Music being played from the heart is so important.
You know it when you hear it…
A musician who can play a few notes and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
A guitarist who can send chills down your spine with a handful of notes.
A song on the radio that makes you want to start tapping your foot or unconsciously bobbing your head, or a song that brings tears to your eyes.
It’s a special feeling.
…But these days, this ability of music to move others seems to be dying. I blame this on the new breed of manufactured pop that sounds so flat and bland for the most part.
Anyway, compare that to what Eric Clapton said about the great blues guitarist, Robert Johnson…
In response to the question, “How would you explain Johnson’s greatness to a blues novice?”, this is what Clapton said….
“When I first listened to him, I was completely overwhelmed by his vulnerability. What struck me more than anything else was how in touch with his feelings he was. That is something that’s taken for granted today – there are so many different ways these days to get in touch with your feelings, either through therapy or support groups. But back in the early sixties, when I first heard him, the culture in England and the US was much more repressed.
There were very few people on record who sounded like they were singing from the heart or knew who they were or what they felt. Most were just imitating other people or developing something for the stage. Music, for the most part, was very artificial. Even people I loved, like Leroy Carr or Son House, still sounded like entertainers to me.”
For me, all the old-time greats had this ability to really connect with the audience and create music that was special.
It’s not easy but I think one thing everyone should do, is to play something on guitar every day that moves them.
Simple music played well with passion and emotion can blow the socks off complex music played in a “flat” way.
Listen to some of Clapton’s, Paul Simon’s, George Harrison’s, or Tommy Emmanuel’s simpler guitar parts for this (yes, sometimes even he holds back), and then compare that to some technically perfect players in any genre and see this in action.
Like Clapton said, it’s more than just entertaining.
While we are all entertainers to some degree, even if our audience is just ourselves most of the time (100% nothing wrong with that) it’s well worth getting connected emotionally with your guitar.
Not in a hokey way…
…but in a way where each note sounds technically accurate, clear, and precise but is also full of raw emotion that makes us human, and resonates, and fills the air with passion.
Plus, guitar playing can be very much like therapy and can refresh and recharge the heart and soul.
We all know that joyous, happy feeling after a magical practice session.
If you’ve not had that feeling much before or only very occasionally, it’s worth spending some time trying to connect with the guitar for sure…
So how do you get there?
It all starts with the basics of fundamental technique, a proper plan, and clear and concise, confidence-building lessons.
This will give you the motivation and confidence to drive forward and add this key element to your playing.
To find out more about how to get there, check this out.
Have a fun day of practice and happy playing!
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of gxreat tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.