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Hi! I am Renée.

DeafBlind Renee

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Hi, I am Renée. I started Breakthrough Guitar back in November. I could play a lot of chords and had rhythm pretty good. I found before that doing strumming patterns didn't work for me too much. It gave my brain too much to think about. I guess I have low brain power. lol I do better by knowing how to sing the song first and then follow the rhythm with my strumming hand just from that. Timing comes better from that, too. I just practice chord changes to the point that I can do them really fast and still sound good. That has served me well for several years once I started teaching myself to play guitar. I tried to learn when I was a kid back in elementary school with a teacher and everything, but it didn't last long when the teacher absconded after just a few months with all the parents' money and had sold us all really cheap guitars in the process (we lived in a very rural area of the Deep South in the '60's. Yeah, I'm old.) My guitar's back came unglued and came off around the time the teacher disappeared. I did finally convince my parents to get me a new guitar as a teen after we moved to a bigger city. Lessons weren't going to happen, though. I tried teaching myself, but there wasn't a public internet, yet, and books were hard to find unless you had a teacher at a guitar store which I didn't. I learned a few chords from a book from the library, but it wasn't much of an instructional book. I eventually gave up and kept the guitar for years hoping it would happen some day. I gave the guitar away in my late '30's to a friend who was teaching Sunday School and youth group at a church. She couldn't afford her own guitar. I just felt that she would use it better, and she did. I still kept up with my music all these years because I was literally singing before I was able to talk despite being hard of hearing as a baby and profoundly deaf before age 8. There is a song in my head most of the time. It was only after I found out that I had Usher Syndrome Type III which is profound sensorineural hearing loss and Retinitis Pigmentosa that I discovered a new way to learn. I had been progressively losing vision much of my life, but it was slow until around my late '30's when I suddenly became almost totally blind. Life turned upside down, but music was my life line to my Anchor. I soon found that I could still sing on pitch and feel pitches better when I only had pure vibration to concentrate on. I picked up my son's guitar (who had learned to play as I found good teachers and a decent guitar for him. Drums became his passion, though, as I knew it would) and revisited the chords I remembered. The music came through with a little effort, but I had to learn to focus on the music and not strumming patterns and worrying about what it sounded like to others. It was great, and I surprised a lot of people, but eventually I hit a wall of knowing some songs, but I wanted to do more. Somehow, I found Breakthrough guitar after roaming the internet and YouTube videos with help from friends. I have gone through all the courses more than once, and I will continue to do so for a long while I am sure because I learn something new or a better perspective every time I go through a course. They are just that good.

Well, another fact you can glean about me from this post is that I can be long-winded. It is an acquired habit from the isolation of being DeafBlind in a world of knowing ProTactile ASL, but with few others who do and even fewer interpreters. I talk well without a Deaf voice, but few know how to communicate with me. Social media became the outlet as I keep up with family and friends that way ignoring all the other mess out there totally. I like the new forum so far, and I am sure I will love it as I learn to navigate it better. Another quick fact is that I do now have a little vision in the center back after surgery for an unrelated issue that cleared up the fogginess in the central vision, so I can do so much more right now and grateful for it. Beyond that information, I dream to be able to play anything especially lead and including more of my own music for the praise and glory of One. If my story helps others, then that will be even better. 

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Hello @DeafBlind Renee, That was very kind of you to donate your guitar to your fellow church member. I'm sure that she never forgot that. I can't imagine trying to learn how to play while facing so many adversities. You have a strong passion clearly, and I love that. I actually learned ASL in high school, and plan to continue to learn as I work toward long term educational goals. I have only used it a few times. 

That's really amazing that you were also able to regain some vision. Something many of take for granted I suppose. I happy you are able to improve on your guitar, and I think you will be able to reach your goals before you know it. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to let us get to know you.

If you should need anything we are always here to help. 

Have a great day Renee. 😄

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