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#272745 - 12/06/14 06:54 AM [Off-Topic] Some times you have to pay for it
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
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Loc: Chicago
So I am not proud. I paid for it. eek

That is I paid a profession musician to sit in my home studio for two hours and critique my music. Everything was on the table., Gear, technique, talent, ....philosophy of life.

I won't tell you his name to protect his reputation but he is a top talent in the industry fronting on guitar and vocals for a internally touring band. I knew him from the early days but we had not stayed in touch.

It was a great experience.... I still am internalizing it all, but I can tell you there are going to be changes coming.
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#272816 - 12/06/14 12:51 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
ZeroZero Offline
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I love this stuff Dan, pray tell...

I did the same a sax player (years ago) who took no prisoners as a teacher. I ended up stripping down the whole thing and building it again from basic building blocks
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#272843 - 12/06/14 01:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: ZeroZero]
MusicStudent Offline
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Originally Posted By: ZeroZero
.... stripping down the whole thing and building it again from basic building blocks


That's about the story. I went too long without a critical critique of my goals for my music and how I was going about achieving them. A reevaluation is currently underway with some soul searching.
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#272897 - 12/06/14 04:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
Pat Marr Offline
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care to share specifics?

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#272923 - 12/06/14 06:42 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
MusicStudent Offline
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Pat, I know I have been somewhat quite on the whole matter. It is by intention.

I know, that you know, the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief, which are the series of emotional stages experienced when faced with death and dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In a way, the realization of my poor musical skills after 20 years of studying and playing is akin to a death for me to deal with.

I am between denial and anger right now and I don't want to say anything stupid. For example, that I blame BIAB for this since it made making music too easy when I should have been working harder at it. Musicianship is not an entitlement that anyone can buy. But, I don't want to say that...

So I am dealing with this on my own right now. I will work it out and then be back soon.
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#272982 - 12/07/14 05:44 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1020
Loc: NYC
I'm also looking forward to some of your comments and revelations. I'll share one of my recent revelations - just for those interested. Everybody's background in music is different, but for me - I've been crippled by not learning songs by watching a talented teacher, and NOT writing anything down (IMHO) - For years I've been overattached to tabs and written music, and because of this, I never learned the neck properly in terms of fluency with the many chords and inversions needed to play my favorite musical styles. In particular - I took a lesson from a renowned local guitar player, and explained that I enjoyed Les Paul and Chet Atkins style music - he proceeded to play a GREAT version of "Avalon" - knocked me out - without any apparent prep for the lesson. Granted this may be in his reportoire - but I've noticed when I learn a song from tabs and/or music - it doesn't become 'part of me' - and fades much faster. When you learn a song by watching a person play it, it is entirely a different experience - and substantially MORE time is spent with your fingers on the neck very close to the desired sound of the outcome, rather than "Translating the notation - music or tab" - into the correct places on the neck. Just my 2 cents, given my particular weaknesses and musical development. I'm sure my advice might apply to SOME small set of my PG Peers out there.

PS - and yes, that is a testament to my lack of reading fluency also, but how many people that did not grow up on an instrument that REQUIRED fluent reading (such as guitar) can fluently read chords and chord inversion quickly enough in songs with some of the complexity of chords and tempo as Chet Atkins - or other jazz players that use lots of chord melodies ? It's hard enough to read single notes fluently on the guitar in all keys - but chord voicings are even harder, especially if position is not provided.


Edited by Joe V (12/07/14 05:50 AM)

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#272983 - 12/07/14 05:54 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
musiclover Offline
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Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 1517
Loc: Ireland
Originally Posted By: jazzmandan
Pat, I know I have been somewhat quite on the whole matter. It is by intention.

I know, that you know, the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief, which are the series of emotional stages experienced when faced with death and dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In a way, the realization of my poor musical skills after 20 years of studying and playing is akin to a death for me to deal with.

I am between denial and anger right now and I don't want to say anything stupid. For example, that I blame BIAB for this since it made making music too easy when I should have been working harder at it. Musicianship is not an entitlement that anyone can buy. But, I don't want to say that...

So I am dealing with this on my own right now. I will work it out and then be back soon.


I wouldn't worry or loose too much sleep over it, they say that someone has to spend at least 10k hours on an instrument to sort of make good progress on it.

As long as you enjoy it that's the main thing, these professionals who do it for a living have a different outlook on it from the rest of us who mainly do it for a hobby.

Sometimes too I wish I had more natural musical ability but I have to admit most times too lazy at practising the guitar.

