Okay... I finally found some time "available" in my day to do a quick blog! I throw quotations around "available" for the simple fact that I should be sleeping right now instead of listening to Led Zeppelin and staring at my monitor.
...But statistics say if we live to the age of 78, we'll have spent 20 years or so sleeping. Screw them apples.
So here I am, wide awake at almost four in the morning, and I'm writing tonight about the UG group that I decided to start not even a week ago which I dubbed New England Royal Court. At the time of this blog, there are VERY few members (three to be exact), but of course I plan on increasing that number based on persistence and effective networking.
To be honest with you all, I'm big on networking, and I always have been in one form or another - but not in a way that would cause too many distractions. There have been a number of social networking sites that have hit big ranks over the last ten years - ranging from the earlier chat rooms hosted by giants like AOL, Yahoo, etc - all the way to current-age-full-blown social networking sites, such as Myspace, Facebook, and others - some free, some not. All of these sites were meant to appeal to a broad range of the worlds population, and by "broad" I mean that these sites target EVERYONE, and they're out looking for YOU to join. These sites will offer as much as possible to make joining and coming back CONSTANTLY moreappealing to the world's population, and in doing so, features such as applications, games, and everything else that becomes available over time all pile up... and it gets bigger, and bigger, and more enveloping... Don't get me wrong - open source is one of the greatest things to happen with the internet in awhile, seeing as how it allows anyone with a decent understanding of programming to become a "developer" pretty much overnight - that's great! But Pandora's box is now open... and Pandora has one hell of a box. At some point in time you will be that person that wakes up in the morning, and heads straight to the computer before you even make your way to the bathroom to brush your teeth.
...then you find yourself visiting your neighbors farm, fertilizing her crops, commenting on her corn, and then skipping over to another tab to post an update about how your phone is ringing across the room, and how you're not going to answer it.
What the hell happened? I'll tell you what the hell happened. When the shit piled on, the social networking aspect ceased to exist... not completely, but I have noticed that Facebook's mission statement tends to evolve every time that monster goes up a notch in waist size.
Not that there's anything wrong with that... but for whatever reason, the word "facebook" gets a red underline in text editors - Seems it's a proper noun now.... So we call it "Facebook" -- no red underline when it's capitalized.. It's like that with a LOT of giants.
Once again - nothing wrong with that.
The point that I'm trying to make here, folks - is that the UG community is perfect for me, seeing as how it creates an almost flawless balance for my networking needs, and the site is feature-rich without being an overwhelming distraction, and I'm certain that most of you good folks reading this blog agree with me wholeheartedly on that statement.
...besides. I may have A.D.D. - who knows? I'm 32 - they weren't handing out that badge when I was younger. We just got our asses kicked by our elders. No meds for speds.
So I figured out quickly that the best way to contribute, learn, network, and express myself all in one place would be to keep active here at UG, and also by creating a group that brings networking even closer to home - which is why I decided to start New England Royal Court in the first place. I have nothing against the rest of the world, of course, and I can always reach out and network by using the main area of this site, and this is why I'm also trying to build my friends list. As stated earlier in this post though, networking is most effective when there aren't as many distractions, and the whole world isn't looking to be involved. This is why I chose to localize. New England is a region that definitely lacks representation on a larger scale, and eventually I would LOVE to see this corner of the United States GLOW!! There is almost an "overabundance"of talent in this area (if that's even possible) - so it's only a matter of time before the ever-hardening doors of fame and appreciation are kicked in, and when that happens, we're going to permanently damage the hinges so those deserving of a place in music history will have more opportunities available to them. I guess our mission statement would be simply:
"To make a difference".
So with that said, I am also using this post as an open invite to those of you who are in the New England area and wish to network on an effective level. Suggesting this group to your friends and other locals is a great idea as well - growth means resource, and resource means that as a community, we all win. For those of you who are reading this and are not in the New England area, please feel free to send me a friend request and/or subscribe to my blog - I'm all about being heard and "over"stood, and having subscribers will help me feel like I'm not doing this for nothing.
~~Side note to readers (if you're out there) - I am going to be looking for moderators as the group grows, so if you wish to help out, feel free to message me, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Suggestions are always welcome as well - I'm open minded, and definitely not some sort of tyrant looking to run things MY way only...
That's shit. This is community.
~~ I'd also like to mention that in no way am I trying to "down" Facebook or any other online community out there - Of course I have an account there, but I use it strictly for networking nowadays. Not too long ago you would have found me on Facebook at any random time of the day playing some sort of time-and-life-draining game/app - at home AND on my mobile. All I'm trying to say is that my time is precious to me, and I'd rather spend that time truly learning, contributing, and most importantly - NETWORKING!
So a buddy of mine just left my house a few minutes ago, and let me start by saying -- hes one HELL of a guitar player!
He's 24 years old, and of course he got an early start on the strings - he's great on guitar AND bass, and honestly, I feel inspired to up my game every time he comes around. I watch his fingers like a hawk when he's playing, and I manage to pick up a little at a time. When I first met him, he was working as a maintenance man at the apartment building that I live in, and I wondered from the very start "Why the hell is this dude not out touring the planet?"...
