October 24th, 2007


Guitar Progress

I have made a lot of progress on this goal since I started taking lessons a couple of months ago. Sadly, yesterday was the last lesson I’ll be having (for a while, anyway), since we’ll be moving from the area in a couple of weeks. Still, I think my instructor gave me plenty that I can work with on my own until I get to a place where I might want to take lessons again.

The one area where I’ve improved the most is in reading musical notation. It’s not the reading music that was the problem; I’ve been able to do that since I was about four years old. But I never learned where the notes are on the guitar, and it seemed like something I never would be able to learn. Not true, apparently. My instructor forced me to start reading from notation (without looking at the tab; I actually have to cover it up in order to do this, or my eyes can’t help but drift down and look at it, because it really is SO much easier), and slowly but surely, I figured it out. YAY! I now know all the notes in first position, and can sight-read (sight-play?) simple songs. In fact, I prefer it to tab now; tab is for wusses. ;) I am pleased and proud about learning to do this. :)

Another thing I’ve worked on are partial chords. A few of them, anyway. I figured I wouldn’t have to learn anything like that – I can play full barre chords, after all. Turns out that sometimes partial chords are actually better, especially in classical style playing. A full “F” uses up all my fingers; the partial leaves me with fingers left over to do other things. So, that was fun, too.

I’ve also achieved one-third of my original goal. I wanted to learn three new songs, and just this afternoon I finally “mastered” all of “Blackbird” by the Beatles. (I still need a bit of practice to be able to play it without really thinking about what I’m doing, but I can play the whole thing AND sing along. That was tricky at first). So, one down, two to go. Even though I’m not taking lessons, I still intend to play regularly. In fact, knowing me, I’ll probably play MORE often now that I don’t “have” to practice for my lessons. :D