Hi guys, I love the accountability of a LL (have been lurking for a week or so reading other ones), and decided to join you guys in writing about my progress. Hopefully it will keep me on track, perhaps pick up some tips and maybe even record myself at some point…
My name is Tom, I’m 40, I’m from the UK but now live in Ireland. I have an unconventional job in that I am a professional online poker player, and also teach poker to students. Me and my business partner actually run a team (yes there are such things!) where we teach advanced strategy to budding students, stake them to play and split profits with them.
I used to be a sales person for printing business for 15 years, but what I do now is way more fun, because it was always my passion, so doing it for a job is awesome.
I’m at the point where I wanted another hobby. Like quite a few people I have read about, I first had a go at playing the guitar in my early teens, probably like 14 or something. I played for about a year or so and then gave it up. It was harder than I imagined and I used to go to guitar lessons once a week with a guy that I really did not get on with, as such I didn’t practice and our weekly lessons didn’t go anywhere (not surprising if you don’t practice right?)
Fast forward to about 2 months ago and I just had the urge to buy a guitar and give it another go. I had been watching content on youtube for a while and just wanted to give it another shot. I went to the local store and bought this guitar
It’s an acoustic, but you can plug it in if you want and has a built in tuner, has a nice sound, seems OK as a starter
So I have been working through the lessons in order and am up to Module 9 Grade 2, but having looked at some other people’ logs and from my own scrappy playing I have kinda realised that I have been rushing through everything a bit quick. When I heard something along the lines of ‘do the practice routine’ and then spend some time playing songs, I just did the scheduled practice session and then jumped on the app and started having a go at every song I knew the cords for, just playing along, pretty badly I must admit, and then jumping to the next one. I’m getting in around an hour a day at this point, but as I say most of it is just playing songs badly.
I don’t know 75% of the songs on there so have mainly been just discovering new stuff.
The problem is I haven’t tried to play anything more than 3-4 times so haven’t really mastered anything.
I can do normally anywhere from 35 (tough ones) up to around 55 (easy ones) for the cord changes in a minute, so I felt I was always OK to move on, I seemed to ‘pass’ each stage for the drills but I have not mastered the art of playing anything clean yet.
So I think I just pause and consolidate as you guys say, and try and polish what I have learned so far before going any further, and also try and learn a few songs from beginning to end and play them accurately.
I did grade 1 and 2 of the music theory course, enjoyed those and passed the tests just fine so will probably pay the extra and crack on with those too. I used to play some brass instruments as a young boy and at that time I could read music although I’ve forgotten most of it but I think that helps with the concepts in the basic grades of the music theory so far which is mainly just learning about notes so far.
I feel like my strumming needs a lot of work. I can do the old faithful pattern easy, but adding dynamics to a repetitive rhythm I find tough, it might sounds OK for a bar or two and then slips.
I also experimented with finger picking which I really like as well and plan to keep practicing this too. One question about that - do you need nails to get a clean note? I dont really have much of a nail and when I pluck the strings they sound really muted, maybe im using too much flesh and need to ‘ping’ them a bit more to get decent volume… will keep experimenting!
I rambled on way longer than expected so will leave it there and report on my new routine once I have it figured out!
Good luck and have fun guys!