Mudcat Café message #1598397 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86030   Message #1598397
Posted By: Peace
05-Nov-05 - 07:58 PM
Thread Name: Effective practice times
Subject: RE: Effective practice times
I really hope so, Ebbie. What I am finding is that my dexterity has come back and my timing also. Fingers are just as 'fast' but not as accurate. I practise by writing songs and then working with them for hours on end. (It helps to be compulsive/obsessive at times.) What I have been finding is this: The first two months were hell. No kidding. I was in tears and crying bouts more times than I could count because I thought it had gone away for good and no amount of practise would bring it back. Then it began to show up, slowly at first. Stuff I could 'hear' in my head was only taking a few times to do on the guitar. Now, although not automatic, it's getting easier.

In the twenty years I played, I was using the guitar about eight hours per day. I can recall few days when I did less than six. Please don't misunderstand me. I was never all that good a guitar player, and I didn't consider myself to be. All I ever wanted to do was write songs, but in my old age I'm finding that a better facility with the machine allows me to write better songs. So, I will continue to slog on.

I spent a minimum sixty hours one week teaching myself to finger pick the song, "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright". I though Dylan was using just thumb and forefinger. Was a real shock to me to arrive in New York and find all these really good finger pickers using thumb, forefinger and political finger.

I think just about everything in my life has been some sort of re-learning, because I screwed up everything the first time 'round. Some of us HAVE to learn the hard way. I was one of those kids, I guess.

I am sorry to be going on so. I'd really like Les to know that there is no right way. But having 'been there and done that', I would also like Les to know that hammering away at it, day after day, week after week if necessary will eventually work some wonders. For the first time in decades I have begun to haul my guitar around with me. Trust me, it feels pretty good. In a few years I'll be OK again. I think it's really about setting some goals and going after them. Hell, if I miss, so what? I can imagine some riffs I want to incorporate in songs, and God willing, I'll have the time to do just that.