Kaitlyn Mika is a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter. I’ve worked with Kaitlyn for a little over two years and while furthering her guitar abilities, I’ve watch her build her own recording studio, master a wide range of high end musical equipment, learn to play keyboards, develop her singing voice, and write dozens of songs.
Here is a video of her performing this past week at a local jam session with musicians in New Jersey. Youtube Video: Kaitlyn Mika
While you’re surfing the web, be sure to check out Kaitlyn’s SoundCloud page where you’ll find a fresh mix of funky blues-rock grooves laced with ambient and electronic soundscapes.
It’s been inspiring to watch Kaitlyn grow as an artist and as a guitar player. SoundCloud: Kaitlyn’s House
The Kelly Richey Blues-Rock Power Trio brings its hard-hitting, gritty brand of electric blues to The Greenwich in Cincinnati on Saturday, March 18 at 8pm. Richey is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, and songwriter, who bluesman Lonnie Mack once described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body, with Janis Joplin screaming to get out.”
The Kelly Richey Band Live! Saturday, March 18th, 2017 – 8pm The Greenwich 2442 Gilbert Avenue. Cincinnati, OH 45206 Phone : 513-221-1151
This Saturday night I will be taking the stage with Lonnie Buckley on drums and Guy Cosby on bass. I’d like to invite you to join us as we take a journey into the blues…
Kelly Richey’s Solo Electric Blues Experience
Saturday, March 25th, 2017 – 8pm
The Buckeye Sports Lodge
126 W High St
Springfield, OH 45502
Phone : (937) 324-3400
Have you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this class, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing – and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck.
An excellent complement to WWf(a)C Core Classes An innovative modality for working with Writer’s Block Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present
Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet/songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach, and has made her mark through the power of her voice – figuratively and literally.
Location & Special Instructions
Women Writing for (a) Change 6906 Plainfield Road Cincinnati, OH 45236
Scholarships in varying amounts are available for our programs depending on need and availability of funds. Call 513-272-1171 if you have further questions.
Please include your contact information and the class you are interested in taking. Thank you!
TrueFire Presents – Building A Strong Blues Foundation
TrueFire Foundry courses are independently produced courses presented by a hand-picked selection of top-notch artists and educators from around the world. Filmed in the educator’s own studio, Foundry courses bring fresh educational concepts and very effective teaching methodologies to TrueFire Students. Kelly Richey’s Foundry course, Building a Strong Blues Foundation will teach essential skills and repertoire for the beginning blues guitar player.
Hello I’m Kelly Richey and welcome to my TrueFire Foundry course, Building a Strong Blues Foundation, which I produced in my own studio.
This course is geared for the beginner to intermediate guitar student and is an invaluable collection of expert tips and well-guided instruction, broken down by into easy to understand parts. I will teach you everything you need to know to get proficient quickly, including: basic music theory, open chords, bar chords, pentatonic scales, fundamental blues guitar soloing techniques, foundational blues songs, right and left hand independence, how to build hand strength, and so much more!
You’ll learn my personal “road map” of techniques for powerful blues guitar soloing, and I’ll make sure your practice time is fun and very rewarding with seven professionally recorded rhythm tracks to practice to.
You’ll learn how to play rhythm guitar and lead guitar to several blues/rock progressions. I will provide professionally recorded rhythm tracks for each of these blues progressions, so that you can have fun practicing and experimenting while learning to play with a fantastic rhythm section. This will help you learn to play lead guitar solos much quicker!
I’ll teach you a unique system for learning to view the neck of your guitar in precise patterns to easily learn (and remember) the minor and major pentatonic scales. You’ll also learn how to how to make two pentatonic scales patterns cover the entire neck of the guitar, thus promoting the development of powerful core fingerings for speed, accuracy, and endurance during your guitar solos.
During the course, you’ll learn how to develop a personalized, effective practice routine, and you’ll learn three essential finger exercises to build hand strength, dexterity, and solid physical connection with your guitar.
