Frito's Learning Log

Just so I don’t lose it, well until the site goes down for good anyway, here’s a link to my original roadcase on the forums. frito’s roadcase

on: April 05, 2020, 12:27:01 am »

Hi all, i am doing the Grade 1 Lesson 7 practice routing and trying to “pass” so I’m ready when Grade 2 goes up. I can play two songs, albeit a bit rough, from memory as part of the learn five from memory. They are a couple songs from The Band of Heathens I’ve been dying to learn. One has a couple chords that weren’t in grade one but they weren’t major additions like the upcoming “dreaded F”.

A little backstory - I attempted to learn guitar a few times while in grade school but was never dedicated. I don’t think the $50 nylon string Hondo guitar I was using inspired me all that much (I know, excuses, excuses). Anyway, when I was a senior in high school in 1983 a classmate who is an excellent guitar player learned I had interest in guitar. He taught me the basic chords that are covered in Justin’s grade one and the basic 4/4 and 3/4 strumming patterns . I got a sigma 12 string as an early Christmas present and began playing guitar with him at our weekly school class mass service. I then played at the Sunday mass at our college dorm for the next four years. The thing is, in all that time, I never really ventured beyond the basic chords and a “cheater” F chord. Nor did I venture beyond the handful of songs we played at mass. Limiting myself to a few church songs left me uninspired and my guitar sat in its case for the next 30 years. I would break it out from time to time in an attempt to teach myself but never got very far.

Three years ago I used anniversary award money from work to buy an entry level Gretsch hollow body so I could try acoustic or electric but still didn’t progress. I finally stumbled upon Justin’s site. The clean layout, natural progressions and focus on playing songs vs. individual notes is just what i need to jump start my practice and playing. I was using the traditional training last year and got up to the 7th chords but as usual, life got in the way. Finally late last year i saw NITSUJ’s practice sessions and the new beginner course. I practiced along with NITSUJ and am now wrapping up grade one, anxiously awaiting grade two as I try to learn five songs from memory. As i mentioned in the beginning, I finally learned two band of Heathen’s songs, Jackson Station and Hurricane (which I think CCR actually did first). I am far, far, far from perfect but finally to the point I’m willing to share my progress with others. I hope my singing doesn’t make your ears bleed. I cut the grass today and my nose and throat are a bit scruffy as a result. Without further adieu, here are the links to my playing. One is on the Grestch and the other on my old Sigma. Please let me know if the links don’t work as I have them in a shared Google album. I can put them up on YouTube if the link doesn’t work.

Hurricane on the Gretsch hollow body -

Jackson Station on the Sigma 12 string -


« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2020, 12:01:33 pm »

Thanks everybody. I really appreciate the warm welcome and encouragement. I guess we really are our own worst critics. ;) I’ll try to work up the courage to put them up in the performances section.

Oddly enough, I actually haven’t the extra time some now have in these strange times. You see, i’m an accountant in the midst of our annual fiscal year close. Thanks to technology I can work from home. While I no longer have a 1 1/2 total commute per day, I have been putting in 15 hour days. That being said, I did move my guitars from my living room to my office so when I need a five minute mental break I can pick one up and strum a bit.

Stay safe and healthy and keep on strumming. :)

« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 10:26:55 pm »

Here’s a couple more. This first one is about 1/2 tempo or so, no singing, of Ryan Bingham’s Southside of Heaven. I’m trying to mix the strum and the hammer on. It’s gonna take a bit to get this one up to full tempo and to where I can sing with it. I also need to mix in an Em → Cadd9 → four finger G switch up on the chorus.

An actual live version of it for those of you not familiar with it is here. I need Justin to do a harmonica course like his guitar courses. ;D

And here’s a full stab at Steve Earl’s Copperhead Road. Sorry, I got a little rambunctious towards the end.

« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2020, 11:54:32 am »

Thanks David. I appreciate it. As I’m sure many do, I have to feel the music in order to play it. I always loved watching BB King play - his facial expressions, etc. you could just tell he could feel every note he was playing. I find I do better when I let go of robotic perfection and allow myself to feel the music. Maybe once I get Southside of Heaven down I’ll post a couple on the performance board.

On a side note, I’ve just been reading your road case. What an inspiring journey. Since I’m technically at work right now I haven’t yet a chance to listen to your sound board recordings but I did watch the video of you playing out of the trunk of your car. That was great. I love live performances better than anything.

