Being Open-Minded

Being Open Minded And Positive
Being open-minded is essential if you want to grow as a musician. I think it’s easy to box yourself in because of fear and bad judgement. I think a lot of musicians myself included get caught up in trying to be too academic and complicated in compositions and playing. Some of the simplest things are the most beautiful and powerful. Somehow we need too tap into our emotions and really play from the heart and not be scared.
Here are some tips that I try to remind myself of.

Being Vulnerable
I think it’s so important to be vulnerable as a musician. In my opinion no one is perfect and no one should try to be. I think people connect and feel comfortable with artists who play from the heart and soul. Music is about expressing emotions and the more honest you are the more you will connect with people.
Don’t box yourself in due to fear.

Making Mistakes
One of my mentors at Berklee was the amazing Professor Lawrence Watson. Larry is an amazing vocal and performance ensemble teacher. He was kind enough to give me a chance to play in his band, which was an unbelievable experience.

The thing I love most about Larry is he can hear tentativeness in musicians and he hates it. He would always tell us passionately that he would rather hear big mistakes rather than something with no authority.
Sometimes he would come over to the musicians and pull away the music if he felt that they we were to absorbed in it.

It was scary sometimes playing with Larry, as you never knew what to expect which now looking back was the most beautiful and amazing opportunity to grow and play with confidence and without fear.
Making mistakes can be the biggest lesson of all as we can learn and grow from them a lot. Sometimes the biggest mistakes can turn into the biggest and best discoveries. You just have to be brave enough to make them.

Being Honest With Yourself
It can be devastating to realize you are not where you want to be in terms of growth and skills as a musician. Sometimes it’s easy to hide your weaknesses by being too defensive, being in denial and hiding behind your comfort zone controlling the music to stay within your framework. I have played with other musicians who box themselves in and the other musicians in by being to dominant with their playing. They suffocate you in their world so you have to play within certain boundaries.

Some of my biggest lessons have come from the most hurtful criticism and from my biggest idols. It can be very painful to know what you love most is not good enough.

But honesty and criticism can be the biggest opportunity to grow and improve. I feel it’s important to develop a way of being completely honest with yourself and understand the difference between constructive criticisms from the criticism with only the intention to hurt you.
Don’t be scared of your fears and really open up to advise from those you love and trust.
However it is important to trust yourself and to stand by your work. Sometimes criticism will be for the wrong reasons, it’s just really up to you to try and step outside yourself and observe calmly. If you need to improve or work on something so be it. Hiding or being in denial will never help you grow. It will make you less desirable to play with.

Listening To Others And Letting Go Of Control
It’s not only good to listen to others off stage but also on stage. Many times I have witnessed stubbornness when playing with others. I think this is due to fear and insecurity, as there seems to be a fear of letting go of what you are playing to allow a different point of view from other musicians.
We can get stuck and lost in our own lines that we can’t move or be loose enough to react to others.
Music is about breathing and everyone has a point of view especially with improvised music. Anything goes and that means being right there physically and emotionally.

Now what I am saying is not to just hold back and wait for the happening it’s being an important part of the community on stage or in the studio or practice room. It’s like a conversation of love, trust and respect. Sometimes you take to lead sometimes you let others take the lead. It’s a very spiritual concept that usually just happens when you are all in the zone with no ego problems attached. Don’t be scared to find your space, don’t be scared to drop out and don’t be scared to grab it by the throat. Just try to get yourself in that neutral space so you can give and receive.

A great example of great understanding and interplay is from the great “Miles Davis’s quintet with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. They all listened and supported each other so well and found their place.

The way Herbie and Wayne feed off each other is truly amazing.
Here is an example of my band in the flow improvising and supporting each other. It’s the track “Don’t Look For Love” live in London featuring Gregoire Maret – Harmonica, Romain Collin – Piano, John Shannon – Guitar and Obed Calvaire – Drums.
This tune has a fairly simple framework but we somehow with trust we took it somewhere else. I hope you enjoy.

Source :
ReadmoreBeing Open-Minded

What Is the Best Way to Learn Guitar?

Rocket Piano- Learn PianoOver the last few decades blues music has increased in its popularity, learning to play guitar has become exciting for many people. While there are many teenagers out there who dream of becoming pop superstars or rock legends, there are also many people that want to learn how to play the guitar just for their own simple enjoyment. Unfortunately too many people don't find the best way to learn guitar and after a few unsuccessful attempts, they actually give up on what so excited them in the beginning.

Different people have different learning needs. In addition, we also have different resources, different jobs, different errands to run and different schedules, different lifestyles. If you're not at the level of skill you hoped to achieve, it may simply be you haven't found your best way to learn guitar. There are several ways to learn how to play the guitar. Listed below are only a few of them.

Theory Books

There are thousands of theory books on the market that teach you how to play the guitar. Some of them are even very good and can provide you with all the information you need. Books are an inexpensive and comfortable strategy to learn how to play the guitar. Unfortunately, experience shows that for many of us they just don't work. However, if you are a very patient person, a theory book might be the best way to learn guitar.

