12/6/2010 12:57 PM
As I was learning to play guitar, once I got comfortable
with soloing, I tried to cram every note, lick, and trick I
could into every solo. I thought it was really cool to
show off every single thing I knew is the space of eight
or 16 bars—ya know, like Yngwie. (Oops—no disrepect
meant!) My teacher, Mike DoCampo, would even yell at
me. I was a 16-year-old girl at the time, so you can see
how much I must have frustrated him.
One day, I stumbled across the sheet music for some
John Coltrane saxophone pieces, and, just for fun, I tried to learn some of his stuff on my guitar. That’s
when I realized something weird. I noticed there were pauses between notes as he breathed, exhaled,
inhaled, and sighed. Obviously, a saxophonist has to synchronize his or her breathing with their
performance—it’s like the instrument becomes one with the player. I
thought, “Why have I not realized I can do this on the guitar, as well?”
Suddenly, I could see that some of my favorite guitar players—such
as David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, and Brian May—“breathe” with their
guitars. I was inspired to make sure I don’t just play notes for the
sake of playing them—to ensure that each note has a very specific
purpose. Reckless playing has its place, of course, but to deny the
instrument an opportunity to pause and think about where it’s going
next is doing it a disservice. —TARA SCHMITT
Schmitt and Les Paul.
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2 comment(s) so far...
By Chris Meyer on
12/30/2010 7:59 PM
By Roben Pinson on
1/5/2011 11:30 AM
It's called phrasing, and it's something many shredders and newbies need to learn. Even Neil Young uses it. Just going all out is boring. The audience needs those breaths and spaces for emphasis. Singers need it so they don't turn blue...