APRIL 2023 UPDATE
I have a new intention to post once a month from now on including a retrospective of the past month and status/goals for the current.
I have a target to either play with other people or perform in some shape or form at least once a month. That did not happen in March. Although I signed up for a Jam, I committed to too many songs and did not feel comfortable. In retrospect, I regret not going as I would probably mess up in some but would be fine overall.
Although I did not have specific goals for March, I practised every day and believe I made progress in:
- Right-hand picking technique
- Familiarity with 5 pentatonic shapes and minor scale root notes
- Vocal pitch (an area I have great challenges in)
- Bass guitar shapes and patterns
- Made progress into Grade 2 (re-visiting previously completed grade)
So it was a good month overall despite a lack of direction.
April Status and Goals
Context: I’ve been practising bass guitar for about 10 weeks.
April started great already. I played 3 songs on the bass at a Jam and although I messed up a bit, it went OK overall. I did not commit to and play anything on the guitar not to take on too much like I did the last time and chickened out.
I have Justin Open Mic this month, which I’m looking forward to.
Then I’ll sign up for another Jam and I’ll try to play some guitar this time.
Playing and singing at the same time
The current song I’m working on has a tricky bit that I can’t play and sing yet. I’m hoping to be able to do that by the end of the month although it feels like a stretch goal at the moment, looking very tricky that one.
- 85 bpm quadruples in all 5 pentatonic shapes (current: 80, stretch goal: 90)
- 100 bpm quadruples on the right hand while picking 2 notes on each string (current: 90-95, stretch goal: 105)
- Play triplets (123-234-345 pattern) with 16th notes on pattern 1 with a slow tempo. Feels impossible currently but we’ll see. The challenge with this is not the technique in the fingers but getting my brain to grasp how to do it.
- Learn at least one chorus from Rock School Grade 6 ‘Blue Espresso’
- Create one chorus of a blues solo by using some licks I already know and some licks from this new one. Focus on the IV chord in particular. When I try to improvise, I’ve no idea what to play when it is the IV chord.
- I have a playlist of blues songs I can play along. I want to revisit them frequently over the month and make sure I can play rhythm for any of them without prompt. The ability to play solos remains a challenge.
- Stretch goal: Learn to play one more blues song.
Finish Grade 2 - I was following Justin’s course on the classic site before. Now I’m doing the new course and started from the beginning. I’m mid-way through Grade 2, and hoping to complete it this month.
Fretboard Knowledge - I found that bass players learn their fretboard very early! I can play a minor, major or dominant scale or arpeggio from any root note on the bass already. I can’t do that on the guitar despite I’ve been playing for 3 years! So the goal is to apply some of that knowledge to guitar and be able to play my scales and arpeggios from a given root note in an instant. I won’t do all of that in a month but aiming to start and see how it goes.