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Arlen Roth on Doing “Good” Radio

Arlen Roth
|
02.19.2013
Arlen Roth

Just did a quick, yet informative interview on a National Public Radio station, and it was an incredible amount of fun. Of course, it takes all the right things to come together to have a “good” radio appearance, and it’s always funny when you realize that even though they may’ve interviewed you for close to an hour, it will really only end up being a 4-minute piece, or something like that!

It’s for that reason that if you ever do find yourself on the radio, you must get to the really important stuff as much as possible, and try to stick with it. Radio is an enduring and powerful medium, and what folks hear in your voice plus what they hear in your music, must paint a very clear picture of you and what you really want to convey. The interviewer, on the other hand, has to do the good job of getting all the best and most pertinent material out of you, and then making sure that when they edit it later, it also does the job that you both wanted to aim for.

I imagine that the way they will eventually edit this piece (it wasn’t “live”) will be to frame it with my music, as well as interject some parts of my songs from my latest album, as certain points are being made. At least that how I hope the interview turns out, because an awful lot can be said and put forth in a very short time on the radio. I myself have always loved the medium of radio, and it helped “feed” my earliest love of music during some of my most “formative” years. It still does to a certain degree, and I find that I am always seeking out great radio stations and shows that turn me on, and that really play the kind of music I love to hear. To this day, I still love searching the dial for those “far off” stations that always meant “exotic” far off music to be heard. All this, even in this new age of being able to hear any station in the world on the computer via the Internet! I guess some old habits die hard, and to me there’s something “romantic” as well as nostalgic about actually across the dial, especially on the AM side, to really find some musical “treasures.”

It’s something that I have also found a lot of fun to do as I travel around to different areas of the country, hearing what might be happening there. It can many times be very different, and best of all, very “local’ in its approach and overall feeling!

So I certainly hope you get a chance to do some good and fun radio (unless you already have!), and remember to always “get to the point” and make every minute you are on the air count! It can be a great thing for your career, and a wonderful personal feeling of triumph for you as well!

Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.


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