Home: 2006 |
Discover the Chiropractic Advantage - Avoid
Guitarists’ Repetitive Strain Injury for Good!
By Jean Littman
it seem like every note you play on your guitar results in pain?
Guitarists and instrumental musicians are a special risk group for
repetitive strain injuries, with sizable percentages of them
developing physical problems directly related to playing their
Click here to read the full article.
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Teddy Thompson: Ignore at Your
singer/songwriter Teddy Thompson has released his eagerly
anticipated new album ‘Separate Ways’. (Ed: One of
Ray's latest music acquisitions which has really hit the spot and
has already been played over several times)
The first album for his new record label Verve
Forecast, it contains twelve stunning songs that were written and
co-produced by Teddy Thompson, following a series of live UK
Co-produced by Brad Albetta - who also produced
Martha Wainwright’s recent self-titled album - ‘Separate Ways’
features an impressive supporting cast that includes vocalist
Jenni Maldour, drummer Dave Mattacks and Garth Hudson from The
The LP’s opening track ‘Shine So Bright’ is typical
of the album’s sound with rich vocals and heartfelt lyrics
throughout. The song mixes Teddy’s deeply expressive voice against
the smouldering backing sounds of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, who
also appear on the track ‘Everybody Move It’.
Teddy’s Father, Richard Thompson, plays guitar on
several other album highlights (‘I Should Get Up’, ‘I Wish It Was
Over’, ‘That’s Enough of You’ and ‘No Way To Be’) while his
mother, Linda Thompson, features on the beautiful reworking of The
Everly Brother’s ‘Take A Message To Mary’ which features as a
London-born, New York based Teddy has a musical
wisdom beyond his years. His deep-rooted embrace of music is
evident through his lyrical insight, musical arrangements and
father and mother are British folk-rock luminaries, Richard and
Linda Thompson. Those who know Richard Thompson's work know
that he is an amazing guitar player and musician, who is probably
best known for his time with Fairport Convention. Although
critically acclaimed, his career has long been regarded as
Somewhere along the way he met, married,
performed with and divorced Linda. The Thompsons had a
son known as Teddy who's all grown up now and carving a career of
are those who believe that Teddy Thompson
may have the voice of his generation. Full of personality,
nearly as soulful as his mother's, more sonorus and warm than his
father's, his voice is a wonder. He also plays a very solid
guitar, although perhaps not with the same brilliance as his
father. His songwriting shows a maturity beyond his youth,
and he has the same biting lyrical bent as his father.
leaving the UK, Teddy spent some time hanging out and touring with
his father, just generally learning the ropes. When Richard
introduced the band, there was never any mention that Teddy was
his son. How understated and British of them. The
audience either went in already knowing about it, or found out
from someone else whilst there.
According to his fans, Teddy's self-titled
debut album "Teddy Thompson" (released in 2000) was criminally ignored by the
masses, and deserved a better fate than the underappreciated used
record bins of America. The tunes on the album engage the listener
from a core feeling, with Thompson's welcome, warm tenor easily
settling. His tunes peak with strong emotion, poignancy and
forthrightness. Definitely worth adding to your collection.
Latest Release: Check out
the soundtrack album to the acclaimed film Brokeback Mountain to
hear two Teddy Thompson songs that are not featured on Teddy's
Separate Ways album. The tracks are "I Don't Want To Say Goodbye",
written by the film's composer Gustavo Santaolalla and sung by
Teddy, and "King Of The Road", Teddy's duet with Rufus Wainwright
on the Roger Miller country classic.... Brokeback Mountain won
four 2006 Golden Globe awards, including Best Original Song-Motion
Picture for Emmylou Harris' "A Love That Will Never Grow Old"..
out the cool Teddy Thompson e-card by
Managing Your Time, When
Music Isn't Your "Day Job"
You CAN do everything.
You CAN do everything. What you cannot do, however, is do
everything at the same time, or create a day that’s longer than 24
The two most important aspects of time management are acceptance
and choice. When you think of time in terms of acceptance and
choice, you’re never “wrong”, “bad”, or “lazy”, you’ve just made
certain choices. When you think in terms of discipline and
willpower, however, your inner critic can really do a number on
you. We already have low self-esteem as artists; let’s not add to
An example of this from my own life is that I choose to live alone
instead of with a roommate; that means I also choose higher rent
and the need to bring in enough income to cover that rent. When
sneaky thoughts of resentment or self-pity creep in to my head, I
need to remember the choice that I made, and I need to accept this
is how things are for now.
