• Braxton Powell

Guitar is subjective

As a guitar player, there are things to follow as "rules" or "staples" with building tone. But, the way we use our effects and create sounds is completely subjective. The key is creativity; never become so tied to that guy's tone, or that artists sound that you forget to make something unique to you. Playing for the last 10 years, I have seen that more than anything. Good players, with good ideas who have good technique only playing what was recorded or what the original guy played. Not to say it is not a good idea to follow what people have done, just don't refuse to let your ideas flourish. But, just like everything we do, too much of a good thing is bad. So, find that balance.

Ultimately you don't want to make a song or guitar part worse. But changing it up a bit, or putting your own spin on it, these things give it a unique signature to you the player. On the flip side, critically listening to artists and how they make sounds can benefit you as a musician. I can not even count how many times I have used a line that I liked from one song, in another song for a solo or a flavorful lick. Obviously, these parts have to work with the song and its progression.

Playing guitar has so many different options for ways to create a musical ambiance. There is this space that we have to fill within each song or arrangement, but you as the player have the power to fill it how you see fit. When two different kids color in the same picture, but one child may have used brown for a pair of pants, where the other child may have used blue. Neither is wrong, both filled the space they were given. How you interpret your role is up to you. Follow the obvious guidelines and rules, take your skills, mix it with the foundation of the song or arrangement, let your mind form some ideas and don't be afraid to let them show.

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