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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Tom Hess Guitar Lessons

Immediately I noticed a review of Tom Hess’s guitar lessons by Mike Philippov. I’ve seen his guitar playing in several videos on YouTube, and he can really play. In his review, Philippov talks very highly of Hess and makes a very convincing case – Hell, with those kind of chops, he must be doing something right.

After Google, I tried YouTube. I got many results, but the one at the top was a video with tons of reviews by actual Tom Hess guitar students. A lot of people seem to have really benefited from his lessons, and many of the can really play.

In the end, I felt pretty intrigued by all the positive results people were receiving. I found other results with negative things to say about Hess, but they all came in the form of “I can’t stand Hess”, “I hate Tom Hess” and so on. Not much for me to go on there, but then again, I tend to steer clear of blind, vitriolic internet hate.

Quick Review: Tom Hess’s Music Career Mentoring Program

The first Tom Hess music careers mentoring program review I came across was by someone named Lee Gattenby, a guitar teacher in Alaska. Seems he has built a pretty nice teaching business for himself and released his own music. Not bad… I continued searching…

Next, I found what seems to be an interview with Tom Hess about music career advice. Not so much a music careers mentoring program review as it is Tom debunking various music career myths. Very insightful though – worth a look.

Mix Your Songs for Radio and TV

Only high quality music is played on radio and TV; therefore, you should ensure that yours if of high quality. If you don’t have the production skills you should ensure that a professional handles the production part. In addition to ensuring that the music you produce is of high quality you should also ensure that the sound quality is good.

Remember that many people listen to radio through cheap car speakers, ear buds and boomboxes. This means that if your song won’t come out great on these devices, many listeners won’t be pleased with it.

To ensure that your song sounds great on these devices you should play your music using different devices and listen to how it sounds. For example, you should patch the music into car-stereo speakers or bookshelf speakers. You should also dub the mix to a CD and play it through PC speakers or boombox. You should then listen and adjust it accordingly. Experts recommend that you should mix at nominal volume level. This is to ensure that you are able to hear all the parts clearly.

When recording the music you should avoid cluttering it. This calls for you to focus on the main ingredients such as the guitar, bass, rhythm, and percussion. As rule of thumb you should use the right instrument at the right place.

When it comes to vocals, ensure that the lead vocal is good and prominent. This is to ensure that the listener doesn’t strain to hear you above the backing track.

Info of Guitar Accessories

One of the most important things is spare strings. Why? Because the original strings will only last so long and when they break, that’s it. Having the right strings on hand will mean you simply exchange the broken one for a new one and you’re back strumming in no time.

Another important thing to have is a good strap. This is especially important if you will be standing up to play, but it also keeps the guitar stable and easier to play. Along with this is strap locks, again, very important as you don’t want your guitar to fall off the strap and break. These are super cheap but can help you avoid potential disaster and a costly fix to your instrument.

Finger picks are something every guitarist needs. The experts say to start with the thinnest you can find and gradually work your way up to determine the one that you like the best. Picks can break so it’s always a good thing to have plenty on hand and hey, when you’re famous you can throw them to the crowd after a show, so make sure you have extras!

A tuner is a great thing for beginner guitarists to have as it makes your guitar play in tune as opposed to sounding terrible. A tuner sits on the neck of your guitar and tunes your strings so that you always sound great. Another thing that attaches to the neck of your guitar is a capo and it is used to change the pitch of open strings. It changes the key and is a great help especially if you are singing as well as playing. Always stay in key and in pitch.

Revolution Radio

The opening track ‘Somewhere Now’ sounds as if it belonged on ‘American Idiot’ as opposed to its follow up 5 albums later, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially considering the latter album hit number 5 on 2005’s global album chart amongst winning them many awards in the process. In fact the song is very strong, although risky to open up their ‘comeback’ album with a slow beginning, the switch to the homely feel of guitars, drums, bass and harmonies that every Green Day fan across the globe is used to is a one of a kind feeling. But its more than just an opening song to another Green Day album, it’s a statement, and it screams “We are back, and the revolution is on.”

