CC's Learning Log

Ooh, I thought for sure a callous would be on the cards… welp, I’ll be adding it to my practice routine so I’m sure to find the sweet spot in time. Did your middle finger - ring finger stretch become easier with it?

Maybe i just don’t play enough to develop a callous on the side of my finger. Perhaps if I played all barre chords, up and down the neck, for hours at a time, it might be different. I do play it every day though as quite a number of the songs I’m playing include an F. It’s why I decided to tackle it early because so many of the songs I enjoy include an F.

As for the stretch between my fingers, I honestly don’t know. I’d say I have fairly long bony fingers so it’s never really been a problem to me. I also play a guitar with a short scale length which probably makes life easier too


Today’s practice was more mucking around than meticulous practice, but I’m having fun. Every little thing that gets easier / improves gets me a little giddy about being able to use this magnificent instrument to do my bidding one day muahaha.

That F chord’s a real piece of work. I’ve tried every which way to get it to all ring out and every which way has worked at least once so who knows, not me!


maybe you should practice the song at a lower tempo / speed
its just to avoid getting used to losing the rythm while changing to the F chord , getting it to flow with the song :slight_smile:

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I think I’d find that version of F even harder than the full barre chord. I rely completely on my 2nd finger finding its home and then everything else pivots into place around it. Maybe the full version would sound wrong in that song, I’ve no idea.

I wish I was as comfortable as you seem in front of camera. I know you say that in future that you might find it cringey but at least it’s a true reflection of where you are rather than doing 50 takes to get a really good one.


I don’t feel any pressure since it’s my learning log, and it’s a fumbling along learning video. I was treating it more like a video diary than a video. Trying to get a song right for sure is gonna be a many-take stress affair. My last attempt at Anchor was like 12 attempts before I decided I couldn’t get any better that day.

If (when) I post a proper performance video I’ll probably doll up a little. Or at the very least, brush my hair, lol. …I do wish I’d thought to do that before I recorded, actually. :upside_down_face:


Okay, so I’ve committed to doing an AVOYP video and sticking it in the correct community channel. I spent about three solid hours practicing Anchor this afternoon / evening. Finally got my fingers mostly following orders, consistently, although my final performance features a couple of slip-ups. I got hit with this determination that stuck around.

Here it is: Anchor - Mindy Gledhill AVOYP

I’ve been slowly trying to recondition my voice, and it is improving, but after a good couple of hours singing it gets tired. Gotta go to the shops tomorrow and get a pack of poppas because apparently those straws are the best diameter for the vocal straw exercises. It’s not recommended to tucker out one’s voice, you’re supposed to slowly build up to longer singing times as you strengthen those muscles and hone the control / learn how to sing without overtaxing your larynx but I got hit with a case of ‘damnit I’m gonna do this’ lol

At the beginning of my session of stubbornness I really had to wrangle my fingers into getting right. Had a lot of focus going to keeping my wrist good between chords and not just after placement of fingers, which is an issue for me when my focus is split. While focussing on the wrist and also shoulder seemed like a real PITA, I realised a couple of hours in that forcing myself to keep at it so long made me continually adjust myself until I found a position that was not stressing my shoulder and I was pretty consistently maintaining a good wrist angle. I also split my focus again to try and press lighter on my strings, since that was definitely hampering my dexterity in changing positions, and the finger grooves stop the strings from ringing out as clearly. I started getting that soreness in the tendon that runs to the pointer finger which prompted me to focus on that properly. During all this, I must have sorted my right shoulder out as well, as after this hours long session it doesn’t hurt at all.

This is a lot of text but this focussed problem-solving really helped me, and I’m hoping the benefits stick in my brain overnight and make it all easier going forward, and I’m hoping that anyone reading this will also get something out of it, since I seemed to work on a bunch of issues all at once by way of forcing myself to stick at it. Usually I stop when things hurt, as I don’t want to cause any long-term damage (I’m already a bit iffy in that area), but this time I stuck at it, not trying to push through it, but rather trying to solve it.

I guess I’ll find out how long-term helpful it has all been as well, if I can play it reliably cleanly and without stress over again whenever I want. If so, it’ll be the first song I’ve stuck to long enough to have it down properly, lyrics and all, no app needed.

Couldn’t keep myself from checking up on my fingers in the webcam though, so I guess I’d better do it without that, too, and see how much the visual affects my playing.

I decided to commit to an AVOYP thanks to @roger_holland mentioning that I should. I decided not to let perfect get in the way of good, but boy do I want to get perfect. Long term goals!


