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How to Record a Solo Album

Learn how to record a solo album with this Howcast harmonica tutorial from John Hopper of Blues Traveler.


Hi, I'm John Popper, lead singer of the band Blues Traveler. I also play harmonica, and am arguably one of the best in the world. But thank God, there really never can be an actual best, but I'm damn good. I'm gonna teach you a few things about the harmonica.

How do you make a solo album, well there are many ways to make a solo album. I guess the first way to make a solo album is to be in a band that's recognized enough that when you go and make an album on your own its called a solo album. Because in a sense, no album is truly solo as you're going to need to work with a producer. You're going to need to work with some sort of a studio, which means an engineer and eventually you're going to need to work with other musicians, unless your going to do all the instruments yourself like your Prince or Frank Zappa. Some people do that and there are madmen, they even do the engineering and all the production. But you can do a solo album pretty cheaply with today's technology. But it really comes down to, you got to find someone who is really interested and at every point that I'm mentioning every process here, you have got to get someone who thinks, ""Wow this is a good idea."" So it really comes down to relating to people and communicating with them that their effort are with you and you will be requiring their efforts and they are not going to be a waste of time and all to your mania and glory. My solo album was in collaboration with Jono Manson, who when Blues Traveler first came to New York City. He was kind of the king of the scene that we jumped in on that club scene, the nightingale's scene. But Jono was a very good friend of mine and we were always looking for an opportunity to do something other than the Blues Traveler, and so that made me doing a solo album a very tasty idea. We named the solo album John Popper and the Duskray Troubadours, which if you think about it, Blues Traveler is a color and a name for travelling performers and what is duskray and a Troubadours, but another color and a description of travelling performers? Not very imaginative if you think about it. I think my next album will be John Popper and the Red Minstrels.

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