Jeff's Road to Glory & Songbook


My guitar journey started back in 2005, at the age of 18. I bought one of those cheap starter kits - don’t ask me what brand it was - and made my way through a learn-to-play-guitar book with ‘hundreds of chords you need to learn’. I didn’t have any plan whatsoever and barely enjoyed what I was doing. After many failures and frustration I was able to play some riffs like Smoke on the Water and Seven Nation Army semi-decently on the sixth string only. Alas, I stopped making any meaningful progress and gave away the guitar.

Fast-forward a few years later. I wanted to give it a second try and discovered Justin by coincidence. It must’ve been in his early tutoring days because the videos I watched weren’t even shot in Full HD. Anyone remember Jedi? I spend nearly 10 years making my way from the old beginner’s course to the old intermediate foundations.

I watched some of the older videos again recently and it’s amazing how they’re still relevant. But there’s no denying the fact that Justin has massively upped his teaching and production skills since the last major website overhaul. This was exactly what I needed because I was once again struck in a rut after ‘finishing’ the intermediate foundations.

The redesign of the beginner and intermediate grades got my blood pumping again. I’m still not sure which goals I’m pursuing, but I wanted to be more than just a bedroom player. I then discovered this community and got inspired by others to start expressing myself and share my progress. Et voilà, here we are at my learning log.

Strengths & Weaknesses

I’ve spend some time defining my strengths and weaknesses, hoping this will help me to set clear goals.

:white_check_mark: Play various and complex rhythm patterns
:white_check_mark: Have an adequate knowledge of music theory
:white_check_mark: Recognize intervals and transcribe easy songs by ear
:white_check_mark: Play lead lines, varying from easy to medium difficult

:x: Being a father of two girls and a caring husband, I’m struggling with time management
:x: I do not apply all the music theory I know to my playing
:x: I have not yet shared an original song, only covers
:x: Various technical aspects need improvement: muting strings, bends, vibrato


Other than working on my weaknesses, these are the high level goals I hope to achieve one day, not in any particular order.

1) Create a topic with a pretentious title
2) Write an original song
3) Learn to sing and play the guitar
4) Perform at a JustinGuitar open mic
5) Play in a band


Acoustic guitar - Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE
Electric guitar - Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy
Electric guitar - Fender Standard Stratocaster

Boss Katana 100W MKII amp

Rode NT2-A condensor mic
Shure SM57 dynamic mic

Recording setup

I use one or both mics to record the acoustic guitar. I play the electric guitar through the Boss Katana amp, which I record either with the Shure SM57 mic or the USB recording capability of the amp.

The output signal from the amp or the mic goes into a SSL2 audio interface.

Mixing and production is done in Logic Pro X. I play all or as many guitar parts as possible and download backing tracks to mix in the vocals, drums, bass and possibly other instruments.


Title Artist JG Grade Date
Anarchy In The UK The Sex Pistols Grade 2 Feb 12, 2023
All the Small Things Blink 182 Grade 3 Feb 12, 2023
Basket Case Green Day Grade 3 Feb 22, 2023
Californication Red Hot Chili Peppers Grade 4 Mar 4th 2023
Wild World Cat Stevens Grade 3 Mar 21, 2023
Plush Stone Temple Pilots Grade 5 Mar 29, 2023
Space Oddity David Bowie Grade 4 Apr 7, 2023
Brown Sugar The Rolling Stones Grade 4 Apr 21, 2023
Ace of Spades Motörhead Grade 5 May 10, 2023
Paranoid Black Sabbath Grade 3 May 28, 2023
Run to the Hills Iron Maiden Grade 5 June 13, 2023
Black Hole Sun Soundgarden Grade 6 June 19, 2023
Wild Horses The Rolling Stones Grade 2 June 26, 2023
Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen Grade 3 July 19, 2023
Where Is My Mind Pixies Grade 4 August 24, 2023
We’re Not Gonna Take It Twisted Sister Grade 3 September 21, 2023
All Your Love John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Grade 2 October 20, 2023
Times Like These Foo Fighters Grade 3 November 17, 2023

(I moved everything into post 1 so I can edit the songbook later.)

1 Like

Achievable goals are important! (As are smiles :slightly_smiling_face:)

Great start to your learning log, Jeff. It’s especially good to be able to highlight strengths along with weaknesses.

Keep playing! :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

OMG THAT"S AMAZING. My goal for today was to reply to a topic with an over the top level of excitement.

Seriously, such a detailed list is great. Good luck on traveling that road to Glory.


Great start to your learning log Jeff. I’ve watched a few of your videos over time, and your playing is definitely good! So the time you’ve invested over the years has paid off for sure.

Will be good to see you in a JG open mic one day.

1 Like

Great start to your LL, Jeff! Really interesting read and what a list of covers you’ve done already! :exploding_head: Can’t wait to see/hear more (and maybe some originals?!)! :metal:

:point_up: YES! THIS!! :smiley: :+1:

1 Like

Cheers all. I had posted a few songs on Soundcloud before I got into video recording. I’ve now made videos for all those songs, from Anarchy up until Brown Sugar. They’re in the songbook for anyone interested.

1 Like

I like your Songbook! Lots of good stuff in there. You seem on track for success. I don’t think I every really thought about any goals other than to not sound like crap. :grin:

Maybe I need to make my learning log title more pretentious. Nah, not till I can play better!


Pretentious as in “LunaRocket’s Amazing Adventures in her Journey to Stardom”, maybe?
It’s Pretentious if nothing else!!! :crazy_face:
Mine would be something like… Catman’s nightly roaming down the alley of Musical Theatre” or some such!

Just funnin’!!!


1 Like

Jeff, cool Songbook & a very well organized Learning Log! I like your Strengths/Weaknesses & Goals sections! Nice!!!


1 Like

Not doing well so far. My back has been killing me for over two weeks now and it’s gotten to the point where I can barely hold the guitar.

It’s my own fault because I know that I have a bad posture, both at work and when playing the guitar. Being aware of it is one thing, doing something about it is another. I’m thinking about adding some kind of posture exercises to my practice, but I’m not sure how that would work out.

It’s not all woes though. The good news is that I’ve finally found the time (and courage) to take a singing course. Chris Liepe’s Discover My Voice course has been mentioned a few times around here so I decided to try that one. It’s been fun so far, making funny and embarrassing noises in the safe haven of my car. I’ve even come to believe I’m not that hopeless as I thought I was.

Hoping to share more positive vibes in a week or two!


Hope you get a bit of relief soon mate Back problens are just shite. So is not being able to play guitar. I can never play as long as I want to anymore. I sometimes where one of those velcro braces which seems to help a bit.
All the best.

Cheers, Shane

1 Like

Sorry to hear about your back issues, this is a real pain. Fingers crossed for you that it’ss get better soon and you find a way to avoid this in future. What helps me on this point is standing up in between the practice session and play a little standing straight, but here’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution, I fear. Exercises sound like a good plan though. All the best for you!

Great you checked out ‘Discover your voice’ and having fun. I also like Chris’ course and enjoy how it helps improving without creating any pressure to sound nice, in contrast, you have to sound a little awkward, to get any better. Love the comic characters practice - my significant other not that much. :joy:

So good luck and lots of fun on this journey. Looking forward to hear you play and sing some day! :smiley:

1 Like