Ive been listening allot to this singer/songwriter/guitarist lately. Man is he a good artist, take a moment to listen to his most recent album called continuum. And listen to his amazing feel on the guitar. Obviously he is a fender player so he is even cooler.
Yeah. He's often discounted by "serious" players because of the way he is marketed, and the looks. But the boy sure can play.
I agree allan. He really has a unique sound and is a true modern day blues guitar hero.
I almost discounted him for the same reasons. I love his music but I thought to myself, "This guy can't be a serious guitarist". And then I think it was Francis that showed my some of his stuff on YouTube -- definitely worth a second look!
He has an enviable mix (or balance) of singing and playing talent.
Ill let you here his new cd when i come to visit norie. He has awesome blues solos in it. Not as much "pop" as his previous albums.
Just thought you'd be interested to know that John Mayer is a Berklee college of music graduate (batch of 97if i'm not mistaken). No wonder the boy can play.. 🙂
I knew that. But he never graduated, he supposedly got fed up with doing gumf and not being able to play.
I don't think the guys from Dream Theater graduated either (Petrucci and the bassist).
IMO, the best guitarists are those that DON'T graduate because it shows non-conformance which, to me, is an important aspect to being a good musician.
I am, of course, biased as I dropped out of school and it's made my life unique, challenging and fun. The complete opposite to my peers who finished and then went on to study something at a tertiary institute.
(Don't take me wrong, I love everyone -- studied or not. I just think that raw talent and hard experience can not be replaced by formal study)
True, but i still think they learned a hell of a allot from their brief times there. It kinda guides you, if you didn't go to school at all, you would prolly suck. Everyone needs a hand. You might not have studied music, but you go to meir which is the same thing, actually no its not meir is prolly much more strick and scary than those berkely people hehe.
I suppose what I meant to say is that, once you reach your goal, stop studying and start playing. Then, once you feel like dead-wood again, study again. People who study like crazy without getting some exposure usually end up knowing a lot and doing little.
Again I'm biased because I found that, by taking a break from lessons with Meir, I was able to practise and adapt what I learned to suit my own styles, my own life. That way, when I got back to him, I knew what I wanted more of and what I didn't want any of -- instead of just taking it all in.
My strongest belief, in all this ranting, is that focusing too much on studying under a person (or group of people) will often lead you to playing like them which can be very detrimental to your own progression as a person and as a musician because it's ALL about you. You need to find what you like and stick with it or you'll end up sounding like every other over-studied musician, and that's usually TOO precise, TOO perfect, TOO normal.
A lot of strictly-classical guitar players suffer from this as all they really end up doing is playing someone else's work and they never create their own space in the world which, IMO, is what we're here for -- to create something that is unique to us. Others may mimic it but none will ever get it truly right.
You still need to the part where you really learn. A band, even tho i just play rhythm in church, it teaches you more than any teacher or college can ever teach you. BTW i met this jazz chicky thats 17 years old thats gonna start a blues band with me 😀
There are some great Berklee graduates - like Vai, Colaiuta, DiMeola, Donald Fagen, Quincy, etc., etc., etc.. There are even some players who are far outside the norm, like Frisell and Gabrels or who became the norm (like Vai).
I think it boils down to what works for you. Talent, schooled or not, will out, but if you want to ensure that you succeed in the modern music business, a degree from a big music school is almost a guarantee that you will be a working musician. While the list of famous and popular alumni from Berklee is impressive, where they are more impressive is how many of the "unknown" graduates are making a living from music.
While learning by yourself improves your chances of being completely "original", it also improves your chances of falling by the wayside like tens of thousands of other unschooled musicians. The big downside to being completely original, is that there's a very narrow niche that you fit into, and if that niche is not popular this week...
Let's face it, if you are an unschooled musician your best chance of becoming successful is to be part of a famous band - and those have such a short lifespan (by music industry design - but let's not go there), that it's almost not worth the effort. But a trained musician who can step into any musical situation will always be in demand.
Also, don't forget that the syllabus is a lot more than the music side of things, it covers the business side too, an area where the vast majority of musicians - amazing and otherwise - fall down flat.
Once again, I agree.
I must clarify that I'm not talking about going completely against the norm but recognising it and then flavouring it to suit yourself.
I, for one, would like to be a very flexible player. Able to play in any style and still have it sound good. However, following a single school of thought can sometimes limit your personal progress.
One example I think of is Andy Timmons. He had a much less formal development in music than most and, as a result, his playing sounds dirty -- but in a good way. Certain "noise" that you're taught to mute or avoid, he uses to add energy to his solos that would otherwise be missing.
All in all, each one of us has our own paths to follow and I'm not even remotely sure of what I want to do just that I don't want to follow in someone else's footsteps entirely and that I don't want to lose sight of the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place -- to make pretty music that even I can listen to 😉
One last note is that I'm against perfection. Or rather, I'm against unnatural perfection.
Trying to play perfectly (which is a big focus of formal education) can distract you from the natural energy that comes from going with your heart which, to me, is true perfection.
I hope I'm making some sense here 😛
if your distrurbed you play dirty ? 😉
If i'm not mistaken, the perfection that you're refering to is a zen-like state of mind. Its one thing to be formally educated in music and then go out and play music, excuse my french...like a whore..i.e. without passion and another to be completely uneducated in music and play like your life depended on it. The one performance will come across as aloof and the other as amatuerish.
However, the state of having the pristine mix of skill, passion and concentration, is (IMO) what everyone aims to acheive.
Then again, maybe thats just my opinion.
John Mayer is an AWESOME guitarist, no question about it.
lol @ Francis comment that I'm stricter than Berklee teachers, unlikely. Don't forget I spent 4 months with Berklee graduates / teachers and they were DAMN tough on me.
I didn't know that -- when was that? Tell us more 🙂
(I'm sure we would all love to go to Berklee so tell us everything 😛)
lol no, I didn't GO to Berklee. The Contemporary Music course I did here at Allenby was all run by Berklee teachers, including my guitar teacher. We got the same sylabbus as they get there etc....
I dropped out after 4 months to go see my chick in CT (silly bird) 😛
Hmm, course details please ;D
I've been seriously considering doing a thorough guitar course and this could be just what I'm looking for.