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December 9, 2008

Project Recap: January 2008

Wow, I just re-read the stuff I wrote back in January. I really didn't have a clue what I was doing, did I? Talk about naive! Well, at least I started putting one foot in front of the other, and that got me on the path.

Let's go back to where it all began...

Starting From Zero
...Got Nothing To Lose.

Almost a year ago my husband and I were bellied up to the bar at one of our now-traditional "beer & ribs" joints in Amsterdam. It was mid-afternoon, New Year's Day, and we were well on our way to resurrecting our drunk from the night before. Our last day in Sin City was slipping by. London, and real life, beckoned.

Neither of us are big on making New Year's resolutions but as we sat there chatting about how far we'd come in the past year it seemed only natural to speculate about what we might achieve in the months to come.

During a discussion which ranged from getting more tattoos to deciding whether or not to adopt a child, one theme kept on rearing its ugly head: music. More specifically how I manage to constantly under-achieve when trying to improve.

Another twelve months have passed and I have yet to make significant progress in my playing. Why am I not in a band? When am I going to be good enough to play open mic's or jam sessions?

So, here it is, the question that I'm asking myself for 2008: how can I go from zero to hero in a year?


What happened next? Well, I set myself a preliminary action plan that went something like this:

1) Get Good
2) Record Demos
3) Get Out There

On the 'get good' front I actually did pretty well. I signed up for a course and it really got me motivated to practice daily and improve. I do feel like the nature of the course distracted me somewhat from playing electric, possibly delaying me slightly, but at the same time it got me playing in a group situation and meeting like-minded people.

I never really did record demos and 'getting out there' in terms of meeting other bandmates would come later. I went to loads of open mics but never had the guts to stand up and do my thing, not that I had a thing to do...

Overall, January wasn't a bad start. At least I was moving forwards.

Oh, the other thing I'd recognised was that middle-age spread was creeping in and that I could do with shaping up a bit and working on my image. For a while I did the diet thing, but it wouldn't really be until after having back issues in the summer that I'd seriously look at addressing my weight issue. More of that later, I guess.

The one bit of current news to share with you guys is that I'm awaiting delivery of a new pre-amp tube for my Marshall VS100. It recently developed an annoying whine whilst on the overdrive channels which isn't horrible but it's distracting. Since the amp's possibly 10 years old and the pre-amp tubes are only really expected to last 4-5 years I figured I'd try swapping it out to see whether it made any difference. I'll keep you posted! It's due for delivery today (so I probably won't get it for a week!)

3 comments:

Furtheron said...

You've done a ton... much better than I. Every year the resolution is to do something with the music again - every year little if no progress.

This year - I half hearted started noodling with original stuff - I've got some ideas in rough form. I've bought the digital recorder. Now I need to commit to doing something with it.

Kenski said...

Well, I've been seriously considering asking Santa (who I'm reliably informed is running a bit late on his shopping this year) for something like a Boss BR600. Pre-programmed or programmable drums, bass simulators and effectively a 4-track digital guitar recorder (though it 'claims' to be an 8-track)... at under £200. There's a cheaper mini version but it looks a bit too mini. Will still check it out, though...

My biggest creative hurdle is that I only play guitar (and some harmonica... ish) so doing drums etc isn't readily available to me.

Have you considered using your blog as a sketchpad, post noodle ideas etc? Just a thought.

Col said...

Don't waste money on all that crap Ken. I still can't program the drums on mine.