Are Linkin Park good instrumentalists?

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by deadbysunrise, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. #1
    deadbysunrise

    deadbysunrise Well-Known Member

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    Do you, guys, think Linkin Park are particularly good at their instruments? If you ask a random music fan about LP, he will most likely know about Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, while it's highly unlikely that he knows any of the rest. And even though frontmen usually get most of the credit, many bands have popular non-vocalists, as well. It's not a big surprise - we rarely see the guys playing anything challenging on their instruments, after all. But is it because of LP's music not letting them shine, or do they actually lack the skills? I'm mainly referring to Brad, Dave and Rob here.

    In my opinion, Rob is doing a very good job behind the drums. Not that most of Linkin Park's stuff is anything demanding, but he's a nice drummer, doing some interesting things from time to time. Dave has done some incredible work with Tasty Snax back in the day, but LP's bass lines, with few exceptions, put me to sleep. I'm not even sure he can play the bass like that after all these years, but who knows? The biggest mystery out of the three for me, though, is Brad. He's definitely a good composer - we know he writes a lot of stuff for LP and the band has some very interesting, yet simple, guitar lines. On the other hand, he has never played anything difficult on that guitar. Yeah, he had some good rhythms during the years, but even his most complex solos aren't anything a 15-year old guitarist can't play.

    So, we know our guys are good composers, but do you think they are good at their instruments, too? I'm interested in seeing your opinions. :)
     
  2. #2
    Seanlp608

    Seanlp608 Well-Known Member

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    As you've stated, songwriting and composition definitely take precedence over technical proficiency when it comes to their instruments. While it's definitely their choice to go with simplicity, one would have to admit that you're never going to see Brad, Dave, or Rob on a top 100 guitarist, bassist, or drummer list haha.

    That being said, evidence for Rob's prowess can be seen during his drum solo on Road To Revolution, Brad has stated multiple times that when he first learned guitar he played along to Metallica records, and as you've mentioned, Dave's chops can be heard on the work he did with Tasty Snax.

    So I guess the only questionable player here is Brad. He's NEVER played anything difficult on guitar, and I have my doubts that he can, to be honest. I can't imagine him covering any song from Metallica, aside from the black album, and even when he has his chance to solo at the end of Faint when they perform it live, he only somewhat tremolo picks notes from the scale.

    Lol I feel like I've just restated everything in your original post but I suppose it's my way of agreeing with you. To answer your question though, Linkin Park "instrumentals" are dope, I listen to them all the time, but as far as how skilled Linkin Park are at their instruments, I'd be forced to say that their simply descent.
     
  3. #3
    brady

    brady I am the LPA LPA Super Member

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    See I don't know because I don't have enough smarts in music. But in my opinion, if someone wants to rant about how good/bad Rob, Brad, or any member of the band is, then go ahead. All I know is that I find Linkin Park's music highly enjoyable and relatable, and that's all that matters to me.
     
  4. #4
    Brandon

    Brandon I was Ree's 100th follower on Twitter.

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    It's hard to know. Band members have always spoke highly of Rob in the past, but we don't get to see much of it. I think Phoenix is a good guitar player.
     
  5. #5
    Erica

    Erica Meh LPA Über VIP

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    Theres a video of a given up performance (a recent one) where Phoenix is laying down the law on that bass.

    Edit: It was actually A Place for my Head at Summer Sonic 2013. He plays a sick intro line.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  6. #6
    Xero-G

    Xero-G Reborn LP Fan, and plan to stay that way.

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    This is an interesting question and may be somewhat difficult to answer. I am by no means an expert critic on music but I will try to give some input on the band's instrumental abilities. I have listened to LP's songs long enough to know how layered most of them are through the mixing and sampling. This signifies to me that the band is quite talented as a whole in its instrumentation, as all the layers can usually be heard evenly, giving the songs a certain balance. While it may be true that the guitar and drum compositions may not be the most complex, it must also be said that all the different instruments tend to compliment each other very well, giving many of LP's songs that extra "oomph". In other words, even though the guitar segments may not be anything new or groundbreaking, they tend to mix very well with the varied drum patterns and unique electronic samples, giving the songs that sense of rising excitement and escalation. I hope this at least makes a little sense :)
     
  7. #7
    Gibs

    Gibs The Prog Nerd Über Member

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    I believe this is the performance you speak of...
    Chester also sounds fucking awesome here.

    [video=youtube;DFIQ5mFOxFM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFIQ5mFOxFM[/video]

    To answer the question of this thread, yes, they are good. Rob was awesome on LT, and Brad is hated on all the time, which is just wrong. All my friends says he's such a bad guitarist, but he's really just more of a restrained player. Every time he does a solo, it's fucking awesome. If he were to be less restrained on LP releases, people would see he's a great player. Brad's an ensemble player, not a soloist.

    EDIT: Also, here's the A Place for my Head performance Pidgeon spoke of.

    [video=youtube;CpQQCQm33F4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpQQCQm33F4[/video]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  8. #8
    Erica

    Erica Meh LPA Über VIP

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    It was actually APFMH from that same show. Had to track it down.
     
