"Take Five" Q&A with Ben Wendel!

We asked Ben your top five questions.  Here are his answers...

Q1: What's the best music gear or app purchase you've made recently?

Metronomics - great, super advanced metronome app made by John Nastos. 


 

Q2: What's your funniest or worst gig story? 

Watch Ben's #MyWorstGig video to hear all about it! Click here!


 

Q3: What's one concert you've attended that has had a lasting impact on your life?

Bobby McFerrin Solo show at Royce Hall in Los Angeles.  One man with a mic and nothing else - completely captivating a packed house for 2 hours with just his voice and creativity.  


 

Q4: What's a specific skill/exercise/technique that has taken your playing to the next level?

Staying organized and tracking my progress.  I use everything from a journal to a word doc on my computer to an eraser board.


 

Q5: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self entering the music scene?

Record yourself on...

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"Take Five" Q&A with Ulysses Owens Jr.!


Q1: What's the best music gear or app purchase you've made recently?

I don’t really buy gear or apps like that, man I am honestly just trying to still learn how to play the gear I have. I will say that I just formed a relationship with RTOM, and they make “moon gels” which are helpful in tuning in the studio. I just recently acquired a bunch of them, because I am one of their artist’ now. Been producing and recording a lot lately, and I am learning how to tune the drums more effectively now for the album, not just my own personal tastes. Moongels are great, because before I was using “Gaff Tape,” which is great but moon gels give you more range and resonance options from the drums.


Q2: What's your funniest or worst gig story?

I was playing the Hollywood Bowl with Joey Alexander at the Playboy Jazz Fest. We were in the middle of digging’ into something uptempo, and I saw this bird flying near me and I got nervous, because it’s an outdoor...

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"Take Five" Q&A with Brad Allen Williams!

Q1: What's the best music gear or app purchase you've made recently?

I recently purchased a small Akai LPK-25 USB MIDI controller to take with me on the road. I’ve always traveled with a small MIDI controller so make charts, demos, and sketch out ideas while away. But the LPK-25 is small enough that I can actually work in an economy class airplane seat. Not only does this allow me to make better use of time on flights, but it makes long-haul flights go by faster, as well. 

Q2: What's your funniest or worst gig story? 

I lost one of my first weekly gigs when the club owner heard the singer/harmonica player use the word “blow” (while pantomiming harmonica with his hand up to his face), and concluded that he must’ve been talking about using cocaine in the bathroom.

 

Q3: What's one concert you've attended that has had a lasting impact on your life?

B.B King in Hattiesburg, Mississippi when I was 18 years old. He had a second guitarist in the band...

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"Take Five" Q&A with E.J. Strickland!

e.j. strickland take five Aug 31, 2019

(We asked E.J. the top five questions you wanted to know!)

Q1: What's the best music gear or app purchase you've made recently?

Audio Evolution for Android on Google Play. Its an audio recording app that you can use with a mic or midi. Makes pretty good live recordings.

Q2: What's your funniest or worst gig story?

One day, maybe 10 years ago or so, I remembered to bring everything (cymbals, clutch, etc.) except my damn stick bag to a gig in the west village w guitarist David Gilmore. I had to play the entire first set with my hands. LOL (It was actually kinda cool and refreshing.) In between sets, I ran to the Blue Note where Clark Terry Big Band was playing.  My pal Sylvia Cuenca was on drums. I passed a $5 bill to Helen Sung and told her to give it to Sylvia in exchange for a pair of drumsticks. She helped me out, and I finished the gig w a pair of her sticks. LOL

Q3: What's one concert you've attended that has had a lasting impact on your life?

The best...

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"Take Five" Q&A with Christian Sands!

We asked Christian your top five questions.  Here are his answers...

Q1: What's the best music gear or app purchase you've made recently?

The best music gear I’ve gotten will have to be my piano pickups. I never leave home without my Yamahiko pickups, whether inside at a club or concert hall, to outside at a festival, they always help project the piano’s best sound! 


 

Q2: What's your funniest or worst gig story? 

One of the funniest gig experiences i’ve had happened when i was in high school. I was a sophomore but was performing with a college university band. We had a gala performance away from the school so we had to take transportation. Luckily, the school had offered to take us so they rented a bus. Upon arrival to the pickup spot, I noticed that this was no ordinary bus, not even one of those busses that the church rents to go on their casino trip, types of buses, no no, this was some type of 1970’s party bus. It had blue, yellow and...

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"Take Five" Q&A with Peter Martin!

We asked Peter your top five questions! 

What's the best music gear or app purchase you've made recently? 

Sony MDR-7506 headphones. I’ve probably bought 8 of these over the past 25 years, the model never changes and always sounds fantastic. No bluetooth, no noise reduction, but comfortable AF.

What's your funniest gig story?

The first time I played at New Orleans Jazz Fest as a leader, they gave me the worst possible time slot: 11:20am in the jazz tent (most people don’t arrive at the fairgrounds until after 12pm.) It just so happened to start a rain downpour 10 minutes after we began playing. Thousands ran into the jazz tent for cover, and were forced to listen to my trio (Chris Thomas on bass and Brian Blade on drums.) It was packed, and we actually got some life long fans out of that fateful gig - thank you Jazz Fest and bad weather!

What's one concert you've attended that has had a lasting impact on your life?

Stevie Wonder, Song in The Key Of...

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