Jennifer Annoys the Neighbors- Jenndye429’s Learning Log

Those videos are great Jenn. :smiley: Happy guitaraversary.

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You’ve come a very long way in two years Jenn. Congratulations

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Hi Jen, and congratulations on your 2nd guitarversary :partying_face::champagne::bouquet::clinking_glasses:!!
You progressed so fast, it’s amazing :star_struck:.
And thanks for sharing these wonderful videos of your ‘first steps’. They are great reminders that practice definitely pays off :smiley::+1:.

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So to your questions Jendye429 and perhaps for the reading pleasure or pain of all concerned.

No, I don’t have any video’s or recordings extant at this moment. At least not yet. I have shared a few iPhone recordings with my son for his critique. But more are in the works once I figure out how to use my Scarlett 2i2. I have managed to put a simple fingerpick run through on it and as I told my son, “The better the quality the recording setup, the more humiliating the experience is for a relatively unskilled guitarist like myself. Oh my! It lays painfully bare every mistake one makes!” So I will just have to get better I guess.

What types of music do I play? Putting classical aside (I am a fan) I try to play “at” all the genres that I like, and that’s many: classic rock, current rock, indie, folk rock, ballads, ska, some metal, country rock, and more. My songbook is now up to close to 50 songs across all these genres and a few I probably forgot – and as I noted earlier – therein lies my problem. So undisciplined (or song loving) am I, that I practice songs a mile wide and 6 inches deep. So to my standards, none of them do I play well enough to merit recording — yet. But I am working on it.

I strum and fingerpick, acoustic and electric, only play standing up, and almost always sing (though I am working on two simple chord melody arrangements that are purely instrumental – Jerusalem by Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel. Two versions of the latter – one with straight up chords, the other a personal arrangement with a goodly dose of jazz chords. My playing skills are advancing only slowly sad to say, but my enthusiasm is undiminished and I discovered I have an ability that surprised me given that I have no formal background in music theory at all. It seems that song structure comes naturally to my ear and brain. I thank Justin for that (and for many lessons!) This has led me to arrange songs in ways that both please my ear and fall into my range of skill. A good example is Down Under, a song I like a lot. I can’t quite manage Justin’s melodic fill in his lesson, so I replaced it with a similar riff that my son opines really works. Done so with other songs, and keep revising my personal arrangements to add challenge when my skills edge upward.

As part of my personal pushback against my undisciplined wandering over too many songs, I am trying to focus on a subset of about 10 to see if I can play them well enough to merit recording on the Scarlett or perhaps even some day an open mic. (The latter a daunting thought even though I have been a public speaker all my professional life – go figure).

Those focus songs are varied across all the genres mentioned above. I know I will never have the discipline to work on a single piece as long as some of the Justineers have with such great results in their posted recordings. Very impressive. Another time I may share that focus list and an embarrassingly amazing guitar collection acquired only since I began learning the guitar during Covid.

In the meantime Jen and Dan, my invitation to be my guests at a guitar music discussion and sharing dinner at Il Terazzo on the Esplanade stands. Bring your daughter if you care too. I am heading overseas on business through the end of next week but will be back in PDX after that.

Play on. It’s fun. And fun is never overrated.


@DavidP @TheMadman_tobyjenner @nzmetal @roger_holland @sairfingers @stitch @NicoleKKB

Thank you all so much and sorry for the delayed reply. My daughter just had a birthday party and I was dealing with a house full of teenage girls and the aftermath :laughing: :laughing:

At the time, I laughed at Dan for taking the videos, but now I’m really happy he did! I hope they can help others when they feel stuck or like they aren’t making progress. We all start somewhere :grinning:


blows away cobwebs Tap, tap “Is this thing on?” :spider_web: :microphone:

I’m back with a long overdue update to my LL. I’ve had a bit of a change in direction over the past few months and so I figured this was a good place to document that. This may be a long one, so kudos to you if you make it to the end :wink:

Since I started this log, I have hit one of my original documented goals, which was to play with others and form a band. Many of you reading this have likely already seen my band, DyeV, perform at the community OMs. Playing with others is an incredible experience and I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to do so. Our band recently had a bit of a break in our regular practice schedule due to illness and travel, but when we reconvened it was obvious how much fun we all have playing together.

Since DyeV has formed, a large portion of my guitar playing time has revolved around writing and developing original music :scream::scream::scream: For me, this has been a BIG switch in my thinking about guitar. If you had asked me even 6 months ago if I would be writing my own songs, I would have laughed at you. My focus was exclusively covers and I had no ambition to change that path. Since writing our first two songs it’s like I’ve unlocked some area in my brain that was holding them all back. Now as a band we have a total of 4 songs mostly completed with more in the works. Our goal right now is to try and get at least 10 originals written and performance ready.

