On my full circle journey of my musical dream, it is imperative to recall as vividly as possible my initial list of goals: to become a respectable guitar player, recording artist, and an effective and fun instructor, plus – I can’t leave out the obvious selfish part – play music and see the world!

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I must give high regard to my constant desire to improve upon my craft, whether it involves learning new techniques or finger motions (such as a really cool move when playing the banjo), picking up current information about special effects, using the metronome as it was intended and not as a paper weight, or writing out my tunes and arrangements in greater detail. At this juncture in my career, it is important to me to always be prepared whether working to get a great sound from the stage, recording a video or sound track, teaching a guitar seminar, or when performing with others.

Modern devices, such as my L.R. Baggs M1 pickups and my Audio-Technica microphones, are key parts of my “music kit”. However, I can never forget that the How, When, and Where to use these tools is an important element in maintaining my goals. Understanding microphone placement to avoid phase cancellation, knowing the sound you are after when mixing percentages of microphone versus guitar pickup, and a knowledge of gain structure and equalization regarding sound systems will also endear you to soundmen who always seem to find it to be a great pleasure when dealing with musicians who effectively communicate reasonable ideas about the sound they prefer.

And always have a capo handy when another musician joins you. With the twinkle of a capo “clink” in the right spot, you can immediately establish a compatible key for a tune. To keep my objectives on track, I always stash a few Shubb capos for both my 6 and 12-strings in my guitar cases.

Originally posted 2010-04-07 02:49:56.