by | Aug 9, 2018 | Guitar Secrets

I haven’t been posting much on social media this summer because I’ve been too busy. I’m in the studio every week producing and playing on two extensive projects that demand my attention every day. The CVB has played 3 festivals and 2 smaller concerts in between all this “day job” work and I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.
Playing too much guitar for a living is a nice problem to have, so I’m not complaining. And social media will always be there so it doesn’t bother me to “go silent” for a few months. But I sometimes feel a little out of balance when I don’t get ample time to focus on my own music.
Focus is everything in the music business. It starts when you’re young and learning to practice. Everyone is different: some kids can get at it and work on a scale or transcribe a solo until they have it. Others will go for 30 minutes and call it a day, taking longer to nail down a specific idea. So I feel happiest when I’m making progress and adding new depth to my musicality. Transcribing songs, working on lines, perfecting new techniques, researching and studying other players until you know their concept, writing songs, practicing vocals, memorizing lyrics, working on tones with my live rig….all these activities are focused on my artistic career and I’m happiest when my day is spent in that direction.
But, studio work can also be very satisfying. The artist in me takes a back seat to the “craftsman.” As a lifelong fan of music and the guitar, I truly enjoy the opportunity to duplicate those styles and tones I’ve loved for so many years. The ability to hook up different guitars to an array of different pedals and plug into different amps to create new sounds is a joy only available in a studio setting. The stage is not big enough!
Last week I pulled out a Vox guitar I hadn’t played in 3 years and put a fresh battery in a Dunlop Rotovibe pedal. I sent it to a Gibson Falcon amp for a tone I’ve never heard before. The fact that it was the perfect sound for the chorus of the song made for a very satisfying morning, and then I got to play a solo in the style of David Gilmour, always a challenge to edit it down to just the right, well placed perfect notes. So I can balance my artistic impulse and call the day “Research,” because I found a new secret weapon for my next album. Vox-Rotovibe-Falcon. Log that one!
The career of a professional musician is based around multiple income streams. And as James Taylor once said, “The secret of life is enjoying the passing of time.” In 3 weeks I’ll be on the road in Scandinavia and hearing that tone in my head while staring out the tour bus window. It’s all about balance…