Asher's Notes, Journal stuff and Musings

Happy New Moon, everyone! I know I’m technically a couple nights late with that, but I needed to bide my time before posting. Either way. New starts, yay! :smiley:

I’m not really sure how often I’ll be updating this log, but I’ll be trying maybe for once a week. I’m terrible at remembering to do these things usually. Will probably be something simple most weeks like ‘here’s where I’m at’, though if there’s nothing to show I’m not sure I’ll post. I guess we’ll see what happens. /shrug

Right now I’m working on The Calling’s song “Wherever You Will Go”—I’ve got the riff down preeeetty well in general, though I am still working on the playing-without-looking-at-the-strings part because a couple of the cord changes are still slow thanks to my short fingers, which means I occasionally miss the string. Sometimes I have to remind myself to slow down because I can’t play those parts at the pace I can the rest of the riff. It’s…pretty aggravating sometimes, actually, but it is an issue I needed to work on with multiple things in life, so a lesson in patience is here as well, it seems. Plod along and gently build up as I can.

I’m also using this song to learn tabs and how to adapt songs to your play style, since transcribing’s something I want to do and I find it intriguing how others will change chords to suit what they feel sounds best or suits their play style more. Justin mentions in the video tutorial for “Wherever You Will Go” that he’s changed some of the chords to some he prefers the sound of for strumming, so I’m not sure I’ll follow his tutorial 100%—my plan right now is to use his lesson as a basis and go from there. There’s an acoustic performance of the song by Alex on YouTube that seems like it’ll be pretty good to study when I feel more comfortable moving on to what version I actually want in my repertoire.

I’m gonna be updating my gear list here, too, when I actually acquire some new gear. xD; Right now it’s gonna remain pretty static (still jobless…), though maybe I’ll get into some more DIY stuff.


  • Yamaha Eterna EF-31 + case
  • flimsy homemade cardboard guitar picks x2
  • Taylor 1.21mm abalone guitar pick
  • “Rusty” guitar pick that seems about the same mm as the Taylor, but its tip is more curved and it feels like there’s a concave bit on one side, which makes it incredibly comfortable to hold (I don’t remember where I got this from (@__@; ) Looks like a band one, maybe?)
  • pencils and elastics (i.e. DIY capo stuff)
  • Fender guitar strap I keep forgetting about (came with the guitar)


  • Guitar Chords: 150 Essectial Guitar Chords by Ted Fuller & Julian Hayman (2019) (technically my partner’s, and 100% the reason I know more chords than I’ve learnt from Justin’s course yet)
  • JustinGuitar (obviously :v:)
  • my collection of guitar picks from people like Al Pitrelli I may or may not use for strumming unless I have to (might use the dups, I don’t know)

Future gear (maybe):

  • Kramer Focus VT-211S in Teal
  • Kramer Nightswan in Jet Black Metallic
  • '80s Kramer Pacer or Baretta, ideally in red
    (will take a current Baretta in Jumper Red if I could get it, though)
  • '90s Ibanez (unsure of model)
  • Ibanez Prestige (waaaay down the line xD unsure of model for this one as well, since I liked so many of them last I looked at them)

At some point I’d like to get a bass as well. But, I’m not gonna reach for the stars on that—I’d need to get my guitars first. At least one electric. The bass will be shelved for later. (And will probably also be red.)


Good stuff Asher. Always interesting to read how others are progressing. That calling song is a great one.

I do that effectively with a capo to get to a key that suits my vocal range.

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Hi @AshenRose ,

Congratulations in deciding to do a log on your guitar journey. In learning to combine the chord changes and the riff, its always a good idea to start slow, and use a metronome, and keep the beat. And one small suggestion as regards

That would work for a classical guitar, but not for your country guitar because of the neck curvature. Perhaps you will need to do a little shaping on your pencil to match the curvature, or better still invest in a real capo, as the pressure afforded by elastic bands may not be enough for a steel stringed instrument, I am sure that you’ll find an affordable one.

But the important thing is, keep at the playing and share your progress. You are bound to get support here.

