Fumbling and progress

heartbeatsI had a guitar lesson today, and I was excited for it. The previous week, we had started out on a new song, Heartbeats, by Jose Gonzales (for some fun, check out the original version by The Knife. While YouTuber’s debate with fiery passion in the comments section, I much prefer Jose’s interpretation).

It’s fun to see what different folks do with it. Ellie Goulding also performs a cover here. The band Royal Teeth offers their own (I love that someone is finally putting the stress for “divine” on the second syllable. It makes my eye twitch every time I hear it otherwise). Another great take by Daniela Andrade x Dabin (recording-wise, this is probably my favorite) that played on Supergirl a few weeks ago. Don’t ask me why I was watching Supergirl.

Anyways, finger picking! Fun syncopation between the melody and the guitar line! The song is actually in my range!

I practiced quite a bit and felt good about it this week, but when it came time for my lesson, I fumbled all the way through it.

I was nervous and putting too much pressure on myself to get it right.

All of this makes me think about piano lessons as a kid. I don’t remember struggling the way I have with some of these guitar pieces. Call that rose-colored glasses, nostalgia, or just a symptom of getting older (new things don’t come as easily as they used to?) … It’s a funny thing.

Fact is, I’m playing more regularly than ever before, and having fun. I’m learning to be content with a work in progress, even when that work is me. I don’t have to play perfectly, and it’s not going to be — nor should it be — easy. My cramped hand agrees.

I’ll keep practicing, and I’m on the right track. As bad or weird as it can feel, sometimes fumbling is the exact appropriate place to be on the road to progress.

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