JK's learning log

Great update JK :+1: always a bit jealous of people that have structured logs etc :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Really like your area layout looks great and that Maton looks awesome :thinking: :+1:.

Good luck juggling life and guitar mate looking forward to seeing some of you AVOYPs or OMs :+1:

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Superb update, JK. The pup looks super cute, a perfect addition to the family. Plenty of time for stringent practice later, she’s only going to be a puppy for so long. Those puppy moments are just so memorable and sounds like the training is going well (I wish I could say the same thing for my two).

The new guitar and tech space looks great. Could you put a curtain or something across the opening to help reduce the noise in the evenings? Sounds like your having lots of funs with your Tone Master, looking forward to hearing it in action.

Some good solid goals you have set yourself out for this year. Have you thought about doing a collaboration with others on the forum?

All the best for 2024 mate.

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Hi Jk, I’m finally finding some relaxed time for some good readings and I enjoyed your two latest updates. First thing to say: your Puppy!!! She’s just so cute! I’m sure that spending time with her must be as much fulfilling as playing guitar so I wouldn’t worry too much about reduced guitar practice time…also 4 stuctured practice sessions a week seem to me more than acceptable for a non - pro guitarist; I try to aim for 5 both classical and acoustic but reality has it that some days is only one of the two. I think it’s great your focus is on songs and that you play songs everyday, you’re contributing to make me eventually make up my mind that I should get out of my Practice-Comfort-Zone and play more…give up some structured practice for songs playing when I don’t have time for both! But there was something else I wanted to say about the puppy…ah yes…it’s the balance of daily activities: if you didn’t practice because you enjoyed time with your puppy is still good, another thing is when one wastes too much time on the web or on socials, as I read you were quite concerned about that in your November update…what is helping me to contrast spending too much time in front of the screen is aknowledging how good and beneficial an activity makes me feel, just when I finished it…so the next day if I’ll be a bit tired and think that the metronome clicks will be commiting I’ll be more prompt to start by remembering that the overall practice session willl also make me feel so good…that should apply also to getting out for a walk or other activities which will be better than screen-time.
Your Music space is really nice and tidy, I understand no door can be a problem, though; I also find it super wonderful that you can share it with your daughters and hope you all get the chance sometimes to jam together!

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Thanks, JK. It’s very helpful to hear about how you’ve progressed and your priorities changed.

Ha! I don’t expect the amp/speaker to make me sound better, though that would be convenient. I spend the majority of my time using (pretty decent Sennheiser) headphones plugged into the amp. Occasionally, if I’m playing while my wife goes for her afternoon walk, I’ll switch to using the amp’s speaker. The latter just doesn’t sound as “rich,” “full,” or something else. I think it’s missing some of the lower and mid range.

I’d seen a YouTube video where a guy replaced the speaker in the LT25 with a Celestion TF0818, and it sounded significantly better. I might consider doing that, but if the other features of the GTX50 make it worth the cost, then that may be a preferable option.

Thanks again.

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Thanks for the log comments guys.

That one is hard for us type-As :roll_eyes:

Thanks for checking in Colin… oh my log isn’t so structured, I just tell stories :wink:

lol, training is going “well” in that she’s learning lots of tricks with treat in hand, but she then decides not to come when we call her in the back yard and decides to chew a plant instead :rofl: Cheeky pup… you have 2 do you?

On collaboration, yeah, I have thought about it and almost did one with @adi_mrok (his idea) but I pulled out after a bit of practice as I found the song a bit tricky and had too much other stuff going on in life so couldn’t dedicate the time to it. So yeah, I’d do one if I had the time and skills.

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:scream: :scream: :scream:
Nooo… I do get antsy when I don’t get enough guitar time. Even when I’ve got puppy time.

I totally agree with this Silvia, time spent walking, exercising, on the beach, practicing, reading, almost everything is better than social media/aimless screen time.

We do Jam sometime and it is a cacophony, particularly when my youngest has the microphone and just makes stuff up :rofl: But it’s fun. My eldest has started with a “song seeds” journal, writing snippets down she comes up with that she wants to turn into a song.

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I think we all trick ourselves into thinking a bit of kit will make us sound better :wink: And they do, but they also don’t, if you know what I mean.

