Technical Guitar Playing

The Technical Guitarist

by Ilan Ashkenazi

One thing that I have always found to be an ongoing issue among guitarists is technique. Arguments about why technique is or is not important have always been raised. So many people are blamed for either not having enough technical ability, or using it too much, causing a lack of "feeling" in their playing.

When teaching, I have always treated the matter of technique just as serious as theory and anything else. I feel that, while there are so many wonderful players that are not very "technical" in there playing, there are plenty of others that are not able to express what they truly want on the guitar because of lack of technique. In short..I believe that nothing that a guitarist wants to play (whether in his/her head, or not) should be compromised because he/she does not have the technical ability to play it.

There will always be wars between Blues players and Shredders etc...but when it comes down to it, an advanced technical player might be able to play blues and Paganini for instance...while a blues player (with out proper technique) will only be able to play the blues.

I agree to a large extent that one should not play fast in vain, just because he can...or to "show off" but I also feel that a lot of "technical" music has a lot of feeling as well.

Always remember to listen to the key changes, modal changes, phrasing.... the overall progression of the piece when soloing.

The main point I would like to leave is that you want the music to come directly from your head to your fingers...nuthin' planned out... Improvising comes from having some technical ability.

"It's very difficult for me to dislike an artist. No matter what he's creating, the fact that he's experiencing the joy of creation makes me feel like we're in a brotherhood of some kind... we're in it together." - Chick Corea

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