Today was another day of great lessons here at TKAM, I got to meet Travis today, as he gave me my first guitar lesson at TKAM. Travis was super encouraging early on which was great for someone like me who doesn’t have really any music experience. Although guitar is the instrument I have the most experience in, it’s quite limited (lol). Travis started our lesson off by getting a feel for my experience in guitar and what I would be looking for in this lesson. I thought it was great that Travis approached this with a “what you want” mindset, as what someone is looking to accomplish in their lessons may be different than what another person wants to accomplish and by making himself aware of what the student’s expectations look like he is letting them set the scene for progress.
We dove into the lesson right away taking up learning some chords, Travis taught me E minor, C and D, giving me the chance to try and orient my fingers in a way that produced a smooth sound, which honestly was not as easy as it sounds, especially for a girl with small hands. I really struggled with the C chord because you have to stretch your three fingers to three different frets, which as I said, was difficult with small fingers, I managed to make it work and Travis was able to give me tips and encouragement to make it smoother. We went through these chords a few times trying to ease me into switching chords, which I was not very good at, but I know comes with practice!
Next Travis thought it’d be fun if we could just go through a short song, and some notes on a scale. I asked him how to read sheet music, because I know it could be different for each instrument and have always been intrigued about how to read them. He showed me the types of notes there are, full notes have four beats, half notes have two beats and quarter notes have one beat. This sets the tone for the song and the amount of time between chords. I never realized how ‘simple’ it could be to read them, as the full, half and quarter notes always threw me off trying to read sheet music in the past. From then on Travis had me playing E, F and G chords while reading through the notes. Travis told me that it doesn’t matter how fast you go as long as you get the rhythm of beats with the corresponding notes consistent. From there on we practiced this for a while and even did a short song, which was a lot of fun! Travis also taught me about tablatures, which is another way to read music, as it shows a number to indicate the players finger position on the fret, as opposed to showing rhythm and pitch. Some find it easier to read numbers than notes, but the trouble comes in with the inability to read what rhythm must come with the song, a lot of the time you must just listen to the song itself to get a feel for the rhythm when using tabs.
At the end of the lesson Travis and I just chatted a bit and it was great to learn more about him. He told me about his schooling as he is currently in pilot school and in the midst of doing some ground examinations. I thought this was really cool and exciting, certainly more outside of the box than I would be willing to try, but the adventures that come with a pilot’s licence are new and rich, and I am very excited for him! Travis was so nice and encouraging throughout this whole lesson and he was happy to answer any questions I have (which tend to be a lot lol). I am really looking forward to spending more time getting to know Travis the music teacher as well as Travis the pilot in the future.