How do you get better?
Well, in an interview with GuitarWorld.com, guitarist John Kornmayer gives the definition of “harder.” Kornmayer, who played with Steve Hackett, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimi Hendrix again recently.
John Kornmayer: When you’re playing the guitar, hard as you are, there’ll be a point where you think, “Oh, is this really that hard?” But there’s a lot to it: It depends. What you’re saying is not what I did. When I went to guitar meetings, I would ask people, “Would you think the chords you’re playing are hard if you played them by ear or fingernail?” Because everyone else was doing it.
And when I think hard, I also think in terms of rhythm. Even though the hardest thing I ever did was make a chord that didn’t sound like a chord, I could still make the chord sound like the chords I thought were hard. And what’s really hard is a phrase – I mean, to play something with a chord line that has a certain sound. Now, it’s easy when you know what a chord is. It’s a great thing to have the guitar in your hands or on your chest and be able to play something and know something’s good. But it can be quite difficult to know when you’re actually playing a line that needs to sound good. And it turns out I didn’t really know it. But I had an idea that it was something that sounds really bad, maybe not that great, and might sound very wrong. But when I played it with other musicians, and I played it with a piano or some drum patterns or even drum fills, that line had a kind of ‘ahh’ sound or something. I think that’s pretty hard. But if you’re playing rhythm with a line that’s all a chord, that doesn’t sound as bad.
And of course, it depends on the scale. So, if you’re going into scales you’ve got to know what kind of scale you’re going into it with – is the scale going to be a lot harder or a lot easier. What makes it harder is the number of degrees of pitch that you’re trying to keep. And I think if you can’t keep a whole song going in the key of C, you’re not really going to understand how the scale works. You’re not going to know that the notes in the scale have been
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