Cheers for now. I hope to feel confident enough in the last couple “First Five” songs in the next week or two to post them up on the performance section. Now if I can just learn the riff to Copperhead Road. ;)

« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2020, 10:30:53 pm »

OK David. Thanks for all your encouragement. I did it. I posted a version of For What it’s Worth with harmonics in the audio/video of you playing section. For What it's Worth by Buffalo Springfield, with harmonics

« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2020, 11:23:49 pm »

Thanks gang. Been a busy work week. I saw Justin posted up lesson 8 earlier today so I jumped on it and to my surprise, the chords he covered are actually the three chords in one of the first five songs i’m trying to memorize - Cadd9, Big G and E min7. Go figure, i guess i was jumping the gun with trying to learn Southside of Heaven. Anyway, i decided to mess around a bit with some of the chords in his new lesson 8 this evening bouncing between F 6/9, Cadd9 and Big G. without further adieu, here’s some Americana for you ;)

Oh, and Ct i took a look at some reviews of the G2622. Looks like a sweet guitar.

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Hi Joe, glad you’ve been able to migrate you RC. It’s good to take a trip down memory lane with you. I’m looking forward to seeing more of you.

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Enjoyed a quick re-read of your RC, Joe.

The videos played just fine.

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Hey Joe it is so great to be reminiscing with all the “old” Roadcases. Everyone an inspiration ! :sunglasses:

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I guess I was a bit over zealous yesterday as the system told me I reached my newbie daily limit of posts. :rofl: The saga will continue…

« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2020, 09:51:40 am »

Quote from: close2u on April 25, 2020, 05:32:34 am

Some groovy hammer-on action going on there frito and you’re giving your 3rd and 4th fingers a heck of a workout.
Good stuff.

Might I suggest you start to use a pick for such strumming. Your tone and definition of notes will have added brilliance and clarity.
Thanks closee2u. Yeah, as i was reviewing the video before I uploaded I too was thinking it would be so much better with a pick. I would love to use a pick and was wishing I could use one; however, my family gets quite annoyed with me when I play louder than their liking. It was around 11:30 PM local time when I was trying this out and they would have killed me. Maybe I’ll give it whirl on the Gretsch. I can use a pick on it and it not be so loud but the 'ole 12 string was just calling me last night.

Quote from: DavidP on April 25, 2020, 08:51:13 am

That’s quite a work out, Joe. Keep at that, fine tune the rhythm and you must be close to Sweet Home Alabama :)
Thanks David, hadn’t even considered giving Sweet home Alabama a go yet. That one seemed too far off for me. I’m finding keeping the the rhythm, especially in the songs like Copperhead Road riffs and Southside of Heaven challenging. The latter especially so when I try to incorporate singing. How he can also incorporate a harmonica blows me away.

On a side note, I think it’s past time to restring both guitars. I don’t remember the last time I restrung the 12 string and I haven’t restrung the Gretsch since I’ve owned it - three years now. I haven’t been as consistent playing until January of this year though so it’s not like it’s been three years of daily playing with the same strings.

« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2020, 10:24:42 pm »

Boy, as usual life got in the way for a month/ month and a half, and it took me forever to get through grade two. I’m finally onto practicing the new grade three with the “dreaded F”. All those years ago, I was learning on a Sigma 12 string and the best I could ever muster was the cheat F. Now that I have the Grestch I was happy that I could make all the strings ring out on the first attempt. So my glutton for punishment practice routine will be to keep working at the F on the 'ole 12 string and then strum it a few times on the Gretsch afterwards as a morale booster.

Now that I’m back at it, I continue to practice along with NITSUJ which seems a good route to go, a difference being the song selections. For a good F practice, I started today working on Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”. I’m somewhat confident that if I give it a proper go every night for a week or two I’ll have it down. I was able to do the open C Maj scale at 120 BPM so I am moving up the fretboard and starting on the sixth string C and sorting it out myself without any cheats so I better learn the fret board and scales in different positions.

Hope you all are doing well and staying safe.

« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2020, 10:27:28 pm »

Well, got a bit over an hour of practice in today. I followed NITSUJ’s lessons 9.4, accidentally skipped over 9.5 and followed 9.6. I’m gonna get Popeye arms on my left forearm from practicing the F chord on the 12 string. Still can’t get the B or high E to ring out and don’t really expect success for a few weeks or longer. I go back to the Gretsch afterwards as a morale booster since I can get a good sound on all strings out of it. At the pace I’m going, i think it’s going to be at least a week or three before I’m comfortable enough to record Hurt. While I can play the full F I’m, not surprisingly, struggling with the change to F. I’ll get there - just need to keep with it.

