Current activities: Continuing the development of a YouTube channel, while also focussing on more intense private study of guitar. I have been working on more advanced finger style techniques, along with building a small repertoire of more advanced finger style songs. This is taking quite some time, and dedication, but certainly helping with my growth and development, surprisingly, in a very holistic way.
The bulk of my time has been spent on private study, occasionally developing new material. I tried, but find I still have difficulty maintaining a consistent performance schedule.
I am gearing up toward properly recording my most recent solo-acoustic fingerstyle compositions, and other original songs. Most of these are a juxtaposition of ambient acoustic with blues based rock.
Planning to release one at a time thru YouTube, with cool multimedia visuals, and also SoundCloud. After I have enough recordings to form an album, will release as a digital album through all the usual outlets, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc.
I got in over my head with my earlier recording attempts, so will keep the production really simple & essential on this project. The main goals are to document my work, and create moderate performance pressure to challenge myself.
I am building up a gigging schedule again, taking it from one opportunity to the next, with a little more focus on venues, and environments that are an ideal fit for my particular style. Check the Events page on this site, or follow my Facebook or Twitter pages to see upcoming performances. Go to Bookings / Contact to inquire about my availability. I am thoroughly enjoying being out there again.
I have written a few ambient solo-acoustic instrumentals in the last year, and will keep exploring this area. I am researching, and considering delving into Eurorack type modular synthesizers to create drones and groundscapes to support the solo-acoustic instrumental work.
Also, I am continuing the YouTube Channel project, learning as I go about how to capture good video and good sound, with the least amount of fuss.
I have reduced gigging commitments to focus more on life balance. My music related activities have moved to be more focused on building a youtube presence, and private study.
I am particularly interested in developing my finger-style abilities, to get beyond a "paint-by-numbers" approach, with advanced songs. My goal is for this playing approach to feel more natural. I am also working on filling knowledge gaps related to music theory. I tried to recruit a guitar teacher to help, but this proved futile. There are an abundance of teachers who specialize on beginner guitar, but not a lot conveniently available for the high intermediate, low advanced player.
I work at a high school, and it is probable that I will again participate in the pit band for their musical production this year. Last year, this was challenging, yet very rewarding, on so many levels.
Lastly, I am strategically planning to do a multimedia video based presentation of some finger-style instrumental pieces, in the near future. This will feature impeccably recorded solo acoustic guitar tied to digitally generated visualizations of the sound. This involves scratch building a DAW computer, and follow the learning plan I described above. My goal is to get started on this project during next year.
I am starting to build up my summer gigging schedule. At this stage, it looks like it will probably be a light season. As I commit to opportunities, they are added to the calendar, and I will promote through social media as I go. I will also continue building a library of quick unedited one-take videos to expand my youtube presence.
I am glad that the season is looking to be be relatively light. At the end of March, early April, I played 2nd guitar for a high school's musical production. I had an absolute blast doing this. However, it exposed some important gaps in my self-study and practice regimen. Convenient shortcuts that I rely on for expediency turned out to be a liability when confronted with a massive amount of new music to learn in a short amount of time. Relying on the conveniences, hacks and cheats that all guitarists use is very effective, but it's clear to me that these tricks don't scale up well. Addressing this neglected area of study will help me be more flexible, and become a better overall musician.
The gigging season is pretty much over for 2016. Although I have had busier summers, the opportunities this past couple of months were evenly spaced across the calendar, so it was a better schedule. I have been taking a little break from serious practice, to invest in messing around with tones on guitar amps. After this little hiatus, during this off season:
I have started the process of setting up my performance schedule for the upcoming season. I'll add them to the calendar as I go, and start promoting closer to each event. My hope for this season is that I can achieve a more consistent schedule.
This is the music related stuff I am currently working on:
Life is a series of normal and unexpected changes. Resisting change creates strife, so my wish for yourself and myself is: Allow things to stream forward, finding a place in the flow, and then steer yourself in the direction you would like to go. Allow your route to reveal itself; your evolutionary pilgrimage of inspiration and discovery. God bless!
I completed the migration of all my old blog articles in the "Musings" category to this new website, and was able to back date.
Wishing all my friends and followers a blessed Christmas, filled with joy and love. I appreciate your friendship. May your new year be filled with music, and may your dreams be realized. ... Jeff