Passion & Mastery

Posted: August 26, 2010 by Paul H in Tips & Tricks
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Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 3.38.02 PMIn my last post I talked about Michael Schenker, one thing I didn’t mention is that I saw his brother Rudolph on tour with the Scorpions just a few days earlier. The Scorpions are a great band and Rudolph is one of the most rock solid rhythm guitar players around. There’s a Scorpions instrumental song called “Coast to Coast”, it’s one of my favorites because both Rudolph and Michael played on the studio version together. Michael played the solos, Rudolph played that awesome rhythm. And there’s a special chemistry between these brothers when they play. Too bad it didn’t work out with Michael being in Scorpions.

Anyway, the reason I bring it up, is that at the Scorpions show Rudolph played Michael’s guitar solo on that song. It was fascinating because Rudolph’s forte isn’t playing lead guitar, his forte is writing amazing songs like “Holiday” and Big City Nights and playing rock solid rhythm. Both brothers are amazing musicians in their own right. The difference that I picked up on was the simple nuance of Michael’s years of playing lead verses Rudolph’s years of playing rhythm. This was obvious when I watched Rudolph play that solo. Both Rudolph and Michael have mastered their individual craft and play with great passion. However, on this solo, Rudolph sounded very much like Michael but without the finesse that makes a great lead guitar player.

That being said, it’s not enough to master the technical aspects of playing the guitar. You need to instill your own passion and feeling into your playing. However, there’s a quote, I don’t remember who said this¬† but he was very wise. “Art without form is meaningless.” In other words, playing with feeling but without the skill to back it up is almost pointless. I hear people say all the time “I play from my heart” and that’s usually why they suck. I’m not putting down playing with your heart. You have to play with your heart or you suck. But, playing with skill and knowledge of the instrument shines! In the same way a painter who’s worked at his craft for years can create a much better painting than me with a lot of emotion and a few cans of paint.

Bottom line, master the guitar and play with passion.



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