MusicDish e-Journal - October 15, 2019
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David M. McLean, Skinny Devil Music Lab
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David M. McLean has been a recording engineer since 1987 and a working musician since 1984. He has performed and recorded with bands of numerous styles on stage and in studios (Vice, Pharaoh, Aur'a-Sen, Menage a Trios, and Somebody's Ghost, etc.), composed, performed, and recorded music for a variety of medium (web-based projects, radio, TV, live theater, etc.), and worked as production liaison for Mr. Rick Reynolds (of Nirvana and Beholder fame) at ToonTown, Kiva, and Ardent Studios....."

This is how my official bio kicked off. Fact is, I've had a blast over the years as a guitarist (from dump gigs in the worst parts of towns to my 15 seconds of fame on MTV to session work in various studios), engineer (running lines and capturing sounds and mixing and editing dozens of talented bands and other projects), producer (not only for bands, but for gobs of commercial projects, including my "Joe Maco" character for ETR Seafood), composer (from quasi-classical music for jewelry store radio ads to screaming rock for Arlington International Raceway to country twang for Robinson Sausage to thumpin' techno for Lievio Technologies, to a challenging array of styles for several video and computer games), and guitar and percussion instructor (from cutting my teeth with 3 students to constructing a fast-learn method for both individual and group settings to conducting clinics and 2004, I taught well over 400 people from ages 5 to 84 in 1-on-1, group, and clinic environments).

As a writer, I've been published as a free-lance arts columnist (Richmond Register, LCP, etc.) to a one-off for Guitar for the Practicing Musician to staff columnist at the short-lived Provider Magazine to essays and books ("The Art of Scalar Magic" and "The Complete Book of Scales" [w/ W. Siddiqui]) to conducting the "Guitar Gods" interview series for Tinfoil Music and writing a monthly column for Insane Guitar and a few other cool web-sites.

I've had the pleasure to talk about my experiences as a working musician with professional groups, college clubs, high school, middle school, and elementary school students, covering topics from music business to music theory to just playing guitar.

I currently play guitar as a solo artist, clinician, studio gun, and as half of the duo Alien Blue. Upon occasion, I compose for commercial projects, which finds me acting as both engineer and producer in my personal studio. As a guitar instructor, I have a student roster of over 110 students in both individual and group settings (which should settle down to about 60-70 on average) and, as a writer and educator, am proud to see that hits for both my on-line lessons and the "Guitar Gods" series receive thousands of hits every month.

With the help of my "...imposing arsenal of gifted performers...", I am currently completing work on both An Alien Blue and Hunger., and have begun demo-ing concepts for my second set of children's songs.

In addition to two or three proposed projects for my screaming electric guitar work, I'll be gigging with Alien Blue and as a clinician locally and regionally. We hope to kick off Skinny Devil TV by mid-year to take things to a wider audience. Lots of other projects (instructional books and videos, instructor program, certificates of merit and web awards, etc.) are spoken of elsewhere on the site, but my primary concern is in offering opportunities to other aspiring musicians and engineers and young entrepreneurs (see: Employment").


1) By opening a small studio that will act as both a training facility and an affordable commercial studio.

2) By constructing a teacher network where qualified instructors using my teaching method will be empowered to earn a living wage with little oversight but plenty of moral and instructional support.

3) By offering commission-based opportunities for young business-minded individuals to learn about all aspects of the music industry (from studio management to PR and marketing to bookings to distro to billing and collections, etc.) where their pay will reflect their efforts and where they can enable themselves to take the next step up the "the big leagues".

4) By starting a very small record label that will allow artists to exert control over myriad aspects of their careers and enable them to pursue their goals either independently or via traditional means.

What else is in the works?

Socially: Fighting for copyright reform by educating the public and legislators about the philosophy behind IP and copyright law...a reform that will see a return to the balance of rights between artists (who will be paid for their work), big biz who backs them (who will be compensated for their investments), and consumers (who will not be threatened with lawsuits and prison for sharing music they love in a non-commercial environment). Artistically: To see the release of both Alien Blue (which will raise money for the YMCA's Campaign for Kids) and Hunger (which will raise money for a variety of homeless and hunger related charities), as well as my second solo release, tentatively titled Liberty, and at least one of the several instructional books that are currently in production.

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