Monday, January 14, 2008

Roo interview - The Frenchman talks about the 66 Licks programme

How did you come up with the concept for your 66 Licks lesson

Well, the whole concept isn’t from me but from Ben (Perchard). He asked me if I was interested in recording 66 guitar licks for him and being paid for that, of course.
I thought it would be a kind of sample licks CD. It sounded very easy to do at the beginning. I sent a rough 4 lick demo and he liked it.

It was about recording very short licks, about 2 seconds long, one lick per bar. That was the first challenge, because it’s not that easy to play something interesting that only lasts 2 seconds. The weeks passed and the idea of including them into a program came.

It was about 3 different levels, from very easy to pretty challenging. I sent back a few samples but my licks were too difficult. Then came the idea of licks combos. I was asked to record 12 different examples to demonstrate them in a "live" situation. So I realised that I would have to do everything in the same key, making part of the previous work useless.

The concept was now to have 66 licks of 3 levels, that would fit in any order, to build little solos. The 12 examples had to be recorded "live" (no copy/paste) and the licks had to flow together. That was actually the biggest challenge we had between Ben, the programmer and me.

The program had a glitch, leaving a small gap at the beginning of each lick, so they didn’t flow properly. It took time to solve this problem and the fact that I added a metronome click into the licks helped to check the time accuracy.

I also had to re-record some of the licks that were cutting abruptly. Some lick chains sounded great in a certain order but sucked running in a different order. So I had to work on having the licks fading at the right time and removing the "bad licks".

When I finally played the finished program, with the tablature appearing in perfect time with the lick combos, playing in any order, that was a great feeling. I felt "It's alive! Alive". The concept of 66 Licks lesson programme was born. Ben really did a great job.

How is 66 Licks different to the average guitar magazine or
guitar video lesson?

I'd say 66 licks is a “Tool” which includes musical material, so it's a new concept.
It's an enhanced vocabulary of licks, phrases and ideas to incorporate into your own playing, song writing and improvisation. You increase your ability to construct your own solos from the licks provided and perfect or learn new techniques. The program comes with backing tracks so that you can jam with what you've learned. It's also very easy and fun to use. It is definitely interactive. I can not compare this to a stock standard magazine or video lessons.

Will there be an upgrade or maybe a version 2 for the 66 Licks?
Yes, I have a volume 2 in progress and as you know there are other Shred Academy artists working on their own version. The program will receive plenty of regular and cool updates to make its use even more enjoyable. So it's constantly evolving. Joe Stump's 66 licks will be out soon, I heard a preview, it's absolutely killer material! I ran through a few licks, it was so awesome that I instinctively picked up my guitar to try them out.

What does a normal/average day in your life entail?
The winter, I go to the lake, make a hole in the ice and fish till dusk, hehe. Well, life is always in motion so I can't tell what a normal day for me is. I wish I could do more physical activities and get rid of all the boring daily duties...

Is Finland turning you into a blackmetal fan?
Hehe, yes indeed! Finland is a kind of promised land for metal lovers and there are countless bands here who have international success, especially those from Spinefarm records...

Sure I see the other styles aren't as popular, but as far as the material and the musicians go, they are good. I don't really think "is it BlackMetal or something". When you gig, it just feels great to perform before a lot of metal fans who express their enthusiasm.

What is it like living in Finland as a Frenchman?
Oh God! Haha, they forbid me to eat frogs and garlic snails! I was forced to eat reindeer and moose instead! Hehe, they’re gonna trash me now... Seriously, I'd say Finland is worth the trip!

It's a very modern country, but with strong traditions. People might talk less but things are done more efficiently somehow. Women are more respected here. There are actually a lot of female bands, more than what I figured before.

I like the Finnish way of life very much. Sure, sometimes I am surprised by some culture difference, but I learn how to behave from my experiences... I have a bunch of funny anecdotes. For instance, as we talk about music now: In a musical instrument shop, you can try instruments without asking the salesman. You are being too polite if you ask or else it means you're somehow interested in buying... In France, you can't come in, say nothing, and plug a limited Les Paul in a Mesa, hehe, otherwise it's a lack of respect for the salesman ( "S'il vous plait monsieur")...I even test drove a car alone, the salesman left me the keys.

That's it. Thanks for the interview.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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