Dean's Learning Log

Bit of a change to my routine now. Not 100% sure what to make of it.
So I got the app to have a play with and it’s changed my hour or so a night from a fully structured routine to half following Justin’s module and half playing along with the app. It’s great fun and I’m sure in time, when I’m (much) more experienced it’ll be great but I do need to work on my chord perfect stuff first. If I don’t get that right I’m worried I might pick up bad habits. It’s helping me change chords faster, well at least some of them but they don’t always sound right.
I know most of not all experienced players will say “but surely that’s what it’s all about, playing songs” and I believe that too. I just think I should learn to walk before I start to run.

Notes to self…
Work on chord perfect, you know some chords now but try to get them right not just quick.

1 Like

Had a great practice session tonight.
Went back to basics, really enjoyed the 1 min chord changes, felt I was doing better than recent attempts.
Been doing my finger stretches over 4 frets, I’ll get there :grimacing: and had a little play along with the Arctic Monkeys 505, there lots of room to play with patterns in there but I had to slow it down but hey that’s why there’s an option to slow it down I guess. Oh and the sunshine of your love riff is fun too.

8.Am I over thinking this?
So I’ve been working through the beginner modules, just up to the start of C chord one. So done 4 or 5 modules.
Yes I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve only had a guitar for what 3 weeks now. But I feel I’m going too fast and need to slow down and work back a bit.
Strumming is my issue at the moment. Yes it’s fine strumming on 1, even 1,2,3 and 4 but when I try the pattern suggested by Justin I get easily confused it’s the down,down up, up down I’m sure everyone’s familiar with. Now when I get into a rhythm it’s fine but add to that a mental count or foot tap and I’m all over the place often going too fast.
I’ve tried a metronome and even then go too fast, this is why I think I’m over thinking. Maybe I should just feel it and not try counting/tapping foot but these are things that the lessons say I should be able to do.
Oh I dint know, maybe it is too early and I’m being too hard on myself.

1 Like

dont worry , there s no rush
guitar is a marathon not a sprint

here is what Richard said :

Beginner Grade 1 has 75 lessons plus essential consolidation. Each lesson requires at least one day of practice time but by the end of Grade 1, in Modules 5, 6 and 7, I would say that to do the learning justice and really get solid in the basics, each lesson should respectfully be given several days or a week or more, each of the seven modules probably starting at one week for module 1 up to several weeks for module 7. I would even (albeit exaggeratedly to make a point) go so far as to suggest treating each module number as a guide to the weeks required.
Modules 1 to 7 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28 weeks. That is more than six months just there


Thank you, I’ve just been looking through older posts and saw someone from 2 years ago with exactly the same feelings I’m having now, I guess you’ve all been through this stage. Making giant leaps early on then getting stuck as things get harder. I’ve just gone back doing 1 min chord changes and found I’m around 40 now. I wasn’t even getting 20 just 2 weeks ago.
This made me feel better

1 Like

For the strumming, just slow down, and start without the metronome. Just concentrate on the down/ups sequence. If you mess up, go slower until you can do it right. Then, and only, then speed it up and introduce the metronome when you can do it at about 50 BPM. Below 40 BPM a metronome isn’t much use, there’s too long between the beeps to allow you to get things consistent.

Try and stick with the counting thing but maybe leave off until you get the pattern down, then try it with counting. The counting thing gets really useful when you get above the basic beginner stages and for more complex strumming. Get it down now, makes life so much easier later on.

You will get this, it’s just a matter of time and practice. A good tip I’ve seen elsewhere is to record yourself, just use the voice memo on your phone. Then record yourself some time later, you will see/hear the difference.

Good luck


Thank you, I guess it’s only natural to get down now and again. I mean it’s been almost a month and I still can’t keep up with Eric Clapton :joy:
I have gone back slightly to concentrate on earlier stuff. It does seem like I’m trying to do things I’m just not capable of sometimes.
Tonight I’ve practiced “wild thing” 3 chords I’m ok at and just trying to do it nice and slow without looking at my left hand. This brings the smiles back and I like that.
I do work on that strumming too, sometimes it feels like I’ve nailed it but sometimes it’s so hard to miss the down on 3.
I’ll get there.

  1. So what have I learnt recently. I’ve learnt I should slow down. it’s ok learning all these chords but they are no use if I can’t put them into a song. So I’m spending around 20 mins on a few chord perfect and stretching exercises. Also a few 1 min changes too.
    The strumming does really scramble my head when I leave the basic patterns. I find it very difficult to miss any down strokes whilst counting. Tonight I felt I made progress though playing along to buffalo Springfield in the app, I found it much easier to keep count and not start galloping away which I can do. I don’t know why but my right hand has a tendency to go faster than it should. So I’ll make this song a practice routine, keep to the 1,2,3,4 working on the chord changes, then when it’s feeling natural (as I’m sure it will) I can mess about with strumming patterns.

10, just a quick note, took a little break, watched some films and drank some beer. Me and my boy took a few secret sessions on the guitar so we (mainly He) could play happy birthday to his Mum, she was really happy, he was buzzing to get it all right and that was great.
I pop back in here for a quick look and see I got a new user of the month award… Wow! That was nice

  1. Intentionally slow week for me. Stayed on the previous module ( C Chord) did my daily exercises of finger stretches, they’re working I can tell. Some 3 minute chord perfects and 1 min changes, mainly using C. Tried to spend more time on strumming so started on “for what it’s worth” and was enjoying “get lucky” by the end of the week. That C chord is challenging though when trying to get it smoothly into a song but that’s what all the practice is for isn’t it.
1 Like
  1. Just over a month in, 5 weeks. And sometimes it feels like really hard work and I’m not getting anywhere but when I look back in my log and see only 4 weeks ago I was struggling to hit 20 A to D chord changes in a minute and today I was happily playing along to Bob Marley’s " keep on moving" at around 80 bpm on YouTube I can see I’ve made LOADS of progress.
    I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the journey, some people have been doing this for a lifetime and I’m still counting in weeks.
    Songs I like playing along to on 9 Jun 24…

Keep on moving
For what it’s worth
Get lucky
Wild thing, also starting to practice knockin on heavens door although it doesn’t seem to be on the app.

In most of the grade 1 song lessons, Justin says just use simple down strums until you are very comfortable playing the song, then you can use more advanced strums when you get more experience. You are probably talking about the old faithful strum. Like @ziggysden says above slow down and learn your pattern little by little. Justin suggests practicing the strum while muting the strings with your fretting hand. I find it easier to start with strumming and saying DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN on the 4 strum per measure down strums. Then strum up and down for the 8th note strums and actually saying DOWN UP DOWN UP …etc. Do that slowly and try to leave out an UP or DOWN. When you practice the “old faithful” strum long enough (for weeks) you will be able to play the strum without counting. You should just use simple strums for now and just learn how to play the “old faithful” strum in strumming practicer. You can practice the strum for weeks and you will eventually be abler to strum it without thinking. Then you can use with a song. No need to get discouraged. Have fun playing songs with the strums you have mastered. Later, after grade 1, if you are still having problems, you could try the Strumming SOS course, where Justin goes into more detail with the strumming patterns.