Lessons about performing, lesson 42: Repeat shows!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled content! I told you that I was back!

It should be noted that the articles may not come at a specific time, unless I get back into writing them all and scheduling the publication time. Right now, that doesn’t appear to be happening. Tomorrow doesn’t look much better.

Actually, I might have to do tomorrow’s article today.

Why? I have a show tonight. I may not even make it back home until sometime tomorrow afternoon. I’ve already called and reserved rooms for the band. We’re staying in a hotel tonight.

Can you say party with fans? It could happen!

This ties in nicely with today’s lesson, by the way. See, we’ve played this venue before. This is actually the first time we’ve played the same venue that we’ve played in the past. It will not be the last time.

So, as a quick refresher, I’m writing the various rules for performing musicians. They’re rules that nobody else seems to take the time to write down. They’re lessons I’ve learned, often the hard way, about making money in an industry known for abject poverty.

Following these rules will not make you a rock star. They probably won’t even make you famous. What they will do is give you a better than average (which is a pretty low bar) chance at making an income high enough that you don’t have to beg on the street corner.

If you’d like to see the previous entries on the list, there’s a link in the upper right. It’s not actually complete, by the way. I’ve been slacking and haven’t added the most recent rules.

So, let’s get back to work!
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Damned right. I’m back and it’s time for the 23rd guitarist better than Hendrix!

I’m pretty excited to write this one! I am not even feeling any time pressure or even the slightest bit concerned that it was published exactly at 10:00 Eastern. I think this is a good thing.

Besides, I wasn’t here. I sneaked away for the early morning hours. I checked on the blueberry harvest and stole about a half hour to fish a little trout stream that nobody appears to know about. Which is exactly why I’ll not be disclosing the location!

Either way, I’m pretty damned excited to write this and that’s refreshing. As I said yesterday, I believe my creativity bone is on the mend.

If you don’t know what I’m doing, why the hell are you even reading my site? I’ve explained it… Not only that, I’ve explained it 22 times already!

The wholly-unqualified, mentally-stunted, short-bus-riding, window-lickers that call themselves “journalists” while being barely capable of coherent thought, got employed by a company called Rolling Stone Magazine. How do you know they’re unqualified? They put Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitar to every play the guitar.

They’re wrong.

They’re wrong by my definition and with my metrics. Frankly, I’m far more qualified to offer an opinion than the mentally handicapped RSM journalists.

It’s my opinion that “Greatest Guitarist” should be an objective statement, inasmuch as is humanly possible. Words like “passion” or “soul” have no place in this. Words such as “popular” or “like” are also not important for this.

If you want to make a list that takes those qualities into account, call it Greatest Artist, or something similar. Calling Jimi the Greatest Guitarist is a disservice to those of us who have spent ungodly hours learning to play and is a figurative slap in the face to those who have mastered the guitar.

You don’t have to agree. However, your disagreement should be predicated on your understanding of the topic and your qualifications to actually offer an opinion of merit. If you don’t agree, feel free to explain why.

If you seriously disagree, you can make your own damned list. I’ll even help you get it published. My argument stands on its own and I’m very comfortable defending my conclusions. On top of that, I’d actually really just like to see you all taking the time to write and publish stuff! (I do have ulterior motives!)

If you want, you can see the people who have already made the list of guitarists better than Hendrix. I will tell you that it’s missing the last two, I’m pretty sure. I haven’t gotten around to updating it – but I’ll get there.

Note:

I’ve made some effort to place these guitarists carefully into their positions. I’ve tried to rank them according to ability, but that’s really subjective. My method has sort of been based on how difficult they are to replicate.

This means you can swap these artists around on the list. You can take the one in tenth position and swap them with the one in fourth and, at the end of the day, the main point remains the same. The point is that they’re more skillful than Hendrix ever was.

I also don’t know every single guitarist. Some of the previously featured guitarists are actually from recommendations from people like you. There are even more recommendations and I’ll get to them – as this list could go on for quite some time. (There were/are many guitarists more skilled than Hendrix.)

If you have a recommendation, don’t hesitate to contact me. If you want to recommend a guitarist for inclusion, please use that link. Using that link will keep them all in a central location and means that I’m more likely to consider them for inclusion on the list.

I spend a great deal of time (far more time than I spend writing) researching these guitarists. I know who they are but I’m not an encyclopedia and I don’t know all the little details for every artist. I make an effort to ensure that the information is factual and scour multiple sources.

If you spot an error, please let me know. If you need a citation, please let me know. One recent contact was about using the work for an academic project and wanted me to show them where I got the data. If you need such, do not hesitate to contact me.

I suspect this is going to be a very long article. You have been warned.

This next guitarist has quite a long history. I’m excited to write about him, because he’s been on of my greatest motivations. I’m hesitant to say he was an influence – but I was motivated to sound like him.

You may not even like the kind of music this next musician is known for. To say that he influenced a generation is an understatement. To say that he wasn’t truly a master guitarist would be false. To not include him on my list would just be silly!

Without further ado, our next artist…
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So, I’m still not done…

My creativity bone is still broken – but I’m pretty sure it’s nearly mended. I’m actually excited to write tomorrow’s article. (It will be Thursday, time for the guitarist better than Hendrix!)

