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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things Every Serious Guitarist Should Know

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If you’ve decided that you want to make a career out of music, or just want to play guitar for the rest of your life, then you’ll really benefit from knowing the following ideas and concepts. Overall, You’ll better a better musician and be able to live up to your greatest potential if you’re armed with this knowledge.

1. How To Setup A Guitar & Change Strings. You’ll save hundreds in the long run if you can setup your own guitars to make them play like you want them to. And strings break often, sometimes right smack in the middle of your jaw-dropping solo. Learn to change strings…. Fast.

2. How To Read Music. Although I rarely use notation, it’s really handy to know in a pinch. 90% of the time, I’m reading the timing and not every individual note.

3. General Amp / Guitar / Accessory / Knowledge. Knowing this info will really help you make better purchasing decisions. Having detailed knowledge gives you the power to purchased used gear, potentially saving you thousands of your hard-earned cash. Most of my gear is between 20-50 years old and purchased used. It works great!

4. Good People Skills (PR Work). I can’t really say enough about this. Having good, developed interpersonal skills will carry you a long way in life. It can help you get that gig, develop new business relationships or pull in clients. Overall, you can’t take back your first impression with someone, so make the best first impression you can!

5. Get Paid For What You’re Already Doing. Whether you’re a musician, repairman, circuit mod specialist, or guitar tech junkie, there is a way to get paid for what you’re already doing for fun! I know many successful musicians who have a side job, and make great money doing it. Why not you?

6. Musicians Are Flakes. a recent study shows there are more flakes per hundred musicians than a box of cereal. Don’t rely to heavily on the people around you who are “just doing it for fun”. Especially if you’re serious. When you join a band or group, it’s like a marriage. There are relationships, commitment issues….crackheads. But in all seriousness, ask yourself, “Would I marry these guys?”

7. There’s Always Someone Better Than You. So please, do us all a favor and stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. Being a shredder myself, I used to get jealous seeing someone better/faster/younger. And then, I just stopped caring. Now, I just care about making music that I love, regardless of what anyone else thinks. It’s very freeing. I have students who have the potential to be much greater than I in the next few years. That is perfectly fine with me. Everyone has a different amount of time, energy and resources to dedicate to their music life, everyone is unique.

If you have any other ideas of what is absolutely necessary for the serious musician to know, we’d love to see it here. Just shoot us a reply or a message and we’ll post it in the next revision. Thanks for reading!!

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