‘Somewhere Now’ is abruptly followed by a scorcher of a single, and in fact the first single from the album; ‘Bang Bang’. The opening line samples a news segment on executions. If that doesn’t get your attention immediately, the punk riff ripping through your ear drums sure will, and any veteran Green Day fan will gleam ear to ear when the nostalgia of ’39/Smoothed Out’, ‘Kerplunk’ and ‘Dookie’ kicks in with every punk-esque guitar strum and smashing drum beat ripples from your speakers. I say speakers, as earphones will not do this song justice. It’s message – it’s a Green Day song, of course there’s a message – I hear you ask? Stop gun culture in America. Holy c*ap. Using this album to try and pull back any relevance they have left before they just have to give up is suddenly no longer seeming to be such a plausible excuse for its release. They’re making a stand, and using the excuse of it being an attempt to regain relevance as a mirage to cover their revolution.

The title track comes 3rd on the track list, and ultimately falls under the influence of semi-successful album ’21st Century Breakdown’. With a euphoric sounding vocal line, the song is a master class in teaching sceptics that Billie Joe Armstrong can still sing. The guitar still rips through all sound barriers, really forming an opinion that this is the world’s best rock band back at its finest. The following track ‘Say Goodbye’ almost excitedly parades an influence from the likes of ‘The Black Keys’ with its bluesy feel and multiple breaks, with a strong vocal line from BJ Armstrong again, this one is definitely set to be a fan favourite as the album ages.

‘Outlaws’, the next track on the album, is another tease at maybe an acoustic song throughout its intro, though yet again we are refused another masterpiece like ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’. Although that isn’t to say that yet again this album has produced a high quality song. Its slower than the previous tracks, and again falls into more of a rock-opera genre than the punk feel that ‘Bang Bang’ menacingly hinted at. Then, out of nowhere, appears ‘Bouncing Off the Walls’. It strikes like a golden snake, catching you almost dozing after the dreamy sounds of ‘outlaws’ before it. Punk is back in question, you can hear each power chord played and BJ’s voice crackles like it did back in ‘Dookie’s finest songs. What a time to be a Green Day fan, what a song and what great listing choices by the boys to place this belter of a tune straight after the slow melodic vibes previous to it.

‘Still Breathing’ again teases at an acoustic song at first, though there is yet again little disappointment in what follows the vocal led intro. The bridge and chorus of this song represent what Green Day have always been; amazing musicians and talented people all round. You seriously don’t have to be a Green Day fan to enjoy this track. Tt appears some mystic pop music demons have been summoned to give this track a real good aura and for that I think this song may be one of the greatest on the album. It feels catchy and has a foot taping vibe that will get even the biggest music snob humming along.

‘Youngblood’ is a classic Green Day song, a seemingly depressing song by its open line “She’s a loner” displayed with upbeat drums and guitar creates a Green Day sound we are all very used too. It’s a love song at its heart, take ‘Give Me Novocaine’ from ‘American Idiot’ and mix it with the upbeat instrumental of ‘Dookie’s ‘basket case’ and you’re halfway to this songs ear shaking sound. The problem with ‘Too Dumb to Die’ is that there is little new about it, it sounds like a weird concoction of all the previous songs, and it isn’t a great one. It still is good, it’s not ear bleeding awful, but it isn’t exactly ‘butterflies in the stomach’ great, unlike some of the previous songs on this album. Which unfortunately makes this the albums one and only pitfall.

The next track ‘Troubled times’ is another slower paced track, with Tres Cools drums providing the clear lead throughout. The chorus picks up pace and a glorious guitar riff catches the mind of any listener and again screams “We’re Back”. ‘Forever Now’ is a real pop-punk anthem, with the typical chords and strum patterns mixed with overlaid vocals, breaks and catchy lyrics – a long with a couple ad libs – this song is a great showing of all the members talents, including Mike Dirnts typically fantastic bass playing skills.

Finally! We have an acoustic performance from Billie Joe Armstrong, and my god, its spectacular. His voice sounds clearer and better than it ever has, and it snatches the title of the bands greatest acoustic song straight from the hands of the previously mentioned ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life0’ without little thought for its predecessor. This will definitely be a crowd pleaser across arenas the world over. It has a guitar line that is impossible not to sway side to side to. This song is Green Day at their very best, which I know is harsh to say when BJ is the only member of the band involved, but still, every time I listen to it it’s like the first time. That is so hard to capture in a song, but it’s everything that should have been expected from this album, and all the intros that hinted at it along the way through the albums track listing created a hype that the song truly lived up to.