Wayne Reed BIO . . ..
So, who is Wayne Reed?
I started singing when I was a pre-teen.
Every song that came on the radio. Didn't
matter who or what the song was.
First time singing with a group . . . 1964 at YMCA summer camp.
I was a counselor. We put together a band. I was the only one who knew
the words to just about every song on the radio. :))
First time playing harp . . . Same YMCA camp, same year. One of the
other counselors left his harp on his bunk. Out of curiosity, I picked it up. I started playing Dylon and Beatles "hooks" I remembered hearing on the radio.
I WAS HOOKED! I went home last day of camp, went out and bought my 1st Marine Band harmonica. This was around August 1st, 1964.
First time playing with a band . . . Right after school started again that year, early September. One of my buddies put a band together. Needed a lead singer. When he found out I played a "little" harp, I was a shoe-in! LOL
That band was destined to go no where. Great guys. But no equipment or experience. But it was fun.
I was soon playing in another band that was playing out a little. I sang and played harp. No thoughts of playing guitar at that time.
Then I got a call from a "real" band! They had all the latest equipment, and real talent! Lots of experience. They just took 2nd place in a Cleveland Battle Of The Bands out of over 100 entries. They actually played an instrumental version of House Of The Rising Sun. Took 2nd place with no vocalist!
We played a ton of British Rock. Plus a lot of tunes by Terry Knight And The Pack. (They became Grand Funk Railroad when Terry quit to join an 11 piece band. He really had a great voice. But when that venture went sour he came back to produce GFR.)
We got our name from one of Terry Knight's songs . . . The Lovin' Kind.
By this time, still the same year, I was playing every harp solo known in the Rock genre. Yardbirds, Beatles, Dylan, and of course . . . The Rolling Stones. Brian Jones was still alive then, and played a tune called 2120 South Michigan Avenue. It was the 1st solo I ever learned.
First time playing guitar . . . Our rhythm guitarist (in The Lovin' Kind) wrote a song. It was actually pretty good! But he wanted to sing it. Fair enough, right? But he couldn't sing and play guitar at the same time. And believe me, he tried!
So one of the guys said . . . "Let Wayne play guitar on that song!"
So they showed me the chords . . . Just a bar E chord . . and where the positions were. I played along with the lead player a few times then just kept it going when the solo started.
I GOT HOOKED AGAIN!
First time teaching . . . I started teaching guitar and harp in '75. In my own studio. Then I started teaching for some other music studios around the Cleveland area.
I developed my own method of teaching. And it worked incredibly well. Before long I had students of other instruments working with me just to learn the method.
I had bass students, keyboard students, even an accordion student! Mandolin, banjo. It was the "method" they wanted! I couldn't actually play their instrument (at first!) but soon they were SO far advanced from when they started with me.
One guy had been playing accordion for 5 years. Took lessons every week! He was a Country Music lover, so all the tunes he was working on were pretty easy. Three chord pieces. Basic melodies. (As compared to ethnic or Polka music, etc.)
But after 5 years, if you closed his song book, he couldn't play a lick! NADDA!
After a few months with him, he was playing along by ear faster than he could read his old music. I remember he told me he'd love to also play songs like "Misty". Pretty ballads and some big band tunes.
He ended up playing "Misty" by ear after only a few lessons!
What kind of gigs do I like? . . . There's no question what my favorite gig is. And I've played a TON of'm! :) As I said above, I started gigging in 1964, my last year of Jr. High. So I've had the opportunity to play for Jr. High dances, High School dances, small bars, clubs, restaurants, weddings, private parties . . . I've done studio work. I've played huge festivals and even some kuell Biker parties and functions. And I play a lot of "real" coffee houses, too. Coffee houses are actually a favorite of mine.
Back when I started playing, I played all the stuff we call Classic Rock today . . . LOL (I'm 56) . . . but when it was actually ON the charts, and just called Rock! The bands I followed and covered are the ones who played a lot of the old Blues greats. I always had a love for the Blues.
I LOVED The Animals and The Yardbirds!!!! Still do! Man, I loved playing "their" tunes! In the '60's I was best known as a vocalist and killer harp player. And that Blues/Rock was what I loved.
When I started playing guitar in the late '60', I really fell for the instrument. Harp was and is my real love. But guitar was so much more versatile. I could play so many styles of music. And I learned a lot of Jazz, Classical, and then started playing my real love . . . Blues!
I've played before 1000's. And true enough, that's a real rush. I played a couple concerts in Vermont a couple years ago with 3 other really great players! There were about 1,000 people cheering us on. And that was really cool! It was in a concert hall. Chandler Music Hall, where B.B. King, Leon Redbone and a ton of other well-knowns play on a regular basis. The sound was incredible!
And I've played some larger venues as well. When there are 5,000, 6,000 and once 7,000 people cheering you on, it's a great feeling! However . . . .
My absolute favorite gig to play, no question about it . . . is a small, dark n smoky bar, with maybe 60 to 100 people sitting around, listening and watching me (or us, depending on the gig) play the Blues.
I like the personal aspect of it all. Making eye contact while playing. Talking with the people during breaks. That's why I play, I guess. For me, it's an outlet. And a great way to share with people.
At what point in my life did I first realize I loved the Blues?
For me it wasn't till I was in my 30's. You see, the question is . . . "did I realize" . . .
I was listening to awesome bands performing Blues since Jr. High. But didn't realize that bands like the Rolling Stones, Zep, The Animals, The Yardbirds,
Ten Years After, Clapton, of course! . . . etc, were actually doing their version of a lot of old Blues tunes!
I remember playing at "A Hole In The Wall" in N. Dallas. I thought it was SO kuell playing in a club where SRV had played! Yeah, I loved SRV, too! And I still didn't actually realize that what I loved was the Blues.
I remember one night my oldest son, a great guitarist, too . . . came over to one of my rehearsals. We were taking a break, and I had "The Sky Is Crying" playing when he got there.
He said . . . "Hey, SRV!" I said, "That isn't SRV playing.".
He said, "It's not!!!??? Then who is it?"
I said . . . "Elmore James!".
I started him on guitar when he was 4. He played with High School bands when he was in Jr High. Was playing in clubs when he was still in High School. After graduating, he was pretty much "Rocked Out".
I invited him up one night when we were playing in a bar. We played Stormy Monday. I gave him the 1st solo. He was pumped!
He proceeded to shred his way thru the solo. He played all the right notes. Great phrase lines! And he really shredded! He was flying!!!
After the solo he got some great applause. He was pumped!
Then I played. From the heart!
After the gig he said . . . "Dad, I don't get it! Man, I really played that solo well! But then you stepped forward and played ONE NOTE and the audience started roaring! And they kept going all thru your solo!"
I told him about playing from the heart. Where Blues comes from.
I remember a night shortly after that. He called me and said . . .
"Now I understand why you play the Blues!"
In 1964, The Rolling Stones had a cut on their 2nd full length album, 12 X 5, called "Confessin' The Blues". I say 2nd full length album because they had previously released 5 X 5, an "EP" ( Extended Playing record, as opposed to an LP, Long Playing record) with 5 tunes.
I loved that tune! Yeah, Confessin' The Blues, by . . . The Rolling Stones. Hmmmmmmmm
When I do that song now, I announce it a little more correctly.
Yeah, that was Confessin' The Blues, written by Robert Johnson back in 1933. Also covered by The Rolling Stones in 1964 on 12 X 5.
So ya see, in 1964 I was not only listening to the Blues, I was performing it LIVE! As a teenager. But I thought it was rock!
I mean, some of the songs I was playing back then were all Blues! On 12X5, remember 2120 South Michigan Ave.? Just a great I IV, kuell bass line, and a great harp solo! That was the 1st harp solo I ever learned.
And The Yardbirds? Man, I loved them! I remember learning "I'm A Man" on harp. I didn't know how old that tune really was!
