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Arlen Roth on Preparing for a Major Gig

09.23.2013

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If you’re about to embark on a really big and important gig, you know the many, many feelings that can come up as the result of this kind of pressure. The first and foremost thing is to try not to give in to the “pressure” of it, and to rather be sure to have a positive and good time. I know it can sound a little far-fetched, especially when you are about to go onstage, or when you are preparing mentally for this gig, but believe me, if you keep it fun it actually will be fun!
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Arlen Roth on Instrumentals

Arlen Roth
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09.17.2013

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This has always been a favorite thing of mine to do musically, and I suppose it has always just come naturally to me as well. The main thing is that your guitar must truly “sing” from the inside of you, and translate to those strings. I can recall one time long ago, I was teaching a student who only wanted to “fake” guitar while singing, which was annoying enough for me, but when he said “you know, playing the guitar is one thing, but a voice is from God!” “Oh really………” was all I could come back with, since I never heard anything so dumb in my life!
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10 Tips for Being a Better Bandmate

Ted Drozdowski
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08.29.2013

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Hitting the road in an indie touring band isn’t easy. There’s low pay, little sleep, a lot of expenses and the challenges of staying healthy during the hard grind. Add in bad behavior — from constantly carping to smart phone obsession to perceived laziness to excessive drunkenness to noxious intestinal emissions — and the process becomes complicated. Tolerance wears, tempers flare, people get fired.
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Arlen Roth on Planning a Set List

Arlen Roth
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08.21.2013

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The rhythm and pace with which your show moves is a truly critical element of your live performances, and I know that the planning of a list for your set(s) can sometimes be rather nerve-wracking! One of the most important things to be aware of when planning out your show, is to really “feel out” which tunes will make best sense performed “live”, while some are better off remaining songs you’ve recorded, but are better off left “un-played” in public!
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Guitar Basics: Make Dynamics Part of Your DNA

Ted Drozdowski
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08.03.2013

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The term “dynamics” in music can indicate a number of qualities about the way a note or series of notes or chords are played, but typically “dynamics” refers to variations in volume — the degree of loudness or quietness with which a part of a performance is delivered.
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Arlen Roth on How to Develop Your ‘Ear’

07.22.2013

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The ability to recognize tonal relationships, key changes, modulations, phrases and the like is really what helps make up the entire “universe” of being able to listen and decipher music in a truly confident and professional way.
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The Many Ways Songs Can Come to (and through) You!

Arlen Roth
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07.17.2013

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We’ve all heard how song writers basically talk about their songs “coming to them” in either a dreamlike state, an actual dream or certainly how they seem to just “appear” out of thin air. Of course, for many, song writing is a very powerful craft that they have worked at for years, and whose skills have been very well-honed, too!
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Like a Virgin: First Gig Survival Guide

Peter Hodgson
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07.11.2013

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You’ve got your chops down. You’ve got your gear together. You’ve managed to assemble a band, get some songs under your fingers, and talked your way onto a bill with a few other bands. It’s your first gig and you have no idea what’s going to happen. All you know is you’ve been dreaming about this moment for weeks. Months. Years.
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Arlen Roth warns Against the Fame Game

07.10.2013

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It’s true that when many of us have kids these days, and if there are very youthful and talented kids among us, there is always a strong temptation toe right away try to go for fame and fortune! This can be a totally devastating error in judgment, because as many of us have all see far too often how success at a very young age in show business can result in difficulties later in life. In fact, there can be difficulties very soon during a still very young life!
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Arlen Roth on the Value of Real Life Experience

Arlen Roth
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06.26.2013

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I can recall years ago when the late, great Levon Helm, a man whom I made an album with in 2008, tried to go to the Berklee School of Music. According to friends of mine in Woodstock, he actually came out of Berklee saying he “was not a real musician” and that he was “no good” and that he was even thinking of giving up music! Now, say what you will about college in general, but there is no way any music school should have this kind of impression on such an amazing natural musician as Levon was!
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