Question: I would really like to know how not to see music as a mathematic matter, but as a live issue, something I can feel, create and enjoy naturally. How can I play guitar with feeling so that it does not seem so robotic?

Tom Hess's Answer: To play guitar with feeling in the most creative and expressive way possible, you MUST invest your time into developing good guitar phrasing skills. To quickly get started with this, simply improvise a short 3-5 note guitar lick (or think of a short lick by one of your favorite guitarists). Next, create as many variations as possible of this lick by using a variety of different techniques (such as vibrato, bends or tremolo picking). As you are playing, make it your goal to play each lick with as much intensity and expression as possible. This will give your guitar playing feeling and transform it from sounding like a bunch of mindless scales and patterns into actual music. Check out the guitar phrasing exercises in this article for a demonstration of how to do this.

In addition to working on your phrasing skills, it is also very important to study music theory so you can understand how different notes and chords work together to create emotions in music. To learn more about this subject, read this page about creating emotion in your guitar playing.


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