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Caitlin Learns Guitar with Olivia

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

Hello music lovers!

I am back to update you all with my continued lesson journey with the staff here at TKAM! Today I had a guitar lesson with Olivia, who was an absolute pleasure to be taught by, she was so lighthearted and encouraging (her guitar shows it all lol). We just dove into the lesson right away, as Olivia had me practicing chords to the song Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. I honestly really liked this teaching technique because I am a very hands-on learner, and sometimes, especially with something new, the best way to really learn is to jump in and try. Olivia taught me using tabs, which was different than how Travis taught me, but I found this exciting because it gave me more diverse options for learning and getting to know what I like and am more comfortable with.

Olivia directed me to a tuning app for the Guitar that is free and super simple to use, and I thought I would share this information with you all because why go out and spend the money on an electric tuner when you can use a free app? The app is called “Guitar Tuna” it is super accessible and very simple to use, which just makes everyone’s lives so much easier. This app is actually really helpful to have as I have the studio Guitar right now during lessons and want to keep it tuned up to get the most out of my experiences with the staff. So, props to Olivia for directing me to that, such a useful tool

After this, Olivia and I just had some fun playing through the intro to Smoke on the Water, it kind of took me back to the rock band/guitar hero days, as that was always a classic to play, although much harder on a real guitar. We were working with fret numbers (because of the tabs) so it was a bit hard to keep them straight in my head, but Olivia showed me on the neck of the guitar there is dots on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th frets so it made it a lot easier to find the fret after knowing that. She gave me tips on how to hold the guitar to make it easier to hold a chord, as at first, I was struggling getting the right sound to ring out, but Olivia told me holding your thumb higher to support your hand, as well as holding your finger down close to the fret line, makes it easier and produces a smoother sound. There was also a point where she taught me how to do a slide, which is when you strum the string while holding your finger on one fret, and sliding it over after you pluck the string, to produce this, as the name indicates, slide sound. Olivia said the slide is more popular in country/folk music, but it was a really cool thing to learn, despite struggling a bit to get it.

I had a lot of fun learning this song with Olivia, we also talked about her students a bit as she told me there were instances with the zoom platform where she would be finishing up with one student and another came in. I was really impressed to hear that the students would often just mute themselves and listen to the other student, admiring and appreciating them playing. It’s amazing to see the etiquette demonstrated by such young kids in such a world of uncertainty and adaptation, it's so heart warming. It also really makes you reflect on the responsibilities children have been given in the time of a global pandemic, signing on to zoom, staying muted and using social media etiquette, it is quite impressive and promising as a future generation. I am really looking forward to learning more about Olivia and working with her in person as the province reopens. Thank you, Olivia, for an awesome time!

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