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.