How to Play Hits Without Becoming a Human Jukebox

October 22, 2013

“When an artist says, ‘I like what you’re playing’—that keeps you working,” says guitarist Tommy Organ, who has performed a lot of number-one smashes onstage with both Michael Jackson (This Is It) and the Jacksons (Unity Tour). “But you have to realize that once a song is a hit, it’s always a hit, so you shouldn’t go against the grain and try to change it. Stick with the original part, but you can make it your own thing by how hard or soft you hit it, and by doing very subtle phrasing accents that can come only from you.” —Michael Molenda

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