Monday, November 3, 2008

Practice day

Ok, so we are actually getting somewhere with practice now!

I was having quite a bit of trouble at first, because I was unable to hold and use the guitar in the way John suggests in the DVD. I became rather frustrated, and went to the RHM forums to look for answers.

But it wasn't until today, when the visiting nurse came to my home, (They come 3x's a week) that I realized that I was approaching this from the wrong direction.

The reason I left the drums, and started the guitar was because my physical limitations will not allow me to play them. But, as the nurse noted when I discussed it with her this morning, is that I will simply have to do a "Rick Allen" and work around it. (She is a big 80's fan as well, so we had discussed him more than once.) BTW, since I am mentioning him, I need to give this a shout out as well: Raven Drum Foundation check it out...

Yes, it would be nice to mirror John, but that can't happen because of the amputations, and the bone deformities in the lower half of my body. Ergo, I made a few adaptations, and now the practice is going much better! And I mean MUCH better.

  • The guitar will need to be placed on my left leg, instead of my right.
  • The guitar needs to be tilted up and in to accommodate that.
  • I will have to lean to the left and down to use my left hand to my advantage.
It made me wonder for a moment if my changes would come back to bite me later on because I needed to stray away from John's technique. But I did a little looking around, and like Rick's drumming, there have been guitarists that have had to make their own way as well. Django Reinhardt, Marc Playle, Jeff Healey, just to name a few I found. I will be honest and say that it makes me feel a bit "Less than" other musicians, but that will have to be something I will need to come to grips with.

The articles I found on the three men spoke highly of them, so maybe I will need to keep in mind that there are some instances in life where the end does justify the means.

But with that aside, I am doing well with the A & E major Open Chords, and need more work with the D. It might take a bit of practice to move on to lesson 6, but as Sarge said: "It's a journey, not a race." So we indeed might have some short posts on a few days. Who knows, maybe I can throw in some ancillary quacking to fill some space.

I can still solicit advice from the folks at RHM, but I might have to twist it a bit to make it work in some instances. But as long as it works, who cares if it looks a little odd. I am in it for the music, and I am sure the music won't mind having to park in the handicapped spot, to make it to the ears of the listener... LOL


sarge1875 said...

That's how it's done, find your own style and sometimes your own way. Instructors are a guide down the trail, it's up to you to find the path.

My only word of advice today is to not forgo technique for a bad habit. In other words if your stray from the guide make sure you maintain technique.

Keep going you're doing good. The D chord is a pain for almost everyone at first.

The Old Man said...

Thanx Sarge. I don't plan on straying away from the rest of the lessons, it is just the holding of the instrument that needs adapting. Everything else works great once I move the guitar over to the half of my body that actually works! LOL...

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