Oh my… Constance ,way to much honor :blush:, but thank you…I will continue here to chase a few system notification after securing some plants outside in the scorching sun :pouring_liquid: and then will listen with great anticipation …

And good story not to long :sunglasses: (but yes, pay attention to who says that :roll_eyes: :smile:)


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Cheers Rogier! Wasn’t trying to prompt you, just thought you deserved a bit of credit for lighting the proverbial fire under my tush lol

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Bit of an iffy practice today. Right shoulder is back being aggravated, it seems that my success with it the other day did not sink in. I am wondering if it’s a winter clothing issue. I have a jumper that I can pull the sleeve up on without ruining wrist by stretching it out, but it is a knitted thing that moves about a bit, and I think I am not keeping a consistent position for my right arm, or may be holding it weirdly for stability? Couldn’t identify it specifically but it does seem to go better in sessions where I’m not as cold.

Anyway, my C chord is getting better and I am slowly getting better at the air change for it. Still, all beginner chords are a bit iffy on the air-changes, I seem to get better as I warm up and go, but my fingers are a bit jagged in movement on a really cold day like today. As I’m focussing on forming my chords more efficiently, my changes per minute have gone down for that exercise, but I’m not stressed about it.

Tried The End of the Line at 80% speed, HOW does anyone strum this at full speed??! My pick was spinning around, which was a bit annoying as it changes how it sounds and makes me think about my right hand too much and adjust angles. I noticed when I strum faster (80% for this song is 133bpm) the top of my pointer finger (topside below the nail :nail_care: :point_up_2:) is hitting the strings, so I now have a bit of a bruise there. I think it strikes when the pick turns a bit and the flat side is hitting the strings. To counter that, if I try to death grip the pick my wrist complains and I suspect the pick will go flying, lol. Still, practiced strumming at that speed (DDUDUD) on its own and with the chord changes for like 8 minutes.

Had a go at the fretboard in your mind thing. Not sure how I’m gonna progress in that one, trying to remember what a note sounds like without playing it seems like a perfect pitch thing? I currently can hit C pretty well without playing it just from remembering a specific moment in a song but I’m not sure if I can apply that to all notes as I’ve only played so many songs. The overtones on the bass strings mess me up, too. Anyone had any luck with starting to get this exercise working for them?

Doing okay with intervals, practicing the 6th and 7th at the moment, and find myself sometimes jumping up an octave in my prediction, which is a bit odd, especially at the higher octaves as it’s quite a high pitch. But I recall when I first started with the fifth I was also doing something bizarre with the octave, too.

Getting better with my fretboard memorisation, slowly finding more notes without having to reference as much.

One of my guitar goals is to be able to play Cherry Wine by Hozier, which is a fingerstyle song, and I despair at how long away that might be :smiling_face_with_tear:

Onward and upward. :fist_right:


Don’t be negative about anything, the more you think that way………
Always remember PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT - Right or wrong!
Practice slowly and get it right, it sticks, get it wrong it also sticks so if you need to slow down until you can get it right.
Always think positive, I can and I will OK it might take a while but I am going to do it

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Sound advice! I haven’t started any sort of fingerstyle yet, still slowly plugging away for exactly the reasons you mentioned!

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There’s no harm in dipping your toes in the water provided you don’t let it take over.
Here’s a great video on learning finger style; it’s always been my go to!
There’s also a stack of interesting stuff on his channel, he’s a really great Guitarist!


Thanks! I’ll check it out :slight_smile:

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I set out to start trying First Cut is the Deepest this evening, took hours to get anywhere as I was trying to parse the opening verse / general verse structure, and getting thrown by discrepancies, probably due to me being new, and it being late =_= (it’s 10:30pm atm and I’m hitting the hay like an oldie).

In Justin’s video, what he plays with accompaniment, what he lays out later on, and then what he subsequently plays through, all differ slightly and I spent ages sussing it out. (The singing of different chords than what were being played had me stressing my ears were broken for a bit there, Justin!) Anyway, in case anyone chances upon this who’s also contemplating this beginner tune, I have written it below.

The accompanied playthrough adds two opening bars, whereas when he starts laying it out later he starts in on bar three, so I’ve laid out both (bold is where the singing starts):

With singer:

Verse order walkthrough:
GDCD||GCDC||GDCD||GDCD||GCD[D]open chord riff

The beginning phrase “I would have given you…” on the accompanied playthrough starts on the picked (arpeggiated?) C, which is the last beat of the second bar, and carries over to the opening G of the next bar (specifically the word given), whereas with his walkthrough he starts straight into the singing on the opening G. Easy to remedy.