The headphones vs speaker thing on the LT25 is real - the modelling sounds different on each. I found that if I’d tweak a preset for headphones it would sound bad on speaker, and vice versa. So you might just need to tweak your tone controls (bass/mid/treble) and set up different presets for headphones or speaker. The GTX series doesn’t have that problem, they have speaker cabinet modelling sounding roughly the same through speaker/headphones/aux out.

TBH I wouldn’t bother upgrading the speaker on the LT25, I would just upgrade to a GTX if you had the itch. It would still just be an entry-level amp with a better speaker. Albeit a good entry level amp.

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Lol that sounds about right… selective hearing

Two yorkshire terriers. I’m at the bottom of the pack.

I’ve seen your covers from the rock songbook and dude your skills are coming along really well. What about when things settle down a bit finding a song that you feel is within your reach and fits in with the practice time you have available and reach out to others to collaborate with you on it.

I’m sick at home with some kind of cold or flu, and so is one of my kids - so seems like a good time to spit out some updates in my learning log.

Less than two months ago I set a goal to go to an open mic - and not play at the first one. Well, I did. I went, I didn’t play. Just observed and chatted with people.

The open mic was definitely not a “safe space” in the way that the JGC open mics are. People were welcoming, and yeah, anyone could put their name down and have a go. But there was a lot of public there, and the calibre of performers was definitely on the more experienced side. Some were professionals. So anyone stepping up is automatically (and unconsciously) going to be compared to the really good performers by the public.

I’d rate my guitar skills good enough to perform - somewhere in the middle of the pack, I wouldn’t be the worst, and definitely not the best. But my singing, no, I need to get better at it. There are other open mics around I’m going to go and check out. But the singing will be a factor with any of them.

So after a bit of soul searching, I’ve reprioritised my musical endeavours. Learning to sing well is more important than getting better at guitar at this point. I have no illusions I’ll ever be a fantastic singer. My goal is really to sing on key - the right notes! - with a tone people want to listen to.

About a month ago, I found a professional singing teacher that doesn’t live too far away and I’m now getting weekly lessons. I’ve only had a few. And wow, have I learnt a lot already.

I’m convinced now that it’s not possible to learn to sing properly from apps & videos - you can learn some stuff, but the voice is an invisible instrument that is much harder to figure out on your own if you’re using it right. I’ve improved a bit myself in the past couple of years but it’s been stabbing in the dark.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt so far is that the way I was trying to sing was totally wrong - I was singing from the back of my throat, with a different voice than my regular talking voice. I was having trouble matching pitches. But singing from the front of my mouth, it’s a better sound, more akin to my speaking voice, and also it turns out, WAY easier to hear the pitch I’m singing. I’m also learning about accent method breathing, tongue control, the “connection”… but I’m a real baby here when it comes to singing and it will be a long journey.

This basically means for me guitar improvement is going to take a back seat. Does that mean I won’t play every day? No way! I’m still going to do that, I love guitar. But when it comes to practice, singing is first. And if I run out of time, there will be no structured guitar practice. Just playing & learning songs.

The irony as I write this is I’ve had a sore throat for 3 days and haven’t been practising… oh well, but that’s temporary.

Videos. I’ve mainly been avoiding recording and sharing videos where I am singing. Deliberately. And I realised that the last ones I did I didn’t put enough practice into the singing parts. I felt comfortable singing in the OMs because they feel ephemeral, the performance is live, it floats into the ether, and gets archived somewhere inside a 2 hour video. And the group is so welcoming. Specific recordings are much more… discoverable. But I’m going to try to continue to record and share around 2 videos a month, and try to make more of those with guitar & singing too, to track my improvement and hopefully keep me honest.


Sorry you are sick, JK. Hope you feel better soon!

Good for you for taking vocal lessons. For a lot of people, singing is just not a natural skill and it takes work. I’ve never taken formal vocal lessons, but I did musical theatre when I was younger and we definitely had some coaching during rehearsals. I’m sure taking actual lessons will be very helpful! Sounds like you are improving already :+1:

I’ll be exited to see your performances with the new improved vocals.

Also, good for you for getting out there to a real world OM, even if it’s just as an audience member. I keep saying I want to do that and never seem to make the time to actually go do it :laughing:

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Very interesting, JK. I have felt the same way, although so far I’ve not done anything about it. If you are performing in front of non-guitarists, then it’s almost always going to be the singing that will receive the most attention - the public will be more forgiving of a few guitar fluffs if the voice is good. It doesn’t seem to work the other way around!
I’ve toyed with singing lessons, perhaps I should have the courage of my convictions and follow your lead :slight_smile:

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Wish you well, JK.

The singing sounds good. I can imagine how a good teacher would make a difference. Though have to say, my singing before and after Chris Liepe is chalk and cheese. Still not the finest cheese in the world, but far less (I think) of an assault on sensitive ears :rofl:

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Hi Jk, thanks for your update, it was very interesting to read. I find myself exactly on the opposite side of the river: I’m avoiding practicing singing to give all the focus to the guitar, mainly putting the accents on the strumming where they should go, the pick attack on the strings and volume, some dynamics in the pattern at the end of phrases…but also doing the chords more accurately. So now I have a song I can play with a nice vibe and touch but if I start singing it’s like :hear_no_evil:
There’s a time for anything, this is your time for singing, I just hope that among all the technicalities you set enjoying it as your priority and you are able to be forgiving with yourself, I’m pretty sure you are already aware of this.
I would like to take lessons too and learn some vocal technique as well, maybe in the
All the best for your flu and throat!


Hi Jk, thanks for giving us these insights into your thoughts and interesting to read your view on singing. It’s pretty much the same I noticed during my journey: singing is so much more important than expected! @mathsjunky summed it up very well. I guess, your approach to take lessons will contribute a lot to your over all performing qualities and you will benefit very much (I don’t mean, that you are a bad singer, not at all!). I recently did a few recordings and wasn’t too happy about my voice (I think I could benefit a lot from some vocal coaching :see_no_evil:). Interesting you discovered, you weren’t singing with your speaking voice. Somebody lately told me exactely the same, my singing voice had been different from my speaking voice and he wondered why.
Concerning the OMs: I’m sure you’ll find a place you feel comfortable with! I assume the word outside of this community is less forgiving and it’s a big step to get out and run with the big dogs! But I’m sure you’ll get a chance soon.
Hope you are getting well soon! How’s the puppy :dog:?

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JK @jkahn

Very interested in you LL about singing, I know this community is about playing guitar but singing as well adds so much more.

When I started out I was persuaded by certain members of the community to try and sing as well. You are right I am not convinced you can learn to sing as a beginner by watching YouTube videos I think it has to be face to face with a teacher who can guide you to doing things correctly, which is what I did and I am off to another lesson this afternoon.

I don’t know if your teacher is open to you taking your guitar along occasionally but as you know it is very much harder to play and sing at the same time than just singing karaoke style.

I shall follow your “singing LL” with interest.


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Hi JK,

great update to your log, except the flu-thing of course! Hope you get well soon and the sore throat will be gone in no time as well. :four_leaf_clover:

Good on you, you decided to invest more time on learning to sing. Your analysis regards public open mics is spot on, I guess. At least, if you are playing in a solo setting, folks will always pay more attention to singing than playing. Your guitar skills are definitely in a shape to impress listeners already. :smiley: So it makes sense to focus on the singing now for a while.

If I recall it correctly, we talked about your singing occasionally on other topics and I probably said more than once, that I really like your timbre. You have quite a unique tone and I’m already curious to hear how practice with a teacher will get the best out of you. Good to read it already really helped you to improve, too. :slight_smile:

Hope you will find some enjoyment in that journey as well and wish you all the best for it.

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Hi JK, hope that flu thing is about to blow over… if you are anything like me im close to dying when i have 38’celsius in fever :rofl::rofl::rofl:
I must say i am impressed that youre taking those steps regarding singing, sounds like a lot of fun and i am sure there is tons of things to learn… i almost cant wait for youre next recording with voice aswell…

I have been thinking about that chris liepe course for some time now, but do you think its not worthwhile?

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Definitely improving already Jenn, but it’s from a pretty low baseline, so will take a while :slightly_smiling_face:. Your musical theatre experience definitely shows through in your singing, so I reckon the coaching you had there would have certainly helped you develop.

The real world OM thing, that’s part of me wanting to get away from the computer & home and get out there… still pretty hard to get out at night with two kids in the house, though.

Yeah, this is really true Paul. Honestly I think it applies in general even when guitarists are listening. Most of my favourite music isn’t guitar-instrumental stuff, all of it has singing in it, and some awesome songs are just a handful of chords and strumming without needing expert stuff on guitar.

I’ve heard your singing, and it’s pretty good already. If you end up getting singing lessons I’d be curious to hear how you go. I’d been thinking of it for a year or so but couldn’t fit them in until now.

Thanks David. Yes I’ve found having a teacher that can observe and correct what I’m doing valuable so far. Having watched quite a few of your videos, from your early ones to the newest ones & OM performances - yes your singing has improved massively and you should be proud of that. I tried the Chris Liepe course, got up to about week 4, but found it wasn’t really gelling with me very well and I was frustrated with it. I have also improved my singing since starting to try to learn - initially just apps to match pitch, then Chris Liepe (a bit) and Yousician, but felt like I was stabbing in the dark not know if I was doing it right or wrong. I was doing it wrong, it turns out…

Hi Silvia, it’s funny, again we have the opposite struggles :rofl: I’m rhythm and you’re melody, you find singing natural and concentrate on guitar and I’m the opposite!

Funny you talk about enjoying singing, I do enjoy singing but have found practicing it hard! And one of the first things I learned from my teacher is that good singing, when you’re singing properly, should feel easy, if you try too hard you’re probably doing something wrong! Which is so counter-intuitive for my personality :rofl:


Haha, nice save Andrea :rofl:. Well, I think I am not a good singer, or even an “average” pleasant singer, I’m definitely in the lower skill area. Which would make me still a bad singer right now… hey, if I can get up to “average” I’d be happy with that.

Interesting you also have a different singing voice than your speaking voice. My singing teacher says they should be similar. So I’m trying to fix that, I’m mostly there with that part already but I easily slip back into my old way of doing it.

Puppy - haha, great, she is pretty big now but still not even half grown. I’ll have to take another photo of her soon (that doesn’t have the rest of the family in!)

Hi MIchael, yeah it totally does, I didn’t expect to get into singing when I started guitar either. I know you’ve been getting singing lessons for a while.

Yeah, my teacher does have students that bring their guitars along to do both together, but for me, at my stage - it’s all singing. I think I would leave that for when I’m good at singing. Could be a long time!

Thanks Lisa, yeah, I remember your comments on singing, and thanks for those. I’m pretty sure I responded with some whining :rofl:. I really didn’t know what I was doing… still a really early stage learner. Some people seem to learn to sing naturally in life, not me. I’ll be curious what songs I did you liked the timbre of. And I wonder how my “improved” singing would be received, given I have been singing wrong. Some of the songs I’ve performed at OMs or sung here are closer to my natural voice than others.

I reckon I was deliberately cursed with not being able to sing naturally because otherwise I’d be too annoying and sing all the time :rofl:.

Yeah I’ve certainly been a pretty miserable person to be around this week! I’m almost over it now, fortunately. :rofl: :rofl: More fortunately for my family than for me.

There is a short original song I cooked up a couple of days ago I’m hoping to record and share. If I share it or not will kind of depend how it sounds when I record it because so far I haven’t listened to it critically! I’m not sure my singing would have changed much at all yet.

The Chris Liepe course, hmm, others have certainly found it valuable and there was useful info in there. There is a lot of content. And you’re already someone that can hold a melody well and has an enthralling voice. So you might find it more useful than me - I felt I was doing something majorly wrong with my singing and wanted an in person teacher. I don’t regret buying the course. I just couldn’t apply it effectively.


Quite agree with JK’s comments, @tRONd re Chris Liepe.

If I can add from experience, what helped me make progress was recording and sharing on the course, the comments per lesson. And at the time Chris commented on every recording, responded to my follow up questions.

Have to say that I had concerns about doing it wrong. The recording process must have helped but is surely less effective than being with the right teacher.

And it sounds somewhat similar to how I learned guitar.

Forgive my abuse of your LL, JK

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