My Third Anniversary

On Wednesday, June 25, 2008, I took my first electric guitar lesson with Jim Goelitz at Kagan & Gaines in Forest Park (a nearby suburb of Chicago). Except for a few gaps of a week or two, I’ve taken a lesson every week since then.

For the first year or so, I took an hour lesson, but then cut back to 30 minutes for reasons of economy. Having a weekly lesson to prepare for has been important in helping me maintain a regular practice schedule. In the beginning I practiced 20 to 30 minutes a day–most days. More recently, I’ve tried to practice at least an hour (usually in two 30 minute segments). Sometimes I practice a total of 90 minutes, but other times I miss a day. I usually average around five hours a week and always wish I could manage more. I’m convinced that more playing time leads to more improvement.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been playing guitar for three years. In some ways, I still feel like a beginner. Given how much there is, potentially, to learn, perhaps I always will. At the same time, when I look back, I can see how much I’ve learned so far. Scales, chords, riffs, techniques or music that once seemed challenging, if not impossible, I now can play comfortably. There are always new challenges, but fortunately I love learning new things.

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