This book is the music notated companion book to “The Guitar Grimoire – Scales & Modes”. Both are a must-have for your music library.
The ongoing quest for every live musician is to increase their knowledge and playing skills. When you play in a live band it’s really to your advantage to have a good grasp of general music theory. Every guitarist I know wants to be able to play blazing fast guitar licks but most of them fall short when it comes to knowing what scales or notes to play and when to play them. I’ve played with guys that were lightning fast but their playing wasn’t musical because of their poor note selection.
The Guitar Grimoire – Scales & Modes is a “must have” book for every guitarist that wants to take their playing to a higher level.
I’m always trying to increase my knowledge and skills on the guitar and keyboard so I can get better at playing in my live band. I’ve been playing guitar for about 28 years but it seems like there’s always something more to learn. I’ve got a good background of music theory but I’ve always wanted to be better at applying various scales and modes to different chord structures. Today I want to tell you about an excellent book I just picked up called The Guitar Grimoire – Scales & Modes by Adam Kadmon.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, will have your live band working together like having a gig scheduled. When you have a deadline for a performance the whole band will suddenly become more focused on creating a great final product to present at the show. The constant tweaking of parts will stop, songs that just aren’t coming together will be dropped and the songs you do well will really start to get tight. Having an upcoming gig will give your band a sense of urgency that really will help you to polish things up and make them presentable. Continue reading “Get Your Band Focused By Scheduling A Gig”
One of the greatest challenges I’ve had as a live musician is learning new songs to play live with my band. I don’t know why I’ve struggled with it because I’ve been playing other people’s songs for as long as I’ve been playing music. Think about it, when you began learning your instrument you most likely learned how to play music that other people have written. If you took piano, I’m sure you learned out of basic piano books that had some classic folk songs or some great classical music. You probably learned how to play some pop music on the piano to keep things interesting as well. Well it’s a whole lot different when you’re learning music to play in a live band. To do it right, you need to learn to pick out and play parts by ear. That’s a real challenge for those of us that learned how to play instruments by reading music. It took me a long time to develop my ear to the point where I could play my parts exactly like the record. Here are some suggestions on how to learn a cover song to play in your live band. Continue reading “How To Learn A Cover Song To Play In A Live Band”
One of the things that will be an ongoing quest for your live band is your ability to play consistently in the groove. What is a groove? That’s when your band locks into a certain rhythm which defines the overall feel of the song. There’s a rock groove, funk groove, R&B groove, country groove, jazz groove and many other types of grooves. Playing in a groove can also be called “playing in the pocket.” It all comes down to a very simple concept and that is how all the parts being played by your band interlock rhythmically. Today I’m going to tell you about a very simple but very effective way for your live band to do a groove check, or rhythm check if you will. Continue reading “How To Do A Band Rhythm Check”
That’s right, getting along is more important than musicianship. This is band chemistry 101 for all you live musicians out there. I’ve played with some of the most incredible musicians I’ve ever heard and I’ve also seen them not able to function in a band for more than a year. The musicians I play with now are all excellent. Maybe not the best in the world, but excellent players. My two bands have been together for 18 years and 14 years respectively. Let me tell you why we’ve been together for so long.
I previously wrote an article called A Happy Crowd Means A Happy Band, in this post I’ll discuss the opposite point of view. It’s true that the band feeds off the audience, that being said, the audience is the most unpredictable part of your gig. We as live musicians would like to have a pumped up, excited audience every time we play. We can’t control the audience mood but we can control our mood. Or at least how we appear when we’re playing. Whatever your mood appears to be onstage, it will carry over to the crowd. So even if you’re having a terrible night, keep things light and keep a smile on your face.
I remember when I was starting to learn guitar, I wanted to be in a band so bad but I didn’t think I would ever be good enough to do it. I would practice in my room for hours and I finally got to a point where I was pretty good. The next logical step was to start playing with other people. I was nervous, but when the chance presented itself, I seized the opportunity. When I got together with other people to play music, my skills as a live musician increased more than I ever could have imagined. There’s just nothing like the interaction that you get playing with other musicians.
The other day I was talking to some young musicians that were just forming their first band. One of them asked me which instrument was the most important instrument in the band. This is a question I’ve heard a lot over the course of my career and I’ve had a lot of discussions with other musicians about which instrument is the most important in the band. Is it the Lead Singer? Everyone focuses on the singer when the band is playing right? How about the drums, you couldn’t have a rock party without drums. Everyone loves the lead guitar, always getting high-fives after a good solo. What about the bass, no bottom end means no rumble in the chest and it’s a lame show without some good shaking going on. Without decent keyboards the music loses it’s harmonic texture.
One of the things I’ve encountered in my career playing in bands is the importance of keeping everybody on the same page. One thing that is constant is the fact that things constantly change. The band may have started out with one vision, one goal and a clear path to get there. As time goes on and people grow and the band gets out playing in front of people those things will most likely change. Before long, the band that started out as a rock-n-roll roadhouse band is playing a bunch of country music and not everyone in the band is happy about that. Another thing that happens to bands is personality conflicts. They’re inevitable and unavoidable. Sometimes there are hurt feelings because of things that have been said or done in the heat of the moment. You can make it through these things as long as the band keeps the ability to talk to each other openly and honestly.