Guitar Giveaway – Justification Jam

A huge thanks to all of our participants. Let's congratulate Victor Esparza , who joined our jam and won this beautiful Seagull Artist Mosaic acoustic guitar and case valued at $1229!

Victor Wins

Victor with victory in his hands. Thanks again to all who joined the jam and please stay tuned for the next promotion and prize!

Justification Jam summary - how it worked:

Talent used to be enough to make your mark in music. Today we need to be a Jack and Jill of all trades and master of most; software, hardware,  marketing, event planning... to name only a few. And it doesn't end there. Not only do we need to know just about every trick in the book, we need to be able to explain the many respectable skills necessary to succeed at a profession that is not as easy as it looks.

Collectively, we built a lasting list of skills required to be a successful guitar player in today's music scene. We created an important list that is now a resource to assist guitar players everywhere. By taking the following 3 actions, Victor won a highly rated Seagull Artist Mosaic guitar in our guitar giveaway:

  1. Liked Robbie's FaceBook page
  2. Listened to Robbie's list of skills in his Justification Jam video
  3. Sent us a skill that Robbie hadn't mentioned in his video (using the reply form at the bottom of this page).

Robbie's Justification Jam

The blues, standards and 3 chord rock & roll are great vehicles for playing at sessions. But the Justification Jam may be the most universal song that musicians are asked to play. Whether it's a social event, a house party, a formal introduction or an interview, you're inevitably going to get the request, "What do you do?"

People can have trouble "getting" guitar players

While it is sometimes easier to just adlib a response like, "I'm a big-game hunter", or "I'm an astronaut, how about you?", these clever quips may not soften your inquisition. Of course telling the truth often results in creating subtle sympathy, jealousy  or confusion. So, as with every gig you've ever played, the key is in knowing the material.

Enter the Justification Jam. The Justification Jam is an invaluable tool created by Robbie Burns, a veteran guitar player and expert at blending art and commerce. It helps gently lead your inquisitor through the myriad of skills and talents required to be a working musician. The Justification Jam ultimately eases your audience into the conclusion that music is an honorable profession and a worthwhile endeavor.

A long laundry list of necessary abilities

The Justification Jam is a way to create respect for your efforts and for the profession. At the core, it's an inventory of abilities you need to succeed in the music business. And when you finish delivering this long laundry list - clean, impressed, no starch - you'll have washed away the misconceptions and have the people eating out of your hand.

An appreciation for all the thoughtful comments

With all of your contributions of additional skills and abilities you thought contemporary musicians needed, we accomplished something meaningful. And we can keep the list growing so we will always have an evolving tool to help us both professionally and socially.

Now that you know about the Justification Jam, the next time you're put on the spot, you'll be ready to stand, deliver and make everyone feel great, especially you!  Keep your eyes open for the next contest...

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42 thoughts on “Guitar Giveaway – Justification Jam”

  1. Hi Robbie,

    Yea! The Seagull is here, Got here late last night. Thank you guys so much. I just unwrapped this beautiful instrument.

    When I read a lot of these guitar websites they don’t always help you in other ways, other then selling their product they’re not as concerned about helping the musician with anything else. Your website intrigued me, because of the extras: product information, music instructional videos and an outreach line, which when you’re a musician, it’s really refreshing to find. So thanks again for allowing me to enter my humble opinion to your contest, and for rewarding me with such a wonderful prize.

    1. Glad you are enjoying your new guitar. I hope you get many years of great music with it. Thanks to you and all of the participants of our Justification Jam. Keep practicing!

  2. Optimism. We must have the ability to remain optimistic. Musicians face a lot of difficulty when dealing with the commercial world. So even if we have skills and talent we will still need to be optimistic to succeed.

  3. With all the great points mentioned, it is always very important to emphasize the ability to remain humble with regard to our musical abilities and our potential success. We must always remember that our talents are God given and that we have been granted the opportunity to develop our skills as musicians and we should remain appreciative of that fact. We should also be humbly grateful to the fans of music because they are the ones who truly make the musician.

  4. I started playing the guitar because of the girl I started falling for. So every time I play the guitar, I always think of her in my mind. To me, it’s emotion and passion. Persistence (aka constant practice), makes us better and it is from the side effect of passion, which comes from the heart (emotion).

  5. It can be a very subtle thing, but you need to be able to emote in your playing. And it is one of the most difficult things to be consistent with because what you want to convey in the song may not be exactly what you are feeling at the moment.

  6. Guitar players, drummers, piano players – and if you’re playing and singing at the same time – must have independence, the ability to do two different things at the same time. It’s a form of uber-multitasking!

  7. Hey Robbie! I totally agre with all of then thins hat you’ve mentioned! One skill that I thought could’ve been added is a players learning capacity. Are they willing to learn and are they easy to teach? For me that is an important skill because I believe that every guitarist must be willing to learn to improve always.

  8. One thing that is definitely needed is creativity. Endless amounts of creativity. You have to be creative in what you play, how you play and also in how you market yourself. Creativity!

  9. I think your video is pretty spot on. I really enjoy your enthusiasm. Here are a few things to add, or just add to things you have already said:

    1.) Emotion-you have to really feel what you are playing. The audience will be more apt to connect if you truly feel what you are playing/singing.

    2.) Patience-it’s easy to give up when learning or even mastering an instrument. We’re not all going to be guitar gods and shouldn’t expect as much unless we are patient and put in the work,

    3.)Equipment-it really does make a difference. Effects can help you feel like you are achieving the sound you aspire for. Or a nice acoustic can make a drab chord pop. Even slight upgrades from starter equipment can make you feel like you taken giant leaps in your ability. When all it really does is expose the hard work you’ve already put in.

    4.)Bravery-don’t be scared to try something new, or for that matter, to keep playing what you feel is right. We are all pressured to sound like this or that, but the truth is, if you don’t love it then others will know. There is room for all music out there and you should always do what feels good. But, don’t feel like you are stuck. Try other styles on and see what fits.

    5.)Beware of the slumps-we all go through periods where we lose inspiration. We get in a rut from being repetitive or feel like we have lost that creative bug. This is similar to writer’s block. Fear not, just take a break. Listen to something new and exciting. Learn to play a song outside of your listening genre. You will be inspired again in no time.

    6.)Keep your eyes open-whether you are a small time act or full on rocker on tour, keep your eyes open. Enjoy it, don’t let it go by in a blur and wish you would have reveled in it more.

    Again, these are a few things I have tried to pass on to others in my modest part time career in music. Remember you must love yourself before you can truly love anything. Keep rocking, embrace the ride, and capture your emotions in music.


  10. What an extensive list you’ve already laid out. As a singer and beginner student of guitar, I have learned that self & audience awareness are important. I guess you might also call it stage presence. Whether you are ministering through music in a church atmosphere or entertaining at an event, it is important that you not get lost in your playing or singing and remember to connect with those both onstage and off.

  11. You need to understand contracts. Even if you have representation, you need to know what you are agreeing to. Just because a lawyer says it’s good doesn’t mean it always is. There’s a long history of successful musicians who have been bamboozled by their managers, accountants or lawyers!

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