In-Depth Post #2

Over the past few weeks, I have jumpstarted my journey of learning the guitar. I have practiced quite often (around 5 times a week for roughly half an hour) and I’ve really enjoyed myself. John Frusciante said, “As long as you’re excited about what you’re playing, and as long as it comes from your heart, it’s going to be great“. This has been true for me. Although I am not currently playing original music, just strutting new chords and playing small parts from songs, it has been great. When I hear a recording of what I have just played, I realize the many mistakes and places to improve, but when I am playing the guitar, it sounds great in my ears because I know that I did that myself and have learned something. This is an exciting experience for me.

Over the past few weeks, I have also managed to meet, learn, and discuss with my mentor Ewan. As my mentor is one of my fellow classmates, we have been meeting up together in class twice a week at school and practicing at lunch. This has really helped us interact more with each other and has helped me learn more from him. However, with more interactions comes times where you agree, disagree, and differ. I have been agreeing with my mentor a lot. Ewan is much more experienced than me, thus why he is my mentor, so agreeing with what he teaches me is logical. However, when I agree, I do try to ask questions to try to further expand my understanding. For example, when Ewan was teaching me some of the basic chords. When doing this he also told me that these were also some of the most important chords and that they are important to practice. I agreed with him but wondered why, so I asked him why they were some of the most important chords to learn. He told me that it was because they are very popular and used in many songs, and I then agreed with him.

There are also times where my mentor and I disagree. In these cases, I disagree respectfully and curiously to try to get his side of the story. For example, Ewan said it was important to start using my pinky finger to reach frets of the guitar that are further away. I disagreed because I believed it was easier to simply move my ring finger, as I found using my weak pinky finger to push down on the string very challenging. Ewan agreed that right now for simpler music it is easier to use my ring finger, but in the future when playing more difficult songs where you must reach even further with your finger, it is a big advantage to be able to use your pinky finger here, thus why it is good to start early with using your pinky finger. I then agreed with him, but if I wouldn’t have disagreed in the first place it is likely I would have not learned this.

Finally, there have been times where my mentor and I have different opinions. When we have different opinions, we try to figure out what the difference is based on reconcile. For example, when playing the guitar, my thumb on the hand that is pressing down on the different strings/frets always slips up behind the neck of the guitar. It is bad to do this because you then have less reach over the guitar with your other fingers. I found it very difficult to keep my thumb underneath the neck of the guitar as it should be. Ewan and I had different opinions on the difficulty of keeping your thumb underneath the neck, but we reconcile that it was just a matter of practice before I got more used to keeping my thumb underneath the neck. However, we did note that this is something I will need to keep an eye on, or else it will become too much of a habit.

Overall, I am very happy with my progress with learning the guitar, and I am really enjoying it. Ewan has been a great mentor and he has been really easy to learn from and connect with. Below is a small recording of me practicing a bit to show some of my progress. It is me playing small parts of some songs (can you guess which ones), and me practicing some basic chords. There is still a lot to improve on, but I will keep practicing to become a better guitar player.

Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you Ewan for being a great mentor!

Categories: Uncategorized