Re: frito’s road case

« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2020, 11:00:34 pm »

DarrelW, you are a bloody genius! :+1: I actually had a Shubb capo on order which came yesterday. Tonight I tuned it down a semitone, capo on first fret and viola - I can play a proper F on the 12 string. not as well as the hollow body but about half the time all the strings ring out. Thanks for the suggestion. I still want to get to playing a proper F in standard tuning but this is a great start.

« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2020, 10:23:22 am »

Hey all, I know this going to sound bizarre, and no I didn’t go on a bender last night :o. So shortly before I woke up this morning I had a dream I was going through a lesson on the site that as far as I know doesn’t exist. It referenced a “double hammer on” on the fifth fret of either or both the third and forth strings with a slide up to the second fret. What I don’t know is if it meant:

  • Hammer from open to the fifth and the sixth fret on both strings then slide up
  • Hammer from open to the fifth and sixth on just one string the slide
  • Hammer from the fifth to sixth then slide on both strings

The only thing I do know for certain is that it ended with harmonics on both the D and G strings.

I gave it a whirl with each scenario to see what it sounds like. Of course, since I’m still in the beginner phase it sounds like junk. If any of you more accomplished players would like to give it whirl to see if you can get some good sound out of it and post it up, please do. I’m curious to see if my “dream lesson” might actually sound half way decent if a seasoned player plays it.

Here’s a YouTube of my less than stellar attempt at it.

« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2020, 12:04:00 am »

Thanks David and TS

OK, this is nowhere near where near where I want it to be for the performance section so I’m popping it into my road case. I finally have Hurt to where I’m not completely embarrassed to share it. I still have a lot of work on fast perfect changes to the F. I find I keep laying down the “E” shape with fingers 2 - 4 and then laying down the bar vs. getting all four to move into position all at once. I’ll get there eventually, just not there yet.

Oh, and CT, I took your advice and am laying down a true Dsus2 ;) That added some time to my learning it vs. the C slide. Anyway, here it is.

« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2020, 02:43:02 pm »

Wow, didn’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve been on the forums. I’ve been kind of stuck on lessons 12 -14 in grade 2. I’ve long had a keen interest in fingerstyle and Blues and they are a slow go - especially finger style. Who would have thought I would spend hours trying to master Happy Birthday and still struggle with it. ![:-]( “Undecided”) Of course it doesn’t help that I’ve not been as religious with my practice as I was earlier. I still practice at least a couple time of week and am trying to get back into the regular daily groove I was in earlier in the year.

Anyway, I decided to really put myself out there. I work in accounting for our company. Our CFO’s birthday is tomorrow and our Corporate Controller is putting together a VidHug (video hug I guess) for his birthday so I played fingerstyle Happy Birthday for him on it. Of course, the entire accounting and finance organization will be able to see it once it’s presented to him :flushed: I recorded it directly on the site and couldn’t save off my contribution so I recorded it playing on my computer with my cell phone.

« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2020, 11:15:30 pm »

Thanks gang. Just to be clear, it was Memorex, not live :joy: It went into a video compilation that gets emailed to him.

Anyway, I decided to record a video on my phone which is easier to watch than a video of a flashing computer screen. It is still tough but I think this is a bit better. I can totally relate to a comment on the course discussion that “I never thought Happy Birthday would be the song that would cause me to consider quitting guitar”. Now I never got that dejected with it but man oh man is it toucher than it looks. I took some advice and focused just on the E-B-G string segments without the base notes got to the point I good rip it off pretty well. But as soon as I add in the base notes with me I fell like a ten month old learning to walk. There’s just something about combining the base note with the high notes simultaneously that just mess me up and requires so much more concentration.

Without further adieu, here’s the video of Happy Birthday. It still needs work but I’m getting there.

While I was at it I recorded a stab at The Animals version of House of the Rising Sun. It actually seems easier than Happy Birthday since the base note is played by itself vs. combined with other notes. I didn’t try to do all the bridges, etc. in this version - just wanted to get through the song. It’s hard enough to remember the lyrics while playing right now much less trying to get the bridges. I’m sure that will come with time assuming I practice consistently. I hope my singing doesn’t make your ears bleed. ;)

Finally I recorded a go at Justin’s Blues Lead practice. Again, I did this finger style vs. with a pick since finger style is my main goal. Stills needs some work to sound really tasty but it’s getting there.