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Thanks for the support! :smile: I’m usually quite shy about these things, so this is a big step for me…

Shaping the pencil was something I had wondered about, so I’m glad you mentioned it, too. I had also wondered about using one of my old, broken French barrettes—one of the large hair bow kinds—but I’m not sure the metal would be quite strong enough to hold up to it (or if I’d even be able to find them anymore—I might have left them at my parents’ place in the last move by accident with a few of the other things that didn’t make it over). They were pretty sturdy, though, and I’ve got other stuff I could use for padding so it’s not just metal-on-metal…

The elastic bands I have are mainly thicker ones used for produce, so they’re a lot stronger than standard household ones (they’re 4mm wide and 1mm thick if I remember right, though I can’t remember the length). Worked well enough to make the pencil curve somewhat around the fret last I tried it, though the sound went a bit sharp.

I’d love to get an actual capo. It’s just… The money situation really won’t let it happen yet. I had been hoping to have some sort of income by now, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Even an approx. $10CAD Kyser Pro/Am is out of reach. Right now I’m just using what I have. Elastic bands and hopes and dreams.

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Hi Asher. Good you started your learning log. It is a good place to receive advice and encouragement specific for your learning path. Hopefully things improve on the economic side. The same way that is possible to practice with an electric guitar without an amplifier the practice you are doing using the available resources you have can still allow you to progress. There’s a story about a Colombian pianist and singer (Colombia is my homeland), not a mega star but he has been successful, who when he got the opportunity to study piano in a conservatory had to practice in a cardboard piano he made because he didn’t have access to a real one at home. He is now eighty-four and retiring from the scenarios.


Thanks so much for the support. That’s an amazing story—practising on a cardboard piano?! When you gotta make do you either make do or give up trying, it seems… That’s amazing commitment right there. Thanks for sharing about it.:heart:

Sooooo, update: Apparently I forgot to take one of my cardboard guitar picks out of my camping shirt’s pocket before throwing it to put in the wash. Means I’m down one cardboard pick… (At least there’s more of that material lying around if I want to make a new one.)

I had to take a break from C and Fmaj7 chord changes recently because I could feel my wrist and hand getting strained, so now certain changes involving them are much, much slower again… Good news is there’s no discomfort when I play those chords now, so I’m hoping I’ve headed off a worse injury by taking the break I did. Just gotta grind a bit extra to get those changes to where they had been before, albeit more slowly than last time.


Well, so. Apparently I completely missed my ‘once-a-week’ update goal. Didn’t even realise the time had passed!

I’ve been slacking off on my practise a lot recently… Dunno what it’s been linked to, only know I’ve gotten my first proper practise session in today and haven’t really gotten it in for the past… I don’t know how long, a week or so? Eesh. Not like me. (But very much like my ADHD, so maybe that had something to do with it.)

Wasn’t quite as rusty as I was worried about being, but I was definitely rusty still. :roll_eyes: Need to get back up to speed again. Slowly. But up to speed. It’s been like my hands just haven’t worked properly recently… Well, other things in life have been going along decently, at least – barring a few annoying things – so I’m not going to complain too much. Silver linings, right? Keep on keepin’ on. :v:


I’m glad you weren’t as rusty as you feared. Sometimes life gets in the way of things like guitar practice. If you can find a silver lining, it really helps. :grinning:

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Bwahahaha, so, “wasn’t quite as rusty” my ass. I’ve spent some grinding practise with my guitar picks again and maaaaaaaate do I suck. My upstrums are wonky as… Strumming with my thumb is what’s mostly fine, and I’m already up to speed again on some of my chord changes! (Yay!)

And my G string keeps giving me grief. I’m getting the wonkiest sound from it now that isn’t the usual fret buzz I get when I just don’t press the strings right, it’s more like a buzzing twang I haven’t heard my guitar make before. Need to do some research into that… So far my gut’s pinging “need new strings” because their sound took a nosedive a little while back, but seeing as I can’t afford any right now… orz Want to eliminate any other possible causes…

So: practise more with picks for the time being, and hope everything else falls into place. Let’s do this!


Waste not, want not.

