A Look at Guitar Technique Exercises just maybe some of the pro’s are using. Don’t loose some of your fans because of this one bad habit.
Whats up my family of guitar playing freaks? Lets get our seats in the upright position before we take off.
And buckle up because this is a boarder line philosophical article about guitar playing, and what I’ve noticed every now and then when I’m performing. How about you!
Worlds Fastest Guitarist 999bpm – Was you Impressed!
Are You an Introspective Performer
I wanted to share this because I do a lot of reflective thinking about my own playing, especially when I feel like my playing is not where I want it to be. Most generally I would feel this way after taking a few weeks or a month off from performing.
A few years ago I started to take note of this because after not playing for a time then getting back in the saddle, playing was in fact different.
After reviewing video’s of performances, I realize that there was times where it was almost predictable in how I’d play when coming to certain parts within the song where the phrasing had to be just right to complement the song.
I would keep trying to play the phrase as fast as I could. This resulted in just making things sloppy.
I really was getting discouraged about why do I keep trying to play fast when I know that playing fast all the time numbs people to the whole playing fast thing?
And so as I was evaluating this, I had a bit of a revelation about why I personally default to just trying to play licks that are really fast and sound cool. What I realized is that I am afraid that if I slowed down, and I play stuff slow, it’s not going to sound good, or it’s not going to be enough to impress the audience.
A Problem Will an Ugly Face That Has to Go
Really what it comes back to is an “ego thing,” because a lot of times I feel like when I’m playing on stage, I want people to like my playing. And obviously you want to entertain folks and everything.
But if worrying that what you’re playing doesn’t sound good enough for them causes you to change how you should be playing, then this speaks to the fact that maybe you’re motivations are in the wrong place.
Along with this realization of not being confident in my ability to sound good when playing slow, I thought of the distinction between sounding good and sounding impressive.
Because if you can play a lot of notes really, really fast, then there’s just something about our brains that whenever somebody can do something faster than what we can follow with our eyes, it’s impressive to us, we get impressed by it.
But that doesn’t mean that it sounds good.
You think about a really, really loud massive train. It’s impressive yes, but I wouldn’t say that it sounds good. I’d rather listen to music than listen to a train, you know? There’s this distinction between something that’s impressive and something that’s musical. I’ve found that if I couldn’t make a piece more musical it was best to go to a good teacher like Paul Gilbert who could help me learn more to do so.
Most Songs Don’t Call For an Egocentric Prima-donna
And so this leads me to my third point which is that, as a player you have a very different view of your playing than the audience does. If you’re like most people, there’s probably at least a part of you that wants to feel special and wants to be recognized because of your ability to play guitar.
That influences what you play when you get in front of people, because you think I want to play things that are going to make them like me and make me feel special.
But what you have to realize is that the audience — I hate to say it… don’t care and can give a flip about making you feel special as they do about being entertained.
And the problem is, what entertains the audience is not the same thing that you think will make them like you better.
Get Back To Where You Belong
So this leads me back to this whole playing fast thing. For example, I’ll play something fast because I think that’s impressive, that will make the audience respect me. And maybe that’s true the first time, but then I keep doing it, and I keep doing it because I think, “Oh, I want to keep impressing them.” “I want to keep making them like me and respect me.”
The problem is that after too many times of playing fast, the audience isn’t being entertained anymore, which is the number one reason they are there and watching.
And when the audience stops being entertained, they stop paying attention.
Eventually they stop coming to see you, then ultimately they just don’t buy your products any more as well.
Trash The Same Ol Thing – Spread Your Wings and Fly
Whether you believe it or not, you can push your audience away by doing too much of the same thing all the time.
In my career I’ve seen it happen to many performers.
By playing so fast all the time as I keep saying “people’s minds get numb and they can’t follow so they get bored.”
What you really want, is for them to appreciate you as an entertainer, performer and musician in that order. Even at this you actually have to make sure that it doesn’t happen to the degree that you want, by doing the very thing that you think is going to work.
I know it sounds like a no win situation but it can and is being done.
Slower Has Its Own Complexities
I guess what I’m trying to say is for us to challenge ourselves right now and really try to explore playing slow, and to build up our confidence that we can play slower and we can play things that are going to sound good which in turn will ultimately entertain people.
Because, once you have that speed and the technical ability to make it musical, then you can always go back to it and add the wow! factor by throwing in a little bit of flash here and a little bit there. But man I’m telling you, if you have the ability as well to play slower and you can play soulfully with meaning and purpose then do so.
This alone will dramatically increase your ability to entertain the crowd which is in turn, what gets them to appreciate what it is you do.
Well I know this is just me on a rant. But I don’t think that I’m the only one that feels this way. So just thought that I’d put this out there in case there’s anyone else who, no matter what stage of the game you’re at.
If you find yourself wanting to play fast all the time with every piece you play. In an effort just to get people to appreciate you. Maybe this rant will speak to you, better yet maybe it’ll help you out and lead you to connect with Paul Gilbert for great Guitar Technique Exercises.
Some Final Thoughts
If your still here reading this, I want to thank you for staying with me. As you can tell maybe it was more of a Rant on my part. Look I’ve got nothing against shredding, when its tastefully done and the piece calls for it.
But to shred in everything you play frankly gets boring fast. Not to mention most of the time it gets to the point where whats played isn’t considered music or being musical.
In the video above, like you I was very impressed. But that wasn’t music and I’m sure he knew that as well. To set this some what right, theres no way in hell I can play that fast and don’t want to learn anyway. There is just no where I could use that in a musical sense.
What I learned by watching myself is this, besides the fact of not playing for a time I was in fact substituting speed for talent in some cases.
So for me it was a matter of brushing up after being off, like working on some guitar exercises for technique and continuing my studies with my instructor.
I’m hoping you can take away from this the idea of developing some exercises to play slower or more meaningful if you will. We’re not talking about playing all slow songs either but rather a more planned musical approach. If nothing else your fans will like you more and they are the real reason you perform not you.
Before I go here’s one more exercise you can try out “if you dare.”
Try playing 1 note! Just one and see how musical you can be with it in any style you want. If your thinking I’m crazy then please go see what Steve Vai’s take is. Fast forward on his video to, Time Stamp – 7:25 to 8:26.
So there you have it two Guitar Technique Exercises “if you will” that you can work on straight away. And whether your a Pro or a Beginner we all need some help at times so go see Paul Gilbert for Guitar Lessons.
See you next time here at Treble Clef Reviews
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