Week 12: Days 77 to 83

Day 77: Monday, June 14th, 2021

Practice Time – 20 mins

My practice run continues! 15 days in a row.

Primarily focussed on the F, C, and E chords today through a variety of different songs.

Day 78: Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Practice Time – 50 mins

16 days in a row! And a big one.

Strummed and played gently for around 50 mins this evening whilst watching the Euros on TV. 

Practicing in front of the TV has probably never been recommended by any teacher ever, but it seems to work for me. 

It occurred to me today that I’ve not actually learned anything new since the first couple of weeks of this experience. It’s just the same 8 chords – A, C, D, E, F, G, Em, and Am. However, even though I’m not learning anything new, I am learning more about, and diving deeper into what I already know. I think this is interesting to note. Sometimes as teachers, we’re continuously giving students new things to learn and practice without really diving deep enough into what we’re already learning. 

I think the key is to continually find new, interesting, and inspiring ways of practicing fewer things, for a longer period of time.

Day 79: Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Practice Time: 15 mins

17 days in a row! 

Practiced the same chords through the same songs today. 

I also had some more thoughts on practice. Up to now, I’ve spoken about the mental side of enjoying our time with the guitar. But today I’ve been considering the physical side of practice too. 

A lot of the time, we talk about specific ways of sitting and holding the guitar. You know, sit up, back straight, all that kind of stuff. But, if I’m honest, pretty much all my left-handed practice is done on the couch in my living room. It just feels really comfortable, and it’s really convenient considering my guitar is left right next to it. 

The guitar also feels very stable when I’m holding it on the couch. More so than when I’m on a table chair. Also, when I practice on the couch, I can tilt my guitar slightly, which allows me to see my fingers and the fretboard. If I do this on a table chair, the guitar feels very unstable.

I’ve always preached Stability and Comfort when sitting and holding the guitar. But I’m now adding Vision to this. 

Stability, Comfort and Vision. As complete beginners, we need all three!

Progress update after 60 Days of Practice.

Day 80: Thursday, June 17th, 2021

Practice Time – 5 mins

18 days in a row.

Got a very brief 5-minute session in today before the school run. 

Day 81: Friday, June 18th, 2021

Practice Time – 20 mins

19 days in a row.

Strummed through the same chords/same songs, primarily focussing on the F chord. 

Day 82: Saturday, June 19th, 2021

Practice Time – 20 mins

20 days in a row! 

Today I added a few other songs to my practice:

About a Girl – Nirvana: for practicing the E to G change.

Thunder Only Happens When It Rains – Fleetwood Mac: For practicing the F to G change.

Although, I’m not actually practicing the full songs, just the sections that use these specific chord changes.

Day 83: Sunday, June 20th, 2021

Practice Time – 1 hour and 10 mins

21 days in a row! 

Practiced everything again whilst watching Wales in the Euros on TV. Strumming very quietly with my thumb helps.

Weekly Round-Up

Total Days Practiced: 7

Monday – 20 mins

Tuesday – 50 mins

Wednesday – 15 mins

Thursday – 5 mins

Friday – 20 mins

Saturday – 20 mins

Sunday – 1 hour and 10 mins

Total Weekly Minutes Practiced:

3 hours and 20 mins 

End of Week Thoughts: 

The Couch

Feeling physically good is just as important as feeling mentally good when learning the guitar. We need to learn to free ourselves of back and shoulder strains and any physical stress. I’ve found that the couch, as much as it might be frowned upon as a practice seat, is an ideal place to practice for me. It’s comfortable, it helps support the guitar, and it also allows me to tilt the guitar slightly so that I can see what I’m doing.

The TV

Again, something else that would be frowned upon – but I’ve also found it helpful to practice in front of the TV. 

To be honest, this isn’t new to me. I spent a lot of time practicing right-handed in front of the TV (at the beginner and intermediate stages). 

Going Deeper into Less

It’s also occurred to me this week that we need to go deeper into less. Spend more time on less. Focus more on less. But do so in a variety of interesting and inspiring ways. Focusing on less like this, really helps us absorb and fully learn the fundamentals at this early stage of learning, which I believe is so important. If I were to move on to fingerpicking or barre chords before really nailing these open chords I think I’d be spreading myself too thin and I don’t think I’d see much improvement all around. Even though my primary focus is enjoyment, I still think small elements of improvement are inspiring and motivating.