Peak performance

Hey guys,

I appreciate your analysis on the subject. Based on 4eva, it is fair to say that JP likely is challenged on those particular lines he points out. I never really could hear with that amount of detail in a live setting. I typically don’t go check out other shows, especially to look for mistakes.

Unfortunately, we can only speculate based on prior JP performances but I would be curious to ask JP OR, anyone for that matter, IF I ever had an opportunity in the right setting. It was always a curious thought I had but it is almost impossible to know without JP’s personal knowledge. I was mainly curious if anyone else had similar thoughts about this subject.

I do think we all push up against our limits at some point and that should be expected for this type of music and for all of us who want to continue to progress. It’s just that sometimes it is impossible to know where that line is unless you can ask the player. To me, these players, like any professional, make their craft appear to be easy. Tennis players, golfers make their sport look easier than it obviously is Also, Eva4, you make it sound like JP was just ‘getting by’ before the mid 2000’s. I am floored that you would assume his ‘peak’ is less because his lines suddenly were more complicated later on TOT. Isn’t is possible for JP to continue to grow as a player and songwriter as well? I’m glad to know since you pointed it out, that even JP possibly has some limits, at least on the stage. I just thought your ‘delivery’ was a little difficult to hear as it sounded as though it didn’t come from a place of humility. That’s me, I have total respect for all my guitar playing friends out there and so I want to be as supportive of each other as possible. You did enlighten me in some regards so thanks for that.

Next, do you guys record music? If so, do you write songs that challenge your skill level due to BPM, or what you are hearing in your head, new techniques, yet might not be able to execute without having to go in an ‘comp’ several performances? I’m not sure if you guys, like me ever go out and play your songs in front of a live audience. I don’t and likely never will. I will say this, even if I did, I would still go for the best studio ‘edited’ parts because I am fine with that.


I can see you guys disagree with me, but I’m just presenting my opinion with video evidence that I believe buttresses it. I am of course open to countervailing evidence.

Also, @Tolprog, I never claimed JP was “just getting by” in the 1990s. Quite the opposite - he was a monster player with a different style that many people prefer. My only point was that I believe he reached his technical prime in the mid-2000s. The videos of his playing during the Train of Thought era, even unofficial bootlegs, are outrageous and I think they exceed any other period. Purely technically speaking, to reiterate.

Hey 4eva,

Thanks for you clarification. I was only pointing out how it read to me.

I should know better that communicating via messages can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.
My bad…

Otherwise, you make valid arguments, If JP can’t nail the phrases like you mentioned, this is a good point of reference to make. I was unaware of this. If this is where he is inconsistent, then perhaps he has reached his ‘peak performance’ in those sections.

Has anyone thought about how the variety in the setlists may impact things? Unless I’m making this up in my head, but didn’t portnoy often rotate and change the setlists a lot? Given that they have a heck of a back catalogue and assune that we are all sold on the idea of random/varied practice is beneficial, do you think that variety would have worked in JP’s favour in terms of keeping technique razor sharp?

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Could be, they obviously have an insane catalog so if they rotate the setlists frequently, it would likely tie them up on their down time to rehash / practice what they haven’t played in a bit.