A lot of improvement was had over the weekend. For whatever reason, the last two nights I was in a zone. That was after taking two days off. No good excuses. I was feeling a lack of motivation. Then I fell in a YouTube rabbit hole. They’ve been recommending a lot of Van Halen and/or Sammy Hagar clips to me and I’ve been too happy to oblige. Also, random guitar tutorials. Combined that was enough to put me back on the wagon.
The first night (Saturday), I made gains in every single one minute change. I was quite happy. I tried a couple more songs. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion Justin added them in order of difficulty because man, are they ramping up. Now it’s no longer good enough to have one strum per bar, it’s two. The changes are coming faster in those as well. Really pushing me to my limit of what I’m capable of right now and that’s a good thing.
Sunday was even more awesome. I FINALLY achieved 60+ in D to E so I don’t have to revisit that blasted exercise again. I think I only have one left that includes E minor, naturally. I haven’t revisited that one yet because I usually go from worst-to-first and don’t end up practicing every outstanding nil-accomplishment in a session.
Following up more from last week’s entry, the A chord is still giving me troubles. Without an anchor finger helping me to place the A, the natural shape is garbage. Take A to Amin, where I have to shift up and down a string as well. That’s a barrier. I tried longer practices, doing all of the outstanding change types, and when I got a score I wasn’t satisfied with, I’d do it again and get a higher score right off the bat. I as a guitar player am evolving. I can handle longer practices now without my fingertips hurting. If I want to improve faster, I have to go for longer. Maybe even an hour at a time if I could sweat that. It’s interesting how each practice is a mini journey. It’s almost like clockwork. I start off so-so and get better and better the longer it lasts. It’s like my fingers and brain need to both warm up and lock in and focus.
It’s hard to believe I’ve stuck with this routine, both blog and practice, for 8 straight weeks. It really is becoming ingrained as a habit. I don’t have to set reminders for myself to do them. I come home from work every day and right there in the back of my head is the question “what time am I doing guitar practice?”
So for the rest of this week I’ll continue as I’ve been doing, trying to master the rest of the stage 2 changes and finishing up the stage 1 songs. Should I be able to do the latter, I’ll start (easy) on the stage 2 songs. Another thing to keep in mind – my strumming needs a lot of work. Not rhythmically, but in fluidity. The 2-a-bar strums sounded like a dying cat. More on that another time.