Hi JG Community
I’ve been having a virtual wander around the website for about a week now getting familiar with the layout and exploring the various topics. And as I’ve discovered this topic I guess I should introduce myself.
I’m Jenny, and like many others I’ve had several failed attempts to learn the guitar in the past. I discovered Justin’s site pre-pandemic and took myself slowly through grade 1. A highlight was learning riffs as I’d only ever learned simple chords before. My fingers still remembered the chords from previous learning attempts too, which was a pleasant surprise to me and encouraging.
Then, because life is what happens when you’re making other plans, I had a long period of illness and for a while I couldn’t even lift my guitar and had to spend time in (im)patient recuperation. Now, I’ve returned and discovered we have a whole new community space . I’ve been playing again for about a month, every day. Going slowly through grade 1 must have paid off for me because I even remembered the riffs after some initial fumbling! This has made me determined to go oh so slowly through grade 2, and I’m in no hurry to reach any particular destination.
In terms of musical background, I played the piano as a child until my early teens and so I have some basic understanding of music theory and can read music. I was taught by the loveliest woman anyone could possibly meet and she was in her 90s at the time.
I’m not a performer, and don’t desire to be, which seems to perhaps be unusual? I think I was put off (read ‘traumatised’ ) at an early age when taking part in a music festival. I was shaking with nerves, and anyone who has ever played the piano while quivering like a washing machine on its fast spin cycle, will appreciate the difficulty and understand that it was a very public ordeal. So, while getting to a stage where I am able to jam comfortably with other musicians has tremendous appeal, playing to an audience does not.
I can already see that there are great ideas and advice being shared in the community and I’ve really enjoyed reading posts and look forward to those still to come – I love the idea of a learning log, because I think that being able to look back and see the improvements over time will be an additional incentive to keep going during those times when progress seems particularly sluggish.
I know I’m just at the beginning so I will have lots to work on – but my biggest ‘failing’ from grade 1 was that I haven’t really started to put together a repertoire of songs I can play. I played ‘everything and anything’ that used the right chords – and had favourites, but I didn’t commit them to memory – probably because having a few party pieces for impromptu performances wasn’t top of my list and I very rarely learn all the lyrics. Still, I am intending to put that right this time around by starting small with two or three and adding gradually.
Justin and I definitely don’t attend the same parties – I have never been to a party where someone has brought their guitar and instigated a sing-along, more’s the pity!
Well, it’s certainly good to be back
All best wishes … and best wishes to all