Pro Guitar Status, April 3, 2011

Apr 04 2011

After finishing the songs on Easy last week, I started Medium this week. And I can attest to the fact that Medium is harder than Easy: I felt a lot more at sea on the easiest Medium songs than I did on the hardest Easy songs. Also, I’m super glad that I’d started training myself to not look at my left hand, otherwise Medium would have been even worse. (And I’m also glad to have built up calluses, they’re definitely helping a lot.)

Fortunately, Medium is also significantly more interesting than Easy! Even with the easiest songs (I’ve only done six songs so far, though I have gone through all of the Medium lessons), I’m having to go through them several times, but it’s worth it: I’m enjoying the process of understanding the chord progressions and getting to where I can play them with some small, I hesitate to say competence, but perhaps a small lack of total incompetence?

In fact, saying that “I’m having to go through them several times” is not accurate: I’m generally not failing out, and I’m (barely) managing three stars on the songs during my first try; it’s just that I don’t feel at all satisfied with the way I play a new song the first time. (At the very least, I don’t feel satisfied with the way I play the first half of it: sometimes I learn the chord progressions well enough to do okay in the second half.) So I dive right back into it, playing it another time or two until I don’t feel actively embarrassed. I’m getting the same sort of pleasure as I was from working out bits in my Pro Keys playthrough, though I’m not applying nearly the same standards: my goals now are not to do a great job, they’re to do well enough that I’ll be able to make it through all the songs on Medium and be prepared for Hard when the time comes for that.

Though I am toying with the idea of trying to do Medium and Hard in parallel to some extent: playing two note chords feels a little odd, and is probably building up some bad habits. I don’t have to actually play barre chords, for example; sometimes I try (and generally fail to hold down all the strings), but sometimes I don’t, even when that’s clearly what’s going on. So maybe I should try harder to make my fingering more realistic; but maybe that would be an easier habit to maintain if I had to play more than two strings? (Probably not, I’d probably just end up even more at sea.)

Coming from a piano background, it’s also a little weird that a given interval doesn’t correspond to a fixed distance between fingers of my left hand. I had to deal with that a little bit on Easy, but it’s much more of an issue when I’m sliding up and down with chords.

The Medium lessons had some bits where you were playing bass lines, and those were quite fun in a different way. So I’ll probably want to give Pro Bass a try at some point, either after Pro Guitar or as a break from it, if some of the difficulty jumps end up a bit daunting.

It’ll definitely be slower going on Medium than it was on Easy. The half a tier this week was an aberration caused by going through training, and if I’d had a bit more free time, finishing it would have been fine, so hopefully next week I’ll be able to finish a tier and a half. Maybe not, though, and in general one tier a week seems more realistic than anything more strenuous; if the difficulty curve is steep enough on Medium, and in particular if they throw enough more hand positions at me during the harder songs, then even that could be optimistic. Maybe not, though: maybe there’s only a small fixed set of hand positions that I’ll see during Medium. If that’s the case, I hope I’ll be able to make steady, if not particularly rapid, progress through it.

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