Monday, May 11, 2015
Reflecting back on this year in 20 time, I can say that I've really come a far way. Kicking the year off, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I was really stressing myself out over what I wanted to commit my year to. Personally, I am a very quick thinking person; I don't like to dwell on something too long, or else I get bored. This was my main problem during my year in my guitar playing: I love the instrument and I love to play, but too much of a good thing, isn't good. After a few months, the whole 20 time progression stopped being fun, and started to become a burden. I started to not want to keep playing guitar, and my project took a turn for the worse. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying i don't like guitar, I still love playing, but I just couldn't commit to it with all the other things in my life going on. I tried to keep playing, and I tried to pace myself as well, I just couldn't find the time or the desire to both at one time, I either had time with no desire, or i wanted to play but had no time. If I were to do this again, I would take an entirely different take at it, and I probably wouldn't even take the same project. Maybe now that the 20 time project is over, the stress to play will be gone, & my desire to keep playing will return. Only time will tell. Until then, TEDx talk!!!
Monday, April 20, 2015
Now that spring break is over and done with (single tear), it is time to begin thinking about and writing my 20 time speech. Easy enough, right? 8 minute speech about what you learned over the past school year by doing this project, seems simple. I'm currently in the "freaking out" phase of the project where I've done all I can, and now I have to find some way to fit it all together and make it all relevant into a short, clean, 8 minute speech. To be completely honest, I have no idea what I want to speak about for my project. I could just demonstrate the understanding of music that I've learned over the past few months, but then I feel that my 8 minutes are going to be a bore-fest of "scales" and "sharps & flats" and things of the like. There is so much that I felt I did, and you can certainly see the rate of improvement that I've undergone on my instrument during these months, but looking back at it all, I'm honestly underwhelmed at how much I've REALLY accomplished. Learned to play a handful of songs, continued to hone my technique, and dabbled a little bit in writing a couple of riffs up and down the frets here and there. My biggest problem with this project, by far, was a lack of motivation to play at all. I was either in one of two moods this entire 20 time project: extremely involved with my project and was eager to play when I got home, or completely lazy and procrastinating working on my project as long as I could. As the months dragged on, I felt myself drifting further and further away from my instrument, and I'm very disappointed with myself that I didn't spend more time with it. That's where I find myself with the project at this point, I have to stream together everything I did into one final speech, and I have no idea where to start. The weeks to come I know that I'm going to have to be extremely creative with how I decide to go at this, because there are so many different ways to go at a speech like this. I feel like the only way that I'm going to be able to really think of something to talk about for this is to just sit back, relax, play some guitar, and let it hit me, which is what I plan to do in the next week or two until I can get this whole thing sorted out.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Finally, it's taken long enough, I'm finally starting to feel extremely comfortable with my guitar. The best part of this entire week is that I've begun to write my own music, which is something I never thought I would do. I started having some extra time with my instrument to screw around, one thing lead to another, and I have an intro with a chorus riff on a song. It's nothing special, pretty simple to say the least, but it's a start! Knowing my trend already, it's a tougher sounding song, with distortion, making it a more metal sounding song, like Metallica or Avenged. I've also been playing with some power chords, and found out how to play Holiday by Green day, I love rock n' Roll by The Black Jets, and Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. I compiled those three songs, as well as back in black by AC/DC and Carry on my Wayward Son by Kansas into one song, which I was really proud of. I've learned differnent power chords with different tunings to make differnent sounds, which is really upping my game as well. The following weeks to come, I plan on continuing to amend my song, and I'm excited to see where it goes!!
