During a recent conversation with HMB, shred guitar champion Michael Angelo Batio spoke about the people who call his playing over-the-top and soulless while commenting on his instructional videos.
The musician said (transcribed by UG):
“Sometimes many players think that I am going out of my way to outdo them. That’s not the case – I never have.
“I just happen to be extremely knowledgeable about music. I took my music degree seriously – I’m a student of music. I study new bands, I study everything from what’s happening today. I’ve released so many instructional programs and I was a columnist for Guitar World.
“People have these absolute truths where they postulate that, ‘Oh, he can’t play with feeling.’ And then Gilmour’s name comes up…
“I mean, I love David. ‘David Gilmour can put more in one note.’ I’m so tired of that cliche.
“What people tend to forget and not realize is that these are instructional programs, okay? I have a great vibrato, I have an original tone, I pick in an unusual way, I toured all over this planet, I’m older and I’ve never been hurt, and I’m still as fast as I was when I was younger.
“And so, you know, if you just take a step back… I think especially guitarists are such a jaded lot.”
I’ve seen on an internet post – YouTube mainly – people saying, ‘Look, all you do is playing scales really, really fast.’
“It’s ludicrous. It’s why a lot of people, a lot of artists don’t even pay attention. You can’t because this is the first time in history where everybody has a voice and public opinion can move.
“[My instructional video] ‘Speed Kills’ has helped people, it’s like the Shred Bible.
“This concept that I used, I took the ideas from my training and classical piano. There’s the Czerny School of Velocity, Schmitt Preparatory Exercises – all these different ways.
“And pianos have been around hundreds of years – electric guitar, not so long. I took the ideas from hundreds of years of study so I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, I took what other people did.”