Graham's Learning Log

Hello, all! So this is the beginning of my guitar journey and I am very excited about what the future holds. I got it in my head to start learning guitar after a conversation with my wife. Honestly I had wanted to learn for a long time, but kept putting it off. My birthday is in a few weeks, so I decided that my 45th would be the year I picked up guitar. After a fair bit of research, I went out and bought a Schecter C-1 Platinum in flat black. I love the thing. Visions of shredding along to my favorite songs fill my head, but I know I have a long way to go before I get there.

Learning new things has sort of become what my 40’s have been all about. I went back to school to work on my BSBA when I turned 40, and am still plugging along with that. School as an adult with a family, kids, and a full-time job is hard but very fulfilling. I always thought I was bad at school when I was a kid. Turns out I was just lazy and didn’t understand time management. I’m now a junior with a 3.9 GPA. Online classes are great!

Right now I am working on module 1. I have been following a strict practice routine of 22 minutes twice a day. Once that is complete I tend to want to just play around with strumming and chord changes. The practice assistant is amazing and having stats to follow makes me want to log everything so I can see how much I am improving. In the five days I have been actively practicing and logging data, I have increased my D to A and A to D from 4 to 32. They aren’t the cleanest chords, but that is what chord perfect practice is for, right?

My biggest challenge so far has been posture and fretting wrist position. I really don’t have finger pain at all, more of a sensation that I have been using my tips more. I work on Porsche’s for a living and have been turning wrenches for over 20 years, so I guess my already established callouses and hand strength are helping me out. Who knew?

Anyway, that is it for week one. I will update my progress next week and post pics of my set up. Did I mention how cool my guitar looks and that I love it?

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Great start to your log,Graham. Looking forward to pics and progress.

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Hey Graham… good start to your learning log… take your time… build solid foundations… learn songs, learn songs, learn songs… and you’ll definitely be shredding along with you favourite songs… and don’t forget to post a picture of your guitar as we move to see pictures of guitars

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Hmm … that was a bit of a cliffhanger… now I really would like to see a pic of your guitar as well :slightly_smiling_face: I agree btw, experience with and a positive attitude towards lifelong learning is really useful for learning guitar.
Looking forward to reading more about your progress :slightly_smiling_face:

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Welcome to the world of learning logs Graham!
You’ve made a good start and it will all build from here. I look forward to seeing your story unfold. Best of luck!

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Great stuff Graham! Nice progress.

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For those interested here is my guitar. I have several other things on order, but an ice storm has delayed all deliveries. Right now I am practicing without an amp, but I can still hear what I’m playing well enough. Maybe next week the rest of my stuff will come in!

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What a beauty, Graham, enjoy!

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Hi Graham,
That is a Beauty :sunglasses:
Greetings ,Rogier

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So I am almost two weeks in and just had a moment where I felt like I was really playing guitar. It felt amazing and I am still grinning ear to ear.

As of right now I am on module 2 and have learned the E, D, and A chords. I am not perfect, but I am getting there. I can usually hit the right strings and my fingers aren’t completely dumb. I have been doing the recommended practice routine and picked up the app on my phone so I can play along with some songs. It felt like practice, but I was still having fun.

I ordered a Fender Mustang Micro and some headphones a few weeks ago and they finally came in today. I didn’t think it would make too much of a difference, but I was still looking forward to practice tonight.

I had no idea that I would be able to pair my phone and play the apps songs through the mini amp. Combined with the amps different sounds I was able to play along and really feel like I was a part of the music! It was amazing, I had to stop myself after an hour so I could give my fingers a rest.

I am hopelessly hooked. I don’t know why I didn’t pick this up sooner. It is so much fun.

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Those are the best moments :grinning: :smiley: :smiley: I had started my Learning Log exactly after such an experience. Such moments might be rare - but yes, they do exist. Grinning from ear to ear myself. How great to read this :slightly_smiling_face:

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I am coming up on a month and still making progress. Right now I am on module 4. I have been doing about one module a week since I started. I think I am going to do another week of module 4 since the Dm chord is really giving me fits. Tracking my chord changes using the one minute exercises, I am able to do 60 changes per minute between all chords except the Dm. I am sitting around 20-30 a minute, even less if I am going from D to Dm. I am just having problems with it.

My strumming is coming along nicely. I have incorporated “old faithful” into all my song practices where the sound fits. I still get tripped up if I think about it too much, but as long as I let my right hand do its thing I am ok.

That is about it for the first month. I am pretty hard on myself until I remember I didn’t even know how to hold a pick a month ago. I am excited to see where I am at in another month.

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and we’ll be glad to hear it if you wanna share a recording :slight_smile:

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I am six weeks in and in the consolidation phase. I am having fun playing along with the app to songs I know even if I cannot do the individual strumming patterns for the songs just yet. It is fun seeing how I go from barely being able to make the chord changes on beat one to adding more complex strumming.

I’ve stopped doing the One Minute Changes since I was able to get them all to one change per second, but they are still sloppy. In the OMC place I have started doing Perfect Chord changes instead. Hopefully this will build my accuracy to a point I am comfortable with.

I started practicing air changes as well. Some of those are hard! I don’t know how I’ll get D to cooperate with me in that regard. Another difficult air change is A. I feel like I need the first two fingers down first so I can bring that third behind it. I am not really sure how to do that one. I did find that I can play A with just my middle and ring finger, but I don’t know if that is bad or not so I am not practicing it (yet). Fundamentals first.

I picked up Justin’s metronome app as well. I needed a good one, it works with my Bluetooth mini amp, and I really don’t mind supporting this site for all it has taught me. It is helping me with 6:8 strumming and higher tempos.

So I guess that is all I have for now. I figure I will give consolidation at least a month and then post a video of my playing to get y’alls opinion if I passed. Thanks for all the words of encouragement and the wealth of knowledge provided in these forums.

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Sounds good Graham!