Between celebrating Christmas, enjoying every spare minute of quality time with my awesome four-year-old son, fitting in some running and rowing to burn off all those mince pies, and looking forward to the New Year, it’s been a great break so far and the rare moments of free time that this period has afforded me have resulted in an apparent new found freedom to clock up the air miles on the guitar fretboard and explore some new and perhaps somewhat unexpected destinations.
In my ongoing efforts to improve my playing, I thought I’d search for yet another song featuring a cool and enticing rhythm, to learn, practice and record a cover of, as a way to keep me motivated with new material and essentially keep surprising my hands with new challenges, or old challenges rebranded in slightly new sequences.
The song that caught my attention during this search late into the night, last night, is the eternally cool ‘Fly Away’ by Lenny Kravitz.
There are admittedly a few different ways to play this and I found my initial use of barre chords, leading into an octave-based interlude that I’m not sure translated very well, then quickly reverted to more basic power chords in my effort to focus primarily on keeping moving with some semblance of fluidity, though this only highlighted my need to improve the ease with which I can play barre chords at speed, and clearly too, my long overdue need to improve the transitions in my chord changes, and generally develop a smoother, more refined playing style.
Critique aside, I am actually finding myself becoming a whole lot more aware of things that need to improve in my playing and am genuinely finding the journey of learning these songs that I know and love, combined with the realisations experienced along the way, to be one of the most insightful periods in my playing, in ages.
Whilst any actual significant improvements in my playing may only be realised over time, for now I am just celebrating a great day of guitar practice and more than anything simply enjoying playing yet another kick ass song!
As the final journal entry representing this 2012 era in my guitar practice, it’s great to be closing 2012 with such a cool vibe and I am happy to report that my guitar practice is indeed …flying!
– Joel BB