Tag Archives: Goals

Album update and Random info

Hey everybody!!!

 I hope that you can forgive my absence of communication as of late, but I have been busy with some good things too!
For those of you who read my last post about finishing things, you can read that here, I would like to update all of you on the progress that has been made.
First off, I gave myself a public deadline of finishing one song per month. That was in January that I posted it. Well, the really great news is that I am ahead of schedule. In fact I have 6 songs recorded and am working on 4 more. I should have those done within the next two months.
Artwork: well, my friend Michael who owns MichaelEllis Art (click the link to check his stuff out, it rocks!) and I have struck a deal and have been corresponding back and forth. As it were, he has delivered the first sketches about two weeks ago. I was blown away by them. They were better than I could have imagined. It just goes to show you that some things are best farmed out. His artistic expression is way better than anything I could have come up with. Plus, producing all of this myself, I feel like its better to have a professional artist intrepret my creativity.
I can’t hide behind a wall of excuses anymore and my hope is with all of this is that you guys will help keep me accountable. So far so good! Some of you have checked up on me and have asked me hard questions. I really appreciate that!
I can’t share to many details about art or song previews, but I am really excited about this. I may give snibbits here and there, but for now, its Top Secret!
In the mean time, I did release a song with a friend of mine Matt from the band SatelliteReBoot. Click the link on his name to check out his other stuff as well. You can listen to the song we collaborated on here!
I really enjoyed working with him and he was such a catalyst for me to get my rear end moving on my goals of releasing music.
That is all for now. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!
Be well!
Jonathan
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Can I finish anything?… Yes I can

I absolutely love creating music.
I love it when inspiration comes and ideas just start flowing. It is very organic and natural.
The recording process is another story. It’s almost like once the click track starts, I get so nervous and the emotion of the music is stripped from me. It becomes too technical and less about the joy of playing.
I have all of these songs that are written but I struggle so much with finishing them.
All the guitars are recorded, all that is left is bass, percussion and fills. A bit of mixing, then having someone master it.
But I can’t seem to finish them. I feel so overwhelmed. I question if each song is good enough.
I understand how things get done.
One piece at a time, but I think I have become paralyzed by the amount of work that must be done, and all the steps that will get me there.
I think that because there are no outside pressures or deadlines, it is easy for me to drag this thing out and beat these songs to death. There is always more that could be added, but are all those minute changes really necessary?
I need deadlines, I need goals, I need limitations and I need accountability!!
That is what this is really about.
Limitations, Deadlines, Goals and Accountability.
So as I think about this, I have decided to finish just ONE song a month. Start to finish. It is an attainable goal and one that will produce results.
During each month I will post updates along the way as to how the process is going.
I need your help!
Check in on me, ask me how things are going!
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read this – I appreciate you, your support and encouragement!!
Jonathan.

Noise, Distractions and Quiet.

   At any given moment, there seems to be constant noise around me. Cars driving by, music playing out of windows, air conditioners, heaters, water running through plumbing, people talking, cell phones buzzing, deadlines, pressures and anxieties. For me, there are plenty of other distractions as well, a new toy, the research that goes into a new purchase, the desire for things that give us a quick feeling of self-worth. They are just distractions, and there are a ton of them. Distractions take our focus off of what is really important, or who is really important.
    Recently, I was out in the wilderness with my family. They were taking a nap and I was left alone with my thoughts. I found it strange that although there were no sounds around me whatsoever, I noticed my ears were ringing. And not very quietly either, it was a loud ring, like you get after a concert. As time passed on, the ringing got quieter and quieter. It got to the point that I began to enjoy the quiet of my surroundings, and the lack of massive bombardments to my senses.
   My thoughts seemed to whisper to me; they were not trying to compete with any other distraction of goals, responsibilities, hobbies, job and all the everyday noise. During that time, I realized again how important it is for us as humans to frequently take a step out of our everyday routine and be still. Alone, with no distraction.
    For me, being alone with my thoughts has pushed me to look into areas of my life that I have been covering up for years. Yes it can and has been very painful, very honest, but also very exhilarating and freeing. There is such a freedom that God offers us. We can’t hear God if we put so many other things in front of Him. Those noises threaten to constantly distract us, yet He still quietly whispers to us, “come and rest”.

Ideas, Thoughts and Goals

Ideas, Thoughts and Goals…..

