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Tubular Bells: Onwards and Sideways

12/8/2021 Tramping. While facing a day with nothing to do until 4:30pm I fell back on an old habit from over 30 years of touring: I put on my walking boots and tramped through the city for an hour or so: 6.5 miles with no destination in mind. Process, not outcome. ...

Tubular Bells Anniversary Shows: First shows

First show: done and dusted in the strangest of circumstances. Today began with a rainstorm of biblical proportions. I had planned to walk into the West End to go to Foyles bookshop, but the underpasses were imunderpassable, filled with ankle-deep water and the rain...

Tubular Bells Anniversary Shows 2021 Part 1

Rehearsals Day 1. This morning, I woke up (always a bonus!), had a shower, threw the wet towels onto the bathroom floor, ate breakfast (which I neither paid for, had to prepare or clear away) on the sun terrace and went for a walk around the town. This is the first...

The ‘T’-word: guitarists and tone

My heart sinks every time I see a post on guitar forums about tone, and I was encouraged to find that Michael Britt, creator of some of the best Kemper profiles available, has the same thoughts as I do.  Here they are; There are two fundamental truths about electric...

Music and the Art of Sim Racing

I bought myself a lockdown present back in early April: while tidying up the studio I had found a PlayStation I'd forgotten I owned together with a motor racing game, Gran Turismo. I used to spend hours on it a decade or more ago, so I plugged it in, revved it up and...

Online Sessions: tips for musicians.

With the option of going to someone else's studio or having the client come to your studio, more and more of us are doing online sessions. I've been doing them for a good few years now: Here's how I go about it: 1. Check format, bit-rate and sample-rate of the files...

Update on my Adventures in Blockchain Music

On Dec 10th I posted an entry about releasing my music on the Blockchain. Well, what a surprise! So far I have earned $.026 per stream, £.0177 in English money. The exact amount per stream varies slightly according to the price of Bitcoin, but Spotify and Apple's...

Why I’m Releasing My Music On The Blockchain

#F**kYouSpotify #F**kYouAppleMusic Those of my friends who have heard me banging on about Cryptocurrencies will not be surprised by this: one of the most interesting things about the blockchain Technology (which underlies Bitcoin, etc.,) is that it offers hope to...

The Modern Music Business

A recent Facebook post asked the following question: "Calling all musicians/artists/songwriters/music business peeps - It would be amazing if you could answer 1 or both of the questions below. Peace x 1 - What frustrates you (if anything) when it comes to the music...

Authenticity Part II

The "A" word reared its ugly head again in a recent Facebook exchange concerning authenticity in Live Performance Workshops in a Higher Education Institution of my acquaintance. Someone asked a question about whether an authentic rendition of a Rolling Stones...

How To Make A Living As A Pop Musician Part 2

How To Make A Living As A Pop Musician Part 2 Play other artists' music. Play in Cover bands: this is an ancient and honourable part of the minstrels' role in society and a good wedding/party band can save you from having to get a day job, which in turn frees up time...

How To Make A Living As A Pop Musician Part 1

How To Make A Living As A Pop Musician Part 1 As promised: the following post is the first instalment in a series of my advice on a subject that is the centre of great discussion and even controversy. I'll post regular instalments, each one offering a different...

How to Play the song, not your instrument.

In a previous post Session work: what is required? I mentioned that the secret to being a good session player (in fact, any kind of player!) is to play the song, not your instrument. A few people have asked for clarification, so as it's Christmas (well, nearly...)...

Online sessions: two in a day!

I had two sessions yesterday and they represented the wide range of this kind of work. The first was for an American writer. He'd sung a verse and chorus into his phone as he was driving and wanted an acoustic guitar accompaniment for it. Coincidentally, I'd done the...

How do I break into the music business?

Ah, the big questions: gotta love 'em:-) A student at a Uni where I used to teach messaged me asking for advice on how to get into the music industry. In no particular order and with no guarantees, here is my advice. You've already started! Keep on asking advice from...

Session work: what is required?

I was involved in an interesting exchange on a college Facebook post recently. The student was bemoaning the removal of Fusion from the college's syllabus because he thought that the style was useful for session work... Hmm. In 40 years of sessions I've never been...

Online sessions: 4 in 3 days!

I've just completed my 4th online session in 3 days. I'll be putting a masterclass together on how to do these sessions: there are two aspects to it, creative and technical. Please let me know if you'd be interested in attending such a class.

Memory Lane in Germany Part II

In the years between 1985 and 2016 I must have done the trip to and from Germany dozens of times but with a different band and always by air. We travelled around the country in a luxury tour bus and stayed in 5-star hotels: no more smelly sleeping bags on floors. This...

Memory Lane in Germany

this is the first of a small series: last weekend I did a series of gigs in Germany. Not unusual in itself in my history, but for the first time in 30 years I drove myself instead of flying and then sitting on a tour bus. Enjoy:-) Today I did a drive that took me way...

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