December 14

Ghostly Guitar Noises

It might be because I play guitar a lot, but in the old house I live in I sometimes hear strange guitar plucks from dark corners when you’d least expect it. I’ve never believed in ghosts much, but it’s hard not to now after finding an old guitar repair kit in the attic a few days ago. It makes sense now that whoever lived in this house when it was built nearly a hundred years ago liked to play the guitar.

I want to ask it what it thinks of my music. Maybe it could possess me and help me play better, but I don’t know if I’d enjoy that much. Even if it possessed me to the point where I was talented enough to become the next Jimmy Hendrix, it might not be worth how scared I’d be. Besides, who’s to say that the ghost is even good at playing. It might suck (I hope he or she isn’t reading this over my shoulder).

Does anyone else hear guitar noises in their house and think it’s a ghost? If you do, please contact us because I’d love to hear about it.

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November 19

Playing Guitar for a Tree Service Hamilton Company

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Ontario lately. A few of my friends thought I moved there to live in Hamilton permanently but the truth is I’ve only gone to visit half a dozen times in the last few months. So they’re not far from the truth, I guess. Today I want to talk about one of my latest favorite gigs. I was hired by a tree service company to play the guitar while they worked on a vast private forest near Hamilton Ontario. It was one of the most beautiful and magical gigs I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing.

The forest was more like an untidy orchard or a coppice. It was used for many things–firewood, fruits, wicker, etc. Throughout history people used tamed forests like this, for reasons like feeding pigs acorns or hunting birds. In the outskirts of Hamilton, this tree service company was hired to cut back the overgrown trees and tame the forest once more after several years of neglect. The trees were neglected because the owner is no longer of an age where he can physically do the work himself, but he still needs firewood and wicker for his home projects. The tree service Hamilton Ontario company knew that they would be there for a while because the work needed to be done was quite extensive. To make their job easier and to take advantage of the beautiful forest atmosphere, they thought a guitar player would do wonders. And they were right.

They needed to get the work done before the weather turned too cold and rainy, or before snow started to fall, and so their hope was that me playing the guitar would boost their morale and help them to work faster to finish the project on time. I brought my favorite song books with me to play a wide range of different styles. While playing my guitar, I watched the arborists trim back dead branches, diagnose diseased trees and treat them, remove stumps, chop firewood and many other tasks. By far, I had the easiest job there, and they were paying me quite well. I think they were very grateful to have me because I was determined to play the guitar the best I could during every minute of their work day.

Compared to my last visit to Ontario, which was amazing and memorable, this time was a magical journey tantamount to a fantasy adventure. I truly felt like a wood elf as I sat up high on a tree branch plucking my guitar strings for a bunch of hardworking dwarves. The coppice was nearly 20 acres and very dense, but I was told my guitar music could be heard from every corner of the property. That’s probably because I played a little louder than usual. It was nice that I didn’t need to sing because we were there for three days and singing for three days straight would’ve been hard on my voice.

This may be my favorite guitar gig for many years to come, because it’ll be very hard to beat the romantic experience of playing music in a tame forest full of singing birds and grateful workers. I wish every guitar player can experience a job like this.

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October 22

It Takes a Lot of Love

What takes a lot of love. “It” does, whatever “It” is for you. For me, “It” is music, “It” is friendship. “It” is anything you care about. One of my favorite songs is “Lotta Love” by Nicolette Larson. The reason why: She’s right!

To change the way things are for you, from worse to better, it’s gonna take a lot of love. Listen to the lyrics yourself, their beautiful.

My mother listened to this song when I was little and it wasn’t until recently that it became my favorite son. It makes me cry and smile at the same time, and that’s what good music is supposed to do in my opinion. I hope to be as talented as her one day.

If you don’t see “eye to eye” with your dream, you need to show it some love. Do “It” with the music you love. Love with the people around you. Love with working “through the night”.

You can do “It”!

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October 10

Listening to the Music You Love

If you went to public high school then you might know what it’s like to listen to music that other’s don’t like and being made fun of because of it. Every generation has fads that are mocked by other fads. Today, I want to say “screw the bullies” and listen to the music you love no matter what others say. I play the guitar with my partner, but I honestly also love listening to reggae sometimes, especially in the summer.

