Lately, I've been having trouble maintaining my focus. I've been tired a lot, and I haven't been able to concentrate while practicing.
I just finished up two major events, both of which required a lot of effort and mental drive.
A couple weeks ago, I finished performing in a musical with a very difficult guitar book. I spent over two months practicing this music, drilling it over and over again. Even during the two-week run of the show, I continued drilling much of the music to keep it all under my fingers. While I enjoyed playing the show, and I improved my guitar skills, it was also a huge relief to be finished.
Last week I ran a half marathon. This followed nearly a year of dieting, walking, biking, and running that culminated in a very respectable time of 2:03 for my first half marathon. I didn't realize how much mental focus went into that race until the next couple days, when my brain simply shut down and I had to sleep through two afternoons. I was literally falling asleep while practicing scales!
Normally, I maintain a laser focus, but no one can keep it up indefinitely. To regain my energy and recover from the half marathon, I've had an easy week of exercise, with just one run and some easy bike riding. Next week I'll begin building up the running miles again, aiming for another half marathon in October and a full marathon around this time next year.
As far as guitar playing, to help me regain my focus, I'm going to start working my way through a DVD guitar course, Guitar College, that I bought last year and never seemed to get around to using. Since I'm having trouble deciding what to practice next, I'm simply going to follow the course and use the DVDs to help me get back on track. It won't be long before I find my groove again as a musician.
I'm glad I played the show and ran the half marathon. I'm equally glad that they're both finished. Now I can take a breather, absorb the lessons I've learned, and start moving forward again.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.