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Musical Goals: Where Are You Going?


Eric VB

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Musical Goals: Where Are You Going and Where Have You Been?

 

As my life speeds by like one of those crazy calendars used in the movies to show the passage of time, pages and dates flying by in frenzy, I pause a moment to take stock of where I am and where I'm going. [seeing the light at the other end of the tunnel as winter slowly gives way to spring helps, too.]

 

I have a solo recording project I've been working on that I finally assigned a firm deadline to. I'll have to put some serious time into it now in order to meet that deadline. It has been a vehicle for me to spread my wings in so many different musical directions. I will have learned a lot from the process, but I will still be disappointed if I don't finish it. A lot of goals are wrapped up in this one, but the main prize is having a finished product!

 

I've taken a break from the church band while I heal up. This has given me an opportunity to evaluate its role in my life over the last year. My previous band decided to go Christian rock but never played out before it dissolved. So in a way this band is a continuation of those goals. It has been a good experience overall, and musically it has been a chance to exercise some flabby skills and play a more traditional style of music that I haven't played in almost 20 years.**

 

I'm also in the church handbell choir; I think this is our 4th year. This is really more of a "married couples"/together time thing I do with my wife. However, the style of music and demands of the percussion instrument give insight into music as a whole. This musical endeavor is meeting my goals nicely, and probably will for some time. (The group has already informed me I am not allowed to quit. Ever. ;) )

 

I tried to get something going with a local guitarist, but nothing has panned out. Our goals were to get together and jam and possibly do some collaborative songwriting. Well, we jammed a few times, shared some material, and then found other projects to work on. I did get a call to fill in on one of these but the event was cancelled instead. We still keep in touch and at the very least this has been successful towards my networking goal. (I've actually been quite pleased with my networking progress in general.)

 

I set a goal to play in a gigging band as a part-time job. (Beats flipping burgers.) At first I was very picky in choosing auditions, #1 being that I wasn't going to drive to the other side of town for rehearsals. I finally realized this was just limiting my opportunities as most musicians appeared to be across town. I almost passed on an audition because it was too far away; I got the spot and everyone is actually on my side of town. Even better, I'm hosting rehearsals now. It's a startup cover band and we just lost a member, but I think this group has potential so I'm sticking it out. As a bonus I'm finding out everyone has a solo side project like I do, and that is leading to some fulfilling collaborations.

 

Another goal is to get into songwriting. After a lot of reading and chatting online, I finally found out about my local NSAI chapter. I've gone to one meeting just to listen; they seem like a good group. Now the ball is in my court as I try to work out a few songs I think would go over well. I've completed one, have a couple more in the works, but now I have to practice performing it as a singer/songwriter as the group requires. Fortunately my wife's highschool classmate hosts open mikes and I've gone to several of these to build up my chops in general.

 

In summary then, some future goals are:

1. Have a CD release party of my solo work.

2. Just enjoy the church choirs; Easter is coming up.

3. Keep networking.

4. Do my part to get the cover band going and gigging.

5. Get my songs ready and give NSAI a whirl.

 

 

[**As a curious side note, the guitarist from the Christian rock group called me up -- we're still good friends -- and let me know that the organization he's with now is interested in having me play at their new church out my way. Evidently he played our demo CD for his music director and he gave me an open invitation; no audition necessary. I think I'd have more fun playing their music (rock), but I'd probably have to give up playing at my church. So I'll pray on this one.]

 

 

Ok! Now what are your musical goals? What goals did you set in the past, and how did they turn out? What goals do you have for the future?

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WOW.

Funny to see this post; it must be a spring weather thing.

This past week I started a recording project with the name 03092007. Its the date I need to write the drums, bass, organ and vocals by. It doesnt need to be amazing... I'm just trying to exercise my song writing skills. I hope to be able to put together a song every 2 weeks. I need to record the last drum track tonight

** the band Im playing in. We are finally starting to book shows, and it feels good. But the talent level of the singer kind of worries me. I would love to sink my life and full creative energies into this but I feel like as soon as I do someone will quit or have to move for job purposes. I decided to go ahead and put my butt on the line. I hope we can grow musically together and have a wonderful and long relationship.

