Quick Tip – Staring at your fretboard

One thing almost every guitarist does at some point in their career is become attached to staring at their fretboard while they play. This is bad stage presence, but it is easy to fix. Sometimes, especially when playing something hard, it is necessary to look, but do not make it a habit. Here is a quick tip to fix your habit of staring at your fretboard.

TIP – Go into a dark room, the darker the better. You should not be able to see anything. This may work best at night in a dark room, or a room without windows. You could even consider putting a bandana over your eyes. Whatever you do, make vision impossible.

Once you have limited your vision start practicing guitar. Practice things you already know. Practice playing scales and chords without vision. You may find that you keep hitting wrong notes, but that is alright. Listen to what you play, if it sounds wrong, keep trying. Eventually you will become comfortable with the feeling and you will be able to perform these tasks without looking at the guitar. This may take some time, but keep being persistent.

Once you are able to play without looking at the guitar, it boils down to noticing when you start to stare. Keep an eye out on your behavior once you start playing. When you recognize yourself looking when you do not need to, stop it. After awhile it will become normal and subconscious.

Good luck, and sign up for the mailing list to get more lessons.

Music Business Part 3

In the last few music business articles, there are many suggestions on how to deal with the music business in general. I think it would be a good time to focus on a few personal skills. These three things will make your music career run more smoothly.

 

First: Having an egotistical thought process. This is probably the most common negative trait that musicians have. This is something that you would like to avoid. Most people who are egotistical do not go very far in the music business. Of course, there is a thin line between being confident and having an Ego. Confidence is a trait that you absolutely do want to have. The thing about having an ego is that, if you are so good, it makes others feel lesser. If you refer back to the article of music business part 1. It is recommended that you are friendly and easy to get along with. Having an ego can also lead to being hard to rehearse with and not being a team player. You want to be easy to rehearse with and you want to work well as a team so that the music will be the best that it can be. It will also be more fun.

 

Second: Tough skin. Sometimes the music business can be hard, especially in the academic setting.  Not everything in the music industry is horrible and cut throat, but it is there and you will experience it. It is impossible to have any job that does not have some kind of cut throat people in it. If someone is mean, just ignore it. If you get rejected or fired from a band, keep trying.

 

Third: Appreciate your job. Most people dream about being able to stand on stage and play music for others to enjoy. I think one of the most satisfying experiences is that you can change someone’s emotions by making noise. Enjoy the fact that this makes you a very powerful and influential person. It is easy to get down about certain things, but I hope you can learn to appreciate what a luxury it can be as well.

 

These are some tips on the mental aspects of the career. I hope that these enhance your life.

Music Business Part 1

Many people will say “You can’t make a living in music.” You will also hear that music is a tough career choice. The only reason this is true is because people have not learned the business part of being a musician. These 3 tips will help you better prepare yourself for job opportunities and raise your chance of success in this amazing career.

 

First: Be a go getter. Have you ever heard the phrase: “the only guaranteed way to fail is by not trying”? This is true. So the very fundamental concept that any musician can use to better their career in music is by trying to better their career in music. Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone about an opportunity. Do not be afraid to tell other musicians to keep you in mind if they ever need someone who plays your instrument. I have even seen people post on Facebook things similar to “I am free this Friday evening and need a gig on bass. Please call me if you need someone” The sad thing about life is that most people won’t remember to call you if you don’t remind them that you exist and are willing to play for them. People definitely will not call you If they do not even know you exist, so don’t be afraid to make a new contact.

 

Second: Be fast to reply to all possible opportunities. When someone calls you, messages you, emails you, or talks to you in person be fast to reply. The faster you can say yes, the more likely you will get the job rather than someone else who was also contacted. A faster reply also appears more professional. If you cannot do the job, still reply as quickly as you can. This is polite so that they know to keep looking. This gives him as much time as possible to find someone else. If you cannot do the job and you never reply, the person will probably think you are uninterested and will not ask you again in the future. If you reply quickly and say no, he may contact you again in the future.

 

Third: Appearance. A lot of musicians think about how they appear in front of a crowd of people they are playing for, but many people forget that the people that they are working with are just as important. You want to impress other musicians with your appearance. I am not talking about how you dress, although what you wear will make a difference in how people see you. I am talking about attitude. You need to appear approachable, friendly, nice, exciting, and fun to be with. No one would want to hire a cry baby who complains about his shoes being tied too tight during the last show. Always be friendly, and uplifting. Your goal is to make people like you on a personal level, or else they will probably hire someone else that they do like.

 

These are  tips that will completely change the way your music career will go. It is amazing at how many people either forget these tips, or avoid them and do not care. Good luck on your journey and keep an eye out for more posts about music business coming up!

The secret to getting good at guitar

Everyone will agree that there is no substitute for practicing. You may have heard about the 10 thousand hour rule to becoming an expert at something, but don’t let this scare you. This lesson will teach you the trick to getting better at guitar fast. We are not breaking any laws of science or anything; we are simply using a little to gain a lot. So let’s jump in and learn the secret to getting better at guitar.

 

The secret: Don’t freak out on me. It’s not magic. Learn to do one thing very well… Yep, that’s it. Are you disappointed?  Don’t be.

 

Most people when they practice guitar, they work out of a book, practicing strumming chords to songs they like, learning new chords, learning to play melodies etc. Try breaking this down and work on just learning new chords. Instead of jumping in and learning all 7 modes at one time, try to learn just 1 and use it the best you can.

 

Focusing on one idea at a time is going to take you much farther than over whelming yourself. So keep it real and keep it focused.