Musiclover


Edited by musiclover (12/07/14 05:55 AM)
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#272985 - 12/07/14 06:03 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: musiclover]
ZeroZero Offline
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Registered: 07/15/07
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For what its worth i felt this way too after three lessons with my guy. Yes he was right about everything, but I could widdle a few tunes, I knew my theory.

It was some uyears ago. I decided to first just count everything until it was internalised, Everything meaning all my car radio, utube, everything until I knew exactly what bar and beat I was on, in my sleep. I then started taking whole notes (semibreves) through tunes, on root, then fifth, then third. I then took two notes from the chord, and so forth.

I resolved never, ever to widdle again.

I need to understand every note I play

I still remember the pain it was like someone stealing your girlfriend frown

Z
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#272986 - 12/07/14 06:05 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
Guitarhacker Offline
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It's always a good thing to get critiques.....especially the hard hitting gloves off no holds barred kind that get to the heart of the matter and solve problems that we want to try to rationalize away. Both when it comes to our gear, techniques, and writing.

As a song writer home recording enthusiast, I set out with 2 similar but different goals.

1. Get the music coming out of my studio up to the quality needed to stand side by side with professionally recorded and engineered studio quality stuff.....in other words, produce Broadcast Ready material. I accomplished this by being focused on that aspect... the technical side of things and learning what was needed to accomplish it. I participated and still do, in the forum sites where folks much better than I (production skills and chops and the ears to hear things I totally missed) are posting music and commenting on the music of others. I asked specific questions about what they heard in my tunes, and made course corrections and started to hear those things on my own. How to determine the need for EQ, compression, etc and when not to use it, and of course how much to use. It's an on going process but I feel I'm a good ways along on that journey but still have miles ahead.

2. Write better songs. Songs that would spark interest with publishers and libraries. That's one area where the Nashville Songwriters Association International has been a huge help to me. The NSAI evaluators have really helped, probably more than anything in working towards that goal with their honest, direct to the point song evaluations. You can send your songs in (as a member) and get folks who have actually written hits, and who are still active in the Nashville music scene today as writers and performers, to sit down and listen and then to comment in depth on your song. It can be a "take it easy on me" review or a hard hitting "I can take it .... tell me the truth" review. Your choice. I always ask for the most brutal, hard hitting, tell it like it is, kind of review. Don't sugar coat it....be honest. Sometimes it hurts when I have spent hours on a song and the review comes back saying I should seriously consider a major rewrite and shorten the song, and do this or that..... but once I set and ponder the words they said...... I realize they are correct. I've scrapped and stated over a few times based on their reports or refined and edited and reworked a song until it does shine and pass muster.

Beyond that....

As far as dealing with studio gear needed to get the recording done..... Simple is best. And spend a few bucks to get decent quality interfaces and microphones..... buy a few mastering plugs, and from that point..... digital is digital and the quality is there..... all you need to learn is how to get the best quality from the gear you have in the space you use. Changes are good when they are well thought out and move you back to the direction you really wanted to go.... because we all tend to get distracted and complacent, and that's not necessarily a good thing. That nice hard kick in the butt is often a needed thing.

I'm curious myself about what revelations you have had due to this experience of 2 hours.
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#272989 - 12/07/14 06:45 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
MusicStudent Offline
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Thanks guys. I appreciate your understanding. I know I can be somewhat of a drama king.

One thing we talked about was the fact that I was not happy with my guitar tone in my recordings. I played him a youtube vid and asked "how do I get that sound?" Johnny said my Fender Ultralight would not do that. He said my Amplitube VST would and he sat in my chair, with my strat and tweeted Amplitube to give just the right sound as he played. I was very happy to get the instruction on how to set up an amp and to hear the rich tone. After he left, I sat in the same chair, with the same guitar and with the same Amp settings and....you guessed it, I could not get the same tone as him. It must be something in in his playing. Then I looked down and saw something under the chair. It was his pick. He must have dropped it when he sat there. I picked it up, hoping, hoping, ...tried a few licks.... no joy. So it must be his fingers.

He took one look at my Strat and said, "that thing is jacked !!". I guess when I put 10's on a guitar setup for 9's it pulled the bridge why up. It has been like that for years. I thought it was OK. He said, "you can't play that". He turned it over, and opened the back panel, I give him a screwdriver and he adjusted two big screws to pull the bridge down. Then he retuned and said that should be better, "you need to keep your palm by the bridge for muting, that will help". I had no idea.

