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52 Songs In A Year!?


52 Songs in a Year:


I’ve been effectively earning my living as a musician since the age of 22.

Even as a child, I knew I wanted to play music in front of people. I’ve had my ups and downs like everyone else, and I’ve made choices that I’m comfortable with. I’ve earned the privilege of partnering with amazing companies like Vic Firth, Mapex, and Shure in my educational endeavors. I’ve played with some really amazing musicians from all over the globe.

Except this one thing that is nagging me.


Documentation, recording.


I grew up in the southern New Mexico town of Deming, NM; a 6 hour drive from the nearest big city. That is to say concerts were few and far between. So of course, all my favorite musicians are my favorites large in part because of the documents they have left in the wake of their careers. Recordings.

In 22 years of performing and teaching I have 4 albums to my credit, 3 of them to critical acclaim and nomination for awards etc. But just 4 albums.

Four.

43 Songs…

Recording and collaborating was the primary reason I’ve stayed in this industry, yet, the teaching and the gigging has been the focus.

Lots of conversations about wanting to record, having some songs that need drums, etc, etc, etc… But always waiting for someone else to make the first move. After all, I’m not the song writer, I’m the side man.


Well, that is just not gonna get it done.



I’m taking matters into my own hands.


The goal: 52 songs in the year. I have a guaranteed 22 in the pipeline and other collaborations on deck, but not 52 songs lined up. But still gonna give it a good go.


My intention is to chronicle the process and progress.

I know I am severely lacking in knowledge and experience of a great deal of the process.

I may be taking on way more than I can possibly achieve, but no matter what, I’ll end the year with more evidence.


I hope you’ll follow along and be encouraged to make record of your music, learn the process, collaborate with new partners and see what you can discover and create!


This post is sponsored by


One thing that I’ve learned in the recording process is you can’t polish a turd.

If it doesn’t sound good before the microphone hears it, its never going to sound good.


Autotuning sounds fake.

Quantizing sounds fake.


Real musicianship shines through.


The one key skill ALL musicians must possess to make great recordings is GREAT RHYTHM skill.

I’m not talking all time great, mind bending skill like a Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan, Vinnie Coliauta, Yoyo-Ma, Bella Fleck, Taimane, or Vic Wooten level stuff. Rather, the confidence in your own ability to play whatever music you are working on, in time, every time.


This is not a ‘born with it’ skill. I know, my timing and tempo are mine trough brute force, and literal blood, sweat and tears. I developed a method to help my own private students develop a strong sense of timing (while developing a lifelong practice habit that those at the highest levels of performance use to set and achieve their goals). Without so much of the blood and tears, and more of the skills that ACTUALLY MATTER: Focused, consistent effort, compounded over time. Course allumni are few but mighty, you can join this amazing group of growth-minded musicians too!

You can check out that great tool here, but only if you want to improve your rhythm, tempo, timing, practice habits, or creativity. 


Cheers!


Joe

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