vocals, to create songs, that are powerful and catchy, and actually take a bit of skill and practice to play on an instrument. It’s not that I don’t respect the electronic musicians, it’s just that with the advent of the computer and loop software and program that are accessible to most people, that even people without an inkling of what music really is can write songs, just by using samples. I guess that’s a talent of its’ own, but to me, it’s just not the same as spending hours practicing scales on the piano or guitar, and using that knowledge to help write songs with meaning and power, knowing that the modulating to a relative minor will help to give a section of your song a “sad” feel without changing the feel of your song too much.
Because of my own love for creating and appreciating, I’ll continue to put my hard rock heroes on a pedestal, and appreciate them for the songs they’ve given me, and the emotion those songs spark in me. Yeah sure, I hear the occasional song on the radio where I find myself really digging a vocal melody or something like that, but at the end of the day, It’s always going to be the sound of the electric guitar that gets my juices flowing. Thick and crunchy, just the way I like it.