Now that you have been updated to where I am at up to this point, it is now time that I sum up my experience as a whole. I will provide a brief summary of each week and reflect on them in this post, but I recommend also reading the whole post if you are interested. After I will reflect on the entire experience, both with picking up the guitar again and finding the various resources online that we have at our fingertips. With that being said, its time to reflect on this past month of learning:
Week 1: “Thanks For ‘Tuning’ In!”
This was where it began at the start of May, and I was really excited about it and enjoyed setting up my plan for learning. I had not played guitar since high school. When I decided to take a break during finals, I never really went back to it, so this project became my motivation to get back into something I really enjoyed. Because I had some experience in high school, I wanted to challenge myself with a certain aspect of the guitar that I thought was really cool, which of course was fingerstyle. I didn’t really know where I was in terms of my ability though so I figured it was best to start from the basics, which led me to my first week of learning.
Going in, I didn’t really know where to turn when it came to finding resources online, but I was excited to start looking, and throughout the month, I began finding more and more useful tools to help me learn.
Week 2: “Back to the Basics”
This week was when I finally picked up the guitar and started playing again. Like I said before, and also what the title indicates, I wanted to use this week to figure out where I was in terms of my ability. That meant starting from the basics.
Because I didn’t know where to start looking online, I turned to YouTube. This was the week I discovered Andy Guitar, which is an amazing channel for anyone wanting to play guitar, no matter what stage you are at in your learning. He is a channel that I am subscribed to now and frequently watch his videos. This is one of the things I was excited about during this week because it showed me a channel I probably would have never found had it not been for this class.
Moving along though, that week I learned how to play Hot Cross Buns, which although was a very simple song, taught me some great lessons on how to position my hands on the guitar, and overall get a feel for playing again.
Week 3: “Scaling” It Up a Notch
Now that I had figured out where I was in terms of ability, I wanted to use this week to start challenging myself, and that is exactly what I did. One thing I did regret a bit was going back to the same person as last week, which was due to the fact that I was not thinking about the short amount of time we had for this project. With that being said, it wasn’t exactly the same, as although I was following and Andy Guitar tutorial again, I was doing it through his app which I discovered the previous week. This was a good experience for me though, as it got me looking for resources through different platforms, and got me exploring various other apps. I must say I was not a fan of the Andy Guitar app though, as most of the content was blocked unless you became a paid member, and the content that wasn’t blocked could be found on his YouTube channel anyways.
Regardless, this week, I learned how to play the G major scale, and began adding elements of the base. The first two sections were fairly easy once I got the pattern down, but the issues for me came during the final section when the scale and the base were alternated. With that being said, I’m really glad I was able to figure it out, and I was happy with the end product.
Week 4: “Taking a Stab at Tabs”
During this week, I felt like I had become comfortable with playing guitar again and because of that, I wanted to keep challenging myself in what I could do. That is when I decided to look into Tablature, or “Tabs” for short. If I was able to learn how to read Tabs, then it would give me the opportunity to begin exploring music that I actually wanted to play, rather than following tutorials on things I wasn’t interested in, and I must say, this was the most fun week of the whole experience.
This was one week where I wanted to explore what the internet had because I knew that there was going to be a lot of resources for how to read Tabs. Because of that, I was able to discover GuitarLessons.com which is a website was new to me at the time, but I still continue to use when I have questions. I also rediscovered an app I used back in high school which was Ultimate Guitar, which helped me find the Tab for The Office Theme that I decided to learn. This was my favorite app throughout the whole learning journey, and I actually enjoy it so much that I purchased the “Pro” version, which gave me access to so many great features, my favorite being the ability to Transpose songs into the key I wanted. Again, this was a challenging week, as I picked a really fast-paced song, but I was proud of what I accomplished.
This week came as a bit of a curveball to me, as I was getting comfortable with the way I made my learning project posts. I would learn what I wanted to learn, make a video showing how I did, and then would write a description of my experience. When we were given the task of teaching others something we had learned though, it made me a bit uncomfortable. The hardest part about it was watching myself teach on video, and was super awkward. With that being said, it gave me the opportunity to see how I taught. Being able to see the areas I struggled in and figuring out how I could do better next time, I think will help me grow as a teacher.
Now originally, when I first posted the blog, I only included the video of me teaching, and a description. But this was also at the time when we began getting feedback from Katia about what we could do to improve. One of those things for me was to explore more ways of presenting my material, and just being more creative in my blog posts. That is why when you look now at my post, you will see that I decided to add pictures and step by step descriptions, as an alternate form of teaching. This got me thinking about how important this is within a school. Having different strategies to teach something is super important because not all students learn the same way.
Through that entire week, I felt like I was really growing a lot in many aspects.
To end I just want to say how much I enjoyed this experience, and I believe that this gave me the motivation I needed to start playing the guitar again. It also showed me the value of the internet when it comes to finding help and resources, and without this class, I don’t think I would’ve had the knowledge to go looking for them. I think one of the reasons for not picking up the guitar before, was because I came to a place where I wasn’t learning anything anymore, and I just kept playing the same five songs over and over. With the knowledge I have about technology though, through this class, I think it will give me the motivation to start exploring new ways to challenge myself, which will hopefully mean I keep playing guitar for a long time.
Thank you to Katia and all my fellow EDTC classmates who followed me on this journey, and for the kind words and support in the comments. I had a lot of fun learning alongside you!
- The Simplified Tab I Made for “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth: