If you ask any successful person if their career has gone exactly as they planned it and I doubt you would get one affirmative answer. Careers (and life in general) are really hard to plan out and structure to our liking. There are too many variables that are out of our control. My theory is that successful people succeed, in large part, because they are able to react and respond well when something unexpected happens. When something doesn't go according to plans, they don't give up. They evaluate their new options and then pick another road to take.
Oakland, CA-based jazz guitarist Jimmy Grant (who I happened to meet on a plane coming back from the NAMM Show) used quite a different process for his latest release, 5 in 5; write a song a day for five days. Record on the sixth day. Release it on the seventh.
Touring for me is a test of endurance. I keep myself fit, eat well, sleep, and rest my voice when possible. It's not very rock 'n roll, but touring when you're sick is pretty miserable, so I try to avoid that.
One simple technique that is often used to spice up many chords – and in the process make a lot of garden-variety chord progressions sound more interesting – is the manner-on. To play a hammer-on, pick a string and then, while the note is still ringing, sound a higher note on that same string by firmly tapping, or “hammering,” it onto the fretboard with one of your fretting fingers without picking it again.
There’s no doubt that we develop special relationships with our guitars. Now, these relationships are under threat, as the unique woods used to make guitars may be running out. The Musicwood documentary tells this story by following the Musicwood Coalition, a group of the world’s foremost guitar-makers — Chris Martin (Martin Guitars), Bob Taylor (Taylor Guitars), and Dave Berryman (Gibson) — as they drop their competitive differences and journey together to the Tongass, a remote forest in SE Alaska.
Love Mumford and Sons? Joni Mitchell? Led Zeppelin? Patti Griffin? Have you tried to play their songs but just couldn’t make them sound quite right? Welcome to the world of alternate tunings. Not all songs are written for, or played in, the standard E-A-D-G-B-E tuning. Alternate tunings open up a whole new world for guitarists willing to look beyond the standard tuning, offering the possibility of creating combinations of notes not previously available, or only available to those with enormous hands.
As a whole, writers are not the most secure people in the world. Many of us battle insecurity daily. Maybe it’s because we have to put ourselves out there in a vulnerable position any time we let someone hear our songs.
Now's your chance to not only attend the NAMM show, but to play there live on-stage! The John Lennon Songwriting Contest folks have opened up a slot in there yearly concert to two lucky winners! If you are chosen you get to go to the show, perform at their concert, and win some great prizes. Hurry! Entries close November 12.
Normally we don't get head over heels excited about the loads of news releases that hit our mailbox every day. But today is the exception! We had never heard of Lake Street Dive before, but WOWZA, we definitely are gonna keep tabs on what this band is up to.
On October 15th, Chris Cornell began his second North American “Songbook” acoustic tour in San Diego. The tour will continue throughout the month of November, and due to overwhelming demand, four additional December dates have been added to the run.
Our friends over at SongTownUSA have just announced a new songwriting contest with some pretty unique prizes. You can't just set foot in Nashville and write with a hit songwriter any day of the week, after all!
The Tapo by Editors Keys takes two common accessories — a capo and a clip-on tuner — and puts them together in one handy piece. The capo end of the Tapo is indeed a sturdy metal capo. It has appropriate rubber padding so it doesn't scratch your instrument. There's a visible spring that keeps tension in order.
Certain memorable themes, like those of Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me” and Gustavo Santaolalla’s "Brokeback Mountain," to name just two, artfully derive melodies and chordal accompaniment from an extraordinarily useful system called scale harmony.
In 2013, YouTube is one of the many platforms giving artists the audience and tools to catapult into stardom, and the brothers of Boyce Avenue–Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano–are one of the best examples of this trend. With tens-of-millions of plays on any given video, the band is nothing short of a phenomenon, and their hard work online has clearly paid off in the physical world, too