2013 – The Full Round-up!
Posted: December 30th, 2013 by Ashley Saunders
So 2013 is nearly over. I hope you had a good one? I also hope it didn’t fly by like mine did! It’s often at this time of the year that I stop to think about the year and realise it’s flown by without warning!
I just want to take some time to highlight for you some of the best posts I’ve written this year, talk briefly about what I’ve learnt, remember the good things that have happened and talk a little about the great stuff that is yet to come in 2014. So here’s 2013 – The Full Round-up!
Some of my best posts weren’t that popular. The most popular by far was the post on the hit summer tune “Get Lucky” which has been played (according to Spotify) over 100 million times. Read the post for the punch line – it’ll shock you!
The most fun post to write was the 1st anniversary of the blog. I talked at length about how dumb I’ve been and walked you through most of the mistakes I’d made over the last year. Failure is a great learning tool as long as you act on the lessons.
Solo Christmas Guitar Tunes
Another fun task was writing out 4 Christmas tunes. I started from the ground up with just the lead sheet (melody with chords above it). From there I arranged each of the tunes into a standalone performance piece you could have used on Christmas Day to entertain the family or as I did, to give my students something both festive and challenging to play – they all enjoyed it. It’s a pity I have to wait until next year to hear/play them again! I hope that you took some time to learn them and had fun playing them. If you did learn my arrangement, why not record it and get it up on YouTube? If you do, let me know!
My favourite post
My favourite post of the whole year was 7 Guitar Items I Can’t Live Without! Most of the items are cheap yet essential. Can you add an 8th item to the list?!
I learnt in 2013 that you need to be everywhere more often and really get the word out. That why my books are not only just on Kindle now, you can get my books on Kobo and Google Play, you have no excuse not to buy, use and love my books!
I love Twitter
I’ve grown to love Twitter and I do my best to reply to people quickly – if you’re on Twitter, please stop by, say hello and follow me! I love the interaction, even if I do get frustrated at the small character limit! If you ever need some quick help or a tip or 2 – just ask! If it turns in to a blog post, I’ll make sure you know!
Free guitar eBooks
The other thing people seemed to love this year is FREE! I released two free books. The Theory book has been downloaded over 500 times and it’s that number keeps increasing. It’s a great little book I wrote for one of my student and is it a great way to introduce yourself to theory. Trust me, it’s not that bad!
The other FREE book on 40 Quick Tips has done well and people are still enjoying the blog posts (as the series started that way before become a free eBook!). I’ve got a lot of great feedback from the tips series especially from Twitter.
New music business eBooks
I said that I wasn’t going to release any new books in 2013. I however, failed in this and ended up releasing 5 books. 2 Free small eBook and 3 Music Business books. I had the outline for these three books lying around from the end of 2012, yet for some reason or another didn’t get around to finishing them. I’m glad I did get them done and available to you. I hope you’ve got your copy of the 3!
It’s both fun and near impossible to write a book, you have to churn over the subject and test all the ideas that you wish to present in order for your reader to learn the right way to apply the subject. Then you have to simplify and edit and then re-edit and then you’re close to release. It’s a real skill to know when you’ve edited and re-written enough in order that it’s ready for release. Writing for me, helps to solidify my understanding and teaches me just as much as you.
On to the good stuff of 2013! I purchased a new guitar and amp – I’ll be doing reviews and pictures soon. I also re-built my two pedal boards and resized my rig. I’ll be doing a few posts next year on the why, how and trying to give you a whole load of pictures! I love gear – as I’m sure you do! (So come back in 2014 for lots of gear talk!).
Playing guitar live
I played some great shows this year – including the wedding gig. That was another great post! The key to a great show is know the material, the equipment you’ll be using and then having the ability to shut out all the crap that’s happened that day or week and just kick back and play your heart out!
I’m planning more gigs in 2014 and might even get around to doing some recording of my own tunes. I’ll keep you posted on my solo career – should there be one!
Looking forward to 2014
So what else am I planning for 2014? I have some ideas for a range of posts, some of which I believe I could turn into a book. One idea is a jazz method book based around how Joe Pass, Emily Remler and Wes Montgomery conceptualised jazz guitar playing. It’s actually quite simple and I think some of you would enjoy learning jazz in an easy to understand and apply way. Of course have some other ideas that I’m working on for books but just a lot of ideas at this stage.
I’ve taken some time out over the Christmas to write a list of goals. Some will be easy to achieve, others seem near impossible! I would urge you to do the same. Take 2 hours out of your busy life and think about what you want to achieve in 2014. Do you want to learn how to play country guitar? Lose some weight? Join or start a band? Could you want to travel the world playing music in countries you’ve never heard of before? This is the best time to set goals and get working on them.
The only thing between you and who you dream of becoming is goals. You can achieve whatever you put your mind to, as long as you focus and set goals.
Here’s to a GREAT 2014 for you and for me!