I had gotten to where I could strum a nice pattern in a steady way and change chords somewhat smoothly so next I wanted to sing a little. Now, I’ve read enough forum posts to know that singing and strumming together is something that takes practice and time to achieve because your strumming hand always throws in the flag and goes along with your voice. I knew that would take time and practice but what I didn’t realize was that either I strum very loudly (or a dreadnought is a REALLY loud guitar) or I have an unusually quiet voice. Either way, I couldn’t hear myself and that sucked.
Keep in mind, my personal goal with the guitar is to write and sing my own folksy songs and someday play along in old time jams, particularly with my husband and his banjo.
Ok, so what now? Give up strumming and practice fingerpicking? Trade my pretty Hummingbird in for a folk guitar? Learn how to strum with just my fingers?
Um yeah. So that’s where I’m at. All those things except for maybe the trading in of the Hummingbird.
A very talented friend of mine, Stuart Lee of Gathering Nada met me at my sister’s house to show me and my nephew a few things. He very kindly let me play his Seagull S6+, a cedar topped folk guitar and it was really very awesome.
The guitar’s smaller size fits better in my lap, its sound was rich and mellow and the fingerboard is wider allowing for more room to pluck strings if I choose. I much preferred it to my guitar but I’m not ready to say goodbye to her just yet or even ever.
Right now, I’m doing the “Alternating Bass” or Fingerpicking lessons from this translated site, Guitar Nick and I love it. I just do exercises when I have the time. I’ve given up on learning songs just yet.
Also, I’m practicing strumming with my fingers and thumb…it has a much more mellow, soothing sound which is what I really love. Strumming without a pick was almost like starting all over. I am awkward and slow and inconsistent again.
Changing directions is hard but it’s all part of the journey right?
All photos taken by my lovely sister, Suzanne Hartman