The Quote Jar: One

Following each Q&A session I post a separate entry including quotes from various sites and publications from the web. Clicking each of the links will open a new window containing the full article (if publicly accessible).

The names below were mentioned by Clarke Robinson and Andrew Angell in their Q&As.

 

 

“I try to justify what we do with our lives, and that question becomes more difficult to answer.” – Dave Matthews (2012)

“The first couple of rehearsals sounded like absolute crap! But after a while we started to develop our chemistry” – Carter Beauford

 

“It’s still hard to believe that we played with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. What a humble guy. The performer of all performers. The hardest working man in show business. Funky as can be.” – Boyd Tinsley (2013)

 

“For the longest time, we were just going — recording records, touring — you don’t really stop to think, to reflect or think about where you’ve been.” – Dean Roland (2012)

 

“I’m sort of a chord person. I’m happy if the song has a cool key change or some interesting chords that you might not expect. And of course, it should have a good melody to match.” – Paul Gilbert (2011)

 

“At seventy-four years old, I’m starting to cut down a bit but I’ll never stop as long as God lets me play.” – B.B. King (2000)

 

“As a musician, I love jamming.” – Zakk Wylde (2014)

 

“My friend played so my parents signed me up for lessons.” – Audley Freed

 

Notes:

  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome. 🙂
  • If you share a quote from your favorite Q&A on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag ‘#WNEQA’!

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

 

 

** For feedback and comments that you wouldn’t mind displayed publicly, you can use the ‘leave a comment link’ below.

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Q&A #2: Andrew Angell

Andrew shares his journey as a guitarist/singer, covering Dave Matthews, as well as e-commerce tips.”

 

 

Leigh Lim: Thanks for agreeing to share a bit about yourself Andrew. Looking at the videos on YouTube does give a bit of insight (you have a number of interests and passions). Do you think you are the sort of person who leans toward multiple things, and just doing ‘one thing’ wouldn’t work that well for you?

Andrew Angell: I definitely have lots of interests / hobbies, so I guess I would say that, yeah, I like to have lots of stuff going on. Too much of any one thing tends to burn me out. “Resting” from one thing involves doing another in most cases.

 

LL: Can you give me a quick summary in terms of how you got to where you are with your guitar playing?

AA: My learning flow was a little different than what I think most do. I learned how to read tablature and then just tried to pick up songs.

I didn’t really understand chords, though, and seeing them on tabs confused me. As such, I started with anything that sounded like one single note at a time. For example, the intro lick to Collective Soul, December, was one of the first things I ever learned to play. Actually sort of a complicated lick, but it just sounded easier to me since it was one note at a time.

I really never have gotten into scales or actual music theory much at all. I’ve always just played stuff I like.

 

LL: With tabs, did you study the available material for DMB songs?

AA: I studied original tabs pretty closely, but the thing about Dave Matthews Band (and Dave in particular) is that the songs are played and sung in lots of different ways. They really evolve over the years and different versions of the same songs can vary quite drastically sometimes.

What I wind up doing with my covers is looking at the tabs to learn how it’s actually played, and then my version usually tends to be some sort of a mixture of all the different versions I’ve heard them play over the years. Each time I perform one of those songs, too, it comes out different. Melody is sometimes different, guitar parts are sometimes slightly different. Just sort of depends on the current mood I guess.

 

LL: Do you find that once you learn a song, you had it committed to memory? Or did you have to have a guide (either tabs or notes), when you play a song again?

AA: Once it’s learned it’s in there, but if you don’t play something for awhile it can be tough to remember. If that happens I can grab the tab or watch a quick video to refresh my memory and pick it up again pretty quickly.

 

LL: How has your voice evolved through the years?

 

AA: Ever since I was little I always enjoyed singing along with music. Never have done any actual vocal lessons or anything like that, but I’ve just done a lot of singing in general over the years.

It often takes me awhile to “find” a song vocally. There are some things I can hit pretty easily, but other things I’m way off key with my voice until I keep working at it to find it. Often that’s a matter of singing from the gut and belting out the notes instead of trying to do it in my throat. The general practice I’ve had with that over the years has allowed me to pick songs up more quickly, but it still happens quite a bit where I learn a new song and have to practice the vocals quite a bit.

I don’t know guitar and music theory well enough to move the guitar part into a key that fits my voice better, so I just have to work with my voice to get it to work with whatever key the original tabs are giving me.

