Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Learning Guitar, Day 4

Another day of practicing my chords. I can make them ring out most of the time.

My chord changes are really speeding up now. Here were my results for today:
D-A: 34
D-E: 31
A-E: 37
These were again after 4 trials of each. I'm finding the D-E to be the most annoying. Sliding my index finger back and forth really hurts, and it starts to feel like the string is going to cut through. A-E is becoming much easier, as I found I can basically leave my middle and ring fingers in the same relative positions. After I slide my index finger back (going from E to A), I can usually just put down the next two fingers easily, putting my ring finger down a string of course.

I am still a little stumped by strumming. I feel like I am playing too hard/loud, so I switched to a slightly lighter pick, and watched a few videos on strumming. Most recommended loosening up, and making sure to use your arm. It seems like this will be mostly practice as well to make sure I hit the strings just right.

I also noticed today I have been sort of cheating with my left arm. I've been sitting cross legged which lets me rest my left arm down. This may be hurting my playing abilities, and it might prevent me from building needed muscles in my arm, so I'm going to try not to do it any more.

And I have the first signs of blisters on my fingers! I don't think I've ever been this excited about that before. Add to that my speed increase with chord changes, and I think I am learning at a good pace. And I am already seeing signs of my fast learning when I re-watched the video on one minute chord changes. Apparently 8 changes is extremely good for a beginner's first try. I got 15 on my first try.

I can now play the intro to Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl. The video I watched uses a barre chord, but only part of it that is simple to learn. It still takes me a little time to get into the right positions and it sounds chunky, but that is just practice.

More tomorrow!

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