Well, I was tackling the Rocksmith Legato 101B (Bass) lesson again. Early in the practice, I’m always more sensible. I ran through it three or four times, and then I listened to my hand when it said ‘I’m going to do worse and worse at this until you get mad, unless you give me something else to do.’
So, I said ‘alright, hand, we’ll go do something new.’ So I popped over into ‘Learn a Song’ and decided to try Pantera’s ‘Cemetery Gates’ for the first time. I did alright, I suppose, but the intro was a complete disaster and the rest of the song was really just kind of mediocre. Whatever. It was the first time out, and songs with a lot of changes, the first time out my eyes are always set on making a fool out of me. They just stare at the screen and send the data up to my brain at a remarkably slow speed, so by the time that message gets to my hand, too late, and my eyes are trying to process new data. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just let the riff pass on by, take a second, and wait for the next one.
I did notice a really strange thing tonight that’s never happened before. Having only done a bit on Legato, halfway through the Pantera song, my bicep started to hurt. Not bad pain, more like tired muscle pain. I haven’t done anything particularly anatomically taxing today – just a light jog/walk to the bank and back, certainly nothing that would make my bicep feel like it’s getting a workout.
In any case, I wasn’t going to let it stop me, though it definitely slowed me down. But, at the same time, I knew I couldn’t continue indefinitely (both because of the muscle soreness, and because it’s 8 pm on a Sunday, and I still have laundry to iron – ah, the mundane little bits of human existence that leak in. 😉 ). So, I moved back to the Legato lesson. I’ve been stuck at about 93% for the past few days, so I told myself ‘you know, it would be really nice if I could get to 95%.
On the one hand, It was awesome to get to 99%. Only one note missed! On the other, I cursed and fought with my hand for the next 15 minutes because I wanted to complete the bass legato lesson once and for all (and pretend I don’t have to eventually get back to it with the guitar, and the guitar in general), and never look at it again.
I didn’t complete this lesson tonight. I still have the bass out, but there’s a pretty low possibility that I’m going to. I don’t know why my arm is tired, but it is. And I think the rest of me is, too, a bit. I had a busy weekend, and I think my body is starting to notice that it hasn’t had a good ‘chill’ day in a while. (The state of my house is starting to notice, too – truth be told.)
On the guitar front, I’m still struggling with motivation. I had a very short break for lunch though, and decided to kill the time watching something on youtube. I didn’t know what. Youtube knows what I like, so when I typed youtube.com, I was equally likely to be recommended comedy, cats, DIY projects, cats, guitars, or cats. 😉 (The internet has an insane amount of cat videos, okay? There is therefore a statistically higher chance that Youtube is going to suggest cats.) Well, the first thing my eyes fell on was this:
So, I think I’ll spend a little time working on the finger exercise in there, while chilling in the evening, and see if it helps. I do especially like the point he makes, though, about getting each chord pretty much down cold before trying to switch between them. This is so relevant to my practice, because even though my brain knows the C chord, my hand says “I don’wannnaaa!!!” And even though my fingers and my brain know the G chord, my wrist says ‘fuck this shit.’ So I’ll be backtracking again, a little. It sort of doesn’t count as backtracking, since all attempts to move forward have ended with me flat on my guitar face anyway. Progress is slow, but I’m still working at it.
Until Next Time, progress is progress, and tired is tired, and the one that wins isn’t always the one I want to.