Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 | Page 20



still listen to him and learn a lot of stuff that he did . And the last year or so I ’ ve been getting into arpeggios .
CM : When it comes to guitar solos , do you plan out your solos or do you figure them out by playing to a track ? How do you decide what solo is right for what song ?
Honeymoon Suite Guitarist


For the full conversation , listen to the Jan . 25 , 2023 episode .
CM : You ’ ve been playing for decades , so what do you do to keep up your chops through years of constant playing ?
Grehan : I never go more than a day or two without playing . If I do , I get antsy . I ’ m not in a good mood . Because I want it in my hands . It just settles me down and makes me feel good . So , nobody has to tell me to practice , I just still have to do it after all this time . I ’ ll just pick it up and start playing anything . And if I don ’ t know what to play , like say I might go on YouTube and see what ’ s propped up , maybe learn some Randy Rhoads licks or something I ’ ve never done before , guitar players that I ’ ve never listened to that much before . But when you get into their playing , it ’ s pretty incredible . My first band growing up was Deep Purple ; I love Ritchie Blackmore . I
Grehan : A solo , to me , should be like another verse of the song . It should sing , it should have melody , and should be as interesting as the vocal melody . You get your four eight bars , and I really try and take my time to do a solo that ’ s entertaining , and melodic and is right for the track . So sometimes when I ’ ve got a new song , and it ’ s time for the solo , I ’ ll sit back , and I ’ ll just listen to the rhythm track . And I ’ ll just hear notes in my head , and I ’ ll sing it in my head first , and then start to just play over it . A solo has to start and end like a sentence . It ’ s got to start somewhere , and it ’ s got to go up and down , then it ’ s got a crescendo , and it ’ s got to finish . So , I really take a lot of time building a solo and making it interesting and right for the track . Sometimes you only need a few notes . But if you need something fast and riff-y , I ’ ll do that , as long as the whole thing isn ’ t just like some guitar players who get there in the shredders and then just go like 100 miles an hour for four bars . To me , that ’ s kind of boring . It ’ s not needed . You should only put that in when it ’ s when it ’ s just the right spot for it . But to me , a solo is a melody . I mean listen to Eddie [ Van Halen ] solos , or David Gilmore , people like that . It ’ s about melody — it ’ s not how many notes , it ’ s what notes you play .
Singer , Harpist , Pianist & Songwriter


For the full conversation , listen to the Jan . 11 , 2023 episode .
CM : Something I really wanted to talk to you about today , going through your website and seeing your very extensive resume and career happenings , was your music education and formal training . I want to know about why that was a route you took and how you first got into it .
Schoolcraft : Honestly , I wasn ’ t naturally gifted in music like some of these people who just come out of the womb singing and playing instruments . How dare they ? I ’ m so mad at child prodigies . I love music ; it ’ s a passion , it ’ s a fire within that you have to follow , and you can ’ t put out . When I started singing , I was not good . There ’ s some cassette tape somewhere of me singing when I was 14 , and that was like Bad News Bears . You know , you ’ re young , you don ’ t know what you ’ re doing , but you want to do it . So , I definitely wanted formal training because I just wanted to make sure that I had a good idea of what I was doing , and I could also sustain my voice , and I also could understand the basics of music theory , so I could be a better writer . So , it was just something that I chose to do for me . And thankfully , with my parents , they were very supportive . And they put me through lessons all through high school .
It was weird . I started in an all-girl punk band , and we were very much Jack Off Jill meets Letters to Cleo , very much that vibe . And it was great . It was fun . We weren ’ t that great . But we had some sponsorships , and we got on the Warped Tour . So , we couldn ’ t have been that bad . But I know looking back , I would have done a lot of things differently , as you do when you look back on these things . I started there , but then things changed near the end of high school when alternative rock and nu-metal was hitting . And I wanted to take more of a trained , classical approach to things . So that ’ s when things shifted . And I ’ m like , ‘ well , if I ’ m going to be singing and writing and playing piano like this , I really should get some formal training .’ So , the Royal Conservatory in Canada just seemed like the best route to go .
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