Instincts+Mistakes=Confusion+Fun

Week two of my independent learning project was just as much fun as week one. When I actually sat down for another lesson, Manamana was not sung after every mistake which was good because there were a lot of them.

This lesson consisted of drills and a new song. The drills were entertaining. They consisted of playing each song that I learned in my first lesson over, and over, and over, and over again. The fun part about this was each song only consisted of notes on one string, so each time the song was played, it was played on a different string. This was supposed to help me with my fingering and strumming. I don’t know how many times I annoyed my friend because I would try to fix my mistakes and make each note sound pretty instead of playing the tune through no matter what it sounded like.

The new song was the beginning of Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith. I was told during my first lesson that I was not going to be allowed to use the capo (clamp like object that changes the pitch of each string) until later in the semester. Because of the way my music was written, my friend/teacher was forced to let me use the capo. This made everything even more entertaining because I could not use the cheater’s dots that are placed along the edge of the guitar in order to find the correct fingerings. I had to learn my fingerings through instinct I do not have yet.

The lack of instinct made the song even more enjoyable for me to learn because it presented a challenge that I was not expecting to take until later in the semester. While I was practicing the new song, I accidentally did something that sparked my friend’s interest. He made me give back the guitar instead of playing it again. This might sound bad, but I actually accidentally did something good. My music was still written for only one string, but I accidentally strummed two strings at the same time and created an unexpected pleasant chord. After figuring out my “mistake,” my friend gave back the guitar and told me to keep making the same mistake during specific parts of the song.

For this next week, I am supposed to practice my fingerings for the four songs that I can slightly play. I am also allowed to use the capo to specifically play Red Solo Cup, but I was told to use it on all the other songs in order to get used to the finger movements and not rely on the cheater’s dots.

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8 Comments

  1. Barbara,
    The title to this blog post says it all. Mistakes can be scary (like, really scary… I hate making them) but they can also be fun and a good way to learn. I am glad you are enjoying playing the guitar. It sounds like you are learning a lot!

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    1. I have learned a lot since the first time I picked up the guitar. I am still scared to make mistakes, but I am learning how to overcome that fear. I also agree that mistakes are a fun way to learn.

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  2. Barbara,
    I loved that you said that the lack of instinct made the experience so much more enjoyable for you since it felt like more of a challenge. I think that a big part of us actually loves the stress of a challenge, because we know how great success feel, I suppose! I think it is so great you are testing new songs each week instead of focusing on just one or two. I have always wanted to play the drums but never gave it a shot, so I think its great you are going after this goal! Keep it up!!

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    1. I highly encourage that you try the drums at least once in your life. That sounds like it will be a great task. I agree that a big part of us loves the stress of a challenge because of the success that follows.

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  3. I find it really cool that you are challenging yourself with your ILP! Challenges seem scary, but at the same time they can be fun and a lot can be learned from challenging yourself. It sounds like you are having a lot of fun with your project. Good luck as you continue learning guitar.

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    1. I agree that challenges can be scary. I have been blessed with a great support system which lightens the stress. Thanks for the luck. I am going to need it as the semester goes on.

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  4. This reminds me of my time in band. ALL THE PRACTICING. Props to you for being so patient. It is interesting to hear that your mistake was actually a good thing. Do you think that by challenging yourself this way will help make you a better educator? Cause I sure do!

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    1. Jolee,
      I do believe that these challenges will make me a better educator. They have taught me to push myself and others to the limits of all possibilities. You never know if something will work until you try. If it is not a success, it just narrows down the possible outcomes of it being correct.

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