João's learning log

Starting my learning log so I keep myself accountable! For now I’m consolidating and polishing basic grade 1 skills before moving on.
I’ll upload my first video soon, but while I don’t do that, here are some notes to self:

  • D chord is not perfect when I’m actually playing a song. I can take my fingertips to the correct spots but when I’m trying to change to D fast I often touch unwanted strings. I think I should focus on having the thumb lower on the neck (it’s often high) so my fingers automatically stay further from the strings. Also I should be conscious of pressing the strings hard enough.
  • Muting the thickest string while playing C is a challenge. This often makes the 5th string sound bad because of a lack of strength or bad positioning. Still not sure how I should tackle that, or if I should just forget about the thickest string for now and handle that later.

Songs I’m practicing:

  • Horse with no name: easy chords let me focus on my rythm and strumming
  • Hey ya! has a couple of fast changes that are a bit of a challenge, specially involving D.
  • Country roads is a good song for practing the basic chords and old faithful strumming. Also it can be evolved later to practice country “boom-chicka” strumming
  • Heroes: I’m enjoying playing it with all down strums. I’ll probably focus on it for my metronome work.
  • The Gambler is simply a fun easy tune!

Welcome Joao! It’s always fun to see what five songs different users pick for their grade 1 consolidation!

Uploading my first practice session! Not sure if this belongs here or on AVOYP but since I did not have the intention of fully covering the song I thought the training log fits better.

I think I can now tell what makes me not satisfied with my playing: chord changes don’t feel particularly slow but they are sloppy, specially on C and D. The first strum always has something muted or buzzing or I hesitate on the first beat of the bar. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to solve that before moving to grade 2. I saw that justin has a lesson on perfect changes, so maybe I’m good to go until I get to that point? Anyway, any comments and suggestions are appreciated!


Videos of practice sessions are a good fit for Learning Logs, I do agree :slightly_smiling_face:

With the “perfect fast change” lesson the focus will be on quality and speed of chord changes, accordingly those muted strings etc. are not a too big issue now. I saw, you found the “How to pass Grade 1”-thread and you can find a lot of helpful posts there.

Good feeling for rhythm btw :slightly_smiling_face: I think you practiced without metronome or backing track?

One thing I noticed - and what will come with time and practice - is try to keep up your strumming resp. Strumming pattern, no matter how slow or not perfectly correct your chords changes are. This will make it easier to stay in the flow and perhaps your audience (if there is such) will not even notice - or really pay attention to - that there has been a small mistake in the first place.

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You are making progress, keep at it and you’ll keep improving, João

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Welcome Joao. When i first learned the C chord i didn’t try to mute the 6th string, just made sure i didn’t strum the 6th string. I couldn’t mute either, however after a few months of practice and learning lots of songs, muting the 6th string is happening almost by accident.

Good start to your log.


Hi João,
Good start to your LL and this first video(s) is worth its weight in gold if you think in a few weeks/months that you are progressing too slowly… a lot is already going well and I notice how often you place all your fingers neatly close to the frets… when I record a video myself (while I try to practice properly) after almost 4 years, I see that I am still not always good at that… keep up the good work, you are doing well,

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Practicing a horse with no name. Very easy chords but they have a droning quality I really enjoy.

Moving on to grade 2!
For module 8 I’ll be trying Heroes with accented 2s and 4s on strumming, and also adding the stuck 3 and 4 C chord to it. I’ll probably spend the most time practicing Wish Your Were Here this module, since single notes with a pick are one of my main weaknesses.


I just saw your video and i realised that you re not playing a D6 chord
D6 chord is on the low E string your playing it on the thick E string

I hope im not wrong … can someone tell me if i m mistaken ?

Hi! Thanks for the feedback. I believe you’re refering to the Horse With No Name video. This a direct quote from the lesson:

The second chord is technically D6/9 with an F# bass, but that name is way too complicated - let’s call it D6! We use the two fingers of the Em chord but spread out – the second finger goes up to the 6th string, and the 3rd finger comes down to the 3rd string. Changing between them is like a finger-stretching exercise. :slight_smile:

So per my understanding it should indeed be finger 2 in the thickest (6th) E string and finger 3 in the 3rd string, while muting the 5th. No mention to fingering the thinnest string although I believe it wouldn’t sound too bad since it’s another F#.

I agree that’s how a pure D6 is played, but I prefer to use the D6/9 with an F# bass on Horse With No Name like Justin does on the video. Do you prefer to play it with a pure D6?

the app shows the song with a D6 that’s why

Oh I see! I use the website only so I was a bit confused.

oh ok , in the app the song shows a D6 on this song

Maybe we should tell what sources we use since it seems to be different :smiley:
that would prevent misunderstanding ^^

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Practicing Heroes with accented strumming and “stuck 3 and 4” C chord.

Practicing Wish You Were Here. Still a lot of rough spots. Any tips besides putting in time until it comes out right?

Had a lot of time in my hands today and spend the day searching for random guitar lessons on the internet after my practice. I’ll get back to focusing on module 8 but I had some fun trying some new stuff.
Saving here some songs I intend to learn in the near future, after Justin cover F chord variants and sus chords:

Elliott Smith - Needle in the hay
Porcupine Tree - Nine Cats
Radiohead - Fake plastic trees

Also Wish You Were is feeling more natural each day! My practice is almost entirely dedicated to it because some itens like exploring stuck chords and most one minute changes are feeling a bit easy/boring at the moment.

As I said before, I’m having a lot of time in my hands, so I’ve been playing a lot. However It’s been a bit frustrating to play Wish You Were Here. I was improving day by day and by now I’ve memorized every part of the song. But when I try to play it from start to finish I always make a mistake: ugly buzzes, picking the wrong string etc. I think this kind of plateau is simply part of the process.
Justin said we shoud spend at least two weeks consolidating module 8, so I’ll move my attention to Wonderwall so there’s some novelty to keep me motivated, and keep trying to fix the details that are bothering me in Wish Your Were Here. Note to self: it might take a while to get it perfectly, so be patient and keep it up.

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