I came to the point where I became frustrated. Oh dear. It’s been a long time since I allowed frustration from learning into my life. I have avoided it. I learnt at my leisure. I learnt from the joy of learning and discovering things. I would quit if the teachers or the school frustrated me. I am talking about the stupid things they do that cause the frustrations, not Frustration from the Learning itself. For both the guitar and the ice skating , I came to a point of frustration, the wanting to sit down and cry type, or having the slightest of impulse of ‘throw away the guitar’ type.
Yes, I went to my skating lesson like usual and I thought I had it figured out, the 3-turn of my weak side. Happily I showed my teacher. My teacher said, ‘You’ve got to do this more, you are still doing this….’
I was like, ‘Like this?’
‘No, more like this. ‘
It seemed that I had been drive turning rather than spin on the axle point of my skates. I ended up in a tight curve rather than a straight line going back.
As he tried to show me, as I tried to follow his guidance, I still ended up doing the same thing. Turn with the head first, turn with the arms first, keep the arms down now, turn with the trunk locked. I was still doing it wrong.
He asked me to 3-turn with the other leg. No problem. About Perfect.
He knew and I knew that there was a problem.Yea, but how to correct it? Pointless to tell me there was a problem and leave it at that.
I said in defeat ‘I can’t help you any more.’ I had no idea how to correct the wrong at all. He couldn’t bridge the gap for me either.
It was a problem right from the very beginning. Now it was time to get it corrected or I couldn’t move on with my skating. I was gathering so much speed and momentum and the faulty turn would be very dangerous for me, not to mention unsightly.
At the end of the lesson, he told me, ‘Okay, let’s just practise the turn with the trunk locked. ‘
After the lesson, I began comparing my left to my right. From the very start point. In extreme slow motion.
Suddenly, I got it.
‘By Jove, I got it’!
I spent the next two hours just doing it. Round and round. Round left, round right, back to left, to right.
I was satisfied. Hopefully this was what the teacher asked for. I could feel that it was a point leading into the leaps.
I limped out as usual. Rather confident that I got it. But I leave a tiny place in case there is still more corrections. I won’t be totally crestfallen.
My guitar? Like I said, when there is pain, it is pointless to drive on. The resulting sound gyrates and irritates too. But I had a day or two off. I came back to it. I thought something sounded off. I tuned the guitar with the electronic tuner.
I played. I thought it sounded horrible. Something was wrong. Was it my finger tenderness? It was really off key. I tried the tuning again. But it was perfect. I tried playing. But it sounded so horrible to my ears that I couldn’t bear to play. My poor ears. Was it the way the guitar was made? Why was the sound dulled? Why did it not resonate like earlier?
I got sick of the song, sick of the bad sounds in my ear. I couldn’t get the fingering and hence the timing correct for a more complicated chord change. I could feel my slightest smallest impulse of throwing away the guitar. I could picture it in my head, throwing a tantrum. So I put it away, pessimistic, wondering what my guitar future would be, did I really enjoy music that much. Can I get guitar playing past this point, build up my skin thickness sufficiently not to imagine my finger tips bleeding from the steel string cutting in.
Later I picked it up again. Couldn’t be helped. I had a lesson coming . I could at least try my utmost till lesson time. Deliver what I could. I looked at the tuner tuning again. Suddenly I saw that the note was tuned to a D# instead of a D. I didn’t see it because the tuner was held at an angle. No wonder the sound was off key. It was tuned to off key! So I continued playing.
Guess what, I could play more, I could play better.
And better and better.
I could follow the song and jam along !
I am amazed.
How brain power could give over to muscle memory. After a while, the brain needn’t figure out which finger went to which string when. It would be too slow. The fingers just went, especially the very complicated parts.
The pain ? Sometimes I am not sure if it is there. I am still gingerly about pressing the strings too deep. But the music is there.
I told you. The Body is an amazing thing. I love it so !