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Flying Hands Music School in Louisville, Kentucky


Technique Vs Feel

When soloing over a ballad, don't play 32nd notes! Feel the tempo and melody. Guitar, Piano, Sax & even Violin solos are great over ballads, when performed properly. Drums should be understated to a degree for this genre. The medium-tempo song Aja by Steely Dan saved the drum feature for the outro. It was just astounding (by the great Steve Gadd.)

Steve Gadd is an example of a drummer who has technique and feel, both. Buddy Rich was an exception in that he was not a well-trained reader but still had great technique as a drummer. Jaco Pastorius could burn through jazz music but his voice was really steeped in playing a melodic, fretless bass over ballads. Most blues musicians are not technical. However, guitarist Robben Ford and pianist Chuck Levell are exceptions. Ella Fitzgerald was a singer who could "scat" improvise along with the greatest horn players, but could in turn feel the vocals of a ballad like none other.

So, for better technique, learn to read well. It will force you to play things you normally wouldn't do. Learn your scales (and chords for guitar and piano.) If you're not a vocalist, sing in your head when you solo for a better feel...and practice, practice, practice!