[I posted this over a year ago on another blog. I’m bringing all my music posts to this site.]
My advice for Tina is superfluous because 1) she has probably heard it before and 2) she already shows strong understanding of the concepts.
Beyond acquiring an array of technical skills, it is important to visualize whatever piece being performed as a “whole”…like a picture in the mind….a fine unity through practice and the whole performance. It is necessary to visualize the image intellectually as a whole, as a unity – not parts- and to feel it sensually though the whole mind and body. In this manner, the piece holds together in integrity and gains a depth that is perceived by listeners. Probably 90% of listeners couldn’t say exactly what it is that makes the performance so enthralling and exceptional, but they will recognize its power. If you create a unified mental picture, a full multidimensional visual picture – much more than the sum of its parts – as well as possess the requisite technique, your performance will surpass the many who play “in parts” to show off virtuosic skills or skill of sentiment (as usual in non-classical performances.) This is not to say that you will eschew virtuosity. Not at all. Your virtuosity will be greater and in far more depth than it would be otherwise. (I don’t want to overstate the case, but I think practice of the above raises the level of any performance and adds a kind of ineffable distinction and power that is really the point of music when all the chatter is finished.)
I also need to mention beauty. I would advise you to steep yourself in deep beauty in all the arts. (I’m speaking of beauty in no narrow sense.) I think your experience of it will produce resonances in the “picture” in your mind spoken of above, and resonance equals power and depth.
Tina, I believe you have an understanding of what I am saying, and it is displayed in your guitar playing. It’s one of the things that impresses me and sets you apart from others and why I am so pleased to be present at the beginning of your career.