guitar journal

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december 6, 2023

wall! was cruising along this course just fine until now, though i don't remember this part from the last time i tried to learn guitar so maybe this is where i got stuck before too. i am to hit hit frets 2-5 all at once!! seems like a pretty big jump suddenly but i guess this is the first part that really challenges like, flexibility, which i have not been training thus far. i would find solace in the fact that a lot of things i can now do okay seemed totally impossible at first, but none of those involved stretching my wingers (wing fingers) to inowl (like 'inhuman' but for owls) positions. i'm now consciously working on this but i am very quickly put out of commission for the day. owie

this course stresses using an almost paperthin pick at first for reasons i'm not totally clear on. i've started using a thicker pick and i'm finding it better generally? just feels easier to hit the right strings and get a better sound. again a lot of it has to do with lessening the buzzies, which i'm taking the guitar into the shop in a couple days hoping could be improved



december 11, 2023

i didn't end up going to the shop the other day because trains weren't running. oops! i'm going next week now. aside from that i've been generally busy and/or unwell and not practicing much. as well as feeling unmotivated, because the longer i wait to get my guitar looked at the more time i have to convince myself it needs fixing up, and that trying to learn it right now will cause some bad habits. though now i think it'll definitely end up needing a setup, because the low E-string has started making new, unfamiliar buzzies. i do read that i may as well try to learn maintenance myself but i simply wouldn't trust me

another demotivating factor is that hitting four frets at once still does not seem like it'll be remotely possible anytime soon. i can force myself to get sort of within range, but i have to contort my entire upper body in deranged ways. even then i can't imagine actually being able to play in that position, instead of just focusing on staying in place while it hurts like hell. taking solace in the fact that every other comment on the course at this point is echoing these sentiments



december 15, 2023

it seems remotely possible now! learning guitar just seems like an endless cycle of saying "there's no way i could ever do this" then a few days later saying "oh i can do this now". though i don't know if it's actually an increase in flexibility or i'm just positioning myself differently without realizing it. regardless i'm learning to trust this instructor when he stresses "this is going to seem IMPOSSIBLE at first" in every single lesson

i didn't say i was good at it i just said i could now understand how some people might feasibly be good at it. doing this on the low-E is the target for this lesson, but i'm warming up on other strings first because they're easier to reach, and also because i think there's some mechanical weirdness with the low-E so i can't be sure whether i'm doing well (i can't play it very hard without it going wacky)

whereas soreness is usually a limiting factor, this is something i feel like i could practice all day with only some crampage. but i don't know how to gauge diminishing returns with practice, because sometimes i'll pick up the guitar after putting it down all demotivated the day before, and then it's as if neural pathways had been getting to work while i was sleeping. i'm putting about 10x the effort into learning web development right now (if it wasn't obvious from this page that i didn't know much before (if you're reading this in the future and my website is epic and cool just know that right now it is barebones HTML) so all i can do is say i'll practice for X amount of time a day, and if i'm doing it every day i have to be getting better over time



december 19, 2023

three different setup appointments have now fallen through for different reasons!!! almost want to get into learning how to do it myself if i'm in it for the long haul. would save me the embarrassment of getting it back from the shop then the guy going "try it out see how you like it" and me having to go Uhhh ahh haha i'm scared i'll shred so hard and skillfully that i'll break it again lol. well anyway i'm now starting to rub dangerously close up against wanting to put off learning until conditions are perfect, yet another bad habit of mine

i saw one (1) comment online that said practicing unplugged on an electric can cause some bad habits, and if there's one thing that worries me about learning guitar it's the possibility of developing bad habits!! it's what ultimately put me off learning piano - the notion that learning with a teacher, which i couldn't afford, was essential to not picking up bad habits. i don't know exactly how practicing acoustically would be bad, if anything i'd imagine it would be the other way around and it's like learning to draw traditionally before digitally; having to focus on building better fundamentals first. because i tried out the amp a little more today and it sure feels a lot more forgiving

i think the fact i don't have the means right now to record it without crazy interference is enough to stick to acoustic. apparently a lil buzzing when not touching any strings is normal, but i turn up the distortion and it goes real wacky. it's cool if i just have it on low to get it sounding slightly fuller, though i still can't shake the feeling i'm getting ahead of myself by even using it at all. there's a whole world of possibilities when it comes to the technical side of things, and right now i don't even know what the 'tone' knobs on my guitar do



december 22, 2023

i got a cheap and (by phone standards but not actually) old smartphone and thus a better mic than the $10 usb one :) i also immediately thought i'd bricked it while trying to install a custom OS and was already looking up replacements

strumming is the unexpected trouble i'm having here. finding myself whiffing a lot, or just not doing it hard enough, which could be a result of being too wary of hitting more than one string. unrelated but do you notice that lone hair on the top of my guitar body in the first pic of this journal because i aggressively do



january 3, 2024

after my last entry i was bedridden with da flu for like a week, during which all hardness i'd built up pretty much reset. ugg!!! gonna give it more time before scheduling a setup because i'm still having nasty coughing fits brought on by mild physical activity. lucky this happened right when i really wanted to get into skateboarding because i do not need to be dropping more money on another new hobby. journaling would be funny though just an endless stream of videos of me eating pavement

to make up for lost progress i've been trying to be more proactive with learning new things, instead of spending maybe a little too much time making sure i have things down before moving on. this week on the course i'm starting out on some minor chords and playing Seven Nation Army. no recording because i once again played until it hurt too much to continue before writing this. ah what the hell let's try it

very geniusly despite the pain i did many attempts at this. no playing tomorrow for me. doing the slidies is fun which is good because it's difficult not to do them. hehe listening to all the audio clips on here in succession to see the slight improvement is fun even though the increase in audio quality tricks me into thinking there's more improvement than there really is

hmm having a whole page without any images doesn't feel right. here have a pic of me playing





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