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Feeling Vs. Technique In A Guitarist
Here at Guitar-Muse Jameson and I have been pondering, debating, arguing, and making outright death threats at each other over a simple discussion regarding feeling and technique in guitar music. Throughout the process of gradually getting closer and closer to annihilating each other we had decided it might be better to settle our differences through a written article instead. After all. Who’s going to do the busy work for me while I helm this vessel of unprecedented awesomeness?
Is there a line between feeling and technique? Can you have one without the other? Does having one down mean you have the other down or do you need to practice and develop them separately? We all know practicing technique comes down to working with a metronome or something of the likes, but how does one practice feeling? I’m pretty sure I feel the guitar whenever I play it, so how does one go about feeling it more than that? Who knows?
But join us all the same as we haphazardously fumble around in search of answers to these questions and more.
A Few Examples
When it comes to feeling and technique if there is any question to ask I’d argue it’s “where does one end and the other begin?” A quick Google search for the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen or maybe Zakk Wylde can easily lead to forums filled with people claiming they are all technique and no feeling, but feeling is expressed through technique.
However on the flip side if you take a look at David Gilmour the sheer amount of mileage he can crank out of just one or two tones could bring any tap hoagie to his knees. He’s certainly using technique to some degree, but the feeling is so rich and undeniable. Not to mention pretty much anyone in the entire blues genre which is practically defined by the amount of feeling pumped through it alone.
Of course to contrast that notion there have been guys like Jimmy Page and Kurt Kobain who were on the sloppy side with their technique, but didn’t have a problem when it came to feeling as well. So there’s another wrench into the gears. Technique is useful in conveying feeling, but doesn’t have to be well executed. Or is that not the case?
So I inquire yet again. Just what is this mysterious essence that seems to coast from one guitarist to another, regardless of how shreddy they are or how mellow they are, how refined or all over the place they are, that seems to give their music that extra bit to have that more profound impact on the listener? What is it that people do that just hearing a recording alone can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up?
And I haven’t even gotten to those freakish guitarists that seem to have both down. Those guitarists that prove that you too can possess both at the same time.
Have we piqued your curiosity yet? I sure hope so because we’re not planning on presenting our thoughts in this article, but rather branching off and looking at various guitarists and aspects of feeling and technique separately and together in future articles.