So, I think my creativity bone is almost healed. I almost wrote a lessons about performing, but I decided fuck it… I’ve written a whole lot of them. I’ll finish the series soon, but I’m not writing one today.

This morning, I tried some herbal inspiration but then I had some phone calls to make and it just wasn’t helping.

Well, today, I’m going to tell you about a lovely guitarist and share a story about their guitar. That’s it…

I ain’t even sorry for this! You’re getting this story.
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Yeah, I’m gonna do that again…

You know damned well what you were getting into when you opened this.

Don’t blame me.

My creativity bone is still broken and I’ve decided that it was probably broken because I wasn’t having much fun. Well, it’s my site and I’m gonna have fun.

The other choice was going back to a Lessons About Performing that I wrote, and finishing that. I’ve got a few more slots to fill with that series, but I just don’t feel like writing it.

Don’t worry. I’ll get to it. It will have a finish! (Maybe…)

So, you know the drill… I’m pretty baked and I’m just going to write about what I want to write about. Today, I want to talk about another aspect of learning to play guitar, because I think some things need to be said.
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TheBuddha Writes a Stoned Essay on Music…

Look, I’m going to tell you right up front that this is just me writing a stoned essay. I told you, my creativity bone is broken.

That translates into some joy has been taken out of this – and this is not your fault. The fault is entirely my own and it’s because I’ve obligated myself to write something new for you, every single day.

And, because I just don’t have that creativity binge, I am not sitting there and writing these all on the weekends. I also don’t have that many large blocks of time. (Something I refer to often, blocks of time.)

It has become a chore. Trust me, the ads don’t even come close to making it worth it. Nope…

But, it’s me who obligated myself to this and you didn’t do it. Err… Nothing personal, but I don’t give you permission to obligate me to anything.

No, I do it because I want to. I do it because I feel I need to do it. I do it because I’ve been fucking lazy and not done it before. I should have done this maybe 10 years ago.

So, I want to enjoy it. There are things I want to write and this is one of them. Will you learn anything? Possibly. I can’t say. All I can do is share my experiences.

I am going to try to answer some questions, perhaps some generalities that people may have asked in the past, hinted at, or just seemed to assume. Wish me luck! I’ll see you on the other side.
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And now, the conclusion of the story…

Alright… I’ve got a massive hangover and I didn’t even crawl out of bed until about 09:30. I smoked some herbal inspiration and my headache is subsiding.

The short version is that yesterday’s show was a postponed show from the week before. (As those playing the home game know.) Well, we were one of several bands to be postponed – as you may also know.

One of them was unable to make yesterday’s show and a number of other stupid things happened at the venue. Either way, that left a hole in the schedule. We were asked to fill it and they’d give us money. We like money. We did it.

However, they wouldn’t let us actually do two sets back to back and just move everyone up a slot. No, we had to do a partial setup, do a set, tear our stuff out, and then do that same exact thing later in the evening.

The only possible way to cope with this sort of stupidity is to get intoxicated. So, I did… Not very intoxicated, but drunk enough to deal with inept venue management. And, once you start a good buzz-on, it’s just not realistic that you stop.

So, I hung out at the venue long after we could leave and soaked in the atmosphere. Also, I got pretty drunk at that point. I spent zero dollars on booze, strangely enough. Everywhere I went, somebody already had a beer for me.

Gotta tell you, it was pretty much the best day ever. I maybe made three trips during the unloading process – and those were only from the front of the stage to pack my guitars into the cases. Someone carried them out from there.

For those who are performing musicians, that’s important!

This is pretty much as good as it gets, and only a little bad. I’ve played in dive bars and our only pay was what they made at the door. I’ve been playing at places where someone was shot in the parking lot and the vast majority of the bar stayed inside because they didn’t want anything to do with witnessing it.

I’ve paid my dues! I do, I admit, have it pretty easy. So, I’m really bitching about something trivial – but it was a good excuse to get inebriated. Either way, I stayed there really late and the drummer’s wife drove us back to my house. My car is still at the venue. I’m so not going to go pick it up today.

Anyhow… Where was I?

Oh, yes…

The story! I am telling you the story of a very wonderful guitar. She’s a beauty and I would possibly consider punching a nun if it meant that I could play her.

And, I’ve set the scene for the conditions when she was first brought into this world. For those of you who aren’t caught up, this is the beginning of the story:

Read this, before reading the next part. It’s important that folks understand the background of where this guitar came into existence.

Without further ado…
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The tale of a very famous guitar. Part one.

Well, it’s after noon and I am sitting here with my keyboard and unable to think of what to write. I’ve got lots of things to write about, but none of them really seem like they’d be all that fun to write.

I told you… My creativity bone is broken! It kind of sucks, as it’s making these articles often seem like a chore, instead of the joy that they can be.

But, I try to get something out to you every day. Today is no different, but I need to tell you one story so that I can tell you the second story. It’ll be too long for one article, so I’ve decided to smash it into two pieces and write it that way.

I also don’t have much time. I have a show this afternoon/early-evening. I probably will leave here in just about 3.5 hours! Fortunately, it’s pretty close and we’re doing just a single set. I won’t be gone very long and I’ll be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.

There’s something to be said for being a regional band and not actually trying to achieve fame and make it big. Nope… Those following the story know that it’s all about getting paid and making it a reliable career. That’s what I’m teaching the younger generation and, so far, it’s been pretty good.

Maybe tonight will see me writing about today’s show? I am not sure, as that after-show time is still a fuzzy schedule. We shall see!

Anyhow, I am gonna tell you a story – so that I can tell you a story!
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So, you just purchased a guitar. Now what?

If you haven’t noticed, my creativity bone is still broken. I have material to write, I just don’t feel like writing it – or I just can’t seem to get it started. But, I still try to get something out to you every day. In fact, there has been at least one article per day since May 21st.

Where to begin? I’m not even really sure where to start with this article, so I guess I’ll start somewhere around the beginning. Unlike many of my articles, this one is aimed squarely at a beginner – and you’ll see why.

You’ll probably have noticed that I don’t tend to write stuff for people just starting out. My material is almost always aimed at people who are familiar with the instrument and usually aimed at people who are pretty advanced. I try to make it interesting for everyone, but I don’t really do much for those folks who are just starting out.

There’s a reason for that.

I’m not your guitar instructor. I am not able, or even willing, to teach you how to play guitar. The Internet is covered in sites that already do this. In fact, they do it better than I can. I have no time to make videos and no bandwidth with which to upload them.

There are a few things I don’t like very much. Two of them are futility and pointless replication. I feel that trying to teach online would be futile (for me). I feel that my doing so would be pointless replication of work already done.

So, I’m very willing to help – but I feel my best method to help would be to point people to work that’s already completed and freely available. I’m then also able to help with answering questions that folks might have.

What does this mean? Well, it means that I’ve decided to add a new style of content. I’m not sure what the final format will look like, but today is an example of this content.

Please (by commenting here, if at all possible – as I’d like to keep the comments centralized for this) do let me know what you think. If it’s not something people are interested in, I’d rather write something else. If it’s something people are interested in, I have a whole lot more material to share with you.

So, let’s get to it, shall we?
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The 22nd Guitarist Better Than Hendrix!

Greetings and salutations to you, my dear reader!

I’m well aware that I’m late in publishing this, but that’s because I just couldn’t put my intended guitarist on the list and had to switch a few things around. I then spent last night, and a good part of this morning, doing some rapid research to freshen my memory about the next guitarist to make the list.

If you don’t know what I’m doing, I’d suggest reading any one of the other 21 articles on this list. In fact, here’s a list of guitarists better than Hendrix. Reading the intro to any one of those will help you understand what I’m doing. I’ve explained it – like 21 times already!

Basically, Rolling Stone Magazine (and other publications) keep sniffing a bunch of ether and then typing out lists that place Jimi Hendrix at the top of the list. These list get titled something like, “Greatest Guitarist!”

Frankly, that’s nonsense.

It is my belief that the “greatest guitarist” should be an objective standard and should be based on metrics such their ability to play the instrument. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

My list has nothing to do with passion, sole, or popularity. It’s about their ability to play their damned instrument, and not about who was a greater personality. Even if we consider influence, Hendrix is still not near the top of the list.

So, my list is as objective as I can make it. I’m not saying Jimi was a bad guitar player. I’m also not saying I don’t like him. Who I like has nothing to do with this list, ideally. (I am a human and some bias has surely crept through.)

Jimi was a great artist, fantastic performer, and a great asset to music. He just wasn’t all that adept at playing his instrument!

I got a funny comment recently. “Yeah, but when you hear a Jimi Hendrix song, you know it’s Hendrix.” They said this as if it was a valid rebuttal! It’s not. Hendrix sounded like Hendrix ’cause he didn’t have the technical ability to sound different!

So, my goal has been to fix this silly nonsense and establish a list of guitarists who are better than Hendrix. It’s not actually hard to find guitarists that play better!

And, as there’s some subjectivity, you’re certainly able to change the places about where these folks fall on the list. I’m not really going in order of best to worst but better than Hendrix, at least not after the first ten or so. Even there, one could reason their way to putting those artists in different locations.

There’s also guitarists that I don’t know about. Feel free to contact me and suggest them. I don’t actually know every guitarist out there, so I’m very much open to suggestions for inclusion.

Anyhow, let’s get to the point and get this next article published so that you can tell me how wrong you think I am!
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Sometimes, I get strange emails!

Not a lot of people use that contact link in the upper right. You can, you know. In fact, I’d love it if you did. It may give me some sort of writing prompt and I could use those right now.

If you can’t tell, I am writing these the day I publish them – instead of what I was doing, which was writing a bunch and having them set to publish at 10:00 Eastern. Why? My damned creativity bone is broken.

I got a lovely email on Monday. It was signed with a username some folks might recognize but, I’ll spare them – this time. After all, it could have been someone just pretending to be them.

I don’t want to cut and paste, as the writing style is pretty unique. So, I’ll paraphrase.
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