« Reply #46 on: December 16, 2020, 05:25:58 pm »

Thanks all

@sairfingers - I thought about just playing the high strings which I can bash out but wanted to challenge myself. ;)

TwinSix - I’ve been following your road case. From what I’ve read, go ahead and post up. If I can do it, so can you. :) Re: the 12 string - I actually started out on the 12 string back in late 1983/early 1984. Probably why I gave up on the F chord for 30+ years. :rofl: I love the sound. Oddly enough, in some regards the 'ole 12 string is more forgiving than my hollow body. Of course, in other cases it amplifies my mistakes, er areas on which I need to work.

« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2020, 10:04:06 pm »

We moved my daughter home from her five month Co-Op assignment over the weekend which meant I got to get my 12 string off of the wall mount in her bedroom and set it up on her guitar stand in my office. Tuned it up and played it for the first time in months. Man oh man, I have gotten lazy playing my hollow body. I played a few rounds of the Blues lick in Justin’s beginner course followed by a try at finger style “House of the Rising Sun” (No it is not post worthy yet). Boy did I ever feel the burn in my left arm after just a few minutes. The fingers are fine but pressing down on the strings on the 12 vs. electric really builds up the forearm. I think I need to make the 12 string my primary practice guitar for a while to get the strength back in my arm.

« Reply #50 on: December 31, 2020, 05:58:04 pm »

My brother-in-law bought me the Guitar pro license and I’m taking my first crack at it. I am determined to learn Wish You Were Here all the way through vs. just the first four bar riff. I find I can only follow the videos to a certain point and then either need notes or a proper tab. Sooo, I’m trying to work up the tab for it. Software is a bit more challenging than I thought it would be but I’m sure I’m just facing the new user learning curve.

After reading Justin’s email and IG post, I wrote out some goals for 2021 to help keep me honest and motivated. They include learning five Christmas songs and committing them to memory by Christmas 2021 as a long range goal. Short term goal is to learn all of Wish you Were Here by the end of January. Mid-term goal includes mastering Happy Birthday finger style (man it should NOT be as hard as it is).

Finally, I’ve been playing my 12 string a lot more now that it’s back in my office. Boy oh boy did I forget how much I love its sound. That is what I plan to use for Wish You Were Here. I even tried the Animals version of House of the Rising Sun (fingerstyle) and played around with Justin’s Blues riff on it. Challenging but fun.

Anyway, I wish everybody a happy, safe and HEALTHY New Year. 2020, don’t let the door hit 'ya where the sun don’t shine. :P

« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2021, 01:32:37 pm »

Thanks gang. I gave Wish You Were here a go on the 12 string this morning. After listening to the actual song, I definitely want to learn it on the 12 string as it sounds to me like Pink Floyd is using a 12 string in it.

It’s not my first go at it so hopefully I can achieve my end of January goal. I don’t know what it is about recording myself but I find I don’t play as well when I’m recording myself vs. just playing. I’m sure it’s just mental. Anyway, here’s one of the videos with fewer mistakes.

« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2021, 08:24:02 am »

Quote from: Twin Six on January 01, 2021, 11:33:22 pm

Nicely done! I’m working on Wish You Were Here on 12-string too. Playing both strings of each course consistently is the one thing I find challenging. You seem to do it with ease.
Thanks TS. It helps that the 'ole 12 string is the only guitar I owned from Christmas 1983 to March 2017 when I bought my Gretsch hollow body. The first time I learned guitar back in the '80’s it was on the 12 string. I’m actually facing a different challenge now in that I’m also working on the lead. I’m finding the lead doesn’t sound quite right hitting both strings so I’m playing around to see if I can use all up picks to hit only the “natural” string. Of course, bending the high strings is an issue in of itself as well. In Justin’s video he talks about the difficulty of bending on the acoustic. The challenge is doubly difficult on the 12 string, but since it’s the only acoustic that’s what I’m going to learn it on.

Quote from: DavidP on January 02, 2021, 12:40:26 am

That is sounding so good, Joe, well played and keep going.
Thanks David.

