2023 Review: Making Music

Rather than do a ‘best of’ style post, every year I’m doing a rundown of what music I’ve made this year, and what I’ve learned from doing so.

This is the first year that I’ve made this part of my Annual Review series.


I haven’t made any full recordings this year – only audio demos for blog articles about new (to me) gear.

I’d like to change that in 2024 … but will I? I’m skeptical.

Basic Audio Demos For The Blog Have Been My Staple This Year

I’ve been making more audio demos for the blog.

I started making audio demos last year because I wanted more evidence to support the opinions that I publish on here. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with my readers having to take my word for it every time. I felt that you should be able to hear what I’m talking about too.

As time has gone on, I’ve found the audio demos to be very helpful when I’m writing my blog posts too. My experience when listening back to the demo is often different to what I experienced when I played the track. (You’ll see me sometimes write about that in a blog post.) Sometimes, I’ll end up shifting my opinion quite a bit once I’ve heard the audio.

A good example of this is the Way Huge Conspiracy Theory klone pedal. When I first got it, I was really down on that pedal. I didn’t enjoy playing through it, and I felt that something important was missing. But when I listened back to recordings done with the pedal, I thought that they sounded perfectly fine. That made me go back and reconsider how I feel about the pedal.

I Haven’t Recorded Any Original Songs In 2023

… nor any covers either.

I can make the usual excuses (lack of time, work pressures and the like), but it doesn’t change the fact: I’ve spent all my time playing around with gear rather than actually putting it to any sort of real use.

I get a lot of pleasure from playing around with gear. It makes me feel that I’m always learning, and I hope that regular readers will have seen that reflected both in the audio demos and in how I’m approaching new (to me) gear these days.

But … I started playing electric guitar because I wanted to write music. Since starting my own business in 2015, I’ve gradually wandered away from that 🙁

Any Plans For 2024?

I’d love to say “less gear, more music”, but I doubt anyone would believe me – me included!

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