Sheldon’s Blog

Every week I welcome you into my world. I share my thoughts on a variety of subjects relating to performance, teaching and composing. From venues, to techniques to songs I find interesting. It’s all in my blog.

Weddings, Videos and A New Function Band

Sheldon Conrich - Singing guitarist and DJ

Weddings, YouTube and My New Function Band

The past few months have been very busy for many reasons. Firstly I became a dad and that has been amazing, scary and time consuming all at the same time. It’s also coincided with the busiest time of the year for a musician performing at weddings and events. The summer is notorious for celebrating weddings and the British summer has not let us down.

On top of that I’ve been working hard putting together a music video, collection of audio and photos for my new function band – Cocktails & Dreams. There’s actually a lot of work that goes in to showing the general public what a function band does if they haven’t seen you live. It’s very difficult to capture the feel of a live performance when adrenalin is flying and everyone is high on life at a wedding. But we’ve done our best to put together some cool material for everyone.

Wedding Music

Wedding musician in France and new function band

It’s been a busy wedding season so far and I’ve been travelling about the UK which has been great. I even had a little wedding stop off in a small town called Trets in France. It has some beautiful picturesque views from the Vineyard venue I performed at. Granted I was insanely tired after very little sleep – tends to happen being a new dad – but it was still fun to adventure out of the UK.

Some of the highlights over the past couple of months have been performing at Andy Murray’s hotel, Cromlix, in Dunblane with The Function Band. I’d had very little sleep up until that wedding but we drove for 10 hours in a double decker tour bus with bunk beds. So I actually slept there and back. The wedding was also beautiful but the memory is sleep at this moment.

I also enjoyed performing at the Arts Club in Dover street. It’s a pretty cool place with a basement club. I think the couple were a little surprised to hear their Jewish Israeli dancing music performed at 11.30 in the evening but they certainly went for it. And the highlight for that wedding was our acoustic set where all the guests during their dinner got onto the dance floor, surrounded us and sang along to every song we performed. What a buzz.

YouTube Videos

So I’ve continued performing various themed videos for my YouTube channel. This includes Masters of solo, masters of the riff, Guitar tip of the week, Acoustic cover challenge and Short solos for a year. All of these playlists feature me demonstrating the various things I do on the guitar. As I was once called Sheldon ‘The Encyclopedia’ Conrich because of my song knowledge. I wanted to demonstrate this both on a soloing level and on a riff based level. So I’ve been performing some of my favourite riffs and solos which I hope you are enjoying. It’s been a lot of fun recording them and hopefully I’ll reach maybe 100 videos for those two playlists in the years to come.

I continue to give free guitar tips to budding guitarists trying to improve their guitar skills. Obviously as a guitar teacher, you’re only getting a scratching of the surface in each video. So if you want to reallllly learn, then do come and have some guitar lessons with me. But in the meantime enjoy the guitar tips each week.

I’ve also embarked on a journey to improve my soloing ability and general ability around the guitar. So this will be an ongoing project to record solos every week for a year. The aim is by the end of the year my soloing will have transformed from the first to the last video. Let’s see.

New Function Band

As mentioned Cocktails & Dreams are a new function band I’ve put together with some great musicians. We’re all about having fun and enjoying ourselves at the events we perform at. We do play a lot of party songs for people to dance to on the dance floor, but I’ve also introduced my DJing skills to the set up. So in between live band sets, couples will continue to be entertained with me Djing their favourite songs. So it’s been great to finally get this new function band on the road and start performing at events. We do have a regular venue we play at each month called the Ranelagh. Should you want to see the band then feel free to come down and check us out.

That’s all folks

So that’s really it for the moment but I’ll write another update blog in probably another few months when I get five minutes to myself. In the meantime, have a great rest of your week.

 

February – Weddings and YouTube Videos

Sheldon Conrich - New YouTube Videos

February – Weddings and YouTube Videos

In my last blog post I talked about all the projects I am excited to be involved in and will be part of over the course of 2017. It’s been a month or so since I last posted and a lot has happened since then. So this blog is really to share with you what’s been going on in my world and to invite you to become vocal and interactive in the content I’m sharing. I’ve been creating and sharing YouTube videos and performing at some great weddings.

New YouTube Videos – Song Intros

I started this little game to test myself on what I could play and to test you lot on your musical knowledge. The concept has been to play the intros to various famous and obscure songs and for you to guess them. But really what has come out of it has been a lot of fun performing some of my favourite songs. And I’ve now been given a nickname by my fellow musicians ‘The encyclopedia’ which I’m taking as a compliment. I’ve recorded all of these intros and turned them into YouTube videos for you to watch.
My encyclopedic knowledge of music was tested at a recent function when I was asked to jam along to some songs the guests were singing without any pre warning of the songs or keys. I love these sorts of challenges. It’s part of the reason I love being a musician – testing my skills and musical ability every day.

New YouTube Videos – Famous Guitar Solos

This next project I’ve been sharing with you is based on famous acoustic and electric solos. I don’t think up until this point anyone has really seen what my soloing ability is like and who has influenced it. So before I start to perform my own solos I wanted to record a load of solos that have made me the lead guitarist I am today. There have been over twenty solos recorded so far, so watch out for these over the coming weeks. But I seriously love this stuff. And if you have any suggestions for me, let me know. I aim to add more YouTube videos over the next month so just keep checking out the playlist.

