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Musical Ambitions - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

Oct. 26th, 2014 09:28 pm Musical Ambitions

I'm reposting here two posts that went initially to Facebook and Google+, one from October 25, and the other from October 26:

October 25:
(Tara will probably complain, but) I picked up a Jamstik as a late birthday present/right hand exercise. It arrived the other night and I've been working through the tutorial.

I've already figured a few things out, however:
- I'll probably want to still get a real guitar and take lessons from a live person. I don't know whether to go through the Poway Adult School, Palomar College, or go the private lesson route.
- I need to build up the calluses on my left hand.
- my (literal) fat fingers make it hard for both of the chords the tutor has tried to teach me: E and A.
- the tutor program has an "arcade mode," based on Guitar Hero and the like. I find this much harder to do since I have some eye-hand coordination issues that still require me to do too much thinking before fretting the correct string(s). Even in the other mode, I pick the wrong string a high percentage of the time.
- I find it easier to use headphones - otherwise the actual sound of the strings kind of distracts me.
- I need to stick with this in order to get myself up to the level I'd like to be at: enough to at least accompany myself in filk type settings (which, sort-of includes the monthly worship sessions at our church)

October 26:
I did a bit of noodling tonight. Mostly working on E and A chords. I still have to look at reference and think to get my left hand correct.

I'm also having a problem with the E chord that tends to make the Jamstik sense the third string (C?) as being fretted on the second fret, not the first. I don't think it is because I'm swapping my first two fingers. I also think I'm going to need to trim my nails.

I located a place for lessons. I decided to give their voice lessons a try first - since I already own the instrument.

(I also need to decide if I should get an electric guitar so I can practice without disturbing Tara. On the other hand, that is what the Jamstik is for.)

{If this shows up twice - it is due to a glitch in how the Wordpress plugin that is supposed to post all of my Wordpress blog posts over to LiveJournal works when I post from my iPad)

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Date:October 27th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
Consider looking for a used guitar. You can save a lot of money and get a nice instrument that way if you can find the right store. (I like the privately owned shops as opposed to the big chains for this, especially the ones that do their own repairs. And they'll tell you if the guitar is structurally sound, which is what you (should) care about. :) )
Date:October 27th, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
As somebody who also learning to play the guitar (again), I can offer the following comments.

Think about what kind of music you want to make. Chords are not the end-all to guitar playing. Most of what I've been learning are playing actual melodies rather than chords. I actually find chords more difficult than playing melodies.

There are many ways to form chords and sometimes it depends on the guitar you're playing. I can't play an A chord easily on my Gibson because the fretboard is narrow. On my old guitar and the 12 string I'm currently borrowing from a friend, it's a piece of cake to get my fingers down without crowding. You might want to look at guitars with fairly wide fretboards to accommodate.

Do you know any filkers in your area that might give lessons? Or might know somebody who gives lessons.

Yes, cut your finger nails - it will make a difference.