The time has come for another assessment, this time for the goals set for the first year after starting my learning log. Hard to believe six months have passed since my last assessment.
When setting my goals and writing down my repertoire last year I intentionally ignored the songs that I am able to somewhat play flipping pages through my guitar chord songbooks (the songbooks with tabs are a different play game for me). Before Justin Guitar I didn’t bother too much if the timing of the chord changes wasn’t the best, or if a chord grip that was difficult for me didn’t get very well fretted, but I used not to attempt to play a song if the rhythm was not indicated (and explained) in the songbook. Now I look for better sounding chords, cleaner and in time chord changes, and I can figure out something with the rhythm if is not indicated (or explained) in a songbook or an internet source.
After setting my goals last year, I made a spreadsheet with 36 songs that I wanted to learn or revisit. I assumed I could go through them at a rate of one song per month. It didn’t work that way. As my current objective is not somewhat playing the songs, but playing them at the best level that my current skills allow, I’ve spent more time that I had initially estimated working on some of the songs I’ve tackled. Doing otherwise does not provide enough time for me to improve and develop them. I had not found this dedication before.
My goals didn’t include playing live virtual performances like the ones Justin Guitar or Justin Guitar Community hosts. Playing (and singing) in two Justin Guitar Community open mics added two songs to my repertoire that were not originally on the list I had prepared. That is a plus. The song I played for the JG Xmas Bash 2022 was already part of my repertoire.
I posted Lack Of Practice Blues in the originals subsection. I composed it last year. It was unexpected as previous attempts during my lifetime had not passed from one verse or two and a possible chorus with no idea of how to play it with the guitar. Another plus.
After my six month assessment I estimate I’ve put 60 more hours of practice, mainly because I’ve been able to do more short weekday practice sessions to work on songs and the ear training. I think that’s the upper limit of what I currently can dedicate to the guitar and I may have to roll it back a little as the warmer days are coming, and yard projects and outdoor life kicks in.
I want to keep my three, five and ten year goals as they were set to be able to later compare dreamed versus achieved. For sure I’ll be short with some of them, but I’ll be happy to see after reaching the end of each term how much I’ve progressed since starting my learning log.
Setting goals for the next six month is a different story as it can help to organize my practice. For setting these goals now I can have a better sense of what can be achievable within the available practice time than when I had started my learning log.
Note: Click the triangle or the three dots to see more under each header.
The goals I had set up for the first year (since starting my learning log) and my assessment:
I want to have my repertoire of rhythm guitar (and singing) songs increased to 10.
→ Partially accomplished: my repertoire of rhythm guitar (and singing) songs has increased to 7. I am working on the 8th.
I want to have my repertoire of finger style songs increased to 2.
→ Partially accomplished: my repertoire of finger style songs increased to 1.
I want to be able to play a basic version of a classic piece.
→ Surpassed: I am able to play a basic version of two classical pieces.
I want to be able to sight read quarter notes from 1st to 6th string (frets 1 to 4).
->Not accomplished: I haven’t been able to allocate time to work on this goal.
I want to be doing the Justin Guitar intermediate guitar courses.
→ Not accomplished: I haven’t finished the Beginner Course [Classic] yet.
I want to have completed JUSTIN ear training exercises S6 to S9.
→ Not accomplished: After two consecutive times arriving to the same answers for exercise S2, I checked the answers because I thought I had them right, but I got only 40% success. That was after 27 attempts during one year; I had passed S1 with 100% success. Once I checked the answers, exercise S2 was no longer useful and I had to move to exercise S3. After attempting exercise S3 I found that I had to find a way to go back to S2. I’m using my programming skills to write a simple MS Excel macro that will allow me to play randomly recordings I made of the S2 exercise chords played in my own guitar, guess the answer, and verify it. Let’s see how this works out for me.
I want to have learnt the basics of music tracks and video edition.
→ Partially accomplished: I am able to merge videos and add titles and transitions using ClipChamp. I Installed OBS but it is well above of what I currently need. I learnt how to add silence before a song with Audacity to give me time for getting ready with the guitar to play along.
