A question from the gallery:
Aside from fake Dylan songs, how are you doing with your guitar?
My correspondent is asking about my tenor guitar, which I’ve had for about nine months now. As a partial answer, listen if you dare to the following musical clip, which features me both singing and playing guitar.
As the other part of the answer, I would say that I’m progressing along but I’m not there yet, “there” being the ability to play popular songs without messing them up too badly either by not knowing the basic chord forms or (in particular) screwing up the strumming pattern. The latter is a particular challenge for me and the thing I work on the most; it’s especially hard when you’re singing along as well, since your brain has to do two things at once. It helps that I strung my guitar the same as a ukulele, so I had a head start on the chords, but tenor guitar is less forgiving than the uke when you screw up, and I screw up frequently. So: A work in progress.
That’s okay with me. I really enjoy playing with my guitar and I’m happy about slowly but surely getting better; it’s fun to see and hear myself improve as I go along. I’m not pursuing the guitar with fervor, in the sense that I have to play every single day, or relentlessly pushing myself to get better and kicking myself if I don’t. I play a little most days and a lot on the days when I feel like it, and some days when I’m busy it sits in the corner. Naturally that means my improvement is going at a slower pace than it could be. But, eh. I’m playing to enjoy myself, not to become a professional musician.
And in fact that’s one of the things I like about it: It’s a creative thing that I do for the enjoyment of it and not anything else. I’m not planning to cut an album or start busking for change, and I have a pretty good idea that my level of talent on the guitar will stop somewhere short of “genuinely excellent.” My actual goal for the instrument is to play for myself songs that I enjoy. Once I get to that level, anything else will be a bonus. And getting to that goal is enjoyable in itself.
So: Coming along, not there yet but getting there, and enjoying myself as I go. Which is enough at the moment.
(P.S.: Yes, I still play my uke. It’s fun too, and easier to take around.)