Kathy in Pennsylvania writes:
I am a guitar flatpicker, playing for four years. I learned to read music as a child having played classical piano for eleven years (no ear training—all by rote). Since I love fiddle tunes, when I first started guitar, I got a bunch of fiddle tune music and have been memorizing ever since.
I sound good and can hold my own with stuff I’ve labored over and memorized and played over and over and over, but that is getting old. I am way too spontaneous a person to be satisfied with the box I’ve put myself into. I know the problem stems from those 11 years of piano where I ONLY learned by music that had to be memorized for piano recitals. I just applied how I use to learn to how I would tackle the fiddle tunes (flatpicking with a guitar). Now that I shine in that method, it is difficult to take ten steps back and sound lousy at improv! But, it’s got to be done!!!!...lest I go insane.