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…
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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.

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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!



Stuck In A Rut?

Old BillyIt isn’t fun to get stuck in a rut. Sometimes you can chase the musical muse down the metaphorical rabbit hole and get wedged in there, unable to back out or to go any deeper. It can feel pretty frustrating, and at a certain point a rut can discourage you from playing altogether. Or maybe you’re not in a rut: maybe you just want to get better, and fast. Either way, the trick to technical transcendence is often found in how you approach the guitar from a philosophical rather than physical point of view. We’ve compiled 25 tricks that will help you to up your skill level, whether you’re stuck in a rut or if you just want to bolt a new dimension or two onto your playing. Continue reading

Classical Gas

Padet Netpakdee, a renowned professional Thai classical guitarist, is recruiting students starting from mid July. Beginner-level students are also welcomed. Padet graduated a bachelor of music from College of Music, Mahidol University, where he studied with many fine Thai Classical guitarists and Dr. Paul Cesarczyk. He also held a master degree from the Netherlands (studied with Carlo Marchione) and a performance diploma from USA (studied with Sergio Assad.) Padet is a Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition semi finalist, and many international prizes receiver. He is one of a few Thai classical guitarists that has reached international achievement.

For full biography and audio, please visit: http://www.padetguitarist.comhttp://www.facebook.com/padetnetpakdee

For more information, please contact the artist’s manager: oranatc@gmail.com

Det 5 Open Mic Monday

Happy HourOPEN MIC Mondays at 8 pm, get on down to Det 5 Music Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 8 and strut your musical stuff. Use your instrument or the house guitar, bass and drums. Book a slot, bring your band, join the fun. Great food and drink you can truly afford too! Trade an instrument or service – a great networking night out…with free music!