In California visiting family, went to see a show by pedigreed rock n roll soul group “Trigger Hippy” in Grass Valley that featured the drummer from the Black Crows, and singer Joan Osborn. All the players were excellent, and the band played very well together, with good dynamic contrast, and a well-crafted show. Thinking about the show afterwards, of note educationally that I can share with you was the difference between the band’s two excellent guitarists. Jackie Green, the naturally talented co-leader, 2nd vocalist, organist and guitarist seemed to have music come out of him from the inside out. The other guitarist, who’s name I did not remember (maybe that’s a sign?), was equally good technically and played some emotional solos as well. The difference between the two, in my experience was simply that the second guitarist was “playing the guitar” using all the riffs and tricks and vocabulary that he had amassed over his career, while Jackie played the guitar (and the keys) simply like he wanted to hear it. I got the sense that his playing was not as vocabulary-dependent, and he just played it like he “heard” it.
This is the exact concept that I try to teach over and over in the Fiddle Jam Method. Simply don’t think too much, and try to play exactly what you are hearing in your head a few seconds ahead of time.
So, was the difference between these two excellent guitarists, just hair-splitting by a critical professional educator (me)?… or was there a real difference that the general audience felt, experienced, and responded to?… By the audience’s response, it definitely was the later.
Can you hear and feel the difference in your musical experiences?