Last night was a nice breakthrough. I finally feel like my right hand is on its way to functioning the way a guitarist’s right hand should. I’ve been stressing for months now about the fact that my right hand feels and looks crippled in comparison to videos of other players. I have had a lot of help from my SOS group friends and last night, finally, enough of their advice sank far enough into my subconscious that I was able to do it correctly for the first time with consistency and deliberate purpose.
Always before when I got it right it was more of a fluke than the result of a deliberate act as it should be. Last night I was mainly working on my left hand, but I warmed up by playing the only solo guitar piece that I know yet. I slowed it down as much as I could while maintaining the musical idea and focused on what my right hand was doing. It is finally getting trained in so that I can start building the correct muscle memory.
I had so much incorrect muscle memory from years of incorrect practice that it took longer to overcome than I thought it would. I knew this muscle memory was there, but I think that I had deluded myself into believing that my mind was strong enough to just power its way through. I am wiser now and I know that I was just impatient.
It’s a funny thing, patience. I have nearly infinite patience when I’m trying to teach someone how to do something or help them somehow, but I have very little patience with myself. My children are such an extension of my self, that they, unfortunately, suffer with some of that impatience being directed at them. I can sit down and teach them how to do their homework and never feel impatient with them, but if I’m not teaching them and they know how to do it, then I have incredibly short patience with them.
It’s like there are two of me. Dr. Jeckel the teacher and assistant and co-worker, Mr. Hyde the self observer. I go from extremes of infinite patience and calm to "GET IT DONE NOW!!" or "GET OUT OF MY WAY!!" at the drop of a hat and it is all directly proportional to the amount of mental energy I exert. It’s an internal conflict that I am always dealing with, but at least I can deal with it.
I have a guitar lesson this afternoon, if I get enough done on the report to feel good about leaving work by 3:30. I’lll post a lesson report here tomorrow.