KINGVEGAS

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KINGVEGAS plays bass, guitar, the Warr Guitar, drums, sings, produces, performs, writes music and spends the other few hours of the day sleeping, eating or riding his motorcycle. (OK- and spends time with his wife and kids, too)

He has been playing music professionally for 30 years and has performed with a wide variety of artists including his own original group Smokstik, the Blue Man Group, Jim Infantino and many others.

KINGVEGAS currently performs with a number of cover groups as well as writing, producing and performing music for his own original group.

KINGVEGAS rides his Honda CBR 600RR daily and year-round and loves to hit curvy country roads. He aspires to do a track day someday soon.

Check back often to see what’s up with KINGVEGAS and his musical and motorcycle adventures.

Life Mechanics

Kingvegas : April 11, 2014 12:46 pm : Kingvegas' Musical Adventures

I’ve been trying to boil down all the things that have worked for me in my life and the new information that I am taking in and applying it to new philosophy of how to live my life. I’ve had a few accomplishments and I’ve had a few disappointments but my goal is to improve my accomplishments and diminish the disappointments.

jk sixAs adults the quantity and quality of our lives are largely defined by what we do. What we do is dictated by what we think. What we think is dictated by our awareness of self and willingness to reflect, view, learn and improve or lack thereof.  Conscious choices become unconscious habits. Unconscious habits can be either productive or non-productive. Our daily habits dictate our success, happiness, health and comfort.

So I’m calling the nature of my daily habits the “Mechanics” of my life. When I consider the concept of two individuals in the same business in the same town with the same products, resources, etc. yet one is more successful by doing things “A Certain Way” as outlined in Wallace Wattle’s The Science of Getting Rich and try to apply it to my efforts as a musician, producer, writer, entrepreneur, etc. I feel that I need to change what I’ve been doing and study what successful people with my aspirations have done. If I continue to do things the way I have been doing them I will most likely get the same results. If I do things the way other unsuccessful people have I will probably get the same kind of results that they did.

I’m also working on surrounding myself with the 5 most successful people that I can as well as improving my daily habits to reflect what I need to be to be successful. I can’t really expect to be any more successful than the people that I work with on a regular basis. By expanding my professional network the quality and quantity of my opportunities will no doubt improve as this has also been my experience in the past.

In addition I always need to be improving as a player and performer by improving my musical skills, writing skills, production skills, performing skills and so forth.

As a performer my appearance is very important. I need to make it a habit to eat right and exercise daily. In my business it’s not really an option. I also need to be aware of what I wear and how I present myself in public. As a performer I will be judged not only by what I sound like but how I present myself visually.

So my “mechanics” need to reflect the skills, knowledge, appearance and so forth that I need to acquire and maintain to be successful. These qualities will make me more attractive to other professionals in my field as well as fans. My list might look something like this:

Appearance:

  • Have easy access to healthy foods
  • Limit or eliminate unhealthy eating
  • Make daily exercise a habit
  • Be conscious of wardrobe. Pitch unattractive clothes. Make it a habit to refresh wardrobe on a regular basis. Always be working on improving physical shape and wardrobe.
  • Put together essential wardrobe items to build from. Shoes, pants, shirt, hat, accessories.

Playing:

  • Make learning and perfecting new material a daily habit
  • Make writing a daily habit
  • Make producing a daily habit
  • Always seek to maintain and improve musical instruments and gear

Networking:

  • Make maintaining and improving your professional network a daily habit.
  • Make a list of professional contacts to keep in touch with
  • Make a list of professional contacts that you want to establish and a plan of how you are going to make it happen
  • Consider going to events, shows, social outings and so forth as part of you professional efforts and make it a habit
  • Keep a calendar of upcoming events that you want/need to attend
  • Always carry business cards and promo materials

Fanbase building:

  • If you don’t have a website- make one
  • Create regular content to post online and energize fans
  • Create the most interesting and highest-quality content that you can
  • Don’t be afraid to be a loud version of yourself
  • Broadcast and engage on social media
  • Make sure that you are clear and consistent in promoting yourself.  Always post links to your website in other locations, make sure that your website clearly links to your music and merch. Don’t make people have to search for you stuff- especially on your own website.

