The Tielman Brothers – Rollin’ Rock (live 1960)

The Tielman Brothers from Indonesia play some serious Rock-N-Roll in this live video performance of “Rollin’ Rock” from 1960.

   All I can say after watching this amazing live performance is wow! The Tielman Brothers come from Indonesia and they are just incredible to watch perform. They really knew how to put on a show. It’s a true art to have four people put on a single dynamic stageshow. They each take a turn in the spotlight and all four brothers are truly talented. This kind of energetic performance is what rock-n-roll is really all about. I do have to say, it made me a little squeamish when the lead guitarist wedged the neck of that beutiful Les Paul on the floor and put his foot down on it to play it with his foot. I thought for sure that guitar neck was going to snap.

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The Who’s John Entwistle – Bass Solo

The Who’s John Entwistle plays a thundering bass solo in this clip.

   One of my favorite bands also has one of my favorite bass players, Mr. John Entwistle. His recorded work with the Who is just incredible to listen to and his bass solo on My Generation is one of the most famous recorded bass solos ever. He’s also an outstanding live musician and has no reservations about taking exteneded bass solos live. Today I’m posting up a clip of John Entwistle playing a bass solo in the middle of the song 5:15 from Quadrophenia. It was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000. I really like the way his bass sounds on this solo and the camera attached to the top of his bass neck really gives an interesting visual perspective. It’s cool to watch him use his E-String drop tuner as well. The scales that he plays are pure John Entwistle and they’re comprised of a style that the man himself forged. They may not make perfect sense in a music theory setting but they’re pure Entwistle. Any musician that can create such a unique signature sound as well as a unique melodic signature should be revered. I like how Roger Daltrey introduces him at the end of the song.

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Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess Keyboard Solo

Amazing keyboard solo by Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess.

   I’ve got a great clip for all you keyboard players out there. It’s from phenomenal live musician, Jordan Rudess who plays keyboards for Dream Theater. I find it extremely inspiring to see how far a skilled musician can take their playing on their instrument. Jordan is definitely one of the best keyboard players in all of rock-n-roll. I hope you enjoy the clip!

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Should I Get Guitar Lessons?

Matt Plays Guitar Like A Keyboard

   I get asked this question all the time “Should I get guitar lessons?” and it’s a question that’s quite tricky to answer. As soon as people find out that I’m a performing live musician they ask if I had music lessons. The reason these questions are tricky is because I did take music lessons in general but I’ve only taken about 4 formal guitar lessons in my life and that was because it was required in my college music studies. I’m a self taught guitarist, it’s my best instrument and I play guitar professionally in two bands. So when I tell people, yes they should get guitar lessons, it’s hard to justify formal guitar lessons from my personal experience since I never really had them. I’m going to answer the, should I get guitar lessons, question today on the blog.

   The answer is different for everyone and it depends on what other musical training you’ve had. Let’s start off easy, if you’ve never had any musical training on any other instrument then yes, you should definitely get guitar lessons right now and hang in there taking the lessons until you have a good command of the guitar and a really good grasp of guitar theory and music theory. Continue reading “Should I Get Guitar Lessons?”

How To Learn A Cover Song To Play In A Live Band

Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash

   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”

How To Do A Band Rhythm Check

Red Hot Chili Peppers Catch The Groove

   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”

My Favorite Guitarist, Jeff Beck, Plays ‘A Day In The Life’

Jeff Beck

     People always ask me who my favorite guitar player is. Well my favorite guitar player is Jeff Beck and he’s been my favorite since I was a teenager. He is a supreme musician both live and in the studio. I just love the way he gets so much expression out of his Fender Stratocaster. He plays with his fingers almost exclusively although I’ve seen him grab a pick a time or two. His skill with the whammy bar is unparalleled for musicality.

   This clip is Jeff performing the classic Lennon/McCartney tune ‘A Day In The Life’. The way Jeff Beck interprets this song is absolutely stunning in its beauty. The emotion that Jeff gets out of his guitar really defies description, you just have to listen to understand. It also shows what a beautiful melody John Lennon wrote in ‘A Day In The Life’. I hope you enjoy this rendition as much as I do.  Continue reading “My Favorite Guitarist, Jeff Beck, Plays ‘A Day In The Life’”

Getting Along Is More Important Than Musicianship

In Stereo Gets Along

   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.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan Interview And Guitar Lesson

Stevie Ray Vaughan

   Stevie Ray Vaughan is a legendary live musician. His live performance was simply amazing and he was very much at home on the stage. In this video clip Stevie talks about his playing and you get to sit back and enjoy him riffing away on his Fender Stratocaster. The camera stays on Stevie’s hands so you can really take a good look at what he’s doing while he’s playing. If you’re like me, then you wish every concert DVD had a camera just on the guitarists hands so you can see and learn what they’re doing. The only downside of the clip is I wish he was playing more but he does have some sage words of wisdom for guitarists. Enjoy!

Stevie Ray Vaughan Interview And Guitar Lesson

Fender Artist Series Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster Electric Guitar 3-Tone Sunburst Fender Artist Series Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster Electric Guitar 3-Tone SunburstThe Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster Electric Guitar is made for Texas Blues – Stevie style – with the same features as Stevie’s number one Strat. Unique features include a special “oval” neck, pao ferro fingerboard with 21 jumbo frets, three Texas Special single-coil pickups, gold-plated vintage hardware with Stevie’s unique left-handed synchronized tremolo, and special engraved pickguard. Pay tribute to a master with every note you play.

Have Fun At Band Practice

Bill Says - I LOVE practice!

   When I was just starting to play in rock bands and learning how to be a good live musician, I absolutely loved band practice. Hanging out with the guys and learning how to play together as a band was such a great rush. We’d play and talk about music and pig out on junk food. It was great! Over the years though, band practice has become more and more of a burden. It’s not very convenient and once you play live in front of a live audience, practice just doesn’t compare for getting a rush.

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