New Year Resolutions for 2020

Thanks to the band, 2019 was the first year that I can remember where my music started having structure and goals. Until now, it’s simply been an escape from the rest of my life. (That sounds like a bad thing. It’s not!)

I don’t know how much time I’m going to have for music in 2020. It’s going to be a busy and challenging year at work. I’d like to fit a few things into whatever time I do have, and that’s what this blog post is all about.

How many will I manage? I honestly have no idea.

I’m just a guy who plays guitar for fun. Music has to fit around everything else, which means that it’s often the first thing that gets dropped when something has to give.

tl;dr

There’s several music-related things that I want to do in 2020.

  • Start creating recordings / audio examples to go with my blog posts about pedals, so that you can hear the things that I’m writing about.
  • Use the looper in the Kemper to practice being musical regularly.
  • Get better at making Kemper profiles.
  • Revisit my old music, and start creating new recordings of it.
  • Record the covers that we’ve been gigging in 2019.
  • Get out and gig even more.

At the end of the year, I’ll come back and see how well did!

Stop Just Writing About Pedals

Wouldn’t this blog be more useful if you could also hear the pedals that I’m talking about? I think it would. Let’s find out together 🙂

Some nicer photography of each pedal and amp wouldn’t go amiss either.

Put Some Effort Into Meaningful Practice

One of the reasons I haven’t made any pedal demos yet is that I’m nervous about doing it. I know that I’m not much of a player or musician, and I’m worried that that’ll end up overshadowing any useful information in each demo.

I picked up the Kemper’s Remote controller unit in 2019 partly because it allows me to start using the Kemper’s built-in looper. Now, granted the Kemper’s looper is surprisingly basic, but you can (just about) get away with using it as a practice tool.

The idea is to make practice fun, so that it becomes a habit. Fingers crossed that it does.

Make Some Kemper Profiles

Another reason I’ve kept the Kemper around is self-education. It turns out that making your own Kemper profiles is a good way to practice your audio engineering skills. Who would have thought it?

The traditional way to do this is to mic up the speaker cab each and every time. That’s really time-consuming, and a bit error-prone if you’re not working in a dedicated studio space where you can leave the cab mic’d up all the time.

I’m going to make some time to explore the idea of making Direct profiles (ie, profiles without a speaker cab) and then merging them with impulse responses. The upcoming Kemper editor makes working with impulse responses a lot easier than it used to be.

I’d like to create some impulse responses of my own cabs too this year.

Record My Old Music

I’ve been writing music pretty much since I first started playing guitar. I’m not claiming that it’s any good, or that the world needs to hear it or anything. But it does exist. And I’d like to sit down and make a good stab at finally recording it.

I’m fascinated by the idea of revisiting that old material, and updating it with the guitars and tones that I have today. Have I improved enough to capture the songs that I hear in my head whenever I play them? I’m going to find out.

Record Our Undercranked Covers

The big music project in 2019 was the band – a little acoustic duo with Tess called Corynthium. We’re currently a covers band, playing our own acoustic arrangements.

If we’re going to land more gigs in 2020, one thing we need to do is to record some demos. We lost a possible opening slot (in part) because we didn’t have one. So we’re going to have to fix that, and publish them somewhere too.

More Gigs Please!

I’ve loved getting out and gigging with Tess this year. I want to do more of it in 2020.

By and large, we’ve been playing open mic nights. Here in the UK, they are hands-down the best opportunity to play live on a regular basis. Unless it’s a really slow night, you get to play no more than 3 or 4 songs, which is perfect when you’re playing for fun. Hopefully we’ll play more of these.

We did land an opening slot for Adriana Spina in 2019 too. There’s something to be said for meeting the challenge of playing a longer set – but the bigger challenge is landing the gig in the first place. We’re going to have to sort out the band’s online presence in 2020 to make that happen.

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