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Saying "No"

I need to be setting more realistic expectations for myself when I KNOW weeks are going to have more pressing priorities. This is priority management 101. Don’t set yourself up to fail! After spending a week travelling for work, 2 weeks ago I convinced myself that I would not only get back on track, but actually make ground on learning my pieces. I set these goals knowing that Amante Duo had a huge gig this weekend along with a wedding that would require a whole lot of practice as well. More on that later.

The point is, I need to be more honest with myself about what to expect from myself week to week. To be cliché, there are only so many hours in a day, and I still need to sleep. So if my evenings need to be spent learning and practicing music outside of GuitarBorn, then I need to pull back on what I expect to get accomplished. That being said, I also can’t afford to lose any more ground, so that means I also need to shift priorities. The next 6-8 months need to all about saying “no” to anything outside of GuitarBorn, Amante Duo and Family. Anything outside of that which will shift my focus for any extended period of time will have to wait until after the concert.

So Amante Duo just had an awesome gig at a local live music pub called the Blind Beggar. This was not a typical venue performance for us given this pubs usual line up of hard rock and metal bands. Saturday was their “Acoustic night”. We were lucky enough to have a pretty large group of friends and family come support us, cheer us on and sing along to many of our songs in their inebriated states 😊. It was beyond fun and totally worth all the practicing time, stress and late nights to get prepared for the performance especially if it’s to give people you care about a great time. We even gained a few unlikely fans as well!

Cliff and Jonard also came to watch as well as take some pics and video for the project and social media. We stayed until the end of the night, and got a chance to see the last performer of the evening; an artist named Jesse Roads. He actually recognized us from a wedding we played at late last year, so we made an instant connection. Please check him out at What an amazing artist, musician and person! Not only did he play some of the sickest guitar I’d ever seen live, but his abilities as a singer and performer just blew my mind! Cliff noticed right away that he was using a custom “Parlor” guitar which has a smaller body than a typical concert guitar and is used a lot in blues, and folk music for a more “mid-range” tone. We were sure to mention the project to Jesse Roads after his set. He also told us about Gilmore Guitars which is an Alberta based custom guitar shop out of Red Deer. It is so great to meet really quality musicians and people throughout this journey. I strongly believe that these kinds of connections are important in helping drive us forward. As mentioned in previous blogs, GuitarBorn is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s an absolute grind. And any time we can find ways to boost confidence and focus, we should embrace them with open arms.

After the show we agreed to connect again for a drink, share ideas and just hang out in the near future. As and artist Jesse Roads is inspiring, but he’s also just a cool dude!

-- Noel

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