Monday, November 28, 2011

How To Choose a Guitar Teacher

It’s been a long time since the electric guitar moved on from being something you could effectively teach yourself. Whether you want to be the next John Petrucci or Joe satriani in terms of technical skill or you’re more interested in being able to write and construct songs, you’ll need a good teacher!

But what is a good teacher? Good teaching can mean different things to different people, some like to be pushed, some encouraged and everyone likes a sense of humor. Like those school and college days where we’ve had teachers we liked, respected and looked up to, but equally we have had a few we were glad to see the back of ! Here are a few questions you can ask when looking for a new teacher, to try and insure yourself against bad experiences.

These are the golden three!

1. What style(s) do you prefer to teach? This is important. More or less every teaching advert you see will try and advertise ‘all genres’. And far be it from me to tell you that most of these guys are not versatile, very few are. But all guitar players, including teachers, have a favorite style. Something they are more comfortable with. If you want to learn to be a cracking jazz guitar player you are not going to want to learn an old bluesman. You’re going to want to get not only good teaching, but relevant tips and hints.

2. Could you tell me a bit about your experience? Not only is experience a great thing for any teacher to have, it is also going to give you a bit of an idea about what areas of the music business outside of teaching that the person has experience in. At some point during your playing, if you take it even a little bit seriously you’re going to want to either record something or perhaps do some live playing. Or both! It would be great to know in advance if your teacher can help you out with either of these or even further continuing with your own career in music!

3. Could you explain to me your teaching method? This is an interesting one, mostly to see if the teacher can actually give you an answer,most stumble to answer this on the spot . You know that you’ll have a good experience however if the guy can tell you how he goes about teaching. Someone who thinks their lessons through is going to be able to get better results than someone who wings it, never mind how good they are. You don’t teach a 8 year old girl and a 22 year old man the same manner, even if they both want to get to the same place – as the next Slash!

Remember to ask these and some of your own questions. Pick carefully and correctly and you’ll end up with a fantastic teacher, a great mentor and hopefully a good friend.

Good luck !

Monday, November 21, 2011

Magdalene: Mizoram gospel rock Band

In our previous blog we mentioned about the 10 things one could do to promote their band..continuing in this context we are featuring a Mizoram gospel rock band called Magdelene who have gained popularity in the Indian circuit especially through their OCs and participating and winning many competitions across the country.

Magdalene is a Gospel / Christian Rock band from Mizoram, way up in the North East of India, formed in 2005 and got their name 'Magdalene' from the Bible - ‘Mary Magdalene', LUKE chapter 8:1-3.

Magdalene is:
Steward Lalrochama - Vocals
Victor Vanlalhruaia - Lead Guitars
 L.P.Laltleipuia - Drums
P.B.Liansangzuala - Bass

Their Nu-Age sound won them the 'Best Band' in their home town twice, by two of the leading Music Magazines - ‘Rimawi Khawvel' on 2006 and by ‘Lelte Weeky Magazine' on 2007. They have even been featured on the RAVE magazine.

Mag has also participated in Great Indian Rock in both 2006 and 2007 and has won several competitions around India: 1st runners-up at IIT Roorkee 2006 Feb, Best Bassist, Best Original Composition in their song called ‘Thy Kingdom Come' (which was not on the Album)... Best Band in IIT Roorkee on 2006 Oct, Best Vocalist, Best Guitarist, Best Original Composition for ‘Don't Forsake me'... Best Band in IIT Kanpur on 2006 Oct, Best Vocalist, Best Guitarist, Best Original Composition, ‘Fallen', which was also not on the Album.

They released their 1 st Album, ‘Life Beyond Death’ Independently on 2006,which comprised of 12 tracks and their second album was unleashed in 2010 titled 'Magdalene'.

North East  has long been one of the principal founts of Indian rock and continues to produce bands regularly....and not only does it have an unexplored geographical paradise but also a pool of talent musicians.

Here is one of their famous composition 'save me' from their first album 'Life Beyond Death'

Monday, November 14, 2011

cafe idly @ bangalore: 10 things you could do to promote your band..INDIA...

cafe idly @ bangalore: 10 things you could do to promote your band..INDIA...: When you are a new band it is difficult to get noticed, specially when you are in India, it is even harder. Here are few tips that I came a...

10 things you could do to promote your band..INDIA SPECIAL

When you are a new band it is difficult to get noticed, specially when you are in India, it is even harder. Here are few tips that I came across. Wardog’s Ten commandments.

Original Composition:
Yes! An Original Song is your basic Identity, as a band you may cover great many songs accurately to the note, but you are noted for your Original Cover. Make sure your band has an decently recorded original song before you set sail in this big bad world of promoting your band.

Website: This is where most of the Indian bands do the ‘classic’ mistake. Owning a website is good, but what happens when the band is dissolved and no one is willing to pay to keep the site running?, ,,, are some of the popular music sites used by most of the Indian bands where you can upload your music for free. But the trick is ‘interconnect’, this way it is easier for your fans to find you at the other location, just incase the music player isn’t opening. (myspace anyone? ).Put your band's video on YouTube

What would you do without them? Fan’s are mini gods, treat them like one (but don’t let them stalk you :P ) . Connect with your fans, interact with them, ask them for feedback, and receive criticism in constructive manner. And what place is better to connect with them other than social networks?..most importantly build your local fanbase.Get yourself a “group’ and a page’ on Facebook keep them updated regularly.

