Don't play with feeling.


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TechnicolorType
08-11-2009, 04:03 PM
Like.. I've been playing guitar and all along with several other instruments for years and whatnot..
I'd say I'm well above average.. but one thing that bothers me.. and I see it with a load of people..

I don't play with any feeling.

There's sometimes something I'll be playing that I'll really get into or something or even smile while playing.. but I never play like with feeling and whatnot..

I've heard musicians that sounded as if the music was coming straight from their heart.. as if their soul was speaking through their playing.. and it's the most beautiful thing ever..

Will I ever be able to play with emotion..? Will it eventually grow on me or will I always just be a casual player?
When it comes to like singing I do.. but not with guitar playing.. and I sort of wish it did.

Chikao42
08-11-2009, 04:07 PM
Maybe you will when you write a lick or a riff or even a song that just hits home... Like, you can actually imagine the song telling a story that hits close to home, etc.

Maybe you play with plenty of feeling, you just don't notice it.

But maybe you will just be a casual player. Who knows?

MickAlmighty
08-11-2009, 04:08 PM
OMG!! Matt?? is it you?? :O

(highly doubt it IS matt, but you never know...)

Tyler Durden
08-11-2009, 04:10 PM
like.....I cant believe you opened this up with LIKE

hahahaha

gorrath
08-11-2009, 04:10 PM
you can add a lot of emotion by playing around with it like playing bends, slight variations, laying accents on some nuts/chords by hitting them harder, just play around with the song a bit

Life Is Brutal
08-11-2009, 04:15 PM
What genre are you playing? With Blues/Rock its easier to add emotion than on Some Technical Death metal.

HoffManCometh
08-11-2009, 04:17 PM
It's all in your mind dude. Have more of a positive outlook.

Also, feeling and emotion can't be learned, you sort of have to feel it and then output it. Like some of the other guys said, you have to find a riff that hits home: it has to be something you can connect with. When you can connect with the instrument on a 1 on 1 level, then you can actually attempt to throw some feeling in.

konfyouzd
08-11-2009, 04:20 PM
"I don't play with feeling"

This does not compute. Whatever you're feeling at the time should be conveyed in how you're playing even if you're feeling apathetic (in which case what you're playing may sound a bit boring, but it proves my point nonetheless).

"Feeling" doesn't really mean a whole lot since it really means something different to everyone.

Jeff Loomis--in my humble opinion--plays with just as much "feeling" as David Gilmour, they just chose different styles and to convey different feelings. Or perhaps they're the same feeling but as seen through the eyes of the respective artist(s).

WishfulShredder
08-11-2009, 07:05 PM
feeling = phrasing
work on your phrasing

Freepower
08-11-2009, 07:28 PM
Practice trying to express concepts, ideas and feelings with your music. That's it. Take a small, simple idea (happy/sad/dull/clumsy) and play it. Repeat!

cornmancer
08-11-2009, 07:31 PM
Like...
I stopped there.

Will Swanson
08-11-2009, 09:10 PM
Try to imagine you are singing a song with your guitar.

Geldin
08-11-2009, 09:29 PM
It's all in the phrasing. A sad song will not often be fast and accented - it''l be understated and slow, typically in a minor key. An angry song will sound more like Master of Puppets then BB King.

FallsDownStairs
08-11-2009, 10:03 PM
If you're speaking of strictly improvisation, depending on what emotion you're thinking about, then you'll sometimes lead your phrasing into that emotion.

For example, if you're writing a song for a loved one and you're thinking about the term, you'll end up phrasing based upon that.

Like everyone said though, it's all about dynamics and phrasing.


An angry song will sound more like Master of Puppets then BB King.

That's all opinion. You make the song however you want. A sad song can be fast, just as a happy song can be slow. I don't think an angry song will sound like Master of Puppets.

DaddyTwoFoot
08-11-2009, 10:23 PM
Sounds like a personal problem to me. If you don't feel it, that's all on you.

Damascus
08-11-2009, 11:43 PM
Sounds like a personal problem to me. If you don't feel it, that's all on you.

The advice about working on phrasing and so on is good, but it seems to me that you can't play something with feeling unless you actually feel something about it. Find some music that you feel really passionate about. If you really feel strongly about it, you'll play it with feeling.

Once you're there, then you can move onto communicating that feeling to a listener - which is a completely different kettle of fish and where the advice about working on phrasing, dynamics and so on comes in.

