Once again, I told myself I would upload photos for you tonight, and then picked up my guitar and never did it. On the up side, I’m making really good progress (but not good enough for my liking) on a new tune I hope I’ll be able to share with you soon.
I started working on it before I got sick, and was poking at it through most of the duration of my hacking. I won’t pretend that hacking cough has left me yet, but I think what remains of it is likely more to do with allergies than with sick, so I’ll just have to wait it out. There’s not much else I can do. I’m fine most of the time, but then I get this tickle in my throat and for the next few minutes, until I can hack in just the right way to clear the post-nasal lump in my throat, I sound a bit like I’m dying. It’s worse indoors, so I’m pretty sure the sick has been knocked out of me and there’s no need for another visit to the doctor, but allergy meds aren’t doing much of anything for it. I even tried stomach meds, thinking maybe it was reflux-related, but they didn’t do anything either.
My point is, I’ve been poking at this tune for at least two weeks now. It’s fairly simple, I suppose, to someone who knows what they’re doing, but I’m not someone who knows what they’re doing, really. I stumbled across a chord I liked the sound of totally by misplaced-fingering accident and decided to go with it, went online to a hand-dandy chord name finder, to discover it was an Fmaj7, and then opened up the notepad app on my phone to see what lyric scraps I had that I felt jived well with it. That gave me about two lines of text, not next to each other, and a chord progression.
I also wanted to challenge myself so I don’t get too stuck in my ways with the same strum pattern, which didn’t really have the right feel for what it turned out I was writing anyway, so I did my fair share of noodling and found something I liked the sound of. I spent the next week trying to work through the lyrics, which I finished about two days ago.
At that point, I thought I’d be ready to record a rough up of it and share it with you, as usual. No dice. I keep screwing up, and in the same predictable places. Screwing up in and of itself isn’t the end of the world; it’s a new song, so screwing up is inevitable. But, screwing up to the point you can’t recover is a different beast, so unfortunately I’m not ready to share a new tune with you just yet.
It’s a combination of factors but what it all boils down to is that I’m still thinking too much. The second my brain pauses to think ‘what happens next’, even if it’s only a fraction of a second, the entire thing falls to hell, and that happens because I’m using a strum I’m not used to and haven’t done before and my brain is still trying to do too much at once. It’s trying to memorize lyrics, remember where the chord changes go, keep track of the melody and vocals, and then, on top of it, it keeps coming back to my strumming hand going ‘are you still doing what you’re supposed to be?’ and every time it does, my hand stops doing what it’s supposed to be doing, because I just stupidly went and asked it. So, naturally, it’s between the verses where I’m most often screwing up. The second I stop thinking about lyrics for a second, my mind returns to my strumming hand, which tenses up, making the strum almost impossible to execute, this then causes tension to domino out to my fretting hand, and I end up with tension in the fingers and wrist from fretting the notes to hard, and I can’t rectify those two things as quickly as I need to to save myself from the fumble because I’m thinking about the damn thing. It’s become clear that I’m going to have to work through this one verse at a time. Get the lyrics memorized or close to memorized, and go from there, which is not what I typically do. Memorizing lyrics is something I rarely get around to actually. But, since I don’t have to pay much attention to what my strumming hand is up to, usually, that works for me. I can focus on the lyrics and trust lefty to just do it’s job. I can’t trust lefty to do a job it’s just been given and hasn’t fully learned yet, though, so this one’s taking me some time.
So, I’m hoping in another week or two I’ll be able to share something new with you, but in the meanwhile just know that I am working and practicing hard, and teaching myself a new trick in the process. If I can turn my brain off long enough, maybe I’ll get through it in one piece. Eventually.
And, someone really needs to yell at me if I don’t post those park pics for you this weekend. I’m not sick anymore. There’s no excuse. 🙂
(Also, wordpress somehow ate the header image. The first few times I saw the blank gray area, I thought it was just my phone being funny. Nope. I need to fix that, too. Looks like crap.)