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Zen Guitar

Pictured above: Zen guitar, er...

When did you last think seriously about the noises you make? Not all the effects, fuzzes and add-ons, but the unique one-ness of you and your guitar. We're talking spiritual awareness here. Pick up your guitar and sit in a comfortable playing position. Plug it in, and get a plain, clean sound out of your amp — not too loud, and with the minimum distortion. Now play a note, either with fingers or plectrum. Any note will do.

Let the note sustain. Now do it again and actually listen to it; listen to the quality of the sound. Think about that sound, then play it again. And again. Don't let any other string resonate, just try to hear all the harmonic overtones of that one string, developing as the note dies away. Try to pick out and mentally track a different harmonic each time. Try varying the pressure of the fretting finger.

Try adding slight vibrato. Keep playing that one note until it sounds perfect, the best it could ever be. Then try another. Basics are good things, y'know...

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Skill Centre: It Bites

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Cutting Comments

Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.


Making Music - Oct 1986


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