Teaching My Skeletons How To Dance

Dance Like No One Is Watching 7-9-2016 

What to practice? Thinking about my upcoming 3 months. No studio. No work. This is a planned situation. I CAN have a temp studio but choose not to. I'll be spending my time reconnecting with my guitar. 3 months of solid practice. But what to practice? I am a bit lost, having done so much production work. Most of that time I held a mouse instead of a guitar. And doing guitar session work is rarely challenging. So back to my question: What to practice?
It is a question I get asked quite often as a guitar teacher. The answer is always different. But the guideline is always the same: What is your goal? My personal goal is to become a solo artist. A Guit-Artist, if you will. In my case, composition and Interpretation are the keys. To express yourself best, to find your own voice, to tell your story you must either compose your own music, or interpret other's compositions in your own style. Both will lead you to the answers to the question "What to practice?'
The songs will dictate your needs. Techniques necessary to execute the piece. Chords and reharmonization necessary to reinterpret. Rhythms and speed. Tonal Centers to map out improvisation. Yes. This is what is necessary for a successful and productive downtime.
Another thing I need to be honest with is what my music is and where it comes from. I am not going to try to reinvent the wheel. My roots are Chuck Berry, BB King, James Burton, Tony Mottola, Joe Pass, Larry Carlton, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai, Greg Howe.These are the main guys who made me love the guitar. I may have advanced through the years and sessions as guitarist, but I have stagnated as an artist. And especially as a Guit-Artist.
I think moving back to NY will be a great thing artistically. Connecticut has been pretty, but it's also pretty boring. For me. I need some noise to make some noise.
So, much of my next time will be reconnecting with me and the city and state I love. Then I'll reconnect with friends and fellow musicians. I expect more than a few drinks will be hoisted. I missed everyone these past 13 years. But I've neglected me for the past 30. Me first. I don't want to be influenced away from the journey ahead. My friends will understand.

Dance Macabre 7-7-2016 

Hi kids!
Welcome to the home of my personal blog. I've entitled it Teaching My Skeletons How To Dance. I've got a bunch of things hiding in my human closet that need to be aired out. I have a career that requires no movement or exercise. My job rarely sees another life form. Working on other artist's songs is usually unfulfilling. All this is has become unacceptable. I've never been afraid of my fears because they are always with me. It has become a bit like The Stockholm Syndrome. I have learned to find comfort in my life as it is, no matter how unfulfilling because it is safe. I hate safe. Years ago...like 1983, I did a gig with a fairly well known artist from Long Island. I was filling in. I did a good job but I played it "safe". I knew I could have stretched out a bit more. I was allowed. But I edited myself and played it safe. And I've been kicking myself since then  for that one night. The thing about playing for other people is, you have to be professional and give them what they want. And I swear, all you need to do is put on some music to really hear how uncreative and cookie cutter most music is. So...my way around it? Stop working for them UNLESS I am allowed to do what I do. That is what my future holds. A life dancing across 6 strings, ready to fall in between if I have to. I accept my fate.
I am moving in 2 weeks. For the following 3 months I will be without a studio. I will spend that time practicing, learning about myself, Getting my body moving again....basically relearning where I was heading 30 years ago. It all changed for several reasons 30 years ago this coming November. Is it a mere coincidence I am now ready to pick up the pieces, open the closet where I hid myself, and get my substructure back in the game? New life, new city, new music.
Join me on this ride....I won't be holding back.
Ron

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