I noticed a tear in my jeans yesterday. :confused: At least we’re going into warmer weather, so I’ll be wearing shorts outside all the time anyway, but…they’re still my favourite jeans, and they were my last pair that fit well and didn’t need mending. I’ll mend these ones and hope it’s not too visible because of where it is, though I worry they’ll still be relegated to indoors-only depending on how well the darning holds. Had to be the upper inner-thigh area instead of somewhere easier to patch and be done with like a knee. Hopefully I’ll fit my other jeans I have by autumn (or, at least, October nights, depending on how cool it gets and when).

I also finally dug out my guitar strap yesterday! I was so confused when I realised my guitar only has one strap button. xD But a quick search confirmed using string to tie the strap on would work. For some reason it felt so right standing with the guitar like that! I was so happy haha. I need to work on certain chords again because of it, and I think I still need to find the best length for it, but yay!


I had really wanted to get all that posted yesterday. But, things went to shit. :expressionless:

I’m researching guitar string brands now again because my B string keeps sounding off and my A string is… I don’t even know what sound it’s developed. It started before I put the strap on the guitar, but it’s got this really strange, deep, buzzy effect to it now. xD I kind of want to sample it for my electronic music stuff.

It does keep messing with my hearing the chords, though. Long & McQuade have their own strings that seem okay for their price. Just need to decide between their Light and Custom Light.


Well, small victories! I was testing my chord changes today and surprised myself with how well I did. :smiley: Not that I consider myself fast by any means, but it was nice to have the boost of confidence that came from that!

I also signed up for a TrueFire account without realising the free trial would start right away. :laughing::sweat: So now I’m jumping the gun on some of the courses I was wanting to do… Andy Timmons makes so much sense when he talks about intellectual vs. what he terms auralectual learning, or learning with your ears. Auditory learning is something I’ve always struggled with to some extent because I’m more of a visual learner in general. But, there’s a way he makes sense that resonates with me when it comes to my art and writing I enjoy doing, and how I draw my inspiration or how it just appears for me when I sit down to do it (or have to scramble to get it down because it just happens to occur to me). I’ve explained my inspiration to people before as being like fishing–sometimes I’ll throw out a single line and hook a single fish, other times I’ll throw a net and get heaps of fish, and other times still nothing will come up, and those aren’t counting the times the fish just jumps into my boat.

I’ve been thinking about it and wondering whether some of my auditory learning block has been from when I stopped learning guitar as a kid because of this, since I realised I actually can’t remember having the same issue I did as a young child vs. being older after having given that go at learning how to play. It’s interesting to think about whether music could have been, or could be, that one auditory thing I might have been, or could be, good at. Things like how I used to memorise song lyrics after only a few listens–something I don’t know whether I’ve lost because I’ve often felt too shy to sing out loud after having moved out of my parents’ place. (And, gods, has it been good to sing out loud a bit again recently. Quietly, but still–it’s something. I’d almost forgotten how freeing it can feel!)

But yeah. I’m really liking his teaching in “Melodic Muse” so far. :grinning: Figured it was a good place to start coz of my love for him (though I’ll admit, I still mainly know his Danger Danger stuff) and how applicable melody is to electronically-produced music as well.


Ever request a song on the main site and regret the one you requested the moment you hit “submit”? That was me just now. :sweat_smile: I should have gone with the other song I had thought of while typing it in…

Ah well, what’s done is done. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother requesting songs when possibly nobody else will even upvote them… Probably part of why I could have requested so many more by now that I haven’t. (Well, that and my ADHD. I just keep forgetting. Even when I go to do it I often end up doing something else instead. :thinking:)



There’s a guitar show happening tomorrow and I’m still unsure whether I’m going to go… The size of it is something I haven’t been to in a long while, I won’t be able to buy anything anyway even though I’ve spotted a leather vendor I’d love to buy something from, and so far none of the luthiers I’ve seen advertised have had anything I’d like to play or even eventually buy… As much as I’d really like to meet people there, I’m not sure it’s the best environment yet for that. Hrmmm…

I was so looking forward to it when my partner showed it to me last week or whenever it was, too… :face_with_diagonal_mouth: I was gonna ask if anyone from the forums was going to go as well and didn’t get around to it…

I know what I want. I want my vintage Kramer, and I can’t afford even to buy strings right now – had to put the money on other things – but…naaaaahhh I don’t know.

