Valhalla and his guitar, the start of Week 1.
by, 06-19-2011 at 04:01 PM (539 Views)
So after initially deciding I was going to make this blog a daily post, I changed my mind to weekly. There will be more to write about over a weekly period, and just like when trying to lose weight, it's better to measure yourself on a weekly basis as the improvement will be much greater and therefore more motivating. I'm going to try and make a new post every Sunday, on the previous weeks progress, so tonight's post will be a recap of everything so far, since the I started last Thursday, the 16th.
I was initially planning to use this site quite rigidly to learn how to do everything I needed to do, but after a few days of sitting on that site, I was getting bored of the slow pace. Obviously any beginners course is going to be quite in depth and slow, whereas I just wanted to get playing, so I made the decision to use the materials provided as the basis, but not the be all and end all of my learning process. By the end of day 2 I'd gotten quite downhearted with the whole process. I knew going into it that it wasn't going to be easy, and I wasn't going to be able to play Freebird by the end of my first day, but I was still overwhelmed at how much I had to learn, and how long it was going to take me.
After speaking to a friend who's played guitar for a few years I decided to try and learn Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. Although it is a rather sad (and beautiful) song, it is quite simple to learn, just arpeggios based around the D, G, Em, A chords, with a brief use of a few other chords for a limited number of bars. So really it's not too difficult, and it gives me a chance to practice both chord changes, which is by far the hardest part I've come across so far, and picking. I started to practice the piece using these tabs, and have pretty much managed to get up to the end of the second chorus, where it changes from the four main chords previously listed, to briefly using F#m, Bm, C and Am. The only problems I've really had so far was changing from a G chord back to a D, there's quite a finger jump, whereas D, Em and A are all relatively close together, but I'm definitely getting there. After a few hours practice today I can see the improvement, but I'm still limited to how much I can play by how much my fingers hurt; the callouses haven't formed yet, though the pain is noticeably less than it was four days ago.
By my next post in a weeks time I hope to have this song complete, giving me a total of one complete songs on my repertoire, but more importantly, crucial practice with chords, allowing me to go on to learn songs based around D, A, E, Em and G with more ease.
There is one thing I still unsure about though. When watching videos of people playing on youtube, most players seem to look at where they're placing their hand on the fret board, and just manage to strum or pick without looking at that part of the guitar at all, but I seem to be doing the opposite. I can't not look at what strings I'm having to hit, which slows me down when changing chords as I have to stop momentarily, look at my left hand to change positions, then back to my right hand to strum, though I am getting better at changing chords without looking what I'm doing so I can focus on what string to hit. I'm guessing this is just one of those things I must get used to, but watching videos gives me the impression I'm doing it the wrong way around. I guess at the end of the day as long as it works for me it doesn't really matter, I just don't want to pick up any bad habits this early on.
Oh, I took a photo of my guitar, but seeing as when I embed it, it turns out HUGE I've uploaded it here if you want to see it
P.S. Sorry if I ended up spamming people, I couldn't find the edit button for the blog, so had to delete and start again. If a mod sees this they can properly remove the original 2 versions, or is it just me who can still see them? And a wrong version is on the side bar on the main page :S
P.P.S. Having the edit button invisible unless you happen to hover over it is kind of annoying, though I guess I know where it is for the future.