In-Depth Post #5

“There is no glory in practice, but without practice, there is no glory.”

This couldn’t be truer for the phase of learning the guitar that I am in right now. Currently, practice is my number one focus. Learning to switch between chords faster is a very time-consuming practice that is necessary to be able to play songs. To be honest, this process is not the most enjoyable. I want to be able to play songs on the guitar, but until I am able to switch between chords faster, I cannot really do this. However, when practice, I remember that once I get better, I will be able to play more songs which keeps me motivated.

I have had one brief meeting with my mentor Ewan since the last post. Here we mainly talked about techniques to get better and faster at playing and switching between chords. In this meeting, I tried to connect to Edward de Bono’s How To Have A Beautiful Mind. In this chapter, de Bono discussed the six hats. These hats are:

  • The white hat, which means information.
  • The red hat, which includes emotions, feelings, and intuition.
  • The black hat, which includes critical thinking and judging information.
  • The yellow hat, which looks for values, benefits, and why something should work.
  • The green hat, which is productive by asking for ideas, alternatives, possibilities, and designs.
  • The blue hat, which helps organize other hats.

The six hats were devised as “a method that will help you enhance your conversation and so develop a beautiful mind” [91]. A reason for the hats is to have all members of the conversation looking in the same direction at a given time. It is important that everyone is wearing the same hat at the same time. In my opinion, the main benefit of the hats is that “the hats provide a quick method of switching thinking” and “the hats provide a means to request a particular type of thinking” [104].

In my meeting with Ewan, we used these hats during our conversation. In the beginning, I told Ewan that I was struggling with getting faster at switching between chords and that it was quite frustrating. This is the red hat because I have emotions. I then asked if Ewan had any tips for improving in this area. This is the green hat as I am asking for Ewan’s ideas and possible alternatives for the ways I am practicing. Next, he responded by giving me a good way to practice switching between chords and getting the chords cleaner. He told me to have my fingers in the right position for the chord, lift my finger, and then place it back down again, followed by playing the chord to see if it still sounds right. This works because my fingers would get used to going to the right places to play different chords, and they would practice moving around. This could have been either the white hat or the yellow hat, or possibly both. It could be the white hat because he was giving me information, but it could be the yellow hat because Ewan was giving me something that would benefit me and explaining why it would work. He also told me “it took me months to get good at switching between some chords”. Here we were using the red hat, as it made me feel better about myself. Throughout our entire conversation, we were using the blue hat, which was ordering our hats in a sequence for our conversation to move smoothly. “The blue hat puts together the outcome”, which it did at the end of the meeting between Ewan and I [102].

Overall, the past two weeks have just been practice practice practice, and the next weeks will continue likely continue to be like this. However, I look forward to when I can play lots of songs and am able to switch between chords quicker.

This is a recording of me practicing the chords the way Ewan told me to in our meeting.

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