** I also want to keep learning Keys and working up my bass skills so I can hopefully work as a studio musician once my chops are up and my musical knowledge base is large and thorough enough.

 

Good luck Ric.

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, like RickBassGuy, my life is not only flying by, the major part has already flown by. Even though I have been playing bass for some 40+ years, I have never accomplished anything notable. I have always been too busy with family and business to really put music toward the top of my "things to do list.

 

Eight years ago I was given a six month Cancer death sentence and had to go through four months of Chemo. It was during this time that I really developed a burning desire to play bass really well. For mental therapy, I began practicing 4-5 hours a day. After chemo, I began taking lessons from an old friend, an excellent musician, a multi-instrumentalist, pro musician. We worked on style, timing, tone, touch, theory, etc. I learned a lot and progressed extremely well. About six month ago he told me that I was at the point that he could not help me any longer and in his opinion, I could play with any band in town. That was a huge compliment and gave me a great boost. I began to develop the idea of forming my own band. I wanted an extremely high caliber dance band for playing at private functions, and conventions. The formation went really well for about 4 months and then the members started falling away. Mainly, they did not want to put in the time and the commitment to reach the level I was striving for. We lost 4 of the 8 members and have not found qualified replacements.

 

I do have a Wednesday night jam band. We have 5-6 really good players but none have any desire to go pro. They are too busy with family and business. That sounds familiar! I dont know if I can ever make my dream come true. I do wish I could have become serious many years ago.

 

Last Sunday I went to a benefit concert. The bass player that was there just happened to be my Bass God Idol. I can only dream of playing like that. After the concert, I went up to him and we became friendly. I ask if he ever gave lessons and he said no. I then explained my musicianship level, I told him I was a very good bassist but I wanted to be a great bassist. He said, OK, lets work on that. Next week, I begin with my new bass teacher. Maybe all I will ever do is take lessons and keep improving and never play in a great band. But for now, I am very satisfied. Wish me luck.

 

Rocky

 

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Even though I have been playing bass for some 40+ years, I have never accomplished anything notable.

 

Oh but you have! You've made friends on this forum and probably influenced some folks in ways that you probably would never haved imagined! Good luck with your pursuit, bass brother!

 

Dave

 

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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My goals:

 

1) Continue to improve and refine some of the slightly odd-ball techniques that I use, continue to work slowly toward improving my music theory knowledge, learn some more interesting scales and how to harmonize them. Etc.

 

2) Continue playing with the worship band at church. I feel like we've finally started to really gel, and things are finally becoming more fluid and polished. It's good to give something back.

 

3) One of my best friends and former band-mates from the metal days has also joined the worship band. She plays keys, and she and I are tossing around the idea of perhaps doing an instrumental CD outside of church. I've been carrying this idea for a while...it can be done with multiple bass tracks, drums, some basic guitar, and some midi tracks perhaps, all of which are parts that I can do myself. But, adding keys to the picture (and someone who can really play) changes the whole dynamic. I know that it's good for me to get another person involved...if it's just me, it's hard to keep the motivation going. But if another person is involved, I feel a responsibility toward actually creating something of value, so this is actually probably the kick that I need to actually get going with it.

 

Dave

 

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Musical Goals: Where Are You Going and Where Have You Been?

 

As my life speeds by like one of those crazy calendars used in the movies to show the passage of time, pages and dates flying by in frenzy, I pause a moment to take stock of where I am and where I'm going. [seeing the light at the other end of the tunnel as winter slowly gives way to spring helps, too.]

 

I have a solo recording project I've been working on that I finally assigned a firm deadline to. I'll have to put some serious time into it now in order to meet that deadline. It has been a vehicle for me to spread my wings in so many different musical directions. I will have learned a lot from the process, but I will still be disappointed if I don't finish it. A lot of goals are wrapped up in this one, but the main prize is having a finished product!

