About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 185: About Playing Guitar

It is now dark at 6:00am in Chaumont, NY. The Sun is also setting earlier, so the days are visibly shorter than a month ago. We've also been having temperatures near 90 degrees and higher.

Today I played my usual lunch hour at Teaism in Clayton NY. I played for better than two hours and it went very well. I played well, the people responded nicely. For sure it is the only place in the Thousand Islands region where you can have a great lunch accompanied by live music. Classical guitar at that!
A few days ago I put up a post about how to play guitar. The bottom line is practice. Repitition. An old Chinese proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. That's how it is with music. Or painting, whether it be painting an art piece on canvas or painting a house. Or a piece of sculpture. Or re-building a car engine. So, with the guitar let's say you want to accompany yourself singing a song. You need to learn or read the lyricas, then strum the chords, changing from one chord to the next as required by the lyrics. It starts out slow. Especially if you have never played before. That is why you must learn to change chords. Then you learn another song with maybe some newer chords. Then you might want to make it more interesting by finger picking the chords, or interjecting a bass run or scale passage between the chords. So, just like your first chord change, you learn the cale, or the riff, or whatever. You learn it slowly. Pick up thye most dificult, complex, virtuosic piece of music and pick any ONE note from it, anywhere in the composition. You most likely can play it. So then you go from that to the next note or chord. You play that. Then you go to the next. You memorize the piece one note at a time until you have the first beat down. Then the first measure. Then it becomes a phrase in the piece, (4, 8, 12 measuers, whatever). Long complex pieces are ;learned and mastered that way. Some take weeks, months, or years to learn and master. It depends on your ability. But it still all goes back to day one when you played a C chord for the first time. A good teacher will guide you along so you use your time most efficiently.

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Please leav comments and suggestions about this blog and how I maght improve it. Thanks, Gary Walts