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A Musician’s New Year’s Resolutions

 Copyright 1984 by Bruce Jaeger. All rights reserved.
Published in Bluegrass Unlimited, January 1985


I will not eat barbecued ribs if I have to wear the same clothes on stage.

I will not leave my spare strings sitting on my dresser.

I will make sure my instrument case is really latched before picking it up.

If I've never heard a tune before, I will listen to it at least twice around before I take a break.

I will not try to sing higher than everyone in the whole world.

I will attempt to change my strings before they turn orange-green and fall off.

I will move my belt buckle so the backs of my instruments won't look like relief maps of the Appalachians.

When jamming, I won't start a song unless I know at least the chorus and most of one verse.

I will tune before the set begins.

I will carry spare picks for my friends who are idiots.

I will give them some of my favorites to carry for me in turn.

I will not adjust or take apart my banjo between sets.

I will fix that bad mike cord tonight instead of remembering it when we're setting up the gear.

I will remember that banjo pickers just can't help being late.

And besides, the poor things all have bad backs from holding those heavy Mastertones, so they really shouldn't be expected to help carry the P.A. gear anyway.

I will not make fun of the audiences' song requests. This will not be easy.

I will not refer to musicians better than myself as "boring stiffs who never do anything but practice."

And I won't refer to musicians with lesser ability as "talentless mudflaps."

I will have a new nut made for my guitar, and take out the shims made of match sticks and Wheaties boxtops.

I will play ( ) as if I really liked it. (Fill in the blank yourself: "Rocky Top," "Cripple Creek, "Pan ama Red," "The Gambler," "Please Release Me," "Dueling Banjos," "(You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me) Lucille," "Orange Blossom Special," "PowderMilk Biscuit Theme"...)

I will keep the bass player sober until .the third set.

I won't yell at the soundman. This will probably only last until January 3rd.

I won't spill my beer on the mixing board this year.

I won't stick a lighted cigarette up on top of my guitar and then forget about it.

I don't have to drink everything the audience sends up!

But in the interest of keeping the crowd happy I guess I'll have to make the sacrifice and try.

I will not, no, never ever again say "Close enough for Jazz!" or "This is an old Chinese folk-song . . . Tu-Ning!" '

I will try and make the set list big enough so the whole band can read it.

Whenever someone makes a mistake, I will not stop playing and look at him. Unless it was the bandleader.

I will not say "Here's one off our last album," if we've never even recorded a cassette.

I will not say a band stinks just because they play a different style of music than I like.

Unless they're after the same gig I am.

I will not leave my guitar in the trunk overnight no matter how tired I am when I get home.

I will not eat tacos and enchiladas before a gig.

I will not turn up my mike louder than the other guy's.

I will brush my teeth before playing my friend's harmonica.

I will have the spare tire fixed on the bus before we go on the road again.

I will stop calling the soundman "Mr. Feedback."

I will remember that people in Des Moines don't think that Iowa jokes are real funny.

I will get up before noon.

Well, maybe . . .



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