My personal hand strengthening exercise is guaranteed to strengthen every muscle that you use to play guitar with! I’ve also included bonus tracks that show you how to properly change your guitar strings, and tune your guitar.
Take your playing to the next level with Building a Strong Blues Foundation and gain a rock-solid set of lifelong tools to play blues/rock guitar with power, creativity, precision, and independence.
NOTE! Kelly Richey organized the course into 8 weekly sections for those students that prefer to have a specified regimen of material across a specified time schedule. However, for those students who prefer to work at their own pace, or even skip around you are certainly encouraged to approach the course in that way as well.
Rock on Kelly Richey! A local Cincinnati rock star who also teaches guitar, Kelly has shared the stage with many legends, been listed among the top 100 gifted guitarists by the Truefire Community in 2011, and frequently draws comparisons to blues guitar icons Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 2009 she founded Powered by Intention coaching consultancy, and she is also president of Music4Change, a Cincinnati nonprofit committed to music education. Did we mention Kelly is also a talented writer? And, as a woman who has severe dyslexia, she considers her greatest accomplishment to be her becoming a facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change.
In an interview in Good Things Going Around, she shared, “Had I not gravitated towards music and discovered books in audio form, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. My life would have turned out much differently, I’m sure. What I know now is that there is no cookie cutter mold to learning. I’m proof that even someone with severe dyslexia can learn to play a musical instrument….For many years having dyslexia negatively affected my self-esteem. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I began to realize I might actually be rather intelligent.”
Below is a story of my guitar student from Turkey, named Ozkan:
We believe in the influence of dreams, and that dreams can come true…
That’s why we decided to get on the road instead of postponing our dreams.
For years our jobs have involved designing, planning,organizing and problem solving. Now, also putting these skills acquired in professional life in use, we want to transform what have been short getaways during paid vacations into a real adventure…
We start rolling in South America, trace the Andes all the way down to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the World.
We then head north and get to Buenos Aires after navigating through immense plains, cross the Plata River over to Montevideo, visit ever-exiciting Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro followed by the Iguazu Falls at the crosspoint of three nations before departing Brazil.
We then ride westward to tackle Atacama Desert and Uyuni Salt Flat and arrive to La Paz, the highest capital city of the World.
We visit Inca gem Cusco, climb the Cotopaxi in Ecuador and finish off the South America leg in Cartagena.
We then cross to Panama, hop through Central American nations one by one follow the traces of the Aztecs and the Incas in Mexico.
We enter the US at San Diego, follow the famous twisty roads of West Coast to San Francisco, cross Death Valley to reach the Grand Canyon, and then visit Yellowstone and Seattle.
We start the Canadian leg of the trip in Vancouver, visit the splendid lakes and national parks riding east and cap off the trip in New York after 9 months and 50 thousand kilometers.
Hi, I’m Kerem.
I’m a 37-year-old mechanical engineer with a master’s degree in industrial design.
While in college, I happened to visit Ecuador for two weeks through a series of fortunate events. I felt a real connection with that land and have always wanted to travel the rest of Ecuador and South America. So I learned Spanish after college.
I’ve been riding motorcycles for four years. It’s gradually taking up more space in my life.
I’ve had the opportunity to go on some long trips. First Turkey, then South Africa, Balkans, the Alps… And finally came the idea of doing this South American dream trip on a motorcycle. Now we want to realize this dream with my friends and get on the road.
I’ve been using social media quite heavily for the past five years and believe that social media is the best tool to share the sites,wonders and experiences that we’ll come across on this tour with others.
There is also a shorter version of the introduction video, only posted on Instagram….Please find its URL below:
If you’d like to see only the route we plan to cover please check below links of Instagram and Facebook……We lost the background music at Facebook because of copyright issues, unfortunately.
I’m a 36-year-old industrial designer. Despite working mostly on cars for 14 years, I’ve always been more interested in motorcycles. It’s such that when visiting automotive trade fairs for work, I always found myself on top the few motorcycles that were on display.
