Diggin’ A Little Deeper

Yesterday evening I had my second lesson with John. I’m feeling like now we’re really getting into it. I’m sure from his perspective we’re just getting started, but to me it’s like we’ve already jumped into the deep end.

First, we briefly ran through “All of Me” together. While he played the lead lines, I haltingly played through the chord progression he had written out for me last time. He gave his approval at the progress I had made, and then we moved on to some listening exercises in which I had to identify by ear the differences between major, minor, diminished, and augmented chords played on a CD. I did pretty well except for one D minor chord, which I was pretty sure was augmented. Even when he played it back for me I couldn’t quite grasp it. Weird that just that one chord seemed to throw me.

The biggest part of our time was spent with him working out and showing me a chord solo for “All of Me.” That is, a combination of chords and single note melodic lines to be played as a lead. Sort of the jazzy counterpart to the “Carter scratch” in old-time and bluegrass music. In the same key as the previous progression, this little lead part nevertheless contains only one of the same chord forms as the progression I’ve been practicing. Again, we’re just moving right along.

To finish up, we cracked the cover on A Modern Method For Guitar. We played through several of the first exercises together, and John marked the pages I should concentrate on for the next few weeks. Sometime in September, he says, we’ll probably be ready to move into Chapter 2 “where the training wheels come off.”