Gyall's learning log

OK, I enter the game.

2024-06-11 (yeah, ISO format, aren’t I a geek!)

My gear

  • Donner DST-152, a Strat style electric guitar, I called her Precious (as in my prrrrrrrrrecious, you know the story ;D)

  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo

  • Rotosound Strings, they offer a second high E that I already used. I tried the 10’s, the 9’s and finally choose the 8’s, I find them easier.

  • Virtual amp, made by a French company, the Fat Blob

That’s for the easy part, the hard one is getting the skill to use it!

Starting from zero (not really true, I knew the strings order in French, mi-la-ré-sol-si-mi, by the way why is our si called ti in English?), I can only progress.

I’m currently at module 4 of grade 1, and I find it pretty difficult !

Some chords I handle rather well (A, D, E, Em, Am), but C and G are tricky!

Buzzing and boinging are my burden to bear, I’m sure that with work it’ll get better.

And first important step for me, I’m now able to play the beginning of Smoke on the water as it sounds in the song, you don’t imagine how happy I was to achieve that! Pom pom poooom, pom pom popom, pom pom poooom , pom pom.


A good 2 hour session, my hand hurts a little, I stop before I strain it, my fingers get clearly better with the strings on the fret, they don’t hurt anymore and are getting some more skin at their tips, I suppose it’s the craft making them stronger.

I keep having difficulties with my thumb, I don’t replace it correctly after changing chords and it just complicates things, I lost rythm and pace and gets totally out of sync.

Tomorrow I’ll try to slow down the tempo, that should help to stay in sync, for now speed is not a priority!

I skipped filling up my journal yesterday, too bad.

I kept doing the daily routines of module 1, 2 and 3 of stage 1, it’s still difficult to do the chords correctly and quickly (I suppose it’s normal after just 2 weeks I’m not a Jimmy Blackmore or Ritchie Page. Not that I’ll ever be ;D)

I keep enjoying the routines, playing along is fun too, but how could these slow songs be so fast when I have to change chords!!!

And strumming only the right strings, and counting, and placing the fingers, and not touch the high E with the ring finger and…

I’ll have to be a mainframe and multitask very efficiently!

My feelings right now are that I have to be patient, to exercise my fingers (C Chord is hard because I can’t extend my hand enough, I have small hands) and keep working.

Basically, like every craft I ever learned!

I hope you all enjoy that as much as I do


Both my left wrist and pinky hate me, I’m trying an exercise to make my left fingers more supple and agile, but I have problems with my pinky.

E5 then E6 then E7 then E8, I leave the fingers on the frets and move them one by one up one string.
Index up to B5, then major to B6 then ring finger to B7 then pinky to B8

From high E to low E, I can handle it, but from low E to high E, the damn pinky just blocks the string down the one I’m on, it’s as supple as an old oak.

I know, I know, train, train and train again.

I’m just a little frustrated.

And the damn wrist placement is hell too.

I youtubed and found some stuff about the wrist, apparently I have to keep it straight and not bend it, but in that case I just can’t reach the low strings with the pinky (him again).

I feel like The Brain when he has to handle Pinky’s erratic behaviour.

OK, I’ll just stop venting now, thanks for reading me!


Hello again Jean-Michel!

Good first post in your Learning Log (LL)! I really like your enthusiasm for learning, it’s good to see someone having lots of fun in the early days of this Journey we call “Playing Guitar”!

Enthusiasm is good but as with all learning, the peaks & valleys can be difficult - to paraphrase Dory in Finding Nemo - Just keep playing, playing, playing… just keep practicing, practicing, practicing!!! When you use your LL to document your good days & bad ones, you will look back someday & marvel at how far you’ve come…

Chords & Strumming are what I feel are the foundation of creating music along with timing…

Great job learning the riff to Smoke on the Water - as Justin tells us, music is a language & riffs, licks, phrases & passages are just some of the vocabulary we learn in order to “speak” with our instruments. Learning & remembering riffs is very inspiring - when I’m having a day when something just isn’t going well in my playing - I’ll play the riff to Peter Gunn or the intro to Wish You Were Here just to cheer myself back up!
The main thing is to keep it FUN!!!


PS - As a lifelong Tolkien fan - LOVE that you named your precious guitar Precious!!! That’s Cool!!! :sunglasses:

Welcome to the Learning Log world Jean-Michel. Good way to track progress and keep you honest.

Bon Chance !