Finally I started riding six years ago after taking several advanced riding trainings, after which I always wanted to go on longer trips.
Since childhood, I’ve always fiddled with every camera I could get my hands on and clicked through many rolls of films.
Ever since we decided to go on this adventure, the idea of sharing this tour with our followers is really exciting to me.
Frankly, I can’t wait for the day we get on the road.
I’m a 40-year-old metallurgical and materials engineer. I’ve worked in construction and automotive sectors for 16 years in various positions. In the mean time, I completed an MBA program.
I’ve been trekking and have been interested in underwater sports since childhood. I’m a rescue diver. I’ve got acquainted with motorcycles 7 years ago. I’ve tried to developed my riding skills by taking control and advanced riding trainings.
Being out on the road and in nature with my tent has always been very appealing to me. I’ve been going on tours in and out of Turkey with this passion. I’m truly eager to go on this adventure with Kerem and F?rat.
Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association
This past week I had the honor of visiting Mother of Mercy High School, as an “Artist on Tour”, for the Cincinnati Arts Association. I delivered a writing workshop centered around building self esteem for young girls. My writing program is called, “A Piece of Paper Always Listens”. I continue to be amazed by how strong the writing practice truly is!
I’d love to take this opportunity to share some photos from this weeks school program as well as the program description.
Kelly Richey, Building Self-Esteem Through the Creative Arts
Renowned singer-songwriter Kelly Richey’s dyslexia was undiagnosed during her school years, which made reading very difficult and presented many challenges and obstacles, most notably when it came to self-esteem. Today, Kelly’s greatest pleasure is sharing her story with students and teaching and inspiring them to overcome their own obstacles through creative self-expression. Using interactive, timed creative writing exercises called “fast writes,” Kelly helps students express themselves in an emotionally safe environment. Kelly’s innovative workshops help students learn to “self-express” through journaling and poetry. The workshops are interactive and fun and include a mini-concert where Kelly shows the students firsthand just what is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself.
Objectives: Students can learn to “self-express” through journaling and poetry. The following are a list of topics for writing exercises to be used to build self-esteem.
» Lesson Plan 1: The Inner Critic
» Lesson Plan 2: The Procrastinator
» Lesson Plan 3: The Muse
A pre-program guide is given to teachers so they can prepare students for thoughtful discussion around the following topics.
Kelly Richey Band Plays Franke Center in Marshall MI – Part 1
On Saturday, October 22nd, The Kelly Richey Band stepped on stage at the Franke Center, in Marshall MI, for what would be a magical night of music! The shows was part of the Eaton Blues Series– the venue was beautiful, the crew was fantastic, and the crowd was ready to hear some music! I was joined by Rikk Manning and Lonnie Buckley, and the result was one of pure magic! This truly was an amazing evening and the experience we shared that night on stage and with the audience, was one that I will cherish for years to come.
With over 4,000 shows under my belt, it’s shows like this that keep me inspired and loving what I do. Fortunately we had a video camera and were able to capture the entire show! I completed the edits for the first of two hours worth of music last night and posted it to my youtube channel late last night. I’m scheduled to complete edits for part 2 by first of the week– I’ll post the footage ASAP!
So, if you wanna rock– sit back, relax, grab your beverage of choice, and relive this musical journey with us…
I’d like to thank the Eaton Blues Society for having us play this year and I’d like to thank everyone who showed up and helped to create a magical evening!
Photo by Michael Rio
Check out the new video footage of The Kelly Richey Band at the Franke Center in Marshall MI – Part 1. Please be sure to share this video with your friends and stay tuned as I’ll be posting Part 2 early next week! Rikk Manning on bass, Lonnie Bucklay on drums and …”Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body, with Janis Joplin screaming to get out”…!
Gift Certificate includes:
4 x 60 minute guitar lessons FREE 60-Day Backstage Pass Bonus: Digital Download “Kelly Richey Live 1996 – 2011” CD
Take One-on-One guitar lessons in the comfort of your own home… from anywhere in the world!
