Are You Making Music Or Only Play Guitar?

Making music is a real gift that changes the lives of those who hear it.

I remember the first time I heard the opening of ‘sweet child of mine’ on the radio
in the car for the first time while my father drives.

A sense of divine revelation.
It opened my music chakra at that moment. If there is something like this.

in  2006 I had the chance to participate in the concerto for four guitars of Joaquin Rodrigo.
I remember looking at the excellent, brilliant orchestra musicians but they all seemed to me like experienced officials doing their daily job and even somewhat worn out.

Their job was to play the “what”-the music notes, and the conductor was responsible for the “how”.

I deliberately simplify my description of the role of the orchestra musician
but what I want to point out is that that I realized the range of creativity of his
compared to that of the composer and that, for me, the musical credit goes to the composer.

Of course, the audience wanted to hear this piece, and not from recording, and at this point, we, all the instrumentalists,  enter as a mediator between the written music and the real experience of the people in the hall.

But is enough today to be a guitar player rather than a creator at some level?

Who is the one who makes music?

A guitarist who writes music on the guitar that turns into iconic guitar part,
for example, the guitar solo of Mark Knopfler ‘Sultans of swing’.
He wrote this music and transmitted it on his guitar.

Not like him, the second guitarist to play that guitar solo is just playing guitar and not “making music.”
And so did the thousands who played the same solo, even if they played it on another guitar type, with a different sound effect or with the teeth.

The first guitarist, compose something original that didn’t exist before, out of a moment of inspiration and creativity and gave humanity something new and in fact, whoever plays his music don’t make art but only plays guitar cover, makes a copy of someone else.

If all you do is play someone else’s music,  by ear or by playing the notes, then you will always have a substitute. There are a lot of brilliant guitarists who play it as well as you play if you choose to copy the original.


To what extent should the guitar student follow his teacher’s instructions?

The role of the teacher is to draw the line between the need to follow the instructions when teaching the student to let him acquire the sensory, mechanical and technical knowledge of the guitar playing.
The exciting point occurs when the teacher touches on the musical issues, and then the dynamics of the teacher and the student can develop in two directions:

The first is that the “good and obedient student” plays just like his teacher – the technique, the phrasing, the articulation, the sound, etc. gets a polished professional level.

Or the second, in which the guide teaches the young guitarist how to develop the hidden artist and the creator that lies inside of him.
The second scenario is the hardest one for the student and the teacher but the most rewarding in the long run for both of them.

What our teachers taught us at school is in most cases to obey the rules, guideline, and so it goes on in many instances in colleges and conservatories where you get a lot of information, technical knowledge
but then it is always refreshing to see a teacher who teaches you to find your path.

I think it was pianist Arthur Rubinstein who said that each of us is a unique and unique phenomenon in this world.
So why duplicate?

We tend to look for a blueprint, a map whereby we can reach the same level and achievements of a guitarist we appreciate.

The thing is that you can replicate his music but not his mindset.
Also, your guitar hero created time, place and circumstances that formed
the basis for who he was and if not, his music might not exist.

You don’t need to be “the second guy” but to build your musical perception of yourself and to refer to “laws.”
only as principles that you can change or even eliminated.

What are your circumstances, or, in other words, what is your story?

The true musician

A beginner guitar student learns the basic chord shapes.
The more advanced student learns, the more complicated shapes and knows how to play the same chord in different positions and voicing.
A guitarist who is making music refers to chords in abstract perception and knows that chord progression is not a fingers shape on the guitar but an idea, an intellectual function, and knows how to express this transcendent world in myriad ways.

This real musician with the guitar in his hands is out there alone, but he doesn’t feel alone.
He has no formula, no teacher, nothing to copy but only to create his music from nothing.
He approaches his craft with passion, attitude and I would even say, with courageous.

A guitarist who provides services is only playing guitar and not making music.
I know quite a lot of musicians whose schedule is full with of gigs, but most of them are service providers,
not artists.

To follow the sheet music, a standard chart or to play as a hired guitarist in a significant production.
These are all things we do, and most of us will continue doing.

And it’s respected.

At the same time, it is essential that we decide that we are doing it with a creative approach,
humanistic, avoiding mannerism because this way we’ll all maintain the attitude of making music.


What can you do that the near future artificial intelligence guitarist won’t be able to do?
How do you make the distinction between mechanics and creating something new? Making music?

Don’t try to replicate someone else’s guitar style and music and
when you need to play other’s music, make it yours.

You should use other guitarists’ success story as a guideline to create yours and then
feel obligated to share with the world even if others don’t listen to it or come to your concert.