Summer has always been a slow time for me bass-wise. Though I’ve always done at least one summer festival since college, I usually find myself with quite a bit of time on my hands during the warmer months.
The lack of summer work used to cause me considerable stress, especially in my early years of freelancing, when my regular seasonal work was more sporadic. I’ve found my peace with this arrangement in recent years, overloading my September through May schedule to balance the lower frequency of summer employment.
In addition to having fewer gigs in the summer, I do quite a bit less teaching than during the school year, with many of students on vacation or simply dialing down the frequency of their lessons (after all, they need a break too!). These days, I build this more relaxed teaching schedule into my expectations for the year, making sure that I overschedule in the fall, winter, and spring to accompdate for the summer months.
As a result of this work rhythm, I try to take a nice healthy vacation in the summer, leaving the bass behind as I catch some rays, do some hiking, and relax on the porch. I’m actually outside right now, hanging out with my wife and listening to some music as I blog on my iPhone.
I’ve also found that taking a solid week or two off from blogging is very healthy for me and enables me to keep my enthusiasm and creativity up on the blog during the rest of the year. I really enjoy the blog, which actually makes it kind of hard to take that time off, but it’s a good thing to do and I plan on doing so around the beginning of August.
I will probably put out a series of “best of” posts that will self-publish while I’m away, and now that I’ve got the iPhone (sweet, sweet iPhone) I probably won’t be able to resist doing a few vacation-related non-bass posts.
Contrabass Conversations will keep up its regular publishing schedule, however. I haven’t missed a week since launching the podcast on January 1, 2007, and I want to keep that streak up as long as possible. I hope that readers out there are having relaxing summers as well–next summer will be a real extravaganza of bass content with the International Society of Bassists convention in Pennsylvania, and we’ll be there covering the whole thing. Hope to see you there as well!