Guitar Lessons Part 17

Oct 6: Nervous-er

That probably isn’t a word. But you all know what it means.

I’m even more nervous than I was yesterday.

Today, during my practice session, I played several different classical pieces. My favourite is Night on Bald Mountain. You probably know it as the song in Fantasia with the devil.

My children dance while I play it and it’s hard not to laugh because their actions resemble the demons in the movie.

Then I played my song multiple times. I’m really happy with how it went today.

I really hope it goes as well tonight.

Oct 7: Performance complete!

Thank you for following me on my journey from first picking up a guitar to a performance for my writer’s group. I will continue to post updates, but last night was what I had been preparing for for three months.

How did it go?

I made several mistakes, missed the strings once on a strum, discovered that it’s really hard to play a chord when my hands are shaking, and it was LOVED by the writer’s group.

So I’m going to call my first performance a win.

Next up, preparing for a live performance in a year and a half. (If the book is accepted by the publisher.)

Also, I have another song that I get to write for book 2. I’m going to try to write the music for it too, but I’m sure I’ll need help from my music mentor for that. I still want to try. I understand how it works a lot better now, so fingers crossed?

Today, I played a bunch of classical songs, which was fun. Then I played my song twice and recorded it once. My kids sang along. (They’re 5 and 2)

Talk to you tomorrow!

Oct 8: Relief

I am feeling a lot of relief today. Like I’ve climbed a mountain and found that I didn’t tumble down the other side.

I played a few songs from the search function in the app, mostly Halloween songs. They’re fun.

It gave me the idea that I could play from my Christmas songbook I’ve got for flute once it’s time for that kind of song. It’ll give me practice with the names of the frets AND practice with the names of the notes on the staff. I’m looking forward to it.

I played my song once and then played a bunch of other songs. It’s nice to just include it on the rotation of songs rather than play it over and over again.

Oct 9: Over an hour

I played way too long today. My fingertips are tingling. I really enjoyed it, though.

I feel like my strumming is improving.

I played several songs from the app, including the two Halloween songs I found the other day.

I also played my song twice. My son sang along. A few seconds late, but that’s still amazing for a two-year old, imho.

Oct 10: Break

No guitar or uke today. Too busy with I’m not even sure what… Kids, I guess?

Hopefully I’ll pick one up tomorrow.

My fingertips don’t sting too much today, so that’s awesome.

Oct 11: Uke duets

Today, I played the soprano uke while my husband played the tenor uke. We had a lot of fun, although husband says that I didn’t count in (I didn’t, but he didn’t ask me to until after we’d finished for the day).

It was nice to realize I hadn’t forgotten all the uke chords, although our app is great and has the chords at the top of the song. I miss that feature in the guitar app I have.

Both kids also played with the ukulele. They’re so cute.

Pegasus with the soprano ukulele. He needs to work on his left thumb positioning.

Guitar Lessons Part 16

Sept 30: Nerves

I didn’t have much time to play today, but I played my song a bunch of times. Made some mistakes, but not every time.

I’m really trying to keep my chord progressions clean. I feel like I so often end up dulling the strings underneath the ones I’m going for, especially when I play the C chord.

I hope I can figure it out before next Wednesday.

Oct 1: Panicking

Every time I played my song today, I made mistakes.

I’m panicking. Mildly.

image

^reasonable depiction of myself panicking

I also played a few other songs. I feel like my chord transitions are faster, which is nice.

Oct 2: Trying new things

I have decided not to continue with the lessons in the app I use. However, I discovered recently that there are weekly challenges in the app and I decided to give that a try. It’s interesting and kinda fun.

I played my song a bunch of times. I still love it, btw. Good thing, because I hear it a LOT.

I decided to try playing songs from my uke app on the guitar. It worked REALLY well. I was especially happy with how the Julie and the Phantoms songs turned out.

Only four more days of practice! Eep

Oct 3: Will I ever learn?

I played the challenges again today. This week is Baby Shark, by the way. I refuse to learn that, on principal. So I went back several weeks to Tchaikovsky. There’s the sugar plum fairy riff and melody and the swan princess melody. I completed the first. The second two are incredibly challenging. I did better than I expected, tbh.

Then I played my song multiple times.

And then I played a bunch of songs from my uke app (on guitar). I had a lot of fun.