Quote from: DarrellW on January 02, 2021, 02:51:11 am

Nice one Joe, used to love my Eko ranger 12 that I had many years ago, unfortunately it got badly damaged (beyond economic repair) in a motoring accident. For some reason it never got replaced; I must admit that I do have a bit of GAS for the Harley Benton Rickenbacker 12 copy but I’m keeping it in check (just :joy:)!
Thanks Darrell. I’m sorry to hear about your twelve string. A coworker was telling me just last month how he lost his favorite acoustic in a car accident years ago and now just has an electric.

You mention the Rickenbacker clone. One of my favorite bands has been doing a livestream every Tuesday night and on the rare occasion they have all been in the Studio together they play a magnificent Rickenbacker 12 string. What impresses me even more is how seamlessly they play lead on it as well. You can see it at the 1:04:51 mark in the below video. Is this the Rickenbacker you mention (In know you mentioned a clone but is this the real deal?)

I tried to post to the exact spot but kept getting a replay error.

« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2021, 05:38:34 pm »

Quote from: DarrellW on January 03, 2021, 09:09:15 am

Hi Frito, yes that looks like the real deal! Way beyond the sort of money I could justify spending but a fabulous guitar!
This is the one I’m gassing after:
Harley Benton RB-612CS Classic Series – Thomann UK
It’s a really great instrument for how much it costs, look at the reviews!
That looks really cool for the price. Wow. This is going to sound very odd, but it took me a few rounds of watching him play the Rickenbacker to finally convince myself it’s a twelve string. On a close up I noticed the dual strings but when panning out the way the tuners are set, it looked like a six string. I finally searched online because I was driving myself nuts. Yes, I tend to observe the quirky little things. lol

« Reply #63 on: April 26, 2021, 10:00:47 pm »

UGH, I can’t believe it’s almost May. Multiple months of working 12 - 16 hour days has put a serious crimp in achieving the goals I laid out in January. I think I need to rework the lyrics to “Mamma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Caowboys” to “Mamma Don’t Let Your Baby’s Grow Up to be Accountants” ::)

I have managed to play Wish You Were Here all the way through but still can’t sing to it. Other than that I’ve not made much progress. A couple songs have caught my attention after hearing them pop up on my Spotify feed while working.

Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls caught my attention and I was playing that for a while. My daughter let me use her guitar so I didn’t have to bounce back and forth between the funky tuning. I think I got it pretty close but it’s been a few weeks since I worked on it.

I have heard a few different renditions of John Prine’s Angel From Montgomery also which has inspired me. After looking at tabs from various artists, I settled on the Tedeschi Trucks Band rendition as it seems to be more in my vocal range. I did a recording of it tonight and m going to to go out on the ledge and post it up in the Performance section. Not great but…

I hope you are all doing well. i perused through a couple road cases this evening and was inspired by what I read. Sorry I didn’t chime in but suffice it to say, you all inspired me to get moving on it a bit this evening so thank you one and all.

« Reply #65 on: April 27, 2021, 07:45:57 am »

Thanks David. Hmm, I may have to break out of my comfort zone for that. I’ll try to give it a go. I think my wife likes that more than a lot of what I play. :D

I will say, I’m just getting over the finger pain again. It stinks how quickly the calluses go away and how long they take to come back. I also practice in my office since I can close the door. I initially brought the guitars in here thinking I’d take multiple five minute breaks throughout the day. Instead, the breaks didn’t come and the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time in here at the end of the day, hence the guitars collecting dust for a few months.

« Reply #69 on: May 26, 2021, 08:26:02 pm »

Quote from: stackpop on May 09, 2021, 01:08:44 am

Thank you for sharing Frito, love that 12 string Pink Floyd cover. Your progress is inspiring :D
Thanks. I’m still not practicing enough. I have finally committed myself to play Wish You Were Here at least once a day. Seems, that’s about the only practice I’m getting. Once I feel more comfortable with where it’s at I’ll post up a full video.

« Reply #72 on: June 08, 2021, 08:36:25 pm »

Thanks gang. Yeah, I agree any time I can lay hands on the guitar is a good thing. I’m trying to do WYWH once a day at least. I’ll walk into my office and think “I am just going to take five minutes and so it.” Some days are better than others but that’s to be expected. I hadn’t done Angel from Montgomery for a couple weeks so broke that out today and was rough around the edges. Crazy how one can lose it after just a couple weeks. I’m trying to not get bored with it but if I can do WYWH, Angel and House of the Rising Sun finger style once a day I am somewhat happy.

Not coming around here much 'cause I figure I can spend five minutes actually touching the guitar or bounce in. Things have to slow down sooner or later and hopefully I can become the active participant here I was hoping to be from the start.

