I’ve never been too big on resolutions in general. I’ve always been a believer – if you want to make a change, you just need to be dedicated and make it. Doesn’t matter on the current date. BUT, resolutions are goals, and I understand it’s a smart way to reflect and make new goals to improve your situation whatever it might be.
So, with that said, I’ve often thought of resolutions.. but usually focusing on music and my guitar playing. 2012 was a very interesting year for me guitar wise. It was the first year that I was completely band-less. There were definite highs and lows as far as thinking about my guitar ‘future’. Guitar is a funny thing. For me, it is something that I will be playing until I die. It’s not really a ‘fad’ or ‘phase’, etc. I’ve been playing guitar for a while, and I do this out of sheer enjoyment. It literally turns off one side of my brain and opens another, and that break or separation is something I really enjoy and need. I’m amazed how many people I knew who use to play guitar when I was younger, and one by one, they would hang it up. Too busy. Settled down. Kids. Jobs. I get it. But I also don’t get it. I have kids, jobs, busy life. It’s never prevented me from playing guitar. But then again, I have a lot of support from a great wife, kids interested in music, etc. And being around fellow musicians that continued to play against the odds inspires me to keep having fun with the guitar.
The other aspect of guitar I enjoy is collaborating with others. Making something bigger than what you can do by yourself. That is what a band is all about. So in 2012 when I found myself band-less, I began to think.. “Oh, this is how it happens” For a few seconds, I thought this might be the time where I hang up the guitar and the dream is over. But then I find myself playing, noodling, thinking of melodies or just doing licks until my forearm started to burn. Why? I’m in no band or have any band prospects. Because..Â I have to play guitar. I decided to work on a solo looping project to keep busy and somewhat motivated. Who needs a band right? Bought some pieces to accomplish this (Boomerang Phrase Sampler, various delays, etc). Changed guitars, changed effects, hell, I even completely changed styles. It was fun, and it was extremely creative for me. No restrictions and the looper gave me some great possibilities. Playing in the basement is one thing, but I like to play live when I can, so I thought I would perform at a local bar. I was scared as hell and felt massive anxiety about doing this. Having a band, you have support.. emotionally. You’re in it together, but when you’re solo.. well, you’re on your own son. The show went great. No one was there, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was me doing something.
I continued to play a few shows, and because of that, I got a few offers to join bands or to collaborate. I was glad that I was able to push through 2012 with the guitar. Now I’m in a band again and the future looks guitar heavy again!
So musical resolutions for 2013? Hmmm… I learned something from the solo project. I felt like for years, I was playing non-natural. Until I started playing the solo stuff, I realized that I was swimming against the current in a lot of ways musically. I think I need to focus on my strengths a bit more and rely on my own style of playing. My musical resolutions in the past have always been about technique. Play leads better. Work on my tone. Upgrade gear. But this year, I think it will be about playing what my subconscious wants to play. Think less. Feel more.
Have you guys been in a guitar/music drought? Did you consider hanging up the guitar/instrument? If so, tell me about it! Also, let me know if you have any musical resolutions for 2013!