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> Your Playing Lacks Feeling And Soul!
Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 16 2017, 04:37 PM
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I've some really cool words by Ben Higgins and Rusty Cooley about this topic:

Ben's words at his facebook: "I don't think guitarists (or all musicians) have an agreed understanding of what 'feel' really is, or what it's 'supposed to be'. When people criticise a guitarist who uses more notes than them as not having any feel, I don't think they really know themselves what it is they're saying.
What do they mean by 'feel' exactly? Are they talking about a particular emotion? If so, what should that emotion be? Anger? Guilt? Confusion? Joy? Mirth? Irritation? Love? When we ask that question we suddenly realise how ridiculous the concept of 'feel vs no feel' is. People always hold up Dave Gilmour (sorry, Dave) as an example of feel. Ok... so what emotion is Dave feeling during the solo to The Wall or Comfortable Numb? Is he feeling it all the way through? Does he feel it every single time he plays it? Does he feel that same emotion through the rest of the song or does he go through several different emotions running from anxiety to pride to fury to regret to whatever else?
The idea that musicians are constantly feeling some sort of emotion throughout their performances is bullshit. If this were true, you would be emotionally exhausted and nervously shattered after a single performance. It's just not true. Playing with 'feel' isn't really about feeling an emotion constantly throughout a performance. It's more about presence. I AM HERE RIGHT NOW. And you can be in that moment whether you're playing two notes or two hundred. It's about feeling what you're doing in the moment.
You can be reciting the solo to Stairway to Heaven whilst you're sat watching the tv, taking no notice or interest in what you're doing. No feel. Or you can be bursting through something by Yngwie or Satriani and be totally THERE.
That's feel."


Rusty's words: "It's just like trying to tell the drummer to play with more feeling. 'Can you put in more feeling?' 'Wait, what is my motivation?'
"How to keep all the YouTube naysayers happy? Oh boy, that's a whole other can of worms. [Laughs]
"First time I realized that how much BS was behind it was when I saw somebody slammin' Shawn Lane. Really?!
One of the greatest guitar players ever.
"And if you've got anything bad to say then there's something wrong with you. I mean, everybody's got their own opinions, music is in the ear of the beholder, so to speak.
"But if you don't like it, don't listen to it. And certainly don't comment on it. Go somewhere where you do like.
"I very rarely ever engage in it, because you can't engage with people like that. It's kinda bringing yourself down to that level.
"But what I would do is I would approach it in very methodical and polite way and try and be analytical about it, and say, 'Well, why are you thinking this?' Or, 'Could you show me how to do it? Show me what I'm doing wrong. Send me some Mp3s. Where is your video so I can watch and learn from you?'
"It's like, get out from behind the internet. If you actually practiced your instrument you wouldn't have to diss people because you're feeling bad about yourself.
"Feeling is... there's not only one kind of feeling. If you talked to somebody that wasn't a musician and you said 'feelings,' there's hate, anger, happiness, joy, whatever! There's tons of feelings that humans have.
"But when you're a guitar player there's only one feeling. And when they say 'feeling' that's what they mean.
"It's like, come on man! If you want to hear more of that feeling, get a box of tissues. Have a good cry and come back later, we'll be here. [Laughs]
"The feeling I'm trying to evoke is somebody being beaten over the head with an axe. [Laughs]"




What do you think? What's feeling when referring to guitar playing?


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MonkeyDAthos
post Aug 16 2017, 05:15 PM
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""Feeling is... there's not only one kind of feeling."

This ^ When I listen to shreddy solos of the like of Petrucci, Gilbert, so on so on. Its like being hit with a wave of kinetic energy, which makes my feel kind of a rush of adrenaline.

I guess some people just want to feel miserable and listen to soulful sad blues solos all the time tongue.gif probably as a reflection as a reflection of some part of them themselves, and when they don't see it they just assume that it is a soulless piece.
Or maybe is a cultural thing and when people just have this image of technical guitar of a dude in leather pants rocking a huge perm and make up.

