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Frustrating Sound

Well, as you can see by the lack of posts in a while “real life” has yet again gotten in the way. Add to that an injured left wrist that makes it difficult and painful to play means I haven’t been playing and posting here as much as I would like.

But, I can’t blame everything on the real world and a bad wrist. Since this blog is about leaning the guitar, I should write about the good and the bad. The truth is, before life and limb got in the way I had grown frustrated with my guitar playing. In particular with my guitar lessons. And even further in particular with economy picking. As I posted about in a couple previous posts, my instructor Kit really wants me to break the economy picking habit and I seem to be having a problem doing it.

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Guitar Lesson – October 9th, 2009

economy picking

Today’s lesson was mostly focused on my picking technique.  As I mentioned in a previous post, somewhere along the way I picked up the habit of economy picking.  Upon seeing this my instructor Kit had me stop doing scales all together.  In last weeks lesson he started me back on scales with the Pentatonic Scale.  With the Pentatonic Scale, there are only two notes per string, so you’re pretty much always alternate picking.

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Guitar Lesson – September 11th, 2009

MrMiyagi

It seems my new instructor, Kit, is a bit like Mr. Miyagi and right now he has me waxing cars and painting fences.  I trust it’s all going somewhere.

First off, he had me stop practicing scales all together because of my picking motion.  He told me not to do one more scale until he tells me.  Somewhere along the way I apparently picked up the habit of “economy picking” rather than  strict alternate picking.   My previous instructor, Bruno, also suggested I try to stop economy picking but he wasn’t quite as fanatical about it as Kit seems to be.

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Guitar Lesson – September 4th, 2009

Teacher

I decided to try a new instructor.  A friend of mine (who appears in my Jam Session post) is taking bass lessons from Kit Ruscoe who is also a guitar instructor.  I’m not switching because I have a problem with my other instructor, Bruno Pelletier.  I actually think he is a great instructor.  I’m switching for a couple of reasons.  First, since I’ve only seen one instructor, I’d like to get an idea of another instructors style and see if it’s a better fit for me.  And second, even though Bruno is a great jazz guitarist and instructor, he’s not quite as up on the current rock/blues scene (he didn’t know who The Black Keys were).  And as much as I would like to play jazz, playing blues and rock is what I’m after.  Admittedly, at first I was specifically looking for a jazz guitarist as an instructor because I thought they would make better instructors when it comes to music and guitar theory.  But Kit seems to have a good mix of theory (he’s actually classically trained) and rock expertise.

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Practice – Bar Chord Locations

Bar Chords

I just got done practicing for the last hour or so.  I was mostly practicing the Jazz progression in F I posted last week higher on the neck.  I mentioned in that post, I wasn’t doing well with chord positions higher up the neck.  It’s frustrating since I can play them fine lower on the neck.  Actually, it’s not that I can’t play the cords higher on the neck, it’s that I don’t know the cord locations on the higher frets.  Once I have the locations  memorized for the particular chord progression, I can play them just fine.  But at that point I’m just going through the motions for that progression and don’t REALLY know the chord locations.

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