A Marathon Not A Sprint


I was up until almost 2am last night because I’m determined to learn how to play my new guitar well. Into the wee hours of the morning and on a work night I spent hours maneuvering my fingers into awkward positions in order to play chords Em, Cmaj7, G6 and D. I sat on the floor with the warm glow of the laptop screen reflecting off of the black shiny body of my guitar and watched the instructor give a lesson on YouTube. I watched him play the first two chords, then paused the video, closed my eyes and attempted to play what I had just seen and heard. I did this over and over again occasionally taking a rest to try to press out the indentations on the tips of my fingers. There were so many things to focus on; finger positions, strumming pattern, timing, lyrics, melody and holding the strings down firmly enough when it was time.

I can now manage to get through a song like the contestants on The Voice do. I don’t mean the performers that make it to the next round or the ones that are fairly decent but still get axed. I’m refering to the auditions that were so…..let’s just say sub-par that they were prevented from moving along any further in the process and instead lumped into a televised episode just for laughs. I’m kidding I’m not that bad but I am determined to be pretty awesome.

The fingertips of my left hand are in mild pain and my wrist is sore but I love it. I very much enjoy getting lost in music, in my thoughts and feeling the different emotions that songs invoke is amazing to me.

So after a week of dedicating some of my free time to learning and practicing, I can now play Zombie by The Cranberries.  As far as difficulty goes it’s a novice 4 chord song with an easy tempo. It’s still not perfect but I feel somewhat accomplished because I see progress and it keeps me wanting to continue to improve. I can transition between chords at the appropriate times, I’ve got a strumming pattern down and I can incorporate the lyrics. As I continue to improve Zombie I also have a new work in progress, Beautiful War by Kings of Leon. I’m kind of in love with Beautiful War at the moment.

I hear an electric guitar calling my name and I’ll find it but for now my devotion is to my steel string black beauty who still remains nameless (name suggestions welcome). As much as I want this to be a sprint I know that learning something new like this will be a marathon.




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