Got My First Real Six String

I feel that I have made progress in my guitar skills throughout this term; having a background playing ukulele has definitely helped out my strumming and positioning of my hands while playing but has also caused quite a learning curve. Ukuleles are much smaller than guitars and have four plastic strings rather than six metal strings, making me learn to stretch my hands more and further apart as well as making me get used to the metal digging into my finger tips and building calluses. The strings are very close together and does demand that I use only my fingertips on each string in order to avoid muting the other strings as it is important that all ring clear in order to make a satisfying chord. Having six strings (… bought it at the five-and-dime… great song I would like to learn to play one day) is much more difficult than having four and has been a big change for me. Specifically, the sixth string has caused me the most trouble; since the metal string is so thin and sharp, I have had to press down hard on it as far on my finger tip as I can (my pinky is also sensitive to it) and it has caused indents and been painful. I have now built up some calluses which has helped me play for a longer amount of time with less of a problem. After having done this for awhile, it is hard to believe that popular artists can play the guitar for hours at a time while still being an upbeat performer in their concerts, I feel like my fingers would hurt a lot by the end (play until my fingers bled) and that my energy would be completely drained. 

            When I search about learning guitar and the length of time it takes, it comes up with 

“Frequency of Practice: 4-5 times a week. For around 20 – 30 minutes… Skill Level after 6 months: Can play rock/pop songs easily: strums the chords, clearly plays the chords with no trouble switching” (http://www.severnriverguitar.com/2013/03/04/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-learn-to-play-the-acoustic-guitar-with-real-life-examples-from-actual-guitar-players/). Hopefully that I will have reached that level within six months but hope that I will finish earlier as I have put a lot of work into learning how to play this instrument and feel that my background in music (I have been able to read music for many years due to choir and ukulele) has helped me despite what I mentioned about the difficulties moving from the ukulele to the guitar. 

Chords

This week I began working on the basic chords used for most popular songs. I have found that I was able to catch onto most of the beginners chords such as C, A, E, Am, D and Em as they are similar to ukulele chords and only require up to three fingers. Some of the chords that I found to be more difficult were G and F, both of which involve four fingers that are stretched wide across the neck of the guitar. Some of the more simple chords stay along the first three frets of the string and the strings are general only one or two away on a six string guitar. G involves strings one, two, five and six but only uses frets two and three. The F chord involves strings two to five and uses frets one to three; this chord is also more complicated as it requires the player to avoid strumming strings one and six. Avoiding strumming certain strings has been one of the larger challenges throughout this process, meaning that chords E and Em have been the easiest to learn as you strum all six strings when playing them. I am excited to continue working on the chords and hope to become comfortable enough with them that I am able to transition from one to another smoothly. I would love to sing while playing guitar so a key to doing this is having a strong foundation in the roots of playing guitar, my focus will continue on chord transition and then I will add in a basic strumming pattern.