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January 16, 2008

Action Plan Update

Okay, so I'm 16 days into 2008. It's a bit early to lay out my whole action plan, but I do have 3 steps. In reality some of these steps will overlap, but I think it's valuable to lay them out so that I have something to focus my efforts.

1) Get Good
As before, I need to start off this year with practice, practice, practice. If I'm not ready to jam with other people and actually sound credible then I'm not going to get anywhere.

2) Record Demos
I've recorded stuff before but I always tend to focus on the detail rather than the big picture. Take the embedded mp3 test file I posted last week for example. It started off as a jam track for me to practice guitar over and I ended up spending hours recording harmonica parts. What I need to do is take a step back and realise that all I need to do is set up a SIMPLE repeating drum loop, add sparse rhythm and then practice/record lead over that. That way I'll actually be spending time refining my guitar playing rather than wasting hours piddling around on the computer. The other side of that is that I fall into the trap of recording what's meant to be a backing track then jump straight into trying to tape the lead on top, usually in piecemeal fashion. What I should do is burn the backing track then go away and spend time polishing the lead performance in its entirity.

3) Get Out There
I'm already on a number of 'find a band' type websites and have been to some open mic's etc but once I've got some material to showcase I need to get it out there and get myself out there more. How? I'll probably set up a MySpace page for 'The Band', but also maybe hand out cards at open mic's..? Find a local music store and put up a notice? Obviously I haven't worked out the details of how to become visible, but it's gotta happen.

Running in parallel with the other action plan steps is another task. I need to get myself an image. Even at the open mic's I noticed that each performer went to the effort of making sure they looked distinctive (with the exception of the blind guy, who obviously got some dodgy pointers from somewhere... possibly a partially sighted or colourblind friend?). Creating an image is going to be a two step process.

First off I have to 'Look Good Naked', that is that I need to lose a few pounds. I'm not at all unhappy with the 210lbs of solid muscle that I cart around each day; it's the additional 20lbs of loose fat gained over the holiday season that's weighing me down. Since coming back to work I've swapped my high-fat, overstuffed foccacia roll lunches for lean turkey sandwiches and fruit. I'm already noticing the difference, much to my surprise. I just have to keep it up to keep it off. I'd settle for the Kenski of 9 months ago on Mykonos island...

The flip side of the coin is that my wardrobe doesn't exactly say 'Rock Star'... it says 'Bloke'. Y'know I could just play stripped to the waist (with the guitar covering my burgeoning midriff) and back-comb my hair, but I think at close to 40 that might not be a good look for me. I ain't Iggy Pop!

Maybe I should start with a new 'do. Something office-friendly by day, cutting edge by night...

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