Practise update: I’ve changed my sitting position slightly to try to mimic how my guitar hangs from its strap because certain chords were freaking impossible for me to play (looking at you, C (¬__¬)). I thiiink I’ve seen some progress since, but…my wrist hurts like hell trying to contort for it still sometimes unless I really check myself to make sure it’s as straight as possible with my fingers the lengths they are, and even then I can only do it comfortably for a few strums or changes before something goes off and I have to shake it out and readjust. I do wrist stretches regularly – have been since I started playing again – and they do help, but only so much.

I’m back to researching short finger+large tits accommodations I can make again, but I’m sure it’ll be as fruitless of a search as when I first started playing. With a lot of “attention whore” accusations again, I’m sure. Because apparently even other chicks don’t get it when their own tits aren’t that big. :roll_eyes:

Back to just needing to practise it, I guess…


I would think that going to the guitar show could be inspiring even not being in shopping mode right now for whatever reason. Any of them could be valid. Keep working in what position you can hold the guitar the more comfortably and with the less strain to your body.

Sorry I’m so late responding! I hadn’t realised it’d been this long.

If I had been in a better headspace regarding guitars and groups of people, maybe I would have gone. In the end I ended up staying home working on other music-related goals instead. I want to put out an EP this year. It’s gonna be electronically produced. If I’m lucky and work out some good enough recordings of my guitar I may end up including some of my playing in it, but we’ll have to see with the old phones we have how good of a recording I can get. :sweat_smile:

I wish I could have been in a mood to go and just have been inspired by anything I saw there. Alas, there are headspaces where I know it’s less beneficial for me to engage in something even when I wanted to do it beforehand. Sometimes I just need to take a step back and breathe.

Thanks for the encouragement! :slight_smile:

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Practise update!

Yesterday I managed to get my C and Fmaj7 chords ringing clear when my fingers fell on the strings! The magic only lasted a short while, but it was amazing! It’s been slow practise trying to avoid any potential wrist injury and I think it’s been paying off!

I was noodling about with Andy Timmons’s “one finger, one string” exercise as well―I was finding it difficult to slide between notes because my strings were making a horrible screeching sound when I tried to. I was still able to play around and make a melody like the exercise is for without the slides, though. But today I did a few without even realising it! It felt great just being absorbed by the music like that. I’m definitely working the exercise into my practise from now on―it’s so much fun!

Speaking of practise, I’m smashing my old practise routine, goals and such and will be starting fresh with things. Haven’t written up a plan for it yet like I had wanted to yesterday, but maybe today will be a better day for it anyway.

So far I’ve worked out my goals again (pretty much the same as before) and blocked out some of the major steps I want or feel the need to take to reach them. JustinGuitar’s at the top of the list for educational materials I’m aiming to work through, but there are others I’m viewing as supplementary and complementary as well. I like that I seem to have found a few other instructors that work for me, which is part of what’s prompting this change in how I do things. It feels like I can structure things that much more easily now than before.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeee now I need to decide whether I’m going to update the initial post I made here or just keep posting replies instead… Not sure which would help me more. Guess we’ll see what I decide.


…I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted in this. Here’s a post I had written up a while ago and had meant to post, but didn’t get to:

I’ve gotten a lot better with my Cs and Fmaj7s again―pretty sure I’m around where I was before I started having the wrist problems way back in early spring and had to take it easy for a bit. I was strumming to a 120bpm metronome earlier today and it was going well! Sometimes I still can’t believe how much concentration it takes to follow along to one (and how difficult it is for me to go slower than 127 with some strumming patterns. (T___T) I can’t actually change between many chords at that speed yet, which causes issues). Practise was sitting down, but my last few sessions while standing were going well as well! The shifted grip while sitting is helping a lot with that, I think.