Kelly Richey’s guitar instruction is like nothing you’ve seen before. Take lessons in the comfort of your own home. Get unlimited access to a library of over 250 instructional videos that you can watch anytime you want, as many times as you want. My lesson plans are tailored to meet your needs and guide you to mastering your guitar, faster than you ever thought possible.
This is a perfect gift for you to give yourself or someone you know who wants to learn how to play guitar faster than you ever thought possible! Gift Certificates are available!
This package includes:
– 4 Private Guitar Lessons – ($300 value) Take the lessons in my home studio or via webcam from the comfort of your own home.
– FREE access to Kelly Richey’s online guitar classroom – Free Backstage Pass access to my new online classroom for 60-days ($40 value). Backstage Pass members get access all my teaching materials, including 250 videos, MP3 jam tracks, plus all the new lessons and courses I am continually adding. – BONUS! Free digital download of Kelly Richey’s last Live Compilation CD – Kelly Richey Live 1996 – 2011
This is a perfect gift for you to give yourself or someone you know who wants to learn how to play guitar faster than you ever thought possible! This is a $340 value for $200 – Order Now!
When I first started touring I had a friend give me the book by Dr. Suess, “Oh The Places You’ll Go”…little did I know just how prophetic that would be!
Two weeks ago I headed out on my own through Indiana and Illinois, to Pomeroy, Iowa; a tiny bar in a small town where I played the first of two shows. The bar is called Byron’s – named after it’s owner, Byron. I’ve been making this pilgrimage with my band for many years, as have many other touring bands, but the last two times I’ve played there I’ve played solo. When I play solo people always ask, “where’s the band…?”, and I always say, “I’m flying solo tonight.” Most fans look a bit perplexed as they watch me set up my mountain of gear, but once I strap on my electric guitar and begin performing they get it – they see a modality that gives me a different form of freedom and allows me to experience a more intimate connection with the audience. A modality that forces me to be more vulnerable as an artist (something I’ve often avoided as I’ve hidden behind my wall of sound).
Kelly Richey – photo by Roger D. Feldhans
From Iowa I headed on to Lincoln, Nebraska, where I played at the Panic Bar – for an event that honored the loss of the owner’s partner of 29 years. Her name was Kelly, an easy name to remember, and a partnership that so many will not forget.
On Sunday morning I headed back to Cincinnati, a drive long enough for me to listen to 4 books on audio: “In His Own Words” about Meister Eckhart, “St. Francis of Assisi”, “The Art of Memoir”, and “Martin Luther”. No, I’m not Catholic, I’m not religious and I’m not trying to figure out life… I’m just flying solo and feeding my soul with what it’s hungry for. I’m capturing all that comes to me and continuing to write from whatever rises to the top.
When I got home, I picked up Moonshine my dog and headed home. Speaking of moonshine – it was late October of 2010 that I stopped drinking. 100% clean and sober…from all but caffeine!This past Saturday I had a show with the band at a beautiful theater in Marshall, MI. It was one of those “magical” shows. Rikk Manning and Lonnie Buckley are truly amazing and the experience we shared that night on stage and with the audience was one that I will remember. We shot video of the entire show! I’m currently working on edits and will be posting this coming week.Photo by Michael Rio
I have 3 shows left this year, two solo shows and one with the band. I’m currently booking for 2017 and have several surprises! I have an excellent well of musicians to pull from, a ton of new songs in the works, live video footage to edit, 2 new guitar courses in production for my online guitar instruction classroom, Skype students, TrueFire students, and I’m half way through my first semester of a 3 year training to become a spiritual director. And oh yes – I have a new article published in the latest issue Riff Journal with three new workshops being released at TrueFire.com on November 1st.
I look forward to seeing any of you who can makes it out to one of these last shows in 2016 and I appreciate you reading this post and sharing in the journey.
