The Legends Of Classic Rock

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How To Make Cash When Guitar Players Pick Your Brain About Guitar and Amp Gear


Hey Man, I'd Love To Pick Your Brain About Setting Up My Amp and Guitar To Get My Own Tone!

Here's How To By-Pass The Players Who Want To Talk Gear And Make Extra Cash Consulting Them On Just That!

Picture of: Brian Farmer Guitar Tech Guru Talking Gear With Gov't Mule Lead Guitar Player Warren Haynes

No! No! don't pick my brain about gear and setting up your guitar and amp. A musicians brain is one of the last bastions you want to pick. Just funnin' with ya there. But it's a pain in the ass for a lot of frontmen and band leaders when players come up to them and ask them all kinds of gear questions. It's not always fun when you're going over the show with your sideman or talking to a cutie who loved your playing.


Here's how to turn this pain around and turn it into a way to make extra cash on the side besides gigging. When I would talk to players after shows, local musicians would always come up to the band leader and start asking gear questions even when they were talking to me or someone else. Dee Curtis our consultant here on the blog would always get players asking gear questions. I told Dee to do this to make extra cash helping players doing this exact thing, but he passed and I passed it on to other players.

Okay, here's what to do. No really. I'm not bullshitting you.

Ask for money from players to meet with you and ask for at least 50 to 100 bucks plus a free meal. Why not? These musicians are asking for your expertise so why not give it to them. You're in a capitalistic society and making extra cash helping musicians is creating value.

What? You pay for other people's expertise. What if the advice you give a guitar player goes way beyond what they are paying you?

That's creating massive value!

Like I said at the start, if you can help set up a player's guitar and amp and give them the tone they need for their music, I think that's more than worth it to pay 100 bucks for. Especially if it results in more gigs for a band because someone who books saw your band and honed in on your natural tone.

If you're a player who does session work and you can show players how to play for the part instead of just playing off in your own world for doing sessions, I think that's worth 500 dollars. As well, you could work with studios and musicians who play your style of music and are looking for session guys beyond the work you can handle, and book players to do this session work for 10 percent of the take.

If the player you're helping needs help booking his band, create more cash and income source by doing just that. It could also help your band by opening for them and getting more exposure for the band you're helping.

There are so many ways to make cash helping musicians.

Besides having these guys pick your brain, you could and can make extra cash as a regular consultant and agent to these players who want session work, and make cash two ways besides gigging with your own band. This way when a player wants to pick your brain you can eventually pitch him so to speak and really help them out, and get "Mucho Dinero" to boot. As well, you won't be so pissy about players wanting to pick your brain about gear and playing.

For players who live in big cities like LA, NewYork or Sandiego,  you can actually pay the rent with this idea and bank some cash from gigging and CD sales. Just put the money in cash and CDs at the most. That way your money is safe, you sleep well at night, and any extra cash can go into your band or for your own gear.

If you're a player who'd like to take this idea to the next level and get players picking your brain constantly, just email me and we'll get started making extra cash.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Off The Beaten Path Ways For Indie Musicians Like You To Make Money---No Shit!

By Mark Grove
Picture of Eddie Taylor Blues Artist From Chicago. Was a great sideman, session player and band leader. He's the one on guitar. I can't remember who his friend is on the left.

Most musicians don't get the media they deserve. Especially blues and rock players. Its all about what band is creating the most buzz. If you're going with the crowd, or mainstream media, players you're missing the picture here. Go the other way. When the media or a band goes one way, go the other. One way you can start getting media for your band is interview one of your favorite bands and put that interview on your band website.

Write free articles for musicians and host question and answer sessions for them at their gigs and on line. Keep doing this for free. At some point ask them to reciprocate. If they won't go on to the next band. Chances are some other band sees what you're doing and want to help. Another way to get alternative media to interview your band is use college radio, print and TV. Shun mainstream media.

