Amy Mantis
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Once Again

Happy 2016!

Here's to the best one yet.

I look forward to using this much more consistently to share whatever adventures I have along with more guitar videos, guitar lessons, songs, thoughts, ideas, actions, notions, books, friends, family, gains, losses, stories, and everything in between.

My first order of business will be to post some guitar exercises that I do along.  I haven't hunted it down but there has to be a cool guitar-tab-writer program I can use to help this process.  How else do other people produce such nice PDFs!?

I will be in Los Angeles in late February/early March to make a record with my friend Brian Packer in the producer's chair.  I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time.  No idea when we are going into the studio or when this collection of songs (an EP..but collection of songs sounds cooler to me), but I will inform you of its production inception and completion when both times come.

I'm going to copy Derek Sivers and share my favorite bits and pieces of books I read from now on.  First on the list is Elizabeth Gilbert's latest, Big Magic.  I think it has a lot of nuggets for you all to enjoy and possibly even take to heart.

So, on that, I will go.  You will hear from me soon - scout's honor!

Closing In On Week One

So I haven't posted my video for today yet, but I want to reflect a little bit on what I've learned so far.

For starters, this is fun.  There are so many songs I love and I'm always telling the guys in my band about how I want to cover ALL OF THE SONGS.  And now I can.  I want to get more originals up as well though so I'll have to find a balance.

This is also rather time consuming.  Partly because my iPhone/video camera is struggling to make room for the videos.  That requires me updating and syncing my phone and doing things I generally avoid doing because I'm afraid something catastrophic might happen.  Like losing all of my friends' phone numbers.

It's also time consuming because it's hard for me.  Singing is hard for me not in that it's physically laborious, but because until recently (three years or so), it wasn't something I really wanted to do.  There were moments from the ages of 15 to 19 that I thought I could do it.  But I never sought instruction or help because I didn't really want to be a singer.  I still don't think of myself as a singer.  I'm a guitar player who sings.  A guitar slinger/singer/songwriter.  Only because guitar slinger/songwriter/singer doesn't have as good of a flow...Or maybe it does.

Playing guitar was a natural instinct for me and continues to be something I instinctively do.  Writing songs is even more of a natural inclination because I write all the time.  Not only songs, but journals, blogs, backs of napkins, in the car (I talk into my phone - don't worry I'm not reckless about it), and so on. TL;DR: I love writing.

What have I learned so far?  That I need to do the following:

-Plan my days better to accommodate filming and technical mis-haps.  So far I don't think any of these have been done in one shot.
-Create a list the week/month before filming.  What I really should do is create a master list as soon as I can.  Make my life that much easier.
-Share better.  So far my videos aren't garnering a lot of views for what I think are the following reasons:

  • I'm not being as active as I should with sharing.
  • The video quality could be better.
  • The performance could be better.
  • More tags.  I'm uploading straight to YouTube and I forget to go in and edit.
  • More sharing.
  • Did I mention more sharing?

I'm kind of surprised I've done six successful days.  Yesterday was close, and I shortened the song by a verse (Bruce will understand), but I got it up there!  I'm going to do a post on quality v. quantity soon.  My voice teacher suggested I do one per week, but I already announced one per day and I don't want to let down my loyal fans (hi, Mom!).  So one per day, and he and I are working on songs within this so every Wednesday or Thursday the video will be mint.  Not that I'm not happy with my output thus far, but there's room for improvement.

I should go do my video now.

Thanks for reading!  I'll talk to you soon.

And Another One Gone / Sailing / The Importance Of Hobbies / Routines

I missed yesterday due to extreme tiredness.  I had been out racing sailboats all morning and afternoon and after I showered I was out like a light at 8PM.

So I start anew today.

I also went sailing today and finally passed my Red Test!  That means I can now sail on the days when the wind is heaviest.  It also means I can now take the tests for all the other boats at Community Boating, and that is awesome.

For a little while, I was kind of anti-hobbies.  I wanted to focus ONLY on Canary.  That backfired.  I think I put too much pressure and expectation on myself to make the band succeed.  I didn't party a lot (still don't), while at Berklee I dropped my extracurriculars down to only Peer Advising, I didn't do any organized sports, didn't snowboard, didn't travel a whole lot - the list goes on.  I may have shifted a little too far the other way, but I'm okay with that.  I'm aware of it, and I'm realigning my life and my goals.  It's good.

I'm also realigning myself with a routine.  A consistent morning routine.  I haven't crafted it entirely yet, but it's there.  The seed has been planted, the sapling will grow as long as I water it.