If In Depth was a marathon, then I would be at that last 100 meters. I say to myself that the night is in 18 days, and that’s really soon, but I don’t think I’ve fully realized how quickly that day is going to come. I think back to when I started and I couldn’t even get the F chord down, and to think I have to play in front of a large audience is nerve-racking.
I’ve obviously been continuing to practice guitar, but this session with my mentor was a little different than before. We have acknowledged that In Depth night is close, and although continuing to practice all the songs would be nice, we agreed that it would be more logical to practice and really enhance one song, which I will plan to play on stage. I know in my last post I said I would be doing a new song, but after further consideration and a returning interest in the song, I have decided on performing Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran for In Depth.
Over the last few weeks, a certain problem that has risen when playing songs is getting the “feel” of the song. As my mentor pointed out, there’s a certain point when practicing a song, when you are so focused on nailing the chords, you lose the feel of the song. There is much more to a song than chord progressions, and it is important to do more than just the chords in a song. I really believe this is an important part, because adding even just a little extra to a song can make it sound so much nicer. What I want to work on now, is just get used to playing in front of people, whether it is friends or family, to get comfortable playing in front of large amounts of people.
Now to address the tasks from Ms. Mulder’s blog:
As De Bono talks about, interruptions can be good and bad at times. Because I am doing guitar for in depth, I believe there are situations where it is okay to interrupt when someone is playing. A common situation that came up earlier in the project (February, March) was interruptions while I play the guitar. This was a time when I was still learning new chords and techniques, and my mentor sometimes interjected if I was missing a strum, or incorrectly playing a chord. I think this is justified, and very important to not only point out errors so that I can improve, but to also stop bad habits before they become an issue.
In terms of attitude during our conversations, I take on a learner attitude most, if not all the time. In many conversations between my mentor and myself, I act like a sponge. It is obvious that he has years of experience with him, and I always try to soak up all the advice and feedback he gives me. And it is obvious it has been working. Many times after I play through the song, he has advice afterwards for me to improve, and to make the song sound even better, such as adding in upstrums, and playing with a metronome to help timing.
Besides that, I would also say I sometimes show an exploring attitude. Being a complete novice at guitar, it is always fun to experiment. Just playing to see what sounds nice, and seeing if I can incorporate it into the song. After playing through a song and getting the basic chords down, I have a very exploring attitude in terms of what I can add to the song. I ask questions, and we discuss how to make what I play sound more like the original song.
As I finish writing this blog post, I still can’t get myself to believe how close In Depth Night is. I’ll be practicing until then.
Thanks for reading!