I’ve been told that I’m sometimes singing the harmony, and I think that’s why. It “fits” so it allows me to perform the song, but some people seem to love that and some seem to hate it.

 

LL: With your recording equipment, what are the current specs you use?

AA: Many of my earlier videos were done with the built in MacBook mic. It was an old MacBook and had a decent mic in it. Then I got a new MacBook at one point and the mics ever since have sucked.

That’s when I went out and bought an Audiobox USB input and a Shure vocal mic. Now I plug my guitar and mic into that, and I use GarageBand on the MacBook. Pretty basic stuff.

I often fight with the settings, and you’ll notice some of my videos have nice, full audio, and others simply don’t. I’ve never been able to find and stick to a solid setting, and I’ve never taken the time to really learn how to produce the audio.

 

LL: Which vocal mic is it? Did you go with it based on a recommendation or did you just shop around and decide?

AA: The vocal mic is just a basic Shure mic that the guy at the music shop recommended.

LL: Is it the SM58? (I checked out your videos and that would be my approximation from a distance)

 AA: It’s Shure BETA 58A

 

LL: Do you mix the audio for your videos?

AA: I do “mix” but just barely. I play with the channels a little bit to try and make it sound good, but I actually struggle with that anyway because I have Tinnitus and that tends to interfere sometimes when listening to regular speakers. I’ve been meaning to go get a real nice set of headphones, but I just never have.

 

LL: What’s part of your guitar arsenal at the moment?

AA: Currently I have a Taylor 910ce and a Taylor 914ce Dave Matthews Signature Model.

I use D’Addario XPP17 Medium strings. I like a medium thickness pick with some grip on it.

 

LL: Did it take awhile for you to settle on the gear that you like?

AA: I pretty much learned how to play guitar by learning Dave Matthews Band tabs and playing those songs. I wanted the same sound, so that’s what I went with, and I’ve loved it all along for all types of music.

I’ve played Martins and some other nice acoustics, but the Taylor’s really do it for me.

 

LL: What are the key things people should know before signing up to Paypal? (or deciding if they should keep their Paypal account or go with another payment processing platform)

AA: Educate yourself about seller protection, disputes/chargebacks before you start selling a bunch of stuff.

I def. recommend including PayPal as an option on your website (or wherever you’re taking payments) because conversion rates have been proven to raise drastically when you do so. There are lots of other things I could say about that, but it would go on forever. heh.

 

LL: conversion rates? In terms of benefitting the seller rather than Paypal?

AA: Conversion rates as in completed checkouts on a site instead of an abandoned shopping cart. eCommerce sites always have lots of abandoned carts, but adding PayPal can greatly reduce that, so it’s good for the seller, but also good for PayPal because they make their money on the fees, and good for the buyer because it’s more secure and quicker for them to checkout.

 

LL: Is there anything that frustrates you about Paypal?

AA: Frustrations with PayPal (or any merchant account provider) come from ignorance. If you educate yourself about the standard procedures to follow when selling online you will avoid frustration.

So, I have been frustrated with PayPal, yes. That was in 2000 when I sold my very first thing and it turned out to be a stolen credit card so I lost the money and had already shipped the product. Then I learned that it wasn’t PayPal’s fault, I educated myself on how to avoid it in the future, and I’ve been happy ever since.

 

LL: Buyers seem to have little knowledge on what goes on when a seller unknowingly processes a stolen credit card. Does that mean that the seller actually shoulders the financial burden?

AA: Sellers do shoulder financial burden if they don’t follow standard procedures for selling online. For example, if you sell something for $1k to somebody with a billing address in Ohio, but then you ship the item to an address in New Jersey, and that transaction winds up being on a stolen credit card, you’re not going to have any luck when the credit card company comes asking for that money.

If you ship to the billing address the odds of fraud happening are much lower, and then credit card companies will at least make people return merchandise before honoring a dispute/chargeback.

 

LL: This is when business insurance would probably come in handy?

AA: Yes, but too many people don’t have that sort of thing.

 

LL: What would be your advice to sellers who want to avoid the headache you experienced in 2000? Does it come down to purchasing additional software?

AA: No extra software. Just a matter of ensuring you follow standard procedures like ensuring the AVS (address verification system) comes back as a match, the security code matches, ship with signature required on items $200 or more, pay attention to feedback buyer history (on platforms like eBay), etc.

