A Recap of Variety!


I have always been encouraged to be flexible and versatile.  It suits me as I have a wide variety of interests and tastes.  At the end of the day, I’m happy if I can make someone feel better through using my musical talents.

This past weekend I had one of the most diverse weekends ever!  Not even counting my two church gigs this weekend, I wore many hats!  Friday evening, I sang and played piano again for the Arthritis Foundation’s big wine tasting event at their Car Show in Dublin.

Saturday I played two rock and roll sets at the Tree Bar.  First I filled in with the first band, whose singer was sick, so I sang and played covers I knew everyone would know.  Later I led my new band, The Mustangos, through an hour of original music and enjoyed every second!

I enjoy playing music by myself.  I had the pleasure of playing a few wedding ceremonies and receptions recently. However, playing music with people adds dimensions of playfulness and it’s even more enjoyable when those musicians are creative and soulful.  I’m fortunate to find myself surrounded by great people and musicians.

I welcome you to come to an upcoming performance. This Thursday, July 27 I get to play and sing with my friend Jed Demlow in Delaware for their series in Preservation Park from 7:00 to 8:30. 

“These guys were AMAZING! Very entertaining and gave a great performance. They kept the audience engaged, played all the songs we requested, and kept us laughing. Even the shiest of guys were up front dancing and singing along! We look forward to having Jed and Doug back at our other future corporate events!”

 – Review by Maria R. from Dayton, OH on 2/25/2017

If you’d like to hear both a solo acoustic set and The Jeffs, come next Friday, to the University District Gateway! This evening is part of their Local ‘N Live series.

Who:  Doug Hare – Acoustic and Vocals and The Jeffs

When: Friday, July 28, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Cover: none

Where:  University Gateway District, 1556 N High St, Columbus, Ohio

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The Mustangos debut Saturday!

Hi friends,
I just wanted to take a moment to invite you to come listen to my music this Saturday night because it will be the first time with my brand new band!  We’re called The Mustangos and it is geared at rocking out my originals.

The fun begins at the Tree Bar Saturday, July 15 at 9 p.m. with The Happening Band.   Think of Geoff Wilcox’s The Happening Band as your basement jam session and they entertain as well as sound great!  Next in the lineup at 10 is the young group SILVIS.  I would describe them as upbeat and catchy.  Joining me as we play the last set at 11 will be Zahn Krava on guitar, Myke Rock on bass and Frank Lapinski on drums.  These guys can play!

Details: For more information, click the picture!

The Mustangos, SILVIS and The Happening -

The Tree Bar is located at 887 Chambers Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43212

 

 

 

 

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Acoustic Interaction

Good morning fans! When I set out to make music, I think I knew how much I love moving people and making people feel. I like making people’s lives better and every little bit I can do to help. That’s why I’m so thankful for these acoustic gigs – I get to see the results immediately! I’m really flattered that people enjoy my originals so much. What a rush it is to see someone smiling and bouncing their head to one of your very own songs while you’re singing it! I also enjoy playing a cover whenever I can. Life seems to work in interrelated patterns. A week ago at my Donatos Black Blick Bar gig, a woman seemed unhappy but requested Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay. After I played it, she was happy, the bar had a nice vibe to it and I was really happy! A week later I was at my Hop Yard 62 gig and a couple came out to see me. I was telling them on break how happy this request for Lay Lady Lay made the woman. The man’s face lit up and said he put it on a mixtape for his wife when they were first dating and asked if I’d play it again! I sure did and I enjoyed yet another connected moment making others’ lives better.

This week I’ll be back in Clintonville at Savor Pint on Saturday, January 28. It’s on Indianola just south of Morse Road. I’ll begin around 7:30 and play two to three hours depending on how those moments are happening. There’s no cover and it’s really family friendly. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

Thanks,
Doug

 

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It’s the Jeffs!