Find a writer who writes for the type of music you play. Ask them to interview your band. If they say no, change your approach. Offer them free guitar lessons, free admission to your gigs. Barter comes in handy when dealing with media people. Interview other bands still and put their interviews on your site still. Do live video streams and use You Tube to get more traffic. Offer Press Kit services such as article writing, bios, CD reviews and get an on line presence. Also offer to let bands open up for you, and for your band to open up for others for press kit services. Keep your services focused on your genre.You can do press kit services for other genres, but don't go in too many directions.

You'll want a regular writer for your band who also has connections to underground media sources, and is willing to work for free until your band plays regularly. Keep on writing for other bands. To make extra money online, offer music equipment at a discount. Sell wholesale music equipment. Two top notch whole sale music equipment sources are and  You can also sell Rock Band Merch from in either their affiliate program, or sell off Ebay.

Booking other blues or rock acts can also act as another off the beaten path way of making money for your band besides gigs. But start by helping bands for free. If you want more info on these ways to make money for your band, just email me.

Peace and success to all players.

Mark G

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why Being A Good Listener Will help You Succeed Playing Jam Sessions

By Mark Grove

Sounds too easy doesn't it guys. But most players and guys for that matter aren't good listeners. Not just with the wife, but when playing with other band members, jammers and especially when doing session work. It's a learned thing. Most guys will say they're great listeners when they actually aren't. This affects the way you play, and your ability to improvise and play what some other player wants.

You still don't believe me do you? Just bear with me lads. You go see other bands right? Okay, you watch and you listen. Try doing that when you play. You listen intently when watching, but tend to disassociate and become oblivious to certain aspects of a lead guitar or rhythm player's texture,chording or riffs.

Read this important post and use these tips on listening better when playing. Hell, you might even listen better when the wife is talking. Probably not though. Just the way the old DNA is built into most guys, including me.
Okay, you've been honing your blues rock chops on your Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul at home, or with your garage band. And for the last number of years you said you would always hit the blues jams in your city. But, you’re afraid of looking foolish on stage if you make mistakes.We all go through that. Before you do go on stage, go to a jam and listen to other players, really listen and write  down the name of the band or musician hosting the jam. Take notes of songs being played, especially  the best blues guitarist in town who’s up there.

If your blues chops aren’t up to his level, don’t worry, and go with the songs you know how to play and ask if he would be willing jam on your requested tune. I know, you’re scared up there, but if you don’t take that step you’ll never do it, it’s that simple. Chances are they’ll ask you to lead the song so practice the song until you kill it. I know it fly’s in the face of blues improvising on the fly. But you at least have to know the material, even if it’s just one song.

You’ll learn how to jam in a pressure situation that way. Then the best players will want you up on stage consistently.

Blues players will also help you more than most rock players. Even though it’s your song, listen to the other players and their techniques which will give you some insight, into how to use little new variances in your chording technique. Here is another little tip. When listening to other players, listen and watch their phrasing which will give you clues and cues when there is space and headroom available for you to inject your dose of riffs which complement the playing of others, not playing above everyone else. You need to be confident, yes. And your playing has to be top-notch, but be humble about it. it's not a head cutting contest.

Very few players can head cut. Luther Allison and Albert Collins were bluesmen who could get away with it.
They were two of blues greats, who played with bravado and confidence, but left it onstage. Two people who followed in their footsteps as great listeners and players were, Bernard Allison,Luther's son, and Coco Montoya who was mentored by Collins.

Much respect to Collins and Allison and their blues legacy.

Okay, back to listening when playing gigs, jams and sessions.

Don’t try and play above everyone else or in your own little virtuoso world either.

Even if you or someone else makes a mistake, play through it and in sync with every one else. Even if it is your first jam try and pick out someone in the crowd to play to and connect with. Don’t worry about being a shred king, Blues is about simplicity. You’ll get fans you never knew you had playing that way. So play tunes you know, and Save improvising for later, until you’ve started playing jams regularly with other musicians.

