Personality

Every instrument gives us a chance to make unique music, and it’s in the hands of the aspiring musician to sort of lean towards a personality or identity behind it. In this case we’ll be going over some tips and thoughts surrounding the guitar.

As any other instrument, frst you have to learn the basics, this means getting used to pressing down the strings correctly, then parcticing scales, a few easy tunes, chords and then for many people there is a diverging point.

An aspiring guitarrist who chose the guitar because he had to choose an instrument in the classes their parents chose for him is very different than someone that begged their parents to buy a guitar. Of course the end result can vary but this usually matter in the end.

After this step, the aspiring guitarrist has an idea of what he or she wants to sound like when becoming a good guitarrist. This will slightly push the person towards a learning method.

Classical Way

For starters, this means using an acoustic or spanish guitar, and using mainly your fingers to play instead of a pick like most electric guitar players.

This path is also a good idea if the sound you are looking for is all about classical complex structures and compositions that require a good amount of practice to read music and play it

In an interview with Brad DeRoche, classical gutarrist Raphaella Smits talks about some aspects of classical guitar playing.

It’s like an orchestra, it’s like a whole story, an entire world. So, it depends on the piece. What controls your thoughts, apart from everything technical, is the piece. That’s what makes each piece so special. And I think you feel more about the music than you think about it. I’ll give an extreme example: If you feel like it’s heaven, you are not thinking about the sky and the clouds and the sun and the stars. That would be nonsense of course. If you think about heaven, that’s something very spiritual. If you think about something earthy, it could be a very primitive feeling. So, it’s never very clear. Somehow music is not very human. How you move your fingers, how you sit, how your memory works; that’s the physical part. It’s like building a house, you know?

Self-Taught or Non Academic Teaching

While it’s not a necessary rule, self taught guitarrists tend to lean towards rock, blues or even some forms of jazz. This is mainly because of the nature of these types of music which have an emphasis on feeling, and strong imposing sounds rather than highly trained technique.

There are many good examples of this. Brian May from Queen was self taught, and while his first guitar was a classical acoustic guitar he then built his own first electric guitar because it had more sense with the type of music he wanted to play.

Kurt Ballou from the Metal band touches the subject of self taught musicians saying:

“I never had guitar lessons (…) My dad played a little bit of guitar, he never really taught me anything, but he did give me a chord book. I had played saxophone and piano prior to it, so I sort of transferred my musical knowledge over to guitar. We’re all just students of the artists we like who we spent listening to while we were younger and attempting to mimic what we heard on these records.”

He says that being self-taught made him appreciate some things a bit more than musicians who take lots of lessons and tend to be more technical. “Lessons seem to focus more on the dexterity of playing, whereas people who are self-taught have to use their ears more to decipher what they’re hearing,” he continued. “I think you become a more observant player that way and you also start to learn how an ensemble interacts with each other.”

Both ways are good, they are just different approaches to learning how to play guitar but the best idea would be to experiment wth both ways to some extent, and think that the first one grants you better tools, and the second one helps you express yourself in a more open and welcoming way.

In the end there are no laws or rules, but the experience will be different and this will ultimately affect your identity as a musician.

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Delivering a message is one of the most important accomplishments in music, because it’s not just about saying something, through music you create something that is not just understood, it’s about something that can be felt, and in some ways establish a connection between the composer and the listener.

In the end this is one of the most honest goals of a musician, to be able to make something that will reach a good amount of people not for the popularity or the money, but just to be listened, after so many hours of isolation in practice, of trial and error, it all comes down to being listened and felt by other people, and this is no easy task.

Music is personal most of the times, when you sit down by yourself and start playing something, writing, composing, you are translating a specific feeling into sounds and melodies, and a lot of the frustration that comes from not being able to nail the song that you wish to make, comes from difficulties with this translation.

There are a few things that one must take into account when thinking about making music and achieving this goal.

Personality

Everyone is different, every approach to music is inherently different if done correctly however it’s easy to fall into a specific pre-made sound, because there is a feeling that so much has been done already, and some even go as far as to say that everything has already been done, but music is not really that finite, there are endless resources, combinations, inspirations and every musician out there has its own color.

Finding yourself is not easy but the only way to deliver the message you want, is to first find your own sound, which can take years. A good way to think about it, is as if you’re tuning your music sensibility to slowly get to a perfect note where it becomes a second nature to use creativity to make the most of strong human feelings.

Mind and Heart

As with every message, there is an emitter and a receiver, and while it’s a very logical thing, it can be easily forgotten, but sometimes you may understand something you are saying because you are the one doing all the thinking, and sometimes the person listening needs some extra thinking to make them be in sync with what you are trying to say.

This is a very difficult part during composition, because the message has to stay the same, it just needs some kind of filter to make it something that that the ones listening will understand.

Message of Connection

It’s all about a human connection, music gathers every feeling and makes it a celebration of what it is to be human, even at times when electronic music and technology make us be tangled in wires, music will always be a very human thing, sometimes a very complex one, sometimes a very simple one, but always a way to connect with people, with sadness, anger, happiness, or make people connect with each other through dancing and fun.

Music is another language, it’s a universal language that everyone can find to be a bridge between cultures and political barriers, sometimes music, is a common ground, or sometimes it can be used as a very bad influence, but regardless of the message, there is no denying that music has a lot power due to the reach and appeal it can have, besides, when are we not listening to music? Life has become a movie in some ways, and music is there to be the soundtrack of our lives. Will you be making music to send a message?

 

 

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