The only problem? I played for almost an hour and now my fingers hurt. A lot.

Will I ever learn?

The next few days will be much shorter practice sessions, both because my fingers hurt and because my daughter has virtual school, so our days are scheduled around her breaks.

Oct 4: No damage done

My fingers felt great today, so I played a little longer than I had expected after the long time I played yesterday.

I played the challenge in the app and I did really well! I managed to play the whole sugar plum fairy melody that was up, and it was a level 5! I didn’t go past level 4 in the lessons, so I’m very proud of myself.

I played my song several times. The first few times made me cringe at the number of mistakes I made, but then I was very happy with the following attempts. Hopefully I can recreate the happy attempts when I perform on Wednesday!

I played a few fun songs after that. I’m really enjoying Perfect Harmony by Julie and the Phantoms.

Jeepers, I’m nervous for Wednesday.

Oct 5: Exploring the app

I decided to explore the app I used for my lessons a little bit more. I found the “search songs” function and filter. I played a bunch of low level classical songs today. It was a lot of fun!

Then I played my song multiple times. I had trouble with the timing of my strumming in the second verse.

Coupled with the horrifying dream I had early this morning where I was supposed to perform at a party but nobody had told me, so I didn’t have my guitar. A bunch of people offered me a variety of stringed instruments, none of which I had ever seen before. There was an electric stringed instrument with a button you pressed to set the capo, but the neck was wider than my entire hand and you didn’t strum. There was an orb shaped stringed instrument that you played by picking the strings with a metal tool that looked like tweezers. There was a long-necked string instrument that I didn’t look at for long because it only had two strings and played with a bow. So I gave up looking for an instrument and decided to just sing, but I couldn’t remember the tune very well and it was all over the place….

I think I’m stressing about the performance tomorrow evening.

Gah, tomorrow!!!

Guitar Lessons Part 15

Sep 24: Late

Sorry this is so late. Not much to report today.

I played my song.

I played a bunch of other songs.

I had fun.

Good night.

Sep 25: Not Much Time

Today was a busy day. My mom came over and we went through half of my son’s clothing that we had stored in his closet… All of which was already too small for him.

In other words, not much practice time happened today.

I spent the entirety of it working on my song.

You know what’s annoying?

Messing up at a different part of the song each time I play it

Sept 26: Performing

I’ve been thinking a LOT about my upcoming performance (October 6! Ack only 10 days!) and every time I make a mistake (once or twice each time I play the song) I worry that I won’t be prepared.

Did I set too steep a goal?

I know that my writer’s group will be gentle, but I still want to do a good job for them.

Today, I tried to coach my daughter into singing in tune instead of screaming the lyrics. It worked pretty well.

She already knows all the words.

I’m so very impressed and proud.

Sept 27: Nothing to Report

I didn’t play guitar today. No spoons. I’m sad.

Sept 28: Back into it

I played for about twenty minutes today, almost exclusively my song.

I say “almost” because I played Frère Jacques for the kids a few times and then practiced my chords.

I’m feeling a little more confident about my playing.

But when my mom asked if I would be performing for them before I played for my writer’s group, I panicked.

I’ll get there.

Right?

Sept 29: Fun Stuff

I played for about 40 minutes today. I think I’m going to stick with the no lesson thing for the time being. I refuse to feel guilty about it.

I played my song a bunch. Kept making tiny mistakes that really bug me. Hopefully I can iron most of those out before next Wednesday. (Eep 1 week!)

Then I played Puff the magic dragon because my son has been obsessed with that song lately and I don’t remember all the words to the verses. I did much better tonight. Just the last couple that I still don’t remember.

I played a couple other songs too. 500 miles by the proclaimers was a new one for me and it was a lot of fun to play.

And of course Frère Jacques for the kids.

In writing news, I finished a novella I’ve been working on for about a week. It’s just under 19k. I’m really happy with it.

Today marks 3 months of playing guitar!

Guitar Lessons Part 14

Sep 18: Audience

I was sitting in my living room today, trying to get up the spoons to practice, and I was trying to figure out whether I should bring my guitar up to play for my family, or play in the basement by myself.

I was leaning towards the basement because playing in front of an audience is nerve-wracking, when I realized that I needed to play in front of them to get used to doing it.

