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Guitar Tips for the Aspiring Shaman
Over the years, I've been asked for tips on playing the guitar by a few people.
I don't consider myself to be a shaman
by any stretch of the imagination. I'm a messed
up cat like everyone else. But I realize and
embrace the healing power of music...
1. Breathe deeply when you play! - You need to release tension.
If you watch any great guitarist jam - Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen,
Carlos Santana, etc., you'll notice their strong
focus on breath! Besides opening up channels
to invisible forces and vibes, it actually guides your
phrazing in a beautiful way.
Breath in: ease off. Breath out: Release. Try it...

2. Phrase your solos! - A phrased solo always
sounds better than a frantic stream of consciousness.
Think of your solos as verbal communication. Stop for air.
Pause between sentences. People connect better with that human element.

3. Embrace the ritual! - Try this:
Say a prayer,
wash your hands or wipe off your strings(it's symbolic of a fresh connection)
every time before you practice, or light a candle.
Smoke a doobie, if that's what you're into.
but always create a new beginning and an opened state of mind
before you pick up your axe. Show it that
it's a holy instument to you. It'll reward you for it.

4. Jam along with the radio!! - OK, so you won't
dig every song. It's all about versatility!
Just crank the radio up and play with every song.
Don't play their lines- compliment them.
Jam your goddamn ass of and make that song kick even more ass
than it already does. Solo like a maniac! Fuck yeah, you can...

5. Can you whistle it?? - I don't care how
billy-joe-badass you are. Don't matter if you can
whittle the balls off a charging rhino. If you can't leave your guitar
and whistle or hum your lines, FuGgedabout people digging it for long!!

So get off your ass and pick up that guitar!!!!!!

-Jeff Sanders is an aspiring shaman and creator of the zen psychedelic music of
Mountain Mirrors -


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