Writing a blog is very odd business.
I really love doing it for a number of reasons:
- I learn so much while working on individual posts.
- It reinforces my learning as I often write about what I am working on in my own practice or with clients.
- I get lessons in the form of corrections from readers (which I much appreciate).
- It gives me something to do.
The odd parts are meeting someone who tells me that they read my blog and “follow” me. It is very flattering, somewhat bizarre, and can also be unsettling. I am pretty open book and it is easy for me to spew onto the page without realizing that there are actual people reading the nonsense that I write.
That being said, I am sure everyone has been waiting with baited breath to read about the progress I am making as I fail— I mean try— to learn how to play guitar.
When I am teaching people to walk or do yoga I am focusing on two main lessons:
- How to change long term patterns of posture and movement.
- How to develop the muscle memory to accommodate and lock in these new patterns.
I thought the second lesson would be easily applied to learning how to play guitar
This journey started last summer when I learned three chords on a friends guitar. I have huge hands with long fingers and I was able to get my fingers where they were supposed to go so I thought to myself, “How hard could this be?”
There were ulterior motives as well as I thought it would be good for my kids to watch me learn something new. This also put pressure on me to see my folly through. Having purchased a guitar and watched numerous videos lessons on YouTube I promptly gave up after a few short weeks.
That didn’t feel good but serendipitously I met a guitar teacher and have now had a few lessons.
Being forced to practice what you preach is actually a pain in the neck. Yoga is easy for me so when I employ platitudes like, “This isn’t brain surgery, it is merely repetition”, or, “Perseverance will further”, I am being slightly disingenuous because like I said doing yoga is a very natural thing for me to do.
Playing the guitar is not. I practice my assignments and the weeks go by and nothing changes… or does it?
My wife said this morning that she can definitely notice that my chords are sounding better and cleaner. I have formed some true callouses and my fingers are starting to move with a tiny bit more fluidity. And the most interesting things seems to be that my left and right hand have begun communicating together and coordinating their actions.
Can I admit that I genuinely thought that this would never happen? As much as I preach patience and sticktoitiveness, it is painfully hard to practice if I am not in my comfort zone, and I had become fairly demoralized.
I am in New Hampshire with my family and last summer the plan was to learn guitar and be able to play in front of people this week as there is a fun night at the family camp where we are staying.
While that didn’t happen, I am not giving up. I am simply readjusting my schedule and now plan on being ready to perform next year because as I am fond of saying perseverance will further.