Apple release iMoan©

Here ends 2007 – the number on everyone’s lips this past year.
In comes 2008, which, I predict, will be pretty similar to 2007. We’ll spend 2 months forgetting that the year’s changed when we’re writing cheques, leading to worldwide TipEx shortages, and no-one will be able come up with the definitive term for this current decade. For at least 2 years.

Now, any regular readers of mine (a misnomer, given that my posting is anything but regular) will probably remember that I posted a list of New Year resolutions for 2007.

2007’s Resolutions

So, how did I do? Is my word as solid and honest as I’d like to think it is, or am I as reliable as a party of inebriated quanta?

Let’s find out. We’re through the looking glass here.*

(*although, for any fans of Oliver Stone, white is still white, and black is still black. No chromatic inversions in this ‘blog)

Right, last year’s resolutions, still in no particular order:

8) Keep online profile up-to-date.

Success? Hahahahahahahahahaha.
Exonerating factors? Well, let’s see.
Here’s the whole resolution:

“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.”


Now, I have been spending the past year working on a number of different projects, including work on a CD. That’s my excuse for not writing as much as an emotionally-distressed shut-in with an overworked RSS Feed.

2) FINALLY take that damned Diploma.

OK, that’s forgetfulness on my part. Mea culpa.

6) Gain the respect and admiration of my peers.

As mentioned in the last article, this is the comedy option, and would be an alarming 180° turn if I were to implement it.
(Incidentally, did anyone watch the Most Irritating People of 2007 the other week? Two very disturbing sentences, back to back, did cause a bit of concern.
“He went from being very left-wing to being right-wing over the year. It wasn’t even 180°, it was a complete 360° turn.”
And then:
“He completely changed his beliefs, a real 90° shift.”
And I’m not that mathematically-pedantic.)

3) Finish tuition articles.

Er, I’ll have them done soon.

In the meantime, here’s a little exercise I’ve been practising recently that may help your creativity and time-keeping:

When playing scales, try displacing them backwards or forwards within the parent subdivision. For instance: G Mixolydian, 8th notes – displace the scale by one 16th (so instead of playing on the ‘1’ and ‘and’ of ‘1-e-and-ah’, you’re playing on the ‘e’ and ‘ah’). Keep your mind on the click, so you’re hearing the displacement in relation to the tempo (what Gavin Harrison calls the A Status in his superb book Rhythmic Illusions.)
Tired of practising the same old technique exercises? Try this rhythmic displacement, and you’ll never have time to leave the house!

On second thoughts, maybe I shouldn’t finish those articles.

9) Never stop learning.

Ah-hah! Now, I have been keeping my local Waterstones solvent this past year, constantly deplenishing their Science section, and my practise seems to focus on polymetric/isorhythmic/heteroharmonic-whatever permutations.
So, keeping the ol’ grey matter nice and busy. Well, it needs some help against all the Guinness.

4) Re-evaluate my taste in films

Done. Although I slipped, and almost watched the entire of High School Musical, for which the crime is punishment itself.

1) Sort out my practise regime.

Sorted. Confined myself to a gruelling 3-month plan to improve my alternate picking and all-round technique, and managed to perform Technical Difficulties in concert last month (sextuplets at 130bpm – I loath thinking about music as an endurance sport, but I’m impressed I managed to pull it off!). Spent this morning working on a demanding left-hand tapping session, followed by some pedal-steel bending ideas. Yup, this regime is JUST GETTING STARTED.

7) Sort out my practise regime, part 2

Oh, and I’m getting pretty handy with quintuplets, too.

5) Increase Recording Prolificacy

Apart from work on my CD, I have failed utterly in this goal. I’d hang my head in shame if I thought you’d see. But you won’t, so there really isn’t much point.

11) Stop drinking staff room coffee.

I lapsed. No excuses, but it’s not exactly in Nikki Sixx territory, is it?

Er, IS IT?!

Well, it turns out that my resolutions, on the whole, meant absolutely squat.
So, hopefully, 2008 will be nothing like the past year!

As usual, drop me a line through my website, and join me in toasting the new year…
John.

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Filed under Guitar, humour, Lists, music

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