This again

If you’ve wondered what happened to my blog…I quit guitar again.  Well, almost.

It’s been almost a year since I last “almost quit” and this time, I really thought I would go through with it.  Honestly, I felt like I was being forced to:

  • I’m working full-time
  • I’m tight on cash, so stopping lessons seems “responsible”
  • I’m still playing drums in a girl band
  • I have a another significant hobby in my life – rock climbing
  • I don’t use guitar the same way as I did in the past – it used to be an emotional outlet for me

But ya know what?  I want to quit on my on terms and I am not ready.  I want to push through my current (seemingly boring) material and first find out how it’ll benefit me before calling it quits.  I want to make sure it’s not the material scaring me off.

Looking back at my very first blog entry 1 year ago… I clearly had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Let’s see how February goes.

4 Reasons Why I Love Playing in Girl Bands

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Faye has been practicing regularly for 2 months now.  This past month we bumped up to 2 practices a week!  And because of that and our goal to play our first show in December (fingers crossed), I feel compelled to share my favorite things about being an all girl rock band.

1) Constant communication – This is a no brainer.  Men and women communicate differently.  As a group of female musicians, we are better listeners than our male counter-parts and are surprisingly more laid back than most men we know.  The only thing is… we tend to be “too nice” in fear of hurting one another’s feelings when sharing opinions.  Maybe that’ll fade away the longer we play together?

2) Absence of gender stereotypes -“She plays great for a girl.”
On more than one occasion I’ve over heard my guy friends and even male acquaintances discuss how there are “no good female guitarists” and girls only play Bass guitar because it’s “easiest.”  Playing with Faye has been a no-pressure, judgement-free zone allowing us to practice to the best of our abilities without being scrutinized as we play “like girls.”

3) Naturally organized – We enter the practice room with a goal in mind.
Enough said.

4) Simply saying I’m in a girl band – There’s just something empowering about it!  I wish there were more in Charlotte.

Well, that’s all (for now).  Happy Friday!  🙂

I’m up & writing!

I know someone’s thinking this and I absolutely agree: it’s ironic how I finally settled on the blog name, Arpeggio Vixen and my arpeggio playing has dissipated more than I’d like to admit.

The lady band I mean, Faye, has me feeling like a legitimate drummer these days.  I’m still going to my guitar lessons but there’s something about playing and collaborating with other musicians that greatly improves musical abilities faster.

I prefer to avoid writing incomplete thoughts but I simply wanted to let you know that my blog is very much alive.  I have some legitimate posts in the making and I’m excited to share them with you starting Friday, October 10th.

‘Til then…!

Fall apart only to fall back together again

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So, “how’s the lady band going?” you ask.  Well, thanks for asking!  It’s actually, um, not going…  It’s at a stand still I am afraid.

It all began with the typical excuses, “I’m traveling a lot this summer.”  But I mean, that’s normal because it is (or, “was”) summer after all.  Then a few weeks later, “I’m going to be late” and someone else is “in a bad mood.”  That’s why I truly lost hope in the ladies’ desire to make music and play shows.  But ya know, I’m giving it one more shot.  And you know why?

One, I really want to this to work.
Two, a member admitted she is unable to dedicate the time and effort into being a band.
Three, a 3 piece is (hopefully) more flexible than a 4 piece band.
And four, we finally have a fixed practice day.  Twice is ideal but a solid 1x a week is great for foundation… baby steps, y’all.

Now, mind you, I wrote that was 3 weeks ago and forgot to post it.

TODAY, I am thrilled to share that it’s finally coming together.  We still don’t have a band name but we are practicing regularly and have written 2 original songs.  I’m super duper excited for what’s to come because the 3 of us aim to play our first local show before the end of 2014.

More lady band updates to come 🙂

IMAGE COURTESY OF Salvatore Vuono / FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

Shame. Shame. Shame.

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Last week was embarrassing. I am ashamed of myself for walking into Danny’s studio full of false confidence. I knew good and well my fingers lacked the muscle memory needed to play Simon & Garfunkle, a 7 page arrangement I promised I’d learn.

