Sometimes when I hear powerful music I envision a rearing horse, mane flowing and nostrils flaring. I don’t know, it’s strange, it just floats in slow motion through my mind. Burns a glowing ember inside my soul. Makes me want to turn into the music, living in that moment of perfection – or to turn into that horse and strike the air with angry hooves, eyes wild and glinting with freedom and rage. There is something similar to understanding the spirit of a horse to understanding the emotional release of playing guitar.
I can look into the eye of a horse I’m training and see myself. Sometimes it’s cathartic, sometimes it’s enlightening. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes I don’t like it. If you know how to read horse behaviour their thoughts become transparent to you because they live in the moment, and they want you to understand them because it makes them feel safer – they take comfort in knowing you’re understanding them. And they make it very obvious if you know how to pay attention.
Like the horse, the true guitar player is living in the moment and exuding the raw emotion of that exact moment. That is the pinnacle of guitar playing. At least it is for me. Your soul seems to take over from your physical being. Often I catch myself in mid solo where time slows down – or does it speed up? – and it doesn’t seem like I’m playing, I’m just feeling. Just like a horse. So perhaps there’s nothing better than playing guitar except maybe being a horse.