The first time I picked up a guitar and started learning guitar playing techniques my whole life changed. I think I slept with it the night I brought my first new guitar home. Its a bit embarrassing to admit, but it is true. I remember the feel of the guitar in my hands and the shape, which reminded me of a girl I once dated. But seriously it was love, pure love.
Then I plugged it in and hit those first magic notes, Wow did it sound awful, maybe the worst noise I ever heard in my life. So started my journey in the world of music some 25 years ago, I found my one and only mistress, the guitar. Today I am happily married with 3 kids, a real job, and my guitars. The only thing my wife has ever been jealous over is my guitars. I told her once I could have girlfriends or guitars, she said shed settle for the guitars.
Thus is the secret to a happy marriage. Oh more importantly, the guitars. No two are the same, even the same model, made in the same year, with sequential serial numbers, are going to play and sound different.
They have their own personalities, their own feel and mood swings. I have Fenders, Gibsons, Washburns, Parkers, solid bodies, hollow bodies and semi-hollow body guitars. Playing Guitars is a passion.
Great guitar playing is more than playing riffs and licks; its about presenting your emotions and feelings in musical terms. When I first started playing I was concerned about hitting every note right. Id spend hours practicing scales and chord forms and making sure that each note sounded perfect. After about two years of practice I knew everything in the world about making chord shapes and playing scales, and nothing about making music. Id record myself and the listen to the playback and it sounded like a bored guitar student trying to play every note perfectly.
Time to crack a few eggs and make a new omelet. I started to listening to some great guitar players that I admired like David Gilmore, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix to figure out what they were doing different then me. I knew the same scales, and chord progressions, but I sounded nothing like these legends. I decided I wanted to sound more like David Gilmore so I spent the time to learn the solo from Comfortably Numb, but it still sounded flat and unexciting. I was try to play it exactly the way David Gilmore did, when what I should have been doing was playing it the way I FEEL. Thats when it all started to come together for me.
I figured out that I can learn from great guitarist, but the musical expression must come from inside me, to be of any interest. To channel what is in your soul to the guitar, I started simplify musical passages, and feel each note, and I learned not to worry about what my hands were doing. Magically my hands started singing because I had reached deep inside and cleared my head enough to allow for the musical expression I was unable to share in the past. All the scales, chords and hours of practice just provide me with the tools I needed for self expression. My musical journey will never end, but my ability to explore is now at warp speed.
Bill McRea is the publisher of Guitar Warehouse the best place to Buy Guitar and learn Guitar Playing Techniques. Visit our site for over 60 Free Guitar Lessons and Information about playing Guitar.