Gary Brawer: On Getting In Tune And Staying In Tune

“The Most Common Thing I Hear,” Says Gary Brawer, Whose clients include Metallica, Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, and Carlos Santana “is, ‘I can’t play in tune.’ Right after that is, ‘I can’t stay in tune.’ Staying in tune is all that stuff that we repeat over and over: lubricating the nut and lubricating the saddle. I like Big Bends Nut Sauce, but you can use pencil lead or Chap Stick if that’s all you have. After that, you have to string properly and stretch your strings. So many players don’t follow those simple rules.

“None of those things address the issue of playing in tune—why does your D chord play out of tune with your A chord and your E chord? So, I always encourage people to look into a tuning correction method, such as the Buzz Feiten System or the Earvana Nut. We also have our own proprietary intonated nut, where we move and/or custom cut a nut to intonate the guitar’s lower end. This sweetens the whole guitar, not just the first three frets where most people have problems with first position chords. All of a sudden, you have a guitar that plays much more in tune.”

Crosby Loggins On Taking Career Risks

Crosby Loggins won the MTV reality show Rock the Cradle, a competition between children of famous musicians.

You’ve Worked Hard To Not Only establish yourself as a singer, a songwriter, and a guitarist but, to do it without trading on your dad’s name or fame. Were you worried that your credibility would take a hit by doing this show?
It was on my mind every moment walking on stage. I was constantly having these tiny integrity crises. It took a lot of advice from people I really trust for me to do the show. You have moments in your life where you have opportunities. At this point in the business, TV is the biggest radio station in the world, and this allowed me to get seen and heard on a much larger scale. It opened doors.

How has your career changed since winning?
I’m doing preproduction for my next record with John Alagia, who produced John Mayer. I was a fan of John Mayer’s when his demos were floating around my college’s peerto- peer trading network, and that was one of the first times in my life that I paid attention to a project from demo to final production. A few cuts off Room for Squares really knocked me out. I remember thinking, “This guy John Mayer is so good. How can I ever get to the level of working with people like those he works with?” And now I’m sitting in the studio, playing guitar and talking songs, arrangements, and production with John Alagia. It’s the most surreal, coolest experience of my life. And, ironically enough, I now have a line next to my name that says something other than “Kenny Loggins’ son.”