 

I've taken a break from the church band while I heal up. This has given me an opportunity to evaluate its role in my life over the last year. My previous band decided to go Christian rock but never played out before it dissolved. So in a way this band is a continuation of those goals. It has been a good experience overall, and musically it has been a chance to exercise some flabby skills and play a more traditional style of music that I haven't played in almost 20 years.**

 

I'm also in the church handbell choir; I think this is our 4th year. This is really more of a "married couples"/together time thing I do with my wife. However, the style of music and demands of the percussion instrument give insight into music as a whole. This musical endeavor is meeting my goals nicely, and probably will for some time. (The group has already informed me I am not allowed to quit. Ever. ;) )

 

I tried to get something going with a local guitarist, but nothing has panned out. Our goals were to get together and jam and possibly do some collaborative songwriting. Well, we jammed a few times, shared some material, and then found other projects to work on. I did get a call to fill in on one of these but the event was cancelled instead. We still keep in touch and at the very least this has been successful towards my networking goal. (I've actually been quite pleased with my networking progress in general.)

 

I set a goal to play in a gigging band as a part-time job. (Beats flipping burgers.) At first I was very picky in choosing auditions, #1 being that I wasn't going to drive to the other side of town for rehearsals. I finally realized this was just limiting my opportunities as most musicians appeared to be across town. I almost passed on an audition because it was too far away; I got the spot and everyone is actually on my side of town. Even better, I'm hosting rehearsals now. It's a startup cover band and we just lost a member, but I think this group has potential so I'm sticking it out. As a bonus I'm finding out everyone has a solo side project like I do, and that is leading to some fulfilling collaborations.

 

Another goal is to get into songwriting. After a lot of reading and chatting online, I finally found out about my local NSAI chapter. I've gone to one meeting just to listen; they seem like a good group. Now the ball is in my court as I try to work out a few songs I think would go over well. I've completed one, have a couple more in the works, but now I have to practice performing it as a singer/songwriter as the group requires. Fortunately my wife's highschool classmate hosts open mikes and I've gone to several of these to build up my chops in general.

 

In summary then, some future goals are:

1. Have a CD release party of my solo work.

2. Just enjoy the church choirs; Easter is coming up.

3. Keep networking.

4. Do my part to get the cover band going and gigging.

5. Get my songs ready and give NSAI a whirl.

 

 

[**As a curious side note, the guitarist from the Christian rock group called me up -- we're still good friends -- and let me know that the organization he's with now is interested in having me play at their new church out my way. Evidently he played our demo CD for his music director and he gave me an open invitation; no audition necessary. I think I'd have more fun playing their music (rock), but I'd probably have to give up playing at my church. So I'll pray on this one.]

 

 

Ok! Now what are your musical goals? What goals did you set in the past, and how did they turn out? What goals do you have for the future?

 

You must not have children............if you do, have you seen them lately.

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I'd like to shelve my solo project at some point and try a small band again, albeit still an unconventional one.

 

I want to learn how to break the Variax that I bought. I was thinking the other day that some of the most interesting sounds I might be able to get from it are the ones that it wasn't supposed to make.

 

I want to get better at recording and mixing music.

 

I'm teaching a friend how to play guitar. I'd like to get him to the point where we could play open mikes or with friends.

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Thanks for this thread, RBG! We needed just this type to possibly raise the amount of contributions to the thread. No gig tonight so I'll have a go.

 

My wife is studying full-time for a Masters leading to a change of a career, my son is not yet six and I have a necessary day job so musically, things are a little on hold right now - barring the cover band and the odd side-project and practising the solo stuff.

 

My plans

 

Up until summer

Play the odd gig with the cover band - up to 6 a month max.

Teach the odd lesson

Join in with projects when hired

Practise - especially building my knowledge of the jazz canon and my singing

Sort out ideas for solo stuff at home and maybe try out ideas for this with a drummer in a drums.looped bass project

 

After Summer

As above

+Find a more creative outlet even if that means forming my own group again playing probably jazz or bossa/samba influenced music

+More actively seek further projects

+Integrate looping into some kind of performance

+Get hold of a fretted bass - maybe when we have 2 salaries again!

