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Guitar practice

My new guitar practice regimen is going well. I’ve been doing it for over a week now and managed to get through the entire week without missing a practice session.

The two Kaufman flatpicking days go together well and it means that I’m working on two tunes during any given week. I need to concentrate on playing cleanly and work on my technique as I’m going along. It won’t be long before the Kaufman Fretboard DVD gets into playing up the neck. Phase 1 is just about learning the 5 tunes that are included; phase 2 gets into chord centres and scale patterns. So I guess another 4 weeks of working on the tunes and then the juicy stuff.

The Mary Flower DVD is fun. I’m learning the 6251 progression in the key of C using Rag Mama as the tune. I got two nice turnaround patterns from the last session and guess I’ll do one more session on that tune before moving on to the next one.

I had a good 90-minute session last night working on two of El McMeen’s arrangements in CGDGAD: The Mist Covered Mountains of Home and Fanny Power. I just love the MCM and now that I’m in my second week of practicing it, it’s really coming together nicely. Last night was my first session with Fanny Power and it’s the first new fingerstyle tune that I’ve learned in over a year. Ironically it begins with exactly the same notes as the Mist-Covered Mountains! And I’m remarkably pleased to discover that my Clarksdale Crossroads sounds good in CGDGAD – a most pleasant surprise (given that it has a short scale length).

On the classical stuff from my Fred Noad book, it will be a while before I get to the place where I stopped the last time. I went back a bit to recover old ground and discovered that I really need to practice a lot the stuff that I’ve already done before I’m ready to move on to the new stuff. It’s fun to play though and I think it’s an important part of my overall practice regimen.

I’m also covering old ground in the Skeptical Guitarist book and getting the same Eureka moments that I got the first time round and had subsequently forgotten. I’m not so keen on the “humour” style of the book, but it does explain the concepts well.

I think I have a pretty full and rounded regimen on the go. There’s some nice variety and each thing should feed into the other to some degree.

I’ll start doing recordings once the tunes start to become more polished. I guess the Mist Covered Mountains will be ready in a couple of weeks. I might even play it out at the next open mic if I feel ready for that. I had hoped to have it ready for the RMMGA UK gathering last month, but it wasn’t to be.