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  • The Performer’s Mindset

    We all know the moment. The lights, the stage, the audience cheering on our hyper-developed pyrotechnics. We all know the feeling. The adrenaline from the intensity, the euphoria from the view, the passion from the 45 minutes you have to melt the faces of everyone in the room. We all remember the time we got it right, just as we all remember the time we got it wrong. We all desire each performance to be perfect, yet these performances only so rarely present themselves. A solo that has been practiced ad nauseum, though falls apart when needed. The iconic riff of your teenage angst, performed as mildly as a first-timer holds a plectrum. Your intensely dedicated focus, strewn across the venue by lingering thoughts of primal self-infatuation. What is it that separates the men from the boys, the rockstars from the bar heros, and the decorated tour gods from the unnamed guy you fired for superimposing “Eruption” over a 12-bar blues? The answer is anything but simple, yet is still surprisingly so. Indulgence. The concept of doing something for one’s own gratification. This is a word that holds mighty value, though is so little recognised in the music industry. One could think of it as anytime you pick up your instrument, since we generally do it out of the love for the instrument. However, indulgence descends to much deeper, darker depths than just our surface enjoyment of music. It is a toxic notion, a concept that can derail even the most professional of players. It is the true enemy of the stage and all that you have worked towards. It is also entirely human. It is you. Being a professional musician is a multitude of things. It is the business, the playing, the communication, and everything else that a career-minded, dysfunctional family emits. However, it is also an innately introspective experience. It is recognising the true nature of who you are not only as a musician, but also as a human. Your playing will subconsciously manifest itself as the human that you are, even outside of the decades of training you’ve put your physical self through. This is what makes your favourite players sound unique, as well as perhaps what lends you to dislike others’ playing. In thinking of our voice on the instrument as something unequivocally human, we can extrapolate other human personalities from the same context of music. A pension for dishonesty may make one’s playing feel inauthentic, just as compassion may bring warmth to another’s. Such complex personalities, and yet so easily read through the lines of a staff. However, indulgence affects all of us, regardless of our base personality traits. To enjoy your playing is one of the best gifts you can be given from your time woodshedding the instrument. However, if left unchecked, it will leave you as empty as the guy who lied his way to the inner circle. Often, our first negative experience with indulgence is one of the most common. It is the moment we are in the light of the solo, nailing every note and dynamic, and then of the realisation that we are doing just that. And as quickly as that thought entered your mind, that thought just as quickly cost you your musicianship. There is a vast difference between indulgence and confidence, just as there is a difference between confidence and ego. However, the difference between ego and indulgence is little more than a hairline fracture. The thought that we’re killing it, that we’re nailing the line and everyone loves it, is what knocks us down all the notches that we tried to elevate ourselves from. These thoughts are incredibly difficult to predict, and even more difficult to prevent, until we experience them for the first time. Though, even many experiences can be difficult to detect when we give the blame to anything but ourselves. Like a trumpetist who begrudgingly glances at the bell of his horn when a wrong note comes out, we are inclined to toss our lesser performances towards our bassist, our floor wedges, or our personal instruments. The road to recovery begins with a dedicated foot towards the direction of ourselves. Controlling a moment that has no desire to be controlled is an innately difficult situation. With so many things working against us in the context of a performance, our mental bridge to introspection is anything but a priority. That bridge must have a foundation, solid pillars, and a path that we can cross for decades to come. This bridge will encompass all that there is to bring your performance forth to a place of musical maturity, as well as understanding your own musical identity. The foundation of our bridge comes from recognising what it is to be human. In short, it is recognising our mentality through a performance. A performance drives a multitude of emotions outside of the music itself. While all of these emotions are entirely useful, we still must learn to gauge ourselves and control what we think throughout a performance. Every performer will be different, as they will bring with them their own life experiences, thoughts of the day, and stresses from home. Many of these thoughts and ideas are important for a performance, though some of them can detract from your focus. However, all of these can be played upon and centered to your musical goals, provided they are funneled through your music, rather than your ego. The pillars that support the path above act as this funnel. The pillars to our bridge are perhaps the most crucial component of our bridge. They are the neural pathways that connect from one hemisphere of our brain to the other. They are born, they develop, and sometimes they disconnect to forge new pathways to new ideas. Taking our emotions and guiding them through these pillars is the hardest step to performance mastery. You’ll need to recognise an emotion, determine its worth and relevance, and either cast it aside or engage it for your music. You’ll also have to recognise when a detrimental thought arises, a thought that has no place amongst the performer. These thoughts or feelings encompass all that drives the ego. The notions that inadvertently separate us from our audience, rather than blending in with them. These thoughts and feelings will again be different for every performer, though the result is always more or less the same - failure. Allowing your indulgence to take hold and forego your measure limit, your stylistic genre, your authenticity, and your instrumental role will instantaneously bring you back to square one. Building the pillars for our bridge requires total and complete musical authenticity; the requirement to leave behind all that keeps us within ourselves so that we can become one with our band, the audience, and our music. Now that we are truly thinking introspectively, we can finally begin placing the stones to the path that we can walk across. This path is more of a reward, rather than a phase, within our bridge construction. It is the ability to think and feel within a unit, rather than independently. It is recognising that indulgence has morphed into a collective concept, rather than a personal one. Indulgence in and of itself is not something to shame or scoff, as it is one of the first catalysts we encounter when learning to play. It is incredibly important to hold on to the passion and release of playing, provided we’re doing it for a unified goal, rather than selfish elation. Our path is what it means to at last come home to the original reasons we started playing in the first place. Pieces of your bridge will falter every so often. Some pillars may crumble as your outside life experiences change in unforeseeable ways. The cement of our foundation may become brittle and our path may lose footing. Structural integrity is something that requires maintenance and dedication. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA receives a new coat of paint every year. Because of how large the bridge is, it takes the engineers the entire year to paint the bridge, only to begin from the beginning the very next year. This level of maintenance requires extreme dedication and observancy, as failure to preserve the bridge could bring forth terrible consequences. Learn your weaknesses, strengthen them every day, and cultivate your indulgence in a positive way. Extend the same level of care to your bridge and the results will be as golden as the bay bridge itself.

  • Social Investments - Content VS. Production

    The following. The burning desire to attain a place among the elite, the suave, and the adjusted. The need to arise from the burgeoning streets of the social construct and sit beside your hero, all the while commanding an army of ten, fifty, or even one hundred thousand socialites who like or comment at your every whim. You've dreamt of the possibility, the moment when you can display your social worth to all who you think care (and those that don't). Your desire increases as you look over at your friend's larger numbers, only to wonder what they did to hit the mark. You both play guitar. You have better gear. You might even be the stronger player. Yet, your friend has twice the following and thrice the engagement. How is this possible? You've invested thousands into equipment and high end DSLR cameras! But, no matter what high definition angles you get or the hours spent behind Final Cut, your numbers just don't improve. Here's a hint: ditch the production. Your Content, Your Voice In many circles, my previous paragraph would be considered sacrilege. However, believe it or not, your content is not determined by the production. Your high-end cameras, your array of plugins, and your compendium of tools and tricks will only get you so far. So, if the gadgets aren't even part of the content, what is it exactly? Content is what your product actually is. It is the music you're playing, the lick that you're demoing, or the effects pedal that you are reviewing. It is everything that your video is about, not what your video looks like. Developing and branding content is the first step for any business. This is where you determine what you, as a business, wish to create. With whatever you decide, it is vital to remain true to your business and curate content along the same lines. 2. Your Content, Your Product So, if content is just the subject matter, that must mean we can use all of our fancy gear to polish the product, right? Not exactly. It is important to remember that your product is your content. Production only helps take it that extra step further and, while your video may look brilliant, it is not the deciding factor on its virality. Let's say you have a great concept for a video. We'll use a tried and true example for this scenario - Lick Videos. Easy concept, right? Write or learn a lick, hit record, play it, slap some post production on it, and release it. An hour goes by and your only at 250 views, while your friend with the webcam released a video at the same time to the tune of 2k views. What the hell went wrong? Aside from platform algorithmic issues, the answer is quite simple. Your product was polished, but your content wasn't. You could have an entire Hollywood studio at your disposal and still be met with crippling numbers because you neglected your content. 3. Your Content, Your Production A video will only be as strong as the content provided within. In order to curate strong content, you must evaluate these three things: What is the content? What is needed for the content? What is the content for? Recognising these three things will not only improve your workflow, but also help you identify problem areas within your content. Deciding on your content, or product as mentioned previously, is the first step to a new business. If you're a teacher, it may benefit you to provide instructional videos that require thorough explanations. If you're a master bedroom shredder, perhaps just getting your playing out there is what you're looking for. What you need for your content may require a certain aire of maturity. This just means that you provide the gear you need to execute the content efficiently and thoroughly. If you are our teacher, you'd likely want a lavalier microphone for speaking, as well as helpful camera angles and effective lenses. If you are our bedroom shredder, you may just need a cellphone or webcam that can shoot decent video. The final step revolves around where your content intends to go. This isn't quite as simple as just choosing between Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, but more so about the circles that your content will likely leech into. Each circle provides a different level of standardisation. Our teacher would need to release content that is of a specific quality for education, whereas our shredder just needs content to promote their name and skills. Realistically, higher budget videos do not guarantee virality. Your favourite cat video scoring at 2M+ views was likely shot in 720p with a Nokia flip phone back in 2008. Your content is what decides the gear required for the budget you have available. Generally, your focus should be on releasing consistent and valuable content, rather than wasting precious hours on editing for something that truly may not need the full post-processed treatment. In my case, I built my following (13k on Facebook, 30k on Instagram) purely through the use of Logitech webcams and, for the longest time, audio straight from the webcam mic! My reasoning for this was that I wanted to be able to release content without the pressure of having to heavily learn video editing and purchase high end equipment. My focus was then left on my playing performance and transcribing the notation for my videos. My content is where my videos are effective, rather than piles of post-production sparkles that often don't add much to the content of the video. This being said, things change and evolve with time. The needs for my videos have evolved greatly in the last year, from just using webcam audio to using a Kemper into my DAW. I also now supply backing tracks, which can be very time consuming, though are now in-line with the needs of my content. However, I still use a webcam, albeit the Logitech C922, which shoots in HD. As the needs of our content evolve, we must evolve in kind. If your focus is on the audio, upgrade your instrument and interface, but relax on the camera. If your content is influenced by the visuals, upgrade the camera or production software. Placing too much time into a production that won't elevate your content is inefficient, sometimes even depressing, when the numbers don't align with your goals. Remember that your content is what makes the product, not the production.

