Donovan's Learning Log

I’m thinking a learning log might be a useful tool to help myself stay focused on a clear objective, which is to be able to play my own songs solo. The natural conclusion of that objective would be an open-mic performance but that’s not terribly important to me right now.

At the same time, I never like to place limitations on what I might achieve.

I first began my JG journey with the app but, after completing Beginner Grade 2 (way too quickly), I drifted away from it. Not because I wasn’t finding it helpful. I just wasn’t seeing a lot of relevance to my own personal objective to learn what I needed to know in order to create very simple sketches of my own musical ideas as any budding singer/songwriter might.

In many ways, this process is about learning a new language, right? Some days, I felt as if I was spending time practicing things I would never use in any applied sense as they relate to my admittedly basic objectives. Like learning a spoken language. Where I live, it’s helpful to have a functional command of Spanish. I would love to speak it conversationally but, since I have little opportunity to do so, it ain’t gonna stick.

So, I began to cherry-pick elements from the modules that I felt were more applicable and glossed over the rest. No doubt, I really enjoyed learning riffs. I felt great satisfaction at learning the basics of “Wish You Were Here,” however, I felt like it was all lost time because my objectives in no way include performing covers, playing in a band, etc. Not to say that those things aren’t worthwhile. I think it would be loads of fun to rock out in a four-piece outfit. And there certainly is value in honing skills through playing well-known songs.

But, seriously, I’m 55 years old! Might it not be a good idea to really hone in on only those aspects which go directly to my objective so I can concentrate on becoming the best singer-songwriter I can be?

So now, I’m feeling in limbo, stuck between wanting to structure an efficient journey that considers what I can realistically expect to accomplish as a middle-aged beginner while also wanting to not limit myself.

I guess this is an attempt to sort out what I’m really wanting from my guitar journey. I definitely feel like my attitude about the process could use some adjustment. I welcome the wisdom of anyone who’s been here.