Other updates: …I finally got a few things the other day from my mom related to guitar. * d(⸝。⸝◉⸝ω⸝◉⸝。⸝)b


  • Paul Gilbert: Intense Rock: Complete
  • John Petrucci: Rock Discipline
  • Buz McGrath: 7-String Fretribution
  • Stump: Chop Builder for Rock Guitar
  • Doug Marks’ Metal Method: Speed Kills featuring Michael Angelo Batio
  • Rusty Cooley’s Arpeggio Madness: Insane Concepts & Total Mastery

I am so excitedddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd(/w\)

Paul Gilbert’s is the one I was really excited for when I saw the CraigsList listing back in…whenever it was and asked my mom to check them out for me. She said the dude selling them was super sweet and that I don’t even have to pay her back, which I really appreciate.

…now I just need an electric guitar. (;v;) But at least I’ve got something to look forward to and motivate me to try to get one still! My motivation’s been really flagging lately with not being able to practise with a pick because of that wonky G string… Fingerstyle it’s okay, not so bad, but with a pick it just makes my ears bleed. (T___T) I know new strings will help when I’m able to get them, but it still won’t make an acoustic an electric. Practise still can’t happen at night when all I want to do is strum and can’t because of the neighbours.

I’m hoping to buy an electric between August and year’s end―I’m guessing the later is more likely, but I can dream of August or September, right? And a little headphone amp. The Marshall I want can come later.

Been thinking of posting my potential mod list here as well, actually, but I don’t know if that would make it feel too real and unattainable. I haven’t actually written it down yet despite having looked into it…each costs money, which is a tight thing still for us. But maybe it’ll start helping with motivaton again now that things look like they’re starting to turn around…

So. Today I finished practise and had a black thumb―what’s that about? I’m guessing it’s to do with the metal of the strings, but… xD; I’ll have to look into it. Obviously they weren’t doing it before now. (Ahhhh, looked into it―I had heard of fingers being turned green, but not black. It’s interesting how it’s only happening now for me… I wonder if that’s a shift in body chemistry that’s happening.)

Practise was good, though! I hate metronomes―find it way too difficult slowing down for them when my natural speed tends to be 120bpm or higher for strumming (I’m guessing that’s to do with my heart rate or something). Obviously it’s really helping with me playing evenly, though. Today I was just using the one on the main JustinGuitar site, but other times I’ve loaded a kick drum into Ableton and been happy with that. (Really nice being able to make drum tracks easily like that to practise to. (‘w’) Reminds me I need to check out that post @kimlodrodawa made a while back―I had started reading it one day and never finished it…)

I was also happily practising a lick from Paul Gilbert (again, the metronome really helping). Yeah, I’m doing it on acoustic. Yeah, it sounds a bit shit. But I’m happily trying to get that as right as possible because when I get an electric I’m hoping it’ll help with playing. Anything to keep me in the game. (TvT)

Yeah. That’s about it for now, I think―unless anyone wants me to ramble about the things I want to do and the songs I want to learn. Which I’m not really wanting to do right now. But I might do if someone prompted me to. (^^;)

…wow, I’ve been using kaomoji a lot again recently. Hmmm…


I’m at a point where some chords are easier to play while standing instead of sitting now. I wasn’t expecting that to happen.

Well, I’ve got some news—I’ve got an electric guitar! ❀(*◕_◕*)❀ It’s a fair bit late to announce it in a NGD post, but I figured I’d still say it here. Babe’s a Kramer Focus VT-211S like I had been wanting, only my mom bought it for me instead of me saving up for it myself because money stuff just hasn’t worked out for me yet. It feels like a nice symbol of certain aspects of our relationship mending.

It’s my babe! Tuners actually work better than most other reviewers say they do–I’ve gotten a week out of them with practise multiple days without needing to re-tune anything major (I check tuning every time I practise)–and the neck’s so smooth. Maybe it’s from being a floor model? I’m still planning on buying a set of Grovers at some point, but I’m happy it doesn’t seem to be a super important must to change the tuners right now.

Been wanting to post here for ages! Came on a few times to post, but it didn’t happen. I’m not sure how much I’ll be updating in the future, but we’ll see. They’ll probably be much more sporadic than I had originally hoped they would be, but that’s fine—I’ve just realised over time I don’t need to journal about my practise to keep myself engaged with it. Summer threw me for a whack and I didn’t practise nearly as much as I had wanted to because everything was out of whack. Things seem to be settling in just fine for fall now, though. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised about that—fall and winter are my favourite times of year for that.

Aaanywho. ❀