Bye for now…. K
Kelly Richey – Franke Center, Marshall, MI photo by Michael Rio
Upcoming Kelly Richey Shows:
Kelly Richey Live
November 26th, 2016
The Planet Experiece
Kelly Riche Band
December 9th, 2016
There’s a Whole Lotta Power Trio going on! Hi, I’m Kelly Richey and welcome to “Focus On Blues-Rock Power Trio”. Many of today’s most popular guitar players like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, played in what’s called a “power trio”. In this course we’re going to focus on the essential techniques and specific elements that are used when playing guitar in a blues-rock power trio. We will look at rhythm and lead guitar techniques and how they overlap; working together seamlessly to create a powerful wall of sound. I will also talk about the importance of creating musical “holes”, the power of creating space, and how to work with a drummer and bass player to create a unique sound that best supports your guitar style.
I have separated this course into five sections. The first section will give you an overview of the history of three piece blues and blues-rock players that have influenced my style and my overall sound. I’ll also talk about their individual rhythm sections and how a particular artists’ rhythm section played a key roll in his overall sound.
In the second section, I will show you the essential rhythm guitar techniques, chords and chord voicings, grooves, and riff-based rhythm patterns.
In the third section, we will look at ways to build a strong foundation and how to approach guitar solos; essential soloing techniques, how to build a bridge between lead and rhythm guitar, we will explore the importance of using dynamics, and how to build a rhythmic presence that entrains the listener.
In the fourth section, we will look at guitar tone, the use of effects, different amplifiers, speaker configuration so you have access to the sustain, texture and articulation desired to support your unique style.
And lastly, in the five section, will put all of these these essential techniques and concepts together into a series of performance studies. So let’s dive in and get started!
TrueFire Presents Kelly Richey: Focus On Blues Rock Power Trio
What you will learn:
– Power Trio Background Overview, History & Players
– Tones & Gear
– Power System for Visualizing the Neck of the Guitar
– Essential Rhythm Concepts: Bar Chords & Power Chords, Embellishing Chord Progressions, Riff Based Song Approaches, Bridging Between Rhythm & Lead, Left & Right Hand Muting Techniques
– Essential Lead Guitar Soloing Concepts: Pentatonic Scale Review, Punctuation & Dynamics, Hammer Ons & Pull Offs, Slides, Bends & Vibrato, Pinch Harmonics, Embellishing Solos, Flat Tire For Lead
– 4 Essential Blues and Blues/Rock Songs
– Rhythm Tracks
– Chord Charts and Tab Included
About Riff Journal
Free – Quarterly – No Ads
Give your guitar a rest for a few minutes and come Riff with us.
From the day we opened our doors here at TrueFire, we knew that our success as a music education software company hinged on one thing, and one thing only — the quality of our educators.
Sure, technology helps us practice smart and play hard, but that’s just icing on the cake. Pull back the curtain and the true wizards of TrueFire are revealed — 493 brilliant artists and educators!
Riff is our digital magazine, designed to celebrate TrueFire artists and educators. We’ll tell you stories about them, share exclusive lessons from them (even some of their scrapbook pics), and tickle your ears with their music. You’ll also be treated to a variety of music-centric features to stimulate your own creativity and musicality.
Riff is free to you (also free of advertising) and our way of saying thanks to you, our fellow guitar playing friends and students, for your support and loyalty over all these years — this Riff is for you!
I spent Friday morning teaching guitar to vets at the VA hospital– what an honor! We worked on fundamentals, building a strong foundation, and everyone is learning to play “Hey Joe”! Music truly is a universal language. The human connections that it builds continues to amaze me. (Guitars 4 Vets)
Music is a powerful bridge, one that’s often overlooked in society. For the artist, music is a form of self expression. For the listener, music is an invitation to connect and an opportunity to reflect. I do believe that we are all artists and music in just one modality.
I often ask myself where I would be without music…? It’s helped form the life that I live, the lessons I’ve learned, the people that I’ve met along the way.
Below are some photos from Friday’s session. Please be sure to visit Guitars for Vets national website so you can learn about this program!
