On the road in Ohio…
On the road in Ohio…
On the road in Ohio…
Important Information for Adam Rafferty Subscribers – this means you!!!:
If you are a subscriber to my “Guitar Mastery Newsletter”, you may have been accidentally removed from my list. To re-subscribe, please go here. This means you:
Huh? What Happened?
My mailing list provider Mailchimp, required me to “prune my list”. Read about it here.
When they get more than .10 % abuse complaints – that’s POINT 10 percent, they require this.
So, out of 13K subscribers, 17 ding bats called my Holiday Newsletter “email abuse”. Thanks guys! That’s enough to be more than point 10 percent.
In order to continue using use my mailing list, I had to unsubscribe 4900 people. I scanned the list and saw many of my friends and Facebook fans names.
I even had to unsubscribe one of my best friends. This was really idiotioc!
All names I unsubscribed – while they may be people I know personally, they had not ever opened or read an email – so they are what my provider calls “dead weight”.
But – you may like being on my list, and may not have read the past few mails, so this could mean you got axed.
If you’d like to stay on board with the “Guitar Mastery Newsletter” to get tabs and updates and goodies – just go and sign up again.
And, you’ll get Vitamin E Blues and other tabs for free. Vitamin E comes as soon as you sign up.
Don’t assume you didn’t get axed! And no worries – if you sign up twice, you will not get double emails.
Thanks, and I am very very sorry for any hassle!
Disclaimer: This is in no way intended to step on anyone’s toes. I love all styles of music. This blog post is about musicians awareness of “giving value” to their listeners, regardless of style or instrument.
In case you don’t know it. I was a stone cold, bebopping, jazz guitar player with a big old archtop guitar, running around NYC and playing every show, rehearsal and session I could get to.
It was a hectic and underpaid life for many reasons . But now I am happier and more successful now than every before . I will delve into the shift that changed my life, in this post.
I switched to fingerstyle guitar for many reasons. I felt the urge to entertain people, first and foremost. Entertaining gives me more joy than anything. The entire shift was brought about by asking myself “for whom am I playing?
My life changed…I stopped caring what other musicians thought, and started caring what the audience thought.
These days I see many musicians play and not “keep the audiences attention” for various reasons. The musicians are usually beyond excellent, so what’s the problem here?
I have a question for you . Are people talking through your gig? Are you holding their attention?
In no way am I suggesting that you or anyone change what they are doing to what I do. I am however encouraging you and other musicians to ask themselves why they are doing what they do.
The question each musician must answer – with utter honesty is “For whom am I playing? Who is my ideal listener? Who am I trying to impress? What is my ultimate musical goal?”
Our sense of survival is our deepest fear and psychological button. Back before jazz schools a MUSICIANS SURVIVAL was based on entertaining.
Fortunately, I was in many bands with leaders who came up in the era of entertainment being a MUST, and if I did not rise to the occasion, I lost my gig and did not eat.
I can remember in Harlem a band leader threatening me to stop practicing and entertain the “room” or else I’d be fired. GULP! And I remember bored faces of bar patrons “light up” when I stopped playing a million notes and started playing the blues.
That is called a FIRE under the ASS, as it were. ‘Scuse my French.
If you are trying to impress:
– Other musicians
– Yourself, to see how you stack up
– Other musicians on the internet, Youtube, etc
That means….YOU BLEW IT! You forgot about the most important people – the PUBLIC. Ok, that’s simply my opinion – but check it for yourself!
What’s really confusing though is that when you are in school, you feel like your SURVIVAL depends on the approval of peers and teachers….and impressing them becomes the goal. That’s why music school has nothing to do with preparing you the real world environment of music.
Regular people, not musicians, are your main audience!!!! Make this your mantra.
Regular people need to like what you do. Regular people need to feel good when you play.
Take a Lesson from Marketers
Anyone marketing a product knows that they need their ICP – Ideal Customer Profile. Well, think about your listener as if they were a customer. Who is your listener? What age, gender, financial bracket, etc are they? How much of society do they make up? Where do they hang out? And so on….
The idea of whom one is playing music for is so deeply ingrained in a musicians playing approach, it literally permeates EVERY note that a musician plays. And if you’ve spent years playing for other musicians – everything regarding your tone, time touch and concept are over there.