 

Phil

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Hey Phil, tell us about your trips to the US for the music acadamy. How did that get started and are you still doing that. How long did it last and what were you learning????????????????

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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While PHIL limbers up, I might as well speak MY bit. :)

 

I've finally found a band to join. One of the big plusses of moving to New Zealand is that there's a better "live" scene than there was in Italy. And it's finally happened.

 

Actually, it's a bit of a teaching experience for me as the guitar player is just getting started. I suggest stuff all the time, but he's starting to come out with some interesting stuff on his own so there's always something positive to rehearsals. The drummer's competent enough, but needs to get a tad more aggressive. But it's all coming together so I'm happy enough.

 

We'll never get rich by playing instrumentals (and originals at that) but becoming rich doesn't seem to figure in the game plan. I think we'd be happy enough to be acknowledged, one day, as a really good band.

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Great thread & great stories!

 

I'm at a crossroads right now. At the moment I'm playing a lot at church, playing in a really cool original band, and helping a bandmate with a solo project. I'm enjoying all of this.

 

I'm also moving to the other side of the earth in a few months, so I'll need to find new things. I'm going back to a place where I lived for about 5 years, & I know some musicians there. I don't think I'll play in church there, but I might be able to get together with some friends. Still, I know that these people are all very busy, so it might not work out. I figure I'll either play with people I know, find new people to work with, or, well, just drop it.

 

Right now, my work-related goals are at the top of the list. I'd like to be in a regular gigging band as a source of extra income, but I'm very happy with how my professional (non-musical) skills have advanced in the last couple of years, & I want to keep that momentum up if I can.

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My goals for this year:

 

- practise more

- finally get that rock-coverband with my dad together (we're a drummer shy of a full line-up)

- quit my current band since I seem to be the only one interested in doing more than just play songs in the drummer's attic - downside is these are life-long friends

- join a new band that plays in a genre I'm highly unfamiliar with

 

That's it in a nutshell.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Great thread & great stories!

 

Right now, my work-related goals are at the top of the list. I'd like to be in a regular gigging band as a source of extra income, but I'm very happy with how my professional (non-musical) skills have advanced in the last couple of years, & I want to keep that momentum up if I can.

 

I think that musicians may be at the top of the list of those people who put aside their lust (for music) to do the sensible thing like feed their family and put something away for old age.

I would think that this would make musicians a frustrated bunch.

 

Rocky :grin:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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I am not going far in reaching my goals thus far this year because...I didn't practice for all of January and February!

 

But I needed a break, and I'm glad I did it. I think, like summer for kids, the brain needs a chance to rejuvenate itself with a break from learning. Anyway, I'm thrilled to be back to practicing again.

 

My goal this year is definitely to play more melodically. I want to keep learning theory but more importantly improve applying that theory to my playing - to 'think music'.

 

Another goal this year is 'quality over quantity' in my practice time - really ramp up the intensity of my focus when I'm practicing.

 

Another goal is to play with as many people as possible, even in genres I'm not that interested in.

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Yeah,

I got funding to spend a month at LA Music Academy in Summer 2005, the whole month revolutionised my playing and a got private lessons from a range of great teachers. They made a massive diference to my technique and musicality and I spent a lot of time studying melody playing ans soloing as these weren't aspects I'd covered much and they had a huge pay-off on my playing even when just playing root-fives. Playing jazz in the US was a revelation after London too!

I went back to visit in Summer 2006 too, checking out one of my teacher's gigs and sitting in on clinics with Sheryl Bailey and Dave Liebman.

In Summer 2007 I funded myself to spend a week at the jazz, latin and fusion summer program which was a blast: even though there were only a few oldies like myself. Billy Childs' kids were there playing and it was a blast to gig with him sitting in the audience with his family along with Ralph Humphrey (ex.Zappa) and others. I got to hang out with a lot of great jazz players and check out lots of gigs. I got to improve my bossa/samba playing a lot while studying with Hussein Jiffry. We also good to record in Firehouse Studios in Pasadena (where the likes of Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Anthony Jackson, Bob James, Fourplay, Yellow jackets, Carmen Lundy, Larry Carlton, Chick Corea and Nathan East have recorded).

