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  #16  
Old 06-19-2019, 05:42 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Most if the time "that player has soul" translates to "I like it."
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  #17  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:14 AM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
How about posting a link to a video of a player that gives you that feeling?

It would take all the conjecture, etc out of this because nobody really knows what is meant by 'soul' when it comes to someone else.

Thanks,
Howard Emerson
Eric Gales has soul and is a technician on top of that. He has two other great guitarists on stage and he wipes the floor with them. They each take two solos and Eric bats clean-up both times at the 7:40 mark and the 16:50 mark.



In this clip, Derek Trucks plays a soulful solo when BB King asks for it



Other favorite soul guitarists: Jairus Mozee.



TJ Whitelaw



Kevin Byrd

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  #18  
Old 06-20-2019, 04:10 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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In my opinion it comes from within, and can't be taught to those that don't have it. All the technique in the world won't get you there. You either feel it, or you don't.
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  #19  
Old 06-20-2019, 08:26 AM
Pnewsom Pnewsom is offline
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Some players seem to be able to take their audience along with them as they explore and find ways to express their music. It's a beautiful thing to experience from either position. I would call this soul.
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2019, 09:02 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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That seems to address the "charisma" aspect, but can you "hear" charisma on a record without seeing the performance? Or is there something a little deeper?

Part of it too, comes from conditioning. A lot of guitar players are conditioned to hear a bent note or a blues scale as "soulful." But I'd argue there's still something in the playing that makes those devices actually work versus sounding contrived.
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  #21  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:10 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I don't think it can be learned or faked. In fact, it's pretty painfully obvious when faked, IMO. Some cats have it, some don't.
"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made."

George Burns (and others).
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  #22  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:11 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
Warning, pedantic person posting...

I think we may be conflating (or in danger of conflating...) performance charisma and then entertainment skills with another quality, the factor that makes some people's playing and singing (even from the same score or general arrangement of notes) more meaningful.

While charisma is somewhat subjective, there are performers who are generally seen to have "it" and it doesn't seem to require practice as such as it's often present very early in a performer's career. One example that comes to mind was the young Bob Dylan, who impressed people, even those that didn't really think much of him otherwise than that. Charisma is a weird quality where people sense there is something there even before it's established that the person has something as an artist. You could say it's derived from some increased degree of self-confidence, but vulnerability can be part of it too. James Dean (not a musician, but...) had charisma. Janis Joplin had a mix of bravado and vulnerability in her charisma.

A great many popular and successful musical performers have little or no charisma, other than that fame thing that accumulates from a track record of producing impressive work. Eric Clapton is one example that comes to mind. Woodshedding and hard work in general contribute a lot to many careers.

Entertainment skills, the ability to attract and hold an audience are learnable, both from the school of hard knocks but from shorter more focused efforts. I think of the Motown "Finishing School" that molded a lot of Detroit acts into an entertainment powerhouse. The skills here are very similar to salesmanship.

Soul as a word is less exact, but I think what we mean by it here is communicating emotional impact, something that in my mind is at the core of art (not just music). That communication has a great many factors, some external to the individual performance from history and culture and the audience's receptibility. But the musical performer's component can probably be learned (actors learn this, most aren't naturally good at it from the get go). Soul can be distinguished from mere entertainment skills that don't always relay on a feeling of deep emotional connection.

The contrarian in Frank Zappa liked to argue that this emotional communication was just a technique, a trick. Some actors will maintain the same thing, like musicians they like to point out they had to work at it. From Aristotle on, there's been a great deal written explicating this "trick." But, of course, that doesn't mean that something isn't communicated with this "trick," and that we don't or shouldn't value it.
Great post!
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  #23  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:50 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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Music is the purist form of magic. Art is laying ones self open to urges that are not fully understood while trying to expressing something. Sometimes they happen together. Not all people will be moved by the result. My moment of clarity with this issue came when I suspended all outside stimuli except the music and responded to it. I don't know if that is soulful. But it's fun.
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  #24  
Old 06-20-2019, 03:04 PM
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Music is the purist form of magic..
So true... Once you understand how the trick is performed, some of the innocence and the thrill of not understanding what actually happened is gone.
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2019, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratcat77 View Post
I think it takes a certain level of technical skill to be able to execute soulfully. But as others have said, having the technical skill doesn't always get you there. We've all heard guys who can shred or play complicated jazz chords who still don't move us.

I could have a PhD in literature and not be a great writer. But studying and learning does give one great references to know what other great writers have done to achieve their end result. So studying soulful players and what they do gets you going in the right direction.

I think different things move people differently, but for most of us, dynamics, phrasing and note choices are key elements that tend to evoke emotions. And to execute on those things does take practice, skill and knowledge.
This pretty much nails it.
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2019, 07:31 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, I'm late to this party, but I have strong feelings about this subject.

