After July’s pub gig, I decided to stop with gigs and performances for a while (that’s why I’m not signing up for open mics for now) and focus on improving but Justin’s live stream was too good not to give a shot.
I’m not happy with that performance. I should have prepared much more, the other performers put me to shame, all were well prepared and stepped up their game while my performance was similar to a usual open mic. Not that I could have done differently, I used all of my time left from having a full-time job and a toddler left me but I should’ve foreseen that I would not have enough time to practice for what the occasion asked for and maybe not have signed up.
Now that that’s also over, I’m back to practising with an aim to improve several aspects of my playing - clarity, timing and speed. I identified exercises, created a guitar pro file with them and put the file on my desktop. Every day, I open the file whenever I can and do one of the exercises. I think I’ve already seen some improvement.
Also working on vocals - ear training to become better with pitch, and daily singing to become better with projection and conveying emotions.
I intend to continue doing this for a while. Just focus on improving technically on the instrument until I think that I reach ‘the next level’ of playing where I’m happier with how my playing sounds. This means playing chord changes and single notes with a general clarity - it does not need to be perfect but at least easy sections of my playing should have consistent and clean chord changes, muting, the right strings ringing out etc. And it also means being mostly in good sync with the beat - again it does not need to be perfect but 95% of a song I’m playing should not have ear-grabbing timing issues.
Once I hit these goals (presumably somewhere between 3-12 months), I’ll start signing up for performances again. I do want to continue to keep posting here, perhaps I may post recordings of small sections when I think I hit a small goal or something.
On not-so-bright news, during the last pub gig, I lost movement on my left index finger for a couple of seconds and that scared me quite a bit. I did not have it again since but I now have a new anxiety that it may come back and I have a ‘feeling’ on that finger now that’s not pain or tickling, but a sense that it may lose movement again. I looked up finger stretches and started doing them before practising and using the keyboard now. I am also more consciously taking a break and doing short stretches after every 5-10 minutes of playing to reduce the chances of an injury. If it happens again, I’ll book an appointment to have it checked. Look after your health folks, if you haven’t been doing stretches because you haven’t felt the need, I suggest start doing them before you injure yourself. Hopefully, it’ll never happen to you but you won’t see an injury coming, better to minimise the chances now.
That’s it for now.