What ever guitarist should know goes far beyond just learning the basics or learning just about their instrument. Guitarists need to know how to survive in the music industry, regardless of what level they’re at. That mean they need to look and act professional, be talented, and have enough knowledge and wits about them to get paid. To this end, here’s a list of what every guitarist should know. If you’ve decided that you want to make a career out of music, or just want to play guitar for the rest of your life, then you’ll really benefit from knowing the following ideas.
How To Change Guitar Strings
Topping our list of what every guitarist should know, would be how to change guitar strings. If you’re ever have hopes of playing in front of screaming fans, you need to learn how to change guitar strings. Changing guitar strings is probably the single most important and common technical maintenance job you’ll perform. Strings always breaks at the most inopportune moments, so it’s a skill you’ll want to perfect so it can be done quickly under stress.
General Amp, Guitar and Effects Knowledge
Next on our list of what every guitarist should know, would be technical knowledge. Guitarists have their own language. We use phrases like “Man, using that TS-9 to push your front end really helps break up your head so much more.” If you didn’t understand that phrase, you’ll find it hard to really communicate and talk with other accomplished musicians. So where do you learn the lexicon of musicians? From other musicians, of course! Talk to them, and when they say something you don’t understand, make a mental note and go home and look it up.
Good PR Skills
We’ve all heard the expression it’s not who you know but – well, you get the idea. If you have any hopes of going anywhere in the music industry, get comfortable glad handing restaurant owners, club owners, managers at local merchant shops, other musicians, and other important figures. Be humble, but confident in your abilities. Confidence goes a long way, while ego just sends your demo straight to the circular file.
Get Paid For What You’re Already Doing
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Musicians need to learn to take a few free gigs to make their bones, and after, start asking for a fee, tips, or other forms of compensation. It’s not rude to say no to someone who really has nothing to offer you other than a time slot. You’re an artist and deserve to be paid for your hard work. Ask for compensation, free drinks, the rights to sell your CD’s or something. Just don’t leave empty handed.
Musicians Are Flakes
Musicians bail out all the time for no good reason. For some reason there always seems to be a virulent lack of discipline among musicians. Stick with band members that are as dedicated as you are. In a sense, you’re in a committed relationship with these people. In one sense, you should ask yourself the question, “Could I marry him?”
Musicians Are Prima Donnas
Musicians, and especially guitarists are some of the most prideful out of touch people I have met in my life. Most think they’re amazing, and it’s just a matter of time before things finally turn around for them. Somewhere in the pursuit of actually getting good, they forget that there is always someone better than them. They become loud, obnoxious players with attitudes. Don’t be that person, and more importantly, learn to share your time, compromise in your songs, and play well with others.
In essence, what every guitarist should know are the skills needed to survive the world of music. Of course there are tons of other tips that should have made it onto our “what every guitarist should know” list, but we couldn’t quite fit them all. Sharpen your skills and you’ll rise above. Good luck!