  • Is Rock & Metal a Healthy Genre?

    Taken f rom the June ‘15 interview of Korea Guitar with Alex Campbell Q. There have been a lot of comments recently about the state of RnR. Is it still a healthy genre? I think rock is as healthy as it has ever been. I think the main cause for such speculation comes from the state of album sales. Music isn’t being distributed in the same fashion as before, when it was more of the genre’s “heyday”. With the age of digital distribution, piracy is easy. Besides that fact, various economic complications for the average concert goer impedes the growth of artists. I don’t think that affects the genre, but more of the individual artist. There will always be a fan base for the genre. Q. Is it possible to earn a living the way that the industry is going? I absolutely believe it is possible to earn a living. It may not be as simple as before, but it is certainly possible. I find a lot of people crying foul because their music is not bringing in millions when it just simply isn’t possible anymore. Instead, they should be focusing on other avenues for financial stability within the industry, such as teaching, licensing, scoring, producing, session work, etc. Limiting yourself to just your band isn’t realistic. One must open themselves up to a broader revenue stream than solely laying hope on the label.

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Pages (13)

  • Etudes | Alex Campbell Music

    ETUDES Etudes are incredibly important to your training for two reasons - they are focused and practical! Think of them like a short, hyper-intense piece of music that tests both your technique, as well as your musicianship! Each etude comes with tabs (Guitar Pro/PDF) and a backing track for you to try out your new shred shoes! Quick View Lick 107 | Moleque Mora Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 106 | Trans-Canadian 8 Piece Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 102 | Insomnimania Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 101 | Vienna 2018 Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 98 | Bach to the Future Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 96 | Decoding the Sequence Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 92 | A "Major" Major 7 Etude Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 86 | Thirteen Taps Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 90 | Extended Parallel Arpeggios 2.0 Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 84 | The Jazz Arpeggiator Pt. II Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 77 - Fragmented Arpeggios Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 76 | Baroque 'N Again Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 75 | Etude in 3 Price $5.00 Add to Cart Quick View Lick 50 | 50th Lick Special Price $5.00 Add to Cart

