Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

As the New Year approached, I had a desire to challenge myself with something new. Too many years passed by where I didn't necessarily stretch my limits and step beyond my comfort zone. Run a marathon? Only if being shot at and my life depended upon it. Activities like rock climbing just don't seem compelling. For decades, I considered music. In third grade I played the saxophone. Honestly, I don't recall my reason for quitting. A few years passed, then I gave music a second chance. In sixth grade I attempted the clarinet. Same deal. I played for a year then threw in the towel. I just wanted to play sports. Ever since that moment, I've regretted that decision.

In early December, I signed up for guitar lessons. A friend of mine, who is a musician and web designer, recommended someone. They played together in a hair metal band in the late-1980s. I've seen the photos to prove it, too. I was told that he will teach me "the right way" to read music and how to play. I kicked the idea around for about a week then signed up.

I've been attending 30 minutes lessons every Tuesday night for just shy of one month. Without a doubt, this is the most challenging endeavor I've attempted. Squaring up on a 90-plus-mile-per-hour fastball isn't easy either. I needed a challenge that would require different thinking, different skills. Each week, I leave the studio scratching my head wondering how on Earth I'm going to master what we just practiced. But that's the fun part.

We spent the first couple of lessons discussing basics like chords and general navigation. He's had me practice a major scale to get acquainted with single note play. At this point, I doubt I'll be recruited by a speed metal band, but we both see progress. I'm even feeling comfortable with the finger placement for several chords. I still can't pull of a B chord yet. I know where my fingers are supposed to be, I just can't get them to work in unison yet. The last two weeks we've discussed strumming. Honestly, it seems simple and straight forward, but there are patterns and rhythms that I haven't nailed yet. This has already proven to be the challenge I craved.

So I guess it's just practice, practice, and more practice.

Tags:  music
This is the season for challenges. I hope you enjoy it. One thing that age seems to bring is patience. It won't be long and you will be doing an imitation of Jimmy Hendrix(do you even know who he is?LOL!)
dannie   Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Jimi died at 27, I started learning at 38. Yikes!
Bill Pearch   Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Good luck with that and more power to you, Bill. I am always in awe of anyone who can play a guitar. It seems impossible to me!
!   Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I learned back in college. I wish I'd put more effort into learning notes instead of chords and being self-taught for the most part. Both good and bad but I think I might have gotten further with it if I had. I'd still enjoy learning classical guitar but my hands are pretty damaged from all the computer work. That's what made me quit playing years ago. Just too much effort and discomfort. Good luck to you--sounds like you are doing it matter the age. I just watched a documentary on dolphins and one of the divers didn't start diving until she was 50 and was better than most diving with her.
LGrant   Wednesday, January 4, 2012
With a "Tin Ear", my hat is off to you because I have no muscial ability at all. Carry on your endeavor!!!!
BeanCounter37   Thursday, January 5, 2012
Well, you are full of inspiration for me today. Congrats on learning something new. I picked up a banjo last year off Craig's List. Took a couple of lessons and then stopped. I think I need to pull that out again as well. Of course, I'm already having a hard time fitting in all my tasks... Well... good to be inspired at least.
girlcarew   Monday, January 9, 2012
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