Monday, April 15, 2013

Bubbly for Spring

Okay, so to be honest, I haven't been practicing for a while.. but I have a legitimate excuse.. NETFLIX. I've been in a vegetative state all Winter long, hibernating in bed with a bag of chips or a box of cookies, glued to the TV. Six years of school prevented me from having time to watch all the TV shows everyone else was obsessed with and keeping up with the latest movies. Pretty sad. Well, I think I've MORE than made up for that. And so, with the changing of the seasons, I've picked up Stephen again and am working on getting those calluses back on my finger tips.

I don't think there is a single Colbie Caillat song that I don't love so I figured I'd pick up where I left off with the A, D, E chords and attempt her first single, "Bubbly". There is no E chord in this song, but there is the A major 7 chord, which has a very whimsical sound to it. The strumming pattern for this song is a simple down, down, down, up. I'm very rusty from lack of practice so there are some long gaps between chord changes. Never the less, I'm determined to practice until I get it down right.

Nelly doesn't look too happy to see the "noise maker" AKA Stephen
P.S. I went to see Taylor Swift at the Prudential Center with a fellow Swifty a few weeks ago. Her Red Tour is amazing. She played the acoustic, electric, and 12 string guitar, piano, and my favorite, the BANJO! So talented and an amazing performer. Swoon. I didn't get any pictures of her though because I didn't bring a camera and the lights were too bright for my iPhone to capture any decent quality photos.

The stage before the curtain went up

I'll update when I'm learning a new chord or a new song :) Until next time, deuces! (Haha, get it.. 22? If not, then watch her music video!)

Yes, I am indeed wearing a Taylor Swift t-shirt and cat ears

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why So Gloomy?

On to stage 2 I go! The next set of chords Justin introduces on his online course is a bit "sad-sounding".

Here are the chords from Justin's website...

and my fingering attempts...
The D chord is quite a stretch... that's the furthest my ring finger can reach on the B string -_- Hopefully with more practice I will be able to get it closer to the 3rd fret.

That's all for today's update. I'll just be working on some 1-minute chord changes for these new chords and then I'll probably practice some old songs from stage 1 to continuing improving my D,A, and E chords.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Book, New Song

My beginner's song book from finally arrived after weeks and weeks of waiting thanks to snail mail, a.k.a. media mail. Woohoo, no more playing the same song over and over! I ordered the song book at least a month ago and while waiting for it to arrive, I realized that I needed something to prop it up while I'm playing. So, I ordered a stand for it maybe a week ago and it actually arrived before my book did. Haha.

My book stand in action!

Looks good, doesn't it? The first song in the book is Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds". It's a very simple song to play.. nice and slow-paced. I've seen little kids on youtube playing it! Although it is an easy song to play, I'm finding it very difficult to sing along with it while playing, which makes me appreciate rock musicians even more. Cheers to you, Jon Bon Jovi!

Anyway, I've been playing along with Justin's youtube tutorial and finding that to be very helpful in improving my rhythm. Hopefully I'll be able to master all the songs in stage 1 by the end of July the latest :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

From A&D to A&E

I've finally achieved my 1 chord change per second goal for my A and D chords! Cue the fireworks! Now it's time to move on to the dreaded E chord. I've been avoiding this chord because I find it a bit more difficult to transition to. Also the strings that make up this chord are thicker and hurt my finger tips the most. However, now that my calluses are forming, it's been less painful to practice :)

It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend so I'll have to try my best not to get distracted and get some chord change exercises in. TGIF!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pumped Up Kicks

I've had Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" in my head all weekend long while I was on vacation. So, today after practicing the Beatles' "Love Me Do" a few times, I went on You Tube to see if I could find an easy tutorial on how to play "Pumped Up Kicks". I stumbled upon this version from You Tube guitar guru, Marty. The riff was simple enough to learn but then he went into the chords and I got lost. I'm still only on the D, A, and E chords and his version of the song includes the Eminor, G, D, and A chords. Eminor was easy enough to learn, but the G chord should be called the OMG chord.. haha, get it? Yeeeeeah cheesy guitar joke, I know ;P Anyhoo, I've bookmarked the tutorial on my web browser so that I can give it another whirl once I get there.

On another note, look at my fingers in all their skin-peeling, abused glory!

The picture quality may not be great, but believe me they look like they're on a one-way trip to callus-town.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Continuing with Chord Changes

More chord change exercises today. My fingers are still getting beaten up every time I practice, but I can feel the calluses forming! Someone with more hand-eye coordination would have far surpassed me by now in terms of progress. Ah well. Anyway, my D and A chord changes are improving (I think? At least that's what James tells me..) but I haven't really worked on changing to the E chord yet because it's a bit more difficult for me and it requires me to press even harder down on those darn steel strings!

To put my chord changes to the test, I've been trying to play the chorus of the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do". It's still very choppy sounding but at least it sort of sounds like the it haha. I've placed an order for the song book from Justin Guitar so that I can practice some more songs but it looks like it's going to take a while to get here. I suppose this will allow me plenty of time to perfect this Beatles song until it arrives. Meanwhile, I've been using the sample page from his website. You can see him play it here. It really is a simple song and a really good one to practice the D&A chord changes :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Out of Tune

So I may have finally figured out how to use this clip-on Yamaha GCT1 tuner. Yesterday, I tried tuning my guitar and I failed miserably. The instruction paper that came with the tuner was uninformative and there was nothing on youtube or google about how to use it!!! So, like an idiot, I attached the tuner to each string thinking that was how it's done. Nope. It isn't. Seriously I am embarrassed to say I hold a doctorate degree and couldn't figure such a simple thing out.

Today, well today, I GOT IT DONE! I must say the guitar sounds so much better! For the past couple of days, I would strum on my chords and wonder to myself why they do not sound anything like how they do online. On my way to SoHo yesterday, I walked by a street performer who was strumming on his guitar and knew for a fact that my guitar must have never been in tune.. not even when it first arrived at my doorstep, well, er, package room, that is. Today, after the tuning session, my guitar sounds heavenly! Cue the choir and the laughing cherubs! Now, when I practice my chord changes, it doesn't sound like a cat is dying anymore :)

Where the tuner is supposed to go: on the Head of the guitar, duh!
The dog was not a fan of the guitar at first. He would run away and hide in the bedroom while I practiced in the living room. He has warmed up to it now. However, he has become quite jealous of all the time and attention it has taken away from him -_-