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What's the difference between a pianist and god?
god doesn't think he's a pianist

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Messages - Nick

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Articles / Five Part Rock Guitar Lesson
« on: January 26, 2015, 03:10:36 PM »

Articles / HOW TO GET MORE GIGS! part 2
« on: January 26, 2015, 01:30:02 PM »

How to begin?
The most important aspect of being a performer is the performance. You need a quality product and you need to present something that people will want more of. If youíre not prepared and canít put on an impressive performance, you wonít be asked back or even worse, you wonít be given a gig in the first place. You also need a way of showing potential employers what you can do. If you donít have your own website, you can at least set up a Facebook account solely for the purpose of your live work. I recommend setting up your own website because it shows that you take this stuff seriously and youíve made a commitment to doing things to the best of your ability. Thereís nothing wrong with having only a Facebook account, but I feel a combination of a good Facebook account and a website is more impressive. These days, it will only cost you a few dollars a month to have a professional online presence and itís not too hard to build the site yourself!
I should stress the importance of having a quality online presence as itís probably the first impression youíll get to make on the person responsible for making bookings. Theyíll want to see how you present yourself and how you sound. Theyíll be interested to see where you've played in the past and how many bookings you currently have. Imagine the type of things you look for when youíre checking out service providers yourself. You would be more likely to look further into a business that instills confidence from its well presented website over a business that gives off a bit of a dodgy feel!
So, whatever means you use to represent yourself to potential bookers is very important, but next to that, is the presentation of what you actually do. No one will book you based solely on the quality of your web presence. Theyíll want to hear and/or see what you can actually do. Theyíll picture you performing in their venue and try to imagine whether or not their usual patrons will like you. Iím not saying to second guess what any particular patrons may or may not think of you, Iím saying you should try and represent accurately what YOU do. You wonít be suitable for every type of venue, but you want the best chance of being selected for the ones that you are suitable for.
Here, Iíll guide you through producing your own high quality demo that you can point people to.

Articles / Click Track With Feeling :-)
« on: January 24, 2015, 01:32:03 PM »
Have you ever recorded to a machine based click track and felt constrained somehow? Sometimes it seems like you're fighting against the machine, trying to inject a bit of feeling into the performance, but you're dealing with a clinical time master. For a lot of cases, it's worth it to work this way, as the more you add to your project, the better things will sound if they're added to a solid grounding. However, for simple songs, there are ways to keep all the instruments in time, yet preserve subtle time dilations and performance dynamics.

One method I have often used when producing acoustic based artists is to have them perform a guide track with a microphone positioned near their foot. Place something hard under their foot so you can record a definitive sound. The sound itself doesn't matter, as long as it's audible. As the artist records the guide track, you'll also be recording a separate, organic, click track for use for the addition of more instruments to the project.

Another method is basically the opposite of the above. You have the performer record their basic guide with one instrument and a vocal and this is usually on the same track with one microphone. You then make a copy of this guide track and playing it back, slice on every bar or second bar. Just play it back with your finger on the slice key! Then, approximate the tempo of the song and from the last bar, snap its beginning to the nearest bar marker of the project. Do this for all slices. Then, go back to the end of the song and time stretch each chopped up section to snap the ends to the end of their relative bars. You'll have a natural sounding performance, but it'll be timed to perfection. Why would you want this? Having a machine synced performance makes it easy to arrange sections of the song and also makes it very convenient for adding sequenced sections. You can hand sequence a keyboard or string part and then just drop copies of it wherever you like in the project and they'll fit perfectly. It also allows you to add a simple drum track for use instead of a click. Many people find it hard to play well to a click track and a simple drum beat seems to aid them.

NOTE: In most modern software, there are options to automatically chop up a track and sync it to the project tempo. I suggest trying the manual method only if the automatic results are problematic. The automatic method may work best if you combine the foot generated click track with your guide performance, as the software will have a steady 'beat' to identify with.

Guitars / Re: about casino stage series guitar
« on: January 23, 2015, 12:17:45 PM »
Looks like a nice one! I'd like to see a video of it in action!

