FretDojo’s sensei brings out the bamboo stick
Martin M. added this comment on my Youtube channel recently:
“All the picking speed or fretting hand dexterity in the world will not correlate to “great playing” if the player either has no true talent, ear for melodic vocal construction, sense of rhythm or a scintilla of creativity….capish?” ~ Martin M.
What was Martin having a dig at here?
One of FretDojo’s most popular videos, Slaying The Speed Demon for Jazz Guitar – which is all about cool tips on speed building tactics written by my amazing colleague Stuart King (who, as it happens, is one of the most virtuosic jazz guitarists in Australia).
Here’s the thing:
In a way, Martin’s comment is correct. It’s true that just having a fantastic technique or unbelievable speed will not, in and of itself, make great music.
But, on the other hand:
If you’re constantly missing notes, buzzing strings, fumbling changing chords, and unable to play 16th notes beyond 115bpm due to poor technique, then…
How will you keep a good rhythm feel?
How will you be able to improvise fluently?
And how will you be able to be able to focus on the music, without getting constantly distracted from “tripping up” all the time?
Regardless of what expressive and musical potential you may have, without good technique you will always be severely limited in your ability to make great jazz on your guitar, period.
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