For the first time in a few weeks, I had time to play my Fender electric guitar today. I have to be honest–I forgot everything I had learned about chords and even had to think about how to hold the pick. That is what happens when I do not practice! Life has been crazy for the last few weeks, though, and I just have not had the opportunity to spend any quality time with my guitar. I did not want the time I spent to be sloppy and rushed, so I decided against those short sessions in favor of a longer one, which happened today. I am paying for lessons through Fender Play online, which is designed to put some good riffs under your fingers throughout the course levels while you learn different techniques. I have learned to use a capo, too. Another nice thing about these Fender Play lessons is that you can choose many paths. It is not just rock. You can choose other genres of music. I am learning rock first because it appeals to me at the moment. I like the videos and the references given through the Fender Play interface. It is a good online lesson program, and very affordable!
I am really enjoying something called a power chord. A power chord is a partial chord played on only two strings, and even though it is only played on two strings, it sounds very, well, powerful! Power chords are used throughout rock music and are very handy to know how to play. I am very impressed with their sound when playing riffs with them. I like the arpeggio-style riffs, too. There is a piano line that has been converted to a guitar riff from Coldplay’s “Clocks” that I am working on right now and I really love the way it sounds. I just have to get better at the transitions between the chords. I am relearning the chords right now, too, so that slows me down a bit. Not a problem, though. It is a process, and I cannot expect it to happen overnight.
It is a lot like climbing in the regard that it does not happen overnight. I have to practice the moves and the sequences and the thoughts and get everything into muscle memory before I make my attempt, and then hope that I visualized enough ahead of time to send the problem (or play the riff). If not, I try again. Playing the guitar involves both intense concentration and focus, and motor skills, just like climbing, so it fulfills the needs I have to get my mind off of the PTSD horrors and negativity somewhat. Climbing does the ultimate job of that, but guitar playing helps some. It is one more weapon in my arsenal!