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Guitar Musician e-zine 07/12/2006
In This Issue:
| ".. although one can get very clever at home, progress
comes a lot quicker if you step into a room with other people and start
- Steve Howe / Yes
A man in Tyler had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and
proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it.
Then he got back in the car to wait.
A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was.
The man replied, "I have a flat tire."
The passerby asked, "But what's with the flowers?"
The man responded, "When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back! I never did understand it either."
A Lesson For The Learning
Interested in guitar lessons? - Be sure and check out the guitar lessons offered by Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar
GUITAR Q AND A
Designing a Daily Practice Routine
Ian Hudson; The United Kingdom
Q: Do you have any tips for practice routines that will help me progress quickly? By the way, I just finished the Learn Rock Guitar Beginner DVD and ordered the Intermediate program today. I went from knowing nothing three months ago to being able to play songs now!!! Thank you John McCarthy.
A: Very cool that you are jamming away in just three months! Just think what you will be playing like in three years...I'll be hearing you on the radio I bet.
Practice routines are one of my specialties. The key to having a great practice routine is diversity followed by consistent practice.
Here is an example of some contents I feel are essential:
1. A good picking exercise that concentrates and isolates on your picking hand coordination.
2. A fretting hand exercise that gives you a good challenge. Hard finger coordination's and skipping strings are good challenges.
3. A good exercise that helps build the coordination of both hands together.
4. Scale work. Pick a different scale each day to go through with patterns of two's, three's, and four's this helps build scale knowledge and finger coordination too.
5. Find a single string Classical piece that you can learn section by section. This will help you gain a great sense of melody and most pieces will give your fingers a fairly good workout too.
Remember to practice the routine everyday for at least two weeks before changing it up. Use a metronome to help gauge your progress by bumping it up a few notches every day.
Hope this helps!
Yours in Music
Feature Paid Advertisement
Don't Quit Your Day Job
Last year, I had a chance to do just that, and I learned a few things during my exciting, though sometimes heartbreaking year of freedom. Although it certainly feels great to throw caution to the wind and dive head first into pursuing your dream, my biggest barrier to success remained the same. I simply did not use my time and resources wisely.
Without a day job, I felt like I had all the time in the world, and filled a lot of it with trips to the gym, reorganizing my apartment and lunches with friends. "I don't have the time" is a great excuse, but it stems from our human fear of failure, as well as our fear of success. The truth is that most people are comfortable living their lives and dreaming their dreams, to the point where their dream becomes their reason to live. If they were to achieve their dream, what would they live for? Or worse, what if they tried and failed?
For a performing artist, touring is the number one thing you figure you don't have time to do with a day job. In my entire year off, I only did a handful out of town gigs because I had to be cautious with money and I felt that my time was better spent going to music conferences like South By Southwest and the TAXI Road Rally. Conferences are fantastic because they give you a chance to play in new cities while networking with industry and other artists. However, most of these conferences are scheduled for weekends, so it would make more sense to get a Friday off from work, pack up a few demos, and report back Monday morning with a stack of new contacts to keep in touch with. Sure, it's a tough schedule, but those steady paychecks sure come in handy when you need to book airfare and order more copies of your CD for the next conference.
I always thought that if I had more time I would sit down every single day and write hit song after hit song. Once I had the time, I was so wrapped up in the logistics of how to make a living with the music I had, not to mention the pressure of the ticking clock of my dwindling savings, I never got around to writing new music. When you're working and your bills are getting paid, all day you yearn to be creative, so when you feel that spark of inspiration, you hold onto it with every fiber. I also found that by removing myself from the daily experiences and emotions of a "normal" life, I had very little to write about that an audience could relate to. I began to miss the structure and security of my cubicle.
At the end of my year off I hadn't achieved the success I hoped for, couldn't write a song to save my life, and I was burnt out and exhausted from trying. I honestly felt that if I couldn't make it in that whole year on my own, maybe I wasn't cut out for the life of a full-time musician. Devastated, I took a day job and three months away from writing, playing or generally being around my music (ironic, don't ya think?). I needed to gather my thoughts, rediscover my creativity, and remember why I took that monumental risk and gave my dream a full-time shot in the first place.
Succeeding in my new job gave me back a basic sense of accomplishment every day, and I learned to make the most of my nights and weekends. I started coming up with lyrics at my desk and I'm recording an EP of new songs with my steady paycheck. As a songwriter, I generally steer away from cliches, but it turns out there are no truer words then "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it," and more importantly, "Don't quit your day job."
Mara is a singer/songwriter/TAXI member living in Los Angeles and keeping busy with Music Connection Magazine and www.marasong.com. She also writes bios and press releases for artists at www.flyingcoasterpr.com.
Brought to you by TAXI: The Independent A&R Vehicle that connects unsigned artists, bands and songwriters with major record labels, publishers, and film & TV music supervisors.
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