How to Play Air Guitar
Possibly the most influential instrument of our time, the air guitar has inspired millions to pick up rock, all without knowledge of how to play instrument or even how to read music. It's the spirit that counts and air guitarists worldwide have a meaningful connection through the joy of strumming away at the imaginary guitar.
Being a tool of the imagination, it's not hard to learn to play air guitar but there is a certain art involved, in knowing how to make it look awesome. It's also a total essential to have heaps of fun doing it, either solo or with friends.
Find the right sort of music.It's recommended that you try metal/rock or punk, as these tend to have the right pace, energy and rhythm needed for good air guitar playing. Most air guitar players are simulating electric guitar music like rock and heavy metal. On the whole, most other music genres are a lot harder to play air guitar to, some being too slow, some too melancholy and some just plain too complicated.
Pick an appropriate song and section.A guitar solo section is always the best place to play air guitar. The longer this section, the better, giving you a great chance to really get involved in the playing. Be sure to include some riffs.
Listen to the notes first.Try to imagine thatyouare creating the sounds that you're hearing. Part of imitating is believing, visualizing yourself up there on stage being the center of attention as the crowd hollers for more, more, more!
- When you play the music for the air guitar session, the music must be as loud as you (and those around you) can withstand. It's best that way!
Get the stance right.Spread your legs out wide, bend your knees a bit and put your right hand about level with your crotch. Hold the guitar in place––bend both arms between 75 and 90 degrees, one hand in front of your belt buckle. Your palm should face you at the appropriate fret spot that a real guitar player would play frets and have the other hand up in the air with the fingers spread, bent and pointing toward you.
Start strumming and fingering the 'frets'.When playing, here are some things to bear in mind:
- The higher the note, the lower your hand should be placed.
- Don't put your strumming hand down too low, no real guitar player will play with the guitar down to their knees, except Fieldy from Korn.
- Occasionally caress the imaginary neck of your guitar, running your hand up and down it.
- Get moving! This isn't just about shifting your fingers and arms around. Get the whole body involved. Bend those knees, lift those legs, jump up and down now and then. Jerky movements and slides across the "stage" are great additions too.
- If you want to be really cool, try some Jimi Hendrix style moves with your air guitar; behind your head, playing with teeth, doing spins and moves like that. You could even smash it up at the end don't worry it'll fix itself.
Add some singing.While performing your exaggerated strumming motion, accompany this with loud singing or lip-syncing. This step is optional; you don't have to be a singing guitar player and you might not find a suitable combination of music with energetic singing. However, if you do love the lyrics, this can really help get you into the spirit.
- Loud "yeahs" are considered mandatory by some air guitar players, so even if you can't sing, you can holler!
Grab a buddy.It's fun alone and twice the fun with someone else. Get an air buddy willing to jam with you. Maybe they can join in on bass? You will look much less ridiculous and others might even join in. In fact, the more the merrier. Let it rock!
Finish with a bow.Your audience will applaud.
- You will already look stupid to those whom do not know the art of air 'Axin, so go ahead and enjoy yourself.
- Some good bands to play air guitar to include: Metallica, Exodus, Disturbed (not thrash, but for a lighter air guitar), and so on. Thrash hasthe bestguitar solos for air guitar.
- If you're really good, enter the US air guitar championships. Nothing like a winner!
- If you're really good, you could try the back flip beer can crush of US Air Guitar champ Andrew "William Ocean" Litz. Of course, you have to bereallygood, fit and flexible to achieve this but maybe you have a great move of your own that you can perfect.
- While playing air guitar, it is easy to lose control of your senses. Be careful of objects and people around you so that you don't crash into them or knock them over. If you're liable to jumping around, remove sharp cornered furniture and have soft landings such as rugs, carpets and gym mats around.
- Those who don't "get" air guitar playing will stare at you and perceive immaturity. It's their loss; they just don't know how to have fun.
- Too much head-banging can cause light headedness and nausea. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and you might be lucky enough to avoid queasiness.
Sources and Citations
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