 

LL: Do you think there would be another site that could overtake Ebay’s popularity?

AA: For an auction platform it’s going to be tough to compete with eBay. They’re a big boy now, and they can squash competition if they need/want to. There are def. market places that can compete, though. Amazon being the biggest. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more in the future.

 

LL: angelleye.com does have a clean feel to it, not overloaded with banners. Was this a conscious choice? Or did the site go though different versions until you found out what worked?

AA: Yes, [there was a conscious] choice to keep the site relatively clean. Really, these days it’s pretty simple to setup a WordPress site and find a nice theme that makes that pretty easy for you.

 

LL: Did you create the logo of the site as well?

AA: I had a designer make the logo years ago.

 

LL: What advice would you give to artists who are overwhelmed with number of options (hosting, site layout, tools) to get their website up and running?

AA: Advice for people needing a site would be to go with HostGator for the hosting and setup WordPress with WooCommerce and responsive design theme. I typically sell such packages to people for $1k.

 

LL: Seems like the more simplistic approach to take payment is to just have a link to paypal on your site. Rather than go for a credit card processing facility?

AA: I like to have direct credit card options as well as the PayPal Express Checkout option on my sites to increase conversion rates as much as possible.

LL: What are your favorite sites at the moment?

AA: My “smart favorites” in Chrome currently include YouTube, StackOverflow, PayPal’s Developer Site, Experts Exchange, Facebook, and ChiefsPlanet

LL: Are there websites that you like to visit just because you like the design?

AA: Not really, no. I visit sites for content.

LL: Website that you would go to when you need to be cheered up?

AA: I’m pretty lucky in that I really don’t often need any cheering up. I tend to live a pretty simple, happy life. If I ever need a laugh, though, jumping on YouTube and browsing around can certainly do it.

LL: Would you be open to collaborating with other artists? Specific people you wouldn’t mind reaching out and getting in touch with you?

AA: Sure, I’d be open to collaboration if anybody wanted to give something a try.

 

LL: I’d like to link to one of your videos. Which one would you say is either your favorite, or the one you’d regularly send if you were asked for a video?

AA: My most popular video is [Tool 46 and 2 Forty Six and Two Acoustic Solo Cover] so we might as well go with that one.

 

* Andrew Angell is a guitarist and consulting web developer based in Kansas City, MO. You can find his videos here and can reach him through the form directly below. If you’d like to learn more about payment processing on the web, Andrew was previously interviewed by Nerd Enterprises — you can view the interview here.

Source Material and Notes: The material posted is based on correspondence (May 2014) between Andrew and Leigh. Content has been edited for length, and the final version has been reviewed and approved by the interviewee before being posted.

 

Leigh Lim is Mini-Bio Photoa musician based at Sydney. You can find a sample of her music here. To reach out to Leigh, you can do so via this form or a direct message through YouTube. (Curious to find out if she’s your kind of person? You can check out her tweets and personal entries.)

Notes:

  • If there are things that you’d like to know about Andrew that I have not covered, please do leave a note (using the second form gives me an option of putting up your message.). I’ll aim to get Andrew to post the answer to your question here!
  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome. 🙂
  • If you share a quote from your favorite Q&A on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag ‘#WNEQA’!
  • This post has been tagged so it could be considered for Long Reads.

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

 

Interested in reading more?

 

** For feedback and comments that you wouldn’t mind displayed publicly, you can use the ‘leave a comment link’ below.

Q&A #1: Clarke Robinson

 

Clarke talks about his journey as a guitarist and his liking of the POD interface.”

 

Leigh Lim: Hi Clarke, thanks for giving your time to do a Q&A. After having a quick look at your YouTube feed, I noticed you checked out a couple of Paul Gilbert videos. Have you been keeping track of him since his days with ‘Mr. Big’?

 

Clarke Robinson: Good question. I’ve been into Paul’s playing since hearing “To Be With You”. His guitar work on “Lean Into It” became a lifetime goal to aspire to. The intro to the song “Alive N’ Kickin’” still makes me smile. It’s actually one of my YouTube videos.

 

In the last few years I’ve discovered through the internet & YouTube just how good a teacher Paul is as well as a player, so much so that last year I signed up to his online Guitar School at Artistworks.com. I’ve learned lots since then plus I get to interact directly with one of my guitar heroes!

