Practicing made me laugh today. From the bottom of my heart. It made me so happy. Why? Because I found that I can do something, that I thought I couldn’t.
I have now been owning my Gretsch, also known as Scratchy (of course it has a name …) for 13 days. I have not been practicing or playing as much as I would have liked, since there are three rules I set for myself:
Be patient. Forget that you know some basics. Have an open mind and start from scratch.
Never touch this beautiful instrument when you are stressed.
End practice always on a happy note e.g. when you have mastered something that you thought, you couldn’t do.
I had a lot of stress at work during the last two weeks and birch tree polls have high season here. So for most of the evenings I was stressed and tired. I actually did pick up the guitar on some evenings, but it felt like a chore that I would be happy to quit after 10 minutes or so. That’s how rule 2 was born.
I began Grade 1, Module 4 today - and I love it. I absolutely love it. I used to dislike D minor with a passion. Turns out that I can actually play it just fine. Of course with first finger, second finger and third finger. My brain does not not want to accept using little finger here. Yet it sounds fine. Every string rings out just right.
The strumming pattern… Practicing with the strings muted is brilliant for my muscle memory. Repetition, repetition, repetition. I even tried with E Minor, and it seems, I, who has always played with what seems like self-made irregular patterns, can actually hold a pattern while playing a chord.
My biggest successes today though were the riff and the beginner stretching exercises.
I never really tried to play any riffs before I got my Scratchy. So it feels almost like a miracle to me that I can play the first seven notes of that riff fluently and in a good rhythm. Even without watching my fingers. Of course there are mistakes and not every run was good. But the more I was doing it, the more I understood the logic behind.
The stretching exercises, I had wanted to skip, since I thought, I wouldn’t be able to do it. Then I decided to try at least. And… I don’t know why and how. I can do it. The exercise starting in the fifth fret, relatively easy actually. Yet…also the one starting in the first fret. My fingers are able to stretch enough. Granted, not every note sounds good always, but I am able to do this.
On that note, I stopped my exercising, feeling so comfortable and happy.