So it’s been a few weeks. I’ve been practicing 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day with other 30 minute sessions on the weekends.
I started with the regular practice session, running through the scales both down and up. Then hitting the A box (notes that start on the 5th fret on the upper E string) for a run through then a practice jam session against background tracks.
Last week Zack gave me the second box to learn, the C box. This starts at the 8th fret. I spent extra time running through the scale then practicing some improv to set the lesson.
Next up I’ve been working on getting better playing El Paso (the Marty Robbins one). I’m learning the chords. The first part of the song is D, Em, A7, A7, D, G, D played through several times. Then the next set is G, C, G, C, D7, A, A7 then back to the first set of chords. Since I’ve been practicing the G to D to G transition, hitting G isn’t too bad. Going to C and A and the speed of the song at this point has been a little harder. I’m getting there though.
Zack starts off with a jam session to warm up. He throws on backing tracks and we play together although he’s somewhat softer in his part.
Once done with that, we started talking about the next thing to learn which were hammer ons, pull offs, bends, and slides. We’d discussed it last week but now it’s time to get serious. His main thing was to do a jam with all bends and bend until the note sounds right. After some practice, I should be able to get the hang of it.
I mentioned that I’d learned the C box and he said that he was surprised as most of his adult students don’t get that in one week.
I hunted down El Paso so he could hear me play it (it’s one thing he does every session; a song check) and it went pretty well. I didn’t push it as hard as I do in practice at home because I get all finger tied (like tongue tied but with fingers). He wanted to go into the next part of El Paso so I played as he checked the tune for any place where interesting notes might be played. When done, he complimented me on my progress. Saying that I’d picked a harder, faster first song and was doing pretty well with it.
He said that in future sessions, he’ll snag my iPhone and scroll through the music list looking for a song to jam to and we’ll improvise. He said with the base chords I know, I should be able to pick up some songs pretty quickly. I said that my list was probably pretty broad and that I hoped he wasn’t too shocked by the music I like. He scrolled down and found Bill Withers, Ain’t No Sunshine and showed me the finger positions.
He said that with the guitar skills I already had when I got there, that I have a pretty good ear, and that I’m able to keep time with a song, we’ll move a bit quicker.
So bends next week.
And I’m aglow with praise tonight 🙂