In general:

  • Make lists of goals, projects, etc.
  • Make daily lists of tasks that need to be undertaken
  • Create a daily itinerary outlining the day’s work and how and when you intend to get things done. (when, how and where)
  • Don’t assume something is going to be a habit until it is. Write it down if you have to.
  • Find the means of keeping track that works best for you. Whether it’s post it notes, putting it in your smartphone, writing it in a daytimer or scribbling on the bathroom mirror the whole point is to be disciplined and persistent in doing the daily work to improve your life.

Learning to maximize our daily habits greatly enhances our production, progress and satisfaction in life. Scheduling rest, fun and relaxation is just as important as work because we need a well-rounded life to be truly happy. So let’s put these parts together and maximize our Daily Mechanics!!!

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Legendary Bassist Gary Willis dishes the Wisdom

Kingvegas : March 26, 2014 10:08 am : Kingvegas' Musical Adventures

In Janek Gwizdala’s interview with legendary jazz/fusion bassist Gary Willis this industry veteran dispenses some great wisdom for ANYONE pursuing music as a career. You MUST check this out!!!

Around the 7-minute mark Gary states “Once I started touring and playing my music with Tribal Tech (Gary Willis’ original band) I stopped looking at where I lived as a place where I tried to make a living. (‘The same way I feel about L.A.’- the interviewer Janek Gwizdala) Once you identify yourself as a local then you are compensated as a local and you’re not perceived as being… (a national or legit big-name act).”

I believe that this is a key piece of information for artists that are seeking to become nationally-recognized performers that is often not realized.

Also- around the 16-minute mark Gary talks about knowing himself as a person and an artist and pursuing the kinds of projects that he enjoys doing. I believe this is great wisdom, too because here is a great player admitting that session playing and doing cover gigs just wasn’t his thing so he pursued another creative path by having his own group and creative outlet as a professional musician.

He also pointed out the necessity of social skills to be a successful sideman and/or session player. In order to establish one’s self as someone to call for gigs one needs to be not only a musical chameleon but to also be able to have a positive attitude about playing the music whether you care for it or not.

“Eventually you start identifying yourself as being this kind of direction- this kind of creative thing. So that just led to more things and eventually you start saying “no” to things that aren’t your direction. At the same time you have to replace that with stuff that you create and stuff that you’re doing yourself. There are a few risks and involved and it’s a gradual process.”

Willis commenting on the current state of music business and his most recent musical in edeavors: “In Triaphasic (Willis’ new band in Spain)… we played a lot of gigs and blew a lot of our opportunities by not having a CD ready that we were promoting.”

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Assume That You Can Do It

Kingvegas : February 20, 2014 8:31 am : Kingvegas' Musical Adventures

If you have a dream, a goal or some kind of idea doesn’t it just make sense to ASSUME THAT YOU CAN DO IT? If you are aware that many, many people with fewer advantages and opportunities than you have accomplished great things then you will realize that we are all “only human” and we all possess GREAT POTENTIAL!

Often the only difference between success and failure is simply having faith in the universe and ourselves. Don’t allow the demons of doubt and fear to prevent you from pursuing your life with passion and enthusiasm!

There is no substitute for sound planning, discipline and persistence but if you don’t believe in yourself you will never even make it out of the gate!

So if you have an idea, a dream or a well-formed goal Assume That It Is Possible and do everything that you can think of to get there. Only stop to rest- never to doubt. Doubt is only the devil in your head trying to prevent you from fulfilling your potential. Don’t ever allow anything but death to stop you! You CAN do it!!!

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From Tension to Intention

Kingvegas : February 8, 2014 9:32 pm : Kingvegas' Musical Adventures

Are you wasting energy on efforts that actually make it more difficult to attain your goals? Are you trying too hard and allowing a lack of focus and intention to actually work *against* yourself?

jk bass pp popsWe can get the idea that if our efforts are not getting us the results that we want or if we want to progress faster that we just need to push harder. The problem is that to operate at higher levels we usually need to be able to attain greater results with the same amount- if not less- effort. When progressing in life improving our skills and stepping up our game is often more like changing gears than just running the motor faster. The problem with more effort is that we have limits to different levels of operation. For example: It wouldn’t make sense to try to move progressively faster crawling so we learn to walk. When walking isn’t fast enough we learn to run. In order to operate in different states of forward progress we must also learn to optimize our efforts to make that progress possible and practical. more »

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