When we arrive
Jamie's playing Paradise City, I'm working on the guitar and computer. While helping Jamie set up the electronics downstairs, I heard a CD that Tony made me, with a song I haven't heard in awhile, that he introduced to me. Sons and Daughters by The Decemberists. So I looked up the lyrics, chords and tabs.
I'm happy with my rhythm guitar playing, getting a little better every day. Now I'm trying to learn a little fingerpicking and lead-playing. So I tried it, fumbled it a bit, listened again, tried again, tried the chords, sang along, fumbled, tried again, and eventually, in just a few minutes, my brain made my fingers do the right thing. It reminded me of when I learned to juggle.
I'm no vaudevillian, but I can keep three things crossing through the air. And the one clue that made it click for me seems to have the same logical basis for this learning process - let go. Somehow I realized that in order for me to catch the ball coming out of the air, I had to have an empty hand, so I threw that ball up in order to catch the one coming down. It clicked, I practiced, and now I don't have to think about it: I just do it.
Well, I won't say I've mastered this song in ten minutes, but I felt the click. I just kept trying to follow along, and I caught up.