Post by grampalerxst on May 12, 2019 4:12:25 GMT -6
Well, I guess it's my turn kick off the weekly thread.
I turned 55 this past week. That's an important milestone in my employer's quirky benefit landscape. I'm lucky enough (or stupid enough) to have been with a single company since I finished school so I'm grandfathered into some old-fashioned retirement bene's and a second tier of those kicks in for grandfathered employees who turn 55 during active service. It really does look like I can hang up the ole pocket protector for good sometime in the next two years.
Last week was a little better guitar-wise. I still had only something on the order of 6 hours, but it was a good six hours. With these shorter practice weeks I've reined in the breadth of what I work on, and lately have settled on what I call the Electric Gypsy project. The intro is basically a rhythm guitar part but it contains a lot of single-note stuff that for me is harder than it sounds. It's got bends and slides and the speedy lick I've talked about in the past. So I felt it was the best single thing to focus on because it's an all around challenge. I'm now to the point I'm flirting with 80% of full tempo in "play along mode". As I incrementally slog through this I seem to alternate between physical challenges and mental challenges. Usually as I step up the tempo the mental challenges come first--it takes effort to "visualize" then direct my hands to perform the known physical movements faster, then each time I get my head around that it seems I encounter a physiological inefficiency to overcome. In working up the ascending spiral it helps me to regularly jump back down in tempo. For example the last several days I've been starting off at 50% tempo then increasing to 60% then 70% then 75% then 80% and finally dropping back down to 65% to wind down. I do this with both the speedy lick in isolation, and the entire intro section. These last couple days I've been struggling to undo a habit of dipping the tip of the pick to far down between the strings when changing strings, the unnecessary extra motion and suboptimal positioning are barriers to being able to flow through the notes as speed increases. I dunno if I'll ever get to 100% tempo as each ~5% jump makes me feel almost like I'm starting over from scratch with something new, but I enjoy the challenge.
Usually on the weekend I spend some time during the evening to just play around for fun, and it does seem like the myopic focus on the microscopic EG details translates to overall improvement. The last two nights i was goofing with some old songs I'd messed with decades ago: Fly By Night and a couple old Tom Petty strummers (Learning to Fly and Free Falling) all of which have some amount of what I think would be considered syncopation (changing chords on upbeats, or on weaker beats) which for decades were guaranteed stumbles but now not so much. At this rate maybe in 15 or 20 years I'll have it going on.
Well, best quit here and pick up the guitar. My daughter, SIL, and the kiddies are coming over for lunch and "Grandpa's spaghetti" to mark Mother's Day.