I happen to play 5 different instruments. Drum, Piano, Voice, Bass and Guitar. I just listed the order of proficiency I’ve got on them. I am the best on drums and the worse on guitar. But I practice each instrument as much as I can. And I never neglect the drums or the piano since these are instruments I teach to people.
So, sometimes, it has been awhile since I’ve picked up a guitar. Weeks or even months have gone by. And I have become one of these musician who hasn’t been playing for a long time. It is the subject of this blog: what to do when you are grossly out of practice and you are trying to get your fingers moving, or even regain interest in the instrument?
I will admit that I do not have a set of exercises I specifically do. I do not go by any method or books. I sit down and I play. That’s all. I let my hands run on the guitar, I let my mind be curious again, I let my ears experimenting with dynamics, space, phrasing, chord progression, etc… For an observer my playing will sound like nothing. There are no rhyme or reasons to it. Nothing is coherent, nothing is sewn together. And that’s fine. I’m not here for that. I’m here to find the fun in the music produced by the guitar.
You see, I teach by keeping the flame bright and strong in people’s heart for the drums or the piano. I want them to be motivated. All the exercises and games I give are designed with that in mind.
Well, I apply the same philosophy to my own musical journey: so, when I take that guitar and dust it off, I put no agenda on our new encounter. I just let myself get carried into the world of guitar in as organic of a way as possible. Later on, once I see that I will make it a habit to play, then I start to add some exercises, some progression, some little mountains to climb. And then, little by little, eventually, I will build my world around the instrument, give it more and more time and energy. But at first, I keep it innocent, non committing, non consequential. I just play!