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Monday, August 31, 2015
YOU CAN TEACH ON OLD CRANKY NEW RIFFS
It’s been almost a year since I started to learn to play guitar…again. I first bought a guitar about 100 years ago. With three kids, and a crappy job, I didn’t have enough time or money to play golf, so I tried guitar. It turned out I didn’t have enough time to teach myself guitar either.
I learned a whole bunch of chords and could actually change seamlessly to three or four of them. I strummed with whatever rhythm seemed to work, but I could never have kept proper time playing with anyone else.
I quit, but I kept the guitar, a relatively inexpensive Yamaha.
Last year I pulled that Yamaha out and started to try again. As I am retired without children at home, I now have time for golf and guitar, with time for a nap left over.
With the extra time to practice and with the help of the internet for new songs, lessons and exercises my play is actually getting pretty good. Not play for money good, or even play for friends good, but good enough to play for myself without getting completely frustrated, and good enough to reward myself by purchasing a new low end Martin guitar.
I can now strum a bunch of songs, finger pick a bunch more, and pick out a few “Boom-chick-a-boom” bluegrass favorites. The biggest mistake I have made is singing while I play. I once heard that it is very difficult to play and sing so I tried for the hell of it. Well I can play and sing along, problem is I have a terrible voice and only sound in tune to my ear…others not so much. So I tried to just play and not sing along. It turns out that once you learn a song by singing along, it is impossible to just play and keep your mouth shut.
Now I am trying to learn to play just instrumental only. Of course that requires throwing in a few melody notes while strumming and during chord changes. I find that to be very difficult, but what the hell, I’ve got plenty of time to work on it.
That is the progress on the guitar so far. If anyone expects a video or audio sample of what I have accomplished, it is not going to happen. I have promised myself that if I can keep up the progress, I will buy myself a new very pretty very expensive Martin Guitar for my 70th birthday next year.
I will post a picture…the one I’ve picked out is a beauty!