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“Every act of creation, by its mere existence, denies the world of master and slave. The appalling society of tyrants and slaves in which we survive will find its death and transfiguration only on the level of creation.” -Albert Camus

“”I don’t want to produce a work of art that the public can sit and suck aesthetically…. I want to give them a blow in the small of the back, to scorch their indifference, to startle them out of their complacency.” –Ingmar Bergman

“The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.” -William Faulkner

About Matt, The Head Honcho At Play It Loud

My name is Matt and I hate bios that give you rank, name, and serial number. If doing so makes me seem less “professional,” then so be it! Me and this crazy website I’ve created is all about bringing some thrills back to music. Not making you and your audience go comatose…..

But I guess I’ll get the boring stuff out of the way first. My hometown of Oxford, MS, in fact, seemed so boring to me when I was 6 years old that I bought a Six Flags travel book detailing rides like the Ninja and the Superman. When I wasn’t reading this book or playing Ocarina Of Time, I was watching Kung Fu movies and shooting things with a BB gun.

There’s the recipe for success right there: boredom, fantasy, and endless roundhouse kicks.

A long time ago I had a much longer bio giving a longer story to how I made this site, but I’m just going to list the highlights in bullet point fashion…….

  • I honed my chops by blasting my Marshall stack in the basement level of Brown Hall at Ole Miss, and later got kicked out of three frat houses for partying too hard
  • Later my roommate moved out cause all my solos started sounding the same (hence why I wanted to learn all this stuff!)
  • Eventually I was playing so much that I asked the owner of the local music shop I shopped at to hold my Jackson Kelly until I finished my final exams freshman year…..
  • Later I got a degree in journalism and another in history so I could later have the ability to write my two Kindle books you can see at the left hand side of this website…….
  • I own over 300 tablature songbooks and music theory textbooks, and have written well over a million words to teach what I’ve gotten from it all!
  • When I’m not working on this website, I work at my “real” job as a pedicab driver here in New Orleans and do some freelance marketing work as well.

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There is no school teaching the things I’ve learned……Therefore, Play It Loud’s goal is to help more people  develop a solid foundation for their guitar technique, have more tools to make music with, and connect with their audience through the disciplines of marketing and songwriting.

 

Read that again. There is no school that’ll break down the lyrics of John and Paul, or the lead guitar techniques of Slash and Jimi Hendrix.

Did you do it? Good.

More than 98.654% of people playing guitar (yep, that’s my statistic!) won’t learn the ways to MAKE MUSIC with the instrument. In fact, the biggest difference between today’s music and what came before Grunge is that the standard of musicianship and songwriting was MUCH higher. No one talks about this enormous elephant that’s in the room.

Play It Loud is about helping anyone who has the dream of making music, whether it’s writing their own songs or mastering guitar technique. PIL will also explore the pros and cons of the music industry’s business practices in the area of marketing principally.

I’ve spent the past ten years of my life attempting to become a good musician, and in the process learned how to tame my own demons. You see, music is more spiritual than it is technical because technique only reveals the dust on the surface. The best kind of music, in my opinion, tells stories that help us get through tough times, celebrate the good ones, and bring us peace and understanding when we can’t find it anywhere else.

I want more people to learn how to make music in order to communicate this! Not how good you can play guitar or implement your wordplays.

I’ve also found a TON of knowledge and expertise that PIL is going to share with you. It’s taken from the fields of guitar tab books and magazines, poetry, psychology and philosophy, marketing, etc. Because I didn’t know how to become the artist I wanted to become, I had to investigate what the people who came before me did.

