Expanding My Musical Ability

Logan Harvey

Artistic and Creative Endeavor

1. With my STEP funds, I decided to teach myself to play the guitar. I purchased a guitar, amplifier, and pedalboard. With these things, I taught myself how to play the guitar. I taught myself mostly jazz scales and chords.

2. During my experience, I learned that I am much more creative that I previously expected. I knew that I would be a decent guitar player due to my experience with the piano. I also gained some confidence as a musician, expanding my knowledge, and realizing that music is something that comes natural to me. With this, I feel that I can definitely be a successful musician and more confident as a person.

3. I learned many things about my musical abilities during my STEP experience. Many moments and experiences led to this. When learning to play the guitar I felt that it came very naturally. While learning some of my favorite songs I found myself putting my own spin on them. I learned that playing in front of people was not a problem for me, while playing for friends and family. After learning some of the basic jazz chords, I found myself putting them together and making my own rhythms. When I learned some jazz scales, I started putting them together and making up my own riffs.

Eventually, I was experimenting with different tunings, and found that the guitar is much more versatile than I expected. Recently, while learning one of my favorite guitar solos, which is played out of an alternate tuning, I picked it up very quickly. Within that same day, I was playing it at full speed and eventually, I was playing the solo without even looking at my hands. Later that same week I was working on learning the entire song. After a while I had memorized the whole song, without looking at the music.

A challenge that I overcame while learning to play the guitar, was learning to play standing up. I had initially learned to play sitting down, with the guitar resting on my lap. At first it was very difficult to play standing up, but after about a week I had greatly improved and now I prefer to play this way.  All of this made me realize that I am more talented and creative than I thought and gave me a lot of confidence as a musician.

4. This is all very important to me as a musician. It has increased my self confidence and made me more creative. I have been uncomfortable as a musician because I only knew how to play the piano, so learning the guitar really helped with this. Throughout my life, I have struggled with anxiety and depression. My improved musical abilities have greatly helped me through my personal struggles.

I also find myself being more motivated to work on my musical skills. When I am listening to music I find myself craving to learning how to play a specific riff, chord progression, or even an entire song. With the endless resources on the internet I am able to learn whatever I want. I have even been able to figure out some stuff just by ear. With my improved musical ear I have gained an interest in singing, something that I would have previously been opposed to.

The importance of my STEP Experience revolves around my improved confidence, knowledge, and creativity. I hope to start a band and have my musical career take off. This experience has made me realize that I am a unique person with unique abilities, and I have a very bright future.