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.
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.
4) Simply saying I’m in a girl band – There’s just something empowering about it! I wish there were more in Charlotte.
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.
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 🙂
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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.
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It seems to be that I’ve overextended myself this summer and because of that fact, Tipsy Tuesday will go on hiatus.
With my busy schedule, I’ve discovered that the mornings are now the best time to practice. Just like the old days, I’ve begun see Danny for guidance. Although I was attached to Alek, I realized I learn more material (faster) with Danny. He’s been pushing me and making my practice routine significantly longer. Sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough because it’s become so important to impress him. Is that backwards?
I guess it could be viewed as such but I know if I make him the slightest impressed, my performance will be astounding–beyond my very own goals. I suppose that’s the benefits of having a mentor with high expectations of his students. In comparison, Alek was constantly complimenting me when I knew good and well that I did not practice to the best of my ability.
“Okay, let’s hurry up and get you back into this,” Danny told me. “There’s no telling how long I’ll have with you. You might move across the country again.”
It makes me laugh to know that he knows me well enough to accurately predict my adventure seeking agenda… and as usual, Danny is right. Adventure seeking or not, I need to find my groove. It’s taking me a bit longer than expected this summer…
Image courtesy of Whitthaya phonsawat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Please 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.
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