17 December 2008

Interview With Curt Moye of Rock House Blog

Today's post is an interview with Curt Moye, Blog Editor of the Rock House Blog. Curt has kindly agreed to give me a little of his time to share some experiences and guitar tips with you. Be warned, the post is quite long. You know how it is when you get chatting...

NPG: Welcome Curt, and thanks for joining me on Not Playing Guitar today. Let's warm up by letting everybody get to know you. Can you tell us a little about your guitar playing?

Curt: Hey Gary, thanks for having me. Briefly, I started playing guitar at the age of 12 through my high school years and then put it down until about 10 years ago. I took some lessons when I was younger in the summer of '74 and then self taught my self from there, which wasn't as easy then as now. We really only had chord books, there were no VCR's or DVD players to watch a video lesson.

I just recently started lessons again. More so to help me put some styles together and for ear training. As far as my style I love playing blues and acoustic songs, I'm trying to expand into heavier metal stuff. My influences are Jeff Healey, Billy Gibbons, John Mellencamp, Jim Croce and Colin Hay to name a few.

Gary: Hey Curt, that's great. I love blues and acoustic too, maybe we can set up a jam some day. So how did you start learning guitar again, and why?

Curt: I picked up the guitar again, I honestly believe as a form of therapy, there were a lot things going on in my life and I decided I needed to find a way to occupy my time and let my mind drift to a more relaxing place.

I actually started out playing the trumpet in 4th grade but sinus problems kept me from playing it well. My parents knew how much I loved playing music and bought me an acoustic guitar for Christmas. (laughs) I chose the guitar because I wanted to be like Paul Stanley of Kiss at the time. They were the hottest band in the land at the time. I wasn't too serious about playing back then but I am now.

When I came back to the guitar about 10 years ago I bought books with audio lessons. Searching for the perfect learning method I ran across The Rock House Method products. The rest is pretty much history. I started with their 3 DVD system Learn Rock Guitar. I couldn't believe how excited I was to learn after getting those DVDs and how much I improved. I bought several other Rock House products as time went on.

Gary: Know what you mean, I spent hours looking at chord books not understanding what was written, video sure makes things easier...

I recently ran a reader poll on guitar learning challenges, maybe you can tell us what your guitar challenge is? And do you have any specific tips for dealing with it?

Curt: To practice consistently. I jam with some buddies a couple times a month. When I pick up the guitar to "practice" I find myself pretty much playing songs. I need to actually practice more things I don't or can't do very well. I guess I've fell into a comfort zone.

There's nothing magical about finding time to practice, when I do I'll go for hours (literally). I'm lucky in that I have music room and all I really need to do is walk in the room and I'm immediately motivated to pick up one of my guitars and play or practice.

Here’s a thought on practice that I touched on in one of my posts on The Rock House Blog. The instrument gives back to you what you put into it. If you put 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week into your instrument that’s exactly what you’re going to get from it, not much. So then you begin to get frustrated and interest drops.

But if you put 30 minutes a day 7 days a week into it, then in a short time it starts to give back to you. Soon 30 minutes a day turns into an hour a day and an hour can literally turn into hours. If you play/practice everyday pretty soon it goes from scheduling a time in the day to play to becoming part of your day without thought.

Gary: This might be a tough one, we're going to dig for some secrets now ;-) Us guitar bloggers are great at handing out tips and advice to help people learn guitar. But I know - and don't ask me how... - that we're not always as good at applying it. Do you have a tip or piece of advice that you don't actually apply well?

Curt: Yeah ummm the dreaded metronome. I have one, well actually 2 of them. I use them on occasion but definitely not as much as I should.

Gary: OK, your secret's safe here :-) And speaking of blogging, tell us what your blog is about and who it's for?

Curt: The Rock House Blog is about Rock House Method, it's about News and Instructor/Artists that have instructional DVDs with the company. It's about learning to play musical instruments such as the guitar or bass and I post quite a few lessons, tips, tricks and advice on the blog.

Gary: Has guitar blogging and the blog community helped your playing in any way?

Curt: I gotta tell ya, I have run into so much advice while checking on the people in my blog roll. They all have something to offer and I've picked up a lot of advice from them. Much like your blog title Gary, Not Playing Guitar is pretty important. If people would learn that reading whatever you can get your hands on about playing, practicing and performing will help improve their skills I feel they would be way ahead of the game.

Gary: Curt, can you tell us which post on your blog is your personal favorite?

Curt: One of my favorite posts and the most read my readers is called 12 Things You Can Do Right Now To Become A Better Player the other is when I wrote a post about taking guitar lessons again called Guitar Lessons After 30 Years of Playing.

Gary: I like those two, probably my favourites. As a parting word you get the chance now to help out a fellow guitar beginner. Let's say you meet someone who's just started, or is thinking about, learning guitar. You're at a bus stop or a train station or something, so you have only two minutes to give them advice. What do you tell them?

Curt: 2 things here young man before you hop on the bus to Hollywood. I gotta tell ya about that ugly dreaded "P" word called practice. You won't get better thinking about it. You have to do it, every day, not 2 or 3 times a week but every day. Practice proper techniques, scales and chord progressions. End the practice with a song you want to learn and finish with one you can knock out of the park.

The second thing is to have fun, with all the practice you'll be doing music will become fun. Your skills will be what you make them to be, it's not easy, if it was everyone would be playing guitar.

Hey kid, one last thing. That saying "Drugs, Sex and Rock 'n Roll"? Don't get into the first one, be careful with the second and third....well the third is what it's all about.

Gary: Curt, thanks once again for spending some time with the Not Playing Guitar readers. I for one picked up a couple of useful ideas in there.

Got a question for Curt? Ask away in the post comments, Curt will be sticking around to answer them for you...


Anonymous said...

Great interview. I think it's cool when people are willing to open up and talk about their personal journey with their instruments.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stormy, thanks for dropping by. Glad you like the interview, I think it's really cool of Curt.

Anonymous said...

It was fun to do. Thanks Gary.

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