You’ll know the right time to fly on the frets if you do that. Don’t just listen to and copy guitarist’s, get your own style and include just little snippets of the Blues Masters, or top players in your town. Listen to drummers, Bass players, singers and harp men. Apply their techniques to yours so you can get beyond your own chording and improvisation techniques. It’s not about being the baddest and best blues guitar cat on the planet. Jamming and playing with others better than yourself is key, to glom some chording tips and even a wild blues lick or two, from a newbie like yourself. Blues jamming, It’s all so beautiful man.

Lets see how long you can listen intently to the wife before getting slapped again. Not long.

Mark Grove

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Blues Rock Influence When Playing---And How To Use It To Your Advantage

By Doug Cognito: Guest Writer

Co-writer: Mark Grove


Doug Cognito:

I have used the blues as a step to teach rock/metal students how leads and chord progressions are structured, and the huge influence the blues has had and continues to have in modern music, and in classic rock and roll.

Some musicians are even unaware that "Pride and Joy" and a myriad of other songs (Dizzy Miss Lizzie and Ice Cream Man) are classic textbook examples of 12 bar blues, and that Black Sabbath, Judas Priest,Iron Maiden and other classic acts use blues based approaches to lead structuring. In fact, I have read (and can believe) that 70% of rock lead work is in the classic "root" box position of the blues and relative scale.

My love is of the blues,and blues jams, but it has also led me to play in rock or heavy rock-blues bands and/or recordings. Lucky this time, as my student is a blues player/singer. They want to learn the blues only. Even though they have played live, recorded, and have even been praised, they had no idea about the blues scale, blues chord progressions, or any of it (not even that the 12th fret is an octave, WOW).

I am not one heavy on theory or getting too far away from the music, I just find that the blues can be very simple to understand, but very powerful and moving. To be a good player and to learn quickly and allow your ideas to flow, and to be able to communicate with other players, I firmly believe you must first master these simple roots forms (to create more complex music).

When I showed them what I wanted to teach them, they were thrilled, and wondered why no one had shown them this before (even a paid teacher they could not afford to keep seeing). Chances are, that person did not know either.

I find that a solid blues jam is similar to the exercise where you fall back with your eyes closed and trust your spouse/friend/co-worker to catch you. You can go off on a tangent, and know that certain changes or resolutions will happen, you can feel them behind you, and you can phrase your "wailing" to work with them.

Once a groove is set up, the player taking the lead, playing behind the beat, or all over it, can fall back to be caught at the perfect moment. Even "loose" playing is based around a steady beat. You cannot play around the beat, or chord changes, unless you know exactly where they are. You have to know the rules before you know how to bend them.

Mark Grove:
Blues Boxes are part of most guitar phrases and chords, along with that you should not just learn theory but get out on-stage and stretch your playing know how. Play if you can, from those who are at your level or just above. I find not many high level guitarists enjoy playing with ones just starting out. Mind you a journeyman guitarist can learn a riff or two from someone who's been playing for 6 months. I find that even Novice players who learn first from the slower tempo blues numbers tend to play with intensity and vibrato most don't.

Quite a high percentage of Blues, rock and metal players like to just "Shred" and this takes away from the pure players who love to play blues and feel every note. The better players see the ones who have the ability to straddle the lower and higher tempo blues numbers and bring their tempo down a notch.

You have to play both loud and soft I say with intuitiveness and feeling when it's right. So don't just learn to play difficult chord and song structures that doesn't impress the better players or me.

Take what Doug and I have taught you here and go out there and play at your local jam and practice at home as well. Be willing to make mistakes, and if you make one try to play through it and don't stop just because you made that mistake.

Doug Cognito: Contributing Writer
Mark Grove: CGP

Jimmy Page Interview---Golden Nuggets Of Info On Gear, Session Work And Becoming A Better Musician

Jimmy Page Interview---Golden Nuggets Of Info On Gear, Session Work And Becoming A Better Musician                                                                                                                                                                         As you know I like to learn from many musicians and areas in life, and Jimmy Page is no different. There are so many golden nuggets of information musicians can use for composing music, setting up equipment to tips on playing live or recording albums in this interview. Even how to spot and take advantage of opportunities if you're a session player or full band. These are the types of things I talk about on my blog---Creating Value For Other Musicians And Bands!
As well, a tip on why doing sessions even for free kept Jimmy's playing level high, and his desire and demand by others high as well. All it takes is learning from others, and Jimmy did that in spades. Just because he was Jimmy Page, doesn't get you a shot just like that. I personally like what Jimmy did production wise versus any live work. And Mr. Page helped many a band in the studio, and I wish that books and interviews would delve into that more. But this interview is jam packed with solid info you can use as a single player or with your band. So Take notes and apply those techniques. It would be well worth it.
So here's the link to the interview. Much success to you and your band.