Articles / HOW TO GET MORE GIGS! part 1
« on: January 19, 2015, 07:37:40 PM »
Itís possible to make a living as a live performer, lots of people do it. Itís difficult though and it takes tenacity, a skillful approach and plenty of PASSION. Youíd be crazy to want to choose live performing as your profession unless you have the drive to give it a red hot go. I currently do this as my sole form of income and things are looking pretty good for me at the moment. But I didnít get off to a great start and I wasted time doing things that ultimately held back my career. Throughout this book Iíll try to help you avoid the errors I made, whilst explaining to you the operating methods I taught myself and currently use daily.

Iíve been performing as a solo acoustic musician for 25 years and in this book, I hope to share with you as much of what Iíve learnt as possible. Making music a successful career is very rewarding and comes with many perks. You get to travel to different cities and towns, you get to meet lots of people and you get a sense of pride at being paid to entertain a room full of people. Itís not all plain sailing though and from the get go, Iíd like to make it clear that there is no quick and easy way to achieve success in the music industry. To get to the point of making a living from performing live, you need to stick with it and keep your focus on getting the results you want. There will be times when you donít think itís worth it, or you feel that youíre never going to reach your expectations, but I advise you to remain passionate and keep trying!
Using this book as a reference, youíll be able to avoid many of the mistakes I made and approach your career armed with some valuable, hard earned knowledge. Think of it as a Ďleg upí that will get you up to speed and tackling the important things, without wasting time in areas that probably wonít be of any benefit. Having said that, never forget that thereís no one answer! Always be on the look out for ideas and others that are sharing their experience, because every little bit of knowledge is potentially very valuable.

Who is this book for?
There are two main categories of live music performance before you break things down into style and genre. One is covers and the other is originals. In this book, Iíll cover tips and methods for giving yourself the best chance of success in either covers or originals music, but the emphasis will be on people wanting to start or continue a career as a covers entertainer - more specifically, a solo acoustic performer. Nearly all the information relating to a career in covers performance will apply to originals acts though, and it will be made explicitly clear where a section applies only to one or the other.
If youíre thinking of trying to start off or continue as a professional solo acoustic musician playing either covers or your own material, youíll certainly find plenty of useful information in this book.

Why do this?
Itís a simple question, but worth exploring because if your reason for being in the music industry is not clear, you may find it hard to remain inspired enough to make it work. For most of us, a career in music and entertainment is a way to earn a living by exploiting a skill weíve invested much expense, time and effort in. Why work in some job you hate, when youíre in possession of a talent that is in demand? Or, it might be that you simply want to take you music to the world and think itís good enough to be given the best chance possible. Both cases represent paths that will require different approaches, and weíll explore both in depth in the following pages.
What do you need?
You need your voice and a guitar (keyboard is interchangeable with guitar throughout this book!)  to be a solo acoustic musician. Then you need a repertoire of well learnt material. You also need a plan of attack and thatís where this book will help you.

What to expect?
This depends on where youíre currently at in your music career. If youíve been out there looking for gigs and probably getting a few, you can expect to improve on your current situation. Iíll show you how to build on the gigs youíve already played and hopefully step things up based on that. If youíre completely new to the game and not really sure how to go about things, hopefully Iíll explain in great detail many of the important aspects of being a live performance musician.


Guitars / Re: Show us your guitars!
« on: January 16, 2015, 04:21:07 PM »
Here's some I've owned over the years. Only the LP remains...

General Discussion / Do you ever wish...
« on: September 21, 2014, 10:39:21 PM »
Do you wish you could experience music as a non musician?

Written Lessons / I Can See For Miles - The Who (guitar solo)
« on: September 17, 2014, 08:36:42 PM »
Here'e how to play the guitar solo from the Who's 'I Can See for Miles'. There's nothing too challenging, but your timing should be undertaken with care.

Here's how to do it:
Pick the E note on the 7th fret of the A string in a series of semi-quavers. To mix it up, you could play the E note on the 2nd fret of the D string, or the E note on the 12th fret of the E string.

Written Lessons / Baby Animals - Early Warning (arpeggios)
« on: September 17, 2014, 01:54:51 PM »
This is the arpeggio refrain that occurs in the middle of the song and as the outro:

In standard tuning...

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GTR 2 (note: slide up to the A# on the D string at the start of each arpeggio)
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Keys / On The Run (tutorial parts 1 and 2)
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:34:44 PM »

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