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Monday, August 31, 2015

YOU CAN TEACH ON OLD CRANKY NEW RIFFS


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!

24 comments:

  1. Good for you for keeping up with it! I do hope to see the picture of the Martin you want :) I'm sure my hubby would drool over it.

    betty

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  2. Well done! I imagine you're the sort of person who perseveres with great success.

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  3. I tried to teach myself guitar about 10 years ago. The guitar now sits in my closet.

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  4. Good for you. I think everyone learns to play the guitar. I borrowed the one I tried with, but there is one in a case in my granddaughter's room that is used for a jacket rack. One of her sister's boyfriends bought it for her sister.

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  5. That is a lot of progress!! We should start a band I think.

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  6. Good for you! It's wonderful to play an instrument, even just for one's own enjoyment. And the guitar is so much more portable than my piano!

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  7. You're having fun and that's all that matters. Go for it.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  8. You're living retirement the way it should be done! - taking time to do what you want when you want to! Best time of my life - and I suspect of yours too!

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  9. Way to go, Joe. I am impressed. Some day, I hope to get back to the piano. It seems so much easier than any stringed instrument. Hah.

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  10. So far the only thing I can play is the radio. I've mastered on/off, station selection, and volume control. I'm afraid the guitar is way beyond what my modest brain could comprehend. Plus my fingers won't contort like they should. But I'll have to admit, I envy your talent and perseverance. ;)

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  11. By coincidence, I was studying pictures of classic guitars just this morning. One of the characters in my painting pays a guitar and I think my proportions are off. I admire you for dedicating yourself to the discipline required to master something as complicated are a musical instrument.

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  12. Replies
    1. Isn't that how you get to Carnegie Hall?

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  13. Good for you, or as I guess Easterners say, good on you.

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  14. Aw, I was hoping for a video! My youngest boy plays bass and I'm always just amazed by what he makes that guitar do.. He has an acoustic that he plays too, and kudos to you for keeping up on the practice. I still hope there's a video one day, maybe for your bday next year?? And FYI, as one of your FB friends, there is no way you're going to be 70.. I've seen your pics.. NO WAY. Just sayin'...

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  15. Can relate to that voice thing. I was really disappointed by your next to last paragraph. Hope you change your mind. Keep picking and grinning.

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  16. Well done on the playing. I can't sing either, best for everyone if I only sing in my head.

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  17. That's great! Nothing like achieving something through persistence. My husband plays bouzouki and has slowly taught himself guitar and also to sing while playing which I could see was indeed difficult. It also was surprising to me that he can play bouzouki extremely well but guitar only very basically where I just assumed they'd be about the same. I've never played any musical instrument other than the triangle, cymbals, or more rarely, the highly coveted wooden fish. Wait I lie: I can play Jingle Bells on the xylophone.

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  18. You're lying about being 70 next year! And your "About Me" blurb proves it...it says "I am 65 years old."

    But yeay on the guitar playing!

    (Previous comment removed due to typo...)

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  19. Rock on, Cranky Man! Rock on!

    I'll run down to the gas station chicken store and buy a lighter so I can flick my Bic for you!

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  20. I would not worry about singing as long as it helps in learning the cords and striking a melody. Guitar is too beautiful not to learn, even at the cost of having to hear your own voice, (which I am sure is fine and for whatever reason you seem to have developed a dislike.)

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