He looked at my Berhinger mixer going into my audio device of the PC. "what is that for?". I explained how it allowed me to have multiple inputs to my PCI card which only allowed two inputs. "OK, but it is coloring your sound!" He quickly adjusted my guitar to put it directly into the PCI card and bypass the mixer. The difference was noticeable even to my ears. He knew this just by looking at the setup.


Ya, we talked a lot about the 10,000 hour rule. He told me "you are a regular guy, you got a nice house and a nice family, you have a full time job". He told me he lives in his mothers basement and last thanksgiving sat on his bed in his underwear eating a chicken sandwich and playing guitar (he is in his late thirty's I would guess). Music and musicians ain't necessarily like you see on TV. It ain't all glamor for everyone.

To me it is one word, "my lack of musicality". Johnny said it is technique 101. We talked about rhythm. Not just in playing chords but more importantly in improvising lead playing. Playing in the pocket. Listening to the drummer. Talking with the instrument.

I got some stuff to work out...
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#273001 - 12/07/14 07:26 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
sslechta Offline
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Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1247
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
Thanks for sharing. I was real curious.

Good tip about fewer devices in the recording chain making for better quality recordings.
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#273002 - 12/07/14 07:32 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
MusicStudent Offline
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Loc: Chicago
It is hard to admit to yourself that you are a musical hack. And hard to admit to people you don't really know. You guys all thought I was a prodigy on guitar, a musical savant, and now the truth comes out... It is very humbling, but the truth will set us free.


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#273005 - 12/07/14 07:36 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
sslechta Offline
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Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1247
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
No worries man, I'm proud to say I'm much less talented than most folks around here! smile All the new gear in the world is not gonna make me better, yet I still have to acquire it.

BIAB/RB has come along way to help us with our 'musical issues'.
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#273030 - 12/07/14 08:41 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: Guitarhacker]
ZeroZero Offline
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Registered: 07/15/07
Posts: 1632
Loc: Bynar
Maybe its the underwear? Please ask him on my behalf!

Seriously, "No conscious effort is ever lost" Gurdjieff
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#273034 - 12/07/14 08:48 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
MusicStudent Offline
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Good Morning, My Name is Jazzmandan, and I am a music student!

It is a start. crazy
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#273043 - 12/07/14 09:13 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7548
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
coupla thoughts, Dan...


Aren't you a chemist? Who travels all over the world because your knowledge is sought after ?

In a world of infinite possibilities, the difference between wisdom and foolishness is determined by the hierarchy in our choices. Citing Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you've made choices based on a completely different set of needs than your buddy. Given the choice of devoting time to your career so your family can prosper and your kids can go to college, or choosing to live in Mama's basement so you can use all your time to trim 3 seconds off a guitar run... I'd be hard pressed to even consider the possibility that you chose poorly.

Comparing you to the young 'un who presumed to judge you... in my opinion, you come closer to "having it all" than he does. You have everything he will never have, PLUS 90% of what he does have. With a little discipline, you can have what he's got too... but he will NEVER have what you have. And that simple realization should be factored into your thinking here.

Its like the story we've all heard about determining when a jar is full. Is it full when you can't get any more rocks in? or when you can't fit more pebbles between the rocks? Or more sand between the pebbles? Or more water between the sand?

You put the rocks in first by taking care of the important stuff like education and career. You have the rest of your life to add pebbles and sand and put the finishing touches on the framework of a very good life. Especially since you are probably closing in on retirement.

Others can only judge us based on THEIR priorities... but we live by how well we make decisions that fulfill our OWN priorities. From where I stand, Dan.. your use of time has been far better than the other guitar player's.

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#273046 - 12/07/14 09:19 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
ZeroZero Offline
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Registered: 07/15/07
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Loc: Bynar
There is no shame! Even the top players constantly go back to the basics. I do it all the time myself and constantly learn. I keep a maxim, "if you can learn something simpler then learn that first"

Z
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#273100 - 12/07/14 02:01 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: Pat Marr]
MusicStudent Offline
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Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Pat Marr
coupla thoughts, Dan...


Pat, I appreciate your comments. It is not about the decisions made. I would not change the path I went down. I have accomplished a great amount and have been blessed. That has all been good.

It is a reality check about my long time passion and hobby with music. Besides work and family, music is all I have had for a very long time. Now I come to find that somehow, I have been deceived into thinking I could play better than I can. I am past the denial Stage. Ya, I can play, but I now clearly see that my guitar skills have not improved in years and they are no where near where I want them to be.

