The Legends Of Classic Rock

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How To Record Like Jimmy Page--And Why Old School Recording Techniques Are Better Than Digital


I was reading an old interview in Guitar Player that a well known writer Steve Rosen did in 1977 with Jimmy Page. What my article focuses on is one question and Jimmy's answer.
Rosen asked Jimmy, What about the guitar on "Communication Breakdown" off the first album, sounds as if it's coming out of a shoe box. This was kind of a statement and question all in one.
What Page actually did was very innovative for the time and more analog based as well. He put the guitar in a small vocal booth and put a mic outside of the booth. It doesn't go into intricate detail, but I'm assuming he opened the door to the booth just enough to put the guitar chord through and plugged into an amp and miked outside the booth.
Page didn't go into much detail other than saying "Distance Makes Depth" and he used that type of miking technique on various Zeppelin material. I don't actually know how far he had the mic away from the amp.
He, meaning Jimmy also went on to say that bands of that day used close miking techniques just putting a mic in front of an amp. But what Page did was not just put a mic in front of the amp, he put a mic at the back of the amp as well.
I'm assuming a lot of stuff here because of limited information at my disposal. But I would take it Jimmy then tweaked the guitar and amp to get the tone he needed for a particular song. But he did say he balanced the two mics to get rid of phasing problems. Basically meaning any tones from the back of the amp wouldn't impede on the tone and have to go in and record it again and change the mix.
But one thing Jimmy said that I just loved was that you really don't need to use an EQ if the instruments are tweaked right, and it should all be done with Mic's.
Now these next words are my words. "All players beginners and Old Pros should be recording with a guitar, amp and mic's to really learn how to record and be creative in the studio. But most players have gone by the original intentions of mic placement and amp tweaking to get their own sound and are using that dreaded computer and digital technology. Oh the horror!!
At least in my books.
So using your guitar amp and mic is the best way to get original tone all your own, a la' Jimmy Page. So figure out how to get that original tone with your band today, and please don't use computer technology or even a modeling amp. Jimmy would be proud.
The little obscure pic is Jimmy in the studio tweaking the board knobs. Not sure who the guy is to his right.
Mark Grove

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why The US Financial Crisis Is A Great Opportunity For Your Band---Financial Crisis?---What Financial Crisis?

By Mark Grove

 This article is not to alarm you, but to give you the ability to make money despite tough economic times.

Your band can succeed despite the bullshit with our governments in the US and Canada bailing out mega corporations and other companies who feed us bullshit lines everyday.

Musicians Like you will succeed!

Most musicians who are not enlightened to what the US financial woes mean, will obviously think that the money problem means potential money problems for their band. They will whine and complain and have a herd mentality like everyone else in the general public. They may still have a regular job or a small business and a band to boot, yet they still think the financial fuck-up will hurt them. If you let it, yeah it will hurt you monetarily. How does any of this financial problem with the banks and mortgage lenders involve musicians?



It won't if you're ready for it.Musicians will say the clubs will all dry up and they'll be fighting for gigs, or even opening for others. And no the money's not gone, it's just one sector of the economy that was hit because people thought giving great deals for mega houses would not go in the toilet. Unfortunately it did. The money is not gone!

This money crisis will make some musicians new multi-millionaires when worked right. Don't ask me how, it just will. Incredible bargains will be had for music equipment, making deals with club owners to play regular gigs or rehearsal and recording studio time.

These musicians will profit hugely!

The intelligent players will see the crisis as opportunity to make money in off the beaten paths, not just the staple of club gigging.The prices will drop to have a CD made as well. You can put that money to work doing online marketing and setting up a website. Write Press-Kit articles for musicians, or where agents see gloom and doom you can set up shop and book musicians at just a little lower percentage and grab a bunch of acts, and thereby capitalize on the lower percentage.



If you're a musician who sees this as opportunity, you'll know that your band and music business is providing value to other musicians, fans and music industry people. There's still lots of money out there and people will always want to see live music.



Music Marketing:


It's still important to concentrate on the business of music, and in this financial crisis you can ask people on your email list what they do for a living if they value your music and articles on music. That way you can see where they are financially by knowing what they do.



Most musicians will still freak out because of the financial crisis and think shit!

What am I gonna do for my band?


