Summer Resolutions Check-In: Listener Frank

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Soundcheck listener Frank contacted us back in May with his "summer resolution": learn a 12-bar blues chord progression in all twelve major keys on guitar. Frank told us, "I bought an acoustic guitar about a year ago, but since then it's been mostly sitting in it's bag in the corner of my bedroom. I told myself the first thing I wanted to do was learn a blues progression - but working on my goal hasn't happened. I think learning the blues in major keys would be a fast track to the basics." 

We checked in with Frank to see how his summer resolution is going - and here's what he had to say. 

  • On making mistakes: "It has been slow going - but I am learning what I set out to learn in bits and pieces. I started out with Bonnie Raitt's "Love Me Like a Man." While making this video, I realized after several takes that I could spend my entire weekend trying to get a clean B7 chord and play the song in strict tempo, or just give myself a break by admitting those things will come eventually. I choose the latter and included an imperfect take of myself playing the song."

  • On cheating, maybe: "So far, I've learned to strum blues progressions in A, E and B. But when I got around to F and F#, I had an epiphany. I realized that I can sort of cheat by using barre chords for many I IV V progressions. Then again, barre chords starting with F aren't the easiest to learn. So, maybe it's not cheating."
  • What's next: "Inspired by John's podcast about the 40th anniversary of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, I've been learning a transposed (so I can sing it) version of "Moonage Daydream" in the key of F, for when I get bored with blues. Also, several years ago, I wrote a rock-n-roll blues song in B flat on piano called "Long Distance Runner." I've always had guitarist play it for me. I'm going to try and kill two birds with one stone by making "LDR" a part of the challenge."