We all just want to be Big Rock Stars and live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars… you know the deal. It’s a dream that many aspire to. There is a road, a process to achieving the dream; it does not have to be just a dream – it can be, and is, a reality for many.
Look at Green Day from California – lead guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong took lessons and bought one of his first guitars from his teacher, the Fernandes Stratocaster he named ‘Blue’ which he still plays in some concerts. The band all came from the same place, the same town, learning and playing in school bands and building their style and stage presence doing local gigs.
Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard, of Muse, all began their music journey in school bands in South West England, learning and playing together and breaking the rules. Hey, another great reason for learning the musical process is that you have to know the rules before you can break them… Muse for sure breaks the rules.
At the age of 12, John Petrucci from Dream Theater, said he would practice 6 hours a day. He and his classmate John Myung finished high school in New York together and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, playing and building their unique shredding stage performance and hooking up with Mike Portnoy. It is really important to be where the musicians are if you want to make it in this business. Be it at school, in the music shop, at the club, or just jamming and playing, you’ve got to find the players…
All of these musicians went through a learning process that prepared them for the big time. From learning with a private teacher or teaching yourself in the garage, to training at college, you can find your dream anywhere, especially when you are hooked up with other musicians and have a plan to follow, a process to learn your craft.
You are luckier than most of the musicians I have listed that have come before you. This learning process is designed into the Rock & Pop syllabus; it takes you through the styles, genres, the rigor of playing your instrument and the steps to follow to build performance skills. Yes, you get a qualification and UCAS points for Grades 6 to 8. This is all great! BUT most importantly, you have a steady process to build your stage presence, to develop and hone your performance skills – not just learning about how to play the notes, but how to perform; learning about the bands, the players, the musicians and the styles they developed. All of the bands I’ve mentioned are included in our syllabus.
I went for years trying to find that onstage connection, looking for my style, my music persona, that communication link with the live audience, in real time. I would have achieved my dream much quicker if I would have had playing and performance training connected to my Big Rock Star dream when I was young – someone guiding my style and stage performance and moving me down the education road towards my dream.
So check out our Rock & Pop guitar demo video for ‘Basket Case’ by Green Day; one of 80 videos we have produced with real musicians and teachers, designed to help you achieve your dream.
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- Question Mark? and the Mysterians (trinityrock.wordpress.com)