A little update on my learning journey

I have looked through the resources available online and cant find any applicable advice to myself anymore. Perhaps I need to come out with my personal “practice schedule”, which is just notes all around my desktop about what to work on. (I guess they call it being “Agile” xD)

One interesting insight I found is learning to play a piece on guitar is akin to solving a problem, which involving solving multiple little “problems” when you go through the piece (you could disagree, I am used to think in this way thanks to my mathematical background :sweat_smile:)

And I find nowadays, learning a well arranged fingerstyle piece could be broken down into a few phases:

  1. Gather the learning materials as much as possible. Unlike piano where music score alone is sufficient to recreate the masterpiece, pieces on acoustic guitar need video guidance
  2. For beginners you could work from the start to the end. For veterans like me you could pick and choose passages from the song and practice them all at once. Both beginners and veterans need to get it slow and correct.
    (Note: the most difficult passages can be any certain section so learning from beginning to the end is not that time efficient)
  3. Then we talk about connecting the ideas. Try to play those separate passages we have practiced so much together, as intended by the guitar arrangement. It’s okay to make mistakes here but the goal is to play all in one go.
  4. Lastly, learn from the original performance. The emotional phrasing, the accent or dynamics you never thought of, and mistakes, I learn it by playing along with the original performance. And people would advise you to have your own style of playing at this point, but I admit that my style is immature so I need to learn from the best =]

Aannnnnnd, sometimes its good to forgo some of our “old way of thinking” when we incorporate new ideas, new techniques.

I think I have said enough. Thank you for reading, and your replies!


Hi Vincent, this was an interesting reading…from what I know of you you’re what I’d call quite an accomplished musician and yet I could relate a lot.

Absolutely, practice in itself is problem solving, especially when we don’t have an in-flesh teacher to guide us (which btw I don’t miss).

This is so difficult! I can play fingerstyle decently for just 1 verse and chorus after that repeating seems an hard thing to do. I’m convinced that there are multiple factors at work here, number 1 the connection we’re building with the instrument number 2 good technique to start off with.

Absolutely! I so often find myself observing the fingerpicking hands of my fav players and even if I’ll never reach such levels I know that I’m absorbing some of the good stuff by simply observing and try to imitate.

Can I ask how long have you been playing? You do such amazing stuff!


Hi Silvia! Thank you, felt really motivated by your compliments.

It was roughly 10 years ago since the first time I picked up the guitar and followed Justin’s lessons. I was really inspired by the song “翼 You Are The Hero” so I decided to learn it. This was my very first exposure to modern fingerstyle song.

Didnt really got to play much guitar when I was in university (I flunked my degree study actually, wasted 6 years :sweat_smile:) Until very recently, two years ago, I got myself in Singapore as an expat, and I picked up the guitar again.

So it is a combination of hard work, inspiration, willingness to step out of my comfort zone, that got me here. And amazing online communities that have been supporting me =)

TLDR All it takes is dedication!


I was looking for the “missing part” of how you make through the difficult sections and practices.

This reminds me of my forgotten strength, and the actual truth that got me here =]