G to D and other successes, a short novel


SusanMW
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Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

I just wanted to briefly talk about some of my recent successes. I’ve been having the hardest time going from G to D (pinky G in this case) and have been practicing a song (a hymn from a songbook I have) everyday for over a month, trying to get this song to go more smoothly. The other night, I finally said, “Ok, clearly I need to backup and rewatch some videos on these chord changes.” So I looked up Lisa’s videos on the G to D chord change and realized a big part of what I was doing wrong (leading with the wrong finger when I go to D). The other part was the fact I didn’t stretch properly before playing and also wasn’t moving my hand back far enough. So I practiced the new, correct chord change very late into the night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. The next day I played my song again and WOW! What a difference! I could do the chord change correctly and with good tone and was able to play my song pretty well. So I played and played and played the correct way all day. So, sometimes it really is a matter of night and day! Now I just need to work on my vocals….

[br]Another success, I was also able to play Runaway Train (easy version), with the tutorial on here, at almost the full speed/tempo. And I have been practicing this song everyday for awhile, as well. But I can now play all the main parts of the song with my eyes closed the entire time too. I was so proud of myself! I have been working on that with some of my songs and it came about because sometimes my vision gets a little blurry and I can’t see very well temporarily. So I thought I would just close my eyes and play and pray that it helps me to be a better guitarist in the end. :)

[br]One more thing I got myself into...I decided to learn the ukulele! I love it!! I just thought it would be a fun way to approach singing from a different angle, a less intimidating and more fun angle...and I’m hoping it helps me to sing better and have more confidence on the guitar. In the week and a half I have had the ukulele I have played (and sang!) dozens and dozens of songs and am now working with one of Lisa’s Christmas Ukulele Solo books. (She is a fantastic uke teacher, too!)

[br]I guess I just wanted to give a little hope to anyone else just starting out….Practice is really what it’s all about...and doing things correctly is essential too, otherwise you have to retrain your muscle memory into the correct way finally (a big pain!). So I’m glad I can just rewatch any of these videos anytime for a particular skill and really refine what I’m doing. I have gained so much confidence in my few months learning guitar that I have picked up a second instrument that I’m actually doing pretty well with already.

[br]Unfortunately, due to a worsening ear/vestibular disorder I can’t practice on the physical instruments too long at one time, I have to take many breaks. Sound and any head movements cause dizziness and vertigo along with balance problems. That will hopefully be getting fixed soon after more testing but in the meantime, I’m not letting it stop me just yet. There’s still so much I can do and I look forward to picking back up in my fundamentals 2 lessons tomorrow, even if I can’t actually play.

[br]Thanks for listening and thanks to those who have helped me (and others) here in the forum. You've been very helpful


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 1
dlwalke
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Joined: 02/02/19
Posts: 240

Wow, that IS exciting. I'm so happy for your successes!!


# 2
mjgodin
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Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 412

Way to go Susan. Very inspiring results.

Moe


# 3
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,394

Your enthusiasm will take you far Susan. Well done!


# 4
SusanMW
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Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Thank you so much....I feel like I hit a milestone this week. I practiced and was able to play (and record for my YouTube where I post my practice videos) Sound of Silence (not a GT song though) allllll the way through, strumming...with making just a couple minor mistakes that I was able to keep playing through. It is a challenging song with a split strum pattern scattered throughout, somewhat unevenly. I was so proud of myself. I really did not think I would be playing this much just five months into playing without any in-person instruction. Now, if I can just stop looking "mad" when I play, I'll be all set, ha!

(I would link to my Sound of Silence song but wasn't sure if that is allowed, so I will hold off until I know if I can...)

It has been really hard to do anything else but play my guitar and now uke. I am still in fundamentals 2 but I have already dabbled in the Acoustics course. My electric guitar has been getting no love lately though..... :)


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 5
faith83
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Joined: 04/23/20
Posts: 414

Congratulations!!!! I've been writing and neglecting my actual practicing -- you remind me that practicing techniques along with other people's songs that we love is one of the best methods of solidfying skills.


"You can get what you want or you can just get old." Billy Joel

# 6
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,394

This is really great Susan, and post away. I'm sure we would enjoy it.

On another site I subscribe to, Active Melody, members are actually encouraged to post their efforts. I find it a great motivation to keep those practices going.


# 7
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Thanks! I find sometimes I play a little better if I know I have some kind of audience too. It adds just enough pressure.

Edited to change/add: Here is the link to my channel where you can find the song. (GT would prefer us not directly post the covers so I'll see if this works instead... ) Susan's channel

I have been adding Christmas songs as well and there are some with fast strum patterns, like O Holy Night which has a double strum patttern...also quite a challenge!


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 8
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,394

This is really good Susan. A couple of things I was thinking as I watched is that you have developed really good hand strength/co-ordination to make those chords and transitions so clean on your acoustic. And you now have a recording of your performance. I guarantee you, in a few months you will sound even better than you do now.

Congradulations, and nice Ibanez btw.


# 9
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Thanks so much, the encouragement is greatly appreciated.

I do hope I sound better in a few months...it is fun to look back and see how far I've come already. I didn't even know how to hold my guitar when I first started.... :)


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 10
mjgodin
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Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 412

Sounds good Susan, Keep up the good work.

Moe


# 11