I want to have learnt the basics of computer generated music.
→ Partially Accomplished: I’ve been fumbling around with Garage Band exploring the features and I used it to create a backing track for Yellow Submarine.
Where I want to be in six months (after one year of starting my learning log):
I want to have my repertoire of rhythm guitar (and singing) songs increased to 10 (3 more).
I want to have my repertoire of finger style songs increased to 2 (1 more).
I want to be able to play 18 bars of Asturias, having added the bass notes to Habanera, and having started working on Minuet in G, nowadays attributed to Christian Petzold, but originally attributed to J.S. Bach.
JustinGuitar sight reading exercises will be on hold but I want to revisit some exercises of the the Hal Leonard method I have that are sight read based.
I want to have finished Level 9 of Justin Guitar Beginner Guitar Course [Classic].
I want to have started consolidating Justin Guitar Beginner Guitar Course [Classic] together with select material of Beginner Grades 1 & 2. I am already working on the riffs of Grades 1 & 2.
I want to have completed JUSTIN ear training exercise S3.
I want to continue developing my video edition skills.
Audio editing will be on hold for now.
I want to continue creating backing tracks with GarageBand.
Repertoire update (after one year of starting my learning log)
Note: unless noted otherwise links are to the respective AVOYP post.
- Songs that I can play rhythm guitar (and sing) fluently from memory:
- Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind
- Songs that I can play rhythm guitar (and sing) fluently reading lyrics and chords:
Saber que vendrás (mass song in Spanish based on the music of Blowin’ In The Wind) - Same post than Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind
Los peces en el río (Christmas carol in Spanish [two guitars and singing duet with my daughter]) - Playing Live
A la nanita nana (Christmas carol in Spanish [one guitar and singing duet with my daughter], audio only - Microsoft’s One Drive shared file)
Elvis Presley’s Don’t Be Cruel
El último beso (Last Kiss) (cover in Spanish [JGC OM XII]) - YouTube link: JustinGuitar.com Community Open Mic - 12th Edition (November 2022)
Quizás, quizás, quizás (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps) (bilingual cover in English and Spanish [JGC OM XIV]) - YouTube link: JustinGuitar.com Community Open Mic - 14th Edition (March 2023)
- Songs I am working on how to play rhythm guitar (and sing):
The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine
America’s A Horse With No Name
Richie Valens’ La Bamba
- Songs I am planning to work on how to play rhythm guitar (and sing):
Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love
The Beatles’ Love Me Do
Zachary Richard’s Travailler c’est trop dur
- Non classical Instrumental songs or musical pieces that I can play fluently from memory:
- Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther Theme (basic version)
- Non classical Instrumental songs or musical pieces that I can play fluently reading some type of musical notation:
- None at this stage right now.
- Non classical Instrumental songs or musical pieces I am working on:
- Esperanza (Hope, traditional Colombian song)
- Non classical Instrumental songs or musical pieces I am planning to work on:
La guaneña (No translation, traditional Colombian song)
La cumparsita (No translation, traditional Argentinian song)
- Classical pieces that I can play fluently from memory:
Isaac Albéniz’s Asturias (first 12 bars of a basic version)
George Bizet’s Habanera of Carmen (basic version without the bass notes) - Same post than Asturias
- Classical pieces that I can play fluently reading some type of musical notation:
- None at this stage right now.
- Classical pieces I am working on:
Isaac Albéniz’s Asturias (first 18 bars of a basic version)
George Bizet’s Habanera of Carmen (basic version with the bass notes)
- Classical pieces I am planning to work on:
- Christian Petzold’s Minuet in G (Originally attributed to J.S. Bach but nowadays considered to be by Christian Petzold)
- Lack Of Practice Blues - Originals (Not Covers)
I’m satisfied with my progress so far. No changes necessary except finding a way to reach a good enough for now level with the blues exercises of Stage 9 to move on to consolidate the Beginner Course. Next assessment to be in October 2023. By the way, the medical procedure I had last year has been so far successful in keeping my arrhythmias at bay. Hopefully it stays like that.