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random camera phone picture: exploitation in b flat


[click for bigger]Guitar Center, Carle Place, NY

We went to GC yesterday to look at amps. DJ wants to move up from his Line 6 to a Marshall or Crate and we did some early Christmas/birthday browsing yesterday [we decided on the Crate GLS 1200 head and the G412st cab].

As always, DJ spent about two hours trying out various guitars and amps. GC on a Saturday or Sunday is a cacophony of aspiring guitar heros all playing different riffs at once. But a funny thing happened once DJ got into a groove. Everyone stopped playing. They all stopped to watch/listen to this 12 year old kids play the guitar. Teenagers, adults, customers, employees. They all at some point came up to me and asked a million questions. How old is he? How long has he been playing? Do you realize how good he is? What's his name so I can tell people years from now that I saw him play before he was famous? It was something to see the older teens and the 20somethings come over to watch him.

One 60ish man (who had been playing a beautiful tune on an acoustic and I forgot to ask him what it was) told me that I should "get him out there" now. Ok. So how do I do that? How does one go about being "discovered" by the music industry? One guy said something about getting him into a studio. Fine, but do you just record him on the guitar alone? Should he have a band with him?

I know there are quite a few of you guitar types out there. Help me out. I'd really like to make DJ rich and famous so I can exploit him while he's still young and marketable have DJ use his skills in a way that befits mankind.

[I'll try to record him playing later, if anyone is interested in hearing. For the record, he was playing Panama when the crowd formed]

Comments

I don't know nobody (deliberate double-neg, thankyew), but I'd love to hear him play.

The employees at GC, either the guitar or recording department, should be of help.

Somebody who works there has to have at least a basement studio and some friends who wouldn't mind some session work.

The last thing I remember you posting was him playing Pantera. It was good then, at his age, I can only imagine the advances he's made...kids learn so fast. LOVE to hear some when you get time to post it!

12 year old metalhead with a guitar. Damn there's something very right about that.

How much stuff is in that garage?

New York (AP) ASV records, home of the 'Long Island Sound', which has come to defien the musical sound of the early 21st century, recently announced a distribution partnership with....

Wind, the garage still looks the same as when you were here. I guess it's time to clean it out.

He NEEDS a band. One that participates in the grand creative vision of songwriting.

...otherwise, he'll just end up like Axl Rose. You have the power to prevent that NOW!

He's actually just started a band. So we'll see how that goes.

1. Create website, post MP3s
2. ??????
3. Profit.

I swear, that profit thing never fails to crack me up.

I've played in bands ever since I was in high school, and I can honestly say that the easiest way to get exposure is to start a band, and then start playing your friends' parties, local events like fairs or church gatherings, and battle of the band type competitions. You live in a highly populated area, so there should be no shortage of these things. Word of mouth will do the rest.

We started small, and begged friends to let us play summer parties, graduation parties, and birthday parties for free. We then moved on to a local monthly talent competition where we made contacts and started getting $75 per gig to play at youth recreation nights. Finally, we started writing more of our own music and played in the town battle of the bands.
After I went to college, my friend kept going and established himself to three or four local bars and played at them for a few years.

Once you get older, you get more contacts, so you can play in bars opening up for bands and things. If he gets into it and has a good supporting band, slap down the money for them to record a couple of original tracks because no one will usually book you at a bar/club unless you have a CD that they can listen to. And he probably doesn't have any 20 or 30something friends that will vouch for him to the bar owners.

We also set up a show in college where we reserved a big space and begged/borrowed/bought all the equipment needed to put on a concert and then just promoted the hell out of it. We probably had about 100 people show up (which is good when you consider that most bands are playing to like 4 people and the roadies). A lot more goes into it than the playing though - you need to put on a good show as well. The biggest mistake young players make is that they all stand on stage, concentrating on the music so hard that they are staring at their instruments and not moving around.

I'd be happy to elaborate more, so just email me if you want and I can talk about the specifics. The amp that you are getting will make playing out live easier though, because it will be loud as hell and you can't guarantee any PA's when you start out.

I've got 2 shows coming up in the next 2 weeks at local college bars. The hardest decision for him will be to decide if he wants to make this his life or not. You can rarely go on to superstardom playing part-time. The best band I've been in fell apart once we all went to college around the country.

The hardest decision for him will be to decide if he wants to make this his life or not.

