Stumbled across this video on The Gear Page today, and really thought it was worth re-posting here.
This idea of feeling the music in your entire body is something I have discussed with my students quite a bit over the years. Feeling a groove relates to the motion of your pick for sure, but something that a lot of students don’t really “get” is that it is more than just your pick or your picking hand–it is your entire body. When you see a musician onstage who almost appears to be dancing a little bit as he/she plays, chances are that movement is not just for the sake of looking good onstage–it’s because they’re feeling the music in their entire body. It is these musicians who seem like they just can’t miss–every note is right where it should be, everything is right in the pocket, and everything flows naturally.
When you listen to music, are you conscious of how it feels rhythmically? Does it make you move a little bit, even if you’re just sitting there in your car? When I’m playing, my picking hand is locked into the groove. But chances are I’m also tapping a foot, bobbing my head, or bouncing up and down a little. And that is all connected to my picking hand too, but the key is that it is all happening together.
Sometimes I’ll tell a student to try & tap a foot while playing something that we’re working on. If the student has a hard time doing it, that tells me instantly that something is not connecting for that student. If this whole idea of feeling the music in your body as you play is new to you, then I strongly suggest you start with tapping your foot as you play, and feeling how the tapping of your foot aligns with the motion of your pick. But also be aware that it goes beyond your foot and your pick, and that the feeling should be in your entire body.
Keep an eye out for some video lessons on this subject on this site.