Monday, March 9, 2015
These past few weeks, I've noticed that I haven't been having much fun with my instrument. I've had a lot of work, and thinking about guitar just makes me even more stressed. Don't get me wrong, I still love playing guitar, and I'm going to continue playing for sure, it's just been tough as of late. To make up for this problem, I've taken a break from music theory, scale, note makes and all the like, and I've just continued having fun looking up songs I know and listen to, and play them down. Sometimes, all it takes is just jumping back to the basics for me to really get back into it. This week's song that I've been working on is "For whom the Bell Tolls" by Metallica. I've always loved this song, and it's one of the classic Metallica songs that got them off their feet for one of the most successful bands in metal. Just like these past few days, I'm going to continue working on new songs until I can get my feet wet again, and then going from there. It's just a matter of picking up where I left off before break.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
This week has honestly been very hard to motivate myself to pick up my guitar (most likely because break has me wanting to just be lazy and lie in bed all week). It's not like I didn't get any work done at all, it's just mostly been mental. Instead of playing, I've been constantly working on developing relative pitch towards the 12 notes up the chromatic scale. It may sound easy, memorizing 12 notes can't be that hard, right? Harder than you think, trust me. On top of that, I finished my road map of the guitar, and was really able to notice the patterns with notes up different strings. So far, Im able to identify all the A notes on my instrument, which I can then build off to notice different notes that are a few steps up or down from that initial A. Though I haven't been working on anything solid, I have been messing around with some odd techniques on my instrument, including different ways to bend notes with the whammy bar (which is ridiculously fun, by the way). Now that I'm actually going back to school, and I'll be able to get into the routine of working again, I'm sure I'll pick up the guitar and continue to jam out like I always do, it's just a matter of getting back into the swing of things.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Every week up until now, I've been working on just memorizing frets and notes to play songs that I know, which I will continue to do, but this was the first week that I've really started to get into things. The guitar is an intricate instrument, with a lot of things to learn and tricks to master, and I've begun to raise interest in the music theory side of things. I started by mapping out the notes up the 6 strings, all 21 frets, which has me starting to think in the grand scheme of things. I'm also planning on color coding the 7 different notes, so I can visually see the different octaves that span the instrument. In the short time I've been working on it, I'm already starting to see patterns with notes, which I will continue to work on visualizing. I've also been spending my time working on the various keys that can be played in music, and I'm seeing patterns with them too as well. On top of the guitar map, I've began writing down the various keys, and playing their corresponding scales. Almost everyone I've met tells me how horrible and confusing music theory is, and I can see where they're coming from, however I'm finding it quite interesting. I'm going to continue on my venture into music theory, as well as continue playing the songs I love, and the ending of the mock trial has freed up a lot more time for me to continue playing again. The more and more I'm learning about my instrument, the more and more my interest grows, and I'm really continuing to have a lot of fun with it!
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Finals week has come and gone, and boy, was it crazy. Now, I could flat out lie to you, and say that I studied long and hard like the fantastic student that I am, but I think I'm going to try being truthful this week (sorry Mr. P). Instead of picking up the textbook and immersing myself in page fills of knowledge, I decided to spend my extended time cuddled up next to my guitar. Almost every day I would get home, realize I had the entire day ahead of me, throw on pajamas, jump on the couch, and practice for hours at a time. I've been obsessing over one specific song all week, and I've been perfecting it day in and day out, this being "unholy confessions" by avenged sevenfold (rock on!). As much as I love playing hard rock and metal, I thought I would slow it down a little bit this week and work on a classic song that everyone would know. I would always play rock band with my sister, and the one song that I could always count on playing in that game was "Carry on my Wayward son" by Kansas. Naturally, I thought of the song, and said to myself, "man I would love to be able I play that", so I looked up a tab, and got working on it. The idea also struck me this week to map out the notes on my guitar, all 21 frets up all 6 strings, and color code it so that I can know where notes overlap on different strings. With that knowledge, I would be able to start reading treble cleft a lot easier, and maybe even start creating music of my own. So this coming up week, I plan on continuing to work on "Carry on my Wayward Son" and map my instrument.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Wow, one full month since my last blog post, it certainly doesn't seem that long. Well let's jusy jump right into it! Obviously, I've been keeping on playing guitar, and I'm becoming noticeably better and better. Every day I'm feeling more and more comfortable with a guitar in my hands, and I can easily see myself keeping on playing in the future. I'm beginning to venture into harder and harder songs, but I can honestly say that I've got my head up in the clouds with the entire world of music in front of me. As much as I'm working on tabs, shredding on the songs that I listen to every day, but I've been neglecting the basics, only focusing on memorizing, instead of understanding. I think following this post, im going to take a break from songs and tabs, jump back to the basics, and hit the books. Another problem that is starting to become more and more annoying is the fact that I don't have a working amplifier. I've had the same Fender beginner guitar and dinky amp since 6th grade, and I think it may be finally time for an upgrade. I have thought about purchasing an acoustic guitar, but with the type of music that I love to play, I've come to the decision that an electric is just the way to go. I'll continue to persist about taking my amp and my guitar in to the store for either a repair, or to upgrade to a bigger, better version, and I'm sure that I'll put that in a future blog post, because I'm sure I'll be psyched. I've also started to play some guitar with some of my more musically inclined friends, which I find to be very helpful towards bettering myself, as well as having fun in the moment. I've actually become so close with my guitar that I've begun carrying my guitar pick around with me everywhere I go, which a lot of my friends understandably bag on me for. It's all in good fun, but I can't wait for the weeks to come where I can start to relax and just stick to learning and remembering the basics, and start to build off of that