I hope you are all doing well.

On that note, I’m heading out to the back porch to strum a few chords.

« Reply #73 on: July 13, 2021, 12:09:26 pm »

Man oh man. I am a glutton for punishment. I decided to practice finger style on my 12 string. You think it’s hard to pick both strings on Wish You Were Here, try finger picking dual strings. This has uncovered that my finger positioning on the chords has a LOT to be desired on my 12 string. I think I get away with it when strumming with a pick but unintended muted strings really stand out when finger picking. As difficult as this is, I think it will ultimately benefit me by forcing me to improve finger positioning on the strings. How that translates to my hollow body where I don’t have these issues - I don’t know. Hopefully it makes be better all around.

This begs a question. On the old app, there were three different finger picking exercises. The new app only has the 6/8 picking exercise. Are the old exercises on the website somewhere? I searched and couldn’t find them.


« Reply #76 on: July 15, 2021, 10:05:52 am »

Quote from: close2u on July 15, 2021, 02:56:55 am

frito - I don’t recall seeing any 12-string player use it is a finger style instrument.

12 strings are just not meant for that. You are better off having a 6-string by far.
Yeah, it is not normal, but i have found a few that manage to master it. Check this out, it is amazing 12 string finger picking. Granted I need thousands of hours of practice before I’d ever be able to this.

Part of the reason I’m pursuing it is because it is forcing me to focus more on my chord grips.

« Reply #78 on: July 15, 2021, 10:29:26 am »

Man, I have yet to try finger picking that FnF. Might try it on my hollow body but no way on the 12. I have found that to finger pick the 12, I need to hit the strings on top and pull vs. coming in from underneath. Sounds cool the minority of times I’ve gotten it right.

I don’t recall where I saw it, but somebody inverted the normal and octave strings, meaning they put the octave string underneath the thicker string instead of above it as is traditional.

But yeah, the cord accuracy is huge. I went through most of the beginner courses on my hollow body. When I blew the dust off the old 12 I find my chords need more work.

« Reply #80 on: July 26, 2021, 11:13:29 am »

Quote from: Twin Six on July 26, 2021, 10:32:17 am

Amazing! The fact that he’s playing an Alvarez Yairi nearly identical to mine makes this even sweeter.
I’m still waiting to see a video of you playing that twin six. ;)

« Reply #81 on: November 10, 2021, 08:56:58 pm »

Wow, I don’t believe I haven’t updated this since July. Where in the heck has the year gone? I’d love to say I’ve made a ton of progress since July but truth be told, I haven’t. I moved my guitars into my office with the hope I would take regular five - ten minute breaks throughout the day. Some days I do, most days I don’t. The downside to them being in my office is that I’ve been working so many hours, the last thing I want to do is spend MORE time in my office so the guitars then sit in the evening too. My wife and I have been chatting about putting doors on our living room, which we may make into a music room. That way I have a place to play that will be closed off so I don’t disturb everyone in the house. Anyway…

Once the new Beginners App came out, I decided to go back through everything as part of my consolidation. I am taking notes on each lesson as I go to focus on things I may have forgotten or didn’t pay as much attention to when I went through it on the website. I am also keeping a running list of the practice items from each lesson that I want to keep in a rotating practice repertoire, such as metronome work, strumming patterns, stretching, etc. Shout out on the updated app as I recently noticed Exercises in the Songs section of the app. The exercises do tend to mirror many of those in my repertoire which makes them quick and easy to get to.

In addition to re-doing the lesson plan I have been working a few songs that I hope to record sooner or later:

  • Signs by Five Man Electrical Band then Tesla. All the blasted political signs that polluted the landscape the past couple months inspired that
  • Night Moves by Bob Seger
  • House of the Rising Sun - Animals version with finger picking

The song list has me practicing chord A → Bm, G → F and C → F chord changes as well as the finger style pattern in House of the Rising Sun. Oh, did I mention I’m focusing most of my practice efforts on my 12 string figuring If I can master it I’ll be in good shape. Needless to say, the finger picking and the F & Bm barre chords are a bit of a challenge that is testing my patience. I am happy to report I can get the F to ring out maybe half the time on my 12 string now which I never thought possible.

Oh yeah, and I think it’s time for me to change my strings. I haven’t changed them since July of last year.

Well, I guess it’s time to jump off of here and pick up the guitar for some practice. Cheers.

