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> Guitar Clinics: What Are They For ?
Ben Higgins
post Jun 24 2014, 09:08 AM
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Guitar Clinics - What Are They For ?

Most prominent musicians do guitar clinics, or have done at some point, but what is the main purpose of them ?

Is it to impart knowledge and advice ? Or just to share stories and perform songs ?

In much footage of guitar clinics that I've seen, it mainly consists of the guitarist performing their songs followed by a few stories and anecdotes. I don't ever see a lot of actual teaching going on. I could be judging it too harshly but if it were me doing it, I'd want the viewers to go away feeling like they'd learned something and been given specific technical advice and examples etc. A lot of the 'teaching' seems to be very vague and no different to what you could get from an interview or YT video.

Tell me I'm wrong ! How many of you guys have been to clinics and what did it do for you ?


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PosterBoy
post Jun 24 2014, 12:51 PM
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I've not been to one but seen a few on youtube.

I've thought of travelling to Plymouth as they seem to put some on down there, and it's near enough to my parents to be viable, but for my level of playing I wouldn't get anything more out of it than I would asking questions here, apart from maybe bragging rights and a photo of me with Paul Gilbert or Andy Timmons

It's hard for an artist to give everyone in a group exactly what they need. Though I think to be able to ask a question and get a direct answer and demonstration from the artist is pretty good.

I think the experience of being up close to one of your heroes/influences and seeing them doing what they do in person, is probably one of the most motivating things a guitarist can have and I think that must be 90% of the value of a clinic


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 24 2014, 01:11 PM
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What are they for? To be cynical it's much more about product placement, marketing and sales than education, etc. It does depend on the artist and where it's hosted though. In my very limited experience from long ago those that are held at a music school tended to be more focused on the educaton side whereas those held at a music store...

A little OT but Universities often do a similar thing - they wheel in some well known person for business to deliver a 1 hour 'seminar' and charge a lot of money to attend. More often than not the seminar has no real content but is more the speaker reminiscing about their life and so it's entertainment rather than education. Some of the audience like this, some don't. A few years ago a University I know paid a well known business 'guru' a lot of money to deliver a 2 hour seminar. He turned up, spoke for less than 10 minutes and then handed the stage over to his assistant who delivered the remainder of the seminar. Tickets for that seminar cost over 500 Euros each, rather a lot for 10 minutes of his time...


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Mith
post Jun 24 2014, 02:07 PM
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Maybe they just arn't that good at teaching. Tho I think alot of it comes down with concepts of their style. Like I remember watching one from Devin Townsend and was about playing octaves instead of power chords. Said he liked using it because it avoided locking the song into any key or scale.


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 24 2014, 02:54 PM
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All really interesting answers and I can agree with all of them. A clinic can be all of those things.

I guess we've outlined the different things a person could get out of a clinic so let's be more direct:

What would you personally want to get from a clinic ?

QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jun 24 2014, 12:51 PM) *
It's hard for an artist to give everyone in a group exactly what they need. Though I think to be able to ask a question and get a direct answer and demonstration from the artist is pretty good.


That is very true. I've learned that just from doing video chats... some people might be really interested in some picking ideas or something but to others they may know it all already so yes, you can't deliver maximum entertainment / info to all people all the time.



QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jun 24 2014, 01:11 PM) *
A few years ago a University I know paid a well known business 'guru' a lot of money to deliver a 2 hour seminar. He turned up, spoke for less than 10 minutes and then handed the stage over to his assistant who delivered the remainder of the seminar. Tickets for that seminar cost over 500 Euros each, rather a lot for 10 minutes of his time...


That's just diabolical.



QUOTE (Mith @ Jun 24 2014, 02:07 PM) *
Maybe they just arn't that good at teaching. Tho I think alot of it comes down with concepts of their style. Like I remember watching one from Devin Townsend and was about playing octaves instead of power chords. Said he liked using it because it avoided locking the song into any key or scale.


Yeah, some of them turn up well prepared. Others just wing it.

