Saturday, July 12, 2008

Guitar Lessons - Week 3

....performance anxiety....

So I can bang out the scales like nobody's home. Put me in a tiny room with my instructor and suddenly my fingers ties themselves into knots. Horribly frustrating.

I spent 5 minutes tuning the old girl up. Not me, the guitar. His tuner is faster, more responsive than mine. I'm not going to spend any more money on guitar stuff. Maybe when I buy a new classical guitar, I'll get a new tuner. Until then, just say no to music stuff.

I've got the scale down finally. No biggie. At least it wasn't until Jeff decided to take my pick away. Excuse me? I have to use my fingers on my right hand. Ok, so I'm running the scale down with my left hand and picking with my right hand. My brain is supposed to be smart enough to do two things at once? Really, this is nothing like walking and chewing gum at the same time.

I can do this....can't I? Scale with left and alternate picking between index and middle fingers. Ok, this isn't hard and it does sound better than with a pick. Whoohoo!

I've accomplished something, I feel great. Now for the weekly beat down. Let's read some music. Great. Black dot, black dot with a stem, and circle with a stem. 4/4 time, huh? This is going to be fun.

I can get the EAD open string strumming. It's all downward strums with the thumb. So Jeff says, "We're going to do a duet." I'm thinking, "Yeah, in your dreams." I played the bass notes although not particularly well. But I did it. Yay me! At least it's something.

Jeff suggests that I trot on down to Home Depot for some 600 grit sandpaper for my finger nails. What? I have already cut my once pretty solar nails down the the stub on my left hand. My right hand needs to have ramps...He says to continuing growing the nails so I can use them as picks. I'll look like a freakazoid. Then it hits me; ramps, what the !)%*(^? On ramps or off ramps?

He wants me to turn the nails on my right hand into ramps. Seriously, I think all the studying he is doing to get into grad school has adversely affected his brain. Can't you play guitar without ramps? Personally, I think they are unnecessary. Then again, this is only week 3 of guitar lessons. What do I know?

Jeff seems to think I'm particularly determined to succeed. He's right, so I'm willing to practice. This was the last lesson before summer break. He made a few copies of lessons to keep me busy during the three weeks we are off.

I will go back in August. Meanwhile I continue to practice for 30-45 minutes a day. Maybe by August I'll be able to read the treble notes.

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