ZOMGdonuts
08-12-2009, 12:37 AM
Think of your guitar as your face

make it smile when you're happy

and make it shed tears when you're sad (that doesn't mean breaking it)

Merman_of_83
08-12-2009, 01:32 AM
The advice about working on phrasing and so on is good, but it seems to me that you can't play something with feeling unless you actually feel something about it. Find some music that you feel really passionate about. If you really feel strongly about it, you'll play it with feeling.

Once you're there, then you can move onto communicating that feeling to a listener - which is a completely different kettle of fish and where the advice about working on phrasing, dynamics and so on comes in.
Great advice.

Definitely find a song you feel strongly about first, because my playing was lacking some emotion before I tried Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughan...that song was just so emotional, that playing it really helped me better understand how to display emotion with a guitar (I was born a piano player).

steven seagull
08-12-2009, 05:33 AM
Playing with "feeling" boils down to one thing - knowledge. You want to be able to convey your emotions through your guitar playing, however you simply don't know the instrument well enough to do that. When you talk or sing you've got complete control over your voice, it does exactly what you want and you know exactly what sound you're going to make before you've even made it. Because of that, anything you say or sing is going to be a direct reflection of what you're thinking and feeling, if you're sleepy your voice may slow down or you may yawn, if you're exhausted you'll be breathing heavy, if you're sad your voice will be sad etc.

None of that can happen on the guitar if you don't know what you're actually doing, and by that I mean knowing what sound is going to come out when you do something. Too many players never even really listen to what they play, let alone think about it. Instead they focus solely on the physical aspects of the instrument mistakenly believing that's where it starts and ends. You're probably not looking at the big picture yet, I've a sneaky feeling you're only thinking about what you're physically doing, where to put your fingers, when to pick, how far to bend. Instead think about the whole process, think about what it is you actually want to play and think about what you can do to achieve that before you even start moving your fingers, then take the time to listen to whatever comes out and see if it achieved what you set out to achieve. If it didn't then you can decide what worked for you and what didn't and do things differently.

se012101
08-12-2009, 09:39 AM
Practice trying to express concepts, ideas and feelings with your music. That's it. Take a small, simple idea (happy/sad/dull/clumsy) and play it. Repeat!

This is a great suggestion. Steve Vai actually mentions something related at the end of the 10 hr workout article. He talks about how he would speak a phrase verbally, and then try to recreate it on the guitar. As he would get deeper and deeper into the zone, he would say a lot of personal sh*t, and play that on the guitar.

I also agree with what Steven Seagull/Mark said. To me it's about vocabulary. A person with a good 10,000 word vocabulary will be able to communicate effectively. But if they only had a 500 word vocabulary, they would struggle to say approximately what they mean - just like a person who knows a bit of a foreign language but isn't fluent. Guitar is no different.

Also, try not to psyche yourself out about it - i.e. staring at the guitar saying "I must play something with feeling". Just let it come to you. And remember, not everything has to have "feeling" as we normally mean the word - ie sounding like some of Eric Clapton's solos - to me if a riff sounds "bad ass" then this is a perfectly good reason by itself to play that riff as much as possible!

TechnicolorType
08-12-2009, 01:20 PM
Okay. Thanks everyonee.

casey_dude1771
08-12-2009, 02:36 PM
u dont play with out feeling u just dont show it, people who truly dont play with feeling dont play guitar for very long

JWW83
08-12-2009, 02:56 PM
Music is a lot like poetry. It's based around someone's own feelings. If you're going to play a song that someone else has written, you have to be able to connect with it and understand the mood you're trying to convey. Honestly, it's probably a lot harder to play with emotion if you don't necessarily understand the lyrics or what's generally going on in the song. Anyone can pick up a song and cover it. But the ones that really make it shine are the ones that understand and embelish the mood with there own style of play and take on the song as if it were their own feelings ripped right out of their heart and head.

If you want to learn to play with emotion, start off by picking a scale to play across the neck and just freestyle. I would suggest starting with slower playing if you're new, something a bit sad I suppose. Once you get accustomed to building on your own freestyles and jams, try some happier, fast-tempo freestyling.

If someone were to ask you how you're feeling, think of how you'd explain it by using only your guitar. Music is expression. Use your guitar to express yourself.

xIxLxCDTxxx
08-12-2009, 09:06 PM
The best advice I have ever heard was play with your ears not your eyes.

HoffManCometh
08-12-2009, 09:07 PM
The best advice I have ever heard was play with your ears not your eyes.

+9001.

PortgasDRoy7
08-13-2009, 07:32 AM
The solution is pretty basic

Play the 12 bar blues until you actually feel the blues.

It was a tip from Clapton himself (think it was in an interview)

It works