“Vera” of course being my trusty beginners guitar.
I was still trying to practice my fingering and chord transitions at least an hour everyday before I met up with Girl B. But I will confess Vera got ignored pretty much that entire week, cause you know, there was something else I was finge… errr never mind 😛 (TMI? *grin*)
But learning guitar on your own is a tricky business there are a million stupid questions that you need answers to, that having someone tell you over the phone what to do or watching videos on YouTube, just really can’t answer.
For example, there are a few videos that suggest a more technical approach. You get each chord right first. Play each string to ensure that your fingers are only touching the strings they’re supposed to and that you’re applying enough force. Once you get that chord right, you move on to the next. And so on.
Another video suggested a more relaxed approach, where you don’t actually strum the guitar, but merely practice the changeover from one chord to another. This means that muscle memory will take over and you will be able to transition from one chord to another more smoothly and therefore be able to
mangle play songs faster.
What no one seemed to tell me, is that it boils down to how YOU the individual learns. It took me a couple of weeks to realise that I do a helluva lot better when I mix these two styles of learning together. I play a chord, make sure I got my fingers where they’re supposed to be, then change to another and play that (which by the way usually sounds like “do re me thunk thunk do”) Then I try to get that right then transition back. Back and forth, back and forth. It works for me.
Another issue slash stupid question. There are some transitions that I just can’t do smoothly. E minor to F major to be exact.
Now, separately I can play them. But every time I go from E minor to F, there’s an awkward space of seconds while I put my fingers down. No matter how much I practised, I just couldn’t get it down smoothly.
Then the music gods last night took pity on the blood offerings my fingers were making to honour them, and provided me with a revelation.
The problem was I was concentrating on getting each finger down on each string one at a time when playing F major. What I have to do is practice getting ALL fingers down at the same time! Simple right? Anyone who plays guitar would’ve been able to spot that mistake like 2 months ago, but of course my teacher is a little stupid (and here’s where I have to remind you I’m teaching my self so you get that joke…) but I am excited about working that out, even though it seems inanely obvious. I’ve been practising for a couple of hours and I can definitely hear less awkward pauses.
Hurrah for Vera!
Next step… actually learning a song…