I think he made that decision when he decided to not try out for the school baseball team because it would interfere in his guitar playing time. And we always thought baseball was going to be his ticket to college.

My son is nothing if not obsessive and single minded. If he says he's going to play the guitar for the rest of his life, he;'s going to play guitar for the rest of his life.

Right, but it's a choice between going to college, getting a degree and a job afterwards, or grinding through bar after bar for years, touring with 4 other guys in a crappy van all around the US and working at a fast-food place or something during the day to make enough money to perpetuate the guitar playing. I'm not saying that's how it will have to be, but even for the bands that make it, there's usually a few years of that before they hit it big.

If he (and you) can live with that, then you won't have any problems.

Plus, he's 12 so who knows, he might realize at 17 that while playing guitar is fun, he can do that AND other things in life, and it will become more of a side project to continue along with everything else rather than the focus.

I have no idea what you should do to make DJ rich and famous. I know that at some point he'll have to choose between rock star dreams and a "steady" job. I have been going over that decision in my head for the last 20 years (and I'm sure DJ is waaay more talented than me).

Just let him do what he feels like doing and be proud. My dad hated my style of music, but one of my favorite memories was when someone asked him what I did for a living, and he said, "He's a guitar player."

Why does it have to be either "boring grind day-job in an office" or "rockstar life with paying-of-dues by flippin' burgers"?

I know an awful lot of people with creative second-lives (I wouldn't even call them "hobbies," that sounds too minimizing of the time and skill the people have). They teach school, or are environmental engineers, or run a business, but on the weekend - they're all up at bluegrass festivals or art shows or whatever they have chosen to make their passion in life.

I think it's great. I wish everyone in the US had some kind of a passion, that wasn't necessarily moneymaking for them, but something they loved to do and cared about. I think already we've too much bought into the idea that "only 'professionals' can make art" - see the decline of instrument-playing and singing in everyday life.

(Maybe I'm just bitter because my high school orchestra teacher told me that unless I was planning on a career with an orchestra, I shouldn't be trying to learn an instrument. In his mind, there were professional musicians and consumers-of-music, and there was no middle ground of people who were amateurs but good or even people like me who liked to noodle around on an instrument and maybe play with friends but had no visions of going pro. That was about the worst piece of advice I ever believed as a teenager).

My hopes are that DJ makes it big, and brings a lot of joy to a lot of people, though.

oh, and that guitar shop - do they have a sign up that says "No 'Stairway to Heaven'"?

If I was his manager, I'd be pushing the live gigs with the band now, which would (theoretically) create demand for the eventual CD release (I recorded way too many times with studio-only bands where the bulk of the records/cassettes/CD's wound up piled high in the back of the lead singer's garage...)

Let's just say the band isn't ready for prime time.

A quick story:

I have a good friend (and ex-bandmate) who joined a reasonably popular band a while back (you'd know them), and toured the world and elsewhere. My friend is a HELL of a good guitar player, and for five years, he played music for a living and made more money than me (a computer guy) and had a lot more fun.

Then he left the band due to personal issues (hated HATED the singer), around the time Britney was becoming popular and it was getting tough to make a living playing heavy music. He had contacts, but nothing panned out. He's back in my area now, working a 9-to-5 for terrible wages. He's still an amazing guitar player, the breaks just haven't gone his way since leaving the band.

I took a few lessons from his story that may apply to DJ's situation:

1. My friend can play as fast as anyone I've known, but almost never does. Feel and rhythm matter more than anything. My advice is to find a GOOD drummer and play uncomplicated songs; don't start off playing "Unchained" with the school's jazz band drummer. At first, find a drummer that hits hard and keeps it simple, and play stuff like Nirvana.

"Panama" is tremendously impressive in a guitar store, but I've seen many more guys with fast fingers and no feel than prodigies who can also lay back and find the pocket while playing with a band. Be afraid of being the guy who mostly sounds good alone; I've been in bands with that guy, and it's no fun.

2. If you genuinely want to make a living in music, sure, get in a good band and write a "Sugar, Sugar" for the young generation; but also learn to read and develop professional skills, so that if you're in between bands, you can get session work. My friend couldn't do this because despite having plenty of skill, he couldn't read music, and so couldn't just walk in off the street and nail a song he didn't know within a few minutes.

3. Read #2 again. Seriously. Actually making a living in music will most probably require it at some point. That great band you toured with will in all probability be dead as a doornail in five years. How often do you expect lightning to strike? And would you rather work in an auto-parts store or do a session for Jessica Simpson in the meantime?

