Tuesday June 8th.
Practiced with the fingerpicks again and made some progress. Enough progress that I spent most of the time working out a new pattern for one of our older tunes. Sometimes it goes like that, you pick up the guitar and things just work. In this case playing with a much lighter touch made all the difference.
My formative years as an electric guitarist were spent in a very loud band. A band that grew in numbers to a ridiculous degree. By the end we were a nine piece: three guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals, violin and french horn (don't ask me, wasn't my idea). I got involved in this band by chance. I knew the guys working in the store below mine and was going down to visit. They were coming up and on seeing me, C says to me "Speaking of guitar players, A here needs to get laid would you like to be in a band?" With an offer like that, how could I say no? To the best of my knowledge in decade the band was together it never got A laid.
I had no knowledge of how to play in a band and had owned an electric guitar for less than a year. All of my training was playing solo classical guitar. The other guys in the band gave me plenty of advice and very little support. As a result I played very quietly, barely turning up my amp. This was a problem. I couldn't hear myself and instead of turning up the amp I hit the strings harder. This went on for years, by the time I recognized this was a problem we had another guitar player in the band. B is a fine guitarist, way better than me, but he likes to be the loudest thing in the room. Every time I turned up to hear myself he turned up even louder. And you thought I was kidding about the tinnitus.
The point is that I developed a really bad habit. I'm still fighting it. It's easy to correct when you're sitting on the couch and much harder in a band environment. Soft hands and a loud amp is my mantra these days: I wonder if I can get some kind of hand cream endorsement?