Simon Says

Music numpty to Rock God

The blog of Alan Dolby and how I am learning to play the electric guitar all the way from zero to Rock God (in my dreams!)

Week3 – Simon says

Isn’t YouTube wonderful. Millions of videos are on there from how to fix a tap to Katy Perry’s latest. I also hear that some advertisers are not happy that they are put alongside dubious content. Even more will be clambering for the exit when I put my rifts on there!

One video that stood out this week was someone playing  100 of the greatest guitar rifts of all time, one after another. Superb skill to be able to do that. Nowadays rather than just listening I also look at where the hands and fingers are going onto the strings and what controls are being adjusted during the track. Last Saturday evening I went to a charity gig for Shooting star chase and just watched what the lead guitar and bass guitar players were doing to create the sound. Just maybe I am biased but the bass guitarist was just plucking one string all the time. Amazingly I am getting into this. Maybe it is my investigative engineering brain trying to find out how it all works or maybe just sheer panic that I now have a deadline to work too!

Simon Smith, of 1.1m YouTube fame, says only practice for 2 minutes at a time. He goes on that 2 minutes is actually quite a long time to do the same thing repetitively. Anything more and you get bored and start strumming badly. Guess what I caught myself doing? Simon also says it is to better to practise slowly and get it correct than to get into bad habits. That is why golf career never took off then!

My first exercise  was to place four fingers of my left hand one by one onto the high E string (the thinnest one) starting at the top fret and working down while alternatively plucking the same string with my right hand every time I moved a finger. Hmmm that is difficult . I need more practice. I actually got it right but only once during the week but something I can now build on. Small beginnings as they say. I also need some exercises to allow my fingers to be more flexible than they are currently. Try this one from YouTube

I expect I will be playing with all the right fingers but not necessarily in the right order – Alan Dolby



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