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Learning a New Tune

Jan 26, 2010
eagle670

Well it has been awhile since I have tackled a new song, so last night I started learning "Here Comes the Sun".  I found an awesome version of George doing a solo live version of it on his new release titled "Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison".  This inspired me to try and learn the piece.  I went to TG to pull the lesson and found that Neil has 2 versions of the song.  One being on the free side, which teaches the cross picking style and the other being a target short lesson on Neils finger-picking arrangement.  So I had a choice to make, which one do I try to learn from.  I started out with the cross picking style, because I liked how it sounded more like the original recording.  Now this was on the free side, so there wasn't really much detail to the lesson.  I worked through the video and learned most of the fingerings and notes and then I went to the finger style lesson.  Surprisingly the fingerstyle arrangement was easier for me to learn than the other.  What is interesting is that now I had an understanding of both styles and as I started playing the song, I was able to interject both styles of playing and the result was better that I had hoped it would be.  Now don't get me wrong this is still really rough, but I feel that I'm further along learning this tune after one day, than what my past learning experiences have been on other songs.  One thing that I am noticing is that I am really starting to recongnize the different techniques that Neil has been teaching.  My theory understanding is better and most of that has been learned through Neils lessons and song break down segments. 
Hopefully I can learn this song well enough to do a video one day, I feel like I am overdue and I have to get one up before Big Bear does. lol

Kevin


By nature I am a very detailed, specific and structured type of individual.  My profession demands it.  Every (i) must be dotted and every (t) be crossed before I can move on to another project.  As I proceed through my guitar "comeback" embarkment, I have noticed that these types of traits really get in the way of advancing as a musician.  My approach has always been to learn a song competely, note for note, strum for strum until I can do it flawlessly.  My discovery to this approach is that my flawless execution of a tune only happens about every 10 times or so.  I had the same problem when I tried to learn how to paint.  I could not leave an out of place brush stroke alone and the harder I tried to fix it the more mistakes I made.  So I gave up painting.  Guitar playing is something that I am determined to do, so with that said, I have applied a different strategy to learning a new song.  
I just finished reading Andre Agassi's book "Open".  He struggled with his tennis career early on, because he was so conditioned by his father to maintain structure in his play, that he could not get any consistancy with his game.  It wasn't until he met and married Steffi Graf that he changed he approach to the game.  Steffi told him that until he learned to "feel" the game, then he would never be able to acheive his full potential.  Now I don't know if you can actually teach someone how to feel music, but the last tune I tried to learn was causing me fits until I just "let it go".  Meaning that, I had tried to learn every note and follow the tab to the letter, but it just wasn't working.  One night I just decided instead of using this approach, I shut my eyes and just listened, when I hit a wrong note, I kept going.  Before I knew it, I had learned the song.  Maybe not note for note, but well enough for someone to hear and enjoy.  Kevin


Back to Work

Dec 28, 2009
eagle670

Well after 4 days being off w0rk, I am back at it this morning.  Having the time off was great.  Got around 12" of snow on Christmas eve, so needless to say when we got up on Christmas morning we figured out real quick that we were not going anywhere.  It was fun being home with just the family.  We had a good time playing some games, watching football and doing a whole lot of nuthin.  We had a lot of wind, so the snow drifts were huge, I think I cleaned out my drive 3 times.  Oh well, this will be a Christmas to remember for sure. 
Kevin


A Revelation

Dec 22, 2009
eagle670

I know 2 postings in one day is a bit much, but I have to tell somebody.  I have been trying to learn more about theory and I have been playing and replaying and taking notes of Neils Acoustic Genius Series.  For some reason my thick head has not been able to grab ahold of much of this, at least that is what I thought until....

So I'm searching the net for the chord progression for ELO's Fire on High, because I am wanting to add it to my strumming warmup routine.  All I could find were the tab notations, so I printed it out and was looking it over, when suddenly Neils mighty hand slapped me up side my head and I heard his voice say, can't you see that those are Barre chords dummy?  Hmm, so they are, but wait what chords are they??  Again the voice came to me and said look at the bass string, hmm okay well let's see we are at the 7th fret...why that's some type of B chord, then in the next instant SHAZAMM, why that's a minor formation, damn that's a Bm Barre chord.  So on to the next tab notation, okay now we are at the 3rd fret and immediately I saw a Gm Barre Chord and then to the 5th fret and we have an Am Barre Chord.  I'm like did I just figure that out on my own?  Have I started to grasp some of this finally after a year and half.  I know, some of you music scholars are probably saying that this tune is extremely simple anyway and you don't need a tab to figure it out.  Well my friends the simplicity of the song may have been what allowed me to recognize the chord structure so quickly.  This gives me some hope that I have started to understand music theory, which in turn will help with my playing.  Thanks for letting me share my revelation, even though it's a bit trivial.

Kevin


Finally got it down

Dec 22, 2009
eagle670

Well I finally got down "What Child is This".  This was, by far, the toughest level 2 song that I have tackled yet.  I still don't quit understand why this took me so long to figure out, but what finally made things start to click was when I stopped trying so hard and just kind of "felt" the song.  Does that make any sense?  Like most of you, this song goes back to my very early childhood and something that we sang in grade school and church choir.  Maybe songs that are deeply rooted in you tend to make you try a little harder to get them perfected.  Believe me I do not have it down perfectly, but I do have it well enough that it is enjoyable to play.  Happy Holiday's!

Kevin


Snow Day

Dec 9, 2009
eagle670

Wow a normal drive to work is about 40 minutes, today 2 hours and 10 minutes.  Great livin in the midwest. 


Christmas Tunes

Dec 7, 2009
eagle670

Been working on "What child is this" and it seems to be taking me alot longer to learn this tune for some reason.  I think that Neil ranked this pretty low on the skill level chart, so I'm real confused on why I am making this so hard.  I can play most all of the finger picking tunes here, but this one is definitly a challege for me.  Might be the dreaded dotted eight note causing the problem, but not real sure.  I think that I will use that excuse though.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kevin