I am entering the anger stage, I am looking for things to blame. And BIAB is clearly in my sights. While it provided much, it also turned me in a direction away from crafting my skills on the guitar. Perhaps, BIAB is too good. I relied on it to do to much. I sat back as a viewer instead of a doer. There should have been more of me and less of the RTs in my projects. Not here to bad mouth BIAB, this is just where I currently am in the grieving process.
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#273101 - 12/07/14 02:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
sslechta Offline
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Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 1247
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
Originally Posted By: jazzmandan
I am entering the anger stage. Not here to bad mouth BIAB, this is just where I currently am in the grieving process.


You'll be in Acceptance before you know it.

Nice music theory pic on your profile pic!
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#273153 - 12/07/14 06:03 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Some times you have to pay for it [Re: MusicStudent]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6556
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Ok, you guys want to hear it like it is? I'll tell ya like it is.

Years ago in a previous life I did things that would make most of you go wow, you played there? You did gigs with who? You traveled all over North America for 6 years, and was booked by the head man at the 3rd largest agency in the country? Yes I did.

The band came off the road in Richmond VA in 1974. We decided we were done with touring, we were going to sit down and write the best stuff we could and really go after a recording contract. The bandleader is from there and had good connections including one with the biggest studio in Richmond at that time. I was sitting in the control booth for many session watching the process. I saw keyboard players come in there who were absolutely awesome players. I mean real killers. They could read fly crap on sheet music in one try with feeling. They had chops for days. They were so damned good I felt like a 5 year old noodling on a kazoo. This from a guy who's played the big casino's in Vegas and worked some of the biggest nicest clubs in the country at the time.

Most of the guys in the studio were graduates from the UVA music department. One guy was so hot I found out he had a band that was doing Chick Corea/Keith Jarrett type of stuff in a local club and I went to check him out and was blown away. I'm decent, I have lots of experience, I can play but I'm nowhere near that level.

I started to think if these guys are in one studio in little ole Richmond VA who's in New York? Who's in LA? Who's in Nashville? Absolute transcendental virtuoso's that's who.

Get a grip guys. If you really, seriously think you have a half chance of making any kind of mark in the music business then Dan you need to walk your butt right over to the University of Chicago's music department and sign up for the next 4 years. And that's just the start. After that you still have to be the best player there to even get somebody's attention out in the real world.

That's the fact, Jack. You're up against people who treat this as their whole lives. A lot of them come from families with enough money they can support them while they learn their art. They've been playing with good teachers since they were 6 and then went to college. And they're still starving and going nowhere because the competition is so incredibly fierce.

I can go on like this for days, I have so many examples I know about personally and other's I've heard about.

I swear most of you have no idea of what I'm talking about here but I'll keep trying to get through. The top music schools in the world are cranking out unbelievable monster players by the thousands. Add them all up for the last 30 years since the schools started expanding their music departments and there's tens of thousands of musical killers walking around who would make you burn that guitar and take up knitting.

Treat it like the fun hobby it is and forget about doing something that's going to impress somebody working at a big studio in NY, LA or Nashville. I mean forget it, man.

How do I know none on this forum are that good? Because if one of you is that good you wouldn't be writing the stuff you post here. In other words you would be way above us mere mortals.

I haven't even touched on the music production schools. You think you know anything about recording, mixing and mastering? There's 4 year degree programs in that too where students get to play with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the very best equipment there is at the biggest universities and colleges in every major city in the world. Us guys here with our little hundred buck interfaces and hundred buck mic's and stuff like that will make grads of these schools just laugh. Sure they'll have a nice home studio so they can lay down some tracks using Pro Tools that they can then email back to their main studio and finish it up there.

And just like the musician side of things, these wannabe recording engineers are absolutely starving. If they're lucky they'll find an unpaid internship at a working studio, do that for a year or two, nothing comes of it and they finally get into used car sales or something.

Music and studio production is FUN. Who wants to be stuck at a nondescript desk somewhere doing paperwork when they can be with the stars, getting the girls, traveling the world and having a blast? Everybody digs it, everybody envy's someone who's successful at it. Everybody want's to be that guy so what happens? Gazillions of people keep trying. Guess what? Everybody can't be that guy and that's it.

Final thought, whatever profession anybody here is in required education and experience. What makes anyone here think music and studio work is any different? These people are true pro's guys. You all know what that word means. It means professional, ya know? It's their lives, it's their world, they have the education, skills, experience and connections they made along the way to make it work.

Bob
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