0009015823_100I’m happy to share I’ve been with The Jeffs for an entire year now!  We’ve played everything from a variety show to massive corporate party to giant outdoor festivals.  In addition to the great gigs, rehearsals are full of camaraderie and creativity.  Joining them has fulfilled my dream of being a lead guitarist for a rock band.  The proof is in the many enjoyable shows and the four-song E.P. produced by Fred Blitzer and Jeff Tobin – both creative geniuses, by the way!  Download or listen to the E.P. here at: https://itsthejeffs.bandcamp.com/album/its-the-jeffs
Our 2017 calendar is filling up fast and we constantly add new material to the mix.  I hope to see you Wednesday, January 18 at the Big Room Bar.  The music begins at 9 – and we play a couple songs live on the radio around 9:45 on CD 102.5. The Jeffs at Big Room Bar – Facebook Event

Good thing I love to practice and play the guitar!
Cheers!
Doug

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Happy 2016 – Yes, It’s Been Great!

As we wind downjanus 2016 and steer our ships towards 2017, I must reach out to my fans and clients and give you a hearty thank you!  I am appreciative of the fact I now have more appealing opportunities available than I can say yes to.  I’m in a position to continue honing in towards the song, while getting a nice dose of classical too! I hope, more than anything, that I can make the world a better place through song.

It is clear, from what I can offer and from what the world needs, that I’ll continue to wear many hats. I am a songwriter down to the core, and I look forward to seeing my songs flourish in 2017. I am satisfied carrying that ambition while playing classical piano, singing rock and roll while playing piano and guitar, and playing cocktail events.

It has been a huge year for my rock guitar playing. I released a DH Experiment album! I also joined The Jeffs as their lead guitarist and it has been inspiring for everyone – the band, me and the fans!  The Jeffs released a really awesome EP!

Also I plan on deepening my role as a teacher.  I hope this is the year I organize my ideas through writing and in turn, can share these with willing readers and students.  I also marvel at how working with my students becomes more fulfilling and amazing every year.

I have one last gig in 2016, my regular dinner engagement at Jefferson Country Club, and I’m so lucky to be able to play what I want – and it seems to be what the listeners want.  For that, the fact I’m tuned in with so many willing fans and clients, I am so thankful to be able to live such a creative, musical, and most of all – free – life!

Thanks everyone, because I would not have any of this without you.

Doug

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Lots of Studio Work Lately

Hi friends!  I hope to have lots of new music to share with you soon.  For the past few months DH Experiment has been hitting the studio and we’re coming out with a full-length album early to mid summer.  Much credit goes to Steve Perakis who tracked and engineered at his studio.

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My other band, The Jeffs are looking to hit the studio soon so that we have some music that better represents the sound we make now that I’m in the band.

The Jeffs!

 

 

It’s been a great year of guitar playing and I hope to see you out and about soon at either a DH Experiment, Jeffs or solo show!

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Pushing Through

In practicing, there are times for pushing and times for cleaning up. All productive practice comes from a clear sense of vision of what the sound is you’re hoping to achieve. Sometimes it takes building strength and other times it merely takes repetition to clean up. Either way, it is important to begin practice with the sound in mind.

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Music Requires Self

water is like your self-expression receiving the form through filling the water bottle of musical composition

Lately I’ve pondered how it is possible that the same musical composition can sound so vastly unique when performed by different performers.  For example, one person conveys deep profundity through a simple composition while the same piece sounds simplistic and boring through other hands.  Conversely I’ve also heard sublime compositions be rendered banal.

I seek to build upon a theme I’ve begun to acknowledge – that there is so much freedom in notated music and it is the performer’s responsibility and privilege to fill this composition as “container” with one’s self via self-expression.

Music requires self-expression in order to be expressive and mean anything to a listener.  Let me provide an analogy.  Imagine the musical composition as a container, such as a water bottle.  That bottle has a shape, but it is empty.  It is a vessel that must be filled in order to be useful…granted its aesthetic shape can be expressive, and I must admit I’ve seen some beautiful bottles in my day.  This is analogous to a composition – some are beautiful in and of themselves, regardless how they are performed.

One’s self-expression is like the water that fills up a bottle.  I find the analogy of water and a water bottle particularly useful in that pure water – distilled water – is quite bland in taste.  In fact, it is the combination of minerals that lends unique flavor to the water.  Anyone who has grown up in the country with well water is well acquainted with this fact.  Similarly, just as water has encountered minerals, which give to the water additional flavor, so do our own experiences bring character to our own performances without even having to try.

In conclusion, when making music, bring the uniqueness of yourself to the music.  Any additional effort than what comes naturally is likely to come across as saccharine at best or acerbic at worse.  The natural flavor of your own unique experience and self is what makes the music so compelling and interesting.

