New Year resolutions can be a wonderful thing, especially if they include music. Here are some suggestions, many from my stellar group of Facebook friends.
The music world goes way beyond Bruno Mars and Britney Spears. Check out CD Baby. Hit the browse button on the front page and see what you discover. My music is here. There’s a ton of radio stations with great music. I like KXCI, my hometown’s public radio station. You can listen on line. I’m also fond of Folk Alley. (Although I sure wish they played my music. Yes, I send it to them. Feel free to suggest me if you write to them: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Listen to the music you have
One of my Facebook friends said she’s going to listen to all of her women’s music albums. I’ll bet you’ve got some great music lurking in your collection that you haven’t listened to in a while. Hit “random” on your MP3 player and see what comes up.
This came from someone who organizes shows. Even if you don’t book Carnegie Hall, there’s a multitude of ways to hire musicians. Consider offering house concerts – it’s like giving a party with live music. Find out more here. Or think about live music for your company’s next event or your wedding. I’ve got a post about that here.
Pull that dusty instrument out of the attic
First of all, an attic is a lousy place to store an instrument. Second, just because you haven’t picked it up in ten years, doesn’t mean you can’t now. There’s no time limit. Maybe you need something to kick your butt into gear, like a good jam (more about that here), a friend to play with, an open mike to play, or lessons. (If you’re in Ottawa, I’d love to be your teacher. Contact me.)
If you play an instrument, practice. It can seem overwhelming in our busy lives, but there’s always time. Even if it’s only a few minutes, it makes a difference. And it’s good for you. After a trying day, it’s great to do nothing but play an instrument. It can be like meditation.
Photograph it more
One of my Facebook friends, Sandy Ziegler, did the photos for my band, Ottawa Valley Special. She takes photos of many local performers and she’s damn good at it. Want to do the same at the next show? Ask first, especially if you’re using flash. Not only do the musicians appreciate it, but it’s a great way to hone your photography skills.
Support live music
There are other ways to support your favorite local musicians. Offer to take admissions at the door. Post flyers for them. Or, simply, go to gigs. Without you, we’d all be playing for our pets and without opposable thumbs, they make lousy audience members. Plus, they don’t have jobs, beyond taking up bed space.
Find a jam
Making music with others is good for the soul. Find a jam or singing circle. Join a chorus. Google is your friend here – enter the kind of jam you want, with your city. Or start your own jam with an ad on Craig’s List or Kijiji. Don’t worry about your musical abilities. More about jams here.
Improve your technique
One of my Facebook friends said her resolution is simply to relax her right arm. Relaxing will always make you a better player and it’ll help cut down on injuries. If you know of other ways to improve, work on it. Don’t try too much at once. Set one goal and see how it goes for a week or a month.
Transfer music from LPs and cassettes
Pull that dusty box out of the basement and transfer those favorite tunes. That’s why you’re saving them, right?
If you’re a musician and it’s music you’ve recorded, wouldn’t it be nice to hear it again? One of my Facebook friends has recorded with Linda Tillery, Vicki Randle and many more; she’d like to take those live music cassette tapes and put them in a digital form. Now that’s a collection of music I’d love to hear.
Get that sticky key fixed on your keyboard. Find a better pickup for your guitar. Add new strings. Clean and polish.
Want more ideas? Check out last year’s post about resolutions.
What are your music-oriented goals for 2013?
Big thanks to my Facebook friends.
If I’ve used your photo and you’d like credit, I’m happy to add it. I can also remove your photo. I use Google Image and they don’t usually credit the photographer. Sorry.