Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick has authored a new blog that deals with what he calls "The Shred Epidemic." The blog is hosted by GuitarPlayer.com. Below is an excerpt from an entry by Skolnick:
"I don't consider myself a 'shredder.' I realize this is a statement that may be surprising to some, but it's true. There are those who call me a shredder and I don't take it as an insult. But I hope there's more to me as a musician - otherwise I should just quit now.
"For one moment, let's compare the role of a guitar player to that of a cook. 'Shredding,' that oft-used term to describe fast soloing, can be compared to its culinary equivalent. In other words, whether we're talking about scales and modes or cabbage and chicken, both scenarios involve chopping items into very small bits. A less literal but more pragmatic comparison might be the following: 'shredding' within a piece of music is like adding any strong ingredient such as basil or hot pepper to a recipe. Used tastefully, it can enhance an existing dish with a touch of spice and intensity. But used unsparingly and egomaniacally, it can overpower the creation and ruin it entirely. Who wants to eat a dish where all you taste is one ingredient?
"I've been described as a shredder by radio hosts and fans. Knowing they mean it endearingly, I smile and take it with a proverbial grain of salt (that other potentially overpowering ingredient). But when labeled as such by websites, blogs, magazines, and those on-line music guides, especially the ones that have the gall to use the word 'genius' to describe themselves, it can be difficult to digest. Sometimes it causes heartburn." (Read More)