Session Guitar: My New Year's Resolutions
During this time of year, we tend to make resolutions to change the things that are not working in our lives and to strengthen our weak points and develop our strong points.
I thought you might enjoy my list of guitar resolutions! I would love to see yours in the comments section below.
1. TO BE MUSICALLY HONEST. I am a pop guitarist. I love pop music. I like melodies and lyrics and hooks and guitar solos that are clever and quick. So I am basically gearing my musical life to that end starting ASAP. I'm only accepting sessions that are in a style I will enjoy, instead of just for the money. I've been at this a long time and I choose happiness over anything now. So the word "no" will be a big word in my vocabulary.
2. TO BE ME. I will continue to do sessions, but not the kind where I am told what to play and how to play it with a particular sound on a certain amp. Those days are over. I will only accept sessions where people hire me to be me. How will I accomplish this? By first releasing as much material of my own so those interested can choose me as the right choice and know what I am capable of adding to their project.
3. TO NOT BE INFLUENCED BY OTHERS. I will use the gear I like, no matter what anyone thinks, and will play the music I enjoy and release it with no thought of being judged. We all want acceptance. I did too. Maybe too much. I think so. I put others' wants and needs ahead of my own. Maybe this is obvious to others, but it was a problem for me. You can't be a true artist by doing that. It is only a perfect path to artistic failure.
4. TO SELL ANY AND ALL GEAR I NO LONGER NEED. I have quite a collection. I use mostly seven of my many guitars. I rarely turn on my amps. I am in love with my Pod HD500. I also still love my Floor POD XT. I will eventually be playing out, but my amps don't inspire me anymore. Well one or two do. I might even donate some. Good karma.
5. TO SPEND LESS TIME PRACTICING AND MORE TIME PLAYING. Notice I said less. I will always practice and study and learn. However, I am in a creative mode and that muse must be given the attention now. And when I speak of playing, I mean playing more creatively in the style of my choosing: pop.
6. TO SPEND AS MUCH TIME AS IT TAKES TO COMPLETE A PROJECT. No more deadlines. I want to care about my sound, my playing, my tone. I want to care as much as I can and I want to listen as deep as I can. And if I am not happy, well, I work till I am happy. Happy Ron!
7. TO BE FEARLESS. That may be the ultimate summation of the previous resolutions. To put myself out there, for better or worse. I cannot fail. How can you fail if all you are is YOU?
This should be interesting!
Have a safe and healthy new year. Be excellent to one another.
Till next year …
Ron Zabrocki on Ron Zabrocki: I’m a session guitarist from New York, now living in Connecticut. I started playing at age 6, sight reading right off the bat. That’s how I was taught, so I just believed everyone started that way! I could pretty much sight read anything within a few years, and that aided me in becoming a session guy later in life. I took lessons from anyone I could and was fortunate enough to have some wonderful instructors, including John Scofield, Joe Pass and Alan DeMausse. I’ve played many jingle sessions, and even now I not only play them but have written a few. I’ve “ghosted” for a few people that shall remain nameless, but they get the credit and I got the money! I’ve played sessions in every style, from pop to jazz.