Time to start a log to document my progress. For the record, I’m Dan. I turned 55, stopped traveling in our motorhome full time and bought a house last year. Before we sold our old house and began traveling, I owned three guitars and was learning to play…sort of. I could play several songs (Seek & Destroy sans solo, Pipeline, Highway to Hell and maybe a couple of others) and I practiced random other skills with no direction or plan. I was reading tab, learning songs or parts thereof but with no real purpose.
Well, we sold the house, went full time and the guitars had to go. That was fine as my interest waned. Parroting songs just wasn’t fulfilling. Skip ahead to 2021 and COVID and my dad’s health caused us to get off the road and get a home base. But that meant I could pick up old hobbies with my new found space.
So I sold a few things to pay for a guitar and amp. I wanted to play again but with purpose and really learn the guitar. I ended up with a Yamaha Pacifica 112J in Candy Apple Red, which was a really hard to find in stock, and a Positive Grid Spark 40 amp. I didn’t want to sink a lot of money into this since I’d already given up playing once but I’m very happy with the gear.
I received my gear in early February and promptly came down with COVID but it was a mild case and in a week or so I was ready to get started. Anyway, I searched for an online course (I learn better on my own) and remembered Justin. I started Grade 1 despite having some knowledge and skills and glad I did. I needed and wanted the foundation.
I knew my open chords and could play them well enough but changing was slow and clumsy at best. Strumming was not something I ever really learned or worked on. But, the riffs, rhythm, playing in time and such were pretty easy, though I was rusty. I’m already in the final consolidation phase and a lot of it came back to me quickly. But chord changes and strumming were/are tough. I’m getting there and probably proficient enough to pass myself but I’m going to practice for a few more weeks and let it all sink in.
However, the wife and I just took a 4 day trip and today was my first day practicing again. The break did wonders. Chord changes/minute went up significantly. I was strumming well while changing, something that had been difficult prior. And I actually was able to do all that while singing. My brain was doing it’s thing in the background while I vacationed, apparently.
Anyway, I’m currently working on Wish You Were Here, Wonderful Tonight and Hey Joe (including the riff) all with open chords. Wish You Were Here is the song I was singing along with. So much fun. Chord changes still aren’t perfect but not horrible (darn C chord!).
My ultimate goals are to play songs by ear, improvise riffs and solos, play chords, strum and sing along and generally use the guitar creatively and expressively. I will start on Grade 2 in a few weeks and I’m working on the ear training course on the side. I will also go through the theory course and pick out some favorite songs to learn but go beyond open chords and strumming and learn them as recorded, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Anyway, I’ll update this when I hit milestones or make breakthroughs. Thanks for reading and comments are welcomed.