Thousands of our war Veterans are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle. But many are finding hope in an unlikely place: behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope. That’s why we provide veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play. But we can’t do it without your help. Please read on to learn more out about the program and how you can help those who served rediscover their joy through the power of music.
MORE THAN HALF OF THE 2.6 MILLION VETERANS FROM THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS STRUGGLE WITH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHALLENGES, IN FACT, 22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE EVERY DAY.
Kelly Richey offers 90 minute guitar instruction workshops:
$30 day of workshop / $25 pre-paid
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 5:30 p.m. Waterfront Grille & Gathering 220 Athens Boonesboro Rd Winchester, KY Club: (859) 527-9910
Note: To sign up, email Kelly Richey directly and she will send you an invoice with $5 discount via paypal. The price of the workshop includes a BONUS: each person that attends the workshop receives a FREE all access pass “Backstage Pass” to Kelly Richey’s Online Guitar Instruction website for 30 days free of charge.
• Instruction for all levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced
• Online library of 250+ high-definition videos
• Tabs and rhythm tracks to help you practice and get proficient
• Backstage Pass members qualify for a discount on One-on-One guitar lessons with Kelly Richey via Video Skype
At the workshop students will be given a link for free access to the “Backstage Pass” membership area for 30 days.
This workshop is for beginners, intermediate, and advanced guitar students.
What do you need to bring? Just bring your guitar and yourself and Kelly Richey will take in from there!
Here are some tips for improving your guitar skills – tips #4, #5 and #6 from “The Little Book of Talent” by Daniel Coyle. This book contains 52 tips for improving your ability in any skill that you want to master. Each tip in this series is a principle I practiced when learning how to play the guitar and in developing my skills as a writer. This is the second post in this series and I think you’ll find that it’s a source of real inspiration about the process of learning.
Tip #4 Buy a Notebook
Buy a notebook and write down your thoughts or results from today, ideas for tomorrow and goals for next week. As a songwriter and poet, I’ve learned the importance of capturing a creative moment or idea. I’ve used a shoe box and collected stacks of single pages on napkins, posted notes, scratch paper etc. and one time I remember writing a poem on a pizza box. Currently I find myself using my iPhone or iPad. I also like recording my song ideas via an app one my phone, so I can refer to them later. Most of the songs on my last two CD’s came from old recordings I captured on my cassette recorder. When the tapes were transferred to digital format, I ended up with over 72 hours of material from the 80’s and 90’s to pull from.
Sometimes ideas sit there collecting for years, but whether I ever use them or not, they’re there and I find that to be a comfort as an artist.
When we have an idea, we always think we’ll remember it and we don’t! Half the time we don’t even remember having had the idea. What really matters is that you write stuff down, capture it and reflect on it – thoughts from today and ideas for tomorrow. I consider it part of my life’s work. So much of our lives are formed through our observations, but what we write on or speak to is not important – it’s the doing of it! A notebook works like a map – it creates clarity.
Tip #5 Be willing to be stupid.
Be willing to be stupid. Accomplishing or improving at anything, (or pushing boundaries to see what’s possible), requires the building of new connections in our brain. Building new connections requires us to reach, sometimes fail and – at times – look stupid. If we’re not willing to risk feeling the emotional pain of making mistakes, we will get stuck, let go of dreams and compromise some of our deepest desires.
I don’t like looking stupid, but the things that were most important to me were things I tried many times, often failed miserably at, but through persistence, finally got right. Had I known some things would be so hard, there’s no way I would have tried—it’s those things that I can honestly say were worth it!
Tip #6 – Choose Spartan over luxurious.
