I’ve been waiting for this clinic since it was announced 2 months ago. Nick is one of my favourite players, he has influenced me a lot beyond guitar technique. I would say he helped me see instrumental guitar music in a different way.
I had low expectations regarding the “teaching” part of the clinic, mainly because Nick bases his clinic around what the audience asks, he doesn’t present anything, he just plays a few songs and answers questions in between. I’ve seen a few of his clinics on YouTube and the questions were terrible, hence the low expectations.
Let’s start with his playing. He was fantastic! The tone was pretty unforgiving, a clean-ish Mesa Boogie Stiletto, boosted with an MXR 5150 Overdrive and nothing else. He still sounded great, his feel over the instrument is remarkable. Also he played an unreleased song from his new album which was in Drop D, I can’t wait to listen to it again.
Luckily, the audience had a few pro guitar players from Greece, so the questions were really good. He answered questions about marketing yourself, how to work around interesting chord progressions, etc. The thing that stuck with me was his daily routine when he’s not on tour. I’ll try to quote what he said.
“I wake up around 9-10, I get coffee and breakfast, then I play some guitar. After that I go for a walk, thinking about the song I’m currently writing and how to make it better. Then I get back, answer some work e-mails, Skype managers, etc, then I play some more guitar. After that I eat lunch and guess what… I play some more guitar until noon. Then I eat dinner, watch some TV series and I play some more guitar before I go to bed.”
This might sound crazy to you, but his daily routine woke something up in me. Those guys who play at Nick’s level are so deeply commited that their activities are based and scheduled around guitar playing, not the other way around. I’ve been doing the same thing in reverse for years and expected results. This was an eye opener for sure.
Here is a photo of us after the clinic, unfortunately he kept on moving around, but still, it’s a cool thing to remember.