Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?

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restofit

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Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« on: May 06, 2020, 11:22:43 PM »
How can someone be in a band for over 40 years and not eventually teach themselves or at least get someone else to teach them how to play guitar proficiently? Not a criticism just a question.

I know there are pictures of Bono mucking around with a guitar in studio when the band are recording (UF, JT, AB, Pop) and that Bono uses acoustic guitar to experiment and help with coming up with song melodies. Often electric guitar as well - did you know Bono came up with the riff for Until The End Of The World?

If you want to see Bono actually pull off an electric guitar solo live, check out the December 30, 1989 version of AIWIY - Bono does a solo to end the song while Edge does his traditional ringing sounds.


Maybe we should rename this the 'examples of Bono playing guitar' thread.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2020, 11:55:04 PM by restofit »

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The Edges Cat

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2020, 11:26:02 PM »
He took piano lessons from his kids's piano teacher as far as I know. Guitar? Edge has probably taught him. Heck, Larry has probably taught him. It's probably the most punk Bono has ever been, playing guitar badly with no formal teaching.
The Edge: [Eno] would love to see us making albums a bit more like [Zooropa]. Where we go, You know what? Were not going to second-guess any of this. Lets just go for it.

U2 Fans: We'd all love to see that, Edge.

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restofit

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2020, 11:37:35 PM »
He took piano lessons from his kids's piano teacher as far as I know. Guitar? Edge has probably taught him. Heck, Larry has probably taught him. It's probably the most punk Bono has ever been, playing guitar badly with no formal teaching.

"I am very bad on guitar and I want to play guitar very badly" - Bono.

Jokes aside in the studio as controlled as it is, I'm sure he plays a lot more guitar than he is given credit for. I remember on the Classic Albums - The Joshua Tree, Daniel Lanois gave Bono credit for a guitar part I always assumed that the Edge played, so he probably plays a lot more guitar than we know.

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restofit

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2020, 11:45:14 PM »
This one's a must-watch. Bono doing a little improv piece at the start of One, Irving Plaza 2001:





« Last Edit: May 06, 2020, 11:47:28 PM by restofit »

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Twilight

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2020, 01:08:24 AM »
Are you tough enough to be kind?

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The Edges Cat

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2020, 01:24:17 AM »
Bono can play okay -- not great, but not terrible either. He just can't multitask haha. Seriously though, he loses himself in the music and moment when singing, it's difficult to focus on something that doesn't come naturally to you at the same time.

For the record I can play guitar (badly) and sing (even more badly), but I can't do both at the same time, no matter how hard I tried when I was in a band. It was one or the other.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 01:39:55 AM by The Edges Cat »
The Edge: [Eno] would love to see us making albums a bit more like [Zooropa]. Where we go, You know what? Were not going to second-guess any of this. Lets just go for it.

U2 Fans: We'd all love to see that, Edge.

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rubbersoul

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2020, 01:45:38 AM »
Bono can play okay -- not great, but not terrible either. He just can't multitask haha. Seriously though, he loses himself in the music and moment when singing, it's difficult to focus on something that doesn't come naturally to you at the same time.

For the record I can play guitar (badly) and sing (even more badly), but I can't do both at the same time, no matter how hard I tried when I was in a band. It was one or the other.

Could before the bike accident.

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Zeropartii

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2020, 02:30:08 AM »
I feel he used guitar as a rockstar prop in the RH era.  Ive never heard him play without edge


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MPare1966

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2020, 02:46:07 AM »
I feel he used guitar as a rockstar prop in the RH era.  Ive never heard him play without edge


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We can tolerate the occasional lead vocals by Edge, he has a decent voice.

But would we want Adam playing drums or Larry on guitar?

Same with B. He should stick to what hes great at. (minus the bullhorn, though...)
First Chair. Last Call.

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restofit

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2020, 03:55:08 AM »
I feel he used guitar as a rockstar prop in the RH era.  Ive never heard him play without edge


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We can tolerate the occasional lead vocals by Edge, he has a decent voice.

But would we want Adam playing drums or Larry on guitar?

Same with B. He should stick to what hes great at. (minus the bullhorn, though...)

The Harmonica though?

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Soloyan

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2020, 05:36:51 AM »
Edge sums it up. He said that Bono had a kind of non linear Neil Youngesque approach. I think it's the way to go when you have a stylist like Edge on the side of the stage. It's a great combination.

Bono is a decent guitar player. Not a great soloist, but he has his moments.

I like this example a lot. It's a bit of a mess, a bit all over the place but it's a simple example of what Bono can do with a guitar when he feels like it. Paris, 1992. Bono's guitar is much louder in the mix than usual. I started the video when Bono starts the ad lib part in the song, but then he notices the guitar and goes on an impro. It's not great but it's a very rare example of Bono being spontaneous and actually really showing what sort of guitar player he is. Very vulnerable. It suits the song, IMO (and Edge kind of saves the day, which is brilliant too).

« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 05:39:30 AM by Soloyan »
A dangerous idea that almost makes sense...

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Soloyan

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2020, 05:49:47 AM »
By the way, I have to say that I was kind of slightly offended by the title of the post. To imply that Bono can't play guitar properly or that he never learned offends me (I'll live).

I'm part of those guitarists who absolutely loathe guitar solos in general and think that they all sound roughly the same and allow guys to indulge themselves in some showing off. A dick contest, sort of. So, not being able to do a "proper" guitar solo is irrelevant, IMO.
A dangerous idea that almost makes sense...

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an tha

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2020, 07:55:50 AM »
By the way, I have to say that I was kind of slightly offended by the title of the post. To imply that Bono can't play guitar properly or that he never learned offends me (I'll live).

I'm part of those guitarists who absolutely loathe guitar solos in general and think that they all sound roughly the same and allow guys to indulge themselves in some showing off. A dick contest, sort of. So, not being able to do a "proper" guitar solo is irrelevant, IMO.

I personally don't understand why it might offend you, but each to their own and all that!

I think it is a fairish question - he's been in a band for 40 odd years, and pretty much adds nothing musically to their live sound.

It is one of the reasons i suppose their live sound is so heavily augmented with pre recorded parts etc.

That said - there is an argument that can be made strongly for u2's sound being all about what Edge, Larry and Adam do and it's a sound loved by millions and has endured for 40 odd years.

But i do find it a little odd that he can't really add to u2's live sound musically, that he can't play and sing at same time really - it isn't about flashy solos etc.

I do wonder if one of the big reasons he does not or can't 'weave' with edge is because of how Edge plays and how Edge uses effects....maybe that makes it too difficult for Bono.

It could open up a potential new sonic avenue for them though if Bono was able to provide more musically live, but for what must be pretty good reasons they have always chosen for him maybe not to/he does not want to/can't....

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MPare1966

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Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2020, 08:26:05 AM »
I feel he used guitar as a rockstar prop in the RH era.  Ive never heard him play without edge


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We can tolerate the occasional lead vocals by Edge, he has a decent voice.

But would we want Adam playing drums or Larry on guitar?

Same with B. He should stick to what hes great at. (minus the bullhorn, though...)

The Harmonica though?

Ill allow it.  ;)
First Chair. Last Call.

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guest532

Re: Why did Bono never learn to play the guitar properly?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2020, 08:29:43 AM »
Short attention span.