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On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, musician Sean Campbell shares what inspires his music, and details about his music school The Music Lyceum.

JJ Barnes editor of The Table Read online creativity, arts and entertainment magazine

Written by JJ Barnes

www.jjbarnes.co.uk

I interviewed musician Sean Campbell about the creative process that goes into producing his tracks and what inspires him.

When did you first WANT to write music?

Sean Campbell, musician, The Table Read
Sean Campbell

It was after awakening one morning from a dream where a little boy looked up at me and said, “Reach up to the glorious sky and step into the wind.”

When did you take a step to start writing music?

The line from the dream seemed quite profound so I wrote it down. I had never before written a poem, but I decided to try. I completed the poem and thought it was good enough to become song lyrics. I then successfully attempted to write music for the poem. The result became my first song, “Wild Future.”

What was your first piece of music released, and what inspired it?

After writing my first song, I came to realize how much I enjoyed writing lyrics and putting them to music or vice versa. The dream unleashed my creative energy which up to that point was lying completely dormant. I wrote 12 songs and released a self produced album titled “American Dream.”

What was your latest music released, and what inspired it?

I own a music school and a few times a year I have recitals for my students. There was a teenage girl who wanted to perform on guitar and she really liked these particular chord changes I had written.

I was teaching yoga at the time and the music was set to a Kundalini yoga mantra. I told her if she wanted to perform it I would write new lyrics for it and sing while she played guitar. The result was a song called “The Ride Of Your Life.”

Focusing on your latest piece of music. What were your biggest challenges with it?

At that point I had transferred my energies to piano and teaching. I hadn’t written anything for years, yet I had committed to write lyrics for this student’s performance. Luckily, I succeeded and I’m pleased with what I wrote.

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What are you working on right now?

I’ve been focusing my energies on my patented invention. I truly believe it’s going to change the world of piano/keyboards on a global scale. Guitar tab is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to the guitar. Up until now there has never been tablature for the piano except that I have invented and patented it.

Sean Campbell, American Dream, The Table Read
Sean Campbell, American Dream

I just launched an online teaching and distribution platform for my piano tablature.

Do you keep to a theme with your music, or just go where the mood strikes?

There was a time in my life when I sat on stage with a Master of Kundalini Yoga as his guitarist. After hearing so many lectures on the topic of ancient Teachings, I can’t help but reinterpret them in an attempt to remind people that no matter how dark the present may seem, there’s always Hope. If we truly put forth our best effort by doing the things we know we should, and refraining from those things we should not, Providence will always provide for and take care of us.

What is your favorite piece of music you’ve recorded, and what do you love about it?

I’d have to say, “Eye In The Sky.” It’s a six and a half minute hard rock song that goes through many different changes from fast and heavy to beautiful and melodic. Additionally, there’s some cool guitar acrobatics I do when performing it live. I wrote the song after sitting in the class of the Guru I had previously mentioned. He gave a lecture about how life is like the children’s board game “Chutes and Ladders.”

As we rise in consciousness we must hold on to the rungs of the ladder for dear life, for if we look back we will end up sliding down one of the many tantalizing chutes and have to start all over again. After I recorded it, even though we had never spoken, I approached the Guru after class and asked him if he would listen to my song. He said yes and after listening he asked me if I had played all the guitars on the song. I said yes and the rest is history.

Do you find other people’s music inspires you? Who do you listen to most?

Not intentionally, but I assume I’ve been influenced by the music I listened to in my youth. Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Doors, Black Sabbath, etc. Lately, I most enjoy listening to the playlists that Spotify auto generates for me.

Do you record and produce your own music, or pay musicians and producers?

Sean Campbell, Musician, The Table Read
Sean Campbell

I’ve been lucky to attract world class musicians who enjoy playing my songs, so I’ve never had to pay musicians to perform with me or record. In the studio I will find an engineer who I work well with and allow him to push the buttons and flip the switches. I only work with people who’s opinions I value so I’ll take suggestions, but it is always I who gets the final say.

What instruments do you play?

At my school, The Music Lyceum in Santa Monica, California I teach guitar, piano, harmonica, bass and ukulele.

Do you like performing live, or does it scare you? Where can people watch you?

I never played a note of music until my twenty-first birthday. Luckily I’m a fast learner and playing guitar came naturally. Of course, I was nervous in the beginning.

I remember doing an open mic, just me and my acoustic guitar at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood. I played two of my original songs. I guess it went well because when I was done the promoter offered me my own thirty minute slot. Then I went looking for a drummer and bass player and was soon on stage at the Roxy on the Sunset strip.

Currently, I’m focusing on my new business which just launched. You can check it out at musiclyceum.com

Is your music available to the public, and where can people listen to it?

I’m sure if one were to type into Google Sean Campbell American Dream or Deputy Zero they would find my music.

Are you able to make music full time, or do you have a. day job?

Luckily my day job completely revolves around music, either demonstrating it for others or teaching them how to play it. Funny though, I love what I do so much that I don’t view it as a job. I’ve taught for seven hours straight without a break and I don’t mind because there’s always a new face with new energy coming to see me. Whether it be a four year old child or an eighty year old man it’s just pure joy. I’m definitely not your typical music teacher.

Are your friends and family supportive of your music career?

Sean Campbell, Wild Future, The Table Read
Sean Campbell, Wild Future

My family was supportive, but trying to get my friends to come see my band perform was not enjoyable. It would be disappointing to invite my friends and then look out at the audience and they were not there. Luckily it was strangers who became my biggest fans.

What’s something you never expected about writing music ? What have you learned that surprised you.

The most surprising thing about writing music was finding out that I have the ability to write music.

Having never touched and instrument until after I graduated college and absolutely hating singing as a child, it’s pretty amazing that I ended up on stage with an incredible drummer and bass player fronting a power trio as the singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Have you had any experiences that really stand out because of your music?

Having the patent examiner grant me my patent after originally giving a “non final decision,” denied. He gave me the opportunity to meet with him to prove to him that he was wrong in stating my piano tablature was an abstract idea that had been previously disclosed.

After our meeting he said I gave a great presentation and had changed his mind. He granted me a Utility Patent for my new method of notating music. Whereas learning to read traditional sheet music takes years of hard work, my piano tab takes only two minutes to learn how to read. Learning to play piano using my system is exponentially easier, faster and far more enjoyable than the traditional path.

Do you have any important events coming up we should know about?

I’m looking forward to people viewing my piano tablature at musiclyceum.com. There’s an introductory video in which I say, “If you sign up today and become a subscriber, within thirty minutes you’ll have all the basic skills you need in order to become a great piano player and be able to play a beautiful Beethoven song.” You get all of this for $1.

Find more from Sean Campbell

http://musiclyceum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/themusiclyceum/

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