Do you remember 2008? How can you not, right? We’re all probably still traumatized from the terrifying Great Recession. I was in middle school at the time, which you know, it’s already terrifying by itself. So, what got me through those years? Music. That’s when I started to take guitar more seriously since it helped with the anxiety. I was looking for inspiration everywhere. Thankfully, the internet gods created what would be my biggest resource for music, learning, and entertainment…the infamous but loved, YouTube. I think 2008 was the peak of YouTube. People noticed they finally had an outlet to put themselves in front of millions of people without needing a big and expensive production. New talent was being discovered every day. Also, it was before Google turned it into one big advertisement company that makes you really think about how bad you want to watch a video since you have to go through annoying advertisements. It almost has sketchy Android app vibes.
Gabe Bondoc was one of these new talents you could find on YouTube. I heard of him in school, so I checked him out once I got home and I was blown away. Anyone with hearing will definitely drool over his vocals. One of the smoothest in smoothie town. Although he was playing other people’s music, his covers sounded original due to his interesting arrangements. Every now and then he would delight you with an original song of his. I looked forward to these since he’s one of the best songwriters I’ve heard of. Definitely deserves way more credit as a songwriter; to a point, I think, he should be working for the biggest acts out there today. Although his R&B sound might be a little outdated for today's music climate, I feel it would be very refreshing to hear Gabe's vibes on the Pop radio stations.
Gentlemen Don’t, an original song by Gabe Bondoc. This is a great example of Gabe's songwriting skills. This song was so popular in my high school and anyone who played guitar was trying to learn this song.
Besides all of these incredible traits, what made him an important influence of mine was his guitar playing. Gabe Bondoc is low-key a guitar virtuoso. I learned most Jazz guitar chords from him! I know you might be like…JAZZ??? Yes. Jazz. They’re considered Jazz chords because they are such intricate and embellished chords that usually they’re limited to the Jazz genre. However, Gabe would use them regularly on Pop and R&B songs. That’s what made him stand out to me. He gives songs a different flavor that most Pop songs don’t have and to be honest most guitar players didn’t know about. That is until recent years, with the rise of Neo Soul, Chill Hip Hop, Indie, Lo-Fi, Alternative R&B, and Bedroom Pop music. These chords are sneaking their way into popular music more and more.
Here Gabe shows his favorite chords. These are some of the most intricate chords I’ve ever seen. Any chords with a number at the end of its name is pretty much a jazz chord.
The Way You Look Tonight by Gabe Bondoc. A beautiful cover of a jazz standard. Gabe shows off some nice and warm jazz chords.
Alright, so Gabe Bondoc is a beast. How can us mortals relate to him and learn from him? This is where I will try to simplify the complex.
The Internet is your best friend. There’s a vast number of social media platforms that there’s a community for EVERYONE. Gabe Bondoc found his community on YouTube. Maybe yours is Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram …or the upcoming Clubhouse. Find one that fits you and use it to express yourself. Do it for the love of your art and be yourself. These days you don’t need a talent agency, a manager, a label, a production team, a rich uncle, or a contact that your dad knows from work whose best friend knows the CEO of MySpace. It is easier than ever to put yourself out there, regardless of what you do. There is a community for everyone. You just got to find it.
Once you get comfortable, find your niche and audience, you can find new ways to express yourself. Here, Gabe, shows off his producer skills which is something different than we’re used to seeing from him.
Gabe Bondoc never signed with a big label, as far as we know. He remained independent and on YouTube. He gets to play shows all around doing covers and playing his original songs. Releases self-made albums every now and then, and he has a very strong and loyal fanbase (I bought a signed CD from him hehe). All from the comfort of his home. This could be you.
I am currently in the pursuit of a musical career as an independent artist and I’m using all the same resources you have available. It’s just a matter of going for it and being consistent. I hope this inspires you to go chase your dreams or even just do a new hobby that brings you joy.
Time for a shameless plug!
Playing guitar is a hobby of mine so every now and then I upload guitar videos.
This is my latest single and I made a lyric video for it. As you can see, I’m using the same resources available to you. As an added bonus, this song actually uses jazz chords (remember those from earlier?).
Now back to who you came for. Gabe Bondoc.
Here are some of my favorite videos of Gabe that I promise will make your day. If you become a fan of his, you can always go to his YouTube page to find new content. If you need guidance, find me on social media and message me. I will gladly show you more videos!
These videos show off his singing, his guitar skills, and his songwriting. He's the real deal.
Lion King and Gabe Bondoc. What else do you need in life.
These car medleys are the BEST, featuring Jeremy Passion and Leejay. Find the rest of these medleys, they’re pure gold. Gabe again with them jazz chords.
Another Gabe original. Here you can admire his guitar skills.
Gabe covers one of my favorite John Mayer songs. I’ll geek out on John Mayer on another post.
...and another John Mayer cover. Of course.
Gabe Bondoc uses YouTube to share his talent to the world. If there's something you want to share, do it now. It's easier than ever. You might be the next social media star!