(April 8-14, 2019)
Like mentioned in the previous entry, these are going to start becoming more stream-of-consciousness types of posts. Sorry not sorry.
Practice has to happen daily this week. Even Monday. Luckily today (Monday) is a day I have to force myself to stay up late to watch the Cavs play in the NCAA championship game. After doing an extended errand after work, I’ll come home, fit in a good practice session, and watch on the edge of my seat.
I practiced every day, even on Monday I got a few minutes in. I can feel the desire to practice and actually doing it becoming more and more of a habit and I wanted to go for longer. Then I had a setback Wednesday night. I was working on some songs, shifting chords, and then I had a slicing sensation in my index finger. It’s hard to describe but I guess it felt like a paper cut, as if the G string I’m using as an anchor had actually cut into my fingertip. Very uncomfortable and borderline painful. No blood and I couldn’t make out any broken skin, but that was that for that session. Thursday it’s a little tender. The last thing I want is a wound or a blister so I’m going to take a break for a day and see how it goes. It sucks because I actually do really want to play. It’s not only forming a habit, but anticipation to get in there as well. I’m not going to do something stupid that would make me have to take a week or more off, so I’ll play it safe. Unfortunate but part of the journey.
My uphill battle this week is with that dreaded D chord. Forming it isn’t exactly the problem, it’s doing it in one smooth motion. My habit is still laying on each finger at a time. I can do that relatively fast, but not fast enough to improve speed on the chord changes. To try to fix it, I’m going to spend a good amount of time doing reps of single lift off then single put on. I’m decent at those with the A and E and it’s a requirement to make fast changes. I also need to angle my ring finger – I find it almost always lays flat which is enough to get a good sound but bad for flexibility and mobility. Should I make headway there, I’ll alternate between that and the D to E changes. “Practice what you’re bad at, not what you’re good at.”
Main goal number 2 this week: not looking at the strings in either direction. I’ve been casually dabbling with that recently and it’s going well. Far from perfect actually, but moderately well. Playing Rocksmith helped me more there than typical practice.
At the end of JustinGuitar’s beginner stage 1, I want to close it out by playing every stage 1 song in the app well enough to get 3 stars. That’s subjective because it doesn’t actually listen to what you play (self-critique). If I can get the vast majority of notes in those songs with very few hiccups, I will feel confident enough to say sayonara.
I feel like I’m closer to the end than the beginning and that’s wonderful. I have to remain patient and not force it though. It takes as long as it takes.