Musically Illiterate

For my learning project I juggled between three main ideas, I knew I either wanted to learn to play the guitar, learn to apply makeup or how to organize and clean my house like the pros do (ie Marie Kondo). In the end, I decided that there probably wouldn’t be many resources for house organization compared to makeup application or guitar lessons. I finally decided on learning to play the guitar so I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on makeup and I already have a guitar that was given to me by my dad.

I grew up playing many different instruments. I took piano lessons for several years and then I was in band where I played the flute for a year. On the side, I learned a bit of guitar in grade 5 and 6 and in grade 4 the recorder (which actually translated very well to the flute). Unfortunately, I got bored with the piano and quit, then the same thing happened with the flute a few years later. I also quit piano because I hated having to practice and then getting in trouble when I didn’t. I did learn how to read sheet music which came in handy when I started band, however, none of the other kids could read sheet music so we spent a painful first year going over the basics when I already knew them. In band we were also required to practice a certain amount of hours per week, however, the stuff we were learning was so easy I didn’t need to practice the full 7 hours or whatever it was because I could do it usually in one try. As a result, I never made the required amount of practice hours and got in trouble. Eventually, I got bored and was sick of being scolded so I quit. Apparently, I followed quite a predictable pattern.

Both my band and piano teacher begged me not to quit but at that time I would have rather been playing sports. Looking back, now at 20 years old, I wish I had listened to both my piano and band teacher. I have lost essentially all my music skills. I can’t read sheet music anymore and I couldn’t tell you which note is which on a piano. I think I remember maybe 3 keys. If I picked up a flute I wouldn’t know what to do either. So I decided that I would really like to learn an instrument again, and I remember really liking guitar so I decided to do that.

I don’t have much of a guitar background, I know maybe 6 chords and 3 strumming patterns, so basically I am starting from scratch. By the end of this term, I would like to be able to play Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The reason I picked this song is that it is slow, so great for beginners but also challenging. I also just really love the song.

I will be posting quite a few updates on my learning journey so feel free to follow along and I encourage you to reach out if you have any resources or suggestions.



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