Choose Spartan over luxurious. I want to take time to address this properly. Luxury is a motivational narcotic because it suggests that where we are is really comfortable and there’s no reason to push harder. When we choose to be a little Spartan over surrounding ourselves with luxury, we keep putting in the effort to succeed. If a person has a burning desire to accomplish something, luxury and comfort are tough situations to overcome. It’s been my experience that I did my best work when I was hungry. With that said, I’ve often pushed too hard, missed out on life and found myself lacking balance. When that happens, everything I try to do suffers and relationships become stressed. Life is all about balance, and achieving great things takes work. It’s important to define and refine our goals and objectives – and to do so with a clear head. Just as luxury is a narcotic, so is success. Once either is achieved it can be hard to let go of and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly of value – those things you can’t buy and those things you cannot control. The concept of gratitude comes up for me here – the importance of remaining grateful.
“See you in the next world…don’t be late…don’t be late…”
In a way, Jimi Hendrix found me long before I found him. When I was eight years old, my family moved into a new house, and in the basement, I found the only thing the house’s last owners had left: a fuzzy poster of this crazy-looking man with his arm up in the air, and the words “See you in the next world, don’t be late.” I thought it was cool, and it glowed under a black light, so I liked it for that reason. No idea who the man was.
Flash forward to high school. I was fifteen and had just received my first electric guitar as a Christmas gift and started taking lessons. One of the first songs my teacher gave me was “Hey Joe” and a friend of my in high school mentioned that it was a Jimi Hendrix tune. I said “…Who?” My friend couldn’t believe that I had a guitar but didn’t know who Hendrix was – and he wasn’t about to let that go on.
So thanks to him, the first Hendrix song I ever heard was “And the Gods Made Love,” and my first impression? I honestly had no idea guitars could even make that sound – so much feedback, all those effects, that psychedelic mess of guitars. It was the coolest thing I’d ever heard.
And so, Jimi Hendrix became my first real influence as a guitarist.
As I continued to progress as a guitarist and to get to know more of his music, he made me see possibilities in the guitar that I didn’t know existed. “Hey Joe” has been the one Hendrix song I’ve continued to play on stage throughout the years, and it’s become a signature song for me. I like to use a lot of the same kinds of delays and distorted sound. He’s the reason why I play a Strat. Even his flamboyant stage performance inspired me to be as animated on stage as I am.
Jimi Hendrix was no doubt a groundbreaker – as an artist, as a guitarist, as a performer. His contributions to the genres of rock and blues have been lauded enough to make him a true legend in his time and beyond. He is remembered by those who knew him as being humble, fun-loving, and never, ever seen without a guitar in his hands. It was never about the fame or the money for Jimi.
And that side of him – the young man in love with his music – that very human side, is what speaks to me most.
Below are three clips of Hendrix performances that I pull out to show my guitar instruction students. What I’d like to point out about these in advance is that they each take place about a year apart – 1967, 68, and 69 – and really showcase Hendrix’s evolution as an artist.
In this earliest clip, you can see that he was a bit reserved, dressed in one of his Sergeant Pepper looking outfits, playing a couple of his now classics like “Purple Haze” and “Hey Joe.” By this point, Jimi had gone to London and started making a name for himself, and when he came back to the States, he blew up sky-high. But here on this TV special, he’s not Hendrix the Legend yet. He plays and sings with skill, but without a lot of the flashy theatrics and stage presence he later became known for.
One year later, here he is playing Foxey Lady at the Miami Pop Festival, and he’s on fire. Absolutely on fire. Enticing the crowd with his vibrato, jumping up and down, practically making love to his guitar. That’s the Jimi Hendrix I think of when I think of him on stage.
And then finally, 1969 saw him performing in Stockholm, Sweden, which is where this full-concert footage comes from. Here, he is very, very, very laid back.
Jimi Hendrix has become such an idol, this guitar god, but in the footage of the Stockholm performance, he feels more… real. He’s human. Yes, he’s obviously an accomplished artist – you see that footage of him playing “Foxey Lady” and think This is IT.
But what I like about this Stockholm video is that it also shows some of the imperfections, the unpolished rawness that went into his work. I don’t know if he was tired, or if maybe there were some drugs at play – I can’t tell you what was going on for him – but this is a very different Jimi than we’d seen before.
