Okay so here is the summary of my final project, what turned out to be a dismal failure! I was hoping to have a new hobby by the end of this course, but what I got instead was sore fingers and a feeling of defeatedness.
I got the idea of learning to play the guitar after going to a Brad Paisley concert! The concert was amazing and I left with the great idea of becoming an awesome guitarist. Well news flash: the idea of becoming an awesome guitarist is easier thought than done!
I borrowed an acoustic guitar and pick. First off the guitar is such an awkward thing to hold. I had trouble positioning myself so I could hold the guitar and get a good look at the strings! I got a how to play the guitar book. I thought it would be helpful because it was made for little kids, so I thought oh no problem this will be easy to learn. WRONG! It showed where your figures went, but it did not show what your fingers should do when the music note moved down a line, but you were suppose to play the same chord. From this book, I somewhat learned how to play “Jingle Bells,” I got the Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle All The Way part, then lost it because the notes moved, I mean the rest of the song somewhat had a similar tune if you knew what I was trying to play. Side note, your fingers will hurt. The strings are hard and when you push your fingers down on them and hold them there, you fingers feel intense pain and are numb for days after. Finger pads do not exist, according to people at Guitar Center, their words were “NO PAIN, NO GAIN,” well I think I prefer no gain then . Eventually my fingers got somewhat use to being jammed down on strings.
So then I moved to finding websites to help, I used this one: http://learnguitarfasttips.com/538/love-story-by-taylor-swift-guitar-chords-and-beginner-lesson-tutorial/. I love Taylor Swift so that’s whose song I chose to play, entitled “Love Story”. This website was really helpful with placement of fingers and it included a video of how to play the song. I first went about learning finger placements and strumming. They had the regular chords or easier chords, I choose easy chords. The difference was for the easier chords, I did not have to move my pinky and ring finger, they stayed put on the bottom two strings. It was just my pointer and middle finger that I had to worry about moving. So I placed my fingers where they needed to be for a chord then strummed a little, then moved to the next chords and continued this pattern for a while. Then I tried to play the song, but let me tell you, playing slowly and just strumming cords one at a time is a lot easier then trying to get your fingers to move to the correct strings when trying to play the whole song! One thing I learn, is that I am REALLY uncoordinated! Whoops. Sometimes you don’t realize just how uncoordinated until something like this happens, or at least that is what happened in my case.
There were some bumps along the way that I think made this whole experience worse because they slowed down practicing. I had a family issue one week which drastically cut down on time available to practice. And this has by far been the most stressful/busiest semester of my college career, which is sad because this is my last semester of my college career (undergrad at least ). Hello Graduation! So, another thing I learn is that learning to play the guitar needs huge devoted amounts of time, that which I did not have. I was not able to sit down everyday for hours to practice, which is what one guy in my church band who taught himself told me is what it takes. This project would have been better to start in the summer when I have nothing to do but lay around and be lazy! I plan on keeping the guitar around a little longer, because I enjoy it when the song sounds like its suppose too. I hate it when it sounds not like it is suppose too. Another thing I learned is that when I am just playing around strumming, it sounds better and more like a song, a newly created song by me, than when I really am trying to play/learn a song.
To project my guitar playing to you, I used images (a picture of my guitar, pictures of where your fingers are suppose to go), I have use my written blogs and I used my iPhone to record myself playing, both video recorded and just audio recorded. So I have incorporated many types of media into my final project to make it more enjoyable as you follow.
I do apologize for this project being a complete failure, that was not my intention. In fact my intention was for it to be not to bad to learn the guitar, but boy was I wrong. I tried as best as I could but with the amount of available time being an issue, I was unable to get to where I really wanted to. Good learning came out of it though. :) Patience and practice! I will be able to use this experience as a good story/lesson for my future elementary students that I get the pleasure of teaching. I can assure them that somethings take a lot of work, and its practice which makes it easy/better. I will use my story as an example of what happens without adequate practice though of course! Everything is a learning experience, and while I may not have been successful at it, I stepped out of my box and tried something new!
Kudos to those who have conquered learning how to play the guitar! If I was wearing a hat right now I would take it off to you. I am very impressed and intrigued by guitarist! Those of you wanting to learn to play the guitar, do not let my failure stop you. Allow yourself adequate practice time and I am sure you will become great, just as I feel I would have been able to if I would have had more time to devote to playing! Strum on guitarists!
Just thought I would leave you with one last note! Music note that is!