 

They were great experiences.

I don't think I'll be paying for Summer Program again for a while. I know enough greta teachers in LA now that I'll probably organise some private lessons next time I'm over.

 

Anyway, with my cashflow and my wife's inpending new career (which will mean shorter family vacations) I might not make it to California this summer.

 

http://www.lamusicacademy.com/

http://www.firehouserecordingstudios.com/

 

There area bunch of recordings on the MySpace and Soundclick things from there - Cissy Strut, Fly Me To the Moon, Blue Monk, All Blues, Abuela/Grandmother/First Meeting etc. etc.

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Phil, sounds like a great experience. I listened to your sound clips and you are definately making good progress. Hope you can get back soon, or, come to Texas and study "Real" Music. :D

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Wow. $20K for a year at LA Music Academy. Does that come with a guaranteed grammy? Anyone ever done a full year? Good results?

 

My cousin just got into the Univ. of Illinois music program - she'll be paying much less. Of course she's a violin-playing nerd, but she's on her way to a career in music.

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Today was my first venture into keyboards at church, I played the B3 with the pianist on a soulful Brooklyn Tabernacle choir song for the offeratory song. I've been playing keys in other bands but this seems ro be more rewarding and challenging.

 

I was originally schedule to tackle the bass today for the first time in my life, thank goodness I got moved to guitar. Those old hymns which change chords every beat would have been a train wreck with a novice like me on bass :blush:

 

I'm working in a new funk /jazz instrumental group and we are coming along nicely (keyboards ,maybe guitar). We will be getting a demo ready and ready to hit the streets soon

 

Also have a funk guitarist who is putting together some recordings and building an act is having me come out this week.He is wanting some writing and singing collaboration.

 

The pastor whom played bass today told me "Your day is coming" :eek:

I'm okay with that if we start out a little simpler than today. :grin:

 

 

Cogratulations Phil W. on such a great experience :thu:

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Wow. $20K for a year at LA Music Academy. Does that come with a guaranteed grammy? Anyone ever done a full year? Good results?

 

 

Sure, great results. There are some funding options and the summer school is much cheaper.

 

The following have done the year there:

 

Jonathan Herrera (bassplayer magazine, Oz Noy etc. etc.)

Gros N'Golle Pokossi (Trilok Gurtu)

Chaun Horton (Macy Gray)

Debi Nova (Sergio Mendes, Ricky Martin)

 

etc. etc.

 

http://www.lamusicacademy.com/news/alumni.asp

 

 

The main plus for me, as well as the quality of teaching staff and the location, is the small size of the place which means you quickly get to know (and are supported by) everyone.

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My goals are pretty small right now....

 

Play more gigs. I've been pushing my singer/acoustic g****r player to get just he and I booked at this cushy outdoor gig at a restaurant that pays pretty well. We did set up once but we got rained out. 3 hours of work and the pay is decent.

 

Only spend money on gear that I earn playing music (or flipping gear). This one is going to be difficult.

 

Sell some gear including Tascam Bass Trainer MKII and EBS Multicomp.

 

 

 

 

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My band goal is to get the rest of our original music written and recorded, with the album released by the end of the year. Also I want us playing our first shows by the end of the year. We have at least 6 original songs and 4 covers to get nailed down perfect before that happens though.

 

Personally I plan to spread my musical wings this year. I'm going to get much more active in the song writing process beyond just coming up with a bass line to accompany what the guitarist plays. I'm also going to expand my playing style portfolio into the funk/r&b/soul direction so I can incorporate those styles into our music. I've been playing mainly rock and metal my entire bass career but recently I've been feeling like I'm not expanding my improvisational abilities enough within just that genre.

 

So, I have a busy year ahead.

Feel free to visit my band's site

Delusional Mind

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I'm clearly the slacker in the group. Like others, there are lots of things I'd like to do, but life has successfully precluded regular practice time (and if I had some "regular" time, I should be exercising...). That kills most of the goals I'd like to work towards.