I’ve discovered that I really like writing song lyrics. I used to write a lot of poetry in high school and even though I am well beyond that now, I can see little tinges of the kind of stuff I used to write coming out in my music. Funny how that happens. I do feel like my lyrical style tends to have a very “stick it to the man” type feel :rofl: I would like to try and explore other themes as well so our songs don’t sound repetitive. When Dan writes songs on his own, his lyrics tend to be a bit more happy/positive so we balance each other well when we write stuff together.

Stylistically, I like the direction we are going with our sound. I love that 90s garage band rock/punk sound that is harder to find in popular music now. That was the type of music I grew up listening to and it’s just what I prefer. Plus it is SUPER fun to play.

Now here is the part where the “learning”comes into play. I do feel like I need to spend some more quality time with music theory and scales. I feel somewhat limited in my ability to write more complex/interesting sounding guitar solos and lead lines. Though I’m happy with what I have come up with so far, I think furthering my knowledge here will go a long way with helping me develop my music. The first guitar solo I wrote was pentatonic based and while I’m very happy with it, I know there is a whole world out there of playing that I haven’t even scratched the surface of yet. It’s a work in progress and I’ll get there.

I also realized that learning covers is really helping me develop different techniques that I like to use in my own music. As such, I try to throw at least one cover into my practice that stretches my ability so that I don’t just continue to play stuff that I can already do well. I’m currently trying to work on the song Bogus Operandi by the Hives as kind of a solo project for myself. I’d like to be able to record the song with me playing all the guitar parts and vocals. This song is a good mix of things I can do easily and things that stretch me and learning both the lead and rhythm parts is fun.

DyeV has started talking about potential places we could start playing live. It’s a bit tricky since we have two teenagers in the band. There is a local festival here over the Summer that I would really love to play at. I don’t know if we will be ready by Summer to apply to perform, but part of me also just wants to throw caution to the wind and try. We will see.

Going along with the live playing aspect is the fact that I feel like our band could really use a sound engineer :rofl: None of us are really good at that part since we are all just artists that like to perform. My knowledge is also very limited in this arena. I feel like before we can play live, we need to try and sort out that side of things as well.

Finally, our ultimate goal as a band is to be able to record a full album. We are going to start with one song at a local music studio and see how it goes. If we like the final version of the first song, we were going to see about possibly doing a full album. Again, we will see how it goes, but I’m excited for the prospect.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Tomorrow marks 2 1/2 years since I picked up the guitar and I am constantly in awe of how much my life has changed for the better due to this instrument :guitar:


Hey Jennifer! What a fabulous read! :smiley:
You’ve achieved so much in what is really such a short space of time, it’s so impressive and inspirational! :clap:
Your evolution into a songwriter is just the best thing ever, the originals I have heard are phenomenal! Blows my mind how well put together and awesome they are! You and Dan both have real talent in this area, it’s so great to see it being explored. :star_struck:
Very interested to read about your poetry writing when younger and how that is filtering into your lyrics now. I’ve often wondered if I should read poetry as it could be helpful with writing lyrics. Never really read any when I was young other than what was mandatory at school, for some reason poetry wasn’t really that popular amongst that lads at my all boys school :roll_eyes: :joy:
Can’t wait to hear more of that 90s garage band rock/punk goodness from DyeV soon! (Does DyeV have an official logo yet? :thinking:)
Take care!

PS you should totally do this!! :arrow_down: :sunglasses::+1: :joy:


Amazing to celebrate how much progress you have made as a guitarist and how quickly (I know it’s all relative but still), Jennifer. And I can throw in Dan’s drumming and how you guys progressed with performing together, till nirvana (pun intended), becoming a band.

Look forward to watching the progress. Have fun working towards the album and live performances (for more than the neighbours :rofl:)!

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Smiling and playing.
A great combo.

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One washes and one wipes.
Lennon & McCartney.
Difford & Tillbrook (more obscure but worth looking up if you don’t know).

It never hurts to know stuff.

The power of ‘learn songs, learn songs, learn songs’. :slight_smile:

If you do play live at an organised event, there will likely be someone in charge of the sound desk. If you do gigs under your own steam, you will need to grasp that yourself but sound-check at a gig is impossible if you’re all on stage playing. You 100% will benefit from having a someone-else. Even during the course of a set, there is a need to make adjustments to the mix on the sound desk.

Oh, yeah, and … coolio. :sunglasses:


Great stuff Jen, Dan and all! Something has obviously ignited.

