Threats or Promises

I know a blog is not required for our ILPs this week, but I wanted to update all of you anyway. This week was an interesting week for my ILP. I was unable to touch the guitar for most of the week. I practiced for maybe 15 minutes on Wednesday which happened because my cousin wanted to see my progress. I also practiced on Thursday. This practice was about one hour long, but most of it was spent tuning my friend’s guitar.

At the beginning of the year, he taught me how to tune the guitar and told me to do my best to not do it wrong because it is bad for the instrument. I tuned the first three strings (strings 6, 5, and 4) without a problem. When I came to the fourth string (technically called the third string), I sat for about five minutes wondering why it would not tune before realizing I was using the wrong tuning peg for the string I was trying to tune. This made for another 15 minutes or so for the string that I completely messed up because I used the wrong peg. The first string of the guitar is supposed to be an E. I found that I tuned it to be around a C. For those of you who do not know music, a C is two steps lower than an E which means I messed up! The rest of my practice consisted of trying to play the beginning part of Crazy Train backward and forward in order to confuse my friend.


Photo CC-By: Dominic Alves

When it came time for my lesson on Friday, I was not feeling very comfortable with the songs I was supposed to play. I was the most comfortable with playing Crazy Train backward. This led to the threats or promises. My friend ensures me that they are promises, but I am still thinking they are empty threats.

I was informed tonight that I am not allowed to play Crazy Train backward during my lessons without a repercussion. This repercussion is that for the rest of the semester I will be learning how to play Manamana until it is perfected. It took my friend about two minutes to learn the beginning of Manamana, so I do not think it would take him very long to figure out the rest of it and write it down for me. He has also found a four and a half hour loop of the song on Youtube which means I will have a lot of time to practice.

For those of you who do not get the reference, in my first lesson, my friends decided to sing Manamana every time I messed up in order to motivate me to not mess up. If you have not heard the song Manamana sung by the Muppets, please listen to it sometime. I have found you either love it or hate it. There is no feeling in between. I am on the opposite side of my friends who love the song.

Other than the threats or promises (we will know by the end of next week), my lesson this week went well. It was spent trying to master fingerings to songs that I should know already. I have been given a total of eight songs to learn with the two newest being Ode to Joy and Voga Boat Man. Hopefully, I will have more time to practice this week and memorize tabs for all eight songs. This might soften the repercussions of playing Crazy Train backward during my next lesson just to see if the threats are actually promises.



  1. How awesome that you are learning the guitar! I hope that it is something you become passionate about. I had a guitar class in Jr. High and I loved learning but then I stopped after the class was over and completely forgot everything and I regret it very much!


    1. Learning the guitar has been my stress releif for the semester so far. I hope that I will be able to continue to learn it and use it in my teaching styles one day. I also hope you pick it back up again. It is great!


  2. Thanks for the update! It sounds like your ILP is going really well! I can’t wait to hear your end result. Will you record it and embed it into your blog when the time comes?!


    1. I have not really thought much about uploading a song to my blog, but that is a great idea. I might have one for the next post, and I will have one for the end. Thanks for the idea.


  3. From the sounds of things you seem to be making great progress in your ILP! What exactly goes into tuning a guitar? Do you tune by ear, or do you have a specific strategy that you like to use? I can’t wait to hear how the results of your ILP work out! Good luck on your practice.


    1. I sadly do not have an ear for a tuned guitar. I know when it goes out of tune, but I cannot get it back into tune by ear. I downloaded an app to my computer called PitchPerfect Musical Instrument Tuner. It helps tune each string individually. My tuning skills are becoming a little better, but I still have trouble identifying which way I need to turn the tuning pegs. Hopefully, I can figure it out by the end of the semester.


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