Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Diary: without inspiration, the guitar

The world trundles along and attempts to provoke me - but I don't rise to the bait. Nothing has impelled me to the keyboard. So in the absence of inspiration, let me tell you that I have persisted in the guitar (it must be all of three days now).

As I audit the cobwebby ruins of my youthful craft, I discover that my chord placement is now poor. All the usual neophyte errors: buzzing, clunking and muffling. So at the price of fingertip-pain and forearm soreness I am seeking good form above all.

Secondly I am paying attention to fingerpicking: initially choosing the correct chord-bass-string for the thumb while plucking the top three strings without looking at them .. consistently, and in the right order.

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Finally, I'm focusing on Paul Simon's "America" (from the songbook above). This is, astonishingly, scored in E♭  - can you imagine anything worse for guitar? Why not score it in C and use a capo if we needed to raise the pitch? Anyway, I transposed all the chords to C in the interests of my own sanity.

"America" is a beautiful, plaintive, elegiac song and it achieves these effects by esoteric chords such as major sevenths and ninths. So my chord-vocabulary is receiving attention.

Little and often is my mantra: you may get a video in a few weeks, once I can get through it at all.

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