I’ve been back from camping for a few days now, had a wonderful Father’s Day and found some new life in my playing. Even worked out a couple more measures in a piece I’m writing. I was joking to my
wife that, at this pace, I might finish it in another year or so.
In my “Back To Basics” post, I mentioned that I needed to work on technique for a bit because I was stuck in a rut and needed to change my practice formula. Last weeks obstacle was focusing on one song and forgetting the others. At one point I was saying to myself, “You’ve been playing for 20+ years and you can’t play shit!” (insert primal scream here). Just a bit of unnecessary negativity to keep me from playing my best but I’m better now.
So fresh off of my trip, I come back more relaxed and with a fresh head. I decided to write down all of the songs that I’ve been working on the last 6 months. Next thing you know, I had ten songs on that slip of paper to prove that I just might might be able to play this guitar I was cursing last week. I’m now using this list as a guide for my practicing, treating it as a kind of set-list of sorts. After finishing the list, I feel a sense of accomplishment and I’m more focused and don’t ignore the other songs.
I’ve read and been told many times to keep a journal of your practice and structure it so this revelation is nothing new. I used to be able to keep track of everything I do in my head and it was easy but as I grow older and have more things to keep track of, my mind is beginnings to let me down. I try with the best intentions to keep a log/journal of my playing with bit of success but always fall back into the same old bad habits.
Will this be the start of a continuing good habit or will I be like a dieter falling off the wagon who binges on doughnuts and milkshakes? I can’t say, knowing me, I’ll improve a bit and then stop and have the idea all over again. We’ll see, but now I’m craving doughnuts.