Demon's Learning Log

My Guitar Journey started when my Girlfriend bought herself a cheap fender knock-off guitar and i then played a bit on it and i liked it so much that i bought a Ibanez Gio starter guitar and a cheap fender amp.

Start September 2020:
So now that i have my own guitar, i can start having fun and i started with some random ‘howto play electric guitar’ videos and that helped a bit, but then i discovered this website and started making some real progress in the months that followed.

I started with some easy lead riffs from Iron Maiden, Nightwish and other bands that i liked. Not that easy, but still fun.

Some where around December 2020:

I deiced that i wanted real life lessons as that would have been better for me, but alas thanks to covid all the teachers in the neighborhood are fully booked until September 2022 and so i wait and tried to follow lessons on this site.

Early march 2021:
While doing the lesson “change as many times as you can between the chords E, A and D”, i sadly overburdened my wrist on the fretting hand and the diagnosis was “Wrist tendonitis” :frowning_face:

April 2021:
My Wrist still hurts after a short while and this makes me think iam overbending the wrist, so in a moment of panic i contact a local teacher and iam allowed to come by and see if i doing something wrong. That was not the case.

May 2021:

okay, that little fender starter amp with a 6" speaker just sucks. Time for some semi pro amp that can handle my guitar. After some research i chose the “Boss Katana 50 MKII” and iam still happy with that amp.

Fast Forward september 2022:
My wrist is still hurting, but i’m stubborn and iam not going to stop playing and i start with my real life lessons.

I send my teacher a few songs out different metal subgenres so that he has an idea what kind music i like and what kind of effects they contain, so that he could create a learning plan.

One of the songs i send is ’ Last Goodbye’ from the Norwegian prog metalband ‘Circus Maximus’ and you can guess it, he chose the most difficult song to learn. Because he liked the intro melody and really underestimated how complex the rhythm in this song is.

The song in question:

December 2021:

The real life lesson are on a break until the January and i have some more time to practice. I made so much progress that i deiced: I need a new guitar to reward myself and so i started doing research and i fell in love with a " Schecter Reaper-6 Satin Satin Sky Burst". Expensive guitar, but that sound that comes out of it when you turn up the volume knop is just :star_struck:.

January and February 2022:

My wrist is still hurting, even after treatment, i then bought a “Daddario Varigrip” to see if that could help my problem and in combination with Anti inflammation gel it solved my issue for 90%! I can finally play > 2 hours without having much pain afterwards.

As for the ‘Last Goodbye’ song, i could play the first lead solo at about 60%, but after hearing myself on record, i noticed there was no feel for the rhythm. I took some gas back and started at 15% speed and now i’m at 42% with feel for the rhythm.

i’m also trying the chords and there not that hard as in i can do the positions without any troubles… its just the complex rhythms in the chords that are hard. There are pauses, palm mutes and than there are no pauses, but only palm mutes and so on.

For those that a curious, you can check out the tab on Songster:

To finish here is a picture of my gear:

You are seeing:
Guitar: Schecter Reaper-6 Satin Satin Sky Burst
Amp: KATANA-50 MkII
Wireless system: AKG WMS40 Mini Dual Instrumental

You are not seeing:
My guitar strap
My Nokia Tablet to play along with tabs.

5 Likes

Great start to your log, 326. Guitar looks fabulous, and BK50 is a popular choice here, can’t go wrong.

Now I can look forward to hearing you play in due course

Nice looking guitar. Your approach sounds very good, dial back the speed when you aren’t doing it the way you want to. Keep at it. Thanks for the log

What a gorgeous looking guitar, I wonder how it sounds?

When playing in split/single coil mode, the sound is just ear pinching clean & sharp. In humbucker mode its a bit darker, but still wide and clean while doing solo parts.

It was this guitar or a Ibanez that was a bit cheaper, but the schecter has better hardware for the same price region, so the choice was made :metal:

It seems i also forgot to mention what guitar skills i already have ‘masterd’ in 1.5 years of playing:

Vibrato
Pull-Off
Hammer-On
Hammer-Pull-off
Far slide
Short slide(inside same fret)
Staccato’s
Bends

The hardest to learn where the pull-offs, especially doing them with the pinky, the one finger that has its own mind :thinking:

Small update from myself!

As my real life lessons are ending soon, I’m back to following the Justin Course and i started where i left about a year ago. That is grade 1, module 3 and up & down strums lesson for this week.

Its way much easier than about a year ago, but i still have to practice them since rhythm is important and its my weak spot.

I also created my own learning schedule that consists of the following practices:

  • Warmup with some small and simple riffs
  • Spiderwalk time
  • stretches practice between finger #1 and #2
  • Learning the chord locations on the fretboard
  • practicing the first solo of the song for about 20 - 30 mins
  • Hammer/pull combi
  • rhythm practice
  • moving between the chords inside the song.
  • free style time :smiley:

I have small hands and i have very flexible joints, but i still struggle with the following chord position(the one highlighted in blue).

