I play guitar. Well, I want to play guitar. I’ve been learning for probably 20 years, but when it comes to actually playing a song, something doesn’t click in my brain.

Oh, I admit that I haven’t practiced as much lately as I should, but honestly, practice starts to feel futile when you can’t seem to strum out a simple 2 chord song. My problem has to do with rhythm and strumming. For some reason, unless I force myself to mechanically strum the strings “UP DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN” forever, I lose myself in the rhythm, and awkwardly try to catch up or something. Oh, and if I do just strum up and down, it sounds horribly mechanical and awkward.

To try putting the problem I have into words — it seems like my brain/fingers are attempting to strum every syllable, or at least every word. I know it’s not as hard as I’m making it out to be, but the inability to comfortably play even ONE song does make practice frustrating.

I recently (at Bair Lake) watched the guitar leader play a million songs, and never change his strumming pattern. He changed chords SLOWER than I usually do, and sounded infinitely less awkward in doing so. I’m not sure what I’m doing, or why I’m doing it — but it’s really to the point that practice is not fun, and any singing attempts are usually cause for quitting altogether. We won’t even talk about playing with someone else, much less lead other people in singing.

So anyway, there’s my 2AM, can’t sleep, whining complaint-fest.

2 thoughts on “Guitar”

  1. Have you ever taken proper lessons? They can teach you all the tricks and help you make things easier. I have VERY LIMITED piano playing skills but would really love to be able to play the violin. Some day I hope.

  2. I took actual lessons as a kid, but it was limited to learning chords. I don’t remember any real strumming techniques. Sadly, I think part of my problem is that I have very poor rhythm in general.

    Violin (and fiddle) are absolutely gorgeous when played well — and so painful to listen to when imperfect. My daughters took strings lessons for a year, and if it weren’t for my undying love for them — I may have destroyed the instruments while they were sleeping. It sounded like a cat was being tortured!

    But when it’s good, it’s real good to hear.


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