I had big plans to perform a few Christmas tunes this week. Me on guitar with family and friends joyfully singing along. It didn’t happen. I couldn’t get it together.
I thought I had a good strategy for tackling this project. It was simple and focused and I understood that it would take time, patience and hard work. I was happy to do it. I should have picked a more specific goal. A three or four chord song to play at the end of the month.
Instead, I went for too much and then I stopped progressing. Even after doubling down on practice to the tune of 4000 chord transitions every day – timed, recorded, and analyzed – I got worse. My playing had gotten slower and sloppier and I couldn’t work my way out of it. So I took a day off.
Which brings me to today, Christmas Day, finding myself frustrated and confounded, but resolved to move forward. I’m not going to sit here and feel sorry for myself, but I’m also not going to torture myself with more hours of ineffective drills. I have to find whatever is broken and fix it.
And since I’m not entirely sure what’s broken, I’m doing something I should have done from the get go. I’m finding a guitar teacher. Someone who can teach me fundamentals, techniques and different perspectives, and who has the right combination of strict and awesome to keep me motivated.
And with that, I bid farewell to 2014. I’ve got a bucket of wins, a few failures, a terrible novel, an (almost) daily meditation practice and lots of lessons learned. It’s been fun hackerella-ing my way through different topics and I look forward to more challenges in the new year… and an IOU for a guitar performance.