Hi Anyone / Everyone this is my second Blog on this forum regarding a TF course. My first blog was "Blues Guitar for Beginners" by Dave Hamburger. A great introduction to the blues for beginners and those of us who have hidden the guitar in the closet for a few years. That's is a a name I call myself a "Closet Guitarist", no offensives to anyone but myself, I have spent 40 years picking up the guitar and just as quickly putting it away, I have never played in public, not with anyone, not for my wife or even my child. Usually I buy a course and right away don't understand what the instructor is trying to say or I'm not able to reach a stretch right off the bat etc. My wife is baffled when she see's a bill from PayPal for a guitar course but never see's or hears me play. Thanks to the generosity of Brad and TrueFire I'm currently all over the Easter Egg Sale, even though I get to hide my own Easter Eggs due to memory loss! HMMM, What was I writing about!
I want to Thank Dave Hamburger and TF because for the first time EVER, ("Blues Guitar for Beginners") I completed a course from start to finish. I still go back to it to work on a few things such as "Muting" in Lesson 10 and "Dampening" in Lesson 16 of Blues Guitar for Beginners. I left a review on both Dave Hamburgers and Blues for Beginners comment sections of TF website if you don't want to read my previous Blog on it.
Important information that you should know before we go forward; My name is Roger Mackenzie but everyone calls me Mac, even my wife, I guess it was the whole "Mac Marine thing tied in with Mackenzie". I talk / write in circles. What doers that mean? I'm actually not a big talker, not because I don't have anything to say; but because I have No Voice. Really! OK, that's weird. I have been battling Cancer for the last 5 years and a year ago became a Lary; that's someone that has had the voice box removed and now breath through a hole in there neck. Why become a Lary? I was told that I would never be able to even have a sip of water for the rest of my life, no food, no drink. I lived that way for the last 4 years and it was tough, by becoming a Lary the drinks would no longer go straight into my lungs, now they are separated, I can drink liquids and someday maybe eat a Big Mac. I did lose a couple of things, I can't smell anything any more and sneeze / cough etc out of my neck, if it sounds very strange for you, it is doubled strange for me but reality. I never had one cigarette, I was and always will be a Marine, so fitness was something that was important to me my entire life! There are people that have had there voice returned via Prosthesis, etc, I might be one of those lucky people soon! We call ourselves Lary's short for Laryngectomee's and there are two websites fighting hard to keep us alive; up to-date and teaching us to try to get back to normal living. I mention them because if you have a few extra dollars and looking for a cause, now you know of one, if you find it in your heart . http://www.webwhispers.org and http://www.theial.com/ial/ . I donate to both, IAL is actually going to spend 4 days of One on One with me at their yearly Voice Institute in Durham, NC to try to get my voice back in June. Using the latest break through's. Webwhispers sends me a email everyday from other Lary's with questions, answers, idea's and hope.
Another thing I do that may surprise you is that I'm a Tenor Drummer in a Scottish Pipe band http://www.alepposhriners.com/units/Pipe_band.html , I don't parade right now until I feel good enough to carry a drum but we march to support the Shriners Childrens Burn Hospitals: http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/
It is a amazing organization, children 18 and under from anywhere in the world are treated for burns, clef palates, and Orthopaedic disorders and there is no charge, we pick them up with special medical planes, vans etc, take them to one of our hospitals and treat them, we have no billing department. These parents have enough to worry about besides how are they going to pay for care. If a member of your family ever has a accident like this or a neighbor / friend etc, you now know who to call.
Back to my point, Cancer will not Define me as a person, I still have dreams of becoming a guitarist, I still want to be the best Dad possible for my Janelle, I still want to help those less fortunate when I can. I still love my wife and my lifelong friends. Nothing has changed. And I am blessed that I have been chosen to deal with this, than my wife, child, your child or any kid. Why? Because I can handle it! God knows that, of everyone he chose me because he knows people will watch me and get off their a$$es and say if I can beat the odds, so can't you, whatever your situation.
I want to be a guitarist bad, so join in with me and together we'll beat this 6 string curse, just like my Red Sox did in 2004! Enough with the blah, blah, blah stuff, I only want to tell you about myself before proceeding.
When I write in circles, I am trying to make some kind of Abi-Normal point. I might be talking about a chord or point discussed in the course but before making that point I might take you to Morocco; Parris Island; The Keys; being a grunt in Viet Nam; Chemo/Radiation Treatments; Red Sox; 5th Grade; The Pentagon; USMC and ask that you give me 20 push ups etc. The point is I some how might make sense with our travels and add to the point that our new Instructor "Rick Payne" is making. I am only at the Beginner Level, let's make that clear. Rick is the expert, I am the Chowder-Head trying to make sense of the guitar. I will be 62 in early June 2012. This blog helps to motivate me as I go through each course and if your wondering a little about what the course is about, I will try to give a fair evaluation of what is in each course; what level it is for etc. but I am not going to be critical of the Instructor, they and TrueFirel work extremely hard to put out a product that will give us the information and instruction to get us closer to our goal of being the guitarist that we want to be.
So now you know a little about me, lets get to the course: TrueFire's - Blues in a Day by Rick Payne
I ordered the course because I am following two different Learning Path's - "Acoustic Bluesman" and "Blues-Rock Jammer". Why, because I love electric blues, Gary Moore, Johnny Winter, BB King, Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee etc, but at 62 the reality is that I'll most likely play for family and friends on the front porch when I'm good enough. So I'm undecided which path I'll go. I also am having a hard time deciding where I am as a player, A Beginner Level or Early Intermediate. I guess if I was a "Sherpa" member they would figure it out quickly but I'm on a fixed income so that's out of the question. I finished the Blues for Beginners very easily with over 3/4's being just a recap of things I already knew and was proficient in. The good thing was both path's more or less started with Blues for Beginners. The next courses for the Blues Jammer Path are labeled as Intermediate, so I'll finish the beginner courses in the Acoustic Bluesman Path, which include Blues in a Day; Guitar Physiology Survival Guide; and Jump Start Finger Style. It also gives me time to make my decision on what path I'll end up going, perhaps both, but I don't want them to interfere in my overall learning.
I started the course and whipped through the first 8 lessons as it covered Tunings, How to hold a pick; the following chords: G; C; D7 (I never under stood the popularity of this chord, I don't like the sound of it) A; D; E7; E; A7; B7; F; G7; another version of E7; E6 and A6ADD7. OK, I never seen E6 or A6ADD7 before, but both are Open chords and the fingering was not to tough to figure out. Also the lessons so far are only around 30 seconds long, easy to swallow.
He finishes with a short easy strum pattern.
There are 94 lessons, I don't know if they all are this short.
I will continue on after going through some more lessons.
Happy Easter to you and get on this unbelievable sale that TrueFire is having this weekend. I purchased every Beginner and Intermediate course in both the Blues Jammer and Acoustic Bluesman Path's. The only one I'm waiting for to go on sale is Guitar Physiology. The Advanced Courses will be Bonus when I prove myself by completing the other earlier courses.