New Year Resolutions For 2021

I went into 2020 full of hope, looking to build on a great first year with the band. This time around, I’m going into 2021 knowing for sure that everything is uncertain.

The challenge this year is simple: how much can I do despite the uncertainty? How well can I learn to live amidst all the uncertainty?

We’ll find out when we look back at this in a year’s time.


Here are my musical goals for 2021:

  • Revisit my old music, and start creating new recordings of it.
  • Put together a song-writing process, and practice it.
  • Find my confidence as a guitarist.

While they’re modest in number, they’re not modest in ambition.

It’s Time To Start Recording

This one is carried over from last year.

I’ve been writing original music for as long as I’ve been playing guitar. Some of it exists in the form of old demo tracks, and some of it exists only as individual riffs kicking around. Only one of my compositions has ever been recorded seriously, and that was a cover made by a good friend of mine.

I have already made a start on this over the Christmas holiday period. I’ve gone back to what I’m calling the Phase 1 material, and started looking at how I’ll go about capturing that. One thing’s for sure: I’m going to need to put in plenty of rehearsal time too!

It’s Time To Write Original Music Again

Looking back at it, one of the things I really enjoyed in 2019 was writing arrangements for the band. Although we are a cover band, we never ever do a completely straight cover of anything. We both share a love of truly making a song our own.

One thing that gave me was a bit of discipline. This year, I’d like to find something similar, only for original music.

My inspiration for this is mad Guy Michelmore. If you’ve never heard of him, he’s a professional composer for film and television, and an engaging educator to boot. He’s one of my favourite music YouTubers. I love watching him put a composition together on camera. He’s clearly got a process that works for him. By the end of 2021, I’d like to have settled on a process that works for me too.

Why do I even need a process?

Rhett Shull said it best in one of his videos (I’m sorry, I’m not sure which video it was). I need to stop randomly noodling around on guitar until something clicks, and instead apply some structure, rigour and discipline to it instead.

I’ve cited Guy as my inspiration for another reason. He writes whole arrangements, and that’s where I want to get to as well. For me, that means drums, bass, guitars (electric and acoustic) and probably synth too.

It also means making a decision about Universal Audio’s LUNA DAW. While near zero-latency playing is a sheer delight, LUNA completely lacks even the most basic track and session template support. That makes it very unproductive for a casual user like me, and it begs the question: do I stick with LUNA, go back to Reaper, or is it time to look at Logic Pro (because of how well Logic Pro runs on the new M1 Apple Macs …)?

Find My Confidence As A Guitarist

I’m a confidence player, for sure. It’s one of the reasons I chase tone so hard: if I think I sound like crap, I always end up playing like crap.

I’d like to do something about that. I’d like to find a way shift that confidence away from external things, and more towards the internal.

I’m just not sure how to do it.

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