After our all too brief 30 minute orientation of meeting students, and especially trying to learn about the new players who joined us from as far away as France and New Zealand, we put on our seat belts and proceeded to pass on the best of what we learned from each of our decades long careers. Having mentors can inspire as well as save you from the hard knocks they've already been through and learned from!
Within our theme of this GCS Deep Dive, we shared everything from Jennifer Batten's guitar effects primer, complete with live demos, pdf, and video, to Jason Fellman's offerings to students about everything regarding marketing strategies. As a successful booking agent and promotor, he offered a very complete presentation of insights and myth clearing for those on the path to the next level of being a working guitarist.
Kat Dyson had everyone riveted as she took us deep down the rabbit hole of what was expected of her in touring and recording with the likes of Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Donny Osmond, and even Henry Rollins!. Guitarists who haven't had the chance to work on that level yet, were enlightened as to the talent and life long experience, and decisions that she brought to certain high pressure situations to help make the artists shine. Being prepared as much as you can is just the beginning.
Pete Thorn shared his history into the dedication and over the top prep he does for auditions as well as insights into bringing the confidence needed to take the bull by the horns and let the star know he's the right choice to hire by being more than just a part player. Chris Cornell, Don Henley, and Melissa Etheridge made wise decisions in choosing him.
Mundo Juillerat kindly answered questions students had about everything to do with his decades of playing in Las Vegas theatre shows. He also shared some film of himself playing the show in his nightly performance space in La Reve show (Wynn hotel) , to give them a taste of what it really feels like. He showed some charts of what he was expected to read.
This was NOT an 8 hour lecture. It was stories, advice, live playing, and laughs from real life experiences on the road and in the studio. You should have heard Pete Thorn play the solo to Dirty Laundry! Off the friggin' HOOK!
Dan McCutcheon :
I just have to say Jennifer, the Getting The Good Gigs session last weekend was absolutely awesome, at the end of the day I was floating around the room. I don't know how anyone who attended that isn't on their way to becoming a professional musician right now! Thank you so much for putting that together and many, many thanks to all the instructors who were just stellar, so many great insights and ideas and stories! I especially love the stories, I could just sit around all day and listen to you all tell the stories from over such long careers of being traveling musicians and playing with the top people, it was just really all too much. Thank you so much!