Marketing and Branding:
Dont spare any oppurtunity to market your band..perform at colleges,feasts and other places where you think your target audience would normally hang out.influence the influencers..identify your loyal fans and treat them awarding a signed cd or something like can also come up with a controversial/political song to stir some waves.Brand your band with a product that's related to your band's genre.Brand your band with the help of a local fashion boutique.Always wear clothes that reflect your music.

Photographs: Remember the saying ‘Pictures speak a thousand words’? we have seen one too many Indian bands that junkyard grooveare shy to expose themselves, either because they think they are not photogenic or probably stupid. You can boost your bands image ten times more with a good photo shoot. It may cost a small amount, but it is all worth it. Add your recent photographs to the band profile, make sure your face is clearly seen, do not put murky picture where the band members are not visible. If you can’t afford a good photo shoot borrow a 2megapixel Cell phone , that works too .

Social Media: This is one super tool that keeps you connected to everyone,anypart of the world and its absolutely free..your band presence in this revolution is imperative and i cant emphasis any deeper on how important it is for a entity like a band to be actively present on the social media channels such as tweeter,facebook etc..and is vital to dedicate some of your time or take help of a consultant to keep your presence felt in this platform by constant updates and active conversations with your fans.

Free Downloads: Nothing works like a free download, ask JYG if you don’t believe :) . Junkyard groove had 3000 album downloads in just one week. Point is everyone likes free goodies, if you don’t give them they will ‘rip’ it anyways. In my personal opinion giving away free Mp3’s has never hurt any one. Now that pays the bands for every download why not make best of it?

The most useful free tool to promote music, yet not many Indian bands seems to do the right thing. You are reading this article on a blog aren’t you?, so why not get yourself a blog? You will be surprised to know that blogs reach people where social networks don’t. A Blog is an essential ‘free’ tool if you want to promote your band. As the saying goes, if you let your guard down, you are out. As a band you ‘must’ constantly remind your fans that your band is ‘alive’, get your self as many live gigs as possible. Unless your band is a studio band live gig is the backbone of every band. Participate in rock competitions, free shows, pub shows, dog shows, where ever you get a chance. If your music is good, people will definitely  remember you as ‘kya mast band tha yaar!’

Networking: Get to know your contemporaries, your seniors in the underground music industry. Most of Indian rockers are very much active on social networks like Myspace, Facebook and Orkut. Add them as friends, introduce yourself ‘personally’ and the band. If your music is good, you will definitely get noticed, and a good endorsement by a respected musician does more wonders than you could think of.

Album or Die:
What good it is, if you are 20 years in the music industry and have not released even an 4 track album?  what I’m saying? Unless you want to be ‘that’ band which no one remembers, release an EP, or an album. With internet by your side you don’t really have to release an album in CD format. If you can manage a decent art work, releasing an EP/Album isn’t really difficult..So these are the basic things that you could do to promote your band. Probably I missed some points please add them in the comments section. Take every opportunity you get to promote your band. It’s survival of the fittest, and yeah, make sure the music is good.

101 Band Promotion Ideas-check out this link has some cool ideas on band promotion

all the rocking best to all the rock bands in India

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tribute to the 'Bard of Brahmaputra ' - Bhupen Hazarika

One of the most important cultural figures of north-east India, Bhupen Hazarika, who died aged 85 on Nov 5th 2011 , used music, cinema and the written word to stitch political ideology and ancient traditions into the fabric of popular culture. His distinguished career as a film-maker, singer, lyricist and political activist spanned 70 years. He won many major awards in India and leaves an impressive body of work that includes more than 1,500 songs.

A prodigious genius he wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10 after which there has been no looking back. An extremely academically prolific person, he did his Inter (Arts) in Guwahati in 1942, and went on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his B. A. in 1944 and his M. A. in Political Science in 1946.

Soon after, he left for New York, USA where he lived for five years and received his doctorate (PhD) in Mass Communication from Columbia University. He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University, USA to study the use of educational project development through cinema.

Hazarika put Assamese cinema on the map in the decades that followed the initial 1956 hit as a director of the movie Era Bator Sur [Song from the Deserted Path] and in 1992 he was given India's highest film honour, the Dada Saheb Phalke award, for his immense contribution. He was named best composer in India in 1977 for his music for the Assamese film Chameli Memsaab. He was a prolific and popular songwriter; his songs connected with the masses because the lyrics often touched on important social issues or promised a bright future. He received the government awards Padmashree in 1977 and Padma Bhushan in 2001.

Estranged from his first wife and son, Hazarika met Kalpana Lajmi in 1971. He helped her become a critically acclaimed film-maker and delivered songs for her movies, mostly notably the 1993 hit Rudaali (Weeping Woman), for which he won a best music award at the Asia-Pacific film festival. He also composed for television, wrote books and made a name for himself as a poet. He refused to retire and earlier this year sang for the experimental Bollywood movie Gandhi to Hitler.

Tireless energy coupled with a clear motive brought Hazarika to the national stage when he decided to make documentaries on the musical culture of north east. The satellite television was still in the nascent stage but people like Hazarika turned it into a nation binding force via their meaningful documentaries.

Hazarika may not be alive in body but his voice will keep infusing spirit in all those million souls who find culture more important than life , as we mourn the passing of the Bard of the Brahmaputra, in your songs.. we'll keep you alive.

RIP Bhupen Hazarika