Friday, April 18, 2008

Read Your Contract!

In the poll, I got three responses. All "Contractual Obligation".

OK. Read the rest of your contract, and give me more ideas on the subject How Not To Suck! I don't want to have to go through the redress of grievance procedures, people, but I will!


Patrick said...

Practice not just what you're going to play, but how you're going to play it. If Wednesday nights suck, it is not because you haven't practiced enough, it is because you haven't practiced it with the rest of the band, in the empty sanctuary. No amount of playing with a metronome or multitracking yourself is going to make playing with the band better.
In the same way, play what you're going to play on the gear you're going to play it on. If your setup is Tele->pedalboard->Frontman->mic->PA, you should be practicing Tele->pedalboard->Frontman, at the very least.
Learn to tune without a tuner. You shouldn't need anything more complex than an A=440 tuning fork to tune. Learn to tune fourths, fifths and octaves by ear. Frets and harmonics are at best poor crutches for tuning. Learn why your B string will never be in tune, and learn the best ways to deal with it. Find out what a wolf tone is.
Practice every way to play that chord. Starting with the basic E and A barre forms, learn what you have to change to make it major, minor, maj7, min7, dom7, 9, sus2, sus4, and dim. Learn it so thoroughly you don't have to think about the best way to play that G#maj7, you just play it. Learn to transpose in your head, as you go.
Don't trust your gear. Your gear is going to fail. Plan exactly what you will do when your gear fails, for each piece of gear. If your layout is Tele->pedalboard->frontman->mic->PA, plan ahead exactly what you will do if each piece of equipment in the link fails or if cabling fails, at the worst possible moment. Learn to play without your high E string, and without your G string.
Memorize songs. You need to be able to play a six song set with no paper in front of you. You probably need to have at least two different six song sets prepared, and in your head, so when someone says "play me something" you don't blank out.
Play from your heart. Play from your mind. Play from your balls. Play from your forehead. Play from your buttocks. Visualize yourself shooting beams of white-hot music from each of those places, then shape those white-hot beams through your guitar and out into the world. Shoot things with the beams of music.
Strum one chord as many different ways as you can strum it. Make a song that you play without ever moving your right hand. Strum in 3/4. Strum in 4/4. Strum in 5/4. Strum in 6/8. Strum in 7/4. Strum in 11/4. Strum in Pi/e. s/Strum/Fingerpick/g. s/Fingerpick/clawhammer/g. s/clawhammer/tap/g.
Hear perfect tone in your head. Put down the guitar. Audiate exactly what you want to sound like. Work like mad to get as close as you can to that. Work a little harder. Try sounding like that without any gear.
Learn the purpose of every knob, switch, plug, dial, pedal, nut, bolt, and screw in all of your gear. Find out what they do when you adjust them.
After you've done all that, do you still suck? Yes. You still suck. So go back and do it again. You'll never stop sucking, but you'll suck a little less each time around.

Dave Jacoby said...

You were holding out! That's all good stuff.

MooPig_Wisdom said...

Now this other Patrick aka MooPig says: I voted contractual because of advice and personal experience -- like:

Some of us have waited ten years before buying "Best of Little Feat" Best of Merle H" Best of the "Kinks" you know anthologies,,, so you see it is a verbal [well virtual] contract that is expected to last at least ten years.

Then when I met younger Pribek, he added to my enthusiasm for fading artists of my time. Since he is an avid and astute walking dictionary of his trade, as are his friends in here, I got more pleasure when I listened to or played L'il Feat, or the Kinks... etc. more value added to a cassette for four dollars "Best of Allman Bros..." I really did not know that he hit a Peach Delivery truck, leading to Eat a Peach, but Pribek told me that one... no big deal?

New music is most scarce and therefore most expensive, but seems to devalue as time advances. [exceptions are many] but That is because it will take at least ten years to find worthy gems to gather from every corner of the world. At which point we all renew our ten year contract to keep trucking with knowledge that if lost is unpardonable...

Without your posts or readers' commentary, all the music worthiness of groups' longevity would slip away. This contract we have as super-writers and readers is added value to generations unborn, who will one day actually Read Sans, and hear Roy B.... and that is good, no?