advice

In the interest of science, go to a live show and see if you feel connected to your fellow fist-pumpers when the chorus kicks in.

Playing guitar in solitude is bliss, but for some of us, making music in public requires impersonating an extrovert.

Crowds energize extroverts. I find them draining. My favorite social evening plans are canceled social evening plans. When the pandemic hit, my first thought was: “Limited human contact. Sounds great! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I never had to shake hands again?”

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Last Call: Doing What You’re Supposed to Do
Painting by Ray Stephenson

After Billy Joe Shaver died, I went down the rabbit hole and found a man who lived life to the fullest.

Billy Joe Shaver left the arena in October of 2020. Although I'm a longtime fan, his death didn't make me sad. For one thing, in spite of a less-than-health-conscious lifestyle, Shaver lived almost five years past the U.S. national average. He also managed to pack two lifetimes worth of experiences into his 81 years on this planet.

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Photo by Dina Regine

A wake-up call for guitarists as we use quarantine time to develop our studio chops.

With so many of us getting more into recording since quarantine, it's recently struck me harder than ever how deeply social-media mentality has seeped into our psyches as musicians. We've all been hearing for years how Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. can adversely affect self-esteem, perceived quality of life, and overall happiness. And we've all heard how Instagram photo filters have so warped the self-image of pre-teens, teens, young adults, and even old-ass adults the world over that there are plastic surgeons buying effing yachts off money they made mangling some formerly beautiful person's perfectly normal face to look like a half-space-jackal anime character.

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