Same thing with The Animals, and even Zep did some old Blues, but kicked it in the butt! Like "Lemon Song" and even their signature tune . . . Whole Lotta Love was an old Blues tune!
Clapton cranked with Spoonful and even Crossroads a little later. And of course Hendrix with "Red House".
Remember "The Lovin' Spoonful"? Did you ever hear "Night Owl Blues"? It's worth the price of the CD just to hear that one tune!
The Royal Guardsmen were pretty big in the '60s. They were actually a Blues band who wrote a fun tune . . . Snoopy vs. The Red Baron . . . Their friends talked them into recording it. It hit the Pop charts, and they were signed to do Pop Rock. (NO Blues!)
How about Fleetwood Mac? Their 1st album was all Blues, man! How many of you out there still think Carlos Santana wrote "Black Magic Woman"? Think again! Doubt me? Well dig out a copy of Fleetwood Mac's 1st album!!!
Oh yeah . . . remember "Steam"? (NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOOD-BYE) A very FM radio sounding band. Pop all the way! That's because a producer team was out looking for a band to do a tune they wrote one night in their studio. (Na Na Hey Hey) They signed "Steam" to a contract. NO Blues!
They did some touring, a couple LPs, then quit! They actually fired their producer because he wouldn't let them play any Blues, then quit recording. They went back to what they loved doing. Playing Blues in bars and clubs!
And John Cougar Melloncamp. He's always wanted to do a blues album. But his contract wouldn't allow it. NOW . . . the news is in . . . He's doing an "All Blues" album, covering some of the all time great Blues tunes!
And in retrospect, ya gotta think "The Animals" was the greatest Blues band of the '60s! Good Blues guitar, bass and drums. Incredible organ and piano! And of course . . . Eric Burdon!
I'm always fascinated by the number of people who love Blues, too. I just got back from a two month stay in Shanghai, China. I played in a nice club there. And although it always started out more on the Jazz side, by mid evening I was playing the Blues because it went over so well.
Yeah, they LOVED the Blues! It just got them moving. The "clapping" went to "cheering" and I stayed on Blues related tunes the rest of the night. (And I always play a lot of Santana, too! Soul Sacrifice always gets a crowd cranked up!)
Why did I get into midi, etc. . . . I started programming computers in September of '68. With my music background, it just seemed a natural fit. I was doing a lot of solo gigs, using my Roland pickup and adding keyboard sounds with my guitar. What I wanted to do was lay down some trax, like keyboard players had been doing for years., So I could have some stage fill going on while I played guitar, harp, and sang.
Midi let me do that. Just had to add a Sound Canvas to my rig, and no longer had to work 2 volume pedals and a midi controller just to add some organ fill, etc. Plus I had drums, bass and even horns if I wanted them.
So I do a lot of gigs as solo, or as a duet with my wife, who sings big band Blues SO sweet! And sometimes I add a couple saxes. Live. When the gig pays for a 3 or 4 piece. These are really great gigs! Two vocalists (my wife and me) with live saxes, plus the midi back up. WOW!
And what about "Learn To Shred" and ">I Just Wanna Play The Darned Thing"?
I've been pretty successful on the Net. Promoted my Engineering consulting firm into a 6 figure business within 45 days of launching. Did some Network Marketing and MLMs on line. Helped build some organizations to nearly 68,000 members. That kinda thing.
It just made sense to me . . . Why not help a TON of people become better musicians? Help a beginner guitar player learn how to play, and some really kuell things, really fast! So they're having fun with it! Using my midi/MP3 Jam Trax, tabs and the "I Just Wanna Play The Darned Thing!" system, you'll love your practice time!
And the "Learn To Shred" series was an idea that just came to me recently. How could I best help someone learn how to play really fast . . . without sitting there with them, showing them?
And if I'm gonna take the time to create the system, promoting it on the Net is the only logical direction to go!
Well, that's me in a nutshell, I guess. All we really need to find out now is . . .
Are you going to take advantage of this opportunity to really learn how to play?
Well get ready to play . . . like you've always wanted to!