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Archive for May, 2011

Hugh MacLeod’s book “Ignore Everybody” is about marketing, but its advice is good for kickstarting the creative process in any arena of life. It’s honest, authentic, and (fair warning) NOT politically correct.

I related to it because when Luna was founded I was advised to “study the competition”, but my instincts told me to “ignore everybody” which is exactly what I did. My advice to songwriter’s is the same……ignore everybody and draw on your own experience. Authenticity can’t be achieved any other way.

Here are a few pearls of wisdom from MacLeod’s book, along with some provoking “cube grenades” from his website . Enjoy! Yvonne

1. The idea doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be yours.
2. Put the hours in.
3. If your business plan depends upon you being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
4. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
5. Question how much freedom your path affords you. Be utterly ruthless about it.It’s your freedom that will get you to where you want to go.
6.Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
7.Part of understanding the creative urge is understanding that it’s primal. Wanting to change the world is not a noble calling, it’s a primal calling.
8.Diluting your product to make it more ‘commercial’ will just make people like it less.
9.You have to find a way of working that makes it dead easy to take full advantage of your inspired moments. They never hit at a convenient time, nor do they last long.
10.Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you won’t. It’s that simple.
11. Keep your day job.





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Recently, Luna donated a Fauna Dragonfly guitar to the Federation’s 75th Anniversary gala on April 13, 2011 in Washington, D.C.. Robert Redford was there in person to receive the Conservationist of the Year award.Comedian Chevy Chase also attended the event to support his wife, Jayni Chase, who was honored for her work in promoting energy-efficient schools and environmental education for children. The event raised $675,000 for NWF programs and services.The “Dragonfly” raised $735!!  According to Tracy Edmonds, Major Donor Events Coordinator, “the guitar was easily the hit of the auction!” Luna was proud to be part of this event.

Learn about the “Fauna Dragonfly” here
Also available in a solid top as the “Oracle Dragonfly” here

Robert Redford Accepting Award


Janie and Chevy Chase with Wallaby


Luna Guitars believes that musicians have enormous potential to make their voices heard and use their creativity as a force for good. After the BP Oil Spill, Luna also partnered with Dean Guitars and the National Wildlife Federation in its’ response to the oil spill crisis by placing four signed guitars for auction on Ebay. Two Luna acoustics were signed by Don Felder and Jonny Lang, and two electrics donated by Dean Guitars were signed by Sammy Hagar and Collective Soul. Together they brought in over $2500.

Gulf Cleanup Donations


Artist Signings

Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation and how YOU can be involved in their amazing efforts at http://www.nwf.org/

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Owning an instrument is useless without cultivating a relationship with it. This blog really appealed to me because it encourages players to literally engage in deep play with their gear…to explore and think about the equipment they already have in new ways. Kind of the antitheses to “The one with the most guitars wins!” philosophy.

Play With Your Instruments and Toys – Learn Them Inside and Out
courtesy of Loren Weisman http://www.braingrenademusic.com

Many artists strive to get the best gear, the top equipment and the most stuff that they can possibly cram onto stage or into the studio. Whether it’s that drum or this toy or that additional instrument, many musicians today have too much stuff, and most of them don’t even know how to use half of what they have. So play with your toys. Mess around with buttons, sounds, tunings, setups, etc. You may know the basic sounds, but what else can you do to find out even more about your gear?

In some ways, when you purchase a certain effect or instrument, it’s like you have purchased a kitchen’s worth of supplies and food. When you only use a certain configuration or a certain set up, it’s the same as only using one kind of food from that kitchen. I have a favorite food, but I also like variety and I like to know what all my options are before I prepare or order what I want to eat. Why not apply the same ideas to your gear?

Play with your gear, change the settings, do the unusual to get out of the usual mode. You never know what you may discover. Take a little time to experiment each day with your gear and/or instrument to find out what might inspire something new and different.

Missing a string or not missing it at all.

This goes for tuning, setting up, and practicing. Guitarists? Have you ever worked on your songs with one string missing? How would you rephrase the chord or substitute for that chord if you are missing a string? How does it make you approach your soloing in a different way? Do you find yourself creating or finding new licks from having that string missing?

Why not try it over the period of six weeks where each week you remove a different string? Run through your tunes, your practicing and improvisation to see what happens. You may find you’re more prepared and able to continue playing during performances even if you break a string.

Write it down

Don’t spend time worrying about losing your settings and the ones you like the most. Write them down. List where you have knobs turned to or settings placed at. You can take pictures if that helps as well. Then write down the different settings you discover while playing with your toys. Keep a little diary of different settings and their effects, what you like, what you don’t like. Jot down both the good and the bad. Alyssa, a good friend of mine has a quote I like on the topic too. “Sometimes what doesn’t work is more helpful than what does. It’s so easy to skip over the discord, but, even though it’s not pleasing, it can turn into something beneficial and, ultimately, beautiful.” It will help you learn how to find and remember the sounds you like as well as help you learn what you don’t like and how not to avoid it.

Conclusion

It really is simple. Play with your food. Don’t just settle for the sounds you know. Take chances, take time and add some effort to learn the full array of the gear you have. Understand how you can change sounds and how those sounds can change your playing. From turning knobs, to taking away a string, to removing a drum to anything and everything in between, research, listen and think of different ways you can express yourself. You already invested the money in the gear. Invest the time to know it inside and out.

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