But what do I know tongue.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Aug 16 2017, 05:36 PM
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Feeling is such a difficult topic, and I think if I have to pinpoint something, it involves anything from dynamics, note choices and melody, even effects and the confidence with which something is played. And there isn't just one feeling though, it all depends on what you want to put across to the listener.

I mean, of course if you watch David Gilmour a lot of people will say he plays with feeling, and I tend to agree. At least compared to some other players. But it's all about what feeling you're trying to get across.





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bleez
post Aug 16 2017, 06:33 PM
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Comments about certain players having no feel probably has as much to do with how the piece of music affects the listener. If it elicits no type of emotion to the person listening then they may take to the internet claiming the guitarist has no feeling but that doesn't necessarily make it so.
As Ben pointed to in the facebook post, We dont know how Gilmour was feeling when he recorded 'Crazy diamond' he may well have been sick of it and going through the motions but the guitar in that song never fails to elicit a reaction from me when I hear it so I would say it has 'feel' but not because it has slow bends with vibrato wink.gif but because it makes me feel 'something'
Same for Bens 'cross to bear' track which is a very different type of song. Ben might have been tripping balls when he recorded it, I dunno but it still elicits a reaction from me when I hear it so... it has 'feel'.

This post has been edited by bleez: Aug 16 2017, 06:34 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 16 2017, 08:42 PM
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In my experience when listeners say that a given player lacks "feeling" they really mean that when listening they are not "feeling" much while listening. The trick on that is to simply make them "feel" something. I personally think Bach had wads of "feeling" in his Fugue arrangements and many were done at break neck speed. However, not everyone hears things that happen that fast in the same way as say, me. Some people hear things better at a slower pace. Too many notes overwhelms their ears and becomes a blur. I do agree with BEN all the way that simply being present and in the moment is a big part of it. If you are just worried about hitting the right notes it can come off as lifeless. If you practice a given bit to where you are not thinking of the notes, just focused on how things sound, it can come off a lot better. smile.gif The old saying "True Skill is effortless" comes to mind. While it's not entirely true, it's appears true to the listener. It should sound "effortless". The effort goes in the form of practice long before the performance.

Todd

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Aug 16 2017, 08:48 PM


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Kristofer Dahl
post Aug 17 2017, 08:39 AM
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To me the debate is not about feeling the "right" feeling - rather conveying something that is beyond a bunch of patterns mastered in the bedroom (don't get me wrong though - I love playing in my bedroom).

To me it's all about the unpredictable factor: as a listener I get bored when I feel the guitarist is not pushing it outside of their comfort zone, creativity-wise (not only technically)


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Phil66
post Aug 17 2017, 08:50 AM
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I replied to Ben too. Of course, I had to lower the tone but I said, "It's like comparing a quickie to long sex" they both have feelings, just different wink.gif

This post has been edited by Phil66: Aug 17 2017, 10:06 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 17 2017, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Aug 17 2017, 04:39 AM) *
To me the debate is not about feeling the "right" feeling - rather conveying something that is beyond a bunch of patterns mastered in the bedroom


I totally agree. So the critic should be "This solo lacks creativity", or "This doesn't say anything to me", but not that it has not feeling. The feeling in that case would be "boredom", "Frustration", "Uncreative", "Unsinpired" biggrin.gif


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Caelumamittendum
post Aug 17 2017, 04:25 PM
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Just remembered this:



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Sensible Jones
post Aug 17 2017, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Aug 17 2017, 08:50 AM) *
I replied to Ben too, of course, I had to lower the tone but I said, "It's like comparing a quickie to long sex" they both have feelings, just different wink.gif

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
Possibly the best analogy ever for this subject!!!!


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Phil66
post Aug 17 2017, 10:07 PM
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Thank you Mr Jones smile.gif


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xTjhx2552
post Aug 18 2017, 04:25 AM
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Finger tone (or just the way you press down) and amp tone
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Kristofer Dahl
post Aug 18 2017, 08:31 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 17 2017, 03:36 PM) *
I totally agree. So the critic should be "This solo lacks creativity", or "This doesn't say anything to me", but not that it has not feeling. The feeling in that case would be "boredom", "Frustration", "Uncreative", "Unsinpired" biggrin.gif


Yes I would agree. And those feelings are likely the easiest ones to convey.

