Activities For Quarantined Guitarists
It’s a new world for all of us and to whatever degree we are affected by these unfortunate circumstances, positivity and community are essential to shed light on this dark era. For us at Calton, that means doubling-down on our passion for the incredible music community we are so proud to be a part of. We’re in this together, and the daily toil of isolation with news (and often no news) can be, at the very least, maddening. For that, the following is our list of activities we hope will turn this period of isolation into an opportunity to embrace the community we’re in, to better ourselves as musicians and to help the world where we can. Who knows, we may even find time for a smile or two along the way 🙂
1. Plan Your Post-covid Tour
Things are eventually going to look up and right now is a wonderful opportunity to begin thinking about how you’d like to take on live music and sharing your talent when the world is back to normal. A few avenues you can start that process on are:
- Calling venues now. Bars and restaurants have a bit more time on their hands and will enjoy at least an introduction. (You don’t need to pressure for bookings here, just ask if they’d listen to some of your stuff and then keep you in mind for when things do open up.)
- Consider your tour route. Start mapping out a drive based on where your fans are at. Then pull your resources with friends and bandmates to see who has venues and/or couches to crash.
- Look into touring van options. If you can afford it, now is a great time to consider even purchasing your tour van and beginning to modify it for life on the road with bandmates.
- Begin budgeting what your tour will cost. You won’t be paid by a lot of these venues before you get there, so it’s important to know what your upfront expenses will be and to begin setting aside money for that in advance.
2. Teach Music Lessons
This is a perfect opportunity for distancing while still offering a sanity-saving activity for those at home. If you don’t have any connections, offer promotional entrances like free first time lessons and post in places like on social and craigslist.
3. Create Music
It’s what you’re made for and now there’s nothing but time to do it. Here’s a few ideas to get you started on producing your next triple-platinum album:
- Revisit old tracks. You’ve got plenty that are likely unfinished and now is a great time look on incomplete projects with a fresh set of eyes.
- Journal, then transpose. Your most intimate and personal thoughts often don’t come out musically or eloquently when you decide it’s time to write. Journaling is great for finding those raw emotions that some of the best songs are composed of. It’s also an exceptional form of meditation in these stressful times.
4. Take Some Mind time
Take this time to treat yourself to activities that will stimulate your creative brain and reinvigorate your soul, because when things are busy again, you may not get the chance. Here are some suggestions for covid-friendly activities:
- Take a road-trip. Even if it’s just to a new city, getting out of the house is immensely rejuvenative.
- Try art or another form of creativity. Bob Ross is on Netflix, there are free trials for video editing, and poetry is the most accessible artform anyone can try. Meanwhile, new skills expand your creative brain and may even give you a smile or two along the way.
- Try a new genre of music. You may be a guitarist but that doesn’t mean you can’t try rapping lyrics instead of singing them. Or throwing a country spin in your existing songs.
- Read or watch a classic. Incredible films like Godfather and Citizen Kane are just a rental away. Meanwhile, a vast library of public domain classics are free to download on places like Project Gutenberg for your tablet or smartphone.
5. Prep Your Tour Gear And Van
You’re going to be on tour again one day, but in the meantime you can create systems that you can rely on when things are crazy on the road. Some ways to get started include:
- Make your on-the-road kit. Designate items just for going on tour so that you don’t forget little things when the stress is on.
- Get your van repairs and servicing done now. If you have a tour van, you don’t want to find out repairs were done incorrectly when you’re stranded in the midwest, so take it to the shop and then take it for a few test runs once repairs are made.
- Find portable, alternative gear for taking on the road. This will simplify your travel and open up your van for more comfortable touring.
6. Organize Your Gear
No better time than now! The world may be chaotic at the moment, but an organized music closet will bring you well-deserved peace-of-mind.
- Add designated wraps and ties for your cords
- Tag your items
- Test cords and throw away/replace broken ones
- Write your name and return addresses on everything
7. Make Your House Music-Friendly
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home and no telling when recording or creative spaces will open again. This is a perfect opportunity to musicify your house. Consider:
- Converting a room or closet into a recording space. The ability to close doors and sing your heart out is great for creativity (as well as for happier roommates).
- Create sound proofing panels to put on your walls. Here again this isn’t just good manners but also good for you to confidently try ideas without fear of eavesdroppers.
8. Get Fitted For A New Case
We had to say it, but in this case it’s true! Take some time to get fitted for a guitar hard case that’ll last you a lifetime. It only takes 30 days so it’s the perfect opportunity to get those measurements in and treat your guitar, violin or bass to an elegant and nearly indestructible case. Meanwhile, the climate and moisture regulations ensure that if you don’t pick up one of your instruments for a while, it’s well-preserved and ready for when it’s time to play again.
9. Self Promote!
- Start a blog. (We did and it’s great!)
- Start a Youtube channel
- Grow a social presence on
10. Produce A Digital Charity Concert For People Or Animals In Need
Sharing your art for the better of others is an amazing way to show light in these dark times. Meanwhile, the ability to go live on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram is easier than ever. This is not only a heartwarming way to share love and build up your audience, but as well an amazing opportunity to practice performing.
11. Create Covid-friendly Merch
Everyone needs masks and gloves. Why not tailor your merch to help with the cause? Try branding your band art on:
- Stickers sized for disinfectant
- Gloves (And glove boxes)
12. Increase Your Skills
Turn lemons to lemonade and extra time into extra viability. There’s tons of digital resources to expand your skill set and many of them offer free trials. Here are some of our favorites:
- Adobe – Free software trials and training
- LinkedIn Learning – Free training trials and certificates to put on your LinkedIn
- Pro Tools Ultimate Trial has a free trial for both audio and video editing softwares
- Ableton Live is free for music mixing and mastering
Masterclass Is $15 a month and has classes taught by incredible musicians and composers like Danny Elfman, Herbie Hancock, and Carlos Santana
13. Listen to Music
Seriously, just find time to do nothing else except intimately listen to a record or a CD. It’s an amazing way to spend a day and an essential hobby for those looking to expand musically. Challenge yourself to listening to new CDs in their entirety, take notes on songs you love, record samples you like for reference later, and apply what you discover in your own creations.
14. Home Karaoke!
Sets are pretty cheap and this is an awesome way to get practice performing and maybe even enjoy your time in isolation. Plus it’s a good way to practice without disturbing neighbors or roommates. (They might even just get involved)!
15. Create Sample Packs And Preset Audio Packs
If you’re not in a mixing or recording mood, prepare for when you are! You can record miscellaneous riffs and ideas to be stored for later. Or, organize your existing library so sounds, and thoughts are clearly laid out in clean and accessible file structures.
16. Clean And Service Your Guitar
It’s a great time to give your guitar the love and attention it deserves. We have a detailed breakdown for Caring for your Acoustic Guitar Blog here that is perfect for making a productive day of social isolation.
The music industry is and always has been a turbulent one. But now, like any other time, the way to thrive is through creativity and perseverance, especially for all of us in music and creative occupations. We’re musicians here too, and understand the lack of performing and contact can be particularly difficult for guitarists and non-musicians alike. We’re in this together and here for all of you in every way we can be. Message us, email us or reach out on any of our social platforms to share more thoughts and ideas for creatives finding solace in these strange times.