In just over a week I’m closing in on 1 year of playing guitar and I’ve had the intention for a while to do a video to recognise that.
It had to be Californication. It was a “dreamer” song of mine, by the Justin classification. I started playing it when introduced to the riff in grade 2, then played along with the chords in the JG app. I struggled with the verse transition riff for ages, unable to get my fingers in the right spot or hit the right strings. But like a mule I kept at it. It was the first solo I learnt. I play the bass fills when playing without a backing track, but I’ve let Flea do them in the video . From a dreamer song to being able to play it end to end, I’ve learnt a lot with Californication.
I’ve recorded over a backing track (from the album) that had the guitar stripped from it. It took a few takes to get it right, mostly because of struggling with the dive that putting a GoPro on the headstock caused! And red light fever too. However I wanted to use just one take like a “live” playthrough, so this was the final attempt.
A few mistakes here and there but I’m pretty happy with it.
I tried something new with the video as well, with the GoPro - let me know if you like it. I’m a newbie to video editing.
For the gear curious, the Telecaster is in coil split (single coil) mode on the bridge pickup, and I’m using a Fender GTX50 amp with a simulated Fender Twin Reverb. With a bit of ambient reverb added. In the mix I’ve tried to keep the guitar easily audible.
That was outstanding JK! You have mastered and picked up some serious skills in just 1 year. I was nowhere near your level at 1 year! Thoroughly enjoyed your performance and the production! Take a serious bow !
Incredible JK, bravo ! Loved the whole thing, playing was clean, tone was perfect, video was well shot, and backing track + mixing was great. Especially liked the camera on the neck. Seriously perfect 1 year progress video!
Ah JK, absolutely stunning and to have got to that in 12 months shows your dedication and time input. That looked so calmly played but you’ve added some lovely little tweaks and embellishments.
Real thumbs up on the solo and the split string thing (can’t recall the name!) at the end. As you know I’ve also dabbled with various parts of this track and continue to do so, showing me my path there!
Nice additional camera angle on the headstock and nice editing for the video overall.
Be proud mate, you’ve done amazingly well! Happy Justin-iversary!
The man is on I reckon you’ve just boosted the sales of GoPros You’ve come along way since you started learning. The drummer inside you has given you an excellent sense of rhythm and you can really see and hear the rewards of all that dedication and time you’ve devoted to learning and mastering the techniques taught by Justin. Top stuff, Jk, you should be really proud of yourself. So when are you starting/joining a band?
Well done JK, pretty darned good for a year but but boy you put the mileage in !
Thought it was solid throughout out, loved the dynamics at the right time. Solo was also good and a seamless switch to it from the rhythm and back again - love playing this but always lash that bit up. Great share and good vibes.
Amazing! The new Telecaster is stunning! It looks great and sounds great. And the video editing between the wide shot and neck shot ups the visual enjoyment of the video to meet the audible enjoyment. I only hope to be so good in a year’s time. Very impressive!
Haha thanks David for calling my name out, always love to comment on RHCP stuff. This was fabolous throughout, very well done and to think you accomplished this in a year means next year you will crack Snow Hey Oh wide open
Loved the last minute or so when you played this Am chord with a really great strumming embellishment, clearly rhythm is your friend and you can keep it without an issue.
I can focus all day on positives, but I am sure you are not after that so some constructive criticism.
Solo will need some more work on, I think those bends early on were slightly off the pitch. Also I think at 3:36 there was something off, either not played fast enough or perhaps wrong tabs, hard to tell without playing around with it. And last bit I think you missed a note, but that’s really not noticeable that much especially in live environment.
I would be more courageous on the tone as well during the solo, either levels or a bit of clean crunch could do the trick switched over during the perfirmance?
During the bridge were you letting strings off with your left hand or was it the tone? Need to double check it on my headphones later but on my phone tone was sort of coming and going like you were letting strings off, perhaps intentional thing but it stood out to me. Again nothing wrong with that it is just my preference to play it like you did chorus.
I think that’s pretty much all I have picked up on, so you see out of over 5 minutes I picked stuff from around 30 seconds, that should tell you how well you are doing. Well done JK!
Hey JK, my congratulations and praise for your accomplishments come as a Cassandra warning: Beware the burnout!
You’ve been super-involved in the community since walking through the doors, one of the regular positive voices, offering opinions, advice, encouragement and support. You’ve jumped into AVOYP, Oms and now hosting Oms.
That all takes a lot of time (believe me, I know), and that can steal time away from guitar practice/playing
The level of your anniversary AVOYP demonstrates that you’ve been working those calluses overtime as well.
Do you still have time for a life outside work/guitar?
These are purely selfish musings, as I’d prefer to see you fixed on our firmament, rather than a shooting star…
That’s a cool camera view of the neck.
I had forgotten how nice the grain on your tele looked.
Take a bow.
Looking forward to the OM next week
wow, I’m really impressed with your progress, amazing what you’ve achieved in just one year! Congratulations, that’s really great! You’ve set the bar pretty high… keep it up! I have some catching up to do compared to you. How much time do you invest in practicing?