  • Lessons | Alex Campbell

    LESSONS It is my passion and goal to help as many aspiring musicians as I can. Each guitarist's evolutionary path is unique, and deserves an approach that is equally as unique, and extremely efficient and effective in helping you become the best you can be. ​ Lessons are super relaxed, information packed, and done through Skype/Zoom (or in person) at your pace. I will provide supplemental material such as PDF & GP files, showing you how and what to practice. ​ A huge part of my approach to teaching, and guitar in general, is based very much on a zen perspective - focusing on the why just as much as the how. Philosophy See how I approach teaching and guiding my students. Lesson Rates Lessons come in all shapes and sizes, from 1 to 8 hours. Masterclasses If you're looking for a real kick in the A, these are for you. Cancellations Life and pandemics happen. Cancellations do too. MY PHILOSOPHY Have you hit a wall in your guitar playing? One of the most powerful things someone can do when they've come to a stand still and can't do anything about it is to look to someone for help who has already been there and passed right through the wall. Having a guitar teacher is like having a personal trainer pushing you to dig deeper and not letting you give up - it's like having a mentor at your side to feed you the information you need to ensure success - it's like having a friend to help keep you accountable to your own growth and enjoyment with the instrument and the music you play with it. Do you need help deciphering music theory? ​ Creating practice regiments that are highly efficient and effective are the key to a successful practice session. Saying it is one thing - doing it is another. With me as a teacher, we will turn up the focus and refine your approach to practicing all together. Over the past 15 years as a guitar teacher, I have developed many methods and practice concepts that yield some of the greatest harvests. Commitment is key - but it is only half the battle. Some say that most successful people do 80% of their work behind closed doors before they even make an appearance. Consider that next time you get down on yourself or wonder how "they" do it. Are you wanting to challenge yourself? I am a firm believer in the power of self reliance and the beauty of looking inwardly to discover answers that you wouldn't otherwise come across. But even the greats started somewhere. Your favorite guitarist once learned from someone. Marinade on that and consider me your best friend when it comes to this, because I want to help you grow. LESSON RATES Online Lessons | 1 Hour My current lesson rate is $80 per hour, with various bundle-packages that help tremendously for those students of mine looking to take these lessons seriously and have a real hunger for evolving as a guitar player. I provide a custom made lesson plan for each of my students designed to get you to the next level of your playing. $80 Lesson Bundles | 2 hours $155 For those of my students who are highly serious about their playing and growth, I offer my "Power Bundles" in order to more easily gain access to the knowledge they seek. Lesson Bundles | 4 Hours The gold standard of the "Power Bundles"! Meet up with me for an hour each week and save a hefty bit of your wallet! $305 Mastery Course | 6 Hours $450 My Guitar Mastery Course is more intensive & immersive than your standard guitar lesson! We'll cover the techniques, theory, and harmony in utmost detail, all the while bringing you to a place of personal confidence and musicianship! Let's go from guitarist to musician together! Mastery Course students will receive priority in booking lesson times with me, as well as receiving my private cell phone number for quicker contact with me for booking lesson times or for asking me questions pertaining to anything we've gone over, concerns, or anything that you think I can help you with. Mastery Course | 8 Hours The most extreme bundle of my Guitar Mastery Course! We'll be together for 8 hours each month, diving in as deep as possible to all there is guitar and musicianship. $595 Mastery Course students will receive priority in booking lesson times with me, as well as receiving my private cell phone number for quicker contact with me for booking lesson times or for asking me questions pertaining to anything we've gone over, concerns, or anything that you think I can help you with. MASTERCLASSES BOOK NOW Online Masterclass Rates vary on party size Masterclasses are online or in person group lessons with you and your friends. These types of lessons work really well for those of you in bands looking to grow and expand together, or for any friends who are into the same music and want to help push each other forward. Masterclass students also receive a special discount rate on hourly lessons. Street Team Captain Guitar Lessons for Sweat For those of you out there who are hungry to learn from me, but are financially unable to take lessons - I offer you the opportunity to be a Street Team Captain for me. You will receive one free lesson for every 3 students you bring to me for private lessons, as well as access to sit in on masterclasses with the people that you've referred to me (or split the cost with your friends). BOOK NOW CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS CANCELLATION POLICY Your lessons are very important to me - they are reserved especially for you. I understand that sometimes schedule adjustments are necessary, therefore, I respectfully require at least 24 hour notice for cancellations or rescheduling of lessons. Any lessons missed, late, cancelled, or changed without 24 hour notice will result in a charge of equal to 100% of the reserved lesson amount. The lesson may be taken off of the contract/package/bundle or charged individually. REFUND POLICY Lessons have 30 days to be redeemed after purchase. If lessons must be terminated before they are redeemed, it is the student’'s responsibility to cancel payment. Payments made prior to cancelling lessons will not be refunded, though the lessons can still be redeemed for 30 days after purchase. After 30 days, the lessons will be considered redeemed.

  • Music | Alex Campbell

    - SUBSCRIBE FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD & UPDATES - Subscribe Click here to download >> MUSIC QuaranToned | The EP $5.00 Price BUY NOW

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