For the last bar, his verse walkthrough finishes the final D as the open chord riff, playing with the e string by either playing the third fret for a G or lifting off the Gb for the open e. It easy enough to work on and you don’t need to perfectly imitate it for it to sound nice.

However, in the accompanied playthrough that final D is preceded by a mystery chord to me, it looks like xx23oo, although playing it, it sounded closer to xx23ox to my learning ears.

Once I had sorted this all out for myself, accounting for tiredness (I spent roughly 2 1/2 hrs doing all this plus some playthrough tonight), I spent a good while also jotting the chorus progression into word, spacing it out and going through it while I sorted out where parts of phrases fell so I could follow along with the right progression instead of reverting to my memory of the song and getting lost when I started trying to read.

I’m very tired, but it was fun! I’m going to share my messy word document when I figure out how, and tomorrow I may clip my recorded muddling around and upload it as a video for my future self to look back on, both to see how I started with this song and also just how I started trying to work out stuff now that I’m trying a song that isn’t on the app or one with four chords and nothing to memorise, really.


In other learning log relevant stuff, my C chord is going great, finally, probably helped along by several hours of this song specifically, a good deal of which I spent squinting at my screen and therefore not looking at the fretboard. (Although, when I look at the fretboard for chords I usually can only see the top of the neck, maybe the fifth string if I’m lucky, so I feel less bad about it although it is still a crutch.)

Played a few songs for practice anyway and am coming along great with speed for them now, seem to be improving a bit faster, which I guess is down to chord familiarity and my recent focus on air changes over speed for the one minute changes practice.

I think I might dream of playing chords in vivid detail, tonight. :slight_smile:


Alrighty, here’s my word document that I spent several hours modifying, squinting at the PC without my glasses and typing one-handed over top a guitar lol.

And here’s a very boring video mostly for future me to look back on, as a landmark of where I started. Cut a lot of stuff out, mostly me peering off to the side of the camera attempting to make sense of things.

I wonder how long it will take me to sort this one out? Off to download lyrics!


Unstructured practice tonight, again. Mostly muddling around with First Cut. Started a little earlier in the evening so was less worried about the noise, discovered that sliding up the string to the note was more successful with a pick, as it seems to have less to do with pushing hard on the string and more to do with a good solid pluck of the string. Pushing down my third finger with my second almost guarantees I’ll get the 2nd and 3rd strings to ring out when fretting them all with the squidgy ring finger pad. Mostly got the lyrics down - it’s lyrically a shorter song than I remember.

Getting the slides right and getting it up to speed will be the main things I have to work on; once I’ve done that I’ll focus more on clear chord transitions, although I’m also working on that as just chord change exercises so hopefully it all comes together well.

Had a refresher on the major scale stuff to try and recall the sharps / flats per key, realised they also accrue in mnemonic order for the whole notes, and then go backwards for the flats. So easier to remember on the fly now, probably. Might move onto the next theory lesson soon. Also checked out Richard’s Circle of Fifths thread, stopped when it started mentioning pentatonic scales as I’m not up to that in the theory, but it was very interesting and I’m gonna revisit it a bit to make sure it’s in my brain properly. Still the chord stuff will take a while for me to remember I’m sure, (the chords that belong to the key, labelled with roman numerals and stuff… still a bit out of my reach). And some of that has to do with how few chords I know and how I’m still learning the fretboard. Sloooowly. But I am learning it.

Also, I had a revelation recently that somehow or other, in my adulthood, I’ve fallen into the terrible habit of approaching all new learning with ‘oh no, that’s gonna be hard’, setting myself up to start perturbed and ready to fail. Yet, when I was in school, (many moons ago), my approach was always ‘oh boy, what am I gonna learn today?!’. So, I’ve started to actually say out aloud ‘this will be interesting’ or ‘I am ready to learn’ sort of things instead, and I do believe it’s helping.

I mention this in case anyone else has been approaching learning (guitar, or anything really) with the same voice in their head, unawares, as I have been for probably many years. I hope you don’t need this information, but if you do, go forth with renewed faith in your amazing noggin and be excited to learn!


I’ve learned a lot about my internal voice over the past few years. It’s generally pretty negative, frequently inaccurate and doesn’t need to be obeyed! Recognising it’s a thing is huge.

What you say about squashing the negative self talk is what in my life l describe as getting out of my own way. Once I recognised what was going on it was really quite liberating. So many situations went from “that’ll be a waste of time” to “let’s just see happens”.

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