10 Essential Qualities for the Budding Musician

10 essential qualities for the budding musician

There’s the old expression “if I knew then what I know now,” meaning, if I could just go back in time and slap myself for being so stupid because I’m so smart today.  With that being said, yes, this is going to be a piece on what budding musicians should know as they’re coming up.  Yes, I’m going to attempt to save you some time.   However, knowing what I know about young musicians, no one is actually going to listen to me because youngsters know everything.  They can do no wrong.  Old folks that have been around forever got through life by mistake and happenstance, I guess.  Yet, this younger generation is known to scour the internet for cheats and codes to get the upper-hand on their newest video game.  Well, look here, if you want some experience points, infinite health, and fast travel tips—pay attention, you’re about to get it.  These are my Top 10 tips on what you should develop early in life for a better tomorrow as a musician.

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How to Recover From a Flood in a Little Over a Month

how to recover from a flood in a little over a month

If you’ve ever wanted to go through a flood, I would suggest thinking up a different activity to take up your time.  As it turns out, 99 times out of 100 it won’t be up to you anyway (always drip those faucets during winter).  However, if you do happen to be at the bum end of the luck-stick, here’s what I did to recover from a flood in a little over a month.

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Jay Lamm and The Great Flood of 2016

great flood of 2016

My cellphone rang at 7am, Saturday morning.  I was still asleep from a full day of working eight hours at my day job and then working until midnight at my night job as a bartender.  It was my dad on the phone and he was telling me that my sister’s house was getting water in it from the rising flood waters.  I was told to put as much stuff as I could up high because my house was going to flood, too.  It was only a matter of time.  Put up my valuable stuff, grab what I can, and get out as soon as possible.
I thought that maybe my carpet would get wet.  I didn’t know that what would be come to known as the Great Flood of 2016 was far worse than anyone had in mind.

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Make America Great Again…in three easy steps

make america great again

It’s easy to say that you’re going to do something.  It’s another thing to actually do it.  With all the talk about how to make America great again, I’ve actually spelled out the way to do it–and in only three easy steps.

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Make Your Own Portable Vocal Booth

make your own vocal booth

Now that modern technology has advanced to the state where anyone can have a reasonably priced digital audio workstation at home, we’re now looking for ways to transform these home recording studios into spaces with the best possible acoustic capabilities.  After all, you can have a decent DAW but you still have to get the best sounding audio into the workstations.  If your initial recordings are junky then you’re going to have to work a lot harder to make those junky sound wavs sound presentable.  As the adage goes, “you can cover shit with chocolate but it still tastes like shit.”  Well, guitarists and bass players have it easy with VST plug-ins and amp modeling.  Drummers and singers, on the other hand, are a different story.  For the most part, drummers and vocalists/voice-over artists still use their room space to record acoustically.  A voice-over artist or vocalist needs a booth of some kind for the cleanest and best possible recording.  Well, here’s how I created my own vocal booth in my office that can easily be broken down and moved to a different location.  And I did this for under $50.

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How to Not Write Awful Lyrics – The Seven Deadly Sins

seven deadly sins of lyric writing

Hey, you decided to start a band. Good for you. It’s time to write some songs that will thoroughly express all those weird thoughts in your head. It’s time to lend voice to all your inner-most desires, ambitions, and opinions. You’ve practiced your guitar/bass/drums/keyboards/whatever in your bedroom for years, honing your craft to laser accuracy. Good for you. There’s just one thing, you’ve never written lyrics before. You’ve never even read poetry before. Hell, the only thing you’ve thoroughly read is the occasional email and the first two Harry Potter books.
Don’t worry (worry a little), you’ve heard plenty of songs and plenty of lyrics. How hard could it be?  Well, there are—according to me—some lyric writing sins you should be made aware.

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Here’s what’s coming up

Sorry I’ve been so quiet over the last month or so.  I recently accepted the position of Planetarium Producer at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s Irene W. Pennington Planetarium.  I’ve been super busy working on and creating content for our theater as well as other art projects.  Until I get settled in, things will be a bit sparse.

However, I do have some entries that I’m still working on.  Coming up soon is something I call “How To Not Write Awful Lyrics.”  This goes into all my hidden hang-ups when it comes to lyric writing.  It’s a must-read for anyone starting a band, starting to write their own music, and looking to write their own lyrics.  I also am working on a tutorial on how to make your own portable vocal booth.

So hang tight, I’ll be back soon.

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Stop naming your kids after fictional characters!

stop naming your kids after sitcom characters

There is an epidemic sweeping the nation. It deals, in part, with a cultural divide separating my generation from the upcoming batch of kids–the ones who will never learn how to change a flat tire on their own. It is said that we’re raising a country of entitled freeloaders who get their personalities from the antics of sitcom characters and dialogue influenced by Diablo Cody scripts. They’re pampered little babies living in a NERF world of paternalism and made safe by politically correct self-censorship, monitored by their own social media addiction, and policed by 140-character hashtag activists.  This coming generation has gained an unearned arrogance towards authority figures, i.e., teachers, police officers, and parents. But I submit that this paradigm shift is not a result of the failing public education system or significant lack of role models; I submit that this culture, that readily embraces mediocrity, is a result of how parents are christening their children with fictional forenames–first names that, in effect, help map out their owners’ futures in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Stop naming your kids after fictional characters!

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Shipping Your Gear? Here’s How to Build Your Own Instrument Crates

How to build a crate

Back in 2013 I got an offer to play in Mexico for two-and-a-half months.  I accepted the offer and then immediately started stressing about how I was going to get all my gear over there.  I’d never toured outside of the country before so I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to safely and securely ship my equipment.  All the online help was from guys that were professional touring musicians–they had money for flight cases.  I was seriously tapped out on funds so I had to figure out the best way to make crates for my gear, my partner’s gear, and how to ensure that they would not only get there in once piece but would make it back to the States in perfect condition.

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New Book Featuring J. Lamm is Now Available: “State of Horror: Louisiana Vol. II”

state of horror, louisiana

Today, April 2, 2015, is a big day for me because today is the release date for the new book I’m featured in, State of Horror:  Louisiana Vol. II
I’m very pleased to have my story, “The Bells of Rue La Barriere,” to be associated with Charon Coin Press and the State of Horror series.  It’s my first published work of original fiction and I’m very happy with how it came out.  I want to take the opportunity to talk a little bit about my story, the State of Horror series, and how things came about.  Of course, at the bottom of this posting I’ve provided all the links to where you can buy your own copy.  So let’s talk about horror…

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