Guitar Techniques - - • Contents • November 2014 • - Neville Marten, Ed­i­tor neville.marten@fu­turenet.com

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.

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