Last week I went to play to a "folk" club. and sat politely waiting whilst some floor spots played before I went on.

Whilst this is not "always" the situation, it is quite a common scenario.
* Club organiser walks on and announces -Fred and Mabel, Jim, Jenny, or whoever, and walks off.

* Audience politely claps.

* One or two people walk on and place large music stands in front of themselves, hiding their instruments and/or faces from the audience.

* They sit/stand and tune up (Why did't they do that before??)

* They talk, giggle, whisper to each other, rustle song sheets or press their ipad.

* (Maybe) they inaudibly mumble a song title at the audience

* They start and read through every word from the music stand, and it sounds like a schoolboy reciting a poem

* Rinse and repeat.

There is more to what we call "performing". When you get together at home to enjoy playing together it is for you, but when in front of an audience it is for them!
Performing a song, is like performing as an actor, and/or storyteller, with musical accompaniment. Each skill has equal importance,

These are my views on "telling the story":

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  #27  
Old 06-23-2019, 05:11 AM
T1mothy T1mothy is offline
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Tough task if you ain`t got one. Otherwise just keep going. Mr Beaumont is right on the money here, since I started treating rhythm equally to what notes to play, people started telling me my playing gained a lot of personality to it. Good luck

Timothy
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  #28  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SpiderTrap View Post
Where does in come from ? I think it comes from somewhere very deep inside the brain after playing many years. I Could be completely wrong . I Guess it could be Faked ?? I dunno , but I do know I have developed it in playing and am now moving more to electric . How do you get that groove to pull people in
almost to an hypnotic state ? ? I've heard numerous Great guitar players on You Tube , but to me - Some lack the inner gut feeling in playing that sets others apart . especially true in lead playing . Anyone with other ideas on this subject would be appreciated . Im no great player by a long shot, but once I begin , my fingers seems to go places I dont plan , string slides and bends just seem to sound really good . I have no music theory. It comes from somewhere , but Where ?
Hi Spider T

In 2005 at Healdsburg Guitar Gathering in Santa Rosa, California…Muriel Anderson taught a clinic titled "Putting your Heart in Your Hands".

So many players wanted to sign up that she had to teach the clinic twice. If you've ever seen her play live, she evokes a lot of emotion from the audiences she plays for.

It's not that she's overly animated. She does use a lot of acoustic dynamics (loud, soft, middle volumes) and a lot of rubato (music tempos being flexible, but not erratic). Her music covers a range of styles, and music which is familiar, and not familiar to the audiences. She connects to the audience with her music.

She talked about technical things which connect with audiences, with styles of music, actual pieces, and personal playing techniques which evoke emotion. And she talked about the music being arranged to be interesting and challenging to the player as well as the audience.

And she challenged the clinics to do things differently if they expected to get different results from those they were already experiencing.

She is approachable and very genuine when you see her play or meet her in person.

It's amazing since Muriel only sings one or two songs in a concert…she is primarily an instrumental player who connects strongly with audiences. I've found myself wiping away tears when I hear her play (I've probably heard her live now 8 or 9 times), and look around and see others reaching for Kleenex (or wiping their eyes on their sleeves).

One time I sat in a room where she was demonstrating guitars for a particular builder for 15 minutes, and people left the room weeping because the music touched them.

Don't think my additions particularly answers deep question, but I do believe it's partly involves the music we choose (the stories it tells), the culture of the room, what the audience appreciates, and how well we match our skills to them. Sometimes instrumental songs like Sweet Georgia Brown or California Dreamin' are fun and familiar so audiences love them. But a room full of teen-agers who never heard the Beach Boys or Gypsy Jazz don't connect with them.

I don't have any emotional investment in an arrangement of Sweet Georgia Brown, but love to jam on it with other musicians and pass it around a group when we are performing live (everybody solos on a verse). And audiences love the up-tempo spontaneous nature of it.

When the tapping became a legitimate style (Andy McKee style), just doing string acrobatics only went so far before people grew bored. Andy raised the bar by not only doing unusual techniques, but actually making his arrangements interesting by adding style and variety to his songs.

So knowing an audience and knowing the music of their culture is pretty important to connecting with the people we play for.

Hope this adds to the discussion…



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  #29  
Old 06-24-2019, 01:06 AM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Interesting topic -- IMHO "Soul" is a simple reflection of your inner musical self. It comes from your soul, your heart, and your sense of what you want to musically convey -- unrelated to technical expertise or talent level. Play from the heart and be yourself -- and your "soul" will come through.
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  #30  
Old 06-24-2019, 01:16 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Interesting topic -- IMHO "Soul" is a simple reflection of your inner musical self. It comes from your soul, your heart, and your sense of what you want to musically convey -- unrelated to technical expertise or talent level. Play from the heart and be yourself -- and your "soul" will come through.
This is how I see it!
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