If my publisher accepts this book and if they like the song, then I’ll ask them if they want me to play it for the book trailer and at the book launch. (Two very big ifs, imho)

So yeah, I need to get used to it.

I brought up my guitar and played my song. (I didn’t do a lesson today because I’m low on spoons)

Much to my delight, I discovered that my 2yo son also knows the lyrics to my song, not just my turning-five-tomorrow years old daughter.

I do sing it to him every night at bedtime, but he doesn’t sing along with me normally.

He was behind by a word, so it was hilarious to try to practice my song with him singing along, but omg he practically kept up.

It’s one thing to have written a song that they enjoy.

It’s a whole other level that they like it so much that they sing along with me.

Sep 19: Pros and cons

There are pros and cons to practicing my guitar in the living room.

Pros: practicing for an audience, being with my family, warmer than 16C (our basement has a heating issue), sometimes they sing along

Cons: I can’t do my lessons because the kids won’t stop screaming (although since my lesson right now is that awful riffs lesson, this might fall into the pro category…)

I played my song a whole bunch of times today. It’s starting to feel more natural, I think.

I played a bunch of other songs, too, and that was a lot of fun.

It’s my daughter’s fifth birthday today. I can’t believe it’s been five years!

Sep 20: Short but sweet

I played too long yesterday and ended up with tingling fingers today when I started to play.

So I skipped my lesson again and practiced my chords and my song.

I am feeling ever more confident about it.

It’s a nice feeling to have.

Sep 21: Strumming

I didn’t do a lesson today.

I did practice my song and my chords.

My son strummed while I practiced different chords. That was fun.

Sep 22: Repetition

I didn’t do a lesson again today. Tbh, I’m a little intimidated at this point. Once I finish the riffs, the next chord lesson is my nemesis…. The F major chord. I don’t think I will be able to pass any of those lessons. I tried the F chord today, and was barely able to manage it, after much adjustment. It hurt my hand and wrist a little.

I played my chords and my song multiple times.

My son pulled the kid’s xylophone over and played it while I practiced. It’s very hard to keep tune while a different song is being banged out at your feet.

Or maybe it’s just me.

I have my writer’s group tonight… The last one before I surprise them with a performance. I’m nervous and have no reason to be (today). I hope I won’t be in a constant state of nerves for the next two weeks!

Sep 23: Short again

I played my song several times. I know exactly where I need to practice.

I’ve decided not to feel guilty about not doing the lessons. I just don’t have the spoons to deal with them right now.

Guitar Lessons Part 13

Sep 12: Sore fingertips

I was right, my fingertips hurt today, so I didn’t do a lesson.

I played Frère Jacques while my daughter sang it. She’s getting better (as am I). Apparently my son (2yo) is starting to learning the song as well, much to my surprise.

Then I played my song several times, focussing on my rhythm. I think it’s going well.

Going to hopefully play some ukulele this afternoon.

Update: I did play ukulele this afternoon… With my husband, because we have two ukuleles.

That was a lot of fun!

Sep 13: Repetition

I did my lesson today, playing the first part ad nauseum to try to get it to three stars. I didn’t succeed. It’s really hard. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Then I practiced my chords (successfully) and my song (multiple times).

I played a few songs after that.

But mostly today’s practice session was all about repetition.

Sep 14: Callus damage

I played the lesson I’ve been working on the past couple days again today. I got three stars after working on it a lot.

The next lesson was so easy I passed it right away. That was weird.

The next lesson was very very hard. I ran out of time to play it more than once. I got one star across the board. Barely, imho.

Then I played my song. This is where I noticed that the callus on my middle left finger had split, right where I (obviously) prefer to have my fingers placed. Sigh. So it hurt to play a bit.

I decided that I shouldn’t play too much so as to not aggravate the damage. I’ll have to build up the callus again. Hopefully it won’t take too long. I’m hoping to perform my song for my writer’s group on September 22 (or maybe October 6… Haven’t quite decided yet).

Update: Forgot to mention: we bought a music stand! It’s pink and it’s awesome.

I used it today and it works really well. (Much better than the gorilla tripod and bookcase combo I’ve been using lol)

Sep 15: Short

No lesson today.

I played Frère Jacques for my daughter today. She sang along with it with no problems at all. I’m very proud of her.

