Learning Project: Starting out

Learning Web
(Image from dashe.com by Barbara Camm)

How we learn is a complicated process. Sitting down and taking a real critical look at your own learning process can be enlightening at times, but also difficult. How can you really tell your “best” learning modalities?

I’ve taken learning tests at university and at home and according to them I’m a visual auditory learner – I can learn well by seeing/hearing and reproducing what I observe. I’ve found this to be true throughout my education career. I also know that I have a fairly precise, detail oriented memory. I can problem solve well and love technical challenges.

Knowing a bit about how you enjoy learning is also important. If you don’t have fun with what you are learning, it will become a chore. This is why I’ve decided to learn guitar! Creating music is tons of fun, I always have a blast collaborating with my more musically talented friends and helping out their various bands and projects. So I think its high time I learn how to play some music. Again.

(Image of one of my families many neglected guitars)

Yes, this is not my first time trying to learn guitar. After a four year contemplation session, I finally feel motivated to start playing and learning again. For an hones project I will detail my previous learning and my current ability state.

I took guitar 20 in grade 11 during high school. I learned some theory about music – enough that I remember how to read basic notes – but not enough that I could translate said notes onto the guitar. I do know how to play parts of several songs; Blackbird, What makes a man, Tears in Heaven. I do not know how to play any of them all the way through currently.

I’m very out of practice, but after a few days and several hours of practice the rust is coming off and I’m picking up speed. I like to play finger-style guitar, it is technically difficult and the most enjoyable style I’ve tried so far.

I know how to read tableture and that is my main source of learning to play songs. I plan to mix independent practice with just tab with any video tutorials I can find on youtube. I also want to look into the Open Online Guitar class to see if that may help expedite my learning. I’m also going to ask my very talented and experienced friends for some lessons as well.

My goal for the semester (tentative) is to learn Who Says  by John Mayer. I have tab found using Ultimate-guitar.com and may look into their guitar pro program. I’ll be looking through youtube for helpful videos on how to play the song.

I will post videos of my progress starting very soon. One last block for me to overcome is performance anxiety which halted my last attempt at learning the instrument. I tend to only practice when absolutely no one else is around – hopefully I can change that and get used to playing in front of people!

Wish me luck and if you have any helpful tips, pointers, supports or ideas please let me know!


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