Here are some tips for using choice and acceptance to manage your
Decide what you want to have time for. What keeps getting pushed
to the back burner or rushed through? How will you spend your time
once you’ve made your songwriting dreams come true and you’ve
become the artist you’re meant to be? Nourish this vision until
it’s clear in your mind. It’s essential to know what you’re
working towards. Remember, you won’t always be this busy unless
you choose to be.
Choose not to be this busy – for one week, track your time using a
time log. You can make one yourself; simply chart out (on paper or
on the computer) your day in fifteen-minute intervals and then
record what you do in each of those blocks of time. Completing a
time log will illuminate how much time you’re spending on
different things. Look carefully at the choices you’re making.
What do you most want to do with the time you have available?
Accept your day job for what it is – a source of the financial
support you need to eat and live – and write songs! Practice
feeling grateful for the job you have, instead of feeling
resentful about the time it’s taking away from your songwriting.
For instance, what recording equipment, CD’s, manuscript paper,
software programs or musical instruments have you bought from the
money you earned in this job? Also, the job is giving you life
experiences, and most likely lots of opportunities to interact
with other people. Your passion is to communicate with people
through your music – how can you take some of that passion and
apply it to your day-to-day interactions? What kind of stories do
your co-workers have to tell? What ideas do those stir up for you
that you can use in your writing?
Look for a “day job” that’s meaningful and that’s taking you in
the direction of your dreams. Do you need some ideas? Try
meditating to access inner wisdom and spiritual guidance. If
songwriting is your primary passion, what’s your second passion?
What ELSE gets your juices flowing? There’s no need to be in a job
that doesn’t make you feel alive, in order to support what does.
Some artists that I know get lots of fulfillment from teaching
children or adults about their craft. Others take jobs that
involve public speaking, to give them more experience and
confidence talking to groups. Some take jobs in music stores,
where they can have lots of time to learn about the newest
equipment, meet lots of fellow artists, and get a discount, to
Schedule time with yourself for your songwriting, collaborating
and rehearsing. Keep these dates with yourself and others as
Be good to your body and don’t sacrifice sleep for productivity
(if you keep doing that, you won’t be in much shape to produce
There are only a couple of things that we really NEED to do every
day. Everything else is a choice.
(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.
Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their
creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. To receive
her free monthly newsletter, "Everyday Artist", subscribe at
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"Every Breath" By Sting
(please note - this is only my interpretation of the song)
This song was requested a number of times from subscribers all over the world, so I decided to make it available to you in this weeks edition.
As usual, I've broken it down into bite size pieces and added the final piece down the bottom!
Enjoy this song and be awesome!
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Home Run Gigs
still playing your heart out to small audiences on gigs at
unappreciative dives (excuse me, I meant to say nightclubs) that
feel paying you a couple of hundred dollars for a 3-4 hour gig is
also paying you about $150 too much?
Unless you are a masochist, why do you continue to take such
beatings? Is it due to laziness, complacency, cynicism, your now
being jaded, or a combination of any of the above?
Are you aware that you could dramatically improve your live
performance income by making simple changes in the types of
performances that you accept?
For instance, see the below list of gig types and the average
earnings possible, compared to traditional nightclub work:
* Weddings ($1,000 *minimum*
for 2-3 hours work)
Instead of working yourself to death, so to speak, by chasing
wedding performance opportunities on an individual basis, consider
approaching a number of area caterers and offering your services
to them as an add-on to their own services as, obviously, they
will have significantly more client opportunities.
Not only will your music service now give catering companies more
value, as the client can now also purchase the wedding
entertainment through a single source as opposed to contracting
performers separately, but this single joint venture alone will
dramatically increase your income, and on a more consistent basis.
And, the best place to seek caterers is in your local Yellow Pages
under the categories of "Caterers."
As additional potential wedding income sources, you would also do
well to leave your portfolio and/or business cards with area
bridal shops, tuxedo shops, bridal consultants, wedding planners
and wedding supplies and services.
* Ship Cruises
Talk about getting paid to, literally, travel the world! This is
exactly what this amounts to...a paid vacation! There are a
minimum of seven major high paying cruise lines that are actively
seeking you to work with them. Truthfully, I cannot do this any
further justice, other than telling you to immediately visit the
ProShip Entertainment site below to fall into a musician's
* Corporate Functions
When I say corporate functions, I am speaking of getting
incredible gigs with such companies as; Microsoft, IBM, and that
ilk. Corporate functions are fairly regular, as they readily lend
themselves to employee motivation.
Without a better point of reference, I suggest your starting with
these types of companies' Human Resource department, which can
better direct you to an appropriate department that coordinates
their corporate events if the Human Resource department does not.
