Between a Riff and a Hard Pace

Excuse me for butchering the English language here. Hopefully you understood the reference to the saying “between a rock and a hard place”, and if you didn’t there you got the explanation for this title. Between a rock and a hard place is exactly where I am guitar-wise.

Between a riff and a hard pace… The riff, the rhythm guitar is where I belong. It is where I feel home. The hard pace is  something I’m not very comfortable with… I try to push beyond my limits, and it doesn’t seem to work yet.

Two weeks ago, I attended an audition to join a Trip Hop band, and instead of focusing on what I do best… Well, I didn’t! I was messy, trying to do stuff I couldn’t do. Instead of listening well, and finding the best fitting riffs… I just tried to not be me! And I’m not even talking about the fact that I just went to the audition almost naked effect-wise. That was kinda stupid to try to join a Trip Hop band, and to rely on a dry clean tone.

Yesterday, I posted an entry to The French Guitar Contest, and once again I tried hard to be someone I’m not. I tried to do something that I can’t properly do! Not that I was posting to win… I know I have no chance at all at this game! But I think I tried to challenge myself in the worst way possible. And nothing happens. I just have to hear the track to be shocked about how sloppy I am with the rhythm! Awful! Worst part is that I’m not even attempting wild sweeping, tapping, whatever-ing technique that some contestants used.

I like fast guitar playing… After all I’m a Vernon Reid fan, and the dude is fast! But before being a fast guitar player, he is a musician with a strong identity. Most guitar players that I like are actually people with a strong identity, and most often they are not the fast players. So why would I go that way?

Do you have such a dilemma? Is there a cure for that dilemma? Here are a few leads…

Focus on What You do Best !

I’ll have to do that! Does that mean I should ignore the rest? I really don’t know for sure.  It’s always good to challenge yourself. But building on what you are best at is the best way to achieve a strong musical identity… If that is your goal! I think it’s mine…

Join a Band !

I definitely have to join a band… Or start my own project, why not? It’s only by playing, and playing again that you’ll develop a musical identity.

Write Songs !

Write songs again… I used to do that a few of years ago… That was pretty amateurish but it had one virtue : It forced me to play music instead of noodling around…

Bonus Lead !

Stop watching Youtube guitar players… Or at least reduce the dosage!

What else? Shoot your ideas & thoughts in the comments below…

To illustrate what I’m talking about, and just because I made it for the fun of it… Here is my entry to the French Guitar Contest…


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