Are you sticking to your resolutions?

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How are we all doing with our New Year’s Resolutions?  This is my January column that I wanted to revisit.

Time to reflect on all that happened in the past year. Also time to look forward to the next. Some will make one resolution. Some will make more. Some will make a resolution to: not make anymore resolutions. I have fallen into the latter category for many years, until now.
So I’ve really been thinking about this a lot. I’ve already done the, losing weight and eating healthy thing. I’ve found love. I’m spending less and saving more, completely out of debt. I’m enjoying life and stress free. So all of the regular New Year’s Resolutions have made my list and have been checked off. So what’s next?  
I’m going to just go ahead and list a few resolutions that, we as CBA Bluegrass Musician’s, CAN DO. Put them on the first day of each month, on the calendar. That way you can remember what to reflect on, during the month.  
  Remember to renew Membership “On Time.” Set your Birthday or Wedding Anniversary as a reminder. Renewing at the Festival or other CBA Event is always a good time.
  Attend more “live” Bluegrass Shows. Check local venues, as performers change out all the time. Go out of town over-night to see a special show.
  Attend Jams more frequently. No matter where you live, there is bound to be a jam sometime during the month or even weekly. If not, develop one! 
  Maintain instruments. Strings, picks, humidifiers, re-hair bows, etc… If you play a lot, there will be wear and tare upon your instrument. Proper maintenance will allow the instrument to last a life-time.
  VOLUNTEER – Nuff said! (and I know some folks really despise that saying)
  Donate to the KIDS Programs. A few dollars here and a few dollars there, really makes a difference. Say, for every 12-Pack you buy, donate $5 or $10. Either you’ll stop drinking or the kids programs will be VERY HAPPY.
  Offer to mentor a youngster with learning Bluegrass. Pay it forward. Always ask permission first. But, if you can. Help teach a song or a specific style of “lick” to an up and coming youngster. 
  Take lessons. Even the “best,” musician’s need someone else to guide them. If you can’t find an instructor close by. Ask a fellow musician to show you something new or different. Take turns helping each other learn different ways to play a “lick.”
  Learn to sing those harmony parts better. Work with bandmates, jam buddies etc… Oh a sweet set of harmonies just makes the moon come up.
  Dedicate more time to practice. Learn to practice “smart.” Sometimes we think that just going over a song or two is practice. Learning scales goes a long way. Not to mention a bit of music theory wouldn’t hurt either. It’s actually a lot of fun.
  Buy and learn to play a new instrument. Bluegrass instruments are recommended, but not necessarily required. So, if a kazoo is all you can afford, please stay outside the jam circle.
  Buy more Bluegrass music recordings. Get a recording by someone that is not in your collection.  
I am certain that there are so many more resolutions for the upcoming year. So please join me on the Message Board and present your special Resolution’s for 2017. 
Thanks for Listening
Bruce Long

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