2006 in review
Back in January I set forth my musical goals for the year 2006. I've been doing this for the past five or six years; I find that it helps me both to understand my limitations as a musician and to appreciate my progress as a student and player. Now that the year is drawing to a close, it's time to review how I did in relation to those goals.
- Learn to read and write.
- I ended up doing nothing along these lines. Although it still seems like a good idea, I lack a compelling reason to invest my limited time in the pursuit of this goal.
- Continue study and application of theory and development of technique.
- I spent a lot of time on technique, and a bit of time on theory. This, however, was a minor focus over the past year.
- Learn more about composition.
- I made some small steps in this direction. Everything I did with respect to this goal was in the context of improvisation.
- Begin to diversify my own material stylistically and rhythmically.
- I think I'm starting to develop a bit more rhythmic versatility. On the other hand, my playing style is really becoming more inwardly focused.
- Save (record or transcribe) musical ideas.
- I've fired up the minidisc recorder a few times and have transcribed several chord charts. So technically I met this goal. However, a lot of good ideas went uncaptured.
- Play with other musicians.
- This is one that I can check off as done, although not with a feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment. I intend to continue this goal into 2007, but should define what I expect to get out of it.
- Take some lessons.
- Nope. Didn't do it. And I don't feel badly about that.
- Program and use the sequencers.
- I poked at these technological beasts a few times in an attempt to familiarize myself with their operation. But I didn't put in the sustained effort that would yield any demonstrable results. Perhaps I should carry this into 2007 as part of a larger goal.
- Write songs.
- Songs, no. Motifs, yes. What I've done is to expand my "library" of motifs that I use in my improvisational playing. This has certainly payed dividends. But so long as I don't have an organized ensemble, I don't particularly feel compelled to write songs.
- Learn songs.
- Snippets, yes. And those usually get mutated into motifs. But full songs... nope. No regrets. I don't seem to be headed in a direction where songs are important.
I did perform a few times during the year. Gradience invited me to sit in. I was on the Rosedrop Media Circus Podcast. The highlight, though, was a solo improv gig at the Carlton Winemakers' Studio for the Ribbon Ridge Winery.
On the gear front this was a fairly sedate year. I traded one amp for another more suited to my taste, bought a battery-powered amp to take to Burning Man and replaced my old Peterson tuner with a new model. I've churned through several pedals, ending up with three Visual Sound pedals and a Toadworks Redux.
I've pretty much given up on selling my ES-346 and Kritz. They're both fine guitars, neither one of which gets much playing time. I'll hang onto those unless someone comes along with a good offer; actively trying to sell these has caused me too much aggravation.
The Koll Custom DL Thinline and Fender Vibro-King still get 99.9% of my playing time. The second Koll (this one with P-90s and a Bigsby) is getting closer to completion.