Yesterday I finished up practicing with exactly 20 hours! At around 18½-19 hours, I felt as if my skills had gone up to Level 2! Which is awesome, but also really makes me want to keep playing. Instead of learning 12 skills in 12 months, maybe I should learn them in 12 years… I had planned from the beginning to continue playing piano by ear throughout the year, as I learn my other skills, because it’s something I’d really like to do well. It will likely be a little harder to keep up though, because it won’t be as high of a priority.
So, progress! In the ~6⅓ hours since my last update, I’ve played ‘Throw Another Log On The Fire’ a good many more times, making it sound much smoother & nicer. My primary area of focus was working on ‘A Dreamers Holiday’, as sung by Richard Diamond (again, of course). The recording is really very poor, and working out the accompaniment is very trying. I’ve made some small progress, but nothing substantial. Another couple of hours would get it mostly figured out though, I think. For some reason, getting the melody figured out took a painfully long time. I’m sure the recording had something to do with it, and the fact that I didn’t know the song very well at first. But now I’ve got that down pat!
My one main grief is that I mostly wasted the first seven hours, in not working directly toward my goal. If I had followed the correct path from the beginning, I may have made around 50% more progress. Or for a similar result, I can review where I’m at after seven more hours of practice, which I’ll likely do. At that point I’ll also try and get to a place where I can make a good recording of the songs I’ve learned. And in addition, I shall test to see if I’ve attained my end goal of being able to play a song reasonably well, after 20 tries!
I have doubts that I really hit my target performance level, but I am very satisfied with the progress I’ve made, enjoy the activity, and will certainly continue to play more in the future!