 

It's impressive to see how people are working on their music. I went to see some old friends play Saturday and found out that the keys guy has been taking vocal lessons for three years now. Based on what I heard, there's been improvement. I wish I was doing that. I'd also like to work on a few original songs. And play in an originals band (to stretch my creativity).

 

Still, the band has wanted to play out more, and we've had some movement in that area. So my goals include:

 

- improve our gigs - better sound management, volume levels, playing, and energy.

- book a Long Island gig for June (it's finding the right place that's been tough).

- concentrate more when practicing band material to clean up technique where possible.

- play with 4-6 gigs other bands by substituting for their bassist (thereby negating rehearsal time and being a hero)

 

Tom

(I'm mostly kidding about that last one....)

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I've actually been working on one of my goals for last year, which is learn the entire "Killers" album by Iron Maiden. I consider stuff like Maiden and Metallica to be bass work-out, sort of like a fitness routine on bass. Playing fast and adding licks (I'm not sure they're bass or guitar, but I'll probably never play most of these songs with a band anyway so I can incorporate whatever I want into my interpretations of these songs) seems to keep me fit and inspired.

 

I'll add that practising mostly on a 6-string seems to have a positive effect on my overall playing. I'm not sure how to explain this but when I pick up the 5-string again it often feels as if I can totally kick ass on it, on account of the neck being so thin and all (compared to the six). It's as if I need to worry less about where the notes are and how to reach them, and can focus more on my technique and intonation and all that ... So another goal here is to practise more on my 6 and kick more ass on the 5 :D

 

I am not going far in reaching my goals thus far this year because...I didn't practice for all of January and February!

 

I seem to be doing that more and more, taking a one or two-week break from playing and it does help. Often our practise routines tend to become a habit, and habits can end up feeling like obligations. For most of us, playing bass is or should be about having fun first and foremost. A break can help.

 

Oh and I totally hear you on playing more melodic and playing in a genre you don't know much about or are not interested in :thu:

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I've actually been working on one of my goals for last year, which is learn the entire "Killers" album by Iron Maiden.

 

One of the songs we plan to cover is Prodigal Son off that album. I haven't started learning it yet since it's the pick of one of the guitarists and he took forever to make up his mind.

 

I picked To Tame A Land off Piece of Mind. I already have learned all of it. Iron Maiden is fun to play.

Feel free to visit my band's site

Delusional Mind

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I am not going far in reaching my goals thus far this year because...I didn't practice for all of January and February!

 

I seem to be doing that more and more, taking a one or two-week break from playing and it does help. Often our practise routines tend to become a habit, and habits can end up feeling like obligations. For most of us, playing bass is or should be about having fun first and foremost. A break can help.

 

Oh and I totally hear you on playing more melodic and playing in a genre you don't know much about or are not interested in :thu:

 

There is definitely such a thing as overtraining, and if you train hard you do need to take a break otherwise you're getting less and less on your time investments.

 

I'm still not back up to full practice mode - I'm being a gym rat and have another month left on an exercise program that is getting pretty brutal. I'm not practicing more than 1 hour a day now (I'm too tired and there's not enough hours in the day!), but I think I'll get back to practicing just fine.

 

Even though all I want to do is play music, ya gotta take a break every now and then - it does pay off. I know I was revving to go when my two month hiatus ended.

 

As far as playing more melodically, I think opening up my ears is a good start. Like you said, it's so easy to fall into familiar habits and patterns and hopefully, taking a break rejuvenates the musical mind so you can listen from new perspectives.

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It's hard to have musical goals in a music wasteland like here. The last place to "perform" jazz instead of being "background" music just closed that portion of their schedule. No new place on the horizon.

 

The pop/rock thing is OK - we need new tunes and our lead singer still has visions of doing "originals" instead of covers. This is smart as we finally have a folowing and bookings into August. If it ain't broke, you know.

 

Just a little frustrated right now. I'll keep practicing...for something....I guess.

 

 

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Comming back after a short break does seem to clean up bad habits. Everything seems better. Timing, feel, touch, expression, all seem better than over practicing. I don't know if it's a real improvement or a percieved improvemant but it feels good.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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