It can feel downright weird to play music for the “audience” if you are in that other zone. I can “hear” whom a musician is playing for as if they told me in plain English.
I am not talking about the musical skill. I am talking about the breath of life which permeates the musical thought, and intent behind the music.
I showed my girlfriend (who is not a musician) two jazz quartet videos – one old (1960’s) and one new (current) and she said “the new one – they all sound like they are playing their own thing and it is not matching up the way the old one does”.
No one could be further from understanding music than her – but she did hear the main difference!!!! Food for thought, kids.
So let’s close with the questions to ask yourself:
For whom am I playing?
Why am I playing music?
What is my ultimate goal in playing music?
Would I rather be “the best” or see “happiness” in my audience?
Write a full description of your ideal listener – sex, age, eductaion, financial bracket – whatever you want. (This will tune you to thinking about THEM instead of YOU.)
What reaction do you want from them? (Hint – joy is the right answer, thinking YOU are awesome is the wrong answer.)
Be a giver, not a taker! Wake up this way, go to sleep this way, practice music this way and talk this way. Amen.
Currently, musicians are becoming more and more aware that they need to use social media for their online PR and presence. Sites like Facebook, blogs, and Youtube are critical for musicians.
In fact, social media has helped me build my career and I am very thankful for these new outlets. It’s the new way musicians do business.
I’d like to introduce a technique of mine which I call “ECKMA” . This is a “secret” forgotten technique which will help you reduce your time spent on social media and increase your time spent playing music and practicing.
(Read on to find out what “ECKMA” stands for….)
If you spend a lot of time on the computer, on Facebook, on blogs, the most important thing – your music – can suffer. IMHO, coming up with new music and keeping my chops up is critical.
If you get burnt out on the computer, are feeling overwhelmed, and unsure of how to attack the music industry, then this is for you.
How do you find more time to focus on your craft? It’s easy – say “ECKMA”, which stands for….
“Everybody Can Kiss My A–“
Now there is a wisdom in this, despite the humorous twist. It’s about your “core talent”. Focusing on what you and only you can do is something you need to spend time on every day.
Mediocre musicians with great Facebook techniques and email lists do not interest me, or anyone. A flash in the pan and news of the day does not amount to a substantial musician who creates timeless songs.
If you don’t take a stance to work on your craft daily, all the social media in the world means little. You and only you can put the balance in your life.
You have to do
– your own pushups
– your own songwriting
– your own practicing
– your own inner spritual work
…as well as your marketing. But don’t forget about your craft.
And this means TURNING OFF the computer, the iPhone, the TV and giving yourself the essential gift of silence, time and the joy of creation. Everyday you should unplug for a chunk of time.
So, when I close my laptop and shut the cell phone and leave my apartment and take ONLY a guitar with me, I say “everybody can kiss my a–“. Then I have the focus and silence to practice. I unplug. Yay!
That’s to give myself the fundamental, essential gift of time, silence and solitude…which is an integral part of being human.
Bassist John Clayton says that after all the noise, buzz, news, and PR it comes down to 2 words…”the music”.
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For more info about this exciting DVD visit http://www.adamrafferty.com/j5-dvd
Crescent Ridge Publishing Announces a Very Special DVD Release.
“How To Play the Music of the Jackson Five – Arrangements for Fingerstyle Solo Guitrar” taught by Adam Rafferty is now available and shipping worldwide!
Learn four classic tunes sung by Michael Jackson and the Jackson FIve “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There”, “ABC” and “Never Can Say Goodbye”. A booklet with complete notation and tablature is included with the DVD.
Here’s What You’ll Get:
* 110 + minute DVD with performances and in depth lessons for the JACKSON FIVE Classics “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There”, “ABC” and “Never Can Say Goodbye”
* Move by move, note for note explanations of the arrangements
* Split Screen Views of Right and Left Hand for easy understanding
* A 30 page booklet with complete tablature and notation * Easy to undserstand explantions of Independant Basslines, Guitar Percussion Techniques and more
* Easily learn at YOUR own pace in YOUR own home when YOU want to!
To find out more about this exciting DVD visit
To receive Free Tablature and News Updates Via Adam’s “Guitar Mastery Newsletter”
This DVD is fully licensed and sync rights have been purchased from EMI publishing.
– The Crescent Ridge Publishing Team