My only complaint about him is that the fucker is camera shy and won't let me video tape him playing - which would help me out ALOT, but then again, he worries that I'll upload his ass onto youtube (which I would)... he knows me so well!
I need to figure out how to convince him to let me videotape him while playing... any ideas?
But now that I think about it, the joke's on him tho... He did a few shows over the summer as a substitute bassist for the local group "Straight to VHS" and guess what? He's already on youtube! Check him out!
Seeing as how this site does not seem to have a video submission area, I'm going to be posting video of my progress, maybe even a tutorial here and there - to my Youtube channel, which you can find here. The last video that I uploaded was about ten months ago, and I'm working on a new one tonight - along with a live recording that I'll be submitting to the MP3 section of UG.
I ask of you one thing and one thing only - visit my channel and let me know how you think I'm doing - feedback is always welcome, whether positive or negative...
Is it ever too late to learn? (Rhetorical Question
To begin, I've decided to do a Google search on "guitarists who started late" - and I was amazed at what I found...
Seems to me like most of the famous guitarists out there, living or deceased, started sometime between the age of 11-18, a few between 18-25 even. This information in itself wasn't the surprise - what surprised me is how many people out there in the world decided to pick up a guitar after the age of 25.
I mean, face it - the strings are intimidating, and to delve into this area of instrumentation at a later age seems beyond reason to most. I'm 32 years old at the time of this post, and I've been playing for 354 days now, and after making it over this hump (year one), the guitar is nowhere near as intimidating as it was before.
"My fingers are calloused, I'm transferring shapes better, and the Fmajor is no longer a pain in my wrist... Oooh yea! Time to get Weird!"
As I've stated in my last post, I do wish that I learned to play earlier, but the truth is, I've never felt I had it in me back then, and I probably wouldn't have followed through anyway.. No time like the present to shape our future, right?
"Time to do the thing with the thing."
I'm certain that once I become more active in this community, I'll run into others like myself who decided to pick up an axe at a later age, and until then I'll continue to develop my skill and occasionally come back and share my progress with you guys (of course after too, you sentence-structure freaks!).
"I would sell my soul to the devil to be better than Steve Vai instantly - 'cept I'm an Atheist... ain't that a bitch"
I have a few musical influences in my life that I've had from an early age, and they're finally starting to rub off - my granddad, Count Rabbit, who is featured in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame is one hell of a bassist, and a great artist on canvas as well. I grew up in a musical household, and was born to an inheritance of 12-inch and 45 vinyl that was meant to expose me to a variety of music including soul, jazz, p-funk, and more.. I do remember loving the electric guitar back then - the first album I actually purchased with my own money was the Twisted Sister "We're Not Gonna Take It" single.. Confused the shit out of my mother... She thought I would only listen to music in the genres that she exposed me to, but she also taught me to open my mind - and that I did. I am a hip-hop head, and I admit that I'm just now getting to enjoy a lot of the great music that I missed out on over the years because of the fact that there were YEARS that went by that I would ONLY listen to hip hop - it was that good back then.
"What just happened?"
A time came where I just couldn't stand the new "hip-hop" music that was flooding the airwaves with the runoff from the shitstorm that has been going strong for over a decade, so I decided to open my mind back up, and I ended up listening to a LOT of things that I normally would NEVER listen to - Alternative started becoming appealing, even the occasional angst-driven tunes that I lovingly refer to as "Angry Vagina Rock" - you know what that is, people - don't make me go into it..
"I want to make REAL music.. That okay with you?"
So I'm in my thirties, I've gained a few new skills, and my life is better because of it. IT FEELS GOOD to pick up an instrument, and rock out butt-naked while my kids are at school. Fuck it - I've earned it, and it makes me happy. Whether or not this happiness is mutual with my neighbors has no bearing on how I'm feeling... How 'bout you turn your TV up or talk louder? Trying to concentrate? Think louder. I'm trying to live here.
I've actually known about this site for awhile, pretty much since last year when I started playing the guitar, and I've occasionally visited to look at or print out tabs to learn my favorite songs. I really had no idea until now that this site offered so much to it's community! I plan to stick around for awhile, and I'll keep my progress updated here as well... I'm liking what I see, and I'm hoping to contribute soon!
I got my first guitar as a gift last year, and I've been fascinated since then with becoming BOSS at strings. I have no regret in life other than the fact that I waited until I'm in my 30's to do the damn thing. Oh well - no better time than now, but I can't help but to feel that I've missed out BIG TIME..
Gotta make up for that lost time...
I've always had something to do with music in some form or fashion - mostly vocal and electronic - call it what you want, but yea - I rap... been doin' it for years, but I'm at a time in my life where I need to expand I guess... I record digitally, and I've worked with analog as well - The time that I've spent behind a trackboard gave me technical knowledge, but not what I needed for now... Luckily there are so many resources out there in the internets for us to soak in...
"Music theory is available to all - and if you've got the dexterity and a decent reading comprehension level, you're all set... Oh - and if you're gonna be a monkey, be a GORILLA!!"