Confessions Of A Hopeless Guitarist: If something sounds too good to be true… –

I receive fairly regular emails from a number of online “music learning” companies that I have at some point interacted with on my road to despair, and they often promise to transform some aspect of it. my playing or even my whole musical life (as is). I like to think I’m in the know enough to know when I’m playing, but like I said before I’m a sucker for the promise of a shortcut even though I know in my heart there isn’t one. has not. What if a seemingly important promise comes from a trusted source …

“Five Minutes To More Cooperative Fingers” is the kind of subject line written to grab my attention. And coming from Fender Play, it came with the feeling that while a five minute lesson wasn’t really going to change my world, there was probably something here that needed my attention.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have cooperative fingers, although I’ll say I’ve seen some progress since I started trying to take the guitar more seriously. That said, anything that can help me train my fingers to move around the neck is something I should jump into. The lesson itself was simple, and something I had already been introduced to on my own Fender Play path: how to play the notes on the first four frets of the top string using the four fingers of my fretting hand.

I say the lesson was simple, but in truth, it wasn’t that long ago that it would have been nearly impossible for me, my pinky refusing to be stretched over the extra fret and fold in on itself. That doesn’t happen these days, and the reason why isn’t because I listened to my instructors, adapted my playing position and practiced. Some.

The point is, when I was first faced with finger exercises like this, I thought to myself that I would work diligently on them knowing that while learning pieces of songs is more fun, such things are the real path to improvement. But the reality was somewhat different, as always.

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The wanderer returns

I reached a point on the learning “path” where my mind started to wander again. I reaffirm my commitment to following the lessons, following the instructions, knowing that this will unlock any latent ability that is still lying dormant after all these years, but I don’t stick to it. I know the best musicians on the planet always sit down and work on this stuff, I know in other areas practice is the key to success. Even though it sometimes seems like he did, I know, for example, that Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t come out of the womb with the ability to step through to hit the stride of a raging 50 forward. meters each time.

So why am I so opposed to the practice myself? Why can’t I collapse? I think it’s because my time with the guitar is so fleeting: I have a family, I have a job, and in truth it doesn’t leave me time for much else. So when I can sit down with the guitar, I want to play, not practice, but if I don’t practice, I can never really play.

Which brings us back to “Five Minutes To Cooperative Fingers”: I spent five minutes on it (more, actually) and have spent a few more minutes with it since. And I even went back to those previous lessons; those which slightly widen the idea to play the fingers on two strings. I didn’t do it much, but I was reminded that I have to keep coming back to it.

As I type this review, I listen to the greatest British rock guitarist of the 1990s play typically but incredibly well on his band’s new album (and just in case someone doesn’t immediately recognize James Dean Bradfield from leaving. from that description I’m talking about James Dean Bradfield), and last night I almost managed to play the game – in a clenched-fisted fashion – with the chord progressions used in the epic closing track. Like an infinitely less cool, and certainly less good, Richey Edwards (oh I think so, despite all the criticism and the lack of recorded output I heard him carry a song on stage while James changed guitar).

But it’s amazing, isn’t it? I was – sort of, anyway – playing with James Dean Bradfield. For someone as desperate as I am, this is identifiable progress, and I can attribute at least part of it to increased cooperation from my worried fingers. There’s still a long way to go (and anyone who appreciates that it’s a reference to James Dean Bradfield is a friend of mine), and it took more than a five minute lesson, but this lesson played its role.

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