Network Learning Project Week 3: Playing a Song on an Acoustic Guitar

This week I feel like I haven’t made much progress. The sores on the tips of my fingers have started peeling but they still hurt when I play. I keep wondering how long it will take for the tips of my fingers to become numb to the pain. It seriously hurts!!  Aside from that, I can’t seem to quit holding two chords down at the same time (which makes an awful noise). I know I need to spend more time practicing…I try  to practice at least once a day but sometimes life happens and I’m not able to. This week I can relate to how my students feel when they are frustrated in my classroom, the way they get when they just want to know how much longer they have to do something. Don’t get me wrong, I still love learning to play. I just imagined the progress would come much quicker and more naturally than it has. Oh, and I definitely did not expect the pain. Since I just have to work on switching between the same chords over and over this week, I hope that I have a much happier post next week. I may try and search new YouTube videos this week on learning to transition between chords. So far I have really only used videos that focus on learning specific guitars, not the mechanics of playing. The “finger exercises” to strengthen my fingers for transitioning between chords is going to be my focus this next week, I think.

Despite my lack of progression, I did learn how to tune my guitar this week. I googled “guitar tuning apps for iPhone” and found this super easy, user-friendly guitar tuner. The app is called Guitar Tuna. I basically just have to put my phone near the guitar and strum each chord. If the chord is in tune it shows green on a barometer, and if it is out of tune it shows red on the barometer. If it is out of tune, the red is either to the right or left of the  center of the barometer, which shows you which way to turn the knobs (?) at the end of the guitar.  I’m still learning terminology, obviously, haha. Anyways, I strum the chords that are red and turn the knobs and strum again until it turns green.

For your entertainment: My crusty fingertips. Although it is hard to see, The place where the skin has peeled off is HARD. When i touch my face I can’t feel anything. Ironically, when I got to play guitar all of the feeling comes back and it hurts all over again.

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Network Learning Project: Playing a Song on an Acoustic Guitar

I have decided that I am going to learn to play a song on an acoustic guitar. I decided I wanted to learn to play an instrument because music is such an important part of my life. It is mood altering and uplifting. I am hoping that learning the guitar will be  a relaxing, fun outlet from everyday stresses. Learning to play will be particularly challenging for me because I have never played an instrument, unless you count the recorder, which I can still play.

There were several factors I had to consider when seeking sources and setting goals:

  • I don’t own a guitar, so I had to ask around to borrow one. Fortunately, the band teacher at the school I work at had one he was willing to share with me.
  • I had to consider what sources to use. I am a visual learner so I decided on help forums with pictures and there are several YouTube channels I have selected.
  • I don’t know how to read music so I had to find video tutorials and pictures from help forums that showed finger placement instead of music notes. Most videos on YouTube say the name of the chord as well as the number string it is.
  • I had to find a song that was appropriate for learning to play guitar. The song I chose is “Good Riddance” by Green Day. The song has 4 chords and two fingers stay on the same two chords the entire song. It seemed realistic and manageable, plus I really like the song.
  • I had to consider the time frame and set goals:
  1. Week 1: learn the vocabulary for parts of the guitar, learn to play the G-Chord, and learn the strumming pattern (rhythm).
  2. Week 2: learn finger placement for all four chords while strumming.
  3. Week 3: learn how to change my fingers between chords while strumming
  4. Week 4: Perfect the chords, finger placement, and strumming.
  5. Week 5: Perfect the song and add lyrics.
  6. Week 6: reflect on project and compile documentation.

My learning goal for this project: To learn the four basic chords & strumming pattern to play the song “Good Riddance” by Green Day on an acoustic guitar.

I am looking forward to the challenge and am excited to document my practice. My students are also excited for me. They requested a concert at the end of this project, haha.