How to Play with Feeling

How to Play with Feeling

Expressing Yourself

One of the most popular questions from my adult students is “how do I sound like (insert player)”? Perhaps a better question to ask is, how do you express yourself through the music? One of my favorite quotes comes from John Mayer about Eric Clapton. He mentions that “Eric has a way to connect to people that don’t even know that the guitar has six strings”. How does he do that?

The answer is feeling, playing with feeling. It’s the emotion that you put into a performance that can carry across and hit people a way that makes them feel it too. So, how do we play with feeling?

Playing with Feeling


“Just get really into it man.”

While the above two comments are correct, lets dive a bit deeper.

The way you approach a piece of music, affects the way it sounds. It’s the little nuances that add up and alter the sound in a specific way. Let’s take a look at an example piece played on the ukulele.

Melody A


Click below to listen to Melody A:


Melody B


Click below to listen to Melody B:


Melody A vs Melody B

In Melody A, we are playing everything simplified. It is simply the chords and the melody with no frills. While it sound nice, it lacks depth. When we compare it to Melody B, the listener is drawn in more. Melody B adds layers to the music. How you interpret the piece and accent the notes and rhythms, adds dynamics to your playing. This is what makes your favorite players great. The way they approach playing, and the little nuances they add.

Article by: Andrew Hardel