Here are just a few of the things that make me unique when discussing the art of music:

  • Instead of guitar lessons, I’ve amassed a library of dozens and dozens of musical resources from artist’s songbooks and tablature, to guitar magazines now out-of-print, to textbooks on musical harmony that take me directly to the source. This way, I’ve been able to see exactly what good guitar playing encompasses and thus have found a way to model it. Plus this is the BEST place to learn how to create music. My schooling has come out of countless hours of immersion in my library AND shredding licks.
  • I’ve never relied on a bag of tricks and licks to have my own unique style. After delving into the resources available to me, I have found that mastery over the fundamentals of music: harmony, melody, rhythm, and songwriting are the keys to good music. Not one’s proficiency with pro tools. When you understand how a chord or scale is made, and can then identify it in the music you enjoy, you’ve now got the power to create.
  • Most music in fact is a showcase of techniques and not an artistic experience using the peculiar nuances of the medium of music to tell a story and express emotions. Although I’ve learned plenty about technique, it constantly turns into vanity if it’s not used to say something. In order to figure out what to say, I’ve studied nearly everything in order to get a heads up on songwriting from neuro-linguistic programming, poetic meter, method acting, fiction writing, journalism (my major in college), historical personalities (history was my other major), and of course many of the greatest songs ever written.
  • I tend to think of myself as an eccentric musical personality due to my study of hip-hop lyrics and their rhythms, rearranging electronica riffs for the guitar, applying piano chords to classic rock songs, using machine gun rhythms from metal for pop chord progressions, etc. to explore uncharted territories of the musical cosmos. All of this I hope to touch on either in my products or here on PIL.
  • In an attempt to become the best artist I can possibly be I’ve read or studied the lives and works of Mozart, Picasso, Beethoven, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Dante, Shakespeare, and many many more. I consider my diverse areas of interest in fiction, non-fiction, marketing, business, poetry, psychology, philosophy, religion, acting and film, and musical composition to set me apart from the leagues of musicians who settle for barre chords……

With Play It Loud, I want to share everything I’ve learned with you. I’m tired of hoarding all this information and insight from the world so I’m hoping that someone like you will use it, and help create brand new worlds of music for everyone to enjoy.

You see, I’m not exactly the typical musician who makes a living by playing in bands and touring. In fact, I think that way of thinking about the industry is hurting the chances of success that many artists have.

With the Internet and my blog, for instance, I believe that the relationship between an artist and their audience can become even more intimate. And with the way people typically learn about new music (friends, iTunes, and YouTube) an artist must rethink how they want to start a career in music.

The fact is that there are too many sacred cows holding back the potential for a musical renaissance. Just like our schools, government, and financial institutions, music has not become a tool for creating emotional support and hope for the future, but for increased helplessness and promotion of a nihilistic attitude toward ourselves and the world.

We’ve come to believe that ALL PURSUITS are vain and unworthy. We ask ourselves what’s the point of getting a degree, having financial success, or making a worthwhile piece of music with the vast amount of obstacles in our way? It’s easier to settle for comfort instead of the uncertain chaos that’s sure to come if we dare to stand up for what is right.

I love music because it’s the greatest way to communicate hope to others and faith in ourselves, and at the same time fight this helpless attitude. The best music is born out of chaos, and out of this uncertainty comes the feeling of having lived. To feel alive!

Today, a guitarist will not likely consider any piece of music that doesn’t include his instrument. Some pretentious songwriters/guitarists judge the success of their work by how difficult it is instead of whether it may be accessible to all. Instrumentalists have no desire to do anything more than show off their abilities at the expense of the percussion, the lyrics, and the other instruments. The Big 4 (Now 3) record labels have no interest in long-term success, but, instead, actively search for the easiest artist to produce.

The truth is that it’s very difficult to find a musical artist who can play an instrument, write his own music, express himself through words, handle his business affairs, and be a substantial part of the overall culture.

It is my plan to give other artists these skills. I don’t have all the answers and I am not focused on forcing my opinion down your throat. I don’t have years of experience in the industry, and no one’s heard me play live.  I only want to contribute my thoughts, and maybe help. We have the opportunity to make music as vital as it’s ever been if we commit ourselves to the task of being more than just a musician.

 

I hope you’ll keep coming back to my blog as I share many of the things I’ve learned in my quest to become a musician, and maybe reflect on some of the ideas I plan on revealing over time.