Minor Accomplishments

Finally worked my way through the introductory solo of Eric Johnson’s Cliffs of Dover tonight.  I remember the first Guitar Magazine I bought with Eric Johnson’s music featured on it back in the ’90’s, and feeling overwhelmed  at trying to work through it, not feeling adequate enough.  I remember feeling frustrated not being able to play fast, learning a new instrument, expecting a lot of myself.  Over the years I learned to just take my time and slow down.  One of the major lessons I learned about music was a lecture from my band instructor:  Anyone can play fast, but not everyone can play slowly with expression.  Anyone can play loud, but not everyone can play soft to where you can barely hear it.

That lesson was reinforced by my uilleann pipe instructor Brian Bigley, who encouraged me to really slow down and let the rhythms sink in, solidify the fingerings and understand what it is that I am playing.  So I spent the last couple weeks just learning a measure at a time of the solo.  I finally managed to get through playing it, albeit haltingly.  I’m proud of myself.

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