Hi Cap Sorry. I had to follow-up your long, long post with something really short. Succeeded. But ditto... same learning curve as me and I guess the majority of people learning to play an instrument. I shall impart some important tips to help you on your journey. 1. Warm up before you play. Massage, stretch and wiggle your wrists, hand and fingers. Athletes warm up before performing, practice and exercise. Musicians should do the same. Let your mind warm up and get in the zone. Warm up your instrument before you try anything serious. You will perform better when your mind, hands and instrument are zoned in as a unit. Once warmed up you must Exercise, Practice and Play. In that order. 2. Tune your instrument. Continuous tune it as you play. Tune in your voice to match the guitar. When your instrument sounds good, you are more inspired than when it sounds out of tune. When you sing along, it will help improve your singing in key. if either sound bad, you will be less enthusiastic about playing. 3. Music has rules. Timing, tuning, harmony, playing in key, sitting position, holding position, hand position, fingering position, etc. When you practice, keep a strong discipline. Stick to the rules... ALWAYS. 4. Rules were made to be broken. When you are playing music, break any rule that makes it sound right. But never break rules for practice or exercise. Practice with your mind. Play with your soul. 5. ALWAYS tap your foot when you play. Tommy Emanuel's #1 rule. 6. Learn your fret board. This is hard, but learning to count or the alphabet is harder. It seems hard at first and difficult to remember. Practice 5 minutes every day to memorise where notes are. Test yourself daily. Before too long, muscle memory will find the locations before you consciousness tells you where the notes are. A good tip... it's a number of repeating patterns. You learn how to find it, not where to find it. 7. Practice scales and chord structure 5 minutes every day. understand where to find notes in key by a pattern. Learn the different keys, their origin and where they are used. Learn basic chord structures and understand what makes different chords such as 6s, 7s, add 9, 9s, 11s etc. Understand when chords are in certain keys. 8. Practice techniques. Playing in tempo, finger picking, up and down pick methods, forming chords, chord changes, coordinating left and right hands, numbing strings, playing scales, etc. Practice techniques very slowly and accurately. Focus on achieving the desired goal without mistakes. Try to learn the right way only. Try to not learn the mistakes. Speed will increase naturally. 9. When practising playing in tempo, keep temp always. if you make a mistake, don't break tempo. Just keep playing. the mistake is in the past. focus on getting the next part in the correct timing. Use a metronome or backing track when you practice. it will vastly increase you ability. keep tapping your foot the whole time to zone your body into the tempo. 10. Leaning to play a song is not practice. but treat it like practice. take it slow and stick to the rules. Focus on playing well before fast. speed will come naturally. Always learn to play music you like which you enjoy playing. When you can play it, break the rules and make it your own. 11. When playing, find a song that matches your mood. It will resonate. If you don't like the mood you're in. Play something in the mood you want to be in. 12. People who make fun of you or criticise your sound. Ask them to be constructive and not make fun. if it doesn't work, play and sing louder and don't let anyone silence you. Sing and play with confidence. Catch 22. If you play without confidence, you won't sound as good. People won't enjoy hearing you. Play with confidence, you may be embarrassed but you will sound better. You should be embarrassed to play without confidence. You will never stop learning, but one day you'll know you are not a student. You've become a musician. I am currently learning blues techniques played by Robert Johnson and Johnny Shines. I'm struggling and I've felt like a musician for twenty years. There is always something new to learn. Practice every day and the learning will happen quickly. Practice once a week and it will take much longer. Cheers Portly Phil
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Hi Mel, When I read your first sentence it was something I could have written, only replace June with December. My dear Dad, aged 71 was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in December. It's been an hellish rollercoaster so far. I'm sorry to hear your Mum is struggling. I definitely think counselling, or a support group may be helpful for her. And since you are so far away, perhaps a respite carer? Are you able to discuss whether it is likely your Dad's tumours, or the medications causing the aggression, with your Dad's oncologist? I'd love to chat more about your Dad's journey if you would like. I've been trying to read as much as I can from medical journals, to individual experiences to help me deal with all the unknowns. Take care.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.