This is my podcast where I share insight on life as a freelance musician. I share tips, tricks, and strategies to be more successful in the music industry today by bringing on guests that are currently working in the industry to describe their approach and give some advice. Click the picture above to listen to the podcast.

This is my podcast where I share insight on life as a freelance musician. I share tips, tricks, and strategies to be more successful in the music industry today by bringing on guests that are currently working in the industry to describe their approach and give some advice. Click the picture above to listen to the podcast.

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Preparing for Recitals 

I should've posted this before my students had their recitals this last Sunday but I actually learned so much from the experience that it actually works out better that I'm doing it now. 

I gathered all of my students in a practice and I explained to them how proud of them I was and how no matter what happens, they've already done the work and I already know they can play so now the goal is to go out and have fun. I reminded them to keep a smile on their faces and to breath deeply and and to relax. The performers all did wonderfully and I was very proud.

What I learned from this experience on my first multi instrument recital was:

-To organize the program in such a way that facilitates easier stage transitions.
-To not block students with music stands
-To make programs earlier
-To pass out my business cards after the concert
-To take more photos at the end of concerts

I have another recital with my middle school students next Thursday and will most likely add to this list

Auditions 

I've been going on a lot of auditions lately. I've done some for Rock acts, Hip Hop, Gospel, Jazz, and a Musical. What has helped me do well at auditions lately is that I've had all gear in working order and can dial the tones up that I need for the genre I'm working on right away. I just bought a new Princeton Reverb. The version I have has a 12" speaker instead of the usual 10".

Currently on my board I have a Line 6 M9 that takes care of all of my modulation, delay, reverb, and loops. I use my Mesa Boogie Flux Drive to get my dirty rhythm sound and my JHS Boost, to give me a thicker lead tone. Being able to dial in my tones very quickly saves me a lot of time and helps me be more confident in my presentation. Another thing that has helped a lot is my practice regimen. I've been practicing for the same amount of time (about two hours a day) but I break it into smaller, more practical chunks. Instead of playing songs for two hours, I practice chord fragments over different backing tracks. So I'm learning one concept and applying it to more than one genre. 

When I get to the audition, I try to get there at least thirty minutes early as to give myself time to check the place out and see what the setup is. For instance, one audition I did, I was required to perform with no track or band at all. That was a strange situation, but as a guitarist, there will be many strange situations and doing as many auditions (whether you get them or not) will have you better equipped to deal with anything that might come your way. Another instance of this was for the church gig I recently got, my audition was to go in and play with the band, even thought I'd never heard the songs nor had I met any of the other musicians prior.

My advice is to try to listen to the artist beforehand if you can and play along to some of their music. Try to get as much information as possible (I.e. Is there sheet music, a reference track, what key is it in, do you want it played exactly like the recording) All of this helps eliminate guess work and allows you to be more successful at each subsequent audition. Do as many auditions as you can. Even if you don't get the gig, you might meet someone later on down the line that refers you for another one. 

Practice Log  

Practice is one of the most important aspects of being a musician. Many of us are short on time and/or don't know how to organize or practice to be more efficient with our time. On my lessons page, I uploaded an excel file that helps students organize their practice. In it are three different varieties of Practice Log. The first is for my beginner students. The second is for my advanced students, and the third is for the working musician. 

The way you use the log is to print it out and put it in a folder labeled "Practice Log." Print one out every week and label the dates so you can see your progress from week to week. In the Day row, under whichever column your working on, document how much time you practiced and the metronome marking you started and ended at *if applicable). 

This log is very useful, even if you only practice five minutes a day because it gives your practice a direction and focus. No longer will you sit in front of your instrument just noodling away for hours and calling that practice. You can set goals and work towards those goals daily until you reach the goal you want to achieve. No go forth and practice!

Pettit Sheu Duo Concert at the American Guitar Society 

I saw a great performance this evening at the American Guitar Society concert series. The featured performers were Adam Pettit and Connie Sheu of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, faculty. 

These two put on a fantastic concert that featured music not often heard in the classical guitar duo repertoire. The music was diverse and felt as though the listener were traveling on a journey across the continents in which the music was written. Pieces from Spain, Brazil, and even the good ol' USA colored the listeners ear palette and made for a most joyous evening.

The virtuosity they displayed wasn't just technical (although there was plenty of that), but in their ability to play as one unit. Their musicality was enchanting and really brought character to the composers' intentions. 

It was a wonderful and inspiring concert. It gave me a lot to think about in my own playing and teaching.

Thank you Adam and Connie was a wonderful evening!

Downloads

CAGED Master This contains every CAGED shape with its corespondending Octave PatternMajor Pentatonic ShapeMinor Pentatonic ShapeMajor ArpeggioMinor ArpeggioMajor ScaleMinor ScaleChord Shape 1.09 MB
Major Pentatonic This diagram has all five Major Pentatonic shapes across the neck. 788 KB
Minor Pentatonic These are all the Minor Pentatonic shapes across the fretboard. 1.08 MB

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