The trouble with slides…

…has turned out to be the same trouble I’m having with everything: tension.

For the past week, I have been cursing Rocksmith’s slides 101 lesson as the devil incarnate. I’ve watched several YouTube lessons. Things seemed to go fairly well, until I pulled up rocksmith again, at which point I realized nothing had changed.

I failed at Ninja Slide N again. And again and again. I got e-lectrocuted, a lot.

I drilled the slides lesson, hung my head and exited the lesson in defeat. Over and over again until two days ago I pushed up my metaphorical sleeves and said ‘Alright, f#*%er, the gloves are off!’ I took my very beaten pride and somehow fumbled through it at long last, but with no real mental connection of why that day was different, just a sense of relief that I could finally, FINALLY access the practice track without going through the lesson over and over again.  And, it boggled my mind that the practice track was easier and slower paced than the riff I was struggling with in the lesson, but I was still missing most of the slides…

EXCEPT…I was not missing the two on the A string. In fact, last night I realized that I was consistently missing the slides on low E, and consistently NOT missing the slides on A.  Curiouser and curiouser…

Then I remembered my issues early on with the shifting lesson-constantly being told I’m in the wrong fret because I was pushing down on the strings too hard.

Well, with slides I was constantly told ‘slide faster’. Ok, Self, lighten up. See what happens.’   I won’t pretend angels sang, but they may very well have hummed a few bars.  I went from ‘could be worse’ to 80% accuracy.  I even got one up to 90% accuracy. Just lightening up and paying attention to whether or not I was getting tense took a virtually impossible lesson up to ‘alright, I’m figuring this out!’

I decided to test this out in the guitarcade. Onward to Ninja Slide:


I know, you’re thinking, ‘Shel, 20 towers travelled isn’t really something to brag about.’ But, it is, in context! Before this, my record was 2. That’s an improvement,if my math is right, of 90%. Can I brag a LITTLE, now? At least a happy dance is called for, I think.

So, I’m still fighting the same battle, really, finding the sweet spot between making the strings sound and pushing on them too hard, but have been figuring it out one travesty at a time. 🙂

Until next time! Trying to lighten up!

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