Guitar Status: January 26, 2014

Jan 26 2014

I’m done with The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance; mostly not very actionable, but there are a couple of chapter on deliberate practice at the end. Which suggest that I should focus my guitar practice more: don’t spend so much time playing through full songs (especially ones that are too easy or too hard for me), do spend more time working on techniques or bits of songs that are within reach.

Or at least that’s what I should do if my goal is to increase my expertise. Which isn’t wholeheartedly the case: all things being equal, I’d prefer to get better at guitar, but enjoyment is primary. Still, when working on piano / harpsichord pieces, I enjoyed focusing on sections, and I’ve enjoyed working on guitar techniques as well, so there’s no particular reason why those two goals should be in conflict.

So I’m changing my routine. I’d already started working on pinch harmonics and tapping; now I’m picking a few songs and dropping into riff repeater on no mistakes / 3 repeats mode for isolated sections. (Specifically, Love Hurts, More Than a Feeling, and probably Anna Molly.) Which has been a good experiment so far: just the act of going through small sections repeatedly lets me see little bits to work on beyond the notes.

And I’m reducing the amount of random songs that I’m playing through. Which, actually, is good timing—the game’s “recommended” list sorts by fewest number of plays, which means that, the more you play, the more likely you are to run into songs there that you’ve been actively avoiding. Good to be exposed to songs like that every once in a while, but not heavily; I think I’ll lean on nonstop mode rather than recommended songs to get my dose of randomness.

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