I’ve been hanging out and jamming with some guitar players recently and I was really taking notice of each players technique. Obviously everyone plays differently and no two players are exactly the same (thank God!).
After watching all the different player’s techniques and how they each execute I came up with a common thread among them all. It seems that the players that had a lighter touch played better. Their phrasing was more melodic and controlled which enabled them to be more expressive. Speed, dynamics and even versatility was enhanced as compared to the players that were heavy handed with their axes. As musicianship goes I noticed that the lighter touch bunch also knew when to lay back, leave some space and did not play as loud.
A lighter touch also helps with the overall tone as well. I noticed that their rigs just sounded better, clearer with more warmth, breath and texture. There seemed to be more tones available without even hitting a stompbox pedal. I think this is why a lot of people say “tone comes from your hands”. I partially agree with this and that may be another article altogether. The overall tone was just more musical which to me is what we are all striving for as players.
So, from my observation it seems that having a lighter more nimble touch will greatly enhance your playing ability and vocabulary. It will also improve your tone without spending a dime. Not to mention help prevent repetitive motion issues like tendonitis or the dreaded carpal tunnel. No sense in killin’ the guitar (or your hands) and all its wonderful tones by playing too hard. Lighten up and let the music flow….!
Hey Robbie Calvo…what do you think..??