“Will I ever get better?” is the perennial cry of the pre-beginner (folks say there is no such thing as a pre-beginner but I have been one for 10 years…) or beginner player. We always feel just a tad bit “lacking” in improvement despite all of our best efforts. The truth is that we have more than likely made more progress than we know.
A LOOK BACK:
I have been playing banjo for over 10 years. I tell folks that I SOUND like I have been a banjo player for “at least 10 minutes” which always gets a chuckle. The truth is somewhere in between.
The other day I pulled out some of my old song sheets. I was watching the “Muppet Movie” and was inspired to try my old arrangement of “The Rainbow Connection”. It actually has what NOW seem modest chord forms: Em, Bm, Bmajor, C, D7, and of course open G. Back when I first learned it I complained to my teacher about the Em and Bm; “Why are you so mean? Why do I have to do those chords? Can’t you make it easier?”
Today it is a different story. I can easily make those chords and the song is so much fun to play. I had no idea, 8 years ago, that it would EVER happen this way. And when I was first shown a C chord, I moaned for weeks. I can close my eyes and make a good C chord today but I NEVER thought the day would come those many years ago.
IN THE HERE AND NOW:
Sharing these stories is just a way of telling you that YES, you WILL get better!
So how do you measure this “unknown” progress?
If you have never played a banjo or any other acoustic stringed instrument, then now is a great time to start charting your progress. What do you need to make this happen?
Before long, you will have stories of your own progress to share with others. That’s the real sign of growth. When you can look back at the “new you” and the “now you” with a smile and a laugh, you will know the real joy of music!
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