Sounds like you have real yin yang going on with yourself and Dan both writing. Looking forward to hearing the results :slightly_smiling_face:

Your mixes always sound good on the community open mics, especially with live drums in the room. Quite a feat to keep it all under control.
It will be down to a sound guy live though, you’ll struggle to sound check from behind the main speakers…. You could get a db meter, this helps me set up for our local open mic. Will usually be someone else’s job though.

Good luck :star2:

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Thanks Jeff! I was afraid that some people would see a giant wall of text and run far away :laughing:

I think it can be! When I was in school, I was always terrible at the more “practical” type subjects like math. I always gravitated towards the more artsy stuff. I took a creative writing class and did a lot of theater. At that age kids would always say “When am I ever going to use any of this stuff?” :laughing: For me, I think a lot of that stuff I did is kind of coming to fruition. I think I may still have some of my old poetry notebooks laying around somewhere and I’m both tempted and scared to dig them out :laughing:

Dan is working on one :grin: He has a rough draft mocked up, but it’s still of a work in progress.

I’m scared :laughing: :laughing: I really want to though! The website for the festival has the lineup from 2023 still up and it’s a bit intimidating! But I also think that we would be a good complement to the types of bands that played provided they play again this year. It’s a tough call!

Thanks Richard! I often think of Paul and John when we are writing together :grin: Dan is definitely more of the Paul in that aspect, but I think overall I’m more of the Paul in the band as I always seem to take charge :wink: Someone’s gotta do it! :laughing: I’ll have to look up the other duo you mentioned as I’m not familiar with them.

Yep! 100% When Greg first started playing with Dan and I, he would say how impressed he was with how much we learned in such a short window of time. I think it’s because we learned a lot of songs! :grin: And Justin’s lessons too of course :wink:

This is a good point. We have a friend of ours that does occasionally help us with sound stuff before the community OM’s and would likely be willing to help us if we started to play live. But it is good to keep in mind that we may not always need to have someone there 100% of the time depending on the event.

Thanks Dave! I’m always paranoid about the mix right before we play the OM’s :laughing: We typically do a sound check the night before and record it on Zoom to make sure it sounds ok. With so many instruments, it’s hard to make sure everyone gets heard. The drums are always the trickiest part as they tend to overpower everything :rofl: Since we have a couple under our collective belts as a band, it is a bit easier now to control the mix, but it’s still a work in progress.

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Thanks for reading David and for the kind words! It definitely blows my mind the kind of stuff we are doing now versus when I first started and Dan just wanted to give me a beat to play to :wink: :guitar: :drum:

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Great read Jenn. Its been wonderful to watch your journey and see you bloom and the band grow around you. Those first originals were great so keep working on the singer songwriter aspect and expand that to encompass the band. That Pent scale will always pay dividends so don’t worry about keeping it “simple”, you soon learn to add colour notes and mix things up a little.

Looking to see how DyeV grows. And BTW keep annoying the neighbours and keep on rockin !


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Thanks Toby :grin:

We will always be annoying the neighbors :wink:

It is always interesting to see how a song evolves when all the other instruments get added in. The end product always turns out a little different than you think, but so much better! We are definitely having fun exploring the process together :grin:


Hi Jen, good you and Dan are having so much fun (an enjoyable hard work) with your musical projects. I still remember you having some technical issues with your mixer for one of your first OMs if I don’t remember wrong. I see you’re building on progressive success to set expanded goals and plan the next steps. Good luck to you and your wonderful band mates.

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Thanks Andres!

Yes, you remembered that correctly- we had a mixer break the night before an OM. Luckily our friend just happened to have one laying around at his house that he let us use. We got really lucky!

We are having a ton of fun. I’m glad that comes across :grin:

Hi Jenn, “eff” the neighbors! LOL

Dig your gear choices. That is some cool stuff that you can grow into.

Your A and D chord videos are priceless. That’s how I feel when I nailed something. Don’t ever lose that spark. Cool beans!

Play on playa!

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Congratulations on nearing your two-year guitar anniversary, Jennifer!

Setting concrete goals and starting a journal is a fantastic way to hold yourself accountable and track your progress. It’s great to hear about your involvement in the community Open Mics and your passion for playing electric guitar, especially alongside your husband who’s learning the drums.

With your love for rock music and being a Beatles fan, it sounds like you have a diverse range of musical interests to explore on your guitar journey.

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Thank you Clint! I didn’t originally know Dan was filming me when he took those videos. I’m ultimately glad he did though! I figured they would be good for a laugh :wink:

And yes, I agree eff the neighbors :grin: :laughing: :guitar:

Thank you for reading! And yes, Dan and I kind of accidentally make a band and we aren’t mad about it :laughing: