John Shodan Log

Hey folks,
So I thought as I am right at the beginning of my journey, now is a good a time as any to start a log… Although I’m not sure how often I’ll update it as historically, I am not good at diaries and these things.

However, I’ve found in previous learnings in life, it is good to reflect on the recently completed session and figure out what went right, what went wrong and little notes for further consideration for the next session so I may use this log for those reasons…

So three days ago on the 7th September, I decided to learn guitar. I have no previous knowledge or experience of music other than listening to it, which I love to do.
Found a second hand guitar locally and picked it up. This was literally the first time I had ever touched a guitar.
By this time I had found this place on line and had a look at some of the videos on youtube and knew I wanted this to be my teacher.

So over the last couple of days I have been (hurting my fingers) having a play with the guitar to try to become more familiar with it and I have been working on strumming, tapping, counting and chords D and A.
So this morning I used the Practice Routine system and set up a routine which covered practising the D and the A separately, changing between them both with the Anchor finger trick, chord changes in 1 minute and 5 minutes of song practice.
I have added Dance The Night Away, Born in The USA and You Never Can Tell so I have options on how to practice the same thing.

I even factored a 10 minute break after practising chords and practising a song.

The whole thing was scheduled to be 33 minutes but took over an hour because I got carried away in some area’s and had to take other breaks at other times.


Now the ultimate aim of all this is to play music and songs and that is why practising in the style of a song is so important at the end.

I had to stop at one point because I was laughing so much at myself!
I’ve discovered my little chimp brain maxes out at doing two things at the same time.
I can practice changes chords (badly) and tapping my foot.
I can practice strumming and tapping my foot.
I can practice strumming and singing (that is dreadful, even I don’t like to hear that). But that is about it.
I can practice strumming and counting.
I certainly can’t count and strum and tap at the same time!
And if I’m changing chords then everything else has to stop too I’m afraid!
When it come to practising with a song, forget it! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
So I then went to trying strumming and chord changes with a metronome… I tried everything from 20bpm up to 100bpm. Might as well have asked me to juggle flaming chainsaws…:rofl:

Had such a great time, loving learning while the learning curve is so steep. I’ve rested my fingers for a few hours so I’m going to give it another 10 minutes or so practice now :grinning:


Hi John and welcome to the world of guitar.
Rather than jumping about on the YouTube videos I would urge you to follow Justin’s beginner course sequentially. That way you’ll build a solid foundation on which to build.

1 Like

Hi John, Welcome to the community. You’re off to a great start. Don’t be concerned about maxing out at 2 things at the same time. It improves with practice. When you get more automatic with the A - D changes, you’ll find that you’re to 3 things: tap, strum and change chords. But then a more complicated strum pattern gets introduced and you’re back to 2 :astonished: Enjoy the journey!

1 Like

Welcome John and enjoy your guitar journey. You are in the right place to learn here, as there are some wonderful people here with an abundance of advice to share and to help you along the way. Eddie :guitar::ireland::sunglasses:

Hi, I am following the beginners course. Its a great course, very well made and perfect for me and my chimp brain and chimp fingers! :grinning:

1 Like

Hi John, great to see you starting a learning log right from the beginning. 11 out of 10 for enthusiasm! Good luck with your new adventure, looking forward to following your progress.
🎸 David

1 Like

Hey John, great stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your log. I remember when I started my goal was to play 15 minutes a day but I couldn’t play for more than 5 minutes with the finger pain. so I played 3 times a day at first. It didn’t take long before the fingers toughened up. Hang in there and keep at it cuz it definitely gets better as time goes on. For me it was learning that first song all the way through that inspired me heaps.

1 Like

Welcome. Following the beginners course I think I remember the suggestion is about 20 minutes a day for maybe 5 days a week, to allow finger ends to develop callousses and to not get too much pain.

When you get the E as well, with the anchor fingers “Glory days” is a possible if a Springsteen fan ?

You have the song app ? I found that a great help.

