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8 weeks in... and I'm actually learning guitar!

Posted by TiredRob, 16 February 2012 · 407 views

So today marks exactly 8 weeks since the day I first picked up a guitar.

Before day one, I honestly couldn't have even told you how many strings a guitar even had - so rank beginner would probably have been something of an understatement! Since then, I've practiced every single day, with just one exception (simply too busy and genuinely couldn't manage it). Most days I practice somewhere between 1/2 hour to an hour, and longer if I have the time: I'm sort of in a wierd state of perpetual frustration - but loving it at the same time!

My progress so far?

Well, I'm currently in session 4 of the LMG course. I've pretty much finished learning all the notes in the first position and understand ties, rests, and all the other simple music notation I've been shown so far. I can play Minuet in C at 77bpm fairly consistently, and I'm mostly there with Simple Gifts too. I also had a look at Star Spangled Banner, and was surprised at how easily I could follow the notes and play parts of the tune, right from the first attempt. It was bad, stuttering, hesitating and full of mis-hits too - but you would recognise it easily, and that was enough to impress a non-music reader like me!

Although I know many people separate them, I've been working on the bonus materials at the same time as the main lessons, simply adding more excersises as I feel I'm ready for them. I found that there weren't enough excersises for the 5th and 6th strings in the main book for me to learn them properly before moving on to sharps and flats (which I'm not working on yet) so it seemed logical to work into the bonus excersises too. Some are pretty scary looking so I just do the ones I'm more comfortable with then try a few new ones when I feel I'm ready.

I'd be lying if I said I haven't been frustrated at times... The first week/10 days of session 4 were really difficult for me, with miss-fires all over the place and struggling to read the notes properly. I spent a lot of time on the forum reading older posts about s4 and this has been really instrumental in encouraging me to stick with it and have faith that it'll all come good. After 2 1/2 weeks in session 4 I'm still miss-firing, and I'm still not 100% comfortable with all the notes yet, but I can see I'm making slow but steady progress and things are getting a little more comfortable every day. Well, not every day - some days I just seem to regress a little, no matter what I try - but overal, I'm definitely moving in the right direction. Looking through my scribbled notes on my worksheets, I can play a good chunk of the excersises now, including a handful of bonus ones - but there are still a few I'm struggling with, and another select handful I haven't even attempted yet.

Next week, I'm expecting to feel up to starting work on sharps & flats. I've not bothered yet because I wanted to familiarise myself with the notes a bit more before confusing myself anymore - but I feel I'm getting there now, so will probably introduce that over the next week or so. I've watched the DVDs so I know what's coming. Then it'll be 'just' a matter of conquering all the remaining excersises, and the other songs I haven't learned yet - and those look really complicated - so it could be a while yet!

Anyway, enough with the rambling and time to start practising.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for the post Rob. I'm just starting out (I have Session 1 pretty much down; going to watch Session 2 for the first time on Saturday). It's inspiring hearing from someone who's a bit further down the line. I can only practice five days a week so I'm not sure I'll be at your stage in as little as eight weeks but it's good to hear that, with a good amount of dedication, you progress from making noise to recognisable tunes within what's really quite a short space of time. :)
Congratulations on your progress. We all have our good and bad days, so just accept that as part of the process.

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