Momentum…in Galoshes.

It’s been, what? Almost two weeks since I posted?  There really wasn’t much of note to say last week.  At this point progress is slow, like trying to walk in galoshes – a concentrated effort.

I haven’t yet progressed beyond A, D, and E, and the ease at which I perform them hasn’t changed, with A being easiest and D being hardest. Flexibility hasn’t really changed. Not much progress on calluses either, though it looks like the one on my ring finger has a tiny strip of peely skin.  I’m hoping that resolves itself and I don’t lose my callus on that finger – it would be really inconvenient.

In spite of the fact I’m still in the same place I was two weeks ago, I do notice a sort of progress.  Chords are no easier to perform, and no faster, but I’m now able to switch between the three of them without looking with some accuracy. I would say I get the transitions correct blind more often than I don’t, but it still takes me a while to adjust until I feel like the chord is going to sound well, and even then, there might be a minor adjustment required.

It seems I’m working primarily on accuracy right now. I haven’t reached a point where I can transition quickly enough between the chords yet to effectively play songs.  I can’t switch fast enough to get all four counts. I can follow along for maybe 3 of the 4 counts, most of the time, but that doesn’t mean the chords sound clearly every time when I try to move that quickly.

Clumsiness abounds, basically.  I guess speed will come once I improve accuracy, so right now I’m devoting most of my practice not just to switching between chords, but doing so without looking.  I didn’t really make a conscious decision to attempt to switch chords blind, precisely.  I started practicing in front of the mirror so that I didn’t keep looking back and forth between hands. It just seemed more effective since I then could just move my eyes and not my entire head – over and over again.  Eventually, I just stopped looking at what my fretting hand was doing as much and realized I was doing at least a good portion of the switches without looking.  Now I’m consciously making efforts to make those switches accurate while not looking. Hopefully once I achieve that, I’ll be able to make the switches fast enough to play a song, but so far success on that front has been pretty minimal.

I was excited, all the same, when I got to the lesson on justinguitar about playing songs, only to find it was just a link to buy a book.  Now, mind, I would not be opposed to buying a book, but the conversion rate from UK to US currency is pretty harsh right now, and the shipping rates extortionate. So a book listed as being about 17 pounds plus shipping comes to just a bit shy of $40 in USD.  It’s not worth that much to me.

So, instead, I googled ‘songs you can play with A, D & E’, and what did I find next? andyguitar.co.uk.  It felt a bit like fate, when the first song that pulled up was ‘Lean on Me’ – a song I constantly rant they have to stop trying to remake – everything since the Al Green version has been complete crap.  I have a soft spot for that song.

And THEN? Then I scrolled through his beginner lessons and saw ‘two chord songs’. What? Such a thing exists? I think I should start there, since the D chord is evil, after all. 🙂   And the next first song is Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”. Also a beloved classic. Doubly sweet!  …and okay, my efforts to play along to this song were just shy of an abyssmal failure, At least there is a list of songs that are nicely organized for my level…or someone slightly above my level. lol.  Will just have to keep climbing.

Until next time – still moving forward…if slowly.

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One thought on “Momentum…in Galoshes.

  1. If you need study material for bass, the first thing I’d recommend is http://www.studybass.com. Its the best site for beginners. The lessons are structured and logical, and its free. The theory lessons will apply to guitar as well.

    For just about anything else, check out http://www.talkbass.com. Its the best bass forum on the planet. I mostly read the General Instruction forum there, but delve into other areas from time-to-time. Make an account as well. The people there have always been helpful and knowledgeable.

    In particular, there’s an old guy from Texas named MalcolmAmos who plays bass and rhythm guitar. He’s extremely helpful to beginners. He’s in his 70s or early 80s, I think and plays mostly country, blues and praise, but he’s got excellent information and loves sharing. There’s a ton of others like that on the forum as well. A lot of “known” instructors with published materials and Youtube stars are also on there and provide guidance. Ed Friedland answers questions about his books from time-to-time there.

    Also, if you’re interested in purchasing anything, I’d recommend 2 books for bass: Ed Friedland’s bass method that Hal Leonard publishes, and Bass Guitar for Dummies, from Patrick Pfeiffer. Ed will get you reading notation in very easy steps, which will help you memorize the fretboard and learn songs. Patrick’s will teach you theory, as well as exercises and a bunch of other stuff (different musical styles, technique builders, etc.).

    Liked by 1 person

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