Friday, May 18, 2012

Bad guitar habits and pinky straining

I'm sitting here eating some really nasty fried rice. It's one of those microwave meals. Probably not going to finish this. ...Nope, tossed it, got go lean crunch and yogurt instead and I feel like I'm getting a better breakfast even if it's not to my appetite right now.

It's 9, I got up early to make sure to designate enough warmup time before my friend Dylan comes over and plays. He's very good I assume because this is like his *thing.* Way more experience under his belt than I do so I'm going to try and learn what I can from him.

Jacob told me on Wednesday, "I never take advice from someone who isn't an expert at something. Why would I listen to someone about how to play football if they're not an expert at it?" He told me that I should really only take guitar advice from him because he's an expert and doing otherwise will probably just cause me bad habits unless THAT person is an expert at it too. He has a point, but I feel like I can learn a little something from anyone who's my superior at this.

He had told me this after I explained a bad habit that I'd developed by doing a "pinky stretching exercise" that someone had posted online. The exercise is somewhat like my assigned chromatics exercise where you play a set of 4 notes that are right after one another on the fret board. But instead of four notes, the sequence is five notes and you're told to stretch your pinky to reach that 5th note when really in most cases you would want to shift your hand.


E ___3___4___5____6__________________________________

This is part of the chromatic scale that I worked on for a week but I did it completely wrong because every time I would try to stretch and strain my pinky to get to the highest note instead of just sliding my hand up slightly. This chromatic scale can actually be visualized as stairs, over four notes, down one string, play four notes, shift one fret, play four notes, down one string etc.... It's so easy when you shift and I'm planning on trying to perfect the shit out of this to destroy my pinky straining habit.

Last night I FINALLY really got the hang of the two string arpeggio. I usually just practice it with notes for the most part but last night really stopped to focus on the picking aspect of it. Spent about 10 minutes on just the picking (*note that this is after a month of playing it for 20 minutes a day for the past month) and suddenly, out of the blue, I did it! Got JUST the right hand positioning, the strings pulled themselves to the next string just as they should when you practice sweep picking. This is definately an achievement, sweep picking is f*cking hard to get started on. Baby steps!

I should probably get started practicing shortly. I've still got until 12 and it's barely 9:30 so I'm okay. I feel like rambling for awhile.

Let's talk about people.

Graduation is coming up here in just a couple weeks. Samantha graduates on the 2nd of June. I think Katharine graduates on June 8. That's... 21 days.  I guess you could say I'm keeping a somewhat close eye on Katharine's graduation date for a number of reasons. I'm not going to post one of them, but if Katharine read this she'd know the pathetic enough reason why.

BUT that's beside the point! I don't know if I've mentioned yet that Katharine is moving to LA almost immediately after graduation but she is. I'm going to see her one last time at her graduation party with her family. God, that's sounds horrible. ONE LAST TIME of her living in Washington that is. It's actually not going to make that much of a difference, her moving down to LA I mean... We only really see eachother once every couple months or so if that. But with her moving down to LA and me moving up to Bellingham, our distance is going to be much, much more and something about it makes me both very sad and very excited.

Excited to be far from a friend? No. Excited for independence. Because I always feel like Katharine has always been a large part of my "nest." Nest meaning, what's comfortable to me because it's home and it's what I know. Things that are sacred to me because they are familiar and make me comfortable, and pose little to no threat to me.

 Other examples of my "nest" are:

- My walking path. Same ol' walking path that I take with Lindy or whatever friend I'm hanging out with to take some time to be outside, get exercise and chit chat. I'm going to have to figure out a new place like this when I leave.

-The ready supply of food in the kitchen that I didn't have to buy. I can always pretty much count on my dad to bring something home if there's nothing to munch on, so I'll sometimes just not eat even if I'm hungry and wait until dad to get home from work with groceries or little ceasers. This is something i'm going to miss because i'll have to fend for myself entirely. Shouldn't be too bad, I really don't eat much anymore.. but my dad has a good taste for snacks sometimes. I'm too restrictive to buy a lot of the stuff that he does that I'll sometimes pinch off of and still act like I'm "above" it.

-Samantha, she's like a warm blanket to talk to at times because even if I have something completely irrational that's bothering me she'll have an open heart about it. I've come to her about a lot of things that I wouldn't nessasarily want to burden Katharine or Katelynn with. The availability factor with me and Sam is huge too, because it's so easy for me to just go pick her up and take her wherever with me because she lives right in town. I know I'll have friends at Western, but not having her by my side so easily makes me sad.

-My almost obsessive routines that I act on everyday. I'm hoping I can create a system of a routines once I move up to Western. It's just a matter of keeping organized, getting needs met and creating time to practice. That's what my entire day revolves around now. Not around love or anything spontanious. I'm sure this will change at Western, but it scares me to think of unpredictability...

-How my parents are always there to save my ass. I think this probably the most scary to me. Anytime my car has broken down, locked my keys in my car, etc etc... I've been able to rely on my parents to save my ass. Now that I'm going to be eight hours away I don't have that luxary. I have to figure shit out on my own and save MY OWN ass if my car breaks down. I think I am going to get AAA or something. I don't know why my parents have never had it, it's only $10 a month or something.

Okay, NOW I need to go practice. Katharine is coming over this evening so that'll be nice. I'm guessing Dylan is probably still sleeping, it is Friday after all.


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