The TLP Network

No One and a Half: Rules of Simplicity

by on Sep.08, 2008, under Articles, No One and a Half

Scribed by Jason Firestone.

If you can’t sell five copies of your CD, how do you justify getting 1000 made?

If you don’t promote your shows, booking three a week won’t make you famous any faster.

If you can’t get the drunk and desperate 35-year-old bar fly who has a permanent spot at the end of the bar to go home with you, don’t even try going for that gorgeous 21-year-old who is only there to see her boyfriend’s crappy band.

If one of those XXL energy drink canisters doesn’t wake you up, you should probably get some sleep.

If you can’t make it heavy in standard tuning, tuning down to G isn’t going to make it any heavier. But it probably will loosen a few bowels. THAT’S metal!

If you can’t squeeze a halfway decent guitar recording out of one microphone, two usually isn’t going to make the situation any better.

Having more than one cover song in your 45-minute set doesn’t prove your “versatility,” it proves your awareness of the fact that people would rather hear someone else’s music than the music they scraped up five bucks to hear and see you play.

If your songs don’t sound good on an acoustic guitar they’ll most likely not sound good on a 7-string plugged into five Marshall stacks (unless, of course you’re pulling out some Tom Morello shit… but chances are you’re not Tom Morello).

If your three-piece band doesn’t sound good, adding a keyboard player, a violinist, a DJ, five backing vocalists, another couple guitar players, an entire horn section, an accordion player, four more percussionists, a xylophone player, a designated screamer, a few dancers, and a huge laser light show won’t make it any better.

If you can’t write a good song with just three chords, don’t expect your songs to magically become brilliant masterworks of music when you throw a few more chords, four guitar solos, and a couple breakdowns in. That being said, if you only use the same three chords for every song you’re going to be boring as hell.

If your amp sucks and your guitar sucks, adding a bunch of distortion pedals and rack gear won’t magically “take the blanket off” your amp.

If you can’t make crappy gear sound decent, you have no right to get good gear.

If you can’t play to begin with, getting a custom guitar and a vintage tube amp won’t magically make you Jimmy Page.

Most importantly: Why are you charging five bucks for your three-song demo you recorded in your living room using the built-in mic on a cassette recorder from 1987 when Clear Channel is blasting the latest Puddle of Mudd and Nickelback turds on 97.9FM at no charge to anyone listening?

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