I played my song once. It hurt. I didn’t play further today.

Also, allergies are hitting me super hard right now (ragweed?) and my voice cracked so bad on the first ooh of the chorus that no sound came out.

So yeah. That was fun.

Sep 16: Healing

I did my lesson today. I passed the lesson I was working on two days ago after a lot of practice. Then I got to move onto power riffs. My time ended after one attempt at the first song, which I didn’t quite pass.

I played my song a few times and then realized that my callus hasn’t reformed yet, so that hurt.

My throat is still raspy from allergies.

I’m still debating whether I want to perform next Wednesday or two weeks later.

Sep 17: I despise riffs

My lesson started out well today. I completed the first lesson, learned about fingertip muting, and learned some new riffs.

And then the next lesson came.

😮👀😱

There were only four riffs in it. And I just fell apart.

And my wrist started hurting.

They are not easy to do.

So I stopped the lesson and moved on to my song. My voice sounds like a croak. I’ve decided not to play the song at the writer’s group meeting this coming Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll sound more like myself at the one two weeks after.

My daughter sang Frère Jacques while I played the tenor ukulele for her class today. I made a mistake. She didn’t. I’m very proud of her.

Special Edition of How I Taught my Dragon: Stop-Motion Movie 2021

We offered to let our Dragon (now 5 years old, in Sr Kindergarten) have a day off from virtual school this week if she wanted to create a stop-motion movie.

She, of course, jumped at the chance. I think it was her favourite activity from last year.

So we did the entire project on Monday (October 25, 2021), from writing the script, storyboarding, making the props, recording the dialogue, sound effects, and soundtrack, taking the pictures, and stitching everything together to make a complete stop-motion movie. (Thank you to Éric for all the technical help!)

I’m so very proud of her. She worked very hard.

Guitar Lessons Part 12

Sep 6: Happy

I passed Greensleeves! I played it slower a few times (75%, 80%, 85%) before attempting it at full speed. I made a few mistakes (got two stars on two parts instead of three stars) but I passed it according to the app, so I’m really happy with my progress today.

I’ve started practicing my chords both without the capo and with, because there is a lot less space for my fingers when the capo is on, so I figure I should practice that.

I played my song. The first time through it is rough still. It’s like my brain forgets what the rhythm is supposed to be overnight. I recorded myself, and I’m actually pretty happy with it. I feel like my strumming is improving a lot, which is nice to see. I definitely notice the slow downs when I change chords, but I know my speed will improve with practice, so I’m not beating myself up over that.

Context for the song: In my book Crushing It, not yet submitted to a publisher, 14yo boy (A) wrote the lyrics for this song in half an hour as he was trying to make sense of his emotions towards his new friend (B). A then plays it for B to tell B that A likes B.

I figure it makes sense for the song to start off slow, because he’s figuring out what chords he likes for the song, and then it picks up in the second verse. The bridge is slow again, as is the last line (because mirroring).

I hope you like it! Drop me a comment!

P.S. I’ve only been playing guitar for just over two months. You can follow my progress if you click on my tags!

Sep 7: Brief but satisfying

I tried Greensleeves again today and passed. I’m very proud of myself. Then I moved on to the next lesson: Aloha. It is very fast. So I dropped down to practice mode and played it at 50%, 60%, and 70%. I’m pleased by my progress so far.

I practiced my chords, both with and without the capo, and then listened to yesterday’s recording to remind myself of the rhythm. I think that was a good idea because I didn’t fumble over it nearly as much as I did yesterday. I am very happy with how it sounded today.

I felt like a real musician!

Then I played Frère Jacques, just so I can play it with my daughter.

Yesterday afternoon, I played the soprano ukulele for over an hour! It was a lot of fun and my son enjoyed it. (Daughter was at her piano lesson.)

Sep 8: Short

I played the Aloha song in practice mode at 70% and 80% speed. I didn’t make too many mistakes and was pretty happy with my progress.

I played Frère Jacques several times for my daughter to sing along with. The third line is causing her problems, but she’ll get better with practice.

Last, I played my song. I didn’t need to listen to the recording first, which was nice progress.

I still love it.

Sep 9: Oops

Forgot to write my post today. I did play. I completed Aloha! I was very proud. 3 stars across the board. My daughter applauded for me.