My family caught me listening to reggae once and I became the target of their mockery over Christmas holidays because they thought reggae was beneath them. They couldn’t be more wrong. Just to get back at them I put on a reggae Christmas album and they quickly changed their minds about the genre. Soon they were listening to reggae too. If I hadn’t stood up for myself and the music I like, it would’ve been embarrassing on my part. Don’t listen to what others have to say. Just listen to the music you love whatever it is.

You might like death metal even though all your best friends love wearing pink. But just like you wouldn’t make fun of them for wearing pink, they shouldn’t pick on you for liking death metal. And if they do, you might want to tell them straight up that it’s not nice. If they don’t listen, you might want to find some friends that wear black like you do.

I hope this message gives people the motivation they need to be themselves when it comes to the music they love. I wish someone had told me this when I was in high school. I might have started playing the guitar professionally a lot sooner if I didn’t care what others thought about my musical tastes.

So enjoy your music!

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October 5

Back to Ontario with my Service

visiting hamilton ontario

Recently I was visiting Guelph, Ontario, but this time I’ll be in Hamilton for Halloween. I’m so excited. As it turns out, Ontario is a great place for my services to render quality. And by services I mean, yes, playing the guitar for locals in pubs. I have a few small gigs lined up, and one big gig for Halloween that I’m super stoked on.

Maybe it’s my style of music or the friends I met in Guelph but the people of Ontario seem to appreciate my music more than other parts of Canada. I expect this adventure to be a lot different than the latter, however. I don’t expect any workers who do appliance repair in Hamilton to fix my guitar like what happened on my last tour in Guelph. But you never know.

What might make this tour very different than my last tour in Ontario is a new song I wrote about Ontario that I can’t wait to play on Halloween. The song is called “Oh, Ontario” and it’s inspired by the French version of the Canadian anthem. It’s a song very different than anything I’ve written before because I switch back and forth from French to English several times in each verse, and the chorus is a rock and roll version of a section of the Canadian anthem. I hope someone there can record it but then again I might want to record it professionally in a studio before I release it online.

Some of my shows might get cancelled so I don’t want to list the times and locations quite yet. If you’re interested and want to come show your support, you can contact me and I’ll tell you where I’ll be playing in Hamilton. Even just being here to read my blog is all the support I need, though. Thank you so much for being here.

Have a fabulous Halloween of 2020!

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September 3

Setting a Tone for Quality Services

tone and good service

I believe there’s a music behind good services, and here’s how to set the tone to play that music well. Get ready for an flood of metaphors.

In music, a tone is something the musician uses to set the tone so to speak. You know when people say “I don’t like your tone”? That’s what they mean, how your voice sounds. And the science behind setting a good tone for a quality service is by providing the service for the right reasons in the first place.

When I make music and people tell me it sounded good, I chose the right tone. But if I had too many drinks or I’m playing music at a gig just to make a quick buck, my tone can be all wrong and listeners notice. I wish they would point it out more often, because if you can master setting a good tone people will appreciate your services more.

There are billions of different services around the world that people provide for each other–whether it’s masonry or landscaping, appliance repair or magical tricks at a birthday party–but the science behind setting a good tone is the same for each one.

Imagine a magician who didn’t care about entertaining people and only wanted to go around and make money from people. He might as well be a beggar with a hat out! It’s the same with musicians, and that’s why only the passionate ones who really want to make good art are the ones who become successful at it.

So if you want to provide a good service and have people appreciate it, the first step is coming at it with the right attitude so that you complete it with a good tone.

Wasn’t that simple?

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August 18

A Guelph Appliance Repair Man Fixed My Guitar (an Update on my Tour)

guitar repair in guelph ontario

My first day in Guelph Ontario was amazing. Last night when I arrived I met some amazing people at a bar where I played some 50’s rock and roll. It’s strange to be back to playing live music, especially with social distancing, but part of it felt familiar and very satisfying. Now I’m relaxing in my hotel with a headache and a beverage, and its nice to reflect on the past few days and plan the rest of my tour.

One of my favorite parts of this trip so far is remembering how excited I was writing yesterday’s post. If only I knew what was in store for me in Guelph I would’ve written a lot more. Now’s my chance.