I haven't been following the original discussion. But I can imagine people reacting on shredders without "feeling", there have always been many of them and they do share some common denominators. To me the most obvious one is that every note is pre-written, and that the player's focus is just on avoiding mistakes. No creative hat in sight.

I am not saying everyone must improvise all the time - guys like Satch solve this brilliantly by including some jammed sections in his songs. Just enough so that every take will be a bit different. I have seen Guido do this as well in his lessons.


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HaveGuitar
post Sep 8 2017, 09:09 AM
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I think "Feeling" is really hard to define, perhaps impossible. My first thought, while reading through this thread, was to include timing and dynamics and I guess those terms could be a part of a definition, but as said I don't even know if you can agree uopn a definition. I mean there's songs made by really skilled musicians that has great "feeling" to them but there's other songs made by musicians obviously not virtuouses that has a fantastic "feeling" too. I think the same goes for guitar playing in particular and it's totally individual when it comes to rating what has "feeling" or not.

For example, I just love most of Ace Frehleys solos in the early KISS records. He is certainly not a very technical guitar player but for me his solos fit and adds something to the songs. But then again, many guitarists just thinks his playing sucks. smile.gif

And, I think this goes for both whole songs or just guitar leads, I think anyone who's been recording knows how much variation a few different takes can represent. You can record a solo take 10 times and just not get that vibe that you want, then all of a sudden it's just there... or you go home and redo another day and you get the right take on the first try. Well, that's my 5 cents on feeling.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 8 2017, 01:59 PM
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QUOTE (HaveGuitar @ Sep 8 2017, 05:09 AM) *
And, I think this goes for both whole songs or just guitar leads, I think anyone who's been recording knows how much variation a few different takes can represent. You can record a solo take 10 times and just not get that vibe that you want, then all of a sudden it's just there... or you go home and redo another day and you get the right take on the first try. Well, that's my 5 cents on feeling.



I can't agree more with this. Each take has it's own soul. It happens with guitar solos, but it also happens with arrangements, and other instruments like bass or drums. (and obviously vocals). The "feel" of each take is different and sometimes you hear two takes that seem to be the same thing but there is some kind of feel that makes one of them different. It's interesting....


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 8 2017, 06:56 PM
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Very true smile.gif I"ve played solos on top of each other in order to "double" a solo and while they match up, one will always have a slightly different feel. It's the variation in the two that gives the doubled solo the added depth. However, in order to double a solo, you need to know exactly what you played the first time and be able to recreate it almost exactly the second time. So if you improv a bit, you need to be able to clone that bit on the second pass. I've seen many players really struggle to double their own solos in the studio while I found it to be no problem at all. Different players, different gifts.

I really do think it goes back to the listener. If you make them feel something, then they will say you are playing with "feeling" if you make them feel nothing, they will say you lack "feeling". Folks that play really fast often get tagged with the "no feeling" lable as folks simply don't hear that fast, especially non musicians. But I do think you can put "feeling" in a piece regardless of speed. If you can convey emotion to the listener, you can do it at any speed you like. Rick Graham is a good example. Even his most "shreddy" bits have feeling in them IMHO. He always using his own personal touches that make his work unique. His vibrato for example is amazing and he can put it in the middle of a very fast run and still nail it. Then he varys the speed quite a bit and plays with more sustained notes and dynamics. He creates a sonic range for the listener. Great player smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Sep 8 2017, 08:59 AM) *
I can't agree more with this. Each take has it's own soul. It happens with guitar solos, but it also happens with arrangements, and other instruments like bass or drums. (and obviously vocals). The "feel" of each take is different and sometimes you hear two takes that seem to be the same thing but there is some kind of feel that makes one of them different. It's interesting....


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Sep 8 2017, 06:56 PM


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klasaine
post Sep 8 2017, 07:17 PM
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Feel (and even just general rhythm to some extent) is an intangible in music. But it's probably the most important element of it. Or at least on equal footing with harmony and melody.

Case in point - all the great blues guitar players. If you just analyze their technique or speed, there's not a lot going on. But somehow they captivate us. Musos and non-musos alike.

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