When I was a young teenager, before I could play any chords on a guitar, I had a very fortunate experience. My friend Phillip had heard of this fantastic American blues guitarist, playing at the Auckland Town Hall. I didnt know who he was but encouraged by my buddy, I got a ticket and we went together. The seats we had were right above the mixing desk, looking down on the band from the side. Really the worst seats in the house, on paper. But I was enthralled to be so close to the performers and to see the show from the technicians point of view. A big fellow with a shaved head came out and opened the show on acoustic guitar. He was really good, and I think he may have been the guitar tech. He was worthy of his own show. The next band was The Fabulous Thunderbirds from Texas. It was rockabilly, blues, rock and roll, and 100% enthusiasm and fun. I remember the woman playing the double bass and how she could spin it on the spike and not miss a beat. I remember how they all had memorised their parts and they played as one, it was seamless - solid as a mountain. There was a break, then the main act came on. A smaller band, just a trio. But right from the start, it was mesmerising. His guitar playing sounded like nothing I had ever heard before. I couldn't believe how only 3 players could make so much sound. The guitarist in particular was incredible, so absorbing, so potent. It was music on another level, completely engaging and soulful. His name was Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he has inspired countless scores of musicians. He passed away 25 years ago. Stevie Ray Vaughan was just 35 when he died in a helicopter crash outside East Troy, Wisconsin, August 27, 1990. Im one of the few of my generation who got to see the legend up close. Getting to see him play is one of the things that still makes me want to play guitar.
Thanks for your patience :)
We have worked hard these passed weeks to update the website with a brand new template and more content.
There now is a How To section where we will be posting videos now and then to help you with your practice sessions at home.
Have a look around :) If you have any comments or see mistakes please feel free to contact us!
So you’ve decided to play a musical instrument. What next?
You’ll need to decide what you want to be able to do. It’s a good idea to have short term, mid-range, and long term goals. And it’s a good idea to re-evaluate these all regularly.
For example, you might want to make funny music videos. You might want to play guitar in a cultural or church group. Maybe you want to start a rock band. Maybe you really want to sing and write your own songs, and playing an instrument will enable that. Maybe you want to play guitar or ukulele at preschool or kindy for the kids sing-along. Perhaps you will sing to your loved one on your wedding day, or maybe you want to go out busking and make some coin while you’re a student.
The kind of things you should incorporate in to your short term goals will be learning particular skills and keeping to a practice regime. A golden rule – if your practice routine isn’t challenging you, you will stay at the same level you are at. Keep it fun, varied and above all, challenge yourself!
In your medium range goal set, build on your networking. Find out the nuts and bolts of what you have to do to get the gig you want, who to call, who you need to befriend, what you might have to wear, what you might have to buy to have the right instrument or equipment. Do you have the right look for what you want to do? Do you know enough repertoire? Are you already trying it out somehow, somewhere?
Your long-term goals could be anything, but why not dream up a 5-year plan to start with? You can modify it as you go. It’s difficult as a young beginner to imagine a 5-year plan so maybe start with a 2-year plan then see how you feel after that. The main thing though is to have goals and a vision of how to go about making them happen.
Part of this process should be discussion with your teacher, they can help you find out what you need to do to make your goals happen. An effective plan will get you there faster and more effectively. We are about to embark on a new year, what a great time to make some plans and resolve to keep them ! Best of luck :-)