I mentioned some of my background in my intro - but to put where I am in my guitar journey in some context: I’ve been playing guitar since high school in the late 80’s - almost all acoustic with playing chords learned from a chord book, mostly only in the first 5 frets (and my guitar fretboard shows that wear ) Most of that has been strumming rhythm and two fingered travis picked variants. Through the years, I’ve played guitar singing with friends, for church music, and just to relax. In addition to guitar, I play pennywhistle, trad flute, and harp, and have sung a lot of choral music.
Over COVID, I got an electric guitar with the intention of learning more lead style, and expanding beyond straight forward lead sheet accompanying. I worked through the previous version of the beginner and part of the intermediate course to fill in gaps With all the new material updated since that version, I have been going back and picking up new stuff in grade 1-3 as it is added, and pieces that I was happy with at the time, but now need to be revisited - which leads me to where I am now in my learning journey.
My overarching goal is to improve my playing to better accompany my singing for and with family and friends, and also have more options of how to play when I’m playing with friends.
Currently, I have been spending time in the major scale maestro 1 lessons in Grade 4. As I’m getting more comfortable playing a couple major scale positions, it has opened up playing the guitar as a melody instrument in a way I didn’t really get before, and I have been having fun playing a bunch of of the irish trad tunes that I know.
I have a whole bunch of specific skills I’m working on in my current short-medium term improvement objectives:
Clean up A shaped barres
Clean up barre chord transitions up the neck
Clean up power chord fluency
More accurate picking for riffs/tunes and better discipline in alternate picking
Alternate chord voicings for use in accompanying other guitars
Picking more tunes combined with chords
Consistent rhythm patterns - I have a bad habit of starting a song with one pattern, and defaulting to a standard pattern halfway through
More varied finger picking from standard 2 finger travis - using m,r fingers, not just p,i
Better learn to use recording setup (scarlett 4i4, mics, abelton)
Improve song memorization (mostly working on keeping lyrics in my head)
Some of the current methods I rotate through my practice schedule are:
Scales - major scale positions, intervals with metronome - continue working on improving note quality, increasing the tempo for major scale maestro 1 Grade 4
Doing exercises from the guitar aerobics exercise book
Triads - playing songs I know using three string triads instead of open or full barre chords
picking individual notes in chord strums - review Grade 3 Module17
cord transition using scales - review G3M15
Picking out melodies in key by ear in major/minor scales
Sight reading simple standard notation tunes/melody lines
Recording myself and observing playing issues
Song, riff practice
It’s a long starting post for this log, but I wanted to get down where I am now, so that I look back at this a a benchmark later.