Josh Homme, the frontman and guitarist of Queens of the Stone Age, believes that there is a significant difference between playing your instrument and practicing it. However, Homme recognizes the crucial role that practicing plays in the development of any musician, including guitarists.
However, as he told young Logan Kelly in the “Logan Sounds Off” podcast, he pointed out how he usually focused on the playing aspect, even still approaching it as sort of children’s play and looking at his guitars as “toys.”
When asked for advice he’d give to younger guitar players who are starting out, Homme replied (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):
“So in terms of playing guitar — for years, I’ve always gripped everything [hard]. And I think the key is to just not push too hard. Follow the guitar where it goes. Don’t push too hard. That’s what I think.”
“When I’m playing my best, I’m not trying to force the guitar,” he also pointed out. “I’m just trying to follow it.”
Going into the matter, Homme also reflected on how the somewhat tiresome aspect of practicing compares to just playing, especially for someone who’s young. When he was a kid, playing polka on guitar wasn’t all that exciting. But at the same time, Josh found something else in his 6-string instrument.
“Look, I had polka lessons when I was your age,” the QOTSA frontman said. “I didn’t love it. Polka, for a 12-year-old, is not it’s not always the best thing.”
“So I gotta admit, I didn’t practice all the time. But I did play all the time. I played — and there’s a difference.”
Going further into it, Homme explained new ways he approached his guitar, offering
“So there’s practice. But playing… I was doing open tunings and drop tunings and realizing the guitar is whatever I say it is. And I was playing all the time. So even though I wasn’t really practicing, I was playing.”