Playing Favorites

Well guys, progress remains slow.  My ability to play chords is still seriously sub-par.  I can play them individually – and actually – that stretch for the C chord has gotten easier. The first time I played it I had to use my 4th finger instead of my third, which is no longer necessary, though I’m still very clumsy with that chord.  Switching between chords quickly enough to play actual songs, or not get shot down in star chords, or eaten by zombies…that’s still a challenge.  Switching strings, too, is still not as fast as I’d like, but I’m getting better at that faster than I’m getting better at switching chords.  I think that makes sense, really, since switching from one string to one string is a lot easier than switching from three strings to three or four other strings.  It’s coming along though. I can definitely see progress happening, just not as quickly as I’d like (is it ever as quickly as we’d like).

I have noticed in the Learn a Song section of Rocksmith 2014 that I am definitely playing favorites, though. More specifically, I’m playing ‘R U Mine?’ by Arctic Monkeys. A lot. Most of my other favorites require me to retune my guitar, which is a nuisance when I’m short on time, so have really only been fiddling with those on the weekends when I have all the time in the world to kill.  But, man, Arctic Monkeys! 🙂

I am nowhere near proficient with this song yet. I think I’m only at about 25% completion, really, but boy do I have fun with it.  I keep hanging myself up though, getting distracted singing along. Oops!

Then again, isn’t that really the point of all this? We learn songs we love way faster than songs we’re kind of lukewarm to, which is what makes so many beginner’s courses such a chore – lots of boring folk songs, nothing FUN.  Of course, I don’t mean that as an exclusive statement. There are TONS of fun songs and resources on the internet, but there’s only so much ‘Tom Dooley’ a girl can stand (the only song I remember from my brief stint at learning guitar when I was 14. lol).

I struggle, and I curse, but overall, I am having fun.  I’m hung up on pretty much all the lessons, from tremolo to bends to harmonics to palm mutes – but I don’t really feel too bad about that. I keep plugging away at them in the guitarcade, but what’s really mucking me up on those isn’t  technique (well, maybe on the tremolo!) lol, but the fact that I’m just not strong enough at the basics of fretting and switching strings to do it quickly enough to keep up with the lessons just yet. I will be. Eventually. Someday.  Looking forward to that day.

In the meantime, at least I have Arctic Monkeys.

Until Next time – rocking out, slowly and clumsily, but rocking out. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Playing Favorites

  1. Learning guitar is never ‘fast’! playing all the time will get you going eventually.. but at some points along the way – you should be playing the guitar by itself… without any aids. This will train your ear.


    1. Haha, well, yeah, but I mean that my main stumbling block at the moment is an inability to switch strings and chords ‘fast’ enough to keep up with Rocksmith. There’s the riff repeater, of course, which can be slowed down, but picking the riff you want is not an exact science (either that or I’m just as clumsy with the space bar as I am with the guitar. lol.). Of course we want to learn faster than we do. I think I’m learning at the appropriate pace, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was becoming more proficient with switching strings and frets more quickly than I am – that’s normal too, I think – wanting to be doing better than you’re doing, even when you’re doing perfectly acceptable.

      And yeah, as we were talking about not too long ago, I didn’t have an amp until, what, earlier this week, I think? So, practicing without Rocksmith was tough, since I really could barely hear the guitar without it, and certainly couldn’t hear it with the background noise of the tv across the house, let alone my own. Rocksmith definitely isn’t an all inclusive tool – I can’t tell it ‘I want to focus on these three chords for now, and switching between them’, for example, but it’s still a really good resource for a beginner, and the fact it effectively grades me is also kind of a handy tool that makes it easier to see progress, and just generally keep interest in playing daily. It’s good for sort of setting up ‘tasks’, really. It can’t stand on it’s own, agree completely there, but it does offer some guidance by telling me ‘you kind of sucked at this, maybe you want to work on [insert guitar thing here]’. I did spend a little time fiddling with chords on my own tonight, now that I have the mini-amp, but the roomie listens to his tv like a deaf person, so without the amp, the guitar is virtually impossible to hear when he’s home. Now that I have it, it’s a different story, but there’s not really anything going on there at the moment that’s worth posting about just yet. I knew I sucked at the C chord from fiddling with Rocksmith. I still know I suck at the C chord with the mini-amp. So really, nothing’s changed. (okay, I do suck at it less than I did a few weeks ago, granted, but I could tell that with either tool, really).


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