New YouTube Videos – Guitar Tips of the Week

As well as being a gigging musician for weddings and events I am also a guitar and piano teacher. I was talking to my wife and she mentioned that people might be interested in short simple tips that will dramatically improve their guitar playing. I thought, ok this could be fun. So I’ve started recording and posting a bunch of guitar tip YouTube videos for those of you who want to improve your guitar playing. Eventually this playlist will cover anything from simple chord changes and strumming to advanced soloing techniques and theory knowledge. I guess in some way this playlist will be my legacy for my children to watch when I’m old and grey!

Weddings weddings weddings

Duo musicians and DJ for weddings

It’s been a busy month or so with both weddings and events. I was fortunate enough to provide live music at Nick and Laura’s wedding which was a lot of fun. I’ve also performed a classic acoustic set at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel, gigged at the O2 with the Cocktails and Dreams band and most recently headed to Leeds to perform with the Function Band. Playing at weddings and functions is what I love to do so I’m very fortunate to be able to do it so regularly.

What’s Next?

So what’s coming next? Well I’m a performing musician both as a singing guitarist and DJ and with other musical set ups. So next up for you, I’ll be recording a playlist of cover songs I would usually play at events so you get a sense of what I do every week. You may have to wait a few weeks before this starts to materialise but I’m up for it and I hope you’re keen on watching it too. I’m also sharing a load of photos and videos on my instagram account. If you haven’t seen them then check them out. Do you have any suggestions of new YouTube videos I could post? Get in touch.

So that’s it for this month’s blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching and listening to me play and I look forward to updating you all over the next few months about other things going on in my world. But for now, ciao.

P.s. If you have any questions, enquiries or just want to chat feel free to contact me.

New to 2017 – Musical Projects and Performances in 2017

New to 2017 – Musical Projects and Performances

Over the course of the next year I’ll be putting more time into new musical projects and developing older ones. I’ve been very fortunate to have had some great fun over the years with various artists, bands and teaching set ups. For me this year feels different. There is something in my playing and general understanding of music that has evolved over the past few years. And this development has brought me here, to my starting place in music. To many of you that may seem strange. I’ve been learning an instrument of some sort since the age of 7. But the way I see it, you build up a musical identity over years and years of practise and listening.

Listening is really the key element here. When you first start out you listen to music in a particular way for particular things. But as you become more exposed to new ideas, rhythms, influences you start to listen for these in all forms of music. And invariably this takes you on a whirlwind musical journey that really is never ending. I feel I was wiping my feet on the matt before the start of the ‘yellow big musical road’ and I’m taking my first steps on it this year.

So to my musical projects of 2017..

The Jazz Duo

Duo and Trio for events - Sheldon Conrich

I plan to put more time into developing my instrumental jazz duo. I feel we’re at the very start of something interesting. Whilst we have performed a lot over the years pulling out jazz standards arranged for acoustic guitar and saxophone, we’ll be looking to freshen up our sound, look and performance levels.

Che Bello

Che Bello - Italian Music Duo for events

‘Che Bello’ is my first attempt at learning and mastering traditional and modern Italian songs. There’s a lot of jazz, soul and pop in the Italian genres. So it’s been fun doing this with Alice Edun’s cracking vocals. So watch this space over 2017.

Chord Melody Guitar

One of my core passions is guitar chord melody. This involves adapting and performing instrumental versions on my guitar of songs I like. It takes a fair bit of chord and melody knowledge to be under your fingers before you can just let go and see your own style emerge. This has been a big transition for me and I’m excited to arrange and record a load of material that will go on my YouTube Playlist.

DJ Shel

sheldon-conrich-dj-for-events

It’s been quite a year of learning and improving. And something I’ve really spent time on this year is DJing. This really has been born out of trying to make lives easier for clients at events who want the mix of acoustic music and DJing. As my DJing experience and catalogue has grown I’ve been able to offer clients more and more and save them time and stress looking for separate musical entities. So I look forward to DJing a lot more in 2017.

Guess The Intro

Guess the intro is just a fun little game I’ve been playing for the past few months. I’ll record literally the intro of a song and you the public must guess what I’m trying to play. Some songs are obscure and some quite current. So it’s been a good learning experience for me. I’ve had to test my musical knowledge and I look forward to posting new videos of this every week.

Cocktails and Dreams Band

Sheldon Conrich - Full band

This is really a small side project I’ve been involved with for the past year. A 5 – 6 piece function band, this musical project really allows me to play around with party pop tunes and keep in touch with what the kids are listening to these days. As a serious musician you can sometimes go long periods without listening to the modern pop charts. So bands like Cocktails and Dreams keep me fresh on the scene.

The Function Band

Wedding ideas on a budget - DJ Live

As always and ever present I’ll be performing with The Function Band over the coming months at weddings, corporate events, private parties, Bar Mitzvahs and many more. This musical project has been part of my staple music diet for the past ten years and I feel very lucky to be involved with the DRE team.

So there you have it, my 2017. And to add to that I have a little mini me on the way, yipeee. See you at an event real soon.

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