I’m at a point in my career where it’s time for payback, but in a good way.
The journey of learning my craft began with listening to records cut from the backsides of cereal boxes and going to the Renfro Valley in Kentucky with my family to attend festivals. This circular path of learning from others – from weekly classes 35 years ago at a Huntsville, Alabama music shop, to music theory classes taught by my high school band director; the variety of courses from the rules of rhythm to Bel Canto opera at the University of Alabama as a Music Minor, and now with current private sessions with one of my mentors, David Walbert – has been crucial in my attempt to conquer the 6 and 12- string guitar. Today, I have an even more compelling urge to not only pass the torch of the collective knowledge gleaned from others, but to actually streamline some of these teachings by offering as many seminars, GillaCamp guitar workshops, and individual lessons as I can in order to hand over my encyclopedia of information.
One tip I always offer about improving one’s musicianship comes from the “old school of methods” of first developing strong basic techniques before taking up with any of the many tools available – from tuners to digital effects pedals, to computerized composing programs. A good example of this philosophy is about effective ear training. Rather than solely rely on your guitar tuner (Who you gonna call if you forget to put it in your guitar case before your gig?), learn to give yourself a fighting chance by training your ear to sound and pitch. Tune your instrument on your own and then use the tuner as a checking device. As your ears sharpen, your tuning process will go faster and there is something very satisfying about being right on as your tuner confirms with your choice. I currently use Intellitouch Tuners because of their reliable and lightning-speed reactions, particularly when responding to harmonics, and because of the illuminated screen for those dark venues. Plus, they always tell me when I have tuned to an L on that 3rd string!
Originally posted 2010-03-23 20:35:33.