In my set last night I was on the final song, playing an old ditty from the 40’s, when my guitar broke. The strings didn’t snap but one of the tuning pegs on the headstock broke, which caused a string to slap out and cut my finger. I cursed on stage, which caused nothing but laughter, and then I cracked a few jokes, saying I forgot to bring my tuning kit. I had nothing to repair my guitar with, but luckily there was someone in the audience who did. A kind man named Ralph, who was with his buddies after a long day of work, still had his work clothes on and his work van was parked in the back alley. He was an appliance repair man, and he rose from his seat with a huge smile as if he were the only man in the world who could help me.

I spotted him, waved him over and he said, “I can fix that.” It was shocking to hear his story of how his father used to own the biggest guitar shop in Guelph before passing. This worker from Appliance Repair Guelph went outside and came back in with his toolbox, and right before the bar manager was about to put on radio music my guitar was fixed and because I was so grateful I not only finished the ditty but extended my set for free for the rest of night, playing a kind of solo guitar music these people had never heard. I wish I had recorded the set on my phone because I think that was the best I’ve ever played.

Later that night Ralph invited me back to his place with his buddies to play pool in his basement and I got to meet his wife. She was an angel. I never met a woman who loved to bake cookies at 2 in the morning before, but they were special cookies, if you know what I mean. I ended up playing more music for these lovely people while they played pool and it’s safe to say I now have new friends in Guelph.

Today, after I finish recovering and take a shower, I’ll be meeting a few of the people I haven’t seen in years. Believe it or not but it’s my sister’s ex husband who I can’t wait to see. We were great friends way before my sister married him and so I hope my sister can understand if she reads this. I also have a date with someone I’ve been chatting with online for a few months now.

Then, tomorrow, depending on how well my date goes, there’s a good chance I’ll be taking a day trip to Toronto. If I do go it’ll be only for one day and I’ll probably do some busking by the water for extra money. I’ll keep you updated on that. So if you’re in Guelph and want to hear some good live guitar music then get in touch with me. If we’re both lucky the timing can work out and I’ll play for a low price, anywhere near Guelph.

Thanks for tuning in to my update. More to come soon!

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July 20

Why Playing Guitar is Hard

guitar case on the street

The reason why guitar playing is hard? Let’s explore the answer together. Now we know that there are many guitar players out there who would say it’s easy, but they most likely have a natural talent and/or started playing guitar when they were very young, like a prodigy. So this question is more so for all the other people–the majority–who either don’t have a natural talent or only started playing after they were full-grown adults.

The truth of why guitar playing is difficult for the rest of us is for the same reason learning to play the piano is hard or why doing anything articulate with your fingers is–things your fingers aren’t used to doing because you don’t have the neural pathways in your brain developed yet to make it a subconscious effort–is hard.

After you practice something enough, you no longer have to consciously be aware of every little nuance; your subconscious takes over and that’s around when guitar players can sing and play at the same time, or play the harmonica and guitar at the same time. This is because they’re no longer consciously considering every little string and move of their fingers. It’s all free-flowing.

So the answer is, if you want guitar playing to become easy and you only just started learning how to play, you must practice as much as possible till the point where you no longer need to focus all your thought-power on the music. After enough practice, it will become easy, but there will always be that learning phase where it’s very difficult. The less used you are to making complex movements with your fingers, the harder it will be. With that said, it will also be more fulfilling once you get good at it, so keep in there, and thanks for reading our new blog.

Good luck!

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July 12

What We Do

passion for music

Being a French duo guitar band isn’t easy, but it’s our passion and compared to the real work we do it’s a treat. Being guitar players by night, general contractors by day is no easy life, but we love it, and we get to do it across the Atlantic with our skills, which is why they calls us Transatlantique!

But what we really do is not just make music for fun and do contracting for money, we do both because we love it. In the day, helping national clients find the appliance repair companies they need to maintain their hotel kitchens gives us nearly as much pleasure as bringing our guitars on stage to sing a duet for an excited crowd. We’re sure that we’ll have plenty of time to explain why we love doing what we do. For readers who are new here, we’re just excited to explain what we do for now, and now you know!

Stay tuned for more posts! We’re glad you visited.

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