TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • Back to the Basics

    Posted by N-lightMike on June 14, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I “taught” myself to play the guitar about 22 years ago. When I joined TAC I correctly thought that I would need to learn basic skills or relearn basic skills that I was doing improperly. Unfortunately, I haven’t done a very good job of that. Why? Simple, because I’m too stubborn and/or too impatient. Too stubborn to follow Tony’s good direction and the good advice of other guitar geeks. And, I’m too impatient to take the time to learn simple skills properly.

    But now, I am setting an intention for this week’s practice. I’m not just putting this down in writing; I’m putting it out there so other guitar geeks can see it.

    This is a result of today’s warm up, Ring Finger Roll. I started at 80 bpm because I didn’t want to take the time to start at a slower speed. But, after not being able to go all the way through 4 frets without missing strings or getting muffled tones, I decided to slow it down… but not too much. When I played at 60 bpm, I did better. But I was still missing strings with my ring and pinky finger when I went below the 4th fret. So, I slowed it down to 1/2 speed, 40 bpm, though I had thought that was too slow. Well, I still missed strings.

    One of the good suggestions that I liked but never implemented was to try playing these exercises with my eyes closed. But this showed that I need to learn the distance between the stings and the frets. So, I closed my eyes and felt my way through the first four frets. I was able to get clean tone playing from the 1st – 4th fret down to the 4th – 7th fret. I had to play haltingly, not rhythmically.

    So this is my intention for this week:

    1) I will play the Ring Finger Roll with my eyes closed down to the 12th fret (pinky finger) every day.

    2) When I can play rhythmically, I will use a metronome.

    3) This will be the focus of my practice. I will commit to only minimal time on the lessons for the rest of the week (10 minutes).

    $) The payoff, I will do this until I can play the Ring Finger Roll with my eyes closed cleanly at 80 bpm. This will teach my fingers to find the strings and frets all over the fretboard.

    I will report the results in Small Wins.

    MG 😀

    N-lightMike replied 2 years, 11 months ago 4 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Bill_Brown

    Member
    June 14, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Hi @MikeGaurnier 👏👏 I “Really Truly” 👍 like that you have put yourself out there with an intention. That shows that you are being honest to yourself. I wish you the best on that journey, and I know you’ll receive all the support you need from us, The Community🤩!!

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 14, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks so much @Bill_Brown , for coming by and checking out my intention. This helps me to be accountable. The community is very powerful at helping us make advancement in our guitar journey when we participate.

      MG 😀

      • Bill_Brown

        Member
        June 14, 2021 at 4:07 pm

        👍👍 2 thumbs up to that @MikeGaurnier

  • Loraine

    Member
    June 14, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for your honesty and humbleness @mikegaurnier, as difficult as that can be. Look forward to your updates.

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 15, 2021 at 11:59 am

      Thank you @Loraine . For me, seeing the truth is usually more difficult than admitting the truth. But you are right that either way, if I don’t have the truth my guitar journey will be slowed down or stalled altogether.

      MG 😀

  • jumpinjeff

    Member
    June 15, 2021 at 8:27 am

    @MikeGaurnier said: “So this is my intention for this week:”,

    I am loving this.

    You know me, I don’t chase speed, I sneak up on it a coupla bmps at a time. When I get to the place when it is effortless and precisely accurate I gently squeeze the throttle.

    Looking forward to the progress report!

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      June 15, 2021 at 11:55 am

      I thank you for this little nugget @jumpinjeff .

      I used to think I was “smart”. Now I understand that is an illusion. Life is a process, but it doesn’t move forward at a steady speed. There are jumps and stalls to the forward motion. That means at times I can appear to make spectacular progress and other times it appears that I am incapable of progress. Both things are illusions. The truth is that time and effort were put in during the “stall” period that lead to the “jump” forward. So I was neither spectacular nor incapable.

      But I have been slow at applying this insight to my guitar journey. It took time for me to realize that I had to put in such pain staking effort with no visible results for quite a while before the “miracle” would happen. I still want to think “I should be able to get this faster, better, cleaner, smarter, bigger, etc.” And when the little miracles happen (small wins), I want to think “Ok, I am a capable of being a guitar player”, which implies “from now on, I will make the kind of progress I expect“. See how subtle I am at avoiding that little word that I know is a trap?

      So thank you for solidifying this understanding that I have to take things real slow to get new things under my fingers AND YET it doesn’t mean I am incapable of making progress in my guitar journey.

      So here is today’s guitar lesson: I am neither spectacular nor incapable. I am simply a guitar geek like everyone else and news flash: this is what it takes. 😄

      MG 😀

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        June 15, 2021 at 12:28 pm

        @MikeGaurnier said: “I am neither spectacular nor incapable. I am simply a guitar geek like everyone else and news flash: this is what it takes. 😄

        That is Brilliant, gonna have to come back and visit that notion with high frequency. Okay if I quote you? Brilliant. I know….said it already but bears repeating.

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        June 15, 2021 at 12:34 pm

        I quote you all the time, so you definitely have “quoting rights”. 🤣

        MG 😀

Log in to reply.