April 2, 2010 – 4:32 pm
I’ve been thinking about what to do for my next 30 day project, and I’ve come up with this: practice the guitar every day for 30 days in a row.
Along the way I’m going to try and learn some songs – and there are plenty of great tutorials online (including this fantastic site by London-based Australian guitarist Justin Sandercoe).
I learned guitar as a kid, and I was even in a band once (yeah, yeah – who wasn’t?) – but I was never any good. In fact, I decided I’d pretty much far rather hear anyone else use the instrument than me, so I stopped. But it’s always been something I’ve toyed with returning to.
Incompetence magnified by neglect
I was never more than an advanced beginner. And not a very advanced one at that. Not only that, but I never really practiced because I always found it so dis-spiriting.
I know some chords and can strum – but not having spent more than half an hour a year playing over the last 20 years (and having regressed terribly), I thought I’d spend half an hour a day just bashing out some tunes.
I may end up hating it again – or I may end up taking it more seriously. I have no idea where this will end up. But this time, I’m not going to have the frustration of desperately wanting to be good, and falling far short. I’m just going to try and enjoy where I’m at and have some fun with it.
Have guitar, will travel
I’m going to be doing a fair bit of travel over the next month. Mostly to London and back, but I’m also going to Budapest and Edinburgh.
Fortunately, when Jake and I went to Belfast about 18 months ago, we bought a travel guitar. Jake was just learning (he’s now better than I ever was – and he’s a drummer rather than a guitarist), and I was doing that ‘toying with picking up the instrument again’ thing.
It’s sort of 3/4 size, but perfectly playable. It has a case, and it’ll come with me wherever I go (though I’ll have to check out what the deal is when it comes to flying with instruments – I know lots of people who do it, I’ve just never had to find out how it’s done).
I have no idea where to begin, or what to do with it, so I think I’m just going to bash out some chords. There are some guitar picks somewhere around here, so I’ll dig one of those out – and then just sort of have at it.
And I’ll hunt through the tutorial websites, work out where I’m at, and then just work my way through a few of them and see how I get on.
It’d be great if you joined me. Especially if you haven’t played a musical instrument for decades as well. Grab one from somewhere, and let’s just be terrible at it for fun, half an hour a day for the next thirty days.
It’s not going to require daily updates on the blog, but I’ll keep you posted on progress.