4. He's 12. Maybe I'm in a minority, but I'd figure there will be plenty of time to find management and whatnot in 6 years. IMO, he should spend time devloping feel and playing anywhere he can until then. Basement parties, dances, neighborhood festivals, wherever.

5. Be prepared to move. I live in the midwest, and it's a lot tougher for a musician to make a living and get discovered here than in, say, L.A.

Anyways, all of this is just my opinion. And I know some of it sounds mercenary (move to L.A.?!? What about making your OWN scene, maaaaan?), but I don't mean it to be - I just think it's a shame when people don't maximize their chances to do what they love for a living every day forever. But good luck, and here's hoping that we see DJ on the Grammies in a few years, thanking his mom, and also commenter Bonk from his mom's blog. :)

that's so awesome michele. I;m still working on the rich and famous thing, but i do know its possible to make a few dollars playing around, even in small towns on the Oregon coast (here, though, we fight tooth and nail against the stupid krapioke djs). Drop me an email and i'll hook you up with some guys i know up in Portland. :)

Bonk, you make some very valid points.

DJ goes to guitar lessons once a week (with a guy who has been playing/teaching for 50 years and now owns a music supply distribution company) for the very reasons you mentioned above. He needs to know more than how to play a good solo or how to play fast. So he's learning things like how to read and write music, how to play a chord different ways, how to play complicated songs that aren't rock, how to be a session musician (that's what his guitar teacher did mostly). I want him to maximize the talent he has.

Also, I'd really prefer him to go to college and get a degree so that when he doesn't become a rich and famous rock star, he has the background to have a career in something.

Well, you know, music's a funny thing. I think when you're young and good (and you know it), and music is more important than anything, and you love your band, college can seem silly; why bother? I actually simultaneously quit and got kicked out of a band because I wasn't willing to abandon everything else in my life for music (I knew I wanted to go back to school), and the other guys thought any lack of commitment was an unforgivable sin. And yes, one of those guys was my friend who "made it" for a while, though they're of course all working regular jobs now.

Good for you getting him the lessons he needs; that way, even if the band falls though and he never went to college, he can make a living without having to wait tables. Sessions for terrible music don't sound like much fun, but they beat working for a living. :)

And seriously, if he gets a good drummer, he needs to hold on like grim death. All I ask is a drummer who hits hard, plays simple, keeps good time, and remembers arrangements, and in 12 years of playing I've had a grand total of one drummer who fulfilled all of those requirements. You'd figure a trained monkey could at least get the last one, but no - if I'm not waving my arms at the fuckers, they always forget to go into the bridge or keep going when they should have stopped. Hell, my last drummer couldn't keep time when we had a click track in headphones for him. GRRRR. Having DJ start to look when he's 12 is not too early.

This is SOOO cool! And I'm glad you're supporting him the way you do instead of squashing his dreams and forcing him into baseball or even more "sensible" pursuits.

The time to take risks and explore your potential is while you're still young and have nothing to lose. I feel like I wasted a chunk of my creative life because I treated my guitar playing like a frivolous hobby, even though deep down I wanted to be a rock star. It wasn't until I was married and in law school when I started putting bands together and staying up all night gigging. By then, my time was severely limited and the prospect of touring was totally out of the question.

I'm still kicking myself for working all those after school jobs in Jr. High and High School; I should have been locked away in my bedroom practicing until my fingers bled and my parents were deaf.

Oh, to answer your question, ya gotta make a semi-decent demo tape. You could pick up an innexpensive portable 4-track, or just record him digitally if your computer is in a place where he can play. The question is whether his buddies are of his calibre.? If not, ask around at Guitar Center--I'm sure you could easily find people to play on the demo.

Look around for rehearsal studios and talk to the guys who run them. They always know people looking for an excuse to play--and they could help set you up with someone who fancies himself a recording engineer whose looking for an opportunity to prove it. Most of these people will be blown away with DJ and will probably volunteer space, equipment, and time. Ya just gotta talk to them.

Oh, and get him out there gigging ASAP. If he or the band are uncomfortable, just toss them in the deep end and watch them swim. People are usually ready before they think they are, and there is no substitute for playing live. In rehearsal you can make mistakes, stop the song, replay parts, etc. But live you're committed to the end and you learn to play through your mistakes and recover. Therefore, he MUST play at all his friends' birthday parties, all neighborhood block parties, any school talent shows or dances he can get in, local outdoor "festivals" where various bands play, battles of the bands, and, hell, maybe even send him to church if they have a spot in their Christian Death Metal band. Whatever it takes.

