I had my first official guitar lesson. The instructor seems to be knowledgeable and we seemed to mesh. He asked me what my background was with regard to playing (and music in general) and then asked me to play for him. Seeing as Bare Necessities is a pretty catchy tune (and hopefully known by most), I decided on that one (vs. murdering Killing Me Softly). I messed up at first, but after restarting and calming down, I sailed through it. He was impressed that I was using the right fingers for the notes being played (I should hope so, I didn't study Mel Bay's Guitar for Beginners all those years ago for nothing!) and was also surprised when I told him how I learned it (from the sheet music). This back and forth laid the foundation for where he wants to take me and he quickly started me on a regimen for getting me to where I want to go.
Where do I want to go with this? I'm 39 years old and am taking my first guitar lesson? What am I thinking? I'm thinking I should have done this years ago. I got my guitar about 20 years ago as a Christmas present and immediately plunged into teaching myself from a book. Over the years, I've gone through the cycle of not playing for months to playing for weeks at a time. While my fingering skills improved (e.g., I can play individual notes when reading the music), I never got to a point where I would feel comfortable playing in public.
Heck, I never even got to the point where my family enjoyed my playing!
As I said, I never got to the point where I wanted to focus on chords. I'd start here and there, but never put the effort into committing them to memory. It takes a while to get the muscle memory down, not only for the chord itself, but also for the transition from one to another. As I sit here and type this, I'm thinking back to when I learned touch-typing in high school. Had I not taken typing all those years ago, would I be as proficient as I am now? Maybe. But then again, I work with a guy who types everyday with his two index fingers and is always looking down at the keyboard. Would he do better if he took typing lessons now? I would imagine so, but look at all the time he's been plodding along hunting and pecking. That's the way I feel about playing. I'm tired of doing the same songs over and over. I'm tired of not being able to play songs that I'd also want to sing along with. I'm tired of watching M progress through her piano playing while I sit there and pluck the same tunes over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that she plays piano and is progressing through the ranks, but as I watch her improve, I realize that in the time she's been taking piano lessons, I've been wasting it by not moving forward with my guitar interest. I've always had an interest in playing music and have attempted to learn several instruments over the course of the years (recorder, violin, trumpet, fife and guitar), but never had the focus to keep at it and master any of them. Hopefully this time it will stick.
So there you have it. As I said, I had my first official guitar lesson today. I'm on my way, the copy of Mel Bay Children's Guitar Method (Book 1) sitting in my case at home says so.
The kids and I watched Prince Caspian, started The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The effects are much better than the first movie and Lucy is getting more palatable. She seems to have grown up a bit and her dramatic interjections have been toned down a bit (either that or the actress has honed her craft since filming The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe).