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Susanne
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Posts: 51
Joined: 27 Oct 2021, 13:39

A nice guitar challenge

Hi all! How are you? I'm sorry I've been a bit absent lately, the first week of January was a bit overwhelming but I settled down towards the weekend, and now I'm good. The weekend was great!

I did a 50% stupid, 50% fabulous thing today. I joined a workshop on Zoom to study the guitar style of Tony Rice. I saw info about this course earlier in the week, it's taught by Michael Daves who's my bluegrass singing teacher on Artistworks, and I did another bluegrass singing workshop with him on Zoom in the autumn. He's s very inspiring and good teacher and a very competent singer and guitar player.
Earlier I said to myself that this Tony Rice workshop should be interesting but is certainly too above my skill level. But then yesterday I saw an Instagram post by Michael in which he said he opened another slot at noon because he had so many people interested in that course, and then I was tempted again. I posted a comment saying something in terms of "I'm very tempted but the course is probably too advanced for me right now - maybe next year". Then I forgot about it.

This morning I saw Michael had replied to my comment on his Instagram, encouraging me to join. I sent him a DM, asked a few questions, whether he thought I would be able to follow the course at this level, and he was very positive. I signed up. And as soon as I had made the decision, I couldn't stop smiling.

So, I've played flatpick guitar only since the summer of 2020 (but chords for many years before that). I can play a good number of fiddle tunes, some of them are going very well, some not so much. I'm struggling with some chords and my left-hand angle and strength. I'm quite basic with some skills and more advanced with others. I have so much to learn and I really have no idea whether I should call myself still beginner or intermediate. And I've always seen Tony Rice stuff as rather advanced and not really beginner-friendly.

But it's going to be SO MUCH FUN!
The class started this afternoon, starting with "Old train", first the vocal melody and then Tony's intro and solo. It didn't seem impossible to play although it'll take some time because there are some finger twisters there. But I felt like I can do this!

I've felt for a long time that I want to move on to more advanced stuff on the guitar but didn't know where to start to get there. Since this new class is less about technique and more about style, learning specific solos, licks, and more, I think it will give me lots of material to work on that is probably exactly what I've been looking for. I think it's going to give me a good kick in the butt to get to the next level on the guitar and that makes me really happy.

Also, during this very dull month of January, saturated with news about sky-high Covid numbers everywhere and worry about family and the future, the class will give me something nice, fun and uplifting to totally focus on and indulge in. And maybe this will be the year when I get to a guitar level that even I would call "a pretty good player".

I hope you all are doing well. If something in this post doesn't make sense it's because it's heavily edited, I tend to write way too much about these things! 🤪
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Judy K
Posts: 38
Joined: 23 Dec 2021, 05:40

Re: A nice guitar challenge

Enjoy the challenge you have chosen, Susanne! It is the best way to rise to new levels with joy. I'm not familiar with Michael Daves, but have enjoyed Tony Rice's playing for years. Have fun!

When I first picked up a dulcimer in 2006, I knew very little about stringed instruments. My only attempt at playing one was chording on a baritone ukulele, while singing, for a couple of years in the 70's. My first move with the dulcimer was to visit a music shop, owned by a dulcimer maker, to have the instrument checked out. (It had been given to my mom in 1976. She was told to play it noter-drone, which she hated. Not a music style anyone with perfect pitch can tolerate long.) While at the music shop I bought some music books for the dulcimer. The store owner warned that a couple were above my 'paygrade' at the moment. I didn't care. They were books with hymns I loved. The easy books were kind of boring. The harder books had my attention from the start. That was the style I liked and practiced over and over. Didn't know it was called flatpicking until months later. Can't claim to have achieved any level above minutely competent, but love the music any way.

Isn't it great to find the music that makes your heart sing? :)
Mack Hoover
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Dec 2021, 21:23

Re: A nice guitar challenge

I have two guitars.
Not good at either.
I have two dulcimers.
Not good with either.
I have a piano.
Not good at all. Can pick out tunes. Do chords. Not together.
I have 5 banjos.
Modest.
One violin.
Ouch!
Three mandolins.
Pretty good.
About 15 harmonicas.
Tolerable.
Unlimited whistles.
Poor player.
A bugle a Xylophone a triangle a bass an autoharp and bones
I am musically challenged.
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Susanne
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Posts: 51
Joined: 27 Oct 2021, 13:39

Re: A nice guitar challenge

Mack Hoover wrote: 11 Jan 2022, 00:09
I am musically challenged.
At least you are well equipped, and that isn't bad! 😁

Judy, I have no idea what noter-drone style is! Is it that common dulcimer chord style (using one string as a drone string) used in oldtime music?
And I agree, lovely when we find the type of music that appeal to us like this. I'm now on my second day of practising Tony Rice's intro of "Old train". It's going quite ok and I'm loving it.
jimwasson
Posts: 28
Joined: 20 Dec 2021, 18:22

Re: A nice guitar challenge

Susanne,

Glad that you are enjoying your guitar lessons. Sounds like a good challenge which is stretching you in a good way. Doesn't hurt that you're also helping your teacher to earn a living at a time when his live playing opportunities are likely absent.


Mack,

You have ability in playing and creating instruments. I'm guessing that you've brought joy to others with your playing, even when playing some of the instruments upon which you are less accomplished. I know that your whistles have brought joy to myself and others.


Judy,

Agreed on finding the music that makes your heart sing. I've enjoyed your playing.
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Susanne
Site Admin
Posts: 51
Joined: 27 Oct 2021, 13:39

Re: A nice guitar challenge

jimwasson wrote: 11 Jan 2022, 18:07 Doesn't hurt that you're also helping your teacher to earn a living at a time when his live playing opportunities are likely absent.
This is very true. I actually thought he did these classes before (without thinking, who even knew about Zoom before the pandemic??) but he told us on Sunday that he started these courses during the pandemic. It's definitely a win-win situation - his courses are excellent. I'm sure this one will help develop my musical abilities and confidence just as much as the singing class did, and at the same time I'm happy to support him.

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