Guitar Lessons – An Update

I’ve now had 4 half hour lessons over the course of the past month and a half and my biggest discovery is this: I really like learning music as an adult.

As an adult, I dictate when and how frequently can I fit a music lesson into my life because my daily schedule accommodates more responsibilities and people’s needs than my routine if I were 10 years old. I want to practice, I am not forced into it because “all the other kids” are doing it.

Initially I tried to do weekly guitar class, but after the 2nd lesson I realized it was not a good idea because I didn’t have enough time during the week to practice what I learned in the first lesson (plus the first lesson up to this fourth lesson has been challenging for my brain and my fingers/hands/arms/posture/ears/eyes), so I cannot let myself get away with attending weekly classes without investing time into practice and just picking up the guitar.

Through bi-weekly lessons, I can manage my time and priorities somewhat better–plus my spouse only has to put up with my fumbling-turtle-playing every other day instead of every day. (I think he is secretly very happy guitar has forced me to control my generally disruptive personality and that I am forcing myself to sit still for long periods of time, on my own, in another room, with the door shut.)

Some trouble I’m having — I am going to music lessons with no idea or huge interest in what songs I want to learn or play. I think I have to make an effort and find out what I like and what I want to play…one song  through. I guess I have no “vision” of what it would look or sound like if I learn and stick to guitar-playing, and that is honestly why I come up empty* when the teacher asks me “any songs you want to learn?”

*The irony of this is…I listen to a lot of music and a variety of music for 5-7 hours a day due to commute and work…but I have no idea who or what genre or what language it is unless I sit down and Wikipedia it all.

Sample of my iPod songs on shuffle (a bit Frankenstein, and not necessarily guitar-related):

  • Manu Chao
  • Big Wreck
  • The Beatles
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Muddy Waters
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Drake
  • Sam Smith
  • Bach
  • Rachmaninoff
  • Dvorak
  • Aerosmith
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Daddy Yankee
  • Marc Anthony
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Feist
  • Gotan Project
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Chris Cornell
  • Soundgarden
  • Stars
  • Massive Attack
  • Duran Duran
  • Arcade Fire
  • Johnny Cash
  • Foo Fighters
  • Michael Jackson
  • a whole bunch of songs for bachata, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton…

 

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Some Summer Fails and Looking at the Bright Side

After unsuccessfully trying out the motorcycle course with my hubby and falling off 3 times, minor sprain in the ankle, and some purply-green bruising along my legs, 3 things I learned about myself:

  1. I have very bad concentration.
  2. I have very bad hand-eye coordination.
  3. I lack confidence in myself.

I also made the wise discovery that if anything were to happen to me in an actual “real world” motorcycle accident, it would cause a lot of disruption in our lives, and quite frankly, it wouldn’t be worth it. A minor ankle sprain made me lose a day at work, forego all errands and groceries, limp around dramatically though I hate drawing that kind of attention to myself, and the immobility of the whole situation was plain misery.

To make up for all this shit I brought on to myself (no blame on my hubby, he really wanted to find a hobby we could do together, but he overestimated my motorcycling ability), I did 2 things successfully:

  1. Despite the ankle, I completed the Zumba Basic 1 certification.
  2. I signed up and started guitar lessons.

After 4 years of Zumba classes, the first item proves that I am better at doing things with my two feet on the ground. And the guitar lessons are my bizarre goal of self-improvement to improve my concentration and hand-eye coordination.

I’ve never picked up a guitar, never had a musical interest in the instrument, and I do not want to impress anybody with a few chords of Nirvana, Oasis, or cliche whathaveyou. I cannot even name anything I know about guitars except I loved the documentary It Might Get Loud. All this makes it a perfect thing to learn because I have no pre-conceived notions about it, and any instructor who teaches me can teach me whatever they want and I will have 100% expectation of myself to learn it well.

Somehow, within 36 hours of super failing at the motorbike I learned more about myself and my physical/mental limitations than I could dream of discovering. People get an ego-boost and a high from riding fast bikes, me on the other hand, I got a totally opposite humbling experience. I hate what I learned about myself, but I also really love that I learned it.

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