Attempting Johnny Cash

This was an exciting first few attempts for me – I’ll first start with this short clip of where I got to, and then I will tell you about my journey.

Finally uploaded my videos to Youtube – Enjoy! (Updated on June 27th) 


8 seconds that took me, approximately, 8 hours to learn. Wow. I am trying not to be hard on myself as learning anything from scratch is a difficult process.

One of which failures are stepping stones to learn from in order to be successful.This take, was the 30th time I tried to play this 12 note tab:


The first few notes!
An 8 hour learning journey.

I started by playing th first 3 notes – 1,2,3 was the rhythm.. an easy start! Then I added on the 4th note, 1,2,3, and.. but it did not sound like I had played on the and. Counting has never been an area I struggle in, studying Dance education I thought this would be the easiest part of this learning journey for me. But once again, I was in for a surprise! I realized I couldn’t go note by note, rather I had to practice in 4th counts. I had to master: 0 – 2 – 4 – 0 – 0 – 0 in sequence before I could move on to the next count of 4. My struggles did not stop there, my fingers were not trained to move from one cord to the next so quickly, my strumming hand was not trained to hit the cord on the right spot at the right time, I was experiencing a whole new level of rhythm, timing, and coordination.

I listend to Johnny Cash’s song over and over and over again trying to understand the beat before attempting to play the cords again. I even sang – but I will save you the ear pain from listening to that.

I decided to hum the beat everytime I picked up the guitar and practiced first without strumming and just having my fingers hit the correct cords in proper timing and placement. I started off extremely slow and gradually got faster and faster and faster. My mindset was: if I can do this sequence quickly, I can always slow it down later. I was utilizing and engaging my muscle memory, trying to help my brain recognize and remember where my fingers are going, the timing they should get there, and what it should feel like. Eventually I was able to combine the two in the video that you watched above – it is not anywhere near perfect or in proper timing, but I am proud of myself for getting the right notes and not completely messing up my finger placement!

A successful few days of learning the first few chords to Johnny Cash, I have to continue practicing and stretchout out my fingers as my hands are so small, it is hard to reach all of the notes in time. Thank you for listening and reading! Stay tuned for my next step!

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