News/Blog

Yousician 

Hey all!

Check out this app.. it's great.. especially for beginners.  It's available on Apple, Android, and Mac or Windows Desktop.  

The most difficult stage for most aspiring guitarists is the very beginning.  The beginner student's fingers aren't yet conditioned to hours of moving on the frets and strings, it takes two hands to make a single note, and it requires all of their willpower and coordination to make that note cleanly without buzzing or squawking.  

Yousician is great because it smooths out the early stages.  It delivers bite sized interactive lessons that almost trick the student into learning the basics.  The songs are entertaining and delivered with finesse.  

The app is filled with bright colors and animations that hold the attention and put the focus on how much fun learning music can be, silencing the voices in our heads that pop up and try to tell us we can't do it.  

The focus is on incremental progress, which mirrors the actual path toward mastery.. helping to deliver the idea that a little bit each day will go a long way.  

I've been using it to practice, too!  It's helping me tighten up my reading skills and keep me on my technical toes.  
 

Let's link up!  My profile name is MikeNull.  You can follow, connect, or if you like, add me as your teacher.. all FREE!  See you in cyberspace.  

Birthday 

Thanks for all of the birthday messages!  The big 3-8.. Time flies when you're having fun!  

sober thoughts 

Hey, just some sober thoughts today..

Remember that the universe is not necessarily personal! If you have a horrible day/week/monthyear.. your car explodes, your house burns down, everyone you know gets cancer or disappears, your favorite pet decides to move in with someone else.. remember, it’s probably nothing personal! Sometimes !@#$ happens to everyone. Many things are not in your sphere of control.

On the flip side, sometimes GREAT things happen, too.

What IS in your sphere of control? How you respond to it.. how you get through today.. how you prepare for tomorrow.

Remember, the past is the past.. it’s already happened, so forgive yourself and focus on the things you can control today, right now, in this very moment.

Thoughts on us vs. them 

The problem lies not in the arrows, stones and spears being thrown from one side of the fence to the other. The problem lies in the very IDEA.. The idea that we are divided, that we are not the same. This is what some would have us believe when they say they identify with or are in support of one group and against another… and we have believed them!

The problem is the very divisive thinking at the root of these ideas. Divisive thinking has and continues to shape our perception of reality!

These are imaginary lines drawn in the sand. They only exist in our minds! They are illusions.

Sometimes we build our identities on these divisions, making them more entrenched and more difficult to see past. It IS possible to build our identities on the similarities we share with our fellow humans, instead of the differences. And until we begin to do this, both individually and as a planet, we will continue to suffer the same plagues of mind.. black/white, democrat/republican, local/foreigner, men/women, and history will repeat itself again and again.. the same monster with a different face.

“Hoodoo Blues” EP Released 

Greetings! It is my great pleasure to announce the release of “Hoodoo Blues”, the latest blues EP from Sam Hooper and yours truly!

Go ahead and click play.  Groove with the tunes while I give you some background..

The story:

Sam Hooper & Mike Null Hoodoo Blues

I first met Sam in Shanghai, China, during the 15th Anniversary party at the House of Blues and Jazz back in November of 2010.  My band, The Soulcasters, was about 4 months deep into a contract performing 6 nights per week.  We were well rehearsed and on top of our game when the club’s management asked us to be the backing band for the big anniversary party.  Of course we accepted, and got to work learning all of the tunes for the guest stars.

1420702074_Sam_Hooper_-_HoBJ_15th_Anniv_-1074

Sam was the 2nd guest star to visit the House.  We had a blast learning his tunes and working on his show.  My first impression of him was that he was a sweet guy, obviously extremely talented, and very easy to work with (aka, a pro!).

Sam’s shows were surprisingly well attended.  It became clear that he was loved by many in Shanghai, making those week’s performances rich with magical atmosphere.

Years later, Sam and I connected while we were both in Ohio.  We went to a few shows and jams around town.

The following summer after I returned from another contract in China, he and I decided to go into the studio and record!  We gathered together some of Cleveland’s finest..  Here is a video of us jamming in the studio.  (Sakait Baksar on keyboards, Derrick James on bass, and Reggie Holmes on drums, live at Bad Racket Studios in Cleveland, Ohio)

Once the CD was ready, we held a CD Release party at Nighttown in Cleveland, Ohio.  The house was packed full of new friends and old, family, and some of Cleveland’s musical history (One of the founders of the legendary Boddie Recording Company was there).

(photos coming soon)

During the process of making this EP, Sam’s family and my family have become good friends.  Special thanks goes out to my family for putting up with.. well, me.. and my crazy hours and spontaneous BBQ’s, and for Sam’s family for being so kind and welcoming during the making of this project.

You can listen to us on Spotify, you can purchase a digital copy on iTunes, or you can go old school cool and BUY YOUR OWN PHYSICAL COPY OF THE CD!  We obviously prefer the third option.  That way, we actually get paid!  But seriously, whatever works for you.  My favorite part of the CD is the guitar duel on “Just got back from Baby’s“.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the music!  Stay tuned for more albums and performances!