Curious what you’re working on lately

Hi everyone,

I am just curious what everyone is working on songs or lessons. I found that I often stray from structured practices and learning lately. I’m trying to keep myself in check. Lately I’ve been doing

  1. Mastering the fret board- moving the minor pentatonic to different locations up and down the fretboard- I still can’t solo and want to get there.
  2. Simple power chords EADGC- hoping to master some AC/DC with this method.
  3. Strumming dynamics- my songs all need better strumming to draw interest in the song
  4. songs- the latest I’ve been working on are: Aerosmith living on the edge and beastie boys fight for your right to party ( all power chords and smoke in the water style riff)
  5. Preparing for an open mic- either here or in person. An elderly woman waiting in line behind me to go to Catalina island last month saw me with my guitar- turns out she is a fellow struggling musician and suggested open mic night to get experience and exposure.

What do you have planned for guitar playing improvements?


They are great for experience and exposure of playing in front of others on stage / in public. If that’s your goal, then go for it.

If, your goal is to be able to play well for yourself and family and friends, they can still be helpful, but can also add a lot of stress that may not be necessary / worth it.

Hey Jeff, practice is so personal.

I try to play the guitar every day. Most days (probably 6 out of 7) I run through a ~30 minute structured routine - timed. At the moment that consists of warm up, finger stretching, major scale (with metronome, for both speed/accuracy & in thirds), riff practice (challenging riffs, with a metronome), one minute changes (currently Cmaj7 shaped barre) and improv with a looper.

After that I work on whatever songs I’m working on, which could be a brand new song, or improving something. Or just playing. Oh, or practicing for the JG open mic.

When I don’t feel like structured practice I just play.


Thanks for breaking down the differences. My goal is definitely to perform on stage in front of people. I perform in public from time to time but nothing structural yet like an on stage gig.

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Thanks very much for highlighting what you do. I missed adding the basics to my routine, what you mentioned about stretching and warm up. I’ve heard some of your music and you sound great. I think I’ve just been unhappy with my lack of progress the past year. I spend too much time just playing songs without enough structure. You’ve probably seen my videos before and lately they haven’t been the greatest. I guess the best thing to do is keep it moving and focus on improving. Thanks again and have a good one.


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Wish i could say that i have a structured routine and that i practise this and that whenever i pick up my guitar Jeff… But i dont :see_no_evil:
Im playing every day. 30 min to an hour. My main focus is playing songs.
But i am working on strumming. Im doing JGs strumming SOS course at the time. Planning on doing all his strumming courses.
My routine consists of strumming different chord progressions, 2-3 minutes with «perfect chords»
Other than that i play songs. Started to play a bit with my daughter. So hoping we can do a song toghether, me on vocal and rythm she on electrical doing intro and solo parts…
maybe it looks very structured, but its not Jeff :rofl:
But…. I still love every minute i play the guitar, and that is the most important thing IMHO :grin:


That’s awesome. I’m soon to perform my 100th open mic and they have definitely taught me a lot. And when they go well are heaps and heaps of fun / confidence boosts!

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I think you’re being kind to me and unkind to yourself. I only post stuff I’ve practiced a lot. And believe me, I play the same song over and over and over and over and it drives my family nuts sometimes, but that’s repertoire for you.

If you feel unhappy with your progress, try to nail down what’s making you unhappy. What would make you happy? Mastering a certain technique? Then focus your practice around that. Playing a song really, really well? Then play that song a couple of times a day every day for a month, learn it until you don’t need to look at the chord sheet and words and can add different dynamics at will. It’s too hard to improve everything at once (is it even possible?)

You might like this video, I watched it a few days ago: The Art of Sucking At Music - YouTube. It goes into how the ONLY things you usually see from other musicians are what they’ve practiced time and time again.


Youre being to hard on your self Jeff… the fact that you are able to play your guitar and have done that for quite some time is a huge win!! On top of that you sing along to your playing.
Most people are not even able to strum one chord… just keep at it Jeff.


Loved that one JK! Should be put out in a post on it self.

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Good idea, I think I will :wink:

First of all, I think you are too hard on yourself. You seem to be an enthousiastic player, you are not too shy to play and sing in public and you manage to sing and play together. Not everybody here can do that! We all have to analyse our weaknesses from time to time and find ways to deal with them.
Could the chord changes be more fluent? How is my timing? Is the rhythm ok? What’s about dynamics? Am I singing in tune? And on and on…
I tend to split my practice time into diifferent parts. 30 to 45 minutes structured practice, with scales, excercises, rhythm work (Strumming SOS, really recommandable!) and work on the course content. Followed by a part of time dedicated on things I need to improve, very concentrated, one thing at a time. And a third part reservated for working on songs. Most days, I manage to get 1 to 2 hours of practice. If you ask me, if I consider myself as successful, taking the invested time into account, I would say, no, too bad for the given amount of time…
But when I reflect, what I’ve learned so far, I’m quite happy as I never thought to get this far in the beginning!
Don’t judge yourself too hard. Consider, that AVOYPs mostly represent some kind of milestone or individual progress folks have made but you don’t see all the hours and work they’ve put in. And those who post are only a smaller percentage of community members. But most important : have fun!


At the moment I’ve kind of lost my way with the structure but now that I’m closing out grade 2 it will be straight back on with it.

Generally though I tend to do some finger stretches, and some scales, then I work on the songs that I am working on, trying to focus on the harder parts on the song.

I do tend to go with the songs, songs, songs as that is where I get the most enjoyment from.


Approaching this from the “lately” perspective, I’d have to say not a friggin lot. :angry:

I’ve been fighting some cold bug for nearly 2 weeks and on top of that, damp warm spring weather has meant lots of grass and hedge cutting and I mean lots. By the time I’ve come to pick up, I’ve been too exhausted and had zero drive to play.

I tried working on my Open Mic song in the first week, thinking 6 day cold (2 days coming, 2 days staying, 2 days going) but could hardly sing but managed to get some good settings on my TCH PlayAcosutic but still searching for a good vox FX. Got to the end of one session and finished the last chorus with a coughing fit that felt like it blew an intercostal. So there has been no singing and virtually no playing since, as just breathing was a pain, literally.

Today, I am just about to refire my alternate days of Blues Rock Soloing sessions and Solo Blues Acoustic sessions. But there will be a lot of focus on warm up and stretching before I get into it. Hopefully after a couple of days back on the horse, I’ll be back in the swing. Then it will be time to test the vocals and make a decision on the OM, one way or the other.



Wish You Were Here solos at he moment, to the detriment of any structured practice. Can just about do solo 1 but the others may take a while!


Sorry to read that, Toby! Hope you get well soon!

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Hi Trond

That is really a cool idea to perform with your daughter. Last year I played on stage with my 11 year old daughter as a last minute fill in for Stand By Me. In 10 weeks of guitar she mastered the rhythm of that song and I was really impressed.
The guy who was supposed to perform got stage fright so they needed one more. I decided to play my 12 string along side her which really was a memorable experience. It was a group playing together so I wasn’t allowed to do lead vocals and that felt strange to me but I still went with it.

Thanks for the advice to keep my head up.

Hi Toby,

I remember you posting your schedule of practice sessions before. It was a really great idea to put it in writing like you did. Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. I’ve been battling the same thing- bad cold and fever that won’t go away. I was supposed to have first try at an open mic this Saturday but not happening with body aches lol. Take care

Jeff :sunglasses:

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Great advice here. I need to come up with a strategy and hold myself accountable to stick with it. I remember Lieven posting about that before.

Songs have to be a large part of why we all do this. I loved your AC/DC performance . Thanks Stefan.