They will wait everything out and focus on what they aren't doing and making. Marketing is huge, besides the music.



And where major label deals and major booking agent deals go south, if you're resourceful enough you could book certain bands or offer an indie label deal for a band who's had some success but a major has dropped them. You don't need to be a major player to do big deals every time.



But think about this, why would a major label keep an artist coming out with albums if they don't sell a certain amount based upon what the label puts into marketing and recording of an album, then lose money. Now you know they keep their interests on the bands that make money for them.


Makes sense doesn't it. But they could do a better job with their smaller labels. Just some input. Maybe the banks could learn a little something from the major labels on focusing on the money making deals. Most companies in this crisis will be petrified and think their market will go in the dumper and a recession.



No matter what, think of this as an opportunity ripe for the pickin'.


Here's a Little Secret:

Well, it's not a secret.


There will always be music--and even if there is a major recession people will still listen to music. Any problems with labels, bookers or clubs has nothing to do with your band. And most musicians will do nothing to make their situations better, so if your band is ready to pounce on opportunities will profit from the financial crisis.



And most musicians will wish everything better.



I deal mainly with blues musicians and it's the toughest to make money at. I feel there are monstrous opportunities for blues artists and blues promoters,writers and bookers. If a bluesman can make money in this economy why isn't your band?

I think that it's worth the investment in your band to challenge them to overcome the financial crisis and come out on top. Think of ways to bring more people to gigs. Offer to play for free to club owners. Get them to bring the media and interview the band. The free gig will help you bring more people out to add to your mailing list and buy your CD's and keep your band in the limelight. Unfortunately you need to get the media talking about your band.

Offer Q and A sessions to fans, and put up a forum on your site where they can talk about your music. Market your band's ass off and you'll say, Financial Crisis, What Financial Crisis?

Mark Grove

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Can Your Band Succeed? By Not Trying To Impress Everyone--And Providing Honest Value To Other Musicians

Hey everybody, Mark here. This is a little repost.

The little pic is The Who with the late great music promoter Bill Graham, who was instrumental in the 60's and 70's with The Filmore East And West.

As well as helping musicians and those less fortunate.

 I subscribe to a great blog from someone who hit it big in music, Michael j Dolan. He runs Music Connection which is a magazine and blog that helps musicians help each other.

But Mike has his own personal blog I subscribe to, that has weekly articles from Mike that talk about how to become  the band you want, without trying to be smug and attempting to be better than everyone else.

His recent blog post talks about just doing it, being honest and creating value for other musicians, music industry people and fans. You'll learn a lot from Mike's blog and how to be the kind of musician you should be, and create a music business that has everyone saying "Who Are They? They're doing great things to   help our music community and be better people.

I'm going to include a link to his blog right here so you can subscribe to it and learn from one of the biggies in music, Michael J Dolan.

Thanks Mike. Here's the link to his blog. www.jmichaeldolan.com

Much success to all musicians and music industry cats.

Mar

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The High School Head---The Hippest Lads In School Who Listened To Rock And Roll And Blues---Were You That Guy?

" If You're Havin' Trouble With The High School Head He's Givin' You The Blues"
AC DC ---"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" 1976

I think of the high school head as not the principal you hated, or that teacher who gave you grief about everything because they thought you were going to prison soon.

The high school head to me was always that guy who always had the best dope, listened to music that took you to new levels, and was pretty clear about life.

I was that person in high school. Not to brag or be a big-shot. It's not often you get called "Acid" in high school, but I loved doing hash, oil and acid. Plus a myriad of other pills and assorted concoctions. I discovered beer and booze later.

As well, I also loved doing B and E's. Yep, break ins. Out of my little crew in the small town in lived in, I loved doing it more than anything else, expect being involved in music. To me it was another education.

I always went to the best parties and concerts. But Blues was my introduction to the masters of music.
For a while in the early 80's I went to Toronto and searched out blues and jazz clubs. Even when I had no place to stay or money, I just plopped myself down in an abandoned house or building. To me this was glamour.

I always wanted to work in the music business as a writer, and started writing reviews on albums and interviewed the blues cats who came through London. I was only 19.

Making money was never a big motivator for me. Probably why I hitch hiked constantly in the late 70's, early 80's, and was totally obliterated all the time. I just went. Now that I have cash in my pocket, I don't.

