I was standing around talking with the bar staff, catching up, and someone asked me, “so what’s new since I saw you last?”
“Oh, nothing much,” I replied in the standard fashion.
But that’s a lie.
Here are some highlights from the last year:
- The band I tour with filmed a live concert for PBS. It was a massive undertaking and I learned so much. We worked on it from May to September! It was fairly stressful, but in an almost purely positive way. It was such a great opportunity to work with a huge team of people, each of them outrageously talented in their own specific way, each of whose contribution was irreplaceable.
- Made some new traditions like Fifthmas & Feaster.
- Saw some great theatre: Book of Mormon, The Lake Effect, & Big Fish.
- Took lessons with Guitar Yoda Bob Palmieri, who would routinely say things like, “The consonant extensions to any common tertian seventh chord lie a whole step above the tones of the basic triad.”
- I wrote charts for almost every song I know. I can now hire any group of badass musicians I want, put these charts in front of them and instantly have a great-sounding band for the night.
- Got to visit Palm Springs, Cabo San Lucas, Elmira, Bethesda, Hartford, Lancaster, Shippensburg, Easton, Boston, Holmdel, Steamboat Springs, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Rochester Hills, Baton Rouge, Las Vegas, Merrillville, Minneapolis, Bismarck, Fargo, Cedar Rapids, NYC, New Wilmington, Columbus, Van Wert, Athens, Tampa, Sarasota, Raleigh, Davenport, New Orleans, and whole lot of Illinois.
- Most of those were for gigs––in theaters & bars, on horse farms, dude ranches, casinos, beaches, and once, a house with a book-activated secret passageway in the library.
- I got even more into cooking, and started making my coffee with an aeropress.
- I had many amazing dinner parties with friends. Seriously good times for very little money. I recommend it.
- Recorded 24 songs in 8 hours––tracks for use in a “track show.”
- Almost completely fixed my broken-ass posture – Rolfing, mobilityWOD.com, Supple Leopard, standing desk, corrective exercises, more Rolfing.
- I filed an LLC for Fretboard Anatomy, started writing these articles, and developed a course to make self-taught guitarists into Guitar Badasses.
- Wrote more songs than I can remember. I seriously have to dig out the recordings I made because I don’t remember most of them!
- Ran a marathon.
- Found some new ways to practice, some of which I shared with you here (burying the click, cartoon gravity, click tracks at live shows), and others yet to come (writing many solos, viewing waveforms).
- Although I always take January off from drinking, this year I had 3 separate sober months, one of which was a no-coffee month.
On Tap For 2014
- I’d like to have more dinners with friends, travel more out of the country, and add some muscle mass (stupid marathon stole what little I had).
- I’m going to focus even more on Guitar Badassery so I can deserve all the good fortune I’ve had in my career thus far.
- And I’m going to launch the Fretboard Anatomy flagship course––two years’ worth of tiny daily sequential lessons designed to take the average self-taught guitarist on a journey deep into Guitar Badassery.