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Beginner guitar tips: How to get a feel

February 5, 2006 05:23 PM EST | Musical Instruments | Email to Friend

Adding "feel" to your guitar playing is easy to learn and will make a huge difference to the way your playing will sound to others.

"I don’t like to go into the studio with all the songs worked out and planned before hand…. You’ve got to give the band something to use its imagination on as well. That can make a very ordinary song come alive into something totally different….. the X Factor – so important in Rock And Roll - which is the feel" - Keith Richards.

When you’re learning or writing a new song the most important thing is the feel.

The beat, the pulse…. Call it what you like. Its stirs the emotions.

Zzounds Guitar

It’s that magic spark that makes a good song stand out from the rest.

When you buy a new cd/album/record it’s the one song that grabs you by the balls.

You can feel the passion and enthusiasm that the musicians put into it.

So how do you get ‘the feel’?

You just close your eyes and connect with your true feelings – hence the term ‘the feel’. You are transferring your feelings – your passion to the fret board.

But first you have to feel it inside your head, heart and soul.

Try listening to your favorite music with your eyes closed and no distractions. Take notice of the way it effects you.

What do you feel? Is it joy? sadness? anger? frustration? love? pride?

The feeling will sweep over your whole body. Take notice of this feeling. Stop the music and try and reproduce this feeling.

Once you can reproduce the feeling grab your guitar and play.

Don’t play a song you already know, just play some chords and see what happens. Don’t think just feel and play. Visualize where you want to be - then start taking a small step in the direction of your desire. Start with simple, easy to attain visualizations. No need to make them gigantic. Build confidence as you move along the path.

And as your confidence grows, so will momentum.

Pretty soon you're literally steam-rolling over obstacles that once seemed huge.

John Stockwell is a guitar player and the author of the acclaimed "Mind Over Music for Guitar" http://www.learn-to-play-guitar.net/mindovermusic/, a unique approach to learning to play the guitar by ear for beginners to advanced students.

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