As I sit and think about what it means to be an artist/musician and also some of the things that I really enjoy about other artists/musicians and what they are doing, aside from making music. I come to my second blog. And in the name of transparency, I want to dive into what I really hope to accomplish through this blog and my music, also, I am hoping to set myself some “obtainable” goals through this process, and put my thoughts out on paper.
So I recently asked a question on my Facebook page, it said :
“What do you like about artists aside from the music they make?”
 I received a whole bunch of different answers, some of which I agreed with, like a connection with the lyrics, and music that touches the soul, live performances, ect.  But some took me off guard. As I think about where I would like this to go and the future of all of this. There were two answers that really stood out to me. They said,
Their collective personality
and also
That they are decent people off stage as well as on, not in the news for trashing hotel rooms, beating girlfriends, etc.”
which I also agreed with. But, as I thought about it again, it really struck me.,… “What does that look like for an independent artist or solo musician?” I most certainly do NOT want to be known as a “rowdy” guy off stage. At least not rowdy in the sense of destruction, pain, hurt and beatings or any other types of destructive behavoir.
Those comments really solidified my thought process of being transparent, to let people in to what I do. I have no dreams of becoming a massive star or making millions of dollars. I just want to create music that comes from my heart, and I want to share it. I also want to be able to interact with anyone who has a question and be able to help those that may want it. I’m just a normal guy who puts his pants on just like you. One leg at a time. I have struggles and fears, temptations and challenges, desires and dreams, the list goes on! And I hope to share a lot of that with you.
   Now let me just say this, I write music for me! Not to sound conceded, but let me explain my thoughts. For me, if I am writing music solely for the purpose of making a million dollars, then the focus of the music is on a broad range of people, and may or may not be written from the heart.  Some would call this “mainstream”. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, and not all artists who are in the mainstream media are like this. I am also not saying my ego wouldn’t love it, if by some chance a song of mine was heard by millions of people and I was on a huge tour. I will admit that I have day dreamed about that, but truthfully, out of all the concerts that I have been to, the ones that are the most memorable and the most enjoyable, were the ones in the small venues, with a couple hundred or so people.
Maybe even less than that.
   I have a HUGE taste for music, and it covers a broad range of genre’s. I like Classical music all the way to Screamo. And a lot thats in-between. A friend of mine told me a long time ago, that
Even bad art that asks good questions is good art
I am not saying that there isn’t some really bad music out there, but my mind set shifted a bit when I started looking at things that way. And so it opened me up to a lot of different things. I think that we need to be careful what we feed our minds and souls, but, if questions are being asked, and its making us really understand what message is being conveyed, then I think that is a good thing.
   So that brings me to what I think I would like to see accomplished through this. I think that it is a sliding scale of goals, because ideas change, and long term verses short term, but I feel like it is important to set some goals.
   First:
I want to get the  songs that I have written and rehearsed for the last two years onto a downloadable form with in the next 2 months…
And also to have all the inspiration behind all of those songs here on my blog. Now since I don’t write lyrics, it can mean what ever you want it to, but, I would really like to share some of the struggles and joys that I was going through during the song writing process.
    Second:
Would be to begin playing live in different venues. I am not a bar guy, so I think that I would like to play outside more than inside. I have always enjoyed seeing artists perform outside, provided that it is not raining and I didn’t forget my rain jacket. So that is making me look at lots of different venues. I have a few things lined up for the upcoming months, so stay tuned. I don’t have the ability to “go on tour” and I don’t think that going on tour is something I want to do. But who knows? I don’t want to look to far in the future, short term goals are easier to accomplish and less overwhelming than “Bigger Picture Goals”.
     Third:
 Would be a website that has links to everything. News, Facebook, this blog, Bandcamp, contact info ect. I have never built a website, so this should be a good learning experience!!! I will explain more about Bandcamp later in the upcoming weeks once I have music up on that page that you can download. But in the meantime, If you are not familiar with it, PLEASE check it out. Go to Bandcamp.com. It is a great site for exploring different music.
    Fourth:
Another one of my goals is to let people see  how music is created and recorded, what gear is used and some of the tricks that I use, and to put some videos together on Youtube to demonstrate to you these things. I want you to see some of the chord voicings that I use, and that good music can be created in a normal every day ol bedroom. You might be surprised how many bands/artists have been able to make beautiful music from their bedroom.
     Fifth:
Interaction. I know that is a weird goal, but I hope to be able to communicate with you. I want you to be able to ask questions, and not feel like you are not a part of this. Because if you are here, you are! I like the word “community”, I believe that it is one of the things that is “wired” with in us.
So, this is more of my story and some of my thoughts and goals.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!! If you have any questions or want to share your story, leave a comment. Lets talk!
Jonathan.