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10th Year Anniversary Edition:
I’m revisiting some of my best old posts on playing guitar. Enjoy!

If you really want others to enjoy what you play, you need to be enjoying yourself.

They call it self-expression, but how can you fully express yourself if you aren’t fully connected to yourself or to the music? How can you fully express yourself if everything is clowded out by technical concerns?

In this video, I work with a Villa-Lobos Study, breaking it down into its chord components, because this illustrates the concept very clearly.

But you don’t have to alter the music at all to do this exercise. You also can do this exercise with:

  • a very simple, shorter piece
  • with smaller sections of any piece
  • even with a musical phrase or snippet
  • anything that you are reasonably comfortable with and want to go deeper with
  • You can even do this with scales or other technical exercises–which forms a new kind of technical exercise:an “inner technique” exercise that develops musical self-expression and understanding.