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Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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The subject of capos came up some time ago and there were numerous misconceptions. Some said that capos were a crutch for less skilled guitarists until I pointed out that Chet and Tommy used them extensively to their advantage. A capo is nothing more or less than another "tool" in the gig bag but it's correct use remains elusive to many guitarists. Keeping in tune with a capo is one problem that Tommy covers here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS0cEWwWnGQ

A subtlety not spoken is: Don't tune or show off your latest licks between songs! Nothing detracts from an otherwise professional performance more than that. Tommy calls it "losing momentum" with your audience. It's difficult or impossible to recover that momentum again.

Last edited by Don Gaynor; 03/25/13 10:39 AM.
Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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A subtlety not spoken is: Don't tune or show off your latest licks between songs! Nothing detracts from an otherwise professional performance more than that. Tommy calls it "losing momentum" with your audience. It's difficult or impossible to recover that momentum again.




I ate at a restaurant that had live music last Friday, and the band diddled around for 30 minutes or more before starting to play. Very unprofessional. And it wasn't even impressive diddling!

I would rather have heard an enthusiastic guy (or gal) with backing tracks and his act together than this band.

Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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A subtlety not spoken is: Don't tune or show off your latest licks between songs! Nothing detracts from an otherwise professional performance more than that. Tommy calls it "losing momentum" with your audience. It's difficult or impossible to recover that momentum again.




I ate at a restaurant that had live music last Friday, and the band diddled around for 30 minutes or more before starting to play. Very unprofessional. And it wasn't even impressive diddling!

I would rather have heard an enthusiastic guy (or gal) with backing tracks and his act together than this band.







There are a lot of those kind of players around. They usually start late, take too-long breaks, and drink booze on stage. That's a job opportunity for you. Approach the manager, and hand him a business card - preferably while the "band" is still diddling around.

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They usually start late, take too-long breaks, and drink booze on stage.



These three taboos were strictly enforced in our band (along with "diddling"), consequently we were always booked solid.

When a professional like Tommy must re-tune for a particular effect, he does it in full view of his audience while explaining what he's doing: "I use a different tuning on this next piece. Please bear with me a moment." Not while hiding behind the amplifier stack. Keep your audience involved or risk losing "momentum".

You will see professionals with a playlist taped to their guitars, mainly to provide a smooth flow between songs and to eliminate "dead air". Chatter between songs is another taboo.

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The subject of capos came up some time ago and there were numerous misconceptions. Some said that capos were a crutch for less skilled guitarists until I pointed out that Chet and Tommy used them extensively to their advantage. A capo is nothing more or less than another "tool" in the gig bag but it's correct use remains elusive to many guitarists. Keeping in tune with a capo is one problem that Tommy covers here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS0cEWwWnGQ

A subtlety not spoken is: Don't tune or show off your latest licks between songs! Nothing detracts from an otherwise professional performance more than that. Tommy calls it "losing momentum" with your audience. It's difficult or impossible to recover that momentum again.



Thanks Don! Some nice capo tips there plus an amazing player!

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With the bluegrass bands that I played in over the years we would arrange set lists around capo placement so as to minimize the need for retuning on stage. And, FWIW, and for example, Tony Rice who is IMO on of the most remarkable guitarists in the solar system uses a capo when playing bluegrass. The structure of bluegrass requires certain runs and conventions on the guitar that would sound really odd if not played out of certain chord positions via capo use.

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