Guitar Playing - Technique vs. Feeling - What's important?Written by Edward D Cupler
For many people, when they hear word technique applied to guitar playing, it brings to mind someone spending long hours practicing scales and chords, getting their fingers to work like precision machines that play each note perfectly without fail. With no more feeling than someone doing calculus.
On other hand, when word feeling is applied, people might think of a smoke filled room in which every face has a story to be told, and guitar is a means of extracting every pent up emotion in room. The MC is an old blues man that has felt every hardship life has to offer and he now turns pain into musical notes that cut deep into soul of every person in room.
So what's important? Both! I'm not saying that everyone needs to have technical ability of a Malmsteen, nor do I think that everyone should be filled with blues like a Stevie Ray Vaughan. I do however think that a guitarist should have technical ability to play however they feel. Technique and feeling are both important and neither should be ignored. Listening to Malmsteen, you can easily feel intense emotion in every note. His playing isn't just a blaze of notes; it's sound of someone who has mastered technique to point where he doesn't have to think about it. His playing has become free of constraints and limitations allowing emotion to create music. By same token, listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan you hear all feeling you would expect from a great blues player, but Vaughan also had great technique that makes this possible. Without great technique his playing couldn't flow effortlessly and his playing would become choppy and restrained. Like Malmsteen, Vaughan's technique allowed his guitar playing to become free of constraints and limitations, allowing emotion to take precedence in creation of his music.
So how do you learn this? Well, if you're alive there will always be something to stir up some passion in you. Injustice, religion, love, hate, movies, books someone else's music. History gives us thousands of years worth of great stories and literature to draw from. The news we hear every day can be enough to get us worked up. All you need to do is harness these feelings and let them become a part of your music. This is where your technique must get to point that you're not thinking about scales, modes, and chord theory or alternate picking styles and bending each note with perfect pitch. This is where you must draw a distinct difference between practicing
The History of Orange County, CaliforniaWritten by Southern Calilfornia Real Estate Agent John Middlebrook
Orange County, CA History
Orange County, California is located on West coast of what was called New World in 1500's, known today as United States. The history of Orange County, California began when God made earth, including land of Orange County. Archaeologically, Orange County rock formations date back to at least 225 million years ago during "Age of Reptiles" (Source). Moving ahead, American Indians dwelled in Orange County until period of Spanish colonization in late 1700's. American Indians hunted and gathered food. They also moved from place to place searching for food. Their local government was monarchial. Leadership was handed down from one generation to next within one particular family. A group of counsel members were also appointed to help govern. The two major groups of American Indians in Orange County were thought to originate from Shoshonean family. They came to be known as Gabrieleños and Juaneños because of their proximity to San Gabriel and San Juan Capistrano Missions (Source).
In late 1700's Spanish set out on a military campaign to colonize West coast of New World. The Spanish expeditionary leaders sought to rapidly transform California's American Indian population into Spanish citizens to strengthen ties to Spain. In 1769, Gaspar de Portolá, became first Spanish military leader from Europe to officially explore and write about territory of Orange County. He named many of its rivers, mountains and valleys after Catholic Saints (Source). The Spanish Empire wanted to colonize quickly on West coast of New World because their enemy, Britain, was preoccupied on East coast with Revolutionary War from 1763-1775. The Spanish promised to give land to American Indians in exchange for their support of colonization. This was opposite of British, who were opposed to assimilating American Indians into British colonies. The Spanish also encouraged intermarriage between Spanish soldiers and American Indians. For example, Jose Antonio Yorba, born in Spain in 1746, from whom Yorba Linda in Orange County was eventually named, became a corporal under Gaspar de Portolá during Spanish expedition of 1769. Yorba married an American Indian by name of Maria Garcia Feliz at Monterey and had two children. One boy drowned at age six, and another died in his mid-twenties. Yorba's wife also died early in 1781. Yorba then married a 16 year old by name of Maria Josefa Grijalva, an older daughter of another Spanish military leader named Juan Pablo Grijalva who eventually received highest rank in Spanish expedition in California and who also founded Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana (Source).
While Spanish military was busy colonizing California for its resources, Spanish Christian missionaries migrated to California to convert American Indians into children of Christianity. Father Serra from Christian Franciscan order, an order best known for its vows of poverty, traveled with other Christian missionaries funded by Spanish Empire and Jesuits from Baja California to build missions and teach American Indians Christianity. On November 1, 1776, Franciscans built first modern building of Orange County, known as San Juan Capistrano Mission, which became seventh mission of twenty one in California (Source). Father Serra soon fled mission after it was built because of opposition by American Indians. However, he came back and began to teach American Indians Christian religion and because language was such a significant barrier between Spanish and American Indians Christian missionaries taught American Indians practical job training skills such as tanning, wine making, blacksmithing, small business operations, and ranching (Source).
Christian missionary life took place in midst of a very aggressive military campaign by Spanish Empire. The Spanish military was trying to colonize large amounts of California real estate in hopes of eventually taking over New World. To date there seems to be more bad reports depicting how American Indians were treated within Christian missions than there are good reports, but it is important to note that most powerful force in colonization of California was Spanish military and not Spanish Christian missions, even though Christian mission did become most widely recognized historical icon going back to that time in Orange County history. Some Christian missionaries created laws that were very bad, including demanding American Indians not leave missions once they were converted to Christianity. Many runaways were hunted down and forced into slave labor at mission after conversion. However, most of Christian missionaries were frustrated by idea of American Indian labor used by military and settlers. Many American Indians joined missions willingly. It has also been discovered that at highest point of missionary development in California, many American Indians worked only 4-5 hours a day and spent rest of time in choir, mass, instruction, and worship (Source). The problem was that Christian friars at highest levels viewed new American Indian converts, or neophytes as they were called, as spiritual children and not as equal and capable leaders. Thus, American Indian social growth was stunted as they were not recognized as equal citizens. However, California mission period did not last long enough to really establish a mutual trust between two cultures.
The missionary period in California lasted less than two generations, conservatively from 1776-1833, but probably not even that long. It is difficult to understand how much influence Spanish military and war factions had in operations of mission. There was also problem of disease brought by Spanish to American Indians. The majority of American Indians were not killed by violence, but rather were decimated by three major epidemics, two of which were breakouts of small pox and measles, and both had no cure at time. These periodic outbreaks caused many American Indians to doubt Christian faith (Source).
Between 1776-1821 Spain remained in sole control of real estate in Orange County and California with hardly any land concessions to individual families. There were one or two exceptions. One military leader Juan Pablo Grijalva received title to some California lands. During this time period, small bands of British, Russian and French traders also came to region to trade with missionaries and American Indians. In 1810, a major change occurred when Mexican and Spanish governments began fighting for land. In 1821 Mexico beat Spain and declared themselves an independent nation. The following year Mexican flag replaced Spanish flag in Orange County (Source). Almost immediately afterwards Mexico took away promise of land from American Indians and gave land to certain petitioning individuals who could show that they had enough resources to build a dwelling on land in less than one year and who could cultivate land for Mexican government (Source). American Indians were deeply upset over their lost promise for obtaining land and were no longer happy about living in missions. Since Spanish resources were spread thinly across North and South America during fighting, supplies going to missions became scarce. The missions and American Indians were left to fend for themselves. Immediately many missions in California were abandoned and churches fell in ruins (Source).