 

LL: Can you give me a quick summary in terms of how you got to where you are with your playing?

 

CR: I started playing at 16. My brother got a guitar and went to lessons and used to bring home little scraps of paper with chords written on or whatever he had been shown that day. I used to try to learn a little from those.

I was also big into Elvis so once I had figured out a few chords, I watched the Elvis 68′ special on video (Black Leather suit show) and tried to copy the chords from that. I also remember watching an old BB King concert from Africa and studying from that. Then I graduated onto tab books for my favourite bands and it grew from there.

 

LL: With your recording equipment, what are the current specs you use?

 

CR: To keep it simple for youtube, I tend to plug my guitar into the computer and use software called “Pod Farm” which can produce realistic sounds without the need for a real amp. So I tend to use that for all my recording purposes at home. I also have a POD HD which I’ve used. It’s similar to Pod Farm.

 

LL: What would you say to POD users who struggle with the Accompanying software for the POD?

 

CR: Hard one for me to answer. I haven’t struggled with it but if I did I’d probably turn to google or YouTube for answers

 

LL: How’d you end up going with a POD? What was your rig like before incorporating it in your playing/recording?

CR: I always liked the idea of a POD as I’d like to get the variety of sounds that different amplifiers without needing the space or money to own all those amps. A pod is an effective way of being able to capture the sounds of certain classic amplifiers in the studio without breaking the bank or having to own a warehouse full of gear.

 

Having said that, A POD is just part of the gear I use. Lately I’m using just some of the effects (like overdrive etc) from the pod and bypassing the amp simulator stuff as I’m using a real tube amp. I’ve always had a Marshall of some sort, starting with a valvestate from the 90s. So, often it’s a stomp box into the front of a Marshall.

 

LL: Do you mix the audio for your videos?

 

CR: Yes. I record the audio separately from the videos. So far the video has been done through a digital camera, whilst at the same time recording the guitar audio straight into the computer. Then I sync the two back together by replacing the camera audio with the guitar audio.

 

LL: What software do you use to mix the audio and finalise the video?

 

 

CR: I use Camtasia at the moment. I’ve just downloaded the latest free Movie Maker for windows 7 so might try that in future if it’s easy to use.

 

LL: Do you have a specific picking style?

 

CR: Hmm, I think it’s a combination of different styles. I use what’s called Hybrid Picking quite a bit. So for certain notes, rather than use the pick, i’ll use the middle finger on my picking hand.

People like Zakk Wylde do this a lot, and that’s who inspired me to try this technique a few years ago. More and more these days I play quite a bit with just my fingers, which is a little smoother sound than a pick.

LL: not planning to keep the nails on your right hand a bit longer for more sound flexibility?

 

 

CR: Nope. It feels funny to me to use the actual nail for picking as opposed to the flesh on my finger. Granted, at first, the nail won’t give you pain, but I’ve now built up some calluses on my middle finger on my picking hand so that’s not a problem.

It just feels more natural for me to use the finger rather than the nail. If I grew the nails on my right hand I’d have to worry about protecting them day to day. Not for me.

 

LL: Are you working on something specific at the moment to expand your technical ability? (or musical exercises that you tend to do)

 

CR: Always! My theory and chord knowledge has always been lacking, so I’m learning more chords at the moment, and beginning to figure out what notes go well with certain chords when soloing. Lately I’ve also been trying to learn vocal melodies on guitar too. It’s challenging!

I’m also constantly also playing little scale patterns. I want to be able to play really fast runs (shred type runs), but have never been that good at it. So in the background, I practice that stuff a lot as I want to be able to play faster than I can sometimes!

I find there aren’t enough hours in the day to practice, but I really love it so much, it never feels like practice, just fun.

 

 

LL: What’s part of your guitar arsenal at the moment?

 

CR: I use D’Addario strings, Dunlop Gator Grip picks (0.59mm i think), a few guitars, whatever ones you see in the videos, a Tele, Strat and Les Paul mainly.

 

 

LL: Did it take awhile for you to settle on the kind that you like?

 

COG: Strings, not really. I’ve used D’Addarios for as long as I remember. Always been great for me. I remember trying a couple of other brands many years ago, but always kept coming back to the D’Addarios.

Picks, I change those sometimes. 2 years ago I was using really heavy 2mm picks. Now, I’m using really light ones. The light ones are great for big rock slides!

