It was May 11th, if I remember correctly that I arrived home from Pilani last year. So I think it’s probably this time last year that I started on the guitar with focus and drive. It’s been a year since then. What progress have I made?
It’s difficult to measure progress when you don’t have written documents to go by. All you have are memories to rely on so the picture presented may not be accurate. When I started on the guitar an year back, I couldn’t tell if my guitar was tuned or not. I would play the chords.. C,Am,D,G but they would all sound the same. I think it was the second or third day in Mangalore when I asked Neelesh to tune my guitar. He used the tuner app on his HTC to tune the stings and when I played then, I made music.
My guitar was in-tune probably for the first time ever so I could feel and appreciate the sounds the different chords produced. From then on, it was all practice. I don’t know where I got the drive from. The guitar was their before and I had lots of time in college. But I could never be bothered to sit on the guitar for any period of time. Maybe I was influenced by Neelesh to a certain extent but that was not all. For the first time in years, Mangalore brought order into my life and with order, I got a drive to do something productive. And that feeling has sustained. Probably will my entire life now that I have realized it.
It was painful at first. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I worked hard on it. Even if I wanted to work hard, I couldn’t. I could sit on the guitar for very little time before my hands were sore and I had to stop. But I did stick to it day after day. And that has been the hallmark of my life this last year. I have made an effort to stick to doing things when started and I can see the results now. It was 1 month into Mangalore I think that Neelesh suggested I try learning songs and one of the first I tried was Baby I’m gonna lose you. It was hard. I couldn’t play though 2 verses continuously at first. Strength improved as time went by but there were frequent breaks that set me back. Practice cooled a little in the last few days in Mangalore but I picked it up in Doshi again.
Doshi was just one month so nothing significant happened there. I was lax in practice because of frequent disruptions so the real practice sessions started in Chavadi. I think it was in November that Srinivas bought his Yamaha F310 and since then we have pushed and inspired each other to get better. I wouldn’t say there has been a staggering improvement these last 8 months, and there is certainly room for a greater amount of discipline, but the presence of another like minded person next to you does push you more and I will miss his drive when he is gone. The enthusiasm will be more difficult to sustain then but nothing comes easy in life.
So 1 year on and I still struggle at Baby I’m gonna leave you. Guaranteed and Dust in the wind are other songs that I am struggling with. They require a greater amount of focus and discipline than what I am putting in right now. F barre is still difficult and although chord changes are coming easier with strengthening fingers, they could be a lot more fluid. ** I wrote some other awesome thoughts here but the file didn’t get saved and I lost them and I can’t get them back. So that’s it for now**