We sang Frère Jacques together. Her voice is getting better.

My song is going well. I need to work on my rhythm.

Sep 10: Practice

Today I worked on a new melody. It requires all four fingers on all but the top string and it is very fast. I practiced it at 50%, 60%, and 70% speeds today. I was pleased with my progress.

I practiced my chords and then played my song a bunch. I really need to focus on the rhythm. I keep changing it to match the rhythm of the words. It’s really hard to separate the two.

Then I played Frère Jacques. I also tried it with chords. That’s really hard to change between them. Practice will probably help.

Sep 11: Too long

I passed the lesson I was working on (2,2,3,3 stars). I’ll try it again tomorrow and see if I can get 3 stars across the board.

Then I brought my guitar up to the main level for the rest of my practice. I played my chords first and then my song.

I worked on my rhythm… With mild success. It’s ok. I have the time to work on it.

Then I played many many songs from my app. Too many. My fingers hurt a bit.

I hope I didn’t overdo it.

Update: it’s been 3.5 hours since I stopped playing and my fingertips are still a little numb. Definitely ukulele tomorrow.

Guitar Lessons Part 11

Sep 1: A surprise

My lesson today was half instructional and half a new song.

The instructional was all about down and up picking (single strings). The guy said to rest my wrist on the board at the end of the strings so that I would know where my pick was.

Ok, so first off, that pushes my arm too far back, so it hurts my back. I was in pain within a minute.

Secondly, I don’t have a traditional board because my strings are attached to pegs. So if I rest on it, it mutes my strings.

Also, I have no idea which string I’m on when I use a pick! I got so lost!

The new song was Scarborough Fair. I managed the first note and then got completely lost because it was so fast. So I dropped into practice mode and lowered the speed to 50% and even then, I only got the right notes about 50-75% of the time. Suffice it to say, I did not speed up today and I finished the lesson very frustrated.

I played my song next, my daughter singing along. I decided to attempt recording. There’s a special guest who sang along with me.

Please pardon the roughness of it. I’m not used to singing with someone else. Also, I’ve only been playing for two months, so please be gentle.

Context of the song: a boy (14yo) has realized he’s gay and he’s telling his friend (15yo) that he likes him as more than a friend. Their story is written in my book “Crushing It” that will be submitted to my publisher in October.

After recording, I played a bunch of songs and they all went fairly well. I’m pleased with my progress. I can switch between chords much faster than I used to and my fingers don’t hurt.

Sep 2: Slow and steady

I think I was holding my picking wrist too tense because I was trying to get the song.

I managed to get the 50% and then I sped up to 70%, which wasn’t too bad. So I sped up to 80%. I made a lot of mistakes, but I felt like I was making progress.

And then I noticed my wrist was hurting.

So I practiced my chords and my song and left my practice session at that.

My wrist has already stopped hurting. I think I was smart to stop when I did.

Sep 3: Nursery rhymes

I played my lesson (Scarborough Fair) at 75% and then at 80% (with several errors) and then because I wanted to see what would happen, I tried to perform it (for scoring in the app).

I passed.

Yeah.

I’m shocked too.

I didn’t play the full time because I decided I should look up Frère Jacques so I could teach our daughter the words. We realized yesterday that she didn’t know any French songs, other than the months of the year. She enjoyed learning it. I’ll be adding it to my regular practice time to give her practice.

Then I played my song.

For some reason, I’m not playing the A chord properly today. 🤷‍♀️

I decided I should probably stop playing today because my fingers and back were hurting.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back to normal.

Sep 4: Strumming!

My app lesson was tough today. I replayed Scarborough Fair with pretty decent success. I was happy to move on. Next lesson was Greensleeves. Omg. So fast! I’m going to have to slow it down considerably tomorrow.

Then I played my song. I added some extra strumming to it to change it up a bit. Omg! I absolutely adore how it sounds on the chorus! I desperately need to work on the rhythm of entire second verse and on the Fmaj7 in the chorus, but it’s really coming together. I’m ridiculously excited about it.

After that, I played a variety of songs by request from my daughter and then we worked on Frère Jacques. She’s enjoying it.

I love it when my fingers don’t hurt even after a long playing session.

