Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Victory is mine

As some of you may know, I purchased a guitar about a month ago. I've wanted to learn for a long time, and I was fooling around with my toy guitar one night, when I decided to finally go for it. So, I went to a guitar store the following day and purchased an acoustic guitar by Yamaha. It was a kit, that also had a gig bag, tuner, picks, and some other guitar essentials. When I got home I couldn't wait to open it and start attempting to play. The first thing I did was pop in the instructional DVD that was also included. They told me, before I could begin learning chords I would have to tune it. So I spent about an hour doing that. The tuner was pretty terrible, and so was the guitar. However, I still tried to play it. I wasn't sure if the guitar was terrible, or if it was just because I had never really played before. Due to my frustration, I didn't try to play much over the next week.

My lack of intersest made me even more upset and frustrated because I had paid a decent amount of money for something I wasn't even using. Don't get me wrong, I still wanted to play, I just didn't like the guitar I bought.

Then one night I decided it must be the guitar that sucks. So the next day I took it back and traded it in for the guitar I have now. It is so much better (extra emphasis on "so"). Plus, its an acoustic-electric which I feel is self explanitory, therefore I will not explain.

The kit for the new guitar came with an amp, a much more sturdy gig bag, picks, and a bunch of other stuff. After I tuned it using the built in tuner, I attempted to play a chord. Guess What? It actually sounded like a chord.

After I finally felt good about my guitar purchase I decided I needed lessons. However, I didn't have money for them.

What was I to do?

Well I called up a friend of mine who has been playing for years and asked him if he wanted to hang out. He said "sure, what do you want to do?" AND I responded with "hmmm...I don't know...I guess you could teach me how to play the guitar I just got."

Okay, so that wasn't the actual dialogue, but you get the idea. He actually already knew I had bought a guitar so I just asked him if he would teach me. Ever since, I've made an effort to try and hang out about once a week. In fact I usually can't wait until I have a whole day off to go down and LEARN, LEARN, LEARN! He's a great teacher, and I like to think I've come a long way in the last month. He's taught me all the basic chords, different scales, strumming patterns, as well as how to read guitar tablature*.

Now, just to be clear, I don't practice everyday or anything, but I try to practice at least 2 or 3 times a week. It's a lot easier to practice when I'm hanging out at his place, because he's playing too and it motivates me to try harder. (He's really good...not Santana good, but good.)

Okay, now that you have a little background on the situation, I will explain the title of this post ("Victory is Mine" in case you forgot, or are too lazy to look up). Today, I FINALLY ( Finally is written in all caps to put more emphasis on the word) switched from one chord (G to be more specific) to another (G2), WITHOUT (and this is key) any pause in my strumming pattern. You might be thinking "SO WHAT?" , and if you are...WELL YOU TRY PLAYING DAMNIT, IT'S NOT THAT EASY. (In this case, capital letters are used to imply talking loudly in an angry voice....some may call it yelling)

I think the best comparison I can make to switching chords without pausing is to that of wearing Heely's. It looks easy when you're watching someone else do it, and you can say things like "that's easy". But unless you've actually tried to play guitar, OR wear Heely's you don't know what you are talking about at all. I think a few friends with my shoe size could vouch for me there.

So that is my victory. You may congratulate me.

*tablature - a form of musical notation indicating fingering rather than pitch of notes, written on lines corresponding to, for example, the srings on a guitar, or the holes on a flute.


Anonymous said...


Madelyn said...

thank you, it's much more impressive when you see it first hand.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have a sister who can play guitar? That's pretty cool.

What's a Heelys?

cadiz12 said...

playing guitar is awesome. keep up the good work!

yeah, what are heely's?

Madelyn said...

Heely's are seemingly normal shoes with wheels on the heels. Basically one minute you're walking, and the next minute you're skating. Mostly kids under 12 wear them, but I thought they would help me get across campus faster. When I first got them it took a lot of practice to become as good as some of those kids out there.

If you still don't know what Im talking about, look them up on youtube.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the first two chords. There are what, a few hundred more to learn?

Also, are you going to try playing your guitar while you skate along on your Heelys?

Madelyn said...

its not really about learning the chords, thats the easy part. Its about being able to switch back and forth between them without stopping, for five seconds to get your fingering right.

And, no to that last part...unless I join the circus.

Jess said...

I can def back up the fact that both are pretty hard to learn. Glad you are getting down Mad!

Jon said...

ok, now I need to see you playing guitar on your heelys.

Madelyn said...

Someday Jon...someday. I can tell you that once you've tried heely's, watching me in them is quite impressive.