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It seems my guitar playing is following the path that my piano playing went when I was much younger. I took piano lessons for a while in grade nine or so. I hated practicing. I hated scales and learning the songs that the book wanted me to learn, the songs that my teacher would assign me every week. I would ignore the book, ignore the assignments, and teach myself a song from some other book that was supposedly beyond my abilities to play. I would memorize that song, and be able to play it… but nothing else. I can still play on piano some of the songs I memorized back in grade nine… stuff like “everything I do, I do it for you,” and a new kids ballad… that sort of thing. The stuff that I will never want to play on keyboards again. At any rate, this meant that while I learned to play those songs, I never learned the basic skills needed to play piano. I can read music, but I can’t play it well. It would take me months to learn a song on piano now. I don’t even HAVE a piano now (well, I do sort of, but that’s another story.)

Now I’m doing something similar with guitar. I don’t take lessons, I don’t have a teacher, but when I try to teach myself things that are good to know, like scales and modes, and practice fingerings and chords, I tend to lose my concentration. I just want to play songs, and I want to play them right, and I want to play them well, the first time. Otherwise, if it’s not perfect, it’s not worth it. Which means I hardly practice at all, and I don’t even want to because it only makes me want to cry. I get so frustrated, so easily. I give up before I ever start.

2 Comments

  • temm

    February 13, 2001 at 7:52 pm

    teaching yourself is easier, imo, i did it, im not the best guitar player in the world, but i do it… good enought to start a band now, and ive only been at it for a little over a year now.

    btw, electric is easier to learn on, since it doesnt stress the fingers as much. Learn to read and play from tabs, they make it alot easier than reading sheet music..

    wot else…

    have fun, when it stops being fun, stop doing it. no point in wasting time on something that isnt necessary that has stopped being fun and dont play tooooooooo much.

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      February 14, 2001 at 12:11 pm

      I don’t have a problem with my fingers hurting, I have an electric and an amp, I far prefer the sound of my beautiful solid top acoustic. I can read sheet music fine, I can read chords fine, I can almost read tab okay (that’s more difficult when you learned piano first.)

      My problem is motivating myself when I don’t have a reason to. If I’m teaching myself, there’s no one behind me to drive me.