Getting involved

Probably the best way of getting involved in music is by jamming with other people and although practice at home is good being a bedroom guitar player is not the best way to learn.

The old jazz musicians learnt their trade by hanging out with other players learning the standards and learning the types of phrases that their idols would play. Some great stories of people hanging out with musicians like Art Tatum and just watching close at hand what the maestro do and then going away and emulating it somewhere else.

Certainly the old blues and rock players did the same thing as well as working things out from recordings, and virtually all of the rock and roll guitarists got involved playing standards of the day at dances or at the numerous hops around America.

However what happens today is not so much of this thing going out and gigging but sitting in front of a computer screen watching people on YouTube. This does not teach you the inner language and dialogue that happens between musicians in the band. The only way to learn this is to go out and play and you should do this anywhere you can.

I started playing just before the advent of punk, there were plenty of places to play, village halls pubs etc. and we put on our own gigs they were not particularly good but they were great fun because we were young we had an audience of our peers.

What has taken over from this grassroots practical way of becoming a jobbing musician is this idea of going to college to learn the trade. Do not go to college and get yourself into debt to become a rock musician! That is quite frankly now ridiculous because of the cost. For the sort of money you are putting out you could launch a tour with the rock band and although I am not suggesting you do this you can see how far a debt of £30,000 could go.

If your university or college training is being paid by somebody else then all well and good but if it is actually going to be your debt learn what you can as cheaply as you can and build your contacts from the grassroots up.

So if you are starting out make sure you got time to practice at home but most of all play and have fun with others and be encouraged by the fact that the greatest bands of all time from the Beatles to the stones to Led Zeppelin to the Foo Fighters and Nirvana all did what you are about to do jam with their mates and got out playing.

Vic three days of music which is nearly sold out for next year