You will likely need to send your standard media kit for
* Private Parties
One of the best places to seek private party entertainment
opportunities, is through the Society Pages of your local
newspaper. The Society Page usually lists private events held by
the wealthy and philanthropists who host fundraisers, charities,
etc. You may also wish to consult your local library for possible
local society directories that can also provide you with
* Grand Openings
Best places to check out your opportunities for Grand Opening
performances are, again, your area newspapers, as well as Chambers
of Commerce. Practically all new companies host grand openings in
order to alert the public to their new business venture. They also
go "all out," so to speak, in terms of media coverage through
television, radio and print media advertising, as well as
interviews. Any and all of this can serve to make far more people
aware of you when you perform at these locales.
By the way...in any of these situations, *ALWAYS* request
permission beforehand from your employers to sell your music, as
this peripheral sales income will only increase your overall take.
In some cases, you may be allowed to do so while, in other cases,
you likely will not be allowed. However, it never hurts to ask
and, by all means, ALWAYS ASK!
Hopefully, these several income outlets can give you a much better
income base while, eventually, taking you out of the hardworking,
yet, low-paying nightclub arena.
Kenny Love is president of
http://www.MuBiz.com, a radio promotion and media publicity
firm that also provides business and career services to musicians.
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Make A Cheap Guitar Sound Great
Most beginning guitar players start with a
rather inexpensive instrument. They usually have a mass production
clone of a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul. The most
popular clones are made overseas by Gibson and Fender themselves
through the Epiphone and Squier lines. These are built to the same
specs as the American made models. They are decent instruments in
their own right but they can be improved greatly with just a
pickup replacement. As long as the neck is straight and the tuning
pegs are fairly tight, this is often all you need to upgrade to a
Iv'e modified several Mexican made Stratocasters and I'll take you
through the process. The first thing you want to decide on is what
kind of sound you're looking for. Replacement pickups are
available with a lot of variety in sound output. I like to use
Seymour Duncan pickups because they have proven to be of high
quality and reliability. They also have a good selection and have
a CD of sound samples you can listen to. Most dealers have the
CD's and you can also listen to the samples online. Choose your
replacement pickups and you're ready to upgrade.
You'll need several things for the job. A good stable workbench or
table, with plenty of room to lay your tools out, makes things
much easier. Here's a list of what you need:
1.screwdriver set, both flat head and philips
4.new set of strings
The first thing you need to do is remove your guitar strings. I
usually leave the low E-string on to keep a little tension on the
neck. Next remove the pickguard cover. Make sure you save all the
screws in a cup as they are small and get lost easily. After you
remove the screws you should be able to lift up on it and slide it
off under the E-string. You should now see your three pickups and
the wiring thats attached to them.
The new pickups come with a wiring diagram that is color coded but
take a good look at each pickup before you replace it in case
something isn't quite right with the color code. It's important
that you replace one pickup at a time so as not to mix up the
bridge, middle and neck pickups.
Heat up your soldering iron. Remove the first pickup. I usually
start with the neck pickup. Cut and strip the wires according to
the instructions and solder the wires to the new ones. Repeat the
process for the other two. Not too bad, huh?
When you replace the cover/pickguard, be careful not to
overtighten the screws or they might get stripped. Now would be a
good time to clean the guitar before you put the new strings on.
Replace and tune the strings and plug in. You'll be pleased with
the results. I have several of these upgraded strats for the price
of one expensive one and more versatilty with different pickup
sounds. You can do the same thing with an Epiphone Les Paul to
produce a sound that rivals the Gibson for about a third of the
price. Now you can spend more money on all the cool effects
gadgets. Have fun and keep practicing.
the webmaster of
Reviews and has a blog about
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rich_Geyer
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The Challenges of Recording
Solo Acoustic Guitar
I had an email from
a subscriber recently, and I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember
his name because these days unless I write things down, nothing
gets done or remembered. It's my age you know. Anyway, he asked me
if I had any tips on recording solo guitar as he had recently been
doing so and was having a hard time. He said "Everything is just
so exposed, I hear every note, fluff and squeak, and it just
sounds terrible and I had to give up in the end".
