Throughout the semester I have made a massive improvement in playing musical instruments. My original goal was to learn how to play Hallelujah on the piano and sing while I play. Now that it is the end of the semester I am happy that I have reached my goal and accomplished more. After I learnt Hallelujah I decided I wanted to learn how to play some chords on the guitar. After I masted some chord I started having a lot of fun playing the guitar! I then changed my goal to also learn how to learn and play country roads on the guitar.
I am happy with my progress I made learning and playing Hallelujah. I impressed myself immensely with how quickly I was able to pick up the piano again after so many years of not playing. When I started practicing singing while playing it was a big jump. at first I was not able to play to same level that I had learnt to play without singing. Even in my final video I am not playing the piano as well as I am able to without singing. But it took my awhile to get to the point of doing to whole song together with my voice and piano. With my singing I am able to hear improvement from when I started. My tone sounds slightly more clear and I am able to hit the high notes without them sounding horrible. This required me to practice my expanding my range to be able to go high without going into falsetto. Most of my practice was singing the two song I have been working on but that was enough to get my voice to go a little higher.
I do know that my final video was not perfect, I made a few mistakes with both the piano and my voice. I will continue to work to be able to play through the song while singing without making any mistakes (after my practicum in china).
I really enjoyed learning how to play the guitar. I found it much easier to play and sing this than I found on the piano. After I learnt a few basic chords like G, C, Em, Am, and D, and was able to switch between them quickly without really needing to think about what I was trying to do I found it much easier to start learning new chords. I now know G, G7, C, E, Em, Am, A7, D, D7, Dm, B7, and F. Of all these I still find F the most difficult, but I am getting better at it. I find it hard push two strings with one finger down with enough force to get a clear note. But the more I’ve been playing slowly I have been getting better at it. In my video there is one F in the bridge of the song. This gave me some trouble being able to change to it quickly enough and have the chord actually sound but I think it turned out alright!
The parts where I realize I need more practice after watching this video are my strumming and knowing when to breathe while singing. I know I am not strumming the correct way for a guitar. I am strumming more how you should strum a ukulele. I wanted to learn how to play without a pick for no real reason so I did what I could that where I felt I had the most control over how and when I stroke the strings. I am trying to start keeping my index finger and thumb together while I strum now and using my thumb to stroke the string when strumming up. I had to learn two strumming patterns for this song. During the verses the pattern is D-DU, and during the chorus it is D-D-DUDU. For the most past these were fine in my recording but sometimes in the chorus when I was focusing on the chords and singing I slipped into just playing DUDU. A few points in the video I can hear my voice starting to sound strained while I am running out of breathe. I think this just comes down to knowing the song better and knowing when I need to take a larger breathe.
Now at the end of the class I feel I have made some good progress and learned some new valuable skills with music. I love how satisfying I find it when I learn a new song and everything comes together. I hope in the future I keep these skills up so I can use them in class and just in my own personal life!