Well, let’s see, what can I say about this week? I now know three chords (and can not perform any of them well. 🙂 ), but D is still the hardest, by far.

A, on the other hand, I usually get right. It seems that my small hands turn out to be an advantage for that chord. I have no problem smooshing them up in one fret with room to spare. I’ve also started practicing E. The difficulty of that chord for me is somewhere in the middle – easier than D, but harder than A.  I’ve found that it’s harder to push strings down in the first fret, so while the hand position is not a problem holding down the G string enough to produce a clean sound is a bit hit or miss.

It seems that I’m having a hard time keeping the nail on my middle finger short enough to not get in my way. I imagine that will improve as I develop calluses, but at the moment there are no sign of them on my first and second fingers.  My pinky, on the other hand, seems to be callusing well. It’s looking a bit dented, which I didn’t expect, but I can definitely feel the skin is harder there, and the callus does seem to be starting on my ring finger.

I’ve been going through the chords in the order on justinguitar.com‘s beginner’s guide, which I think is really helpful.  The lesson videos are short, which is great because it doesn’t give many excuses – even the busiest schedule can squeeze them in.

My hands are still struggling with strength and flexibility, but I guess that’s something I just need to be patient with.  For now, I seem to have to limit myself to practicing for about 10-15 minutes at a time. After that point, my hand gets too tired to be of much use.  So, I’ll do ten minutes in one sitting, and then go back a little later in the day to do another ten minutes.  It’s just a lot of breaks and a lot of repetition for now.

The other day I discovered the spider exercise:

…which is really fricking hard! But, everything is hard at the start, so if I keep at it, I think it should be a huge help with the strength and flexibility.  Right now it’s very, very difficult, though.

When I first learned the D chord, my success rate was about 10%, at best.  Now, I would say it’s more like 50%, so while things aren’t necessarily going swimmingly, I think I’m managing as well as can be expected at this stage.  After my initial struggles, I’ve managed to convince myself that I’m going to have certain limits that only time and practice can overcome, which was tough to admit, since patience isn’t exactly at the top of my list of virtues.

Still, the fact that I’m seeing some progress, even if it’s slow progress, has helped me come to terms a bit with the fact I just need to take things slowly.  Who knew I would be working on improving my patience when I picked up the guitar! lol.  But, I guess that’s good for me, too.

Mostly, I think I’m hoping I’ll be able to get the calluses fully formed soon, and strength enough for longer practice sessions.  At my current strength level, I find attempting longer practice sessions just frustrates me, as the clumsiness makes difficult things much more difficult, and my low accuracy becomes no accuracy.  Since I’m not getting anything accomplished at that point, shorter, more frequent practice sessions seem to be more practical.

So, I’m progressing slowly, but I’m progressing.

Until next time,  I’m becoming a more patient person – one clumsy finger at a time! 😀