Thursday, August 18, 2011

Setting Your Goals for Music

It's always a good idea to write down your goals.  Writing them down helps you to understand what those goals are and gives your subconscious a target to aim at.  You should also identify the time period in which the goals are to be achieved.  Having open-ended goals means that they won't be achieved.

My goals (right now) over the next year (to the end of 20120 are these:

1.  To know my string bass neck thoroughly by feel, and to be able to play every major and minor scale and major and minor arpeggio instantly and accurately, including modes.  This will develop my ear and muscle memory to a fine point.  To do this, I must practice for an hour or more every day and make it a regular "must do," like brushing my teeth.

2.  To become much more adept at reading sheet music and charts, so as to learn and play new songs more quickly and accurately.

3.  To play my string bass in practice and gigs; not to replace my bass guitar, but to augment my musical effort.  To do this I must practice my string bass more and learn the best way to amplify it for gigs.

4.  To understand and apply voice leading techniques to bass playing.  This means dissecting the chords in all blues keys and standards that I know, and arranging the arpeggios to produce smooth bass lines.

5.  To play at least 50 top jazz standards well on string bass.  (If I learn one new standard a week, this won't be difficult.)

6.  To develop my singing voice well enough to support the band's vocal efforts, and to be able to sing without fear or shame because I will actually sound good!  This means I must practice singing every day as well as practicing bass, and must devise a practice plan for doing so.

7.  To gig weekly for pay, using my string bass, my bass guitar, and my singing voice.

Well those are my goals for right now.  What are yours?

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