I could blame it on my internship with the Symphony Orchestra. I could also blame it on my current romantic interest–the most social (or “busy body”) man I’ve dated in a long while. I could even blame it on the numerous U.S. states I’ve visited this summer. But no matter what my excuse is, it will never erase the shame I felt in Danny’s studio.

Well, that was then, and today is a positive now. I’m sitting at my MacBook after a long weekend in Georgia, thankful that I took my guitar along because I made major improvements in my fingerpicking. I may have already said this, but I did not expect this summer to be me fighting distractions–that’s exactly what it’s come down to.

I see Danny on Thursday and I am determined to blow him away. Seeing the disappointment in my guitar teacher’s eyes feels no different than disappointing my own father.

IMAGE COURTESY OF Stuart miles / FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

Tipsy Tuesday: It’s okay to lose sleep to reach your goals

 

ID-10022288Please tell me this: who’s the loser that suggested everyone to do their “fun leisure activities” after completing uninteresting/difficult work assignments?

I’m kidding.  They’re not a loser, but really, I disagree with whomever advised everyone because, ya know, what?  By the end of the day, you’re too tired to do what you enjoy most.  But if you still haven’t completed that time sensitive project for work, you will sacrifice your sleep, sanity, and free time (if you have any) for your boss.  That never happens when it’s something enjoyable like… oh, I don’t know… practicing guitar.  Instead, you convince yourself to finish your duties earlier tomorrow as you crawl into bed for the night.  Doing so results in everyday responsibilities being a determent to your success in learning music.

And honestly, that’s been me the past week, so clearly that piece of advice simply does not work for me.  When I finally acknowledged my blog has been unusually quiet for a week due to my guitars being just as silent, I realized something was wrong.  I love this blog.  I love practicing guitar.  So when I have time, I must do it right then.  If something is important, it will get done because I will lose sleep if necessary–you can make time.

Tonight, I experienced one of my many “A-HA” moments: there is always someone sacrificing their sleep to pursue their dreams on top of their everyday duties.  As I sat parked in front of a red traffic light, I thought about Thomas Edison, Mindy Kaling and other successful people who admitted to losing an abundance of sleep to work on their passion. I thought, “why can’t that be me and my readers, too?”  Reasonably, of course.

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My practice routine needs some spice

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My infatuation with Paul Gilbert’s solo albums may have dissipated (just slightly) the past few weeks but that humble, shred-tastic man is rarely far from my mind.  Since I have a blank canvas for five more days until I see Danny, I’ve been doing what I want.  In other words, focusing on lead with a few chords whenever I get an itch to play my acoustic.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I know I should continue a balanced practice regimen but screw it.  This one time (don’t quote me), I’m going to ignore the rule of remaining “balanced” all because I want to take advantage of what energizes and inspires me to practice and improve.

What you may or may not realize is that I’m in limbo.  I’m stuck between teachers and I don’t know what to practice because my current practice materials are concepts I’ve been looking at since the last time I saw Danny–January.  No, that doesn’t mean I’ve been practicing that material since then, but I see it in my folder everyday and mentally urge myself to review it instead.  Okay, I’ll get real with ya… the mental notes do not help.  I’m simply bored of the January material and want to see something new and change things up a bit!  Since I have 5 days until Danny assigns me something new, I’m going to do what I want!

I know what you’re thinking–this girl is wild and out of control.  Yup, I’m being a daredevil and breaking all the rules.  Hopefully, nothing more than just that.  Okay, but seriously, I do fear adopting poor technique habits but what’s a measly 5 days going to do to me?  I shall find out…

Inspired by Andy Wildrick playing lead guitar in the early 2000’s emo/rock band, The Junior Varsity, I taught myself segments of “Park Your Car.”  Of course, it’s sloppy, significantly slower and disappointing but I am hopeful.  Then I decided to take a break and work on some lead exercises to strengthen the connection between my brain and fingers, and of course, increase speed.  So naturally, who do I refer to? Paul Gilbert.  Surprise, surprise.

I just cannot get enough of him!

Anyways… if anything, have (extra) fun with practicing this week because that’s what I’m doing.  If you’re in a rut or bored, play music that’s fun or inspires you to remember the reason why you fell in love with playing music in the first place.

So tell me, how do you spice up your practice routine?

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net