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Archive for the ‘guitar’ Category

I read an interesting column that Mark Morton of Lamb Of God had written once about being successful in music making.  Being successful to most people means alot of different things. When I was younger, I wanted to make it by writing metal songs, touring, gigging and generally living the stereotypical rock and roll life style.  As time went on, this changed as I realised what I needed to have in order to achieve that lifestyle in terms of talent, ability etc were out of my reach at that age (Well, I was only 12 at the time…).

So, how can we define being successful at music? Is it playing sold out gigs in large arenas? Is it playing to hushed audiences in exclusive cafe bars across Europe as a folk singer/song writer? Or getting a million hits on youtube for a video you’ve uploaded?  In my opinion, it can be all and non of these things.  You have to pitch your own goals and if you achieve them, then that is successful. For example, mastering a bunch of difficult chords, that’s a type of success. Learning a whole song is also a success. However, to think broader and bigger, you may want to become a regular at a local jam night or get into a local gigging band. This will then focus your mind and your road into it. Taking the song as an example, you need to know the structure, chords, timing and melody. Your destination is the learning the song, the road is learning the chords, timing, structure and melody.  Follow the road map and you’ll end up at your destination.

In essence, I am saying you need to have a goal in order to be successful. Everything we do is goal driven in some way shape or form.  Your goals can be as big as your imagination but setting realistic and achievable goals is the key to anything that you do, musically or otherwise.

 

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Yep, this blog is about plectrums. Up until about 5 years ago, I didnt really give a damn which plectrum I used. It was usually what ever I could find lying around on the floor, in my guitar case, in my washing machine (as they always end up there.. ) etc. However, I started to look abit more seriously about the ones I used and the materials they are made from. So, this is current selection of the plectrums Im using now.

My current crop: Jim Dunlop Jazz 3 XL, another Jimp Dunlop Jazz 3 XL (thicker guage, hence the black), a £1 coin (for measurement), a Paul Gilbert Ibanez signature plectrum and a Dunlop Ultex Sharp)

A bunch of plicks..

So, the red and black Jim Dunlops are the “go to” plectrums for me. (Just say, the £1 coin is just there for size reference, I dont use it for playing with..). Its nice and firm and doesnt keep my hand too far away from strings for alternate picking. I also like the pretty sharp points on them.  Another recent fave is the white Paul Gilbert ones as they made of a different material again so they also have a nice zing to them but are a little bit thinner. Also, they are smooth all over which isnt a good or bad thing, its just different. Again, the point is nice and pointy but not too rough. Finally, the newest one Ive been trying out is the Dunlop Ultex pic. This takes up more space in my hand but the edges are “bevelled” so they have a hand finished quality about them which helps the strings slide off the plectrum, rather than the rougher edge of the other three.

All in all, the thing I find with plectrums is that you have to get on and try them out. For me, I find that the Ultex plectrum sounds fantastic and feels high quality but its just too big for faster picking sections but it certainly has opened my eyes (and ears!) to a new product.

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