R.I.P all the guitar knowledge I've let die over the years
I wish I could remember everything I once knew.
Even though I've gone through so many phases in my guitar playing, I only know a fraction of what I once did.
I've been playing guitar since I was 10 years old. I started where a lot of people start: AC/DC, Metallica, and other classic rock music. From there, my interests narrowed down to the bluesier side of Classic Rock (only after a short stint of playing a lot of Tenacious D, which I'm pretty embarrassed about). The bluesier stuff brought me to Led Zeppelin, where I obsessed for a few years and learned almost the entire catalog. This led me to acoustic Blues and playing band-in-a-box style, which led me to other fingerpicking classics and into the jazzier side of things. Now I deal mostly in the world of Blues, Funk, R&B, Neo-soul, and a little acoustic Folk on the side.
Most of it is gone. And it would be really nice if I had a record of all this stuff I once knew.
There's the posterity thing: even though I'm not interested in playing Metallica right now, it would be cool to see a clip of myself playing it at the age of 13. But what's more important: there are many things I'd love to bring back to my mind and fingers that I don't even remember I learned in the first place.
It's a fun occasion when I do remember something I forgot about. It actually happened just recently.
I've been in the habit of recording myself playing songs I'm learning on my phone to listen to and improve how my voice sounds (I'm not a natural vocalist and need all the feedback I can get!). I recently came across a recording of myself playing "Clay Pigeons" as performed by John Prine. Having completely forgot about learning that song a couple years ago, it was like listening to another person perform it for the first time.
I'm happy to have a record of what I was doing around that time in my life.
With it, I can plug into a wholly different part of my musical DNA that was otherwise blocked off by my lack of memory until I came across it again.
I believe keeping a record of your life as a musician is beneficial not just for having a deep repertoire and bag of musical tricks, but also as a reflection of who you are expressed through the music you know.
Completing projects automatically gives you a record of what you spend time learning.
Although this isn't the most important thing about the new approach to guitar practice I've been blabbing about, it's a super nice feature.
Imagine, after years of completing a few projects a month, how much material you'll have of yourself playing stuff that was on the cusp of your ability. It will remind you not only what you know, but how you specifically learned it in your voice and musicality. As a library of your personal guitar playing, you'll be able to reference it to latch onto any new stuff you're learning and become that much stronger that much quicker.