 

LL: You mentioned earlier that your main guitars are a Tele, Strat and Les Paul. Were they purchased at the same time?

 

CR: I wish! I can’t afford to rush out and buy 3 good guitars at once lol. I’ve bought those 3 over the years. I owned a Les Paul for many years, then the Strat came next, and the Tele is a relatively new addition (3-4 years).

 

LL: with your consumables, particularly the strings. How long do they last?

 

CR: I’m not gigging at all right now, so all my playing is done at home. I don’t change my strings often at all. If they feel good and sound good, I’ll keep ’em on there until they break (which is rare anyway). If they begin to feel rough on my fingers, then I’ll change them.

It’s more tricky in the summer months as my fingers sweat that little bit more so the strings might need changing more often. But for sure, I only change strings when I really have to. If I were gigging, I’d probably need to change them every gig or two. I should really change them more often, as I love new strings on a guitar. Makes the guitar feel new every time.

 

LL: Any specific schedule for guitar maintenance?

CR: I’m quite lazy about cleaning. Some of that dirt might be adding something to my tone (ha!). I normally give the guitar a real good clean when changing strings, and rarely after playing. Occasionally I’ll wipe the strings down, but honestly not much.

LL: During a gig, do you keep some notes as a guide?

 

CR: I haven’t gigged for many years, but as a band, we had a setlist written so we wouldn’t forget what to play next!

 

LL: What is your warm-up / practice routine like?

 

CR: It varies. Perhaps learning a song, some 3 note per string picking patterns, jamming with backing tracks, it really just depends on the mood of the day. I don’t have a strict schedule to adhere to.

 

LL: Are there artists that you absolutely dig, and are surprised that others haven’t heard of?

 

CR: Loads of them. Guitarwise, my big inspirations growing up were the likes of Slash, Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Paul Kossoff. Those Gibson blues based rockers! I had to have a Les Paul because it was what Slash played. I also love Paul Gilbert’s playing these days.

Another big influence would be perhaps less well known, Audley Freed. He has played with the Black Crowes and had a band of his own in the 90’s called “Cry of Love”. Great Southern Blues-based rock music. Audley uses hybrid picking too, and inspired that style of picking in me.

 

 

LL: What are your favorite sites at the moment?

 

CR: YouTube! Other than that, I don’t have particular favorite sites. I like to shop so Amazon is good! Ebay for strings.

 

 

LL: Are there websites that you like to visit just because you like the design?

 

CR: No, not really. I’m more interested in content, style helps, but I’ll put up with bad style if the content I want is good.

LL: Also, I’d like to link to one of your videos. Which one would you say is either your favorite, or the one you’d regularly send if you were asked for a video?

 

CR: Hmm, not sure. For some reason, the first video I put up, the Floyd Blues one, seems by far the most popular video. So I guess if that’s the one people most watch, then that one. In all honesty, I’d say my favourite will always be the next one I’m working on!

 

Clarke Robinson is a guitarist based in London. You can find his YouTube videos here, and can reach him through his YouTube channel, either via messages or comments. If in any case he is blessed to receive an offer to jam with Paul Gilbert or Angus Young, YES will be the next word out of his mouth.

Source Material and Notes: The material posted is based on correspondence (May 2014) between Clarke and Leigh. Content has been edited for length, and the final version has been reviewed and approved by the interviewee.

 

Leigh Lim is Mini-Bio Photoa musician based at Sydney. You can find a sample of her music here. To reach out to Leigh, you can do so via this form or a direct message through YouTube. (Curious to find out if she’s your kind of person? You can check out her tweets and personal entries.)

Notes:

  • If there are things that you’d like to know about Clarke that I have not covered, please do leave a note (using the second form gives me an option of putting up your message.). I’ll aim to get Clarke to post the answer to your question here!
  • Corrections and additional information: Spot one? Let me know!
  • Q&A Suggestions (individuals or groups) and feedback (specific or general) are always welcome. 🙂
  • If you share a quote from your favorite Q&A on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag ‘#WNEQA’!
  • This post has been tagged so it could be considered for Long Reads.

Pick one of the forms below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂

 

Interested in reading more?

 

 

 

 

** For feedback and comments that you wouldn’t mind displayed publicly, you can use the ‘leave a comment link’ below.

 

 

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