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Developing skills besides playing

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by danengland, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Hi Justin

    I'm a big fan of your playing and work. Good news that you are going out on the road with Beck again!

    I wanted to ask you how you first went about developing skills and knowledge of recording/engineering, production and Musical Direction early in your career? What skills do you think are vital for a musician in the current climate?

    Did you start out with a simple home setup?

    I am looking to expand my skill set and broaden what I can offer as a musician with a view to starting my own projects in addition working for other people as a sideman.

    I find I can come up with musical ideas and work on arrangements but being able to build and mix tracks, create and edit sounds and recreate things that I hear on other records can be a challenge.


  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    Osmosis and assimilation. Thirst for knowledge "on the other side of the glass" is what drove me. Yes, simple home set-up. A four-track. Was a great way to dive in.

    Just dive in, man. Don't hesitate on any area because you're missing some knowledge at this point. Learn by doing, it's the best way. If one is intelligent, I do believe one can teach themselves anything.

    What skills are needed: this is a long conversation, and myself and others here have touched on it many times in this forum. You need to be exceptional at your instrument, strong-willed, have bold ideas, competitive without being a dick to anyone, technologically savvy, socially capable, and many other things. And never look for anyone else to "give you a break". You make all your own opportunities. That's a deadly true cliche.

  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    "Socially capable" was my downfall.
  4. Thanks for your reply, that's very helpful.

    Much appreciated