During a recent interview with Jon Wertheim, the iconic rockstar Prince’s keyboard player and musical director for more than 20 years Morris Hayes and backing singer Shelby J., revealed the late musician’s secret to performing such amazing solos.
During a recent conversation with Jon Wertheim, while giving him a tour of the Purple One’s Paisley Park studios, Hayes and Shelby recalled the advice that Prince gave them about performing solos and captivating the audience’s attention which was more related to the attitude that you have rather than the music you play.
Apparently, the ‘ugly’ secret behind Prince’s iconic solos was his facial expression. At some point, he had told Hayes that the first secret is to write down the solo and think it out so that you can play it again and again. Shelby recalled that his second secret was the ‘ugly face‘ he would make while playing a solo which would attract the audience’s attention to what he was doing with his instrument.
Here’s what Prince told Morris Hayes:
“He said, ‘Morris, if you wanna do a great solo. Write it out, think it out so that when you go to play it, you can play it again.'”
Shelby recalled that he would make a specific facial expression while performing solos:
“He would make that ugly face, you know, ‘the face.'”
Hayes chimed in and said:
“Gotta make the ugly face. You had to get some contortion face or the note won’t even get out right unless you make an ugly face.”
Shelby went on to add:
“I would watch him play guitar and sound out what he’s doing with his mouth and I could see that connection.”
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