Michele, I think you're hitting on something. Most aspiring musicians are not going to be rich and famous. However, many of the best musicians these days are people you've never heard of.

Getting a good background in theory is very important, as is being able to learn to read and write music. I've been in the studio (as an observer) when some session work was going on and there's no bullshitting around. That music is put in front of you and you had better be able to go, or you'l be out of there quick.

I know several people who have made a great living doing session work. Even if you can get him some studio time just to lay down a few tracks of him playing solo just to get the feel for it wil be worthwhile. In addition, if that garage can be cleaned up, you can build a small studio for a few thousand dollars.

Just finished reading some of the other posts--good ideas.

Bonk is right about the imporance of taste/restraint, at least in the eyes of professionals. Without that, he won't be taken seriously. HOWEVER, I think it's impossible to convince a 12-year-old who can shred, not to. Particularly when his peers know nothing of musical integrity and are simply impressed by speed and volume. If he's dedicated to the craft, maturity will come naturally when the time is right. Meanwhile, let him explore his own boundaries rather than trying to coerse him to sound more "mature" or "tasteful" or "marketable."

Another point:

Can he sing? Urge him to start, if he doesn't. If he sucks, get him the Karaoke discs for PS2--they're excellent ear and voice training tools, and they're addictive and fun.

Why? Guitar players who can sing always have a gig. I know far too many guitar players who do not sing, and they're doomed to being hired axe slingers. When the singer leaves the band and it breaks up, the guitar player is unemployed. But the guitar player with pipes simply needs to find another rythm section and he's on his way to the next gig.

A good friend of mine is frequently critically acclaimed (by guitar and blues magazines) as the best white blues guitar player out there, and in my opinion that is well deserved. But his career is sorta cursed by not singing--he's just not as marketable as a player who does sing. That's why most of you have never heard of him.

He earns a little though steady local gigging with his own band, and he sells a decent amount of records (for a blues artist), but his mortgage payments are earned through session work for TV and movies, producing albums of others, teaching, and touring with his band or others as a hired gun (he's in Singapore with one of the original Woodstock bands right now).

If the guy could sing, you would know his name right now. He would be getting the big paychecks rather than his $1,000 fee per hour set on the other side of the world--as a nameless, faceless hired guitar player.

Songwriting is also important. If my buddy didn't write all his own material, he wouldn't be able to hold a band together at all.

By the way...having worked for and around my share of musicians big and small, I have a solid piece of advice for when he gets older and is in that band that will make it:

WRITE THE SONGS.

Publishing is where it's at. Write. Make sure you're not just a hired gun. Getting publishing on a couple of mediocre albums has set up at least two people I know for life in a fairly nice, upper-middle class lifestyle and they don't have to work if they don't want to.

Write. Get your publishing company set up early and get your name on the songs.

Something tells me he will end up as a session musician someday, rather than a star, mainly because he does NOT like being in the limelight. This is a kid who can't even stand to have people sing happy birthday to him because it's too much attention.

He nearly freaked out when all those people were watching him yesterday.

Mark: Jinx. You owe me a coke. I think we were typing that out at the same time. :)

Greatr advice, Mark.

I'm still kicking myself for working all those after school jobs in Jr. High and High School

Ugh. I did the same thing, and have the same regrets. There's no joy in becoming an adult and realizing you wasted your few years of precious, total freedom at a crappy part-time job.

At the time, the part-time job seemed to represent freedom. (I can get money, have a life out of the house.) Now I know better - the skills I could have honed as a kid in my bedroom would have made me even more free as an adult. In your case it was guitar; in my case it was writing. I can barely hobble together two sentences as an adult, but at 16 I had my own newspaper column...and I let it all slip away.

My parents wanted to forbid me from working a part-time job, insisting that I had my whole life to work, and that I should enjoy my youth. But no. I argued that I wanted to work, and eventually I always got my way. I wish, very deeply, that they hadn't given in on this point. My whole life would have been different.

You're describing me when I was that age. Then I became Mick Fucking Jagger in a trial lawyer's suit. Ya never know.

oops, that last post was in response to Michele saying DJ is shy.