-Doug Hare

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Pausing Time

I am often asked, “don’t you get nervous?”  In short, no – unless I am horribly unprepared.  Therefore I prepare.  Even in the rare occasion it wasn’t possible to prepare, being nervous won’t help.  A musical performance is a prepared art, much like a painting or architectural structure simply is.  Because it is a prepared art, I can trust the preparation and allow myself to be a vessel through which the music flows.  Even improvised music is prepared, because the mode through which the mind and body functions must be well rehearsed and well practiced.  To prepare for a performance, I teach a mode of being that is distinct from the mind when it is performing.  This integral mode of music making I call Practice Mode.  In Practice Mode, one is able to luxuriate in the ability to slow down and even pause time to allow the mind time to catch up with the body or vice versa.  One can loop through the same passage in a mantra meditative patient mode, like the initial chug chug chugs of a steam locomotive.  One can play forwards and backwards, or play the same finger combinations, i.e. finger twisters, in different places on the keyboard for completely different sounds.  Stretching the content outside its compositional domain does wonders for increasing memory of the composition.  The mind is able to remain in what I refer to as the “yellow” or “green” zone as opposed to suffocating in the “red” zone.  It is a calm and attentive safe mode that is distinctly different than Performance Mode, where time doesn’t wait and the contour of the sounds through time is for a time being, more important than right notes.  I believe this is what Beethoven meant when he declared, “to play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”  Learn to be patient with your current situation, while hungering to expand your capacity of expression and your musical growth will be a fulfilling adventure of discovery.

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Practice Starts With P – and Practice Makes Permanent

Persistence, that is, to keep practicing.

I was mostly self-taught as a child. Sure I learned how to read music through playing trumpet in the school band and singing in choirs, but I taught myself piano and guitar because the instruments were around and I always played them.

Because instruments were games and gateways of expression to me, I never really felt like practice was an obstacle to be avoided. In fact, the resistance from family saying I made a lot of noise probably gave me some motivation, from a reverse-psychology perspective, but I was compelled to always play with feeling. As a disclaimer, I wholeheartedly encourage private musical instruction. The time I wasted developing and fixing bad habits could have been better used learning to play more and more music.

However, with lessons or not, I feel the fundamental requirements are the same for everyone, regardless of ability or knowledge. These all happen to start with the letter P, which practice also begins with.

The four “P”s of Practice:
• Perspective
• Persistence
• Patience
• Playfulness

Perspective is necessary because one must know where they’re at and where they’re going and what’s reasonable. This is perhaps, one of the most important reasons for a private teacher. Group lessons are not in and of themselves bad, but a private teacher understands where the student is and what that student needs to do in order to improve.

Persistence is the sense of attraction to a goal or ideal. I think Persistence is a quality most useful when you’re not practicing. It’s a motivating force to draw someone into practice. Once you’re practicing, I find that patience is more useful.

Patience is the understanding and faith that progress will be more rapid if one takes their time. In practicing piano, there is very little pain and there is no direct correlation between making a mistake and pain. This might seem confusing, but a real-world example is quite clear. When one touches an open flame, the pain is felt and one quickly learns never to do that again. With piano, one must be aware that the only pain is the loss of time that trickles by with impatient practice. Patience must be balanced with Persistence to be truly effective. Occasionally one can and should attempt to play at full-speed to see how much progress has been made.

Playfulness is perhaps the forgotten component. Playfulness shouldn’t be confused with the wasting of time. In fact a lot of the greatest scientific achievements have been the fruits of playfulness and playfulness alleviates stress, serving to play better music and alleviate stress long-term. Being playful while practicing can be quite productive. Suppose a melodic (one note at a time) phrase is difficult. Through being playful, one could change the rhythm of the melody. One could raise the melody and follow the contours of the melody through different keys creating different moods, all while exercising the fingers and developing muscle memory of how to play that sequence of notes.

As a closing note, one could summarize this way: Persistently go practice, but while practicing, be patient and playful and be leery of pain. Pain is not one of the P’s. And beware – whatever is practiced becomes habit, which is the new adage, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent.”

Let me know if you’d like more information about private lessons with me.

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