Once a piece of music is established in my hands, probably the most fun I can ever have with a tune is when I can enhance it. This is the stage when I can actually play the tune AND play with it. It’s almost like decorating in a sense as I now have the freedom to accessorize – trying out all sorts of things. As I navigate through some of the passages, little things tend to pop up, sometimes seemingly on their own. I might leave out a note that was normally there, create a more intense (or softer) vibrato, or apply a right hand palm mute. I might get a bend to bite a little more or apply a more subtle double bend with a release in between…and so on.
I can’t think of a better way to observe what is lurking out there when bringing a tune to life than through a live performance. The energy levels and excitement give the music a potential sense of needing to be corralled and that is when the sparks can fly!
As difficult as it may seem to play a tune for others, it behooves all of us to get over that ego and insecurity that pops up as soon as we sense someone else is listening. Avoid falling into that pit and service the music with a keen eye. Emotional Content Required should be stamped on all tunes!
More lessons from Richard Gilewitz can be found in his book Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop from Mel Bay Publications www.melbay.com/product.asp
Originally posted 2009-11-26 00:54:35.