the official website for guitarist Jason Martin

A New Level

Welcome everyone,

I hope you check this post out cause more than likely it’s directed at you and if it’s not then keep reading cause it could possibly be for you anyway. My reason for tonights post is just to welcome everyone to the studio this fall for some really killer sessions that just wouldn’t be possible without you. If I could tell you in one post what goes on in all my sessions it would be longer than my other endless post I blogged a couple months back.

This summer was flood-filled with a lot of changes around the studio and things are continuing to evolve into a much more positive direction than I’ve ever seen possible my entire career as a musician. Being in this industry takes a lot of hard work and it almost feels like if you stop for one second it can end up costing you everything. I know I mentioned teaching out at the Day Jams program in La Jolla this summer and I introduced a lot of technologies that were embraced by other teachers and one of those was written about in this months 3D issue of Guitar World. If you know what I’m talking about you’re already on the right track and have things under control.

My philosophy on what I do is evolving as well. There has been a really positive response to music theory this month and I think one of the reasons for that is my approach with using color tones. Color tones not only help you learn to spell but can also help you develop a sense of how music is spaced intervallically as well. The speed at which you can recognize exactly whats going on in music will grow at such an exponential rate that you should be able to play anything in just a matter of minutes.

I also wanted to emphasize what a great gig it is to craft from so many different genres in one day as well. Each time I share something that I’ve mastered I can see how that sparks another influence of creative energy that snowballs until really you (or I) know exactly what you want to do with your music. That being said, not all of you have the same interest and I believe that there are some of you that have no idea what to be interested in. Realistically, I can’t tell you what you like and what you don’t like. But I wanted to share with you what I have going on in just this one week that might help you take a look at what you’re doing, stop, and realize that there is a ton of work to get done and as musicians there is absolutely no reason to stop practicing.

Today I had a student come out that not only wanted to learn theory but also wanted to learn about reggae, rock, and ska. Some of the bands that we covered were Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, and Incubus. This session sparked next weeks session where we’ll be working on Sublime as well. Tomorrow I have a session where I get to play some Lucio Battistifo followed by Green Day. If you haven’t heard of Battistifo he is an Italian composer that plays a lot of technical material that should be pretty fun to work out. The goal for the Green Day request was to master not only the electric parts, but also the acoustic guitar as well. It’s great that as you keep playing that you continue to find bigger goals. My evening session is going to be exciting because the goal for the week is to find out what exactly you are influenced by. Wednesday should start strong with a glimpse of Audioslave and another glance at Green Day following that. The best part about that band is that when I was starting off as a guitarist, my very first guitar book was Green Day’s Dookie. The day steps from there right into Paramore, Switchfoot, Queens of the Stone Age, Flyleaf, and Muse. What I really like about the choices for this session is how many techniques you can find in these artists songs. It’s not just chords, octaves, drop D, arpeggiated material… it’s all wrapped into one and that should be really cool to see where that evolves. By mid-afternoon I’ll step into the realm of my other primary influences as a guitar player: Metallica, Megadeth, the Misfits and a newer but equally cool band Municipal Waste. From there it mellows out a bit into an acoustic set involving the Eagles, Tom Petty, and Cat Stevens. Should be a nice way to avoid any noise complaints anyhow, right? Thursday I’m going back into classic rock with some Led Zeppelin, Sublime, Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis, followed by Modest Mouse the Strokes, Wolf Parade, Devendra Barnhart, and Elliot Smith. That session goes straight into a powerhouse hour involving Guns N’ Roses, Poison, Motley Crue, Kiss, Poison, and T. Rex where I get a break until I head into a session where I introduce the Gorillaz and John Mayer in the same session as Journey and possibly some Taylor Swift. The next day follows with some Type O’ Negative and Sunday not only do I get to help a student learn to write songs, but review a classic 90’s Everclear song as well. I finish off the week with a slide guitar review dealing with two different keys and a look into hit songsby Dave Matthews, AC/DC, the Killers, Stone Temple Pilots, and Def Lepard.

When I’m not wrapped up in all the madness I’m a student myself. I get asked a lot about what kind of material I went over in college and my answer this week was that I finished the entire courses material in a couple of hours. I would hope that none of you run into this issue as we continue our sessions. There are days when I go through 40-45 new songs before I even jump in the shower, there are days when I study nothing but scales and modes, there are days when I craft guitar techniques all day. From that perspective it’s really easy to see why I haven’t put out a new song lately, but I can gaurentee that when I do, it’s going to becoming from a new level.

I hope you’re all rockin’ and look forward to having a great week.