I've been noticing a trend amongst younger guitarists on YouTube and elsewhere; it's a distinct lack of melody. Speed, blazing technique, sweeps and taps are all fine and incredible and have my deepest respect. I know the hours of practice and dedication it takes to acquire these techniques. But in the studio world, the place where people hire you to play the way THEY want, these styles are rarely used.
This week, I'd like to say a few words about the most commonly used effects in the studio for guitarists. I'd also like to preface this blog with a word of advice: When the idea comes to mind as to which effects should you buy first, or which brand is best, I will answer those immediately: You will need as many effects as you can carry, so buy them when you can.
A while ago, I was asked if I were interested in writing an article, possibly monthly, on technology. I declined. Technology can certainly influence the sound of music. It also can influence the creation of music. But we have choices to make in our lives. A simple left or right turn can alter your future forever.
Have you ever picked up a guitar, plugged it in, and the magic just wasn't there? Maybe it's because the combination wasn't there! A basic rule: Buy the best gear you can afford. Buy the best guitars, the best amps. Then plug them into each other in different combinations and listen. Listen hard. Sometimes I like to believe that when we buy a new guitar, we should also buy an amp it sounds great through! Here's something I've discovered: A Fender Guitar ALWAYS sounds good through a Fender amp.
This week I would like to thank everyone so much for all the emails. It really helps me to understand what I can say here to help you become a better player and become a session player. And remember, you can leave comments right here about this topic or any future topic you have any questions about.
I often get asked what is the best way to train for session work. Of course, you have to be able to sight read, know how to read chord charts, have your gear together, and finally be able to play in various styles. Of course, we can and will go into great details in other blogs, but for now I am going to give you some advice I learned some time ago. Learn cover tunes!
Hi, gang! I'm often asked how much I charge for sessions. I am not going to talk actual dollars and cents; however, I can give you the guidelines I use to earn a FAIR wage. These days, home studios are commonplace. That being said, we all must learn how to negotiate a fee. I do not believe in making the quick buck and charging everyone the same. Why? The economy. I would rather make less than make nothing at all. And there are many varying reasons why we can, and maybe should, use a sliding scale when speaking of payment.
What do Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards, Andy Summers, The Edge, James Hetfield and Jimi Hendrix have in common? They are all great rhythm players. These guys, and so many more, have restructured and redesigned the role and sound of playing rhythm guitar. And since 80 percent or more of your musical life may very well be spent playing rhythm, we should talk about it.
Each day typically begins around 5 a.m. That's when I get my personal time to exercise, walk, plan meals, etc. Take care of yourself first! When the real work day starts, it can be difficult to halt the momentum and take time out for exercising and eating healthy. I learned this the hard way. Enough said.
So a question I'd like to respond to this week: "Was there ever a session that went wrong ... a bad experience?" Here's my story ... I remember no names. The studio was in Long Island, NY, in the 1980s. It was a day I wished I never had ... but it ended up OK ... and a big lesson was learned.