Editor Neville Marten welcomes you to the magazine with thoughts on performance.
this month’s cover feature is all about blues, but in truth anyone can benefit from it. John Wheatcroft is a superb player and tutor and his Blues Workout will prepare you for anything on your musical horizon, be it Wembley Stadium or a jam down at the blues club where you’re hoping to impress local bands with your prowess – and employability.
The feature is the most thorough workout you’re likely to encounter, and is something you can refer to time and time again, as it’s theory as well as technique based.
Wheaty hints in the feature that there’s another element to being a musician, one that’s equally vital to master, and that’s the performance itself. It’s all well and good being the best bedroom guitarist there is, but if you can’t interact with other band members or connect with your audience during a show, then really only half the job is done.
A large part of a crowd’s enjoyment of a band is to see that its members are getting off on it, too. If you’re playing with a smile on your face, and interacting with others who are in similar throes of musical ecstacy, then how can the audience not feed off that? Where John’s feature comes in is that, the more preparation you’ve done and the more confident you are with the material and your ability to play it, the more convincing your on-stage persona is likely to be.
Some musicians are infuriatingly natural performers – the old gag is that they open the fridge door, the light comes on and they do 20 minutes. But for many of us, it’s daunting to leave the inhibitions at the stage door, plant the foot on the monitor, stick the head back and give it some welly.
Actually, a friend of mine struggled with this, so he rented a rehearsal studio once a week for six weeks, and practised how to ‘perform’ his parts in the band’s set, in front of the room’s full-length mirror. It didn’t turn him into a natural overnight, but it did what John’s lesson does, and gave him the tools with which to get the job done. Worth thinking about?
What really is worth thinking about is our second great offer of a free digital edition when you buy this one. Go on, try it: I think you’ll like it.