Im already 1.5 yrs in to my journey but I figured i should start one of these logs to keep track of my progress. Atm my playing boils down to the following three categories:
Blues/rock lead improv work
Rock/metal rythm songs
Folk and pop open chord songs
I do 30 minutes a day of scheduled practice (scales, finger gym, theory etc) followed by 30 minutes or longer of lead improv. I then aim to do an hour of learning and playing songs. I have about 22 songs in my repertoire currently ranging in skill level.
Currently im comfortable with power chords and riffs in multiple tunings, I struggle with the faster more complex songs but i find myself able to play a version of most songs i want to. My open chords are strong but not perfect, my changes to f are fine but I struggle at speed like in house of the rising sun. My lead playing has grown a lot recently, im bending to pitch more reliably than before but i still find many aspects of lead playing that need work.
Currently i feel frustrated with progress and underdeveloped for time. I feel that someone whos been playing 2+ hours a day for a year should be further along, i put a lot of time into practicing technique and have covered all the bases laid before me. Ive even undertaken grade 1-4 of the theory course that i plan to continue soon.
Overall i love the guitar but days like today i feel dissatisfied in my progress.
We’ve all been there. My suggestion for feeling this way, and I know this may seem counter intuitive, is to stop technique practice for a little while. Take a week more and focus practice on playing songs that you love that you are in a comfortable level to play. Record yourself playing them. Something that really shows off how far you’ve come and play them back.
The point here is to focus less on not being where you want to be, and little more on how far you’ve come, but only for a little while. I find that that usually puts me in a much better mood and gets me pumped to push forward and get better. So, when I start the cutting-edge stuff back up, I’ll be in the right mind set.
Now that I’ve actually seen some of your playing, I think you are doing great. I’ve been playing for a little less than you (~15 months) and I don’t think I play as good as you. I certainly don’t improvise as good as that.
It’s about perspective too. 1.5 year may seem like a lot now but imagine how good you’ll be if you keep this up in 5 years, or 10.
Posting is a good idea too. I’ve posted most things I’ve done in my learning log since maybe 3 months in? When I’m in a rut I can go back look at those and see my progress in fast forward. It’s motivating and give me that perspective I mentioned in my first post.
Listen to @alexisduprey . He makes a lot of sense. I haven’t been at it long, not quite 3 months but when I get frustrated I do something else. Heck, I laid off doing OMC for a week while messing around with improving my wrist position. It helped.
I listened to some of your playing, here and on Soundcloud, and for 18 months in, you’re kicking some big goals already mate.
Certainly alot to be very much proud of, and obviously a reflection of the time and focus you’ve put in.
I’m almost 3 years in, and at times, perhaps too many times, am also burdened with disappointing feelings of progress. But its a ‘self conjob’, a waste of time as you know, and not usually a relection of actual reality. But, we are odd little creatures.
We are robbing ourselves with these thoughts mate. 1.5 years, or 3 years - its a relatively very short time in the scheme of things. We have all come a long way in our own journeys.
Honest assessment, from self and others, I believe is always a good jolt away from these feelings of chronic malcontent.
I hope you got some of that today mate.
I really appreciate this mate there are definitely times our own minds are cruel but it’s encouraging to see so many sharing similar experiences. Helps me feel like im on the right track and headed towards my goals
I think you already have enough reassurance that it will be all right … playing for a year and a half even with 2 hours a day is still very short, you will experience many breakthroughs and lightbulp moments ,enjoy and have fun
Your playing on the tracks you’ve shared sounds pretty good to me, Jacob.
As others have said, playing guitar is a life-long journey of learning, discovery, and development.
Your pace of progress is unique to you based on a myriad of factors. If you’ve never done it perhaps go and read some biographies/autobiographies of your guitar heroes. I think it is a safe bet that you’ll discover that none of them picked up the guitar and within days, weeks, months were masters of the instrument. All that I know of spent years learning and playing, most of them hours and hours and hours per day.
So I’d encourage you to avoid self-assessment based on how well you play relative to time spent or comparison to any other player. Periodically reflect back on how you played on day 1 and how you play now. I am sure there is a huge difference. Celebrate that. And then keep on playing.
Hi Jacob, good you started your learning log. You have already received plenty of advice and encouragement. I would like to add that even having not read about the hours you’ve spent on it, I could have guessed that to play what you’re playing, the way you’re playing it, you had spent quite some time practicing it. Keep on it.
Recently ive had to step back from lead playing a little for an injury
Im currently trying to learn 3 songs
Down with the sickness, aerials and house of the rising sun
House of the rising sun is a song i can already play but currently i cant make the change from d to f fast enough to play the full 6:4 time signature on justins lesson, im perfectly comfortable strumming twice per bar for the change but getting up to six is just seemingly too fast at the minute
Aerials is a frustrating one because i can play everything in it with ease except the picking speed for the acoustic sections, its so fast i find my picking gets sloppy as i try to play it
Down with the sickness is about there, im cleaning it up before i add it to my list of songs that i just need time on. Generally once i can play a song from start to finish without mistakes i regard it as ready to play along with the original recording and just keep playing and working in it to finish cleaning it up
I currently have a playlist of about 20 songs i can play comfortably with minimal mistakes, some days i make it through most of them without any mistakes in a single session, but days like today there are slight finger slips here and there
I still get occasional moments where my mind wanders and i play the wrong chord or riff but i chalk that up to human error over not knowing the song well enough as it could be a song ive played several time’s perfect before