József's Learning Log

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions :thinking: I’m sure whatever you decide you will be happy with József. It’s good to hear that your stepping back into a regular studying schedule. That sounds like a great idea to work on recording your own 12BB and soloing over it. Good luck with G2/M13. Enjoy.

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Congrats on all the progress made, József, no doubting the power and benefits in developing the ability to transcribe. Some woulkd say it is the best (only) way to learn.

Have fun considering another electric, part of the fun is all that research and thinking, then the try-outs, before finally adding another guitar to the collection. Mick was right :laughing:

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So today was another David Bowie Day for me. After I got home from the dentist and finished working, I tried out the new Rotosound string I put on my Epi LP on Sunday, and the tryout turned into a bit of Bowie jamming.

For a few days, I’ve been toying with the idea of playing along to Fame, so I got down to it and managed to suss out the notes of the main “riff”; not the chords, though, as those funky extensions are still out of my reach. It was great fun; I needed one or two attempts to get the rhythm right, but when I got in sync with the recording (with a touch of wah wah), it felt great. Then I tried Fascination, at least parts of it. The chord progression seems to be mostly E-D-C, but I’ll take a closer look at that later on. And when I found out that the little lick played after the choruses is a pair of E notes an octave apart, it gave me an extra boost of confidence.

Then I moved on to The Width of a Circle and figured out the two main “themes”, i.e. the opening riff and the theme from the second half (played by Ronson and also sung by Bowie). I gave a go to the power chords as well, but I’ll need to work on the rhythm, I think. Also, the bass and drums on this song are wicked.

Thanks David. I’ve never thought I’d be able to make out melodies and reproduce them on any instrument, so I’m always stoked when it happens. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult, at other times it’s pretty easy, but I almost always feel lucky that I can improve at this skill. I wouldn’t say it’s the only way to learn, but it certainly helps with memorizing the melodies.


After the usual new year mayhem at work and a bit of a rocky start to my relationship with my new Strat, things seem to be looking up again, at last.

2 weeks ago I took the Strat back to the shop for a little adjustment, and now the tuning stability is indeed better. One less thing to worry about. :triumph:

So where to begin?

Since the end of 2022 I haven’t had much free time until this week, so when I had the opportunity to play, I stuck to my usual practice routines, see above. However, some ideas have been slowly taking shape.

I registered for a Home Studio course at a local university. It’s not a university course as such as it can be taken by anyone interested, but I figured it could serve as a starting point for my adventures in studioland. The course will be 50 x 45 minutes spread over 5 Saturdays in April and May so it won’t interfere with my work (or vice versa). A funny thing: I’m a regular at a biweekly film club and an elderly couple is among the usual guests. The husband has been an audio engineer at the Hungarian radio and works with electroacoustic composers, and he knows the engineer who will host the course. It’s a small world. I hope it will be interesting and that I’ll be able to make some connections for the future…

As a sort of preparation, I watched the videos in this course, although I’m not sure what DAW I’ll use eventually: Production Basics With Adam G

I started to read The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn. When I was 11 or 12 I bought the Hungarian translation of Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald from a used book store with my mum, and that’s pretty much when my interest in sound recordings started, so I have kind of come full circle this time.

I want to continue with music theory as well, so while doing Justin’s PMT, I ordered two books as well (they are still on their way):

Berklee Music Theory Book 1 – Basic Principles of Rhythm, Scales, and Intervals
Berklee Music Theory Book 2 – Fundamentals of Harmony

Although not guitar-centric, they seem to be valuable sources of information. Now I’ll just need some more time as well to use them along with the Leavitt book.

As for actual playing, I added Astronomy Domine :milky_way: to my playalong-list, although there are some weird (in a good way) guitar overdubs in that song that I still haven’t figured out. But I was very pleased with myself when I managed to figure out exactly how to mute the low E string to get the same sort of chug as in the intro.

Yesterday I started to “transcribe” the string parts in Walk On By by Isaac Hayes. I think the lead guitar part here will take more time than in his other songs I tackled, but I’m not in a hurry.

I’ve also been thinking about trying to play some Fela Kuti, so I added 3 songs to my worklist:

Je’nwi Temi (Don’t Gag Me) - it has a pretty cool guitar riff and a nice horn lick as well
Sorrow Tears & Blood - here I found the horn lines a bit easier, probably because the guitar is not that prominent in the mix
Colonial Mentality - this has a funky bassline and more horns

Interestingly enough, I managed to play along to these 3 songs around frets 7-10 on strings 3-5. I haven’t written the riffs down yet, but there must be something Fela liked about those notes…


I transcribed the guitar/horn riffs from the first one and they are in Bb major (G minor pentatonic), so I guess Fela was accommodating the horn section and the sax solos.

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What a great update Jozsef and so pleasing to read you getting so stuck in. The studio course sounds like it’ll be really interesting, I’m sure we will all take the pleasure of your time and learning on that in future recordings!!

And some really interesting songs added to your worklist, Astronomy Domine is an amaaaaazing track, I can’t wait to hear you share that with us!

Have alot of fun :+1:

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I guess it’s time for a little update.

The home recording course ended about 2 weeks ago. I think it was pretty interesting, I’ll probably write a bit more about it later on.

Not much happened guitarwise. I haven’t played very much the past month, and today I noticed some string buzz on 2 of my electric guitars. Maybe the climate has changed a little, but I’m planning to take the Strat to a luthier to check it as there are always some weird things going on with it (I guess I’ll never be a real Strat guy). I mean, it’s a fine guitar, but nothing mindblowing. If it comes to sell any of my guitars, it’s very likely to go first. Lesson learned: don’t judge a guitar (only) by its looks.

About 2 weeks ago I registered to a driving school. Frankly, some time ago this seemed as unlikely as picking up an instrument. I’m still only at the theoretical stage (rules of the road, some basic technical stuff), so far it seems interesting. I wonder how easy or difficult the actual driving will be.


Joszef, driving is way easier than guitar!! :upside_down_face:


At least I’ll be less likely to harm others while playing music :smiley: Strangely enough, I still don’t feel worried about how the actual driving will be, but maybe right before the first practice session…

Actually, I sort of had a “Justin moment”, so to say, in that the manager of the driving school I signed up to has a YouTube channel with a rich library of videos on rules of the road as well as some actual practice sessions recorded with beginner students, so I already have some ideas on what to expect.