Funny how things change over the years.

In the 90's I met a bluesman named Dee Curtis who changed everything for me, and hooked me up to other musicians to learn from. Dee is from Detroit and taught me so much about music and what it's all about.

He gave me an education you can't get anywhere. If you're in the music business you should learn from real musicians, not the wannabes or also-rans. Do yourself a favor if you're a musician or fan of blues or jazz---learn from the best. People who excel in the music business will take you where you want to go, if you follow their success and what they can offer you.

At the time I write for several small blues labels, and blues artists as well as writing guitar and gear tips, music business articles and artist profiles here on the blog.

Enjoy your life, and don't do things that aren't right for you. I realize we all have our realities and have to pay the bills, but don't regret not doing what you know you were meant for, being a great musician or in the music business.

Being the high school head, can take you on a trip that's a wild ride and take you places that excite and accentuate your life, and make it better. If you focus on it.

Like I said, the high school head is not the principal. It's you, the hip lad who partied and educated yourself about music. And helped out a few musicians along the way.

I don't have a social safety net of any kind, and you shouldn't worry about all that if you're a musician or otherwise. Worrying about all that won't take you where you want to go, and that's to a job or business you love! Being a musician or involved in music is the greatest gift for you or helping musicians get to where they want to go.

The High School Head--Just gave you some good news for a change. Now go out and get it!


The Guitarist Brain---How It's Wired For Playing--And Some Other Stuff

Is your brain wired like a Guitarist's Brain?
Reason I ask this is most people including a lot of guitarists can only follow what's set out for them, and don't deviate from that. But just a few, a very few actually improvise on the fly and take the music,business,sport or whatever it is and take you on a journey.
I was reading an article from Guitar World that delves into this mystery about the guitarist's brain and their ability to think and act differently when playing, and actually learning to play. Most people also get hung up on stuff and get sticking points when playing---then never go any farther.
if you're a guitar player, keep playing and don't give up! This is an interesting, short little article on the wiring of a guitarist's brain. I truly think being a guitar player can help you in more areas of your life than you might think. Just because you're a guitar player playing folk and blues doesn't mean you're a peace man type of person. Far from it.
So, take a gander at the article and think of the famous guitar players and ones in your town you might know. Is their brain wired differently? Who knows. http://www.guitarworld.com/new-study-shows-how-guitar-players-brains-are-different-everybody-elses

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pink Floyd Has A New Album Coming Out---Will It Be A Step Up Or Just A Feeble Attempt At New Material?

Pink Floyd has a new album coming out. I'm not sure if Gilmour and Waters will be together on it. Apparently though, it will be mainly instrumental and based on previous sessions from the Division Bell era. There have been a number of new albums by the old guard of rock n' roll. I'm not much for new albums, but if the material isn't just rehashed old material and has a vibe and feel that's original and sound, then it could really help musicians learn---and for fans to become inspired by it as well. We'll see in the coming months whether this new Floyd album has the old grit and feel that was a big part of their 60's and 70's albums.
PS: The picture here is an old one of Gilmour and Waters in
a studio in France in 1972 if I'm correct.

Seinfeld---How Kramer Can Help Your Band Become More Determined To Succeed

Yes, Kramer. That loveable character from Seinfeld who lives a fantasy life most people and musicians wish they could live. Believe it or not you the musician can learn a thing or two from the character Mike Richards plays as Kramer on Seinfeld.

Kramer has great ideas, which could possibly work, but doesn't have the money, resources, training or backing for the crazy but doable ideas he has. That doesn't mean he can't achieve them, you just have to be vigilant and be willing to work your ass off. But Kramer actually shows people and you the musician, you can succeed with no money or connections. You may have to go back to the drawing board many times---but wouldn't you rather do something you love? And that is being a musician?

I know you do. You'll love this little video from Seinfeld when Kramer brought back Kramerica Industries, and was testing out an idea with an intern who was hilarious as his sidekick on this episode. It could have worked. I think someone from the Oil industry must have been watching this episode, laughed their ass off and said;" This could actually work!!

Musicians, think about it this way. Be determined to make it as a musician, no matter what it takes.
Kramer thinks you can, and so do I.