Sep 5: Greensleeves

It’s a REALLY good thing that I like Greensleeves as a song, because I have a feeling I’m going to be stuck on it for a while. Today I slowed it down to 50%, and I still wasn’t able to get all of it. I sped it up to 60% and then 70% and was able to complete just as much as on 50%, so I was pretty happy about that.

After my lesson, I practiced my song a bunch, focussing on the new rhythms. It’s HARD to play one rhythm and sing a melody! I’m really happy with how the chorus is coming along. The verse still needs a lot of work. I might try recording it tomorrow. I’ll see how it goes. Even if it’s only for me. I find it’s easier to hear where the issues are if I’m listening to it rather than playing it.

I practiced Frere Jacques. It’s coming a lot faster now and I don’t need the music.

My fingers are a little sore today. I think I was pressing too hard while practicing my song.

Guitar Lessons Part 10

Aug 26: Low key

Not a pun.

I didn’t do any lessons today. My fingers were still stinging a little from yesterday.

So I practiced chords and riffs for a bit.

And then I played my song 3-4 times. The chord changes are getting more natural. I’m really excited about this song.

Aug 27: Quick

I didn’t have much time to play guitar today. I practiced my chords and riffs and the finger stretching thing that my music mentor told me to do. Wow, it stretches.

In other words, no lesson today.

I played my song 3 times. I feel like I’m getting more consistent, which is nice. I still play more than the bottom 4 strings on Fmaj7 sometimes, which isn’t great. I need to work on that.

I’m hoping to play some ukulele this afternoon.

Aug 28: Riffs!?!

I did a lesson today. Apparently the first riffs lesson was made to induce a false sense of security. The second lesson was complicated. I had to slow it down, but I was able to get it before the end of the lesson.

But the third?? They changed how they showed the riffs (instead of a bar over two strings, they highlighted the individual strings with numbers for the fret) and it was so sped up that I had to slow it down to 50%, and even then I wasn’t getting it every time.

I think this lesson is going to take me a couple days to pass.

I played my song a bunch of times. I need to stop playing it on the ukulele because I don’t use a fret on it and the tone is different. And then my voice takes a while to remember what sound it’s supposed to make.

I worked on the Fmaj7 a lot. I also focussed on playing the chords at the time I’m supposed to and not a couple beats later.

When my son woke me up for his 3am feeding, I came up with a few lines for a new song! I remembered them long enough to write them down. Not sure where they’ll go in the song because I haven’t started it yet, but I like them so far.

Aug 29: Ouch

I passed the riffs lesson after much practice. I didn’t get it quite as high as I would like (only got 2 stars on the second half, but I got them consistently, so I was ready to move on) but I don’t expect to need riffs all that often. I haven’t come across them in any of the music I’ve seen. And if it does show up in a song, at least I know what they are.

I played my song. A lot. I’m feeling much more satisfied with my Fmaj7 chords (not strumming the top two strings), and I’m trying to add nuance to the lyrics and how I sing it.

Although I think I should perhaps focus on the difference between “wanna” and “want to,” which are both in the song.

Why is this titled ouch?

So I have a chronic back injury. My lumbar spine is being pulled in the wrong direction by my back muscles. It causes a lot of problems and limits me a lot, especially where it comes to my children (picking them up is next to impossible). Apparently guitar playing is another one of those things that affects my back. If I play for more than twenty minutes or so, my back is in an awfully lot of pain.

I’m going to try sitting somewhere else. Maybe a chair isn’t the best place for me? Maybe my phone with the app isn’t high enough so I’m crouching to see it?

I’ll figure it out.

P.S. Two months of practice!

Aug 30: I need a timer

My lessons were both theory and practical today. I (re)learned about sharps and flats and the difference between major and minor chords. Then for the practical, I attempted a minor scale.

I say ‘attempted’ because it did not go well. It was very quick and I’m not used to playing notes instead of chords.

Before all this, I played one last riff song. It took half my time, but I was able to get it. It was fun.

Then I played my song a bunch of times. I even played along with my recording, which means I was able to keep up with the speed I prefer for singing, which is excellent.

I recorded myself on an app I have. I’m pretty happy with it, tbh. I could still use work to make it a little more seamless, but that’s where practice comes in.

Then I played a bunch of other songs.

