Last winter I tried an odd experiment: a website where players were encouraged to post their best tone secrets — the kinds of tricks and techniques that are almost too good to share. But in order to get, you had to give: The site was password-protected, and the password was only sent to those who contributed secrets.
Musicians responded, no doubt encouraged by the cool prizes awarded to the top secrets, as judged by user ratings. I also asked some cool musician friends to contribute the first round of secrets, yielding tips from the likes of composer/virtuoso Lyle Workman, metallurgist-turned jazzbo Alex Skolnick, original Chili Peppers guitarist Jack Sherman, boy genius Blake Mills, and other great players.
Once the contest ended, traffic slowed, but the site has slowly but surely grown. And now, as an experiment, I’ve removed the password protection. Now anyone can visit the Secret Room, AKA tonesecret.com, even if they haven’t coughed up a secret. So please do!
It’s a fascinating document. Naturally, the quality of secrets varies, as does the level of expertise needed to make the most of them. I exerted a light editorial hand — only silly or flat-out-wrong tips were vetoed, and I didn’t do much in the way of spelling and grammar repair. Sometimes the contents are a little repetitious — but trust me, there is much wisdom and originality throughout.
I hope you find something helpful — and I hope you’re moved to contribute some secrets yourself using the site’s submission form. And who knows? There may be more
tawdry bribes fabulous prizes lurking around the corner…