Consolidating and learning songs

I have taken some advice from some of the members here to spend a little time consolidating. I have been very lucky so far that I have some natural ability that has certainly given me a leg up so I have moved quickly to the end of grade 2.

On one hand, I agree with those who warn to not move so quickly so as to build a good foundation. However, I also want to keep challenging myself. A happy medium is to consolidate what I now know and add the challenge of learning new songs by heart.

My plan is to try to post a video of my playing monthly to see the difference each month makes. Currently, I am learning the song “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd using a four part video from a very young Justin.

It happens to me a lot that as I strum chords, I have been hearing songs. For instance, I was playing the Am chord quickly and heard a note from “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop. I love that song and it is only five different chords strummed the same over and over. However, two are my most challenging chords right now are the C and the F. And it is played quickly with Am, F, C. And then alternates between G and E7, I believe. I started off really stumbling but have worked on it for a couple of days now and I can keep up with it cleanly at about 70% speed.

Everyone learns differently but the way I have been successful is to start incredibly slow. I was in the US Navy and I heard something that didn’t make sense until I used it and now it stuck. I originally heard “slow is fast” at the range and so I asked about it. They clarified that “slow is steady, steady is smooth, smooth is fast…” what they meant was to learn to make a complicated action very slowly at first, make your movements steady over time, turn that steadiness into smooth movements, you will automatically get faster.