Okay, it's getting a bit off-track, but I both agree and disagree with mark:

HOWEVER, I think it's impossible to convince a 12-year-old who can shred, not to.

You're almost certainly right about this. However:

If he's dedicated to the craft, maturity will come naturally when the time is right. Meanwhile, let him explore his own boundaries rather than trying to coerse him to sound more "mature" or "tasteful" or "marketable."

I'm more conflicted. It's not that I was referring to taste, maturity, or (especially not) marketing per se - I was referring more to developing a style and habits. Have you read "Moneyball"? Billy Beane talks about plate discipline in baseball as something inborn, or at least something that can only be taught when a player is very young - by the time they reach the majors it's too late. I think taste in guitar playing is like this to a certain extent; most of the shredders I knew still sounded like shredders even when they moved on to other types of music, and it handcuffed them.

Beyond this, I think it's a truism that lessons focus very heavily on improving technical ability, and so the student really has to work on their own to temper that ability when necessary. I don't think it's necessarily maturity - it's a matter of developing certain habits that will create a musician and band that, quite frankly, doesn't suck.

I read an interview with Jack White a while back where he was talking about how the format of the White Stripes was a conscious decision, to promote creatvity by creating artificial constraints (drums, guitar, and one voice only, so it's all stripped-down rhythm and melody). Whatever your opinion of the White Stripes, I thought it was an interesting point: when you can do literally anything, sometimes you don't know where to start, and creativity can come from working around limits as well. The Raveonettes do something similar; e.g. their first record was IIRC a set of songs exclusively in B minor. I'm not suggesting that extreme an aesthetic limitation, especially for someone just starting out, but by keeping the music simpler, at least at first, a musician can work on what's really important in rock: feel, or really, emotion.

Anyways: all of that is why if I was talking to DJ, I'd tell him (a) take the lessons, learn to read, etc.; (b) get some friends together (doesn't matter if they play yet - they'll learn) and do nothing at first but stuff like Nirvana, Pixies, Stooges, etc. - that is, relatively simple songs that use almost none of your technical ability, but feel frickin great, and will teach you and your friends how to be tight, solid, aggressive musicians. You'll be a better band (and bandmember, and musician) in the long run.

Eh. Just my opinion, though. And it's what I'll tell my daughter when she gets her first guitar. :)

Bonk,

I agree with you. Too many people never get around to learning when NOT to play, or how to use dynamics to bring it down for a while to create contrast with the louder, faster parts. And FEEL! Lessons are rarely effective at teaching feel. Not everyone needs to woodshed on the blues forever, but these intangibles are valuable even in a band like Kittie.

I love the White Stripes, and I like your point about artificial constraints. I became a blues purist for years because I welcome those constraints. In the process, I learned an infinite amount of music can spring from only three chords, five notes (excluding the occaisional grace notes and blue notes) and a shuffle beat. The expressive properties of microtones, playing behind or around the beat, and the other subtleties and nuances are boundless.

Now that I'm playing some metal, grunge, punk and other stuff my daughters pick, those lessons still come through and free up my playing.

Michele,

Being the wife of a "working" musician for the last 17 years, I can offer some advice.

1. Reading is VERY important. Writing is too, but a very good reading player will have work for as long as they want it. Session playing is very lucrative, but there are places around that will hire a reading player based on recommendations (ie: Las Vegas or any other resort location for house and show bands).

2. And lets not forget afterwards. My husband has branched out into producing for local artists, and also currently runs sound for the local arts center and all of thier special events and concerts. He works in a local band made up of seasoned pro's who all have "real" jobs, as he does, but they are in their 50's and show no sign of giving up.

3. That suggestion about finding a good, no, make that GREAT drummer, is fact. You find one, you latch onto them like super glue. Key to being a session or house player is to be able to work with (and around) players of the same caliber. Solo work is all well and good, but the ability to "play well with others" is crucial for both of these options.

4. Encourage the child. He could have a career at this (backup is good). Don't EVER let him think that he CAN'T do this. Then he won't even try. I am sure that I don't have to tell you that.

I had parents who didn't want me to go after my preference. Admittedly, I changed my mind, but the knowledge that mom and dad dind't want me to go after something I wanted because there "was no money in it" was very upsetting.

Now that I'm playing some metal, grunge, punk and other stuff my daughters pick, those lessons still come through and free up my playing.

