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Adam Sherman

Singer-Songwriter Q&A

How old were you when you started playing guitar?

8 years old.

What was your first guitar? Did you buy it yourself? Do you still have it?

Supro electric. My mother bought it for me. Unfortunately it's gone.

Did your parents or grandparents play any instruments? If so, what did they play? Did you ever get a chance to play with them?

They did not play.

What are the guitars that you play? Do you have a favorite? If so, why is it your favorite?

I play a Telecaster, a Reverend 12-string electric and a Gibson SJ acoustic.

Photo credit: Edward Whowalker

Photo credit: John Keegan

Photo credit: Carole Fonde'

What strings do you use (brands and gauges)? How often do you change your strings?

I use D'Addario EXL110 (10-46) on electric and D'Addario EJ16-3D (.012-.053) on acoustic. I change strings every 3 to 4 months.

Do you use a pick? If so, what brand and thickness?

Dunlop .73mm.

Do you use any effect pedals? If so, what are your favorites?

Boss TR-2 tremolo, Vox Valve Tone.

Do you work on your own guitars or do you bring them to a guitar tech? Are there any guitar techs that you would like to recommend?

I take my guitars to Steve Morrill.

Do you have a favorite guitar shop? What makes it a good shop?

I like Mr Music in Allston. Great selection of new and used instruments and super knowledgeable staff.

At what age did you start writing songs?

I started at 8 years old as soon as I could play a G chord.

What is your songwriting process? Is it the music or the lyrics that usually come to you first? Do you write old school on paper, or electronically?

The music comes first. Old school on paper.

Photo credit: Michael Galper

Who are the top three musicians or bands that have had a major influence on you?

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Gregg Allman.

If you could jam with one person, living or dead, who would it be?

John Lennon.

What are your top three “desert island” albums?

Abbey Road, Time Out of Mind, Allman Brothers Live at The Fillmore East.

What was the first concert you attended? What was the last concert you attended?

First was Moby Grape most recent was Paul Weller.

The Beatles or the Stones?

Beatles but the Stones are a very close second.

Where and when was your first paid gig? How much did you make?

I started playing gigs at 14 and I honestly can't recall the first.

What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?

Selling out The Burren in Davis Square for my album release show.

What has been your worst gig so far and why? (You don’t have to name names).

A horrible dump in Mexico, Maine where a shot glass missed my head by inches.

What are some of the venues you enjoy performing at the most? What things make the venue enjoyable for the performer (location, equipment, setup, organizers)?

I like The Paradise, Boston, The Burren, Somerville, The Plough & Stars, Cambridge. A great sound person and great monitors for the larger rooms. A great vibe for The Plough.

Photo credit: Linnea Herzog

How do you work out your setlist?

I figure out what song I want to start with and decide what to follow it with. A vibe for the set starts to develop and I begin to look at tempo and key changes. I generally look for three strong songs to close.

Is there any advice you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out in the music business?

This will never be easy but it will be worth it.

Do you have any suggestions for a guitarist or songwriter who might be stuck in a musical rut?

Write a really bad song, go for a walk, start fresh tomorrow.

If you weren’t a singer-songwriter, what would you be doing for work?

I'd probably be making a living as a graphic designer.

Please list some of your upcoming shows, plug your music and provide links to your merchandise.

I have a monthly residency at The Plough and Stars in Cambridge on the second Sunday of every month. You can find all my music at:


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