Afterburner1277's Guitar Journey

I am so glad to be here. My guitar journey started in approximately 1968. My best friend John got a guitar, and I got one myself. It was a 100-dollar Yamaha FG-75 Acoustic. We had so much fun playing and jamming together. We were trying to figure out Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and many others. We did (haha) OK :grin:. As time progressed, I never purchased an electric guitar. My father, a retired Army Air Corp. 06, would never let my music get above hearing level! So as the story goes, there was no electric guitar for me. All I did was put albums on and try to figure out songs. So 21 years later, still at the same point in my guitar-playing career, no lessons ever. I joined the Navy that year and took my ol’ FG-75 with me. Only to pick it up very little. I retired from the Navy in 2009. Fast forward to March of 2017, when I finally decided to get an inexpensive electric guitar. I purchased an Epiphone Special II with my Line 6 Spider 30 amp. After a few months, I decided to get my first Gibson guitar. I picked a great entry-level Gibson Studio High-Performance GForce axe.
I think I was “HOOKED.” Hungry to learn or do backing tracks, I purchased many learning books and joined many guitar sites. As the story goes, I needed to sound like other artists of my liking and purchased many guitars. I thought of how much it would take to make a pedal board to my taste and amps. It was too overwhelming when I added up the monetary units. Then I saw on Line 6’s site my solution, the Helix. This was the answer to my dilemma. I built my little studio and started to use the materials at my disposal to learn how to play my favorite songs. I drag pieces from my vast R&R library into Presonus Studio One Digital Audio Work Station (DAW), determining the chords and figuring out the lead by slowing down the recording. So this is how I learned to play Carry On Wayward Son and a few other songs.
My problem at almost 68 is retention! If I don’t use it, I lose it. I have to play at least every other day. I am starting here at Justin Guitar with ear training and Music Theory. I also use harmonics to learn every note on the fretboard and the mnemonics I created. I know from playing the songs with Studio One, but when I play jam tracks, I get so lost as to where to go to have a fluid arrangement of good notes, even when using scales. Instead, I always hit the WRONG OPPS note and sound like crud. So with these courses and practice time, which sometimes is very hard to accomplish with my doctors’ appointments and my wife’s, not to mention attending to my 95-year-old mother’s needs. I hope to get better at “REALLY” learning how to play guitar. Any pointers and ideas would be so much appreciated. I will post more of the songs I can play later. Also, any help I can impart to anyone, do not hesitate to ask. This is my “Escape Place”


Hi Keith, cool story, enjoyable to read! So many many years of guitar playing and I see you have quite a herd of guitars :heart_eyes:! Nice “Escape Place” in good company!
Wish you lots of fun and an inspiring journey!

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Hi Keith,
good story … i feel a slight infatuation towards your stuff :smile:

Maybe you can benefit from the sessions Ruth-busting with the captain?
I say this because there you might get some ideas of what else you want to perfect…no idea ,I’d give my right foot to play like you :roll_eyes: …so??
Have fun :sunglasses:

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TYSVM Andrea :smile:

Thanks so much, Rogier. Please elaborate on Ruth-busting with the captain. I would love to get ideas to help break me out of the rut I have been in for a while. Please keep your right foot, brother. You will need it! LOL.
P.S. I have one more guitar that I will be posting when it gets here sometime next year.

If you have a few hours to spare…have fun :sunglasses:

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Hi Keith,

Your “Escape Place” looks fantastic. Loving all those guitars particularly the one at the corner of the bed. I think sometimes in order to move forward we have to take a look at where we are now. So maybe worth writing down a list of what you know, what your currently working on and what you need to know to achieve your goals (short, medium and long term). It might be worth checking out this thread produced by one of Justin’s Approved Teachers for inspiration Tip: Plateaus and lack of SMART goals. From reading your post it seems like one of the things that you want to work on is improvisation? So maybe worth checking out Justin’s lesson’s covering improvisation? Wish you lots of fun on your guitar journey.


Awesome story, great escape place. Welcome to the community, great to have you around

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Hey, thank you so much, Rogier, for the link to Rut Busters! I watched the first video, and it implanted an idea to do exactly 5 min a day practicing with a backing track and a “Lick!” I am sure I will watch the next video in line when I finish a month of this great idea.

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Thanks, Tony! I just watched the first video of RUT Busters (hot tip from Rogier), and I am already carving out my 5 min practice time. I very much enjoy Justin Guitar and all here in it.

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Great intro and story Keith!! Going to be great to see how you get on with the structured course with your background and can’t wait for you to share more :slight_smile:

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Keith, it was great to read your first Learning Log entry. I can only dream of having such an “Escape place” like you :slightly_smiling_face:

Ten guitars ( if I counted correctly). Now, of course I would like to see and hear you playing each and every one of them :smiley:

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Ten guitars and one more on the way! I also have my original Yamaha FG-75 (not shown). I usually swap guitars for different songs I try and learn. I stayed with the PRS 24-08 for weeks trying to figure out Carry On. The Stratocaster did not sound so good with the patch I have set for Wayward Son on my Helix (single coils). I need to play with reverb and distortion settings and add another snapshot for the preset. I need to because Kerry Livgren played a strat on that recording.