TrueFire LogoPlayers, welcome to The Punch-In.

Developed for musicians and by musicians, this is a one-of-a-kind space on the web.

Most blogs, sites, wikis, and tweets offer a subjective take on the world, and that’s great. The web is the ultimate equalizer: every soul with a laptop and Wi-Fi access has the opportunity to voice opinions and respond to whatever’s out there. But the Punch-In is a response to what is not out there.
We looked around and couldn’t find a contemporary, knowledgeable take on the interests and challenges concerning musicians today. The lion’s share of career advice, for example, is about getting signed to a record label. That was the musician’s Holy Grail for decades, but guess what? The music industry has been husked and hollowed out, a casualty of its own inability to evolve. In the New York and L.A. office buildings where fat cats used to give little guys a shot at the big time, tumbleweeds roll through the empty halls. The Holy Grail has left the building.

It’s a lousy time for the music industry but it’s an excellent time for music. With no margins on what can or “should” be available to the public, musicians from every corner of the globe are self-releasing their projects. Never before has so much diverse music been so widely accessible, and listeners are exploring on their own.
Technology is bringing down all kinds of barriers on the creative side, too. A guitarist from Fargo can collaborate with a songwriter from Kyoto and send a 24-bit/96kHz recording of his solo by email. Desktop software is making it possible to manipulate audio in a way that, ten years ago, would’ve cost you studio time plus a $20k fee to Brian Eno.

The Punch-In isn’t just a whiz-kid guide to new technology — after all, the really important parts about making music are timeless.
We’ll talk about the inspiration behind composition and the exhilaration of a great jam. We’ll talk about failure and success and the countless stops in between. We’ll share our best finds. We’ll bring to bear all the resources at our disposal — including pro players, instructors, producers, engineers, publishers, instrument makers, new-industry experts, software developers, and more — to help you become the musician you want to be.

In the 17+ years that TrueFire has been offering music instruction in leading-edge media, we’ve never before stepped out from behind the curtain. We’re incredibly proud of the people we’ve worked with and grateful to have friends of the fire in 206 countries (and counting). We’ve made our mark as music educators and learn so much in return from the hundreds upon hundreds of players we meet at shows, on tours, in clinics, at universities, and as customers. And one of the core learnings for us is that knowing your way around an instrument is just one part of being a musician. To make good on our mission to educate and inspire, we offer the Punch-In.

We’re especially interested in what you want to hear about, so be sure to log in and make the Punch a two-way conversation. Turn up and be heard! Thanks for being a part of it.

—Rich Maloof

The Punch-In is edited by Rich Maloof, who has a long history with TrueFire as artist, educator, and producer. Rich’s body of work as a published author and Editor in Chief of Guitar Magazine has been distributed and translated internationally.