Last night I ordered a new DMX light controller. This will give me more control over my LED par cans, enabling me to produce better quality light shows for my own band and performances, not to mention other performers I work with.
On Sunday, I set up a Facebook Page for my PA and Light Show Hire. I should have done it years ago, within 24 hours I received 1 booking, at Lynton Town Hall, for a Pink Floyde tribute band, and one very good enquiry for a festival in Bude. Looking good I think.
Please drop by and give my page a like https://m.facebook.com/PA-and-Stage-Lighting-Hire-133247160415564/
Following the devastating fire at June Booth's home last week, Ilfracombe Ukulele Club are organising a benefit gig at Larkstone Cafe on Saturday 10th May. This will feature many local bands and solo performers (yet to be confirmed), plus a stint by the club. June lived right in the heart of our community, a stones throw from the cafe, where the club meet, and even closer to one of our members Lucy. We will be organising a raffle, and are looking for donations of prizes. If you'd like to donate, please contact me in any way you like. Cash donations can be made directly to June at Lloyds bank Ilfracombe. Sort code 30.94.52 account no. 00318046 stating fire appeal. Please let's all pull together to help June with this most difficult situation she has unfortunately found herself in. It's great so see so many already have. We can be very proud of the wonderful people that reside on our town. It has also shown social media in positive light.
Interview on Capstone Radio http://audioboo.fm/boos/2012878-special-report-ilfracombe-trio-help-fire-victim
The story in the North Devon Journal http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Firefighters-tackle-large-blaze-Ilfracombe-house/story-20829659-detail/story.html
Ilfracombe Ukulele Club http://paulclews888.weebly.com/ilfracombe-ukulele-club.html
Larkstone Cafe http://www.larkstonecafe.co.uk/
From the North Devon Gazette http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/june_s_thanks_to_ilfracombe_following_bungalow_blaze_1_3488161
You can get involved too http://paulclews888.weebly.com/1/post/2014/05/roadie-required.html
The gig raised £126.15
I saw this picture yesterday, I got me thinking. The person who made this joke, needs to read my blogs. I've made money from playing guitar for some 30 years now, for 15 years, it has been my main income. The problem for most people that can't make money at it, is not lack of musical skills, but lack of management skills. Look around you at other musicians in your area, which musicians make money, which ones don't? It may sound obvious, but I looked at this, worked out what the money making musicians did that the others didn't do and copied the good habits.
Here are a couple of things not to do.
1. Play for free.
Anyone can play for free. You can fill your diary with endless open mics, charity events and such like. I limit my charity events to just one or two a year.
Make sure you are playing for the minimum Musicians Union rates for the job. This minimum rate, is the minimum for a reason, it's the minimum you are worth.
2 Not treat yourself as a business.
Have a business plan. Know what you want and how you are going to achieve it. Also, be flexible. This is just so important. it could be a whole book in itself, not just a little part of a blog post.
Another par can has arrived.
It will be used has a new addition to The Backtrackers stage lighting. It is also available to hire on it's own, or with other lighting effects.
PA and Stage lighting hire. Also great for parties.
I now have this lighting rig to add to my present set up.
If you would like to hire a lighting rig for you stage event or rock Or pop band, I have small light shows and smoke machine from only £25.
For more Information on PA and Stage Lighting hire http://paulclews888.weebly.com/pa-and-light-show-hire.html
When to practice your musical instrument.
For guitar or ukulele lessons, face to face in North Devon, or anywhere else in the world by Skype click here http://paulclews888.weebly.com/guitar--ukulele-lessons.html
I have joined the worlds biggest band.
At 5:00 pm on Saturday, September 7th 2,000 guitarists or more will be gathering on Lyme Regis front beach to attempt a new UK record for the largest number of guitarists to play a song simultaneously. I want you to join the band.
If any of my students would like to join the band, let me know. I will arrange the transport around the numbers.
See more at http://www.guitarsonthebeach.co.uk
If you would like to take part but can't play, lessons face to face in your home or by Skype are available at http://paulclews888.weebly.com/guitar--ukulele-lessons.html
Down load a pdf file of the song.
I've heard it said that learning to play the guitar is fun. Well, I completely disagree. I remember when I was learning to play some 35 years ago, the little fun that was to be had, was soon replaced with frustration. Many times, I could have happily just chucked the guitar out of the window. I believe, that anybody can learn to play the guitar, in this respect learning to play is easy. But not everybody will. What stops them? Why do people give up having started to learn?.
Motivation. I'll say that again, motivation. What motivated me all those years ago was 'to play in a band'. It was the age of punk. All you needed apparently, was three chords (not true) and a safety pin. The band was put together and named before any of us could even play a single note.
The band had two 'guitarists'. Neither of us could play a thing, so I use the term 'guitarist' loosely. We came to it from opposite points of view. He took all the strings off his guitar except the bottom two, cranked up his expensive amp, and sounded what I thought at the time, fantastic in about a week. He had tuned the two strings (what I now know to be a fifth apart), and played with one finger. Me on the other hand, started the long process of learning to play properly. It took me ages. The motivation was to play in a band. I kept the motivation bigger than the problems.
It seems simple doesn't it? Practice for 15 minutes every day. What's stops these well meaning people from doing this? The answer has many versions as wanna be guitarist quitters. What's your excuse? Too tired? Not enough time? We don't have any chocolate ice cream in the fridge? After all, one excuse is as good as another.
I somehow kept my focus. Once I had mastered the bar F, a momentous moment in any guitarists career, (ask any of them), It was a very short time after this, the band recognised me as the best guitarist. Not long after this, the other guitarist in the band quit. He'd given up on his rock star dreams, and I don't think he ever played the guitar again. Well, let's be honest, he never really learned to play anything.
Me on the other hand kept going. Wouldn't it be great to play that classic Chuck Berry intro to Johnny B Goode? 'It's the only lick I'd ever want to learn' I said at the time. Having mastered that, I thought Layla by Eric Clapton had a great riff. I didn't like the song much, but loved that riff. Mastered that, and so it went on. You never stop learning the guitar. In fact, that's true for any instrument, except the kazoo and maybe the triangle. You learn to live with the frustration. So what are the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument? For me, that first punk band was great fun. So have the 20 or so bands since. All have been tremendous fun. It has enabled me to meet and converse with some amazing people. When I moved from Great Wyrley, the village I was brought up and schooled in, to Ilfracombe, playing guitar enabled me to meet people, and make new friends. This list could go on for ever, but ultimately it has given me a career and business. This started, not with guitar playing, but recording other bands on my 4 track recording studio. I still record demo's, jingles and other similar things today, but the technology is far more sophisticated now. I ran Flipside for 7 years. This was a shop in Ilfracombe selling records, CDs, videos and of course, musical instruments. I play in a band called The Backtrackers. A function band playing weddings and parties all over the Uk. My main income is from teaching. All day long, 6 days a week, privately and in schools teaching guitar and ukulele.
Well, what a life playing music has done for me. From punk band to teacher, a fantastic, and in many ways unplanned journey. I didn't know back in the early 80's where I'd be today, but I'm glad to be here. I never made it to rock star status, but then again, I don't think I ever really want that.
So what is your motivation to carry on? What is your excuse to quit? I look forward to your questions and replies.
If you would like to book guitar or ukulele lessons in your home, school or by Skype.
If you would like to book The Backtrackers for your party, wedding, corporate event, or function.
If you would like to book time in my recording studio.