I’ll chop up my reply a bit, thanks for all the comments . Glad you all liked the headstock cam, I thought it might add a bit of interest to a 5 minute video!
Thanks Eddie, glad you enjoyed it. I practice a lot, and this is would be my best song of any complexity. I struggle with a LOT of stuff. I think progress is based on how much you practice and also other transferable skills in life, for me that would be drumming (a lot) when I was a teenager and a few months of guitar as a teenager (some basic power chord and single note riffs, never a full song).
Thanks Alexis, I can’t wait to see your 1 year video when it rolls around, you’ve been making awesome progress as well. I’ve tried a few of those songs now I’ve got the rock songbook and some are super tricky! Working on La Grange now and it is difficult to get clean. I’ve gotta say your videos have inspired me to up my game a bit in the production department, still plenty noob-ish using the basic video editing features but slowly, slowly .
Mark, definitely a lot of time input. When I started I googled - cause we google everything, right? - “how long does it take to get good at guitar” and found that page. It put into perspective I should make sure I get enough practice time in. There have probably only been 7 or 8 days in the last year I haven’t picked up the guitar.
I can’t claim originality for the pinky down on the Fmaj7, Frusciante something like it live .
I started with the song around January I think, so I’m sure you’ll learn the song faster if you don’t need to pick up all the skills along the way! It’s a fun song to play and very recognisable by non-guitar people.
Thanks James, I know you put in the mileage as well, reading your LL and especially based on your recent AVOYPs! GoPros & video are a funny thing, I bought this one about 5 years ago to record another hobby and film the kids, and honestly it’s sat in the drawer more than it’s been used. Watching some YouTube videos gave me the idea…
The band thing I wonder about, I think I don’t have the skill or a wide enough repertoire yet and I don’t really have the time or inclination to do what’s needed for a band yet. One day I want to perform live at an IRL OM or something, not anytime soon though.
Thanks Toby. Mileage for sure, fortunately it didn’t feel like hard work at all. I really just replaced some less productive hobbies… very little video games or netflix in the last year. I got a bit more into the dynamics towards the end of this take as earlier on I was thinking “don’t screw it up again!” and once I was past the second chorus I was more relaxed!
Solo to rhythm switch I skipped the first Am bar to let the last solo note ring, yep it took a bit of practice and a few different experiments.
This is what I have enjoyed the most; that I have progressed in this guitar adventure in good company, sharing progress, encouraging, inspiring and learning from one another. Maybe one day you, Mark, Alexis and me can replicate the west coast to east coast productions
Thanks David, I’m pretty happy with it, Justin’s teachings are so good and the community has been great for keeping engagement up. Of course this is my best song - loads of work to do on others! I wanted to get it performance ready & record this before seriously digging in to another dreamer song.
The video software can do side-by-side, I might have to figure out how to do that and try it some time.
Oh I’m so pleased with my Tele, it’s a forever guitar . Hopefully my GAS is cured. I’m glad the video editing had the desired effect, I’d never done it before but it was surprisingly easy to do. I hope the post is inspiring, there’s nothing special about me except perhaps I practiced guitar almost every day, usually for around an hour, although I wasn’t measuring it (sometimes just 15 minutes… sometimes 4 hours ). Following Justin’s teachings, learning a few songs. And always trying to play stuff I can’t do. Thanks for checking it out Stacy!
Thanks Adrian! Snow is on my dreamer list, I haven’t even tried it yet, the sheer speed of it makes me think it will take a LONG time to master. But I will try it some day. Maybe longer than another year .
Your feedback is great, some of that I was aware of (my bends are DEFINITELY newbie bends, I had some dud notes around the place etc). Some I did not realise and will need to analyse and incorporate. Changing tone during solo is a great idea. Your feedback will help me improve, thanks heaps. You know I like getting tips .
A life outside of work and guitar? What’s that? Yeah, I do, but it revolves around the family. For YEARS I was a workaholic and had some changes to change that - which coincided with starting my guitar journey. I really hope I don’t burn out. I have recently reduced my time on the community, in truth though, who would notice, I still am on here every day just less comments and watching. I’ve mainly replaced reading reddit and doomscrolling social media with JG.
This community is something special, in the realms of the Internet it’s super weird to have a community not dominated by toxicity and group think. Even old forums I used to go on pre social-media had that.
I do hope to one day be one of the old voices, not one of the new ones… I’ll have to make sure I stick around for that to happen .
Thanks Gordon! Time to buy shares in GoPro… .
Thanks Silvia, following the JG course is the way, and always trying to play stuff I can’t. Thanks for the feedback!
Thanks Andrea. It’s not a competition, everyone’s on their own road. You only need to check YouTube for people that are way, way faster at progressing than me. And it’s easy to generalise from a video, I know I do it all the time, I spent a lot of time on this song so it’s the peak of my playing, you can’t extrapolate that to other songs without a lot of practice on them as well.
I play almost every day, I think I only missed somewhere like 5 - 10 days in the last year. Usually around an hour a day, sometimes just 15 minutes or so and on the rare occasion up to 3-4 hours. If I’m playing that long though only part of those is structured practice, the rest would be trying to learn a new song or just running through my repertoire for fun.