Last fall, I emailed some old Coquitlam friends and acquaintences in the Vancouver roots band, The Matinee, about becoming musical Big Brothers of sorts for my spring semester’s Introduction to Guitar class. But I wanted to extend the invitation to you, too, as you are a local musician who has managed to fight their way onto the stages of Vancouvers bars and night clubs, its coffee houses and city sidewalks, its radio stations and Province Entertainment sections. Maybe beyond….
From what I’ve been able to glean in observation and friendship with more than a few fledgling-to-successful performers over the years, there is no playbook to achieve what you have, and I am approaching you here in lieu of not being able to find the book, How to Headline at the Commodore for Dummies in my local Chapters.
You, mesdames and messieurs, are in possession of the pages, chapters, and the contents that might constitute such a book, and it would be my very great pleasure to be able to share what you have learned, and what you are still learning, with the community that has emerged around our school’s Introduction to Guitar class. In fact, the process we are going through to develop our class site will hopefully yield a study aid that future rock and rollers, folkies and songstresses will be able to consult in their own journey toward musical education, fulfillment, and enjoyment.
You can check it out here.
In addition to our own classroom, where 28 lucky students are documenting and sharing their learning of guitar (from the newest of beginners through the gent who leads this band here), we have ‘open online’ participants joining us from all over the world who are able to contribute assignments and commentary from wherever they are – on their phones, laptops or other connected devices. Which is why I hope the request that joins my invitation to you doesn’t require all that much in the way of activation energy: all you need is a Youtube account to share your wisdom with our class.
So far we have generated twenty-some different ‘assignments’ that all involve sharing something that people are working on / towards / etc in their guitar playing; but it need not stop there, and participants are encouraged to invent their own new assignments whenever they choose.
Some options that would be great to see tackled by musicians, bands, performers beyond our classroom are:
- Tell The Story of Your Guitar (What else goes with you on tour, or on stage?)
- Acoustic covers (Especially if it’s a song by Carly Rae Jepson recorded in a party barge)
- Fake _____ plays Real ______ (if only to hear Bob Dylan play Green Eggs & Ham)
- Course Introductions! (Who are you? How did you start playing music?)
Or you can jump in wherever and whenever you like with comments or feedback for the musicians already taking part in the course, on Twitter or the blog itself (see this page to register as an author on the blog).
As you know, having an authentic audience for work like this is hugely important, even if it is lent in the most minimal fashion. And as young folks who no doubt well-remember trying to figure out how to put your first bands together in highschool and afterwards, I want to extend my gratitude in advance for any help or guidance you’d be able to lend our class, as it would appreciated in ways that likely won’t be known for years yet into the future.
Feel free to drop your band details in this form here, or you can send me links to any videos that you might want to submit on Twitter (@bryanjack), or by email (bryan at bryanjack.ca).
Thanks for your time, music, and ongoing inspiration,
Bryan Jackson & the folks in #IntroGuitar