  9. #9
    Astat

    Astat LPA Super Member LPA Super Member

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    Rob and Phoenix are definitely a great rhythm section, even if their talents are under-utilized in their current band. Rob's solos honestly aren't THAT great, but he shows his skills in other ways, mainly with his great ghost note technique/ability to vary his velocity very precisely (he plays a LOT more technical stuff on songs like Papercut and Forgotten than people realize). Phoenix is by far the best multi-instrumentalist in the band, his basslines on the old Snax records incorporated a lot of really good slap parts, he plays multiple "bowed" string instruments (violin, viola, cello), and I think he's arguably a better guitar player than Brad based on some of those acoustic jam videos that have popped up over the years (check out how much better Phoenix is at playing the classical guitar intro to Tesla's "Love Song" than Brad is in the Tesla Park LPUTV video).

    Brad certainly has chops on the guitar when he wants to (see: http://instagram.com/p/e85t0ljmWU/), but his technique is pretty bizarre in a lot of ways...kind of indicative of someone who never "properly" learned the instrument and just figured it out to the best of their ability as they went along. Plus, he comes across as really lazy. He's always making mistakes and forgetting how to play parts of songs.

    If you consider turntables an "instrument," Joe's adequate but doesn't really do anything mindblowing in terms of scratching technique. His strengths are more in the area of creating interesting samples and textural sounds.

    And let's not forget Mike...certainly the most versatile person in the band, but I wouldn't call him a great instrumentalist. All of his piano parts are super easy, and his guitar playing technique is even more bizarre/simplistic than Brad's (watch the Leave Out All the Rest acoustic video from the LPU Summit a few years ago...WTF kind of a G chord shape is that?!). A lot of people are kind of shocked when they find out he played the Barack Your World solo, but if you're an experienced guitar player listening to it objectively, you realize that it's really just "15 year-old kid who just learned the blues scale walks into Guitar Center and thinks he's a shredder" material.
     
  10. #10
    jare0674

    jare0674 There's a seat here along side me...

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    I don't really care how good they are on individual instruments, to me the way the layer everything and use different sounds like synths, samples, scratches, strings, piano, etc... makes a more interesting instrumentals than typical rock/metal bands. I'd take something like Papercut instrumentally over anything Metallica has ever done.
     
  11. #11
    Gibs

    Gibs The Prog Nerd Über Member

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    You've obviously never listened to Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master of Puppets in their entry. I love Linkin Park, but they aren't comparable technical-wise to Metallica in any universe. If you take away the vocals in some Linkin Park songs, it's kinda boring IMO. You don't have this problem with Metallica.
     
  12. #12
    jare0674

    jare0674 There's a seat here along side me...

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    I've listened to all their albums, my best friend is a big Metallica fan. I was just saying that even though they aren't as good of instrument players as metallica I still prefer LP instrumentally. You don't have to get so butt hurt by the fact that I don't like a band as much as you do.
     
  13. #13
    Gibs

    Gibs The Prog Nerd Über Member

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    I didn't mean to come across as hostile and antagonistic, I was just trying to point something, varying opinions I guess. :) I just personally find Metallica's instrumentals infinity more interesting and complex that Linkin Park's. Songs like Cure for the Itch and Session are great, but just in a different way. I just like a song with vocals to have an instrumental that could stand on it's own. I feel Metallica fits this bill great.
     
  14. #14
    Mitch

    Mitch YTB

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    Even that video shows how differently he holds the pick - it's a wonder how he has control for anything that isn't octaves or power-chords.
     
  15. #15
    Brandon

    Brandon I was Ree's 100th follower on Twitter.

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    What you're saying makes sense, but what you're referring to isn't so much instrumental skill as it is production skill.

    That's what confirmed it for me. It's the little things, like the fact that Phoenix can figure out how to play a song in different tunings with relative ease while Brad can't, that make me feel like he's the better of the two.
     
  16. #16
    Filip

    Filip god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    Interesting discussion on a Linkin Park fan site.

    We still are a fan site, right?
     
  17. #17
    Alexrednex

    Alexrednex Well-Known Member

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    Lol sure.

    To be honest if you listen to Linkin Park for technical mind blowing drum/piano/guitar/bass riffs you are listening for the wrong reasons.

    I personally find Minutes to midnight to be a great of example of that. Some of the simplest songs they have ever made, when it comes to instrumentals. The guitar solo's are some of the easiest(to play) ever made in the history of "rock-pop" record, almost on the level of Lil Wayne bad - With exceptions (In pieces and little things give you away). You can barely call the guitar part in Shadow of the day a solo.

    With that said i still enjoyed the record, but i feel like if LP6 is going to based off "Jam sessions" we need more complex guitar and bass work to make it work IMO.

    I personally feel what makes LP great is their sound atmosphere - not their technical supremacy.
     
  18. #18
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    Who've you been talking to, Filip? :ph34r:
     
  19. #19
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    Well said :)

    But to add to what some other have said, I think Rob and Phoenix in particular are quite talented players. And Mike knows his shit when it comes to make beats, find interesting sounds and synths, and make music digitally.

    I'd say Brad major quality is (or at least was) to find some really catchy guitar riffs, but then, maybe those were composed by Mike since he is the main composer. But anyway, he's not a bad player per se. He's simply not the best one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  20. #20
    RyRy

    RyRy LPA VIP LPA VIP

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    Especially within the type of music made, the question is irrelevant.

    Kanye West is a shit musician by normal standards of what we consider to be a "musician". That doesn't mean he is lacking musical skill.

    Same with Linkin Park, I hope.
     

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