Monday, April 18, 2011

Guitar Chat

As much I’ll miss the customary free drinks while having guitar conversations with younger players and peers in between live sets, I took the liberty of sharing these common topics by means of this blog to everyone who is interested in my style as a guitar player.

A style built on personal and logistical limitations

The first would be “The Sound” – The most common pick up line would be… “sir ano yang tatak ng gitara mo tsaka setting ng mga FX mo ganda kasi po ng tunog?” Like most of you know I’ve been using OEM and self built copies for the longest time (I haven’t had branded guitars in like 6 years or so) and I usually play through 3 or 4 basic cheap pedals. Most of the time they just wonder, how I pulled off that sound or “The Sound” Since I always get these questions I developed this standard response… “When I was starting out I didn’t have the resources to play with branded equipment so I developed the ability to tweak and maximize whatever gear combinations that I am playing through. Even my sound is built from logistical limitations I had no choice but to try to sound good with what I have. Fast forward to the present I could somehow get close to my identified sound (whatever that is) with whatever gear combination. How does one do that? Usually that’s the follow up question. My response to this is that I am only dialing in tones according to what I hear and see in my mind… again somehow I get close to that. No special techniques, secret tricks, no nothing. Much of that although debatable I believe is the combination of my anatomical or physiological structure, and emotional response to music…. The gear combinations are just augmentations of the sounds which I am attempting to make. Since “Tone” and “sound quality” are arbitrary I put less emphasis on them as the identifying sound and more on the Metaphysical element… well for me at least.

The second would be “The Technique” – I always say that I am not a very technical player at all, my first heroes where actually Anti-Heroes…Dave Evans and Johnny Marr. But of course later I discovered an inclination to African American music as I go back in time studying. Although I don’t sound like traditional blues players 90percent of what I do is borrowed from R&B, and 70’s east coast soul. Again the emphasis is on the Metaphysical element and not so much on technique. I’m not saying that I didn’t study theory, actually I did. In the first 2 years of my venture into guitars I did the rigid studying of Scales, Modes, and Progressions. But I started to appreciate my playing when I started to just play and not mind theory. In doing so it allowed me to play freely and not constantly think of what to play next. That was the beginnings of my spontaneous style of playing. You still need to study theory but let it sink to your sub conscious mind to be able to play free and not continually analyze your performance in realtime. In short study with your Left brain and play with your right ( What usually happens in my experience is I just ride the music and about a couple of milliseconds before I actually play a part I grab it and try to put lots of conviction to it. I don’t think too early and I don’t super impose what to play. It’s all within the moment give or take those milliseconds. I guess the fluidity in my playing is attributed to that behavior. This behavior again is a result of my personal limitations. I have very poor verbatim memory that means I’m better at remembering things in context so naturally improvising is the better approach for me. I am naturally inclined to play simple but fluid and effective rather than super imposed complex thought off parts but obviously challenged. A few coherent set of words communicates well than a thousand words you missed.

That’s all for now I hope you got something out from this.


Paulo said...

nice read bone! :)

Bone Pagligaran said...

thanks brad happy to share