“So you want to be a rock ‘n’ roll star?” sang The Byrds in 1967. “Then listen now to what I say. Just get an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play.” Easy enough, right?
But there’s the rub — plenty of people think it’s easy to form a band and start selling out stadiums in just a few short years. That’s why there are currently over eight million bands on MySpace all with recorded demos streaming on their pages for free. They’re waiting for the right talent scout to click their profile, waiting for a record contract, waiting for that big break.
Being a professional musician is a full-time gig that doesn’t necessarily abide by a 9-to-5 schedule. In fact, it’s probably closer to 7 p.m.-to-2 am. It’s not enough to simply purchase a guitar and become a virtuoso, either; there’s a whole world of professional gear to understand before you can pack the crowds into Madison Square Garden and Budokan. Here’s where you start:
Musical Instruments for Sale
Keep your eyes open for folks selling used gear. Look on Cragislist and eBay and other sites, but more importantly, don’t just buy the first cool-looking guitar you find. Do your research and realize what types of tones you want and what kind of range your playing will require. Pop into different music stores and test out the gear. Check the deals on online guitar shops. Most importantly, always opt for a trusted brand — or don’t. Above everything else, it’s really just about finding your own sound.
Guitar Effect Pedals
You’ve probably never seen a live band before that didn’t utilize at least one guitar pedal to help round out its sound. Even Jack White (ever the minimalist when it comes to instruments and gear) has a fairly advanced pedalboard at his disposal. You can’t skimp out on the sound, even when a solid pedal kit will cost you a few hundred bucks over time. Again, stop by music shops and scope out different sound options — delay, overdrive, chorus, flange, etc. Look online for the cheapest prices. You don’t have to buy it all at once, either, so pick one up for now and leave the rest for later. First come the musical instruments for sale, then come the effects.
Professional Sound Equipment
Guitar? Check. Pedals? Check. Marshall Stack tube amp with 100-watt power?
OK, so that one’s going to take some time to acquire. But if you want to beef up your live sound, there’s really only one word you need to know: amplification. Always ask workers at music shops the difference between a starter amp and a professional, powerful getup — then ask to plug in. This all comes back to you finding your own sound, your own tone and your own musical voice, and the best way to do that is to do some physical exploring.
Whether you’re looking for musical instruments for sale online or in a small corner shop in your neighborhood, you can’t buy anything until you test it out. Then, you’ll be on your way to becoming a real rock ‘n’ roll star. In due time, of course. Good refereneces.