I played for over an hour.

I need to start setting a timer so that I don’t play so long. My fingers don’t hurt at all!

Aug 31: Passed level 3!

I passed the lesson I was working on yesterday. I had to slow it down drastically in order to get it, but once my fingers got used to it, it wasn’t too difficult. I did the same thing for the next lesson, and then I was done level 3!

Level 4 started with beats. I passed the first lesson with very little trouble (I got mixed up at one point but I found myself again).

I played my song a bunch of times.

I decided to try putting my phone on the bookcase, to see if that helps my back. I still bunch, so perhaps a higher shelf will work? I’ll try that tomorrow. I feel kinda weird facing the bookcase, but whatever works, right?

Guitar Lessons Part 9

Aug 20: Too Much? Hope Not

I “passed” the lesson I was working on for the past two days. Tbh, I was tired of playing it and I think the only reason I wasn’t getting 3 stars was because my mic wasn’t picking up the chords properly. I passed it according to the app, so I moved on.

I learned A! I mean, I already knew that chord, but I got to learn it in the app. I got to complete another “play as many chords as you can in a set amount of time” game. I got 3 gold stars. It was super fun.

Then I passed the first song with an A chord. I feel good about today.

I played my song a few times. The chords are becoming easier to switch between.

Then I played a bunch of songs that I have chords for, including I want it that wayHit Me Baby One More TimeMamma MiaDust in the WindHouse of the Rising Sun, and a few Disney songs.

I played too long, I think. It’s just so exciting to recognize the music that I’m playing!!

I don’t think I aggravated my blister, but I think I’ll probably play the ukulele tomorrow.

Oh, and then at the end of my session, a friend of mine told me that she hasn’t been feeling well, so I recording my song and sent it to her. She loved it.

Listening to the recording, I realized that I’m not consistent with my speed in certain parts… Mostly the chorus. So I’ll have to work on that.

Aug 21: Ukulele Break

My finger wasn’t feeling great today, so instead of playing guitar, I picked up our soprano ukulele.

I’m not doing lessons with the ukulele, so I went straight into playing songs.

Peeps, you have no idea how awesome it is to pick out a song, go through the chords at the top of the app, and just play and have it sound like it’s supposed to!

I recognize that this is mostly due to my experience—slight though it is—on the guitar. The chords are different on the ukulele, but the concept of changing finger positions and strumming is very much the same.

I played for almost an hour and barely noticed the time fly by. So much fun!!

Oh, and after I’d played enough songs that I remembered what the chords we, I played my song! That was really fun.

Aug 22: Awesome Lesson

I had a great lesson today! I passed the lesson I was working on two days ago with no problems, and then passed the next two lessons on the first (and second) tries!

I played my song, paying attention to the timing of the chorus so I wasn’t speeding it up.

I really need to schedule a music mentor session.

I played a bunch of fun songs, including True Colours and When you Believe.

I still can’t get over how much fun I’m having with this.

Aug 23: Music Mentor

I didn’t do a lesson from my app today because I had a meeting with my music mentor!

He walked me through strumming to my song and we decided to keep it simple because adding a more complex rhythm kept messing up my melody.

But I do understand how strumming works a bit better now.

We also talked about the sight changes that I’d made to the chords in my song. He approved the E major, confirmed that the A major he had suggested a while ago did work for the song, and suggested Em instead of Dm at the end of the bridge.

He said I’m doing really well. It’s really great to hear that. 🙂

He also suggested a finger stretch. I’ll definitely work on that.

Aug 24: Audience

I had an audience today in the form of my daughter.

I completed the chords lesson and started the riffs lesson. It’s my first riffs lesson! I learned E5 and A5. I need to figure out how to play those.

I played my song, with a second voice singing along (heart melt!) and was very happy with how it sounded.

Then I played a bunch of Disney songs. That was fun. And an enthusiastic audience, too!

Aug 25: New Song Attempts

The riffs lessons are going decently. I feel awkward playing them. Hopefully they’ll get more natural as I continue.

I played my song a bunch of times. I’m really happy with it. I know I keep saying that, but I am. After I’ve played it a couple times, anyways. I always make mistakes the first few times.

Then I played some new (to me) songs. Ed Sheeran was fun. I played some more ABBA. And Disney, of course.