Putting feeling in your playing

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    Ok this will be long, but not THAT long…

    I was up 26 hours a few days ago and super tired monitoring one of the dogs who has seizures. I’d been practicing red is the rose for hour(s) long stretches into the later stretch of that time to 1) learn it, and 2) stay awake until someone else woke up.

    I’ve always REALLY loved melancholy Scottish airs anyway, so I figured I’d take the intro and melody A and play it paying attention to how I was attacking the song using the ‘playing with feeling’ tips from the recent video and the “thing” you really only do get unlocked properly after experiencing enough things that build up to a critical tipping point then pretty much destroy you emotionally.

    I’m near Chicago so having heard blues and jazz players talk about how they can play a certain way, answering along the lines of ‘you just have to experience it.’ I get it now. I can’t express it properly 99.9999% of the time, but I get it now. I’m not excluding other genres, just those are most common locally for me that I have experience being exposed to.

    Anyway twice that night two family members headed to the kitchen at different times and got quiet. Figured they were eating or using their phones. It turns out they snuck up behind me and were listening. They both said “That was a pretty song.” Which scared me to death since I was so focused on what, and how, I was playing. It was actually the first time I wasn’t just annoying everyone around me.

    I can’t seem to get back into that frame of mind which caused me to search online for tips to get back into a ‘zone’ to express what you’re trying to in a song.

    I didn’t realize it was such a philosophical question, or so hard to find an answer to, but I found these two articles in voice website that sort of answer my question. I wanted to share because the concept can be applied to any instrument.

    This one covers conveying the story you’re trying to tell by playing the song. aka putting feeling in your music

    This second one is an eye opening take, really kind of brutal, article on killing stage fright. We all get some anxiety hitting that record button.

    If anything else it puts perspective on things.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by becky7777.

    Putting feeling into it and conveying a story : I think there is no better teacher than Frank Sinatra.


    Maybe Ricky! 😉

    But personally i’m up to my ears trying to listen into everything at the moment. I just needed an article to talk at me in plain ordinary text so I didn’t have to think or listen too hard about it.

    I thought the the articles were pretty interesting and answered my “getting in the zone” question for ukulele though. Little bit pompous and harsh, but pretty interesting so I shared. 😁

    I suppose since they’re for voice maybe they might apply to singing too… but I don’t sing so I can’t vouch for that lol! 😉


    ahh… we ALL sing @becky7777
    It is more that some of us just shouldn’t!!!


    It’s a really interesting question, and it makes me think of something one of my favourite aikido teachers says. That is that you can only express yourself freely through movement (or in this case playing) when you have practiced the movement so many times that you no longer have to think about it. That’s what I found when I played Moon in a challenge a few months ago. I could only put the expressiveness into that I did because I could play it backwards, in my sleep, with my hands tied behind my back… Of course, that month was also disastrous financially because I had very little work…

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