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Beginning his musical career before he’d finished primary school, the day Lloyd Spiegel turned 11 he’d already performed 110 shows across three countries.

It’s true he was blessed with a musical family growing up, with Muddy Waters and B.B. King played at home and Australian blues legend Dutch Tilders living in his backyard. Now in his 28th year on the road, Lloyd served as the perfect musician to share some wisdom with our students.

One piece of advice he gives to all musicians? Invest in a tambourine.

“The tambourine is the best thing ever invented in the whole world. The reason is because it’s a splayed beat and it brings everything in,” Lloyd says.

ON SONGWRITING

“Sometimes we over think things and songs are like our children. We think they’re beautiful and wonderful and we’re scared to let anyone else see our children in case they think they’re ugly. It’s a bit like that with your songs. You’re a bit scared to put them out. You want every line to be absolutely amazing. Go and listen to all of the Beatles’ songs – not every line in those is a winner. It’s about the hook and the groove being a winner and the song being a complete piece.

Quite often your first instinct is the right one. The number one thing that sells albums is groove and the other thing is honesty. You’ve got to write the shit before you write the hit. That should be your mantra and you should write it on your wall.”

ON RECORDING

“The seduction of the audience in that medium is different; on stage you get to be louder and you can make mistakes but in the studio everything needs to be sharper and slicker.

I’m an honest guitarist and what people are looking for is an honest performance: An honest good solid performance.”

ON THE INDUSTRY

“The concept of the broke, penniless, suffering musician is rubbish. If any of you are playing that game it is going to get you nowhere really quickly. I make a great living playing guitar and I’m really proud of that. I don’t want anybody to think I’m poor or that I’m struggling because I’m good at what I do and I’ve got a full time job. I’m a musician. The more people that act that way the more respect we’re going to get as a profession. The more you put yourself down the more society is going to do the same thing.”

ON TREATING IT LIKE A BUSINESS

“Business skills 101: Know your market, know your audience and know your product… Make meetings, talk to people and present yourself in a professional manner wherever possible. The era of the rock ‘n’ roller is great on stage, but if you take it to a meeting you’ll be walked to the door pretty quickly. It takes a lot of responsibility to act this immature.

The best way to get a record deal, management and an agent is to prove you don’t need them. Are they going to take on an artist who is selling 300 tickets a night or someone with no profile, music or audience?”

ON PICKING YOUR ‘TEAM’

“This sounds really conceited but I want someone who really loves me; someone who loves my music and gets along with me. I want them to feel like family because those people are going to bat and fight really hard for you. When I’ve dealt with big agencies before you’re just a number. You’ve literally got to call up sometimes with your artist number before you get through….You want your family around you.”

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