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.