Hello everyone, I am very glad to be here. I am looking forward to learning and offering anything I can which may help someone.
I have been playing guitar for 40 years and what an amazing journey it has been. I started out just wanting to learn a song or two because my friends in high school were in a band. The first thing I learned was probably the intro to “Fly By Night” by Rush (Rush and Rory Gallagher were my first concert btw and it was Rory who affected me the most). I soon realized that the blues guitar path was for me, particularly traditional Chicago Blues. I am currently studying the great Chicago players from the 50s and 60s in depth with a teacher and I also transcribe my own tablature by hand (a soft lead pencil and blank tab paper is still my favorite way to do this).
I have always had tremendous technical difficulty, and still do, with having an awkward right-hand picking orientation. I am definitely moving my wrist in a way which is limiting my growth as a player. I basically lift my wrist up in the air on the pinky side, playing at an up-angle, but I’m not referring to pronating the forearm. I am glad I have made strides in developing my ear and learning scales and theory, but applying this knowledge well on my instrument is still a problem area for me.
I have studied with teachers and have also gone long stretches studying on my own. There are pluses and minuses to each approach I have learned. On the subject of my awkward technique, I have had too many accomplished teachers tell me that technique is a personal thing and went on to basically overlook my obvious physical challenges. If I were a teacher, I would not let a student continue without spending an appropriate amount of time correcting picking or fretting issues which could potentially damage the hand. I still get to a point where I have to stop playing for a few days in order for my hand to recover.
I know I can overcome this issue because there are times when I suddenly can play correctly without pain and I take careful notes on how my hand is moving but the next day it’s all gone. I can’t remember what I did. It’s like life gives you a helicopter ride to the mountaintop sometimes and then sets you back down in the rabbit hole saying, “Now you climb out yourself.”
I have watched and carefully studied many of Troy’s helpful videos and have learned much so far, but I still am trying to correct my awkward picking hand orientation. I really like Troy’s recommended rest stroke exercise and I work on that regularly now.
I look forward to interacting with everyone here!