« Reply #83 on: November 11, 2021, 07:10:46 am »

Quote from: DavidP on November 10, 2021, 11:29:47 pm

Good to hear from you, Joe. Establishing an environment and habits that enable one to practice and play is so important … adding the doors to create a suitable space sounds like a great idea.

It does go up and down, but sounds like you are on a good path and making progress. Keep doing what you are doing and I’m sure you’ll be recording those songs in due course.

I’m celebrating the progress on the F chord on the 12 string with you!
Thanks David. :blush:

« Reply #85 on: November 11, 2021, 02:02:16 pm »

Quote from: DarrellW on November 11, 2021, 10:21:26 am

Great stuff getting the dreaded F barre on the 12 string, I never did without a capo :joy:
How are you finding that Orange amp? I borrow a friends occasionally for certain sounds but have terrible GAS for one :joy:
Yeah, that FnF is no walk in the park on the 12 string but I am happy I keep battling through it. I look forward to the day when the clear majority of attempts sound good.

I like the Orange amp. It hasn’t seen much use since I’ve mainly been playing my 12 string. I need to wise up and keep notes on what settings sound the best on certain songs. It’s a trial and error to find the sound I like. I’m sure this is a combination of A. I don’t have any pedals/effects and B. Even if I did have pedals and effects, I’m still quite the noob when it comes to effects. I think that’s one of the things that draws me to acoustic guitars.

« Reply #87 on: November 11, 2021, 07:53:54 pm »

Quote from: batwoman on November 11, 2021, 04:59:17 pm

You’re still in the pool and keeping your head above water Joe, so that’s a good thing. Allocating time and energy to all the things that are important to you is a tricky thing. Your plan to have a music room sounds like it will work for you.

I’m seriously impressed at you being able to play an F barre cleanly on a 12 string.

Thanks Maggie! Yep, I often feel like I’m treading water but I’m still above it. :) My next challenge, still a few months away I’m sure, will be to try to finger pick the F chord on the 12 string. I have found that finger picking is both frustrating in that it accentuates the areas where I need work but also rewarding in that it helps me figure out where I need to focus.

« Reply #88 on: November 30, 2021, 07:44:57 pm »

Man, I am hoping I can get to a point to post up a couple new tunes. I have been punching way above my weight class with a couple songs that are taking me FOREVER to play well enough I want to record. I recently became quite enamored with John Lennon’s Happy Xmas - War is over and I am determined to get it right with all the sus and add9 chords. The Bm has proven to my complete and utter nemesis on this and another song I’ve been trying to get down for a couple months now. On the bright side, the callous on my pinky is now as strong and hard as the rest of my fingers. ;D

Oh well, maybe before Christmas I’ll feel up to posting it. Cheers.

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And that’s a wrap from the old forum road case. Man, this has been the fastest, longest year in the history of mankind. I love the progress I made early on but I seem to have hit a wall this year. The only goal I reached that I laid out last January was to learn Wish You Were Here start to finish with singing. Oh well, at least I still pick it up at least a few times a week.

Oh yeah, and on a positive note, our college gang got together a few weeks back and one of my buds and I brought our guitars. It was fun to play with a group of people there. So I guess there is that - wasn’t on my list of goals but an accomplishment none the less.

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A never ending adventure, Joe, with ups and downs. Just keep on keeping on, enjoy playing and all will be well.

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A never ending adventure, Joe, with ups and downs. Just keep on keeping on, enjoy playing and all will be well.

Your wisdom on this guitar journey is always spot on David. I do my best to embrace the ebbs and flows.

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OK, i have to ask. Why do so, so many Christmas songs have Bm in them? I have been doing multiple rounds of changes to Bm and just can’t nail it well enough to play it in a song. Then I go to look for holiday songs to learn and it seems all the ones I have interest in have the Bm. Oh well, just got to keep practicing until it comes.

Keep practising your Bm, Joe, and have you considered transposing into the key of C.

If the songs you are looking at include the chords G C D then they’d be in the key of G, unless fancy non diatonic ie chords from other keys, progressions or having key changes.

If simple songs in G chords would be from G Am Bm C D Em and then you could use C Dm Em F G Am respectively to be in C. Of course no free lunches, now you have F in the mix.

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lol - yeah I just noticed F. I don’t know which is worse. Since I’m mainly playing on my 12 string, the F is a constant struggle. I think my big goal for 2022 will be to nail both the F and the Bm consistently - on the 12 string.

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