guitar journal

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january 15, 2024

don't really have anything worth recording audio-wise, hence the gap in entries. wanted to make myself attach a recording each time i wrote something but i didn't want to force it. it'll be a while until i feel like i'm ready to Learn a Song. by which i mean something more than playing the same two chords, which this course currently has me doing every day. though luckily that means when it makes me play Moves Like Jagger it does not actually sound like Moves Like Jagger coming from my guitar

every chord i've learned so far has an open high-E which i'm starting to feel a little insane listening to constantly, especially when i let go of the strings to play another chord and that one alone stays sounding, every time, omnipresent. apprehensive about deviating from the course material and simply not playing it when i know it isn't needed to complete the chord, and i'm definitely not good enough at strumming to be picky. because by extension each chord also either has an open low-E or "doesn't but it's fine if you play it accidentally", and i'm not looking forward to it not being fine anymore

i've also started trying to memorize the fretboard, which i don't know how immediately important that is since that's advice from the separate music theory course on the website. it's hard, i'm just doing the bottom two strings right now and i'm always mixing them up. i used to do a lot of basic ear training and i always felt good about that because it seemed like i would just get better naturally without having to think about it too much. it was like an experience point bar i just do it and as a result get better at just doing it. one thing i was always wary about was learning by association, and similarly here i'm not too into using mnemonics, since 20 years later i still think "never eat shredded wheat" for 0.1 second when talking cardinal directions

i like to be clean and not smelly. but i keep reading "if you take a SHOWER and play GUITAR in the SAME YEAR you will DIE". so i'm usually a little worried it hasn't been long enough since getting out of the shower before i start playing. had a leak in my apartment the past few weeks so i'm trying to shower less often to balance out my water bill. since the last time i had a leak it took me three months of pestering my landlord to get it fixed. but whatever. anyway here's moves like jagger

january 23, 2024

last week i cut myself open in the perfect place to make strumming too painful so i didn't practice for a few days, despite bleeding all over my guitar being possibly a very rock and/or roll thing to do. when i was healed i saw my favorite band in concert and that got me way pumped to play more!! afterwards when i was lying down wasted half-asleep in an elevator at 5am i was just thinkin man i wanna be able to play like that and also i hope i don't throw up in this elevator

in following this course's practice routine every day it somehow took me a nonzero amount of time to realize i can just keep going after i finish. i would be done with the allotted 1 minute of switching between E/Am and then think ahh man i don't have that down well enough yet, oh well i'll make more progress tomorrow. birdbrain moment. now i've been chilling in bed playing more often which, has me worrying about posture and bad habits but also playing totally upright all the time is boring. if i ever play a show i'll just bring a bed onstage

in messing about the past couple days i've been trying to play Holiday by Green Day in a very simple and very probably wrong way by ear. and in looking up how to actually play it in order to record a slightly less probably wrong version i have decided i am getting ahead of myself. and then in taking the time to decide that it's gotten late and now there's a huge loud storm outside. so you will not hear the owl playing out of key. but on the bright side maintenance finally came to look at that leak today

january 30, 2024

fifth time's the charm. had another setup scheduled over the weekend but had to postpone because i got sick. but today i finally went and got my dang guitar looked at

i went to PMT in Manchester and overall it cost me £57. it's a big store with a lot of music made me want to learn about all the music things. wanted to mess around with the instruments while i waited but i worry about messing up expensive equipment. could have at least made sure i wasn't making them dirty, but the like, four soap dispensers they had on the walls were all empty. which drives me crazy because those dispensers are pushed on exclusively by people who think they might be dirty, so when i push on them i also become might-be-dirtier than before, and then i don't get soap to become un-might-be-dirty!!!! anyway i'm gonna talk about guitars again instead of soap

i probably should've asked what they did to it. i just went in and said "do whatever you think is good, i'd have no idea what to look for". the only obvious change to me was the height of the strings which are now way lower than before. 'action' is a word i have learned. but it is not one i used, in fact i sort of acted like i'd never touched a guitar before, as a defense mechanism. i don't know why, i think i'm scared i'll find out how wrong i am about basic things. i studied japanese for a long time and didn't speak japanese to a native for years, for probably the same reason

when the dreaded moment came that they sat me down and said "play it see how you like it :)" all i did was cautiously pick individual strings. the G-string sounded noticeably buzzier but i wasn't about to ask about that out of fear of them saying "uhh yeah that's normal lol?" or "that's because you're picking it like a weirdo, and also your hair is stupid". i walked out having decided to learn about guitar maintenance myself, like i see a lot of people suggest. because of the MONEY i'd save NOT because i'm scared of having to play guitar in front of professionals. unrelated but if any professionals are looking at my journal could you leave please

trying it out more at home now, the lower action is definitely nicer... feels like i just touch the strings to play them, instead of hold them down. was practicing playing scales yesterday and i was having a lot of trouble with picking especially, but now it's suddenly much easier. not sure if it actually made picking easier or i just got better, because i'm not sure how that would make much of a difference, but i'll choose to believe it does so i feel more like i got my money's worth

i imagined lower action more than anything would mean increased buzzies, since they're closer to the frets. and it does! the low-E especially is now very rattly. but apparently it's only really considered a problem if it comes through on the amp. and it does! it's pretty clear to me so i can't imagine if it were really a problem they wouldn't have fixed it, or at least brought it up to me. or maybe getting across that i know nothing about guitars and thus wouldn't recognize a problem like that was my undoing here. and to make matters worse maintenance still hasn't come to fix that leak which they said they would last week!!!! whatever here's a song that sounds vaguely like Holiday

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