September 2, 2011

Free For All Friday, September 2, 2011

Food Fight!

Hey, kids! Welcome to Free For All Friday, where we throw random stuff at the wall to see what sticks. It’s like a musical food fight! What’s on the menu today, you ask?

Today’s selections include:

1 – A non-annoying John Mayer clinic at Berklee
2 – A great resource for guitar and amp parts
3 – 100 things that can go wrong on the gig (funny!)

Eat up, rock stars!




John Mayer at Berklee

John Mayer at Berklee

Anybody who knows me even marginally well knows that, although I have great respect for John Mayer as a musician, I find him almost impossibly annoying whenever he’s not actively making music. Top notch guitarist, as well as a mighty fine songwriter and singer. A musician’s musician. Check, check and check.

But I don’t have much use for him at other times. In my humble opinion, John should be heard while playing or singing, but definitely NOT while speaking. Not a fan. Watch the backstage stuff on the Where the Light Is – Live in Los Angeles DVD and just try not to throw up in your mouth a little. (The concert footage is primo, though.)

However, I’m fair enough to give credit where credit is due, and here is a review of a TERRIFIC clinic Mayer did at Berklee College of Music earlier this year. Lots of great insights on the songwriting process, the concept of self-promotion and more. He even deleted his Twitter account, which automatically bumps him up several dozen notches in my book. More music and less narcissism, FTW!

Thanks to a great thread on Facebook (yo, Jeremy!) I found this link…and now it’s yours. You’re welcome.

John Mayer 2011 Clinic – “Manage the Temptation to Publish Yourself”


Amplified Parts

Amplified Parts logo

With over 12,000 “Likes” on Facebook, Amplified Parts is pretty well known. But in case you are unaware, this online shop has everything you will likely need for your guitar, amp or whatever.

Find tubes, speakers, guitar parts, amp parts, reference materials, tools, and much, much more in a very-easy-to-navigate site. Whether you’re customizing your axe or just in need of replacement parts, Amplified Parts is a great resource and highly recommended.

Amplified Parts


For the Love of God, Bring Extra Stuff!

Cable and Picks

As a long-time gigging musician, I can absolutely, positively vouch for…and appreciate…the 100 Things That Can Go Wrong at a Gig! Some of it is hilarious and some of it is just, unfortunately, spot-on.

You’ve got the basics, like bad cables, dead batteries, and broken strings – all without extras, mind you. Then you’ve got the classic moments like the drunk guy who falls onto your pedalboard, the bachelorette party who screams incessantly for songs that you don’t know, or the fundraiser where they ask you to turn down so folks can hear the bingo caller in the adjacent room.

Ugh, yes. But I also found myself LOL-ing. If you’ve played more than ONE SHOW, you’ll probably recognize yourself, your band, or your fave venue in this list. The comments section has at least 100 additional funny moments as well. Enjoy!

100 Things That Can Go Wrong at a Gig

See you next Friday, kids!

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Jim Bowley is a professional guitarist, teacher and blogger. A native of Baltimore, he has over 30 years of playing experience and an advanced degree in Music Education from Towson University. Jim lives in Bel Air, MD where he maintains a thriving private lesson studio and performs with his band, Remains of Radio.

© 2012 Jim Bowley All rights reserved.
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