New Folk Open Floor

Bangkok Folk Music Session – next session: 7.30pm Sunday 30th November at the Queen Bee, Sukhumvit Nils-Lofgren-1024x680Soi 26.

  • Location:, Google Maps: 13.727802, 100.570357.
  • This keeps to our ‘Last Sunday of the Month’ concept, and what’s more, it’s a great musicians’ venue and we have a regular meeting place now.
  • Our first session at Fatty’s Bar was a really good start, with some great fiddle playing from Jim, and a good bit of Irish Whistle from Michael. Tim (who helps organise the group) and Craig gave us some great guitar stuff, and I threw in a little bit of English whistle and five string banjo.
  • But we can do a lot more (I know that some people couldn’t find Fatty’s, so I’ve put the Google Map coordinates for Queen Bee on the meetup site:
  • Spread the word. Bring instruments, and help create a great folk music scene in Bangkok.
  • Any questions/suggestions contact: Richard at

Work Your Acoustic Sound

Old BillyThink About It!
Seriously. Do you really want to offend potential fans with ugly acoustic-guitar sounds? Hopefully, the answer is “no.” But if you dive blindly into processing, miking, and other live-sound applications without at least understanding the basics, you run the risk of tanking your tone. So do some homework, use rehearsals to experiment and refine (rather than just jam), and get your sonic act together before you step onstage. Continue reading

Acoustic Guitar Tips

Adjusting Your Action

acousticdoneIf your action feels wrong and the neck has been properly adjusted, it is time to look at the saddle. Lowering the action may require removing a bit of material from the saddle. Raising it may mean a new saddle or a shim under your existing saddle. If some strings are fine and others are too high or low, you should consider recontouring the top of your saddle. Otherwise, it is simpler and safer to make adjustments to the bottom.

To raise the action, I recommend using a new, properly fitted saddle, preferably made of bone—although many new synthetics are available. It is not always practical to have a new saddle made or to make one yourself. If you can’t get one, I suggest shimming what you have. Hardwood veneers are a good choice and readily available. Veneers are commonly .032-inch thick. They can be sanded if you need a thinner shim or stacked to achieve a taller one. At least half of the saddle should be within the bridge slot or it may tip forward or even break the leading edge of the bridge. Be extra careful if you have an undersaddle pickup. Changing your saddle could affect the string-to-string balance. If you need to lower the height of your saddle, sandpaper attached to a flat surface works well. Simply slide the saddle back and forth across the abrasive, being careful to keep the bottom of the saddle flat. It helps to mark with a pencil how much material you wish to remove and then sand to that mark.

- See more at:

I finished up my degree practicing 5 hours a day for an average of 5 days a week – with the exception of reading break, Christmas break, Spring break and any other break really. Add it all together and I practiced a rough average of 5,200 hours over those four years, not including any rehearsal times for the ensembles I played in. That’s 5,200 hours building callouses and dexterity. Not a lot of fun involved, just technique, technique, technique, technique.

To make it more difficult, I’m no perfect practicing specimen. I fought through daily thoughts of tying my guitar amp around my ankle and throwing it into the river. 5 hours practicing in a concrete basement with no windows can lead you to some pretty dark places.

How did I get through that? How did I stop whining and get practicing? How do you do the same? Here’s what you can do…
Continue reading

Going Solo!

The Key To Winning The Music Biz Game

This is the first in a 5-part series in which he’ll reveal the 5 Pillars to Music Success.

Pillar #1: Developing Your Music Success Mindset

So many musicians fill their days with busy work, so they can feel like they accomplished something. But few do the meaningful activities needed to actually move forwardWhy? Because busy work is safe. It’s comfortable. Fear of failure can be overwhelming . . . but fear of success is the real doozy!  To be successful you must grow. And that requires you to leave your comfort zone. Over and over. You grow, you get uncomfortable. But after awhile comfort sets in again – Time to grow again. So it’s time to be uncomfortable again.
And so on.

Continue reading

Nils Lofgren


10 Tips Playing An Acoustic Live

300px-Taylor415_acoustic1. Be nice to the sound engineer

The nice man or lady on the desk has The Power, so always be polite and respectful, even if they are treating you like a total amoeba. Learn their name, use it, and thank them before you leave.

2. Put your tuner on the floor

As well being in tune (hooray!), your floor tuner will also enable you to mute the guitar when you’re mumbling between songs [Oh, and don’t mumble between songs – Ed]. It might be a separate unit, or built into your floor preamp/effects unit.

3. Buy a new battery

Yes, they’re ridiculously expensive, but that battery in your guitar needs to be fresh to provide signal. Change it (or them) regularly and always have a spare in your case/gigbag. Anything less is amateur night.

4. Stand up!

Unless you’re famous enough to not have to and/or you’re on a high enough stage where people can see you, stand up while playing. Your body is more open, you’ll be more animated to look at and if you sing, the air has a better chance of coming out.

5. Bust the ‘back

Your guitar may have a manual notch filter on the preamp, which is there primarily to fight feedback. Let the feedback begin, then turn the notch filter until the worst offenders go away: magic.

6. Love hertz

These numbers will help. 70-80Hz is rumbly bass: roll it back. A bit of cut around 600-800Hz can do wonders for clarity in a band.

More 1-1.5kHz will help you cut through if you need it. 3.5kHz is the horrible piezo quack so go easy on that (or cut it with the parametric mid). Sparkly presence stuff is 10kHz+.

7. Slim down for the band

You might need to cut back on some frequencies inhabited by other instruments, especially bass guitar. It might not be the ‘perfect’ tone to your ears; it may be the right thing in the overall mix.

8. You’re all right (angled) jack

Minimise damage to your guitar cable and the base of your guitar by using a right-angled jack. Even better, invest a Neutrik Silent type to save the pops and bangs when you unplug and plug in.

9. Buy an acoustic amp

Yes, good ones are very expensive, but if you’re serious about playing the acoustic guitar live, it’ll put you so much more in control of your sound. And you’ll be able to hear yourself: never a bad thing!

10. Go higher

An acoustic guitar can be a big, bulky beast. Wearing the strap a little shorter than you would with your electric instrument will make it feel easier to play. No need to go silly, but a notch or two up will help!