This hits the nail on the head: lessons should free up your playing no matter what the context. I'll be honest: I'm not a great guitar player, and mediocre technique has thrown up walls for me in the past. Folks with great technique can do whatever the hell they want - their constraints, if they choose to have them, are artistic and aesthetic rather than, um, biological or mechanical.

Interesting point about blues purism, too. Odd that I never looked at it that way, possibly because I'm not a big blues guy. But yeah, same thing.

Bonk said:

"And seriously, if he gets a good drummer, he needs to hold on like grim death."

This is the truest thing ever! Find a good one, and find a good backup! Spinal Tap was right-they spontaneously combust!

Which bandmember is the first to forget a gig? Forget a rehersal? Late to the gig? Shows up missing part of his/her instrument? Chokes and dies on own barf? And which one can you absolutely NOT play without? Its always the same: the drummer.

That's why I've got a drum kit set up in the living room. Both of my daughters and both of my girlfriend's daughters can play, so we always have someone to keep the beat for our little "Brady Bunch" band. Maaaan, I'm sick of the Green Day covers, tho.

I was one of those lucky girls who had great parents who trusted me to play at clubs when I was 15. I promised I wouldn't drink or get into trouble and I kept my promise because it ROCKED to be able to get up on stage and play. I was pretty good at the guitar but i never played it in my band. We played from my sophomore year in high school until I was 22. We toured around a little and opened up for some well known bands. We started out doing the high school band fests and the street fest things.
Here's the wierd part. At this point in my life, I regret that I spent all of those years wrapped up in music. I don't think I was as in love with music as I was with the adoration. I made myself sick trying to keep up my job, my grades and my relationships, and getting my ego killed by music snobs who i thought hung the moon.
I bet DJ is good to have all of those people stop and listen, and he should be proud to be so talented. I say if he's geared towards music, he'll find a group. And if I were his mom, I probably would encourage him a lot. No one could have told me at fifteen that music wasn't the meaning of life. I guess we just have to walk the road ourselves. ( Just make sure if he does a bunch of embarrasing stuff, he tries not to do it on stage, or on the radio etc....and no red hot chili peppers rolling stone covers either. yikes.

Oh, he's shy. That's good.

bonk said "All I ask is a drummer who hits hard, plays simple, keeps good time, and remembers arrangements"

gee... I'd settle for any 2 out of the 4.

Drummers are scarce around here.

short answer, already covered. band.

this advice comes from a 46 year old doofus who played club gigs for years, and never got anywhere.

worth every dime it cost ya

Another comment from the peanut gallery: Get him something easy to work with in terms of recording, like Garage Band for Mac. (It comes with the computer, so no extra charge.) It's fun to play with and in terms of recording, it easily allows you to do everything from remembering practices to creating polished stuff.

If he wants to be heard, check out various internet radio stations. Most of them are run by amatuers but have a small dedicated audience with immediate feedback, if that's what he wants. Find a radio DJ (for DJ... geez) who is willing to play something different and see what kind of feedback it garners.

But mostly, just sit back and watch. A dedicated high school guitarist will play for hours every day, and that practice is the best thing for right now.

What age do you start them at ? I'd love for my DJ (yes, my 2 year old son's initials are really DJ) to play as well.

I might even join him - with him playing it might motivate me. I think as an old 30 something it might be too late for me.

I might even join him - with him playing it might motivate me. I think as an old 30 something it might be too late for me.

Nonsense. I turned 35 in August. Took my first drum lesson this past January. I've always wanted to play and just never did. None of my friends were musicians so there was no influence in that regard. Then life just went on.

Then I started going to a new church last November and saw how great the band was. I said, "I want play with those guys." I made the decision to finally stop thinking about it and did it. I started taking lessons in January, got a kit in February and was playing with our church band by May. The biggest compliment I get is the look of surprise I see on peoples faces when I tell people I've only been playing for a little over 9 months.

If you really want to do it, it's never too late.

Get him a band if you can. Then try to help him write at least one original song. Record the bloody thing in a studio...which these days is not that much cost. You can probably sell it as a digital only release (as we are doing).

It is easy to get music "out there" it is very hard to get it noticed. Course with the amount of hits this blog gets, Blogcritics and the other outlets for Michele she has quite a network set up.

Jay: my band Growing Old Disgracefully is living proof of that. Our bassist has been playing for about 18 months and he is good enough that veteran musos are amazed he has been playing that little time.