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Growing pains.

Lately this has all been a pain in the neck…no seriously, I've been getting this shooting pain at the back of my neck. Initially, I really thought nothing of it. I’m a pretty active guy, playing tennis and working out regularly, but I usually don’t get this kind of pain. Could I have just slept funny? When was the last time I had a massage? What was the cause?

Hilary was quick to possibly connect the pain to the craziness of the last few weeks. “Maybe it’s because of all the practicing? When was the last time you ever practiced 3 hours a day that consistently?” she asked. The light bulb went off. Definitely in the realm of possibility. The Facebook concert was the crucial push I needed to take me to the next level. But the preparation likely took its toll. I’m ashamed to say that I still haven’t developed a warm up/stretch routine. With the FB concert prep, I felt my time was so limited that I went straight into the pieces and skipped warm up altogether. And because it was so late at night by the time my practice session was over, I didn’t bother with any stretching afterwards either. Big mistake. I’ve had this pain for the last week, and it’s not getting any better. Here’s my chance to develop better habits and take better care of my body. And maybe even getting a proper guitar teacher will give me some additional tips to help my posture and help me take more preventative measures. I’ll try a massage next week and some basic stretching to see if it helps… Kinda freaky though. It doesn't feel good at all.

Speaking of guitar teachers, I found the guy who last taught me over 15 years ago. I took lessons with an instructor named Ralph Maier. I don’t even remember what my real motivations were to take lessons back then. Before then, I hadn’t taken guitar lessons since I was a kid, so, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just proof of my desire to really specialize and hone my musical skills in guitar. I’ve never had a project like GuitarBorn to really be the engine that keeps the train going forward down this path. Ralph now has his PhD in classical guitar, specializing in sixteenth-century Spanish music for vihuela; a guitar-shaped string instrument from 15th and 16th century Spain, Portugal and Italy, usually with five or six doubled strings. Ya, he’s legit!

He’s actually a chair on the Classical Guitar Society of Calgary. After some quick research, I discovered that this society had a classical guitar festival happening this past week called GuitarFest West. I ended up going to one of their lunch concerts and did a bit of research and got some contacts to reach out to for lessons. I’m still REALLY hesitant to reach out to anyone for fear of not being good enough or legit enough for anyone to take me seriously. I don’t know if I’m embarrassed by my lack of fundamentals or whatever, but I just need to suck it up and go and talk to some people. I have a degree in music and have been playing for 30 years… Maybe that’s the problem lol. This goes back to my feeling that “I should be a lot better at guitar than I am.” Get over it Noel!

-- Noel

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