On emailing guitarists…

I remember seeing something somewhere, (maybe twitter?) where some random dude was asking Steve Lukather to guest on his band’s indie album. Lukather brushed it off politely (“sorry, I don’t do session work anymore” or words to that effect), but then the guy replied trying to get him to change his mind. Gah! It was so tonedeaf! And the attempt at persuasion was 100% “me me me”: “but it would mean so much to us to have you work with us, etc. etc. etc.”. Lukather closed the door graciously (“Sorry, at this stage in my life, time with my family is too valuable” or similar), but the fact that the fan didn’t take the first “no” graciously was so friggin’ cringeworthy I couldn’t believe it.

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It must be a double edged sword to put content out there and have someone, just because they consumed some or all of it, feel some level of entitlement to get personal feedback on something designed to help the crowd at large. It would freak me out tbh.

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Yeah, it’s a contradiction: Everybody wants to be famous, yet everybody wants to be able to eat their lunch in peace.

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It’s kind of presumptuous that, based on the number of subscribers, you know how much “spare” time a person has to be at your disposal, free of charge. Some guys have got to make a living elsewhere, have families, or simply don’t want to be online all day. Why do we get to make them our on-call information service? “Hey bro, I watched your videos. Now it’s time for you to pay me back” or “hey, I saw you liking something on facebook, so you must have time to answer me”.

Not everyone has a system for the flow of communication. Not everyone goes “okay, I’ve got 10 minutes to spare. I better check what Hank is up to”. Look, I get how cool it is to find someone with the time to help us mortals out, but anything beyond that reeks of entitlement. I mean, “fuck off for not answering me” is way beyond entitlement.

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Nothing unbalanced or unhinged about that response whatsoever. It’s a mystery why people aren’t writing you back.

TheCount, right??? :rofl:

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The Everything Music channel YouTube is up to over 200K subscribers, and he has a family, a business, and other channels… Imagine the number of half interested perfect pitch questions he gets per day, you know? If you want to talk to him, have something interesting to say and pay the book fee, right? He invites emails about the book. We exchanged emails and he was gracious. I understand that your impression is yours, but as someone who likes to go straight to the experts myself, I recognize the importance of introductions and patience. That door will close really quickly if you trash the man online, yes? Good luck in acquiring what you are seeking! Peace.

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The very best part of this is how open Vai is about the fact he’s vegetarian. :smile:

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I wish I could say that was on purpose, but I wasn’t even thinking about that when I wrote it. If I had, my instinct would have been to take an “uncomfortably overfamiliar” angle with the vegetarian thing. But I like the accidental irony you’ve revealed: of a fan who’s supposedly so obsessive, making such an oblivious imposition. Or perhaps worse: knowingly making that imposition. That’s awesome.

Truth be told, I was really tempted to end the very first paragraph with “…” and leave it at that. But we have a lot of Yngwie disciples here, so it seemed wrong to go with “less is more”. :wink:

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@Frylock No worries - it doesn’t take away from the humor of your post, if anything I’d say it adds to it, haha.

And I love that Yngwie clip. He’s one of those guys I’ve never really gotten into (I’m coming from more of a Satriani blues-based tradition myself), but always got a kick out of the larger than life persona. Ironically, I think CTC really helped me see him in a new light - it’s amazing to try to picture what hearing Rising Force for the first time must have been like, as a guitarist in the early 80s, and that album has grown on me a fair amount. His tone on that album is pretty staggeringly good – it’s amazingly clean, for the speed he’s playing at, on a Stratocaster no less.

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Totally. And the Alcatrazz album before that even more so. It’s more of that totally dry in your face '70s tone, but with Yngwie levels of accuracy. It almost sounds naked.

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While I can’t say that’s a tone I’ve ever loved, the next time I’m feeling a little cocky, I’ll have to give that a spin. :smiley:

Oopsies, I may have been guilty of that. Sometimes if I get excited about something I might regress into my 11 year old self. Like that overly enthusiastic fat kid who bugs all the older kids down the skatepark. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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One thing I like about that Alcatraz album is they are in A440, that makes that clean playing have a happier crisp brilliance(island in the sun)… The live album is tuned down of course.

I really like that Steeler album too man. It whips ass. :bear:

@Kean you’re not the only one - I had to be embarrassed a few times to get it right. :slight_smile:

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@JakeEstner, I’ve been checking out your awesome playing in your instaclips! Just you wait till you receive my 10 page unsolicited email complete with foot notes and all. :wink:

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ah thanks man! I appreciate that! Email away, just let me clear my calendar haha

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Nice thread :+1:
I just noticed it so I’ll revive it with my humble experience on emailing guitarists.

I have only reached out to two guitar players: Arjen Lucassen and Ron Jarzombek.

To begin with, I did my best to keep the emails short. I know I wrote something along the lines “I’m sure you are extremely busy, so I’ll keep it short. Sorry if it looks impolite but I can assure you that such impression would be far from the truth.” And then I stated my question. Also, I didn’t spend many words on introducing myself.

I don’t remember why I wrote to Arjen but I do remember his answer quite clearly. He even quoted that bit “I’m sure you are busy…” and added “much appreciated” :slight_smile: I also remember that he declined something. Perhaps something I asked or offered, or whatever. Still, he was very polite and his stance was understandable. While I don’t remember the details, I have only positive impression and memory of that short exchange.
By the way, I finished my first introductionary letters with something along the lines that if all gets solved with his first answer, I thank him in advance and won’t write another letter with just a “thank you” note. All this to save their time :wink:

I asked Ron something about some of his compositions. Again, I don’t remember clearly as these things happened quite some years ago. Again, short, respectful, polite exchange on both sides. I ended up buying some short instructional video of his where he performs and discusses his music. It wasn’t expensive and I want to make it clear that he didn’t push it. He didn’t even suggest for me to buy it.

All in all, I had only positive experience :slight_smile: Both guys seem to be friendly and cool. Both are great musicians. Check them out if you haven’t heard them. Arjen does some prog rock/metal something…:thinking:it’s hard to describe.
And Ron…he’s a moster player and composer :open_mouth: His music lives somewhere between death/prog metal and avant garde metal. It may be not for everyone but if you happen to like it, oh my…you are in for a treat :star_struck:

Edit: oh, by the way, I have reached out to a pornography star once :blush: Let me assure you, I didn’t do that for creepy reasons or something like that :point_up: The topic was not sexual in any way and no body parts got mentioned in my letter. Anyway, I did not receive any answer. So, in my experience, guitarists are awesomer than porn stars (in this regard) :smiley:

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Ha, I love the Yngwie clip… so much in fact I animated it a few years back :slight_smile:

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Interesting topic! I actually did a lot of this between ‘95-‘98 during the early days of AOL, and had quite a bit of success with the guys whose email addresses I could get.

Probably the best one was Ron Thal (aka Bumblefoot). This was way before GNR, when he just had the one Shrapnel release, and was still known as Ron Thal. I actually found his email in the AOL member directory :joy:. I told him how much I dug his music, and asked if I could send him a demo to critique. He was very gracious and told me to send him a tape (as in cassette, no CD burner at the time). I’d say within a week or 2, I got a really nice email from him with some good feedback. That was great enough, but shortly after that, a big manilla envelope shows up in my mailbox with a fat stack of transcriptions he’d done for the ‘Adventures of Bumblefoot’ album. He also sent a handwritten transcription of his Chopin Fantasie arrangement. I was blown away that he would do that as he didn’t know me from Adam. He’s a class act, and totally deserving of any success he’s had. Ah, the golden era of the WWW!!

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