Digital Edition

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How To Create Value For Other Bands You Want To Open For --With This Dead Simple Contrarian Ti

                                                                                                                                                          Okay, you're a band that's been playing here and there or not at all.  But you would love to open for   a local band who's music you respect.  Just asking for an audition in most cases does no good.  You need to create value for that band.  First of all find out all you can about that band. Bios, Press kits, listen to their music and look at any reviews and interviews.  As well go out to their gigs. This is simpler than it seems guys.  Here's the secret. Actually there is no secret.

Maybe Jimi Hendrix can fly too. Look, there he goes right now. Just kidding.

What you do is look at all the press a band you want to open for gets, then go the other way. Do something as simple as asking them about their gear and how they tweak it to create their own tone without copying other bands. This is something a lot of bands miss. Create value for a band without asking for anything. Then keep on doing regular interviews with that band. Put those on your site and bring local college media out to their gigs.

You'll bring out younger people who not just like that music, but understand it and can relate to it. As well, they will buy CDs and come out to their gigs as well. Do the interviews live with the band at their gigs which will give your band some exposure as well. Don't ask for anything in return. Do live video interviews with the band on their music, recording and aspects of music that real raving fans and musicians will like. I would rather promote a band that gets 1,000 raving fans than 10,000 people that buy once or go to a gig once, then never come back.  Start off with one interview with a band. I'll have the next tip on this in the coming week.

The next tip will go into how your can actually open for other bands.

If you need any help with this musicians, just email me.
It's simpler than you think guys.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bass Playing Guru and Member of Tool Justin Chancellor--How he builds his sound around his rig

 By Mark Grove

Tool is a band that defies the norm as far as innovation and experimentation with time signatures and their approach to music as a whole. They look at other forms of music as well when considering how to bring new shapes and variations on chord structures. It's not just their music it's self that draws the attention of other musicians. Tool is a band that has always had their collective musical minds on using equipment that will take their music that much farther, and tweaks it to their's and their fans advantage.

Since how you build your bands sound is highly dependent on how you use amp settings along with the right cabs, guitar and minimal effects to define your bands textural and tonal nuances. Tool Bass man Justin Chancellor is a purveyor of sounds that give justice to new phrasing and rhythm based lines. Justin's take on it all is to approach it differently, but not so much that it changes his overall approach to the low-end of the spectrum. Mr.Chancellor changed his amp heads for 10,000 but kept the same cabs as before, which he did for Lateralus the bands last album.

Justin's amp and cab set-up:

He changed from Mesa-Boogie heads to Gallien-Krueger heads based on the fact that the Mesa's were muddy and distorted in a way that was not conducive to the sound that he was looking for at that time. The G-K's had more of a tone that wasn't so based on playing heavier metal, but had a clarity and thud that he was having a problem getting before with the Mesa heads. I don't know if players like Justin use too much in the way of effects, and in essence it muddied up the sound. That's just pure speculation on this writer's part.

Justin's cabs were kept the same as before. He was using Mesa-Boogie cabs which are the 8x10 versions. Justin also said in an interview, that he likes the older version Mesa's based on certain workings within the cabinet it's self. I feel that Tool is a band that is always looking, not just to change their sound because they want to be different, but because of the fact that they listen to different types of music.

That becomes ingrained in their becoming not just great musicians -- but students of music who want to teach each other and others that you can't be single minded in creating sounds with just one type of music or the equipment you use. Keep that in mind on your next album, blues jam or band practice.

Mark Grove