Think about it: he lived and performed for a very short amount of time, and he was in his early to mid-twenties by the time the world knew who he was. Being on the road and in the spotlight obviously took its toll on him – and I would say the Sixties did, too.
So these three moments in time, I think, provide a fascinating insight into the life of this tremendous yet humble artist who really gave his music his all, because to him, there was nothing else. More than just being able to do his song justice on stage, I feel like this level of devotion to music is what connects me to Jimi, and playing my heart out is the best way to honor his memory.
The Stand Up, Speak Out Awards will be presented to Greater Cincinnati Tri-State Area Police Department, Fire Department & Military who protect and serve our communities. The presentation will highlight the Honorees for their efforts and continued actions supporting Cincinnati and our communities.
September 24th, 2016
7pm to 11pm
925 Riverside Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45202 Doors at 7:00PM Individual Seat: $125 Corporate Table (seats 10): $1,000 Gold Sponsorship: $2,000
All Tables accommodate 10 individuals
More info: www.bootsycollinsfoundation.org
The Bootsy Collins Foundation contributes to music education of the youth.
The Bootsy Collins Foundation recognized internationally, serves to educate, provide, and communicate music through the culture of the region or nation from which it comes.
“Say it Loud-An-Instrument-4-Every-Child.” This program is designed for the preservation and education of past, present and future programs to keep the youth motivated and educated on music and how they too can become major players in this on going music arena. While building a circle of trust, people will learn the secrets of keeping music alive while re-introducing themselves and their music to future generations to come.
Guitars 4 Vets (G4V) is a national 501c (3) non-profit organization founded in 2007 in Milwaukee, WI. There are currently chapters in over 50 VA Medical and Veteran Centers in 25 states, including Cincinnati and Cleveland in Ohio. The mission of G4V is to enhance the lives of injured and ailing veterans through the healing power of music. They provide free guitar lessons and a free guitar to vets in a structured program staffed by volunteers. Participants are referred into the program by a care provider. The program provides weekly private lessons that are individualized for the participant. When the veteran completes the program they are given a guitar, gig-bag, strap, tuner, strings, picks, stand, method book, and a certificate of completion. G4V has given over 20,000 free guitar lessons and distributed over 2,000 guitars to veterans since its inception. Monthly group lessons are also provided for past and current participants to provide an ongoing forum for veterans to continue their musical journey. The purpose of the program is to promote positive social interaction, provide an avenue for self-expression, build focus and confidence, and create bonds of fellowship with other like-minded veterans. Veterans of course learn guitar skills along the way.
The weekly private guitar lessons provided by G4V are individualized and designed to help students learn at their own pace, while at the same time accommodating any physical/emotional challenges the veteran may have. The G4V group lessons help to create connections between individuals who are both veterans and guitar players. This serves as a way to promote human interaction. Veterans who regularly attend group sessions are able to build the confidence needed to pursue further creative empowerment and engagement with their community.
Guitars for Vets accepts guitars, playable or not. Donated guitars are either used as practice guitars or sold in order to raise funds for the program. Unrepairable guitars are turned into visual art through the G4V’s Art Strings program and sold at events. Guitar donations are tax deductible.
You can make a tax deductible donation to G4V to help ensure they are able to continue to share the healing power of music with veterans across the country. It costs about $200.00 per veteran for the guitar lessons and guitar they receive. It’s a wonderful way to help our country’s heroes.
If you choose to donate, you can do so through their website, www.guitarsforvets.org. You may also send a check made out to Guitars For Vets, Processing Center, 11933 W. Burleigh St. Wauwatosa, WI 53222.
Further you can contact them at 1-855-G4V-HERO /1-855-448-4376.
The Cincinnati Chapter contact information is:
Chapter Coordinator and Instructor: Richard Hutchinson [email protected] or 513-835-3496
Program Coordinator: Sonny Moorman
Instructors: Dick Buchholz and Bruce Kircher
Reverbnation: Guitars 4 Vets Cincinnati