Guitar Lessons Part 4

July 18: woo!

I used up all my practice time on the app today!

I started off by playing the melody from yesterday. I wasn’t satisfied by the first couple times, so I played it a third time and got four x three stars, two of which were gold.

Then I moved on to the next melody. This one had a variety of rhythms, switching strings and switching frets. It was hard.

I slowed down in practice mode and played it at 75%, 85%, and 95%. I didn’t get a chance to perform because my practice time was used up. (I get half an hour in the free app.)

Then I sang my song again, no guitar. I’m still liking it.

I practiced all the chords I know. I had fewer dull notes on the first strum, which was nice. Still having trouble with G. My fingers may be long, but wow by third and fourth finger do not like being separated that far.

On a positive note (pun intended), my fingers didn’t hurt until I started playing the chords!

July 19: Look at the pretty!

I didn’t think I was going to get to practice today (although I did play through yesterday’s song once through) because…

Dun dun dun!!

I bought a guitar!

(I just realized I’m wearing the same shirt as the last guitar pic. Oops. I swear I have more shirts!)

It’s a Fender ¾ and it’s red and it’s so pretty!

There’s going to be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the higher strings because my new guitar has metal strings and wow they’re thin! The highest is practically a garrote!

I’m looking forward to practicing on my new guitar tomorrow!

July 20: Chords really hurt

I passed the melody line that I’d been working on the past two days after playing it twice today. I ended up with 2x three gold stars and 2x three stars. I’m very pleased with that result.

Then I moved on to the C chord.

My new guitar has a much thinner neck than my dad’s, so the reach isn’t as painful. However! The metal strings (bronze) really hurt and I have to get right up on my fingertips so as to not touch the strings on either side.

So I had a lot of trouble getting past the chord review. E, Em Am, and C. I had to play 9 in a set amount of time. The best I did today was 7. And then 6. And then 5. And then my fingers hurt too much to continue.

I’ll get callouses eventually and then it won’t hurt anymore, right?

I practiced singing my song, no guitar.

July 21: Passed the chords!

I figured out that I had to strum more than once in order for the app to pick up the sound. So after I had done a few tries and only succeeded at getting 1-5 right, I figured out the strumming thing and I got 14 right! I only needed 9 to move on.

Rather than moving on with the chord lessons, I went back and re-did a whole bunch of the melody songs. I was very pleased at how well my fingers responded to them. I did a couple twice because I stumbled on them the first time.

My fingers hurt from the chords, but the melodies didn’t make them hurt worse, so I’m calling that a win.

I also was able to play through the entire half hour of free play time. Woo!

I am loving my new guitar. I’m definitely finding it easier to reach the chords like G (not that I’ve learned that one in the app yet).

I didn’t sing today during practice, but I promise I will later.

July 22: Bad day

Today was a difficult lesson day. I tried the next chord lesson, which was a song with C and Em chords, and it did not go well.

Just switching between them is hard enough, but I keep being slightly off the strings and that messes up the chord. So I didn’t pass the lesson at all. It was very disheartening. And my fingers hurt.

To try to cheer myself up, I tried to do one of the melodies, and I kept messing up on it, too.

I did sing my song though, so at least one thing went well in my music lesson today.

July 23: Boo

I still have not passed the C/Em chord lesson. I have a feeling I’ll be stuck here for a while.

Plus side?

I’m finding it easier to switch between them. I just need to be more precise with where I’m pressing on the strings so that I don’t make a dull note. Because this app? It picks up EVERYTHING.

I’m rather frustrated.

I did play 3 of the melodies from the previous set of lessons and did pretty well on them.

I sang my song again. Still happy with it. Still not ready to try to put music to it.

July 24: Success!

I passed the C/Em chord lesson!! I played it about ten times today, and finally got three stars in both sections (two times). I’m very proud of myself for sticking with this.

Then the next lesson was Em/C chords. I’m very proud to say that it only took me four tries to get three stars in all three sections (twice).

My fingers were very sore by the end of these two lessons, but I wanted to check out the next lesson, so I gave it a shot. It is Am/C, and I did not do very well, despite it being incredibly easy to switch between these two chords (only one finger needs to move). It’s probably because my fingers were tired.

I sang my song at the beginning of the lesson. I still love it.

I think I’ve figured out how to write out the music. I’m going to print out the song and figure out which notes belong with each syllable, writing them down with a pencil. Then I’ll figure out the chord progression from there.

We’ll see how that goes.

Anyways, positive lesson today, despite the fact that my fingers are still tingling.

July 25: Bruises or callouses?

Yesterday, I was all excited because I thought I was developing callouses.

Today, I realized they’re bruises.

It really hurt to play today.

I played the Am/C chord song a few times today. I did not pass. I kept making mistakes like shifting my fingers too far or not pressing hard enough on the string.

I printed out the song and wrote out the melody for the first line of the first verse.

It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I used to be able to do this sort of thing easily when I was in high school. Funny how skills vanish after twenty years of not using them. (Twenty?? 😱)

If I figure out one line a day, I’ll finish the song in 11 days (because the verses are practically the same and the chorus will only need a minor tweak at the very end of the third chorus because of a difference in syllable count). Fingers crossed?

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