…if you play your chords right.

Welcome, one and all, to 2007.

Resolutions abound, and I must make sure mine are in the public domain. That way, when my friends, relatives & colleagues harangue me for my recalcitrance in keeping them, I can admonish them for believing the nonsense they read on the Internet.

If I’ve judged the last sentence correctly, about 71% of you will be thoroughly grateful you never have to meet me in person.
The remaining 29% of you will be completely void of reaction. Do not fear – this is common of statistics. Especially ones that are made-up.

Right, enough with the linguistic foreplay. Resolutions.

My top 10, in no particular order:

8) Keep online profile up-to-date.
Fairly obvious, really, given the meager verbal spillage onto this illustrious page, artfully blotted by your loyal patronage.
Due to the lack of an Internet connection in my cottage (for I live in a cottage), I am becoming adept in a most circuitous illogic: I once wrote this page to procrastinate. It was my refuge from the academia that stripped the paint in the living room of my mind [hence the sexy non-sequiturs].
However, now I no longer need the metaphorical escape, the constitutive other of the Web. So it’s harder to motivate myself to write these at any length.

Therefore [thanks for following this], I am putting off the act of procrastination.
Hmmm…quite the dialectical quandary.

2) FINALLY take that damned Diploma.
Amazingly, this [Registry of Guitar Tutors Dip.] has been in the pipeline for quite a while. Another, unrelated form of procrastination [posited by some scholars using the term “work”] sadly has delayed this. But no more excuses.
I know the chords, the scales, the theory, the history, and I can teach. I might as well get a piece of paper out of it.

6) Gain the respect and admiration of my peers.
Comedy ‘joke’ option. This would require too much of a personality change to seriously warrant any attention.
And I must have watched all those hours of The Simpsons and Futurama for a reason.
Yes. It’s THEIR fault.

3) Finish tuition articles.
As some of you are aware, I’m writing a series for my new website – a comprehensive and concise guide to refining your guitar playing.

The idea for these articles came from a comment by guitar supremo Pete Callard, on the subject of technique:
“When I watch Gordon Ramsay chop cucumber on TV, I fully expect that he will wield his knife with a lot more expertise than I would.”
The premise is this: allowing the dedicated guitarist to remove the technical boundaries that inhibit great art.

The concepts, exercises and insights in these articles are designed to be as user-friendly and musical as possible. They’re also reactionary to all those accursed ‘how to play fast’ guides you see littering music shops, and all those ‘play like Yngwie’ sites that clog up the Internet, very few of which offer anything of interest or use to the thinking guitarist.

Watch this space. If you want to be notified when the articles are posted, please send me an e-mail at the usual address.

9) Never stop learning.
I know, the pop-psychology ‘cop-out’ one. The whole neurological pathways stuff that “the more you learn, the more you’re able to learn”, and so on.
But there’s tremendous joy to be had in discovery, and while I’ve always known this with regard to musical discovery [the thrill of hearing a new band, for instance], it’s been only in the last year or so that I’ve really applied it to other walks of life.
At the moment, I’m going through the sources cited in Bill Bryson’s bibliography to A Short History of Nearly Everything, and it’s proving most elucidating indeed!

Current books I’ve thoroughly loved to little pieces throughout December include: Derren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind, Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, Dava Sobel’s The Planets and Umberto Eco’s wonderful Foucault’s Pendulum.
So, off to a good start!

4) Re-evaluate my taste in films.
I bought Silent Hill. I didn’t have to. There was no renumerative incentive if I did so.
Oh well. At least it wasn’t Love Actually.

1) Sort out my practice regime.
This year, dammit, I will get my alternate picking together. NO EXCUSES.

7) Sort out my practice regime, part 2.
Oh, and my rhythm playing, ear-training, harmonisation, poly-modal improvisation, chord-melody, steel guitar string bending, banjo playing (really!), eight-finger tapping. How long can that possibly take?

5) Increase Recording Prolificacy
Does what it says on the tin. I need a new track on MySpace. The ‘What A Night!’ track is two years old, and was written and recorded in a night!
No, 2007 is the year of TASTEFUL MUSIC. I mean it this time.

Well, thanks for reading my congitive superfluity! Onwards with 2007.
To help us with our journey, I’ll sign off with this wonderfully hilarious/deep quote from Eddie Izzard:

“Poetry is very similar to Music. Only less notes, and more words.”

‘Till next time, be kind!
John.

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Filed under Guitar, irreverence, Lists, music

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