I don’t do the typical New Year’s resolutions because, not to sound too corny, but I feel like I need to try to be a better person year round, not just at the first of it. There’s always time for self betterment, and I don’t want to try to sit in any kind of judgment seat on anyone, anyway.
But, I did put together a list of Music New Year’s Resolutions-for everyone to enjoy:
- Support more local music – this means getting off the phone and off the couch and showing up to support local artists and venues. I’ve been there, and it sucks to show up to play a gig and have 5 people attend. You still play your guts out for them, and some of the best shows I’ve ever played have been for small groups, but we gotta all do our part to keep this music thing going. Pick out some artists and follow them. Pick out some venues you’ve never been to and go to a couple of shows there. I always take the chance to plug the Blue Door in Oklahoma City. It’s one of the best live venues and so much fun to see great shows. I’m stoked to finally catch a show at the renovated Tower Theater next month (Todd Snider, anyone?), but there are awesome venues and artists in your town. Another way to support the artists is to buy their merchandise. Merch is the most profitable way for the artist to make money, and it’s also super cool. Why go to some mall or website to find cool t-shirts, hats, or mugs when you can get awesome stuff from artists at their shows?
- Spend more time on your art – I won’t lie. I love writing songs. It’s one of the hardest and most frustrating things you can do, but so rewarding when the chords and words work right and when you can convey how you feel. It’s even better when you see it resonate with others. I love studying songwriters and songs and ascribing meaning to them. Because you see the song is always up to what it means to the hearer. It can mean different things to different people. The same goes for your art, whatever it is. If it’s building websites, shooting videos, scrapbooking memories of your children, or painting, it’s your art and treat it as so. Spend time with it. Work on it. I know from my experience the longer I do without trying, the hard it gets to complete the next step. You gotta get your chops back.
- Go see something you always said you would, before it’s too late – Loving music, I tend to equate this to artists that I haven’t seen. I’ve seen the Rolling Stones, but I still want to see them again this summer, while I can. I saw Tom Petty several years ago, and it was a phenomenal show. His 40th tour rolled around in 2017, and I said to myself, “I’m too busy, I’ll catch him next tour.” Then he passed on. I’ll never get to see Tom Petty again. It might be Mount Rushmore or the Mona Lisa or the sunset over your hometown, but go do it. It could be that friend or family member that you haven’t seen in awhile. Make it a priority. Don’t put it off. You’ll feel better for the experience. You never know when your bingo number is gonna be called.
- Learn a new instrument – This can be a bit of challenge, but pick out some instrument you aren’t familiar with and try to learn it. It’ll be hard at first, and you may never master it, but the ride is worth the price of the ticket. I’m working on ukulele and lap steel guitar this year. It’s pretty rough, but you know, different instruments always remind me to look at life from different perspectives. When you can see things differently, maybe it’ll help you have more empathy for other people and their plights.
- Love more – The older I get the more I realize that life is really all about love. Love what you do, love your spouse or partner, love where you are. I know this is pie-in-the-sky and sometimes life is hard. And, there are plenty of people that are going through some tough times right now. But, 90% of us complain about things that don’t matter. Stop and listen to the singer. Throw some money in the tip jar at the club or on the street corner for the busker. We get one shot at this, and those of us that are blessed with so much plenty ought to enjoy it. Spread some love to someone that needs it.