Sunday, January 24, 2010

Learning Guitar, Day 21

Finally started some new material today!

I started with the G and C chords. G sucks. There is no other way to put it. It just sucks. It took me around 25 times to get it to all sound correctly. No matter what I did, it didn't sound correct. I would put down my first and second fingers, but then my ring finger would push the string off the neck. If I focused on my ring finger, my first two fingers would mute the strings below them. Eventually I got it to sound ok, and then the next time it was crappy again. I gave up for a bit and went on to try the C chord.

C was much easier for me. It took less time for me to get it to sound good. Apparently I'm supposed to mute the thickest string with my ring finger. I'm focusing right now on just getting the chord right and I'll work on the muting later.

I went back to G, and I got it to sound ok, but more failures followed. I slowly discovered that if I angle my hand a little bit, all the strings sound fine. It took a little practice to remember to do that though.

I then tried out the recommended 1 minute chord changes:
C-Am: 23
C-A: 16
C-G: 11
G-E: 16
G-D: 12
The first change was very simple, just moving my ring finger over. It took a little tweaking of my middle finger to get it sounding good though. For the C-A change, for some reason I find A difficult to form when I don't start with my index finger, which is why I got so few in there. C-G was probably the most annoying change I have ever done. G-E was pretty easy, I just need to practice going back to G. And for G-D, I blanked out a bit on what a D chord should look and sound like. Muscle memory put my fingers in the right place, but it was a weird feeling.

I took a break after doing those, and later came back to do some scales. I started with a finger exercise where I start on the 5th fret, thickest string, and go through all my fingers, then down a string and repeat. It doesn't sound too pretty, but it is a great exercise. I then tried out the Am pentatonic scale, which sounds nice but is less work.

I found myself struggling to get my fingers in good spots on the frets for the exercise, so I started forcing them where I wanted them with my right hand. I also struggled going back down the scale, since moving up a string requires putting down all my fingers to start. In the end I could play both scales ok, but not at any great speed (of course).

I then started messing around with stretching out my hand. I'm finding it amazing how fast I can adapt to things. For fun I tried starting with my index finger on the 4th fret, then middle on the 6th, ring on the 7th, and pinkie on the 8th. It hurt, and I had to force my fingers there with the other hand. I did it a couple times, taking a quick break for my hand in between each. After ~10 tries, I could do it without the help of my right hand. A few more times and it stopped hurting as much. Scary, right?

I then tried stretching out across 6 frets, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th. I could do it, but it hurt even more. I decided to stop, but I think it's something to look into later.

Today was a success. I learned a bunch, and even got some finger exercise in. And by practicing the blues scale, I am one step closer to playing the blues! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment