David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: goals, motivation, music theory, recording, technique, @musings info

2006 Musical Goals

I might as well get this out where everyone can see it. Every year since 2000 I've been setting musical goals for my self. I do this in lieu of new years' resolutions because, frankly, I'm more motivated by the musical goals.

Learn to read and write.
I haven't had any exposure to musical notation since I took a one-semester music theory class for non-music majors. That was a long time ago. I struggle so much with trying to make sense of written music that it's quite useless to me today. I'm going to take this in small steps. I don't expect to be able to sight-read any time soon, but I'd like to be able to recognize notes, chords and rhythms on the written page. I'd also like to be able to transcribe some of my own musical ideas rather than starting up a recorder every time I come up with something I'd like to remember.
Continue study and application of theory and development of technique.
This has been an ongoing process. More of the same this year.
Learn more about composition.
Now that I'm starting to understand some theory, I'd like to be able to put it into practice when writing my own material.
Begin to diversify my own material stylistically and rhythmically.
This one's pretty much self-explanatory. I need to break out of my rut.
Save (record or transcribe) musical ideas.
I throw away a lot of musical ideas every day. I intend to start saving them. Combined with the previous point, I should not only be able to begin to catalog my ideas but also to notice common motifs, etc.
Play with other musicians.
I haven't made an effort to play with anyone else since I quit my last band in August 2004. It's time to get past that. I'm still not interested in joining or forming a band - just playing for the sake of playing. I wouldn't mind sitting in with other performers if presented with an appropriate opportunity.
Take some lessons.
I probably won't take lessons on an ongoing basis; I enjoy the sense of discover that comes from figuring out things on my own. Most likely I'll take an occasional lesson to get feedback and refine my direction.
Program and use the sequencers.
I bought a couple of sequencers in late 2004 and have barely touched them since. It's time to put them to work for me.
Write songs.
I've been concentrating on theory, technique and improvisation for over a year. I have a collection of motifs that I can arrange for improvisation, but nothing that I could point to as a song. This is about structure and composition.
Learn songs.
I haven't played anyone else's music in a long time.

You'll notice that I haven't set any goals related to gear. I want to focus on playing, not tweaking. I'll continue to write about my gear insights as I learn more about using the gear I already have or in answer to common issues when I see other players struggling to understand something that I think I can shed some light upon.

I'm really happy with my gear; I play my Koll Custom DL Thinline through a Vibro-King 99.9% of the time. I look forward to taking delivery of the second version of that guitar, equipped with P-90 pickups and a Bigsby vibrato. I may buy a few more pedals - I haven't decided for sure, yet. And I intend to sell off the last of my underutilized guitars and amps. That's it. There's really nothing goal-worthy as it relates to gear.

January 02 2006 06:40:08 GMT