You Can’t Teach Musicality

You can learn to be technically proficient, know every scale in the book but If you don’t move people with your playing, it’s not worth it.


The problem is you can’t teach people how move the emotions of others. We call this skill musicality.


mu·si·cal·i·ty  /ˌmyo͞oziˈkalətē/

1. Tastefulness and accomplishment in music.
2. The quality of being melodious and tuneful.


I can tell you who plays with great musicality, but as you can see from the definition, its kind of hard to define. [sorry!]



My Take on Musicality

However, I’ll try my best to define it in simple terms.


To me; it’s how you chose to play the notes, the choice to slightly accent the third note or to miss out two notes in the chord or how you move the timing around. The subtleties that you add, which make an average player, into a great player. It’s the added complexity that makes it easy to listen to.



So who has great feeling and musicality?

Again, to me, B.B King is the first person who pops to mind. He’s not fast or flashy, but you get a real sense of his emotions in every played or sung note. Another blues player who comes to mind is Stevie Ray Vaughn.


If you’ve tried transcribing Stevie, you’ll know he’s pushing and pulling the beat around the whole time, clearly no metronomic drummers need apply for his band! But it sounds great and you really want to press the repeat button when you hear it.


Someone like Taylor Eigsti who is a piano player is full of passion just check him out in the clip below. Yes, he’s smiling like a small child at Christmas. [the track starts around the 5 min mark – after a drum solo].


Its simply, incredible. Personally, I could listen to him play all day, it full of complexity, light and shade. Lovely!



Let’s finish up with another guitarist, Tommy Emanuel, sure he’s a technical monster. But, just listen to his feel, listen to how he is having fun and how it make you want to listening to it again. And again, and again.

Leave a Reply

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>