The Truth About Why You Still Struggle To Put The Exact Emotions You Want Into Your Music
by Tom Hess
The single greatest thing you can ever do as musician is to truly express yourself through your music and also to control what your listeners will feel… Now imagine having the unique ability to control their emotions in the way you want, how you want, when you want and how intensely or dramatically as you want.
For most musicians, that is the Holy Grail of musical goals.
So if so many people want this ability, why do so very few ever develop it?
Two main reasons:
1. Very few people ‘actually try’. Want proof? Ok, let’s look at Google’s own data on average monthly global searches for the following search terms:
play guitar with emotion = ZERO searches
emotion in guitar playing = ZERO searches
express yourself with guitar = ZERO searches
expressive guitar playing = ZERO searches
Just for fun I looked up the data for:
play guitar with feet = 590 searches!!!
Yes, this is really true! More people on the planet search for ‘play guitar with feet’ than ‘play guitar with emotion’ or similar searches. That’s pretty sad...
2. Guitar players focus on the wrong things when they begin to learn the fretboard and music theory. Although the information is useful in understanding ‘some’ things, it is often not useful in learning how to create power and specific emotions when playing guitar, improvising or writing songs.
Here’s a perfect example: If I asked you to find a C note on your guitar, you could. But if I asked you to ‘immediately’ find a note that has a very specific emotion, you couldn’t (if you are like the vast majority of guitar players).
Let’s test this idea.
Imagine you and I are sitting in a room together with our guitars. I begin to play a B minor chord. Then I ask you to play your guitar and ‘immediately’ create the emotion of ‘longing desperation as if expressed by a woman’. What single note on the guitar (over the B minor chord) could you play that ‘best’ expresses ‘longing desperation as if expressed by a woman’?
Fact is, the guitar players with the greatest expressive guitar skills always know in most musical contexts exactly which note (or combination of notes) will create which exact emotions before they even play it. They are successful at making you and I feel whatever emotion they want us to feel every single time. There is nothing more powerful in all of music than the ability to do that.
How can you learn to do this?You might be thinking that you need to have a mastery of music theory or maybe perfect pitch in order to master the emotions of music. Fortunately, neither is true…
Instead, you need really two main things:
1. Make it a priority to learn to play guitar with emotion all the time, then practice daily with that goal in mind by consciously focusing on it.
2. See the guitar fingerboard not as a collection of frets that have numbers, pitches that have letter names, or notes that are in scales, but instead as emotions on the guitar.
To see and hear how this works, start by watching this free guitar lesson video on How To Play Guitar With Feeling.
Once you watch the video, you will clearly see what most people do to learn the fretboard, or learn where the notes are on the guitar, or learn music theory are not really the things that you need to learn and practice in order to truly learn how to express yourself in your music.
It’s not hard to reach the ultimate goal of making yourself and others feel exactly what you want them to feel when listening to your music if you begin by taking the right approach to mastering the emotions of music… because once you do that, you are on your way to become a genuine MASTER of music.
To learn even more about expressing yourself in music, watch this music theory for guitar video.
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