I haven't picked up the guitar for a couple of months now. Aside from things at the Daily News getting more and more hectic all the time (I'm blogging over there a ton, too), and the summer's searing heat screwing with my lunchtime practices, I find myself drawn to other pursuits, mostly all the computer-related stuff (as chronicled in This Old Mac and This Old PC).
I've been planning, in my mind, where I want to go with the guitar, and I've been collecting music that I want to incorporate into my solo repertoire. I can imagine, in my mind, how I want it to sound, the approach I want to take (it becomes more rock, less jazz), but none of this involves picking up the box and playing it. I lug around a laptop computer, not a guitar bag.
I think part of this is that I have some long-standing barriers in my playing that I have to break through, and while planning and collecting music for the tunes I want to play, actually getting one of those tunes under my fingers, the whole way through, is what I have to do. Even if it's one tune. I get frustrated: I can't sit down and play a half-hour set of tunes. But I've got to build them up, one at a time. And at this point, I can't really expect to come up with the arrangements on the fly. I'll have to either use a pre-written arrangement or (preferably) come up with my own and stick to it. And even knowing just one tune all the way through in some kind of solo rendition would be huge at this point. Of course that means really knowing that tune. The whole melody and all the chords, along with a good idea theoretically what's going on so I can take it into other keys. Hell, at this point one tune, one key is enough.
I'm thinking that if I make the goals small enough, they won't be so insurmountable that I never even try to achieve them.
Hell, if I can write 200 blog posts, I can learn a couple of tunes. (See, I'm already up to two.)