This email struck a chord with me because during the last few
weeks I have been finishing up my new beginners/intermediate
guitar course, 'Guitar Made Simple' and have been recording all
the audio examples here at my home studio. Now I can tell you that
for me, writing this course and getting inside the head of someone
who knows nothing about guitar, I mean a total beginner, was no
small feat, because after playing guitar for a good while, we
naturally take things for granted. Just to illustrate this
further, years ago when I gave private instruction, a lady once
said to me, "If I fret this note with my left hand here, do I have
to strike the same string with my right hand?" This of course may
be extreme, but I can assure you that when someone has never
touched a guitar in their life, it can indeed be rocket science to
them, so teaching needs to be done carefully and attentively
during a student's early stages. And so my audio examples in the
first part of this course needed to be played very slowly and
So I'm recording these audio examples, and I find that because
many of them are played on the acoustic guitar, solo, with nothing
but a little reverb to make me sound better, recording say four
notes very slowly in isolation, is unbelievably hard! Just to play
a two octave scale, at say metronome mark 60 evenly and cleanly is
Now, because it's my guitar course I'm writing, I can hardly give
up can I? and the truth is that what is acceptable to me and what
is acceptable to anyone reading through the course may well be two
different things, but for my own horribly anal and perfectionist
nature, I simply HAD to get these little examples to sound as good
as I personally could. Even to play one simple chord in isolation
with the fingers, where all the notes came through evenly, where
the attack of the chord sounded absolutely right, well that was
quite an issue too. Not to mention microphone noise and technical
issues to get the level right and so on. I would brush the
pickguard of my guitar ever so lightly and I would hear it in the
recording, and naturally it was unacceptable and had to be
re-recorded. And breathing? Well forget it! OK - a little drama
here, but you know what I mean. The damn mike picks up absolutely
everything. Oh for a drummer to soak everything up!
Have I gone mad you ask? Well no, and I thought I had too, but I
put this whole experience down to well, just that - experience. I
was a professional session guitarist for years, having played on
TV shows, albums and now a recording artist with five albums to my
name, so why on earth was this so difficult?? But I honestly
hadn't recorded anything so difficult in a long time! Oddly, the
process got easier as the examples got more challenging. Anytime I
got to layer an instrument, the recording went just that little
bit quicker because it wasn't so exposed.
I have recorded quite a lot of solo guitar in the past, but music
that had a beginning, middle and end and one could get into a
'performance' state of mind, and at comfortable tempos. These
little isolated examples were difficult because so many of them
had to be played so slowly, and at the end of the day I can't
recommend that students run before they can walk.
So what advice do I have to impart? Well first I can now highly
recommend that if you think you have good time, if you think you
know how to play cleanly and evenly, know how to stop individual
strings ringing on when they need to be muted while playing
others, know how to project each note at the same volume as the
next, then I urge you to play a G major scale, solo acoustic at
metronome mark 60 and listen back to yourself. And a better
microphone may just make things worse because you'll only hear
Is this advice or instilling fear into you? Well it may be the
latter and I do apologize, but only because I may not actually
have any real advice other than just do it. I believe that if your
ears are open, what you hear back from your recording should tell
you what you need to work on.
Here's the good news...
Do we really want to be robots? Do we actually want to have a
quantize button attached to our guitars? Do we want to be that
serious and intense? I think the answer is no. This is why most of
us are more attracted to humans playing music than machines. Music
should push and pull, it should ebb and flow and shortcomings are
often the character in one's playing, to an extent. We need to
just relax and play.
But if you are to record your acoustic guitar solo, you will no
doubt come face to face with certain issues that I did, and my
subscriber friend did also. All I can suggest is this; First,
don't give up, but understand that one needs to surmount a problem
to the level of personal acceptance. In other words, if it sounds
good to you that's OK, provided you are pushing yourself and
striving for your personal best. Now, that template will probably
change as you grow as a musician and what was acceptable then may
not be now.
All I can say is, however you feel about this stuff, and whatever
level you're at, recording yourself playing solo acoustic guitar
very very slowly is just bloody good practice!
Jamorama - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit
looking again at Ben Edwards’ latest developments to his guitar learning
package, Jamorama - the Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit.
Ben and the team have built on the
already solid foundation that they have in their Learn to Play
Guitar with Jamorama books, and developed their product further
with the addition of several exciting new products to further help
budding musicians learn to play the guitar.
The three books, Learn to Play Guitar with Jamorama for Beginners,
Intermediate and Advanced, are already proving to be one of the
most popular guitar learning guides on the internet.
In addition to this, the Jamorama team have also developed two
exclusive computer games to aid learning of musical notes, both in
transcribing and in reading written music. These games make the
monotony of learning to read music fun, and also enables students
to develop their ear for transcribing their favourite songs from
Both games are well presented, and are invaluable in
developing the key skills necessary in being a better musician.
Two bonus e-books have also been added, and these cover how to
tune your guitar, and techniques that will cut your learning time
A further bonus available to customers is a free online
consultation to students who may have specific concerns or
problems to address. This is very popular with hard to solve
This package is impressive because it is one of the most complete
packages regarding the whole process of learning the guitar, from
strumming, muting and bending, to timing, reading music and
We really believe this package is at the very cutting edge of
learning techniques for guitar players. It is full of good quality
information, and most importantly, it is applied in a manner that
is both fun and maximizes the learning progression of guitar
Don’t just take our word for it though, take a look for yourself
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