1 Like

John you have two essential attributes - a love of learning and a sense of humour. I’m so glad you’ve found juicy stuff to learn, joy, laughter and sore fingertips. Welcome to our world :smiling_face:


Welcome, John, enjoyed the log. You are up and into it, I wish you loads of fun as you learn. Stick to the programme, slow and steady, and in time you’ll amaze yourself.

1 Like

10 years into playing guitar and I can absolutely understand. If I play guitar and sing really quiet it works. If I sing louder my brain quits and everything has to stop, lol.

Loved the learning log and as everybody else I can’t stress enough to follow Justin’s beginner course step by step. This way you avoid wasting time with stuff that is still way to hard for you and get discouraged. Especially in the beginning it is very hard to gasp what is going too be difficult to learn…

1 Like

Hi John, what a nice first log post. I really enjoyed reading it :smiley:.
It‘s not that long ago that I started my guitar journey (end of March), and I can still remember this huge excitement when doing the first chord changes and strums :star_struck:.

Isn‘t it amazing, what‘s already possible with only 2 chords?! :smiley: And when I was able to play the E chord as well, I was completely overwhelmed by the mere quantity of songs, I was suddenly able to play (at least in theory :sweat_smile:).

Doing 2 different things at the same time can be very tricky, but it‘s so satisfying, when you finally master it. And your brain is building up so many new connections - it‘s in so many ways a valuable thing to do :grinning:.

I‘m looking forward to read more about your progress.
All the best and enjoy your journey :hugs:

1 Like

Not an update to me exactly but my son (15 yrs) said I had inspired him, and he wanted to learn guitar too!!! I am absolutely made up with that, made my heart feel so good!
So now we are a two guitar house. Feel sorry for the neighbours though as neither of us know a damn thing about guitars or music… :rofl:

1 Like

That’s great! You say that neither of you know anything about guitars or music, but where will you be in 2 months, 6 months , a year? Having someone to learn with makes it more fun. You’ll pick some things up quicker than him and help him, and he’ll pick somethings up quicker than you and help you. You’ll each have your own music taste so you’ll both likely learn songs that you wouldn’t have otherwise so that you can play them together. I wish you both the best in your musical journey.

1 Like

Don’t worry about the neighbors John. My 8 year old son and 10 year old daughter are also learning so we are probably driving our neighbors up the walls :joy:

1 Like

Hi John welcome. Good you are enjoying learning how to play guitar because you will be endlessly learning how to play it, and endlessly increasing the number of songs that you can potentially play, and the ways you can play them. Nice you got an in person classmate. Keep having fun.


Had a great evening practice with my boy. We worked on a couple of chords and spent a lot of time practising strumming and finger exercises then finished up with a mad 5 minutes pretending to be rock stars doing the worst, loudest and fastest strumming we could do and shouting songs as neither of us can sing :grinning:


Welcome, John. You’re lucky to have found this site & community off the get-go. It’s actually good that you have no prior experience or knowledge in that you don’t have any bad habits. For this alone, I’m with sairfingers - start Justin’s course, from the very beginning and go sequentially. Especially, take your time and run a marathon, not a sprint. Expect lots of learning curves - no matter what your skill level. 1st rule: have fun. 2nd rule: never forget the first.

1 Like

Thanks @Papa_G
Yep, I’m working through the course, paused at how many chord changes between A & D can I do in 1 minute. Built a nice little practice session around this and strumming “Old Faithful”.
I’m in no rush to learn more chords because, whats the point if I can’t use them? I could spend a couple of days learning the next chord but then I’d have three chords I couldn’t effectively use when that time learning could be better spent improving my D and A chords and changes.
I got my changes up to just over 30 per minute then re watched the video in it again (for the millionth time) and realised that should b e with strumming too… So add in strumming and the chords per minute dropped down to 21… :rofl:
So I am sticking with the programme but I’m not going to race through it. Tall buildings need strong foundations… 25+ years of learning and teaching martial arts has embedded in me the need to have strong foundations and at the moment, having to stop strumming to change chords, isn’t a very strong foundation!:grin:


Wise words shared, John.

Enjoy laying those strong foundations.

1 Like