After weeks of training i can get finger 1 & 2 in position 1 & 3, but the pinky on position 5 is just hard… i can barley get the pinky clean and there is also a lot of stress on my wrist while trying this position…

1 Like

Small update:

When i’m having a good day and I’ve been warmed up enough, can reach 65% of the bpm for the solo. That is around 90 bpm. I still have some issues when the speedup happens in the tail of the solo.

Since this song has such a complex structure, I’ve decided to take on some ‘easier’ songs to learn along side the song I’ve listed above.

I first started with Our Farewell by Within Temptation. It has almost no guitar parts, but the few power chords and the small solo where perfect for me to get used to switching over from rhythm to lead inside the same song.

Since i can play that song without any problems, i’ve taken on Hearts Of Iron by the Swedish Heavy metalband, Sabaton. Its also around the 90 bpm mark.

The ‘Rhythm Guitar I’ part that I took on is progressing slow, but nicely. Not yet playing it together with songster, still have to memorize the sequence of the chords and structure.

Since my weak spot is the feel for rhythm, I’ve also started using a metronome and started doing the spider walk exercise while tapping with my left foot to keep up with the metronome. It was very hard for me to do so at the beginning, but that has changed now. I can keep up with about 90 bpm in a 4/4 measure.

I also have a question for the more experienced users here:
Should i also practice hammer/pullings(combo or ‘solo’) at the same bpm that i can keep up with on songs, or should i keep it at a lower tempo?

Hi 326. Good that after exploring more advanced stuff you go back to the basics to build on your foundation. I am not an expert about hammer-ons and pull-offs but for a song that I want to learn and need to use hammer-ons I am planning to just do the hammer-ons over and over alone until I can do them sounding good and at the speed that I need and then playing the melody with them included.

Small update as of 27 June:

About a month ago i started learning ‘Hearts of Iron’ by Sabaton and after hard work i made to the solo section of the song. I got the first halve of the song structure memorized, but i have not really played along side of it, still some mistakes :slight_smile: .

The spiderwalk helped enormously and because of that my G Major scale is pretty easy as my fingers can do anything they want, even there own will :thinking: . I think i made it to about 150 bpm using the spiderwalk, after that it falls apart.

My weakpoint continues to be rhythm, i’m working on the G major scale using the metronome at 60 bpm, but after a while i just ‘cant’ hear it anymore and start missing a beat or two… Not sure if anybody else had this issue where you just stop hearing the clicks?

Thanks for the update.

Something Justin suggests is setting your metronome volume up so that when you are right on the click the guitar drowns out the sound of the metronome. If that is what is happening then you are locked in.

But maybe it is something else, like losing concentration and somehow not listening for the click anymore. Then I’d say being aware is a good thing. When it happens I’d suggest stop playing, refocus, restart.

I lower the guitar volume when doing metronome trainings so i can hear those clicks. I just think that after a few times my brain zooms out and loses focus because of the ‘boring’ tempo. I mean, 60 BPM is like listening to a clock tick and try not to fall a sleep :rofl:

1 Like

Hi all,

I’m learning a certain song, Heart of Iron by Sabaton, but i’m lacking speed in the chorus part of the song. I’m improving it with a metronome, but i’m sure the part is faster than then rest of the song and i need to now what the target bpm is . That way i know where the end goal lies :slight_smile:

The song is 90 BPM avg in 4/4 measure.

This is a screensot of the chorus tab:

Could somebody tell me how-to calculate such thing and if I’m right that it is faster in this case?

Hey @demon326 , I don’t know that song and I can’t tell if the chorus is faster than the rest, however, usually (not always!) the bpm is constant for a whole song. Passages can be faster or slower depending on whether they contain 8th notes, 16th notes, etc. The bpm is still the same.

For the 2 measures that you highlighted, there is a 16th-note rhythm, which you need to learn how to count, if you don’t already know. Looking at the 1st measure you posted: the first four notes are 16th notes, they are counted 1 e + a (one-eee-and-uh). In other words, the first four notes are played within the first beat of the measure. The next 3 notes of that measure are an 8th note followed by 2 16th notes. The count is 2 + a and the 3 notes occupy beat 2 of the measure. The 2nd half of the measure has the same rhythm as the first half.

The count for the whole measure is:

1 e + a 2  + a 3 e + a 4  + a

The metronome clicks should come on the 1, 2, 3, 4.

Hi demon326, the only I can add after John’s very clear explanation is that when your are hearing the original record you should be able to identify the 1, 2, 3, 4 rhythm independently of how many notes are being played. So you can count four beats in one section and four beats in another section and they are probably to be at the same b.p.m.

@jjw1 thanks for the indepth explanation, still a bit to complicated :slight_smile:

@ dobleA thanks!

When it comes to guitar i have such tunnel vision, sometimes its right in front of my nose, but i cannot see it until somebody points me in the right direction. I also have no musical background, before picking up the guitar, i’v never practiced music… except for the ‘triangle’ at school :rofl: