JG Rock Song Book Study - (5/50) In Bloom

Hi all,

5th song in the rock study In Bloom by Nirvana!

The Story

I just recently finished Grade 2 of Justin’s course and am currently consolidating for the next 3 months. In Justin’s video about consolidation he warns about how to avoid a rut. After watching that video I decided that I needed some structure to make sure that I move forward. So I decided to have a long-term goal of playing and recording all of the songs in Justin’s Rock song book.

The Study

I’m calling this a study instead of a challenge as I really want to suck out as much knowledge as I can from each song and make sure I’m learning something, however small, from each one I tackle.

As I said I need structure, without it I get lost very easily! So, here’s how I’m structuring this study:

For each song I’m going to try and take at least a month (sometime it can be shorter) to get right and post. This is because I’ll be working on other songs and books as well, so I want to give myself as much time as possible to get through even the easy songs. For the harder ones I may take even longer. The point here is to get the songs to the point where I feel like the quality is good enough to post and I’ve learned as much as I could from each song.

I’m going to try and find backing tracks to as much of the songs as possible. I’m not a singer (interest is there but not yet ready to pursue) so I’d like to play with backing tracks for it to sound as good as possible and also to help make sure I have the rhythm right. I checked and found backing tracks for most of the first 15 songs. So it doesn’t seem too hard to find, especially since many of the songs in the book are really popular.

Each post I’ll give some details on what I’ve learned and how I’m getting the sound I used. This is for me to chronicle what I’ve learned and just to give context to those who are interested.

Then I’ll post the song and move on!

I’m hoping that I’ll keep going and eventually post every song in the the entirety of Justin’s book, but that will take years as I am not at the level to be able to play all of these yet. So, with that in mind I’m going to be doing one section of 15 at a time (Exactly how his book is set up).

Beginner Song Section:

Song # Song Band/Artist Status Link
1 Highway to Hell AC/DC Complete! 6/18/2022
2 Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison Complete! 7/13/2022
3 If you Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next Manic Street Preachers Complete! 7/30/2022
4 La Grange ZZ Top Complete! 8/27/2022
5 In Bloom Nirvana Complete! 9/10/2022
6 Rock and Roll All Night Kiss In Progress...
7 There She Goes The La's Not Started
8 Self Esteem The Offspring Not Started
9 Sunshine of Your Love Cream Not Started
10 Should I stay Or Should I Go The Clash Not Started
11 Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana Not Started
12 Song 2 Blur Not Started
13 Teenage Kicks The Undertones Not Started
14 Ballad of Jayne L.A. Guns Not Started
15 I Remember You Skid Row Not Started

Song 5: In Bloom by Nirvana

Nirvana is one of my favorite bands so I was really excited to get into this one. I played it a lot during grade 2 and wanted to get to be able to play it from start to finish. This song is interesting because there’s not much new material in the song for me, but I still make a ton of mistakes while playing this. That’s a good thing though because it makes it clear what I need to work on going into grade 3.

P.S. I opted to use my mustang style guitar to get closer to what Kurt used.

What I’ve learned:

  • Jumping around the fret board. I’ve played a lot of power chords during consolidation, but not jumping around like this. This song taught me that I need to work on accuracy when jumping around the fretboard.
  • There’s a fast single notes part that you’ll see I pretty much mess up every time! I practiced it for hours and I just could not get it there. I need work on speed, not quite sure on how to do that yet.
  • Switching using my foot switch. I opted to use my katana instead of using Tonelib (what I’ve been using a lot lately). Cause I wanted to get some experience using my foot switch. I’ve learned that adding a new thing to pay attention to makes me fumble lol!

I used my katana to get both of the sounds used. It was just me messing around with the settings. I’m not quite happy with either sound, especially the one with the chorus effect, but I feel like they were good enough for the song.

grabbed the backing track from: Nirvana - In Bloom (Guitar - Backing Track) w/ Vocals - YouTube

Here’s In Bloom: (Advice and feedback always appreciated and welcome!):grinning:


That was great Alexis loved your cover and I am a big Nirvana fan myself so this tells you a lot! :grinning: some good points you observed and you know your strengths and weaknesses which will help you a lot in the future what to focus on and how to improve.

I would perhaps apply a bit more reverb/delay to your main sound, it was too dry if that makes sense, whenever you stopped playing sound was stopping abruptly, I think reverb would fix that.

Just slow down to whatever pace you feel good at and then increase it every few days or even weeks if needed. That’s the best way to nail it down as with anything more complicated really.

Overall very well executed job and well done deserved!


Loved it Alex!

I love Nirvana, was obsessed with them as a teenager and know most of the words to all their songs still.

This is one that’s on my list to learn. Such an awesome tune. Well played dude.

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Congrats on completing the next song in the project, Alex. Beyond me to offer any feedback on the playing or production.

@adi_mrok already said what I planned to say on the process to master a tricky part. All I’d add is to make sure that you focus on the difficult part and dedicate more practice time to it. Some people learn by playing through from start to finish, which is not the recommended approach. I’d call that rehearsal and there is a place for it in the process, but it’s not the ideal delibrate practice approach that would focus time on the difficult bits, breaking things down and over time stringing sections together. But I suspect I am probably preaching to a convert.

Look forward to the next song.

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Great work, Alexis, well played. You’re doing superb with your rock study. You’ve got some great advice from @adi_mrok and @DavidP. Looking forward to the next installment.

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Hi Alexis, such a great project - your rock song study :star_struck:.
And this song really sounds great. It‘s far beyond my level, and I can just say ‚Wow!‘ how you mastered the big jumps on the fretboard :open_mouth:.
I‘m very much looking forward to your next song :grinning:.

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@adi_mrok thanks, really great advice! I didn’t think about adding delay but that and a little reverb is exactly what’s missing. It’s funny I was racking my brain about it and it didn’t even cross my mind.

I think next time I’ll spend more time slowing the hard parts down.

@DavidP thanks David, yeah I did spend a lot more time on that part than the others but I think I could have spent more time. The other parts are so much fun though, lol!

@jkahn @Socio @NicoleKKB thanks!


Hi Alexis,
You go at a nice pace,…nice and heavy :sunglasses: :clap:

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Very well done Alexis, that was great. There was some fair travelling up and down that fretboard and I couldn’t tell that your accuracy was off. Loved it!

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@roger_holland @SgtColon Thanks!