I think it's cool to have a relaxed vibe and there should be an element of unplanned improv between artist and audience, whether verbal or instructional. But overall, they should be prepared to have a load of ideas of things they wanted to talk about / ideas to teach.


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Jun 24 2014, 03:23 PM
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I think more of these guitar clinics are not what should be from many reasons:
1. Marketing before anything
2. Easy way to make money without much stress
3. Because of people. Why? I saw some clinics on YT and I was really disappointed how people ask and are more interested about their life. Are a lot people which don't have nothing related with music and they was at guitar clinics. What is wrong with these people? It's a new trend?
How an idol/heroes/influences to told you about how to make a specific technique when people want to hear what he eat everyday. Or to put stupid questions like: How I can play fast in 24 hours.

I personally want to go at a clinic and hear explanations for some techniques from their point of view. What is their approach when compose a song. How they found some particular sound just puting the pick in a weird position, etc.

This post has been edited by Monica Gheorghevici: Jun 24 2014, 03:48 PM
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Mith
post Jun 24 2014, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Jun 24 2014, 10:23 PM) *
I think more of these guitar clinics are not what should be from many reasons:
1. Marketing before anything
2. Easy way to make money without much stress
3. Because of people. Why? I saw some clinics on YT and I was really disappointed how people ask and are more interested about their life. Are a lot people which don't have nothing related with music and they was at guitar clinics. What is wrong with these people? It's a new trend?
How an idol/heroes/influences to told you about how to make a specific technique when people want to hear what he eat everyday. Or to put stupid questions like: How I can play fast in 24 hours.

I personally want to go at a clinic and hear explanations for some techniques from their point of view. What is their approach when compose a song. How they found some particular sound just putting the pick in a weird position, etc.


How someone composes music is a huge thing for me. because everyone does it differently and from the best player to the worse one their ideas will be another tool to use to help write your own music.

I think this subject is the hardest to teach, the hardest to learn and also the hardest to find information on.

I between guitar practice I spend alot of time learning how to write lyrics and compose because this is another skill and just like playing guitar its one that you have to practice and study.


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Jun 24 2014, 04:03 PM
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QUOTE (Mith @ Jun 24 2014, 02:53 PM) *
How someone composes music is a huge thing for me. because everyone does it differently and from the best player to the worse one their ideas will be another tool to use to help write your own music.

I think this subject is the hardest to teach, the hardest to learn and also the hardest to find information on.

I between guitar practice I spend alot of time learning how to write lyrics and compose because this is another skill and just like playing guitar its one that you have to practice and study.


I don't want he teach me how to compose a song, this is not my idea. I'm just curious how he think when he compose. It's totally different from teaching. Anybody can say what have in mind when make a song. I'm amazed about people's mind.

Look at this video and you will understand what I want to say smile.gif



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klasaine
post Jun 26 2014, 04:39 PM
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A big problem is that a lot of the players that will attract an audience don't really have a lot of ( or any ) experience teaching.

*The jazz world is, in my experience, a lot better at the 'clinic' thing. Frankly, the musicians are generally more educated - which makes it far easier to explain what you're doing.
(No value judgment. Just a necessary evil for playing that music)
Also, jazz musicians have been doing clinics since the 1950s, most teach a little or have taught so there's kind of a method/formula and they tend to be less product oriented.

Even if you're not into blues, fusion or jazz - next time Robben Ford or John Scofield are doing a clinic or workshop near you, try to go. You'll get a TON of info out of it - regardless of style.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 26 2014, 04:44 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 26 2014, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 26 2014, 04:39 PM) *
A big problem is that a lot of the players that will attract an audience don't really have a lot of ( or any ) experience teaching.

*The jazz world is, in my experience, a lot better at the 'clinic' thing. Frankly, the musicians are generally more educated - which makes it far easier to explain what you're doing.
(No value judgment. Just a necessary evil for playing that music)
Also, jazz musicians have been doing clinics since the 1950s, most teach a little or have taught so there's kind of a method/formula and they tend to be less product oriented.

