A few days ago, I quickly jotted down a list of some of the things I need to do this year, in regards to my musical life. I thought I’d share them with you – you can remind me of these “resolutions” later in the year if I appear to have fallen by the wayside.
Resolution #1: Stop procrastinating
This one is always on my list… though I normally leave it til last.
Resolution #2: Play more of my own songs at gigs
A few years ago, not even the promise of cold hard cash could make me play one of my own songs. These days, I will play them willingly, though usually it’s just the odd few (emphasis on “odd”) in the middle of a gig. So now I’ve decided to mix my own songs in with the books of cover versions I play – I’m more likely to sing them if I just happen upon them while I browse for the next song to play.
Resolution #3: Go to some songwriters nights
I’ve never been to a songwriters gathering, never subjected my own compositions to a jury of my peers. I think I have some good songs – I just need lots and lots of other people to confirm that for me. And if they don’t like them? Well, they’re obviously just jealous of my amazing talent…
Resolution #4: Learn to play the difficult bits
I must admit, I avoid learning anything too fiddly on guitar. But my guitar playing is loads better than it was a few years ago – I must’ve really been pretty rubbish then. I could probably do some fiddly bits now if I put the time and effort in. Of course, that’s only in order to show the guitarists in the audience that I can play a little bit.
Resolution #5: Play more gigs
Last year, I averaged about two gigs a month. Not a lot really, but a huge increase on previous years. And that was without me going out and selling myself – just my monthly residency, weddings, birthday parties and charity gigs. This year, the plan is to put a CD together and hawk it round the local restaurants and bars: I figure my current easy-listening playlist is eminently suitable for folks to dine by. Now that I’ve dropped the Slipknot numbers.
Resolution #6: Do lots more recording
What? Well, I could hardly do much less than I did last year, could I? But I’m determined (no, really) to start a YouTube channel and post a quick version of every completed song I’ve written to date. If only so that I don’t forget how they go.
Resolution #7: Blog more
Or at least, blog regularly. I’m going to aim for twice a week – hopefully if I start gigging more and recording more at least I’ll have something to say. Rather than the type of filler I’m writing right now.
Resolution #8: Network more
Once I’ve got some of my original songs recorded, I need to go out into the big bad world and find people out there that might want to hear them. There’s about 8 billion people out there – surely there must be one or two that want to listen to my stuff??? Hello? Is there anybody out there?
Resolution #9: Take myself more seriously
I’m hoping that anyone reading this blog will realise that I really don’t take myself seriously at all. But my good friend Martin Pemberton, over from Washington DC, came to watch me play – for the first time ever – and said “you were really good, but you should take your talent more seriously and play more of your own stuff and not just the silly throwaway jokey ones with rude words in them”. And maybe he has a point… although I still think Assholes is a great song – maybe Randy Newman would like to cover it?