Talking trash can get you canned. Be nice or leave.
I believe it was Gandhi who said, “Winning isn't everything … it's the only thing." That's all well and good for a stone cold gangsta like the Mahatma, but does that philosophy apply to us sensitive musician types? Music is a loving gift from the universe that connects us to ourselves and to others while enabling us to communicate the ineffable. Everybody wins in music, so why are guitarists so competitive, and sometimes dickish, with each other?
This question reminds me of the old joke: How many guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb? One to do it and a thousand to watch, sneer, and say, “I could have done it faster."
There are more guitarists than well-paying gigs, so some players are loosely competing for the same positions. But the majority of us are on the same team, working toward the common goal of trying to play better and enjoy the journey. Yet many act like, well, catty bitches.
Ever notice how civilians seem to enjoy concerts way more than musicians do? Look out at any crowd at a show. The people dancing wildly, playing air guitar, and jubilantly cheering are not musicians. Those are the Normals. The musicians are the ones with their arms folded, making snide comments to each other out of the sides of their mouths, taking glee in anything that goes wrong.
So where's this rant coming from? Recently I got cornered at a gig by a late-20s, C-level guitarist who was equally ambitious and misguided. For 20 minutes he applied his two-pronged approach of self-promotion.
Prong 1: Talking a lot of shit about what he's going to do.
Prong 2: Talking a lot of shit about other musicians.
I always know exactly what to say to somebody in a situation like that. The problem is, it doesn't come to mind until 40 minutes later, when I'm in my car driving home, obsessing about what I should have said. In real time, he yammered on while I nursed my beer and nodded “yeah man" until I could excuse myself and hide from him for the rest of the evening.
I wish I could be one of those brutally honest/clever Alec Baldwin characters who'd grab that wanker by his mop and say in a low rasp: “You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do, and insulting others does not make you play better. Shut your yap, wash those jeans, and practice with a metronome if you want to work in this industry."
Actually, reading that back, it sounds a little too harsh—albeit true. Maybe what I should have said was, “It's okay not to have a resume. We all start on the same playing field. Also, those players you're insulting have some cool stuff in their bags. We could both learn from them."
Clearly this guy just wanted to get to the next level and this was a case of ill-thought self-promotion. His is a strangely common mistake, because players have to appear confident or nobody will hire them. Here's what he missed: The best players are self-assured, but know the law of the musician's universe—be humble or be humbled.
In 1969, just days after Woodstock, a top-of-his-game Hendrix appeared on The Dick Cavett Show. There's this great part of the interview where Cavett says, “You're considered one of the best guitar players in the world."
“Oh, nooo, no, um; I wouldn't say that," Hendrix replies.
“Well then, one of the best guitarists in this studio," Cavett nudges.
“How 'bout some of the best to sit in this chair," Hendrix says.
Watch this clip and you'll recognize Hendrix's genuine humility. He knew music was not a competition, but, rather, a gift from God, the universe, or whatever you want to call it. Hendrix didn't want to dominate the world of guitar. He just wanted to play and spread the love because he knew that, “when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Beautiful, right?
It's been said that if you ever think you have a drinking problem, move to Dublin. Once there you'll realize you're average at best. If you're a guitarist with an ego problem, move to YouTube. No matter how well you play, scroll random guitar videos for an hour and you'll find some child in Toad Suck, Arkansas, or Mumbai making videos that will blow your mind. In Nashville, every time I order a pizza I wonder if that stoned kid in the greasy Domino's hat is a killer guitar player. Some of them are. It's easy to remain humble and grateful with that in mind.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.