Guitar Zen: Turn a Vision Into Reality!


Are you a big dreamer with a solid vision? Do you have the skills and the tools to put that vision into action? What do you need to make that dream come to life…. money, connections, talent? Yeah, having the natural ability and the money to put it where your mouth is goes a very long way. But in reality, all you need is YOU! With a little determination and allot of effort, anything is possible. We often think that we need others to get where we intend to go. For instance, if you want to be the next big rock band, you’ll need musicians, which is a task that can take a long time. But don’t give in and let these little factors slow down your progress. Use what you have at your disposal right now and get started on fulfilling that vision.

When I first started writing music, I was intent on capturing an idea the moment it came to me. If I wanted to lay down a whole song, I would have to find a way to get all the parts I wanted in place. This often meant I’d have to go to the local music store and rent a bass, keyboard or drum machine to have all the elements I needed. Then I’d just pound right through the learning curve and make music. It was so simple and exciting to see an idea come to life. Even if it wasn’t “album quality” I did the best with what I had and it felt great to sit back and enjoy the finished product.


A little more than 10 years ago I was playing in a progressive metal band in Ohio and spent allot of time with our sound man Tom. He was one of the smartest guys I knew when it came to gear and getting amazing tones. I had asked him to help me build a small home studio. We soundproofed it, bought a nice mixing board, hung speakers, hooked up Cakewalk (some high tech recording software at the time) and I was ready to rock! But I didn’t. I set all this up and spent most of my time just listening to music and not much time making it because I had been so used to relying on the band for the other parts. A month or so went by and Tom asked to hear what I’ve been working on and much to my dismay, I had nothing to show him. I had slipped away from that simplicity of capturing an idea and I got sucked into exploring sound to the point that I was just listening and not playing because I thought I needed the drummer’s tracks first then I could move forward etc.. He said something then that really opened my eyes and gave me a kick in the pants to start writing.

What Tom said to me was, “Do you think if Beethoven had Cakewalk that he’d have recorded nothing in a months time? He probably would have writing something everyday even if he hated the way it sounded on tape.” I made some remark about how Beethoven would have made insane music had he been exposed to such technology and I asked if he thought anyone would ever achieve such musical excellence again and he said “well, like I say with everything, give it 8 or 9 years and see what happens.” Well almost 9 years later to the day, Tom was designing Metallica’s stage show for the Death Magnetic World Tour and running sound for them across Europe, and I was touring the globe with Head. So with this thought in mind, I realized that I don’t need a band, or a studio full of gear, or anything else external to express the artist within me. For that, all I need is myself and the drive to push myself! So no matter when an idea strikes, do whatever it takes to express it! In the long run, you will see that every small step you have taken to get the creative juices flowing will culminate in the awakening of your vision into reality!


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