So, I’ve been practicing guitar for a bit over a year and have been in the Community almost the same amount of time. So, I thought I’d post a kind of progress report.
I officially started my guitar journey in January 2023. GR 1 Consolidation was in June 2023. I started Grade 2 in July and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in Grade 2 Module 10 for some reasons that made sense to me a few months ago but now I’m thinking I was wrong for staying so long. So today I finally finished the lessons on Hammer-on, the Push thing, and the La Bamba Riff.
I can’t do the push thing to save me life, I spent 10 minutes on it, (the 1 minute practice was too short as I can barely do the strumming with muted strings) Once I can do that, I’ll shorten the practice as Justin recommends.
I understand the hammer- on but, obviously after only 1 practice session, it needs lots of work. As for La Bamba, I realize my ability to read TAB is woefully inadequate I barely have any idea where my fingers should be. So, I shall concentrate on those things while I move into Module 11 in the near future (I did watch the lesson on Fingerstyle as it was recommended for tomorrow’s Vintage Club #7.)
Besides the scales and the lessons from Modules 8, 9, and first half of 10, I was mainly doing a lot more than 5-10 minutes of Repertoire Revision. If nothing else, I’ve probably got a jump-start on Grade 2 Consolidation when it comes to the songs. Now that I am moving forward again, I thought I’d looks back at where I was on Grade 1 songs compared to where I am now as well as where I am on Grade 2 songs.
What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes - At consolidation I could sing it and play it without looking at the App all with down strums only. Now I can play it with the fancy 2 bar strumming pattern but lost the ability to sing along. That is going to take a lot more time.
For What it’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield - I had it memorized but with just down strums it was rather dull, now I’m trying the strumming pattern for the chorus recommended in the Songbook.
Up Around the Bend by CCR - This one is fast and fun. Had it memorized with all down strums, but I hadn’t practiced it in so long, my fingers were actually getting tied up between the A and D chords! Coming along better again with the Old Faithful strumming pattern and only down strums for the split chord barres.
Dreaming by Blondie - I have to admit, I totally forgot about this song till I was writing this post so no idea where I am on it now.
Bad Moon Rising by CCR - I was playing this one at 80% and thought I’d never get faster. Now I can do 100% but prefer it at 90% which is 161 BPM. I’m also singing along and using Old Faithful. I actually feel like I am rocking this song! It will probably be my next AVoYP.
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers is BORING. I tried the up strums instead of the down strums but I’m not feeling it and will retire it for now and replace it with something else…
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac - I can sing and play it mostly from memory at full speed along with the App and the Old Faithful strumming pattern.
Hey, Hey, My, My by Neil Young - Doing pretty well at full speed with a DDDUDU pattern. Still mess up when not looking at the App.
The House of the Rising Sun - Traditional/ the Animals - Using Mini F barre with this and dabbling with 80% speed though my F chord suffers. I also still flub it up when I don’t watch the App all the time.
Wonderwall - Oasis - This is boring me, I don’t have a fancier strumming pattern for it yet, so it sounds boring to me, I may set it aside for a while.
As Tears go By - the Rolling Stones - I chose this song to use the weak G chord and the one finger A chord. I’ve got it pretty well memorized, heck I did grow up singing it, (and most of the others already mentioned) so it might be headed into AVoYP territory soon. With the Old Faithful pattern, too.
I just threw Walk of Life by Dire Straits back into the mix as well with the 8 down strums per bar and using the (GASP) metronome at 129 BPM which is 75% speed. It’s only in the song book, not the App but I can mostly manage it okay.
I also started playing with Have you Ever Seen the Rain by CCR (I seem to be leaning heavily on that group for my repertoire!) It’s in the App and it has chord changes from both Am and C to the dreaded F barre chord so I can barely mange it at 70%. I only started up with it a few days ago.
I also play the Wish You Were Here riff every session and realized from La Bamba, that my TAB reading on that is also wonky, (wait, I should only be using 3 fingers on its version of the Em7?!!)
As you can see, my practice is really heavy with songs and not as much new stuff, so I need to do some time management as the practice sessions are tending to last more than an hour and I’m kind of neglecting stuff around the house. However, the hubby doesn’t seem to mind as long as he gets fed, and he even made a nice compliment to me: “I’m only playing notes” (he’s learning the BASS), “but you’re making music!” That felt really good.
I have to say, when I first started a year ago, I never thought I’d be where I am now. Sometimes looking ahead at the lessons, the complexity of what’s to come instills a bit of anxiety but I still remember when I couldn’t play a freaking A chord. So, I shall keep on keeping on!
edited for clarity and typos