Category Archives: musicianship

Sorry for ignoring you

Dear blog,

Sorry for ignoring you. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. But I started this mainly as a blog about my songwriting, and I haven’t been doing much of that. I recorded a record, “Me”, in the Spring and Summer of 2009 and released it in the Fall. Then I formed a band around December 2009, and focused on gigs with the band in the Spring of 2010. Then in the summer and fall of 2010, I’ve been recording another record, a full-length, professionally produced record. And working a full time day job all along also. More than full time; I’m forced to work a lot of overtime on this job, no way out of it. So not much time for songwriting.

But I came back to the blog today, and read the last post, about getting better. That was confirmed in the current recording project. The producer, John McVey, is using professional musicians, and he himself is a very good guitar player and singer. And he’s been kicking my ass to make me a better singer and guitar player. It’s been a little humbling, but good for me. If you want to read more about this recording project, go to my website,

But I’ve been itching to get back to songwriting. I’ve got a ton of musical and lyrical ideas. So once I get this record done, and do a little promotion for it, I hope to take 2-3 months off and write some new songs.


I Need to Get Better

This is a reply to myself in the previous blog, “What Happened to Built-in Crowds”. (This is nothing new, I argue with myself all the time).

I need to get better. I need to sing better, I need to play guitar better, I need to compose better music, I need to write better lyrics.

Marketing and promotion can only help if you’re good. At something. Maybe you’re not a great singer, but people will come hear you if you’re a good guitar player or songwriter. Maybe you’re not a good guitar player, but people will come hear you if you’re a good singer.

If you’re just average, and not really good at anything, your friends will come see you– for awhile. But to win fans you have to be good, at something.

If you’re good, people will open doors for you. They’ll tell their friends about you– “You have to hear this!” Other musicians will invite you to open for them at a gig. The word will get around. That’s more important that the best website, the best MySpace or Facebook sites, Twitter, emails, etc.

Of course if you are good, then the-above mentioned promotional tools can really help.

It’s hard to evaluate oneself, but I think I’m a decent guitar player, a decent songwriter, and a below-average singer. So I’m taking singing lessons to improve my singing. But I also think I need to improve my musicianship and composing.

I’m going to spend less time on promotion and more time getting better. I want to hear rumors of people emailing their friends saying, “you’ve got to hear this guy Rob Roper”. I want to hear other bands or singer-songwriters approach me and say, “Your music is important, I want to help turn people on to you. Will you open for me next month?” When I hear those sort of things, I’ll know I’m good.