Even if you're not into blues, fusion or jazz - next time Robben Ford or John Scofield are doing a clinic or workshop near you, try to go. You'll get a TON of info out of it - regardless of style.


Although I don't know much about the jazz world, the little I have observed would make me agree with you. Those guys have to know what they're doing if they want to stand a chance of cutting it with another ass kicking player or band.


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klasaine
post Jun 26 2014, 05:02 PM
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I want to be clear that I'm not dis'ing rock/pop/metal/whatever in any way.
Jazz just has a history of 'communication' ... so does classical. The musicians are used to imparting their ideas and methods.

*Like here at GMC - you have to clear and concise. Every teacher here would be (is) a terrific clinician.

In general I'd stay away from the clinics that are sponsored by a gear company ... unless you just really wanna know about that gear.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 26 2014, 05:04 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 26 2014, 09:11 PM
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Spot on smile.gif Per the question and replies. I too have been a bit let down watching clinics on YT. They seem more like a mini concert followed by a Q&A. I guess that is what folks want to some degree as that's sorta come to be the existing format. Personally, I'd want to bring a guitar and learn some licks smile.gif


QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 24 2014, 04:08 AM) *
Guitar Clinics - What Are They For ?

Most prominent musicians do guitar clinics, or have done at some point, but what is the main purpose of them ?

Is it to impart knowledge and advice ? Or just to share stories and perform songs ?

In much footage of guitar clinics that I've seen, it mainly consists of the guitarist performing their songs followed by a few stories and anecdotes. I don't ever see a lot of actual teaching going on. I could be judging it too harshly but if it were me doing it, I'd want the viewers to go away feeling like they'd learned something and been given specific technical advice and examples etc. A lot of the 'teaching' seems to be very vague and no different to what you could get from an interview or YT video.

Tell me I'm wrong ! How many of you guys have been to clinics and what did it do for you ?


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 27 2014, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 26 2014, 09:11 PM) *
Spot on smile.gif Per the question and replies. I too have been a bit let down watching clinics on YT. They seem more like a mini concert followed by a Q&A. I guess that is what folks want to some degree as that's sorta come to be the existing format. Personally, I'd want to bring a guitar and learn some licks smile.gif


The thing that kind of annoys me is that most people ask the sort of questions that have already been answered loads of times in interviews already and is the sort of info that would be readily available to any fan who was interested in finding it.

-What guitar are you using ? Who are your influences ?

Come oooooooon, ask them something that we don't normally hear about ! rolleyes.gif


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klasaine
post Jun 27 2014, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 27 2014, 01:41 AM) *
The thing that kind of annoys me is that most people ask the sort of questions that have already been answered loads of times in interviews already and is the sort of info that would be readily available to any fan who was interested in finding it.

-What guitar are you using ? Who are your influences ?

Come oooooooon, ask them something that we don't normally hear about ! rolleyes.gif

They're probably not getting compensated with YT clinics, especially if they endorse the gear of the sponsor or a shop likw GC, sam ash, sweetwater, etc. So ...
1) they're not gonna give away any 'secrets' and
2) the manufacturer or shop wants them to focus on the gear and or the shop.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 27 2014, 02:55 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 27 2014, 07:28 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 27 2014, 02:10 PM) *
They're probably not getting compensated with YT clinics, especially if they endorse the gear of the sponsor or a shop likw GC, sam ash, sweetwater, etc. So ...
1) they're not gonna give away any 'secrets' and
2) the manufacturer or shop wants them to focus on the gear and or the shop.


Yeah I can understand that but I was thinking more along the lines of the audience asking questions that are not so obvious and already widely known to any fan who likes the artist enough to go to a clinic smile.gif

There's nothing stopping somebody asking a player about their secrets.. they've got to give some sort of an answer. Even if they evade it they can squirm for a while wink.gif



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klasaine
post Jun 27 2014, 10:38 PM
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Oh I agree.
Youtube is just TV, let's face it. A clinic on yt is edited and scripted.


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