==> Find out more now:

Video Lessons

Video guitar lessons are available on DVDs, videodiscs and video tapes in just about any music store, as well as on virtual shops. Additionally, there are also some video lessons available online. A few of them are even free. Video lessons are more dynamic and have a better chance of keeping you focused. They have the benefit of allowing you to practice at home whenever you find the time to do it. However, the inconvenience is that you can't benefit from the personalized attention and useful feedback a teacher could provide. A great way to complement video lessons is the use of blues guitar backing tracks. These blues backing tracks are great for practice and improvisations

==> Find out more now:

Private Lessons

If you are willing to dedicate a lot of time as well as some money to this, private lessons are by all odds the best way to learn guitar. A good teacher can design a customised instruction curriculum to suit your learning style and furnish you with personalized attention and positive feedback to get you motivated. In addition, he/she can also spot and correct your mistakes very fast.

==> Find out more now:

Learning by Ear

Learning the guitar by ear can be very entertaining, particularly if you have some sort of melodic bone in your body, and that bone is humming with lots of vibration, you might discover that this is the best way to learn guitar for you. With the advanced slowing down technology, it is much easier now than it used to be for our parents' generation.

You had better all of the time keep in mind that playing the guitar should be fun. If you find it difficult or stressing, your learning strategy might have a lot to do with it. Occasionally you need to try several learning ways before finding the one that works best for you. However, if you really want to play the guitar like a pro and have enough time and money, taking up private lessons is probably the better way to go. Go here to see this important site now:
ReadmoreWhat Is the Best Way to Learn Guitar?

How Dr. Drum Measures Up

If you’re in the market for a good beat producing program, Dr. Drum combines professional quality recording with an affordable price.

Even though the 16 track sequencer, 12-pad drum machine and four-octave keyboard are enough to spark an interest in the program, finding out how it compares to other beat-making programs is the only way to make an informed decision.

For beginners, the most important factor is ease of use. So many beat-producing programs and digital audio workstations (DAWs, for short) require hours of study to master the various computerized dials and overly complicated features.


You’ll spend hours trawling through PDF manuals and studying YouTube tutorials before you can even produce your own beat.

Dr. Drum is beginner-friendly, and you’ll be able to create awesome beats within the first day of downloading it. The intuitive layout is even supplemented with expert video tutorials, so you’ll never struggle to use it.

Dr. Drum’s operation is as easy as they come. You can import new samples with a single click, and it only takes a couple of clicks to copy multiple bars of audio. Other programs only allow you to copy a single bar at a time, and the import processes can be long and convoluted.

Dr. Drum’s basic operation means you can spend more time focusing on your compositions, and not the mechanics of working the program. It also works on both PCs and Macs, unlike other programs such as Logic, which can only be used with one platform.


Unless you’re looking to pay extortionate prices for high-end software, you won’t have many options for shaping your sound. Dr. Drum includes controls to adjust the highs, mids and lows, and gives you the option of panning each track to a specific speaker.

You can also adjust the frequency, resonance and IFO of the keyboard parts, which opens the program up to dubstep beat makers. The instrument samples themselves are professionally mastered, so you don’t have to grapple with poor quality sounds when you make beats with Dr. Drum.

Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a complicated piece of software that you have to be an experienced professional to use properly, you can pick up Dr. Drum (for a limited time) for less than $40. You still get the same 44.1 .WAV audio quality industry professionals require, but in a more user-friendly, affordable package.


Dr. Drum has features which exceed or match those of its competitors, and it manages to provide them for a fraction of the price. Compare it to any program you like; Dr. Drum comes out on top.
ReadmoreHow Dr. Drum Measures Up

Which is better.. Keyboard or Piano?

Real pianos are great but the one big drawback is you can’t turn the volume down so with a piano you tend to end up playing for the neighbours. With a keyboard you can stick on some headphones and play whatever turns you on – you can experiment, make mistakes and sound silly and play something a thousand times without driving other people nuts.

Ideally – have BOTH!
Click Here! If you are buying a piano it is preferable to buy an overstrung piano not a straight strung! How to tell: Lift the top lid of the piano you should see the tuning pins at the top of the piano. If the tuning pins are evenly spaced along the pin block and the strings are all parallel and vertical this is a straight strung piano. If there is a group of tuning pins at the left and a separate group at the right and the strings cross over in a X shape this is an overstrung piano. Also get a tuner to check it out. I bought a piano once that needed to have the wood treated because all the pins (that tighten the strings) were coming loose very quickly after being tuned – disaster!

What Keyboard should you choose?

A lot depends on what you want. Do you want a keyboard that sounds and feels like a Piano – then you’re looking for a keyboard or Digital Piano with WEIGHTED keys. Listen carefully to the piano sound – don’t be bamboozled by all the other buttons. If you want something portable then you are looking for a keyboard. Personally I would still look for one with weighted keys – I hate the feel of light plastic keys.
Click Here!
Get a keyboard with at least 61 keys – anything less and you will be craving for more keys after a few days. Also make sure get a sustain pedal, a keyboard is absloutely a dead thing without one. Without a sustain pedal as soon as you lift your finger off a key the sound stops dead – with a piano at least the strings vibrate for a second or two – the difference is quite noticeable.Click Here!
ReadmoreWhich is better.. Keyboard or Piano?

Dr. Drum Beat Maker Review

The Dr. Drum beat maker is a new program geared towards beginners who want to create kick-ass beats without spending hours learning how to operate a complex program.

It has a wide range of features, such as a 16-track sequencer, four-octave keyboard and 12-pad drum machine, and promises ease of use combined with professional quality. I’ve parted with my $40, downloaded the program and started making my own beats, and now I’m ready to share my thoughts.

The first thing that struck me about Dr. Drum is the intuitive layout. I’ve used numerous beat-making programs in the past, and I felt instantly at home.

ReadmoreDr. Drum Beat Maker Review