Jsgreen’s Learning Log

Copied from the old forum:

Before I dive in on my road case, I want to say THANK YOU to Justin and his co-workers who run this site, it’s fantastic and has been a joy to use.

I’m an adult-onset guitarist with regrets :grinning: Back in 1996 I bought a MIM Strat and over the next 25 years managed to only learn the first minor pentatonic scale position. I’ve kept that guitar, and for the past couple of decades I’ve harbored a feeling of self-disappointment for not having learned to play it. I love music, sincerely appreciate the talent of other musicians, but never made time for myself. In elementary school through mid-high school I played the flute; school bands and chamber orchestra, but I didn’t love it and eventually gave it up to focus on sports.

Enter the pandemic, and with it family losses (both my dad and father in law passed away) and professional stresses. In other areas of my life I have a “growth mindset,” that if I don’t know a skill I have the confidence to learn it. I realized I should apply this approach and address the “regret voice” in my head and decided to commit myself to learning guitar.

In December 2020 I found the Justin Guitar course and began my journey! I started JG lessons with the '96 Strat, bought some tools from StewMac so I could properly set it up (lots of YouTube videos helped), and in the spring realized I was hooked and treated myself to a mid life crisis Les Paul.

Today It’s early November 2021, I’m just over 10 months into my journey…I’m taking my time, approaching the end of Grade 2. I’ve found that I go on little side trips (blues licks, the vari-shuffle I recently posted on AVOYP) and then make my way back to the lessons. I try hard to make sure I learn something new or improve on a skill at each practice, which seems to be serving me well.

Current Gear:

2019 Gibson Les Paul 50s Standard (a “new original”) - bought used. Heritage cherry burst, it’s heavy (~10 lbs) and I absolutely love this guitar. 99% of my playing time is spent with it

1996 MIM Strat - my first guitar, occasionally played but I honestly prefer the sound and heft of the LP.

Martin Backpacker - rarely played, I don’t like the shape and will probably sell this at some point

Boss Katana 100 MKii - With the $$ I spent on the LP I wanted to put off spending money on pedals and this seemed like a really versatile option. I bought the 100 to be able to add the the foot controller (GA-FC), which makes using this amp a lot more fun than having to stop playing and use your hands to switch between presets. While I don’t have experience with tube amps and can’t compare them, this amp sounds really good to me and, for the money, I think it’s a great value.

Boss RC-2 Loop Station - bought used, thought this would be fun to practice with…I use it but Boss packed so much into a small format I find the controls a bit complicated/awkward to use. I think I’d recommend something simpler.

Boss TU-3 - tuner, got tired of using a Snark and wanted something that was always on without burning through batteries.

GA-FC - Foot controller, much nicer to use than pressing button’s on the panel - highly recommend.

Beyerdynamic DT880 250 ohm headphones - mentioning because I didn’t find much info on the interwebs about what headphones would work well with the Katana for practice, maybe this will help someone else. I think these are great, the amp’s headphone “out” port drives 250 ohms really well. I use these daily for practice and highly recommend them. They are a little quiet when plugged into an iphone for listening to music, which is fine if there is no background noise. The 880 are semi-closed, which effectively means they are an open back design, would not recommend if you are looking for noise canceling features or if people around you are going to be bothered by hearing what you are listening to - these do “leak” sound.

My shares (most recent at the bottom)

Norwegian Wood meets Gruman Step Van
Johnny B. Goode (Intro)
12 Bar Variation Shuffle (Stage 3 Blues Studies)
6th Trick - Fingerstyle Blues in E (Stage 3 Blues Studies)


Didn’t waste time, good on yer ! :sunglasses:

I loved the content of the old forum but didn’t like the user experience…very happy it’s migrated to a modern platform!

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Welcome aboard, JS :slightly_smiling_face:
Every Hello here is a bittersweet nail in the coffin of the good ol’ forum :slight_smile: :disappointed_relieved:

Welcome @jsgreen ! :smiley:

Welcome aboard glad you made the party!

Welcome James glad to see you made it

Good to see you hear, James. Enjoyed the RC update and look forward to following your progress.

Those blues studies are wonderful and inspirational to me.

… and I’m happy you’ve migrated here James. It’s good to have you here, man with a growth mindset. Love that concept.

It’s all about the word “yet”.

I don’t know how to play Eugene’s Trick Bag YET. :guitar:

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You’re so right, James. That word makes all the difference.

Practice routine - wk of Aug 7th 2022


*** 2022-11-08 update

In September I bought a Martin 000-28 Modern Deluxe, it’s a treat to play and a “lifetime” guitar (in that it’s a keeper and I’ll be paying it off for quite awhile :slight_smile: ).

To record the acoustic I also purchased a Zoom H5 recorder, and I’ve been working through David Hamburger’s Fingerstyle Blues Handbook Vol 1 (consists of 20 short 12 or 16 bar studies):

Playlist: Acoustic Blues Studies
DH-BH1-Lesson 12
DH-BH1-Lesson 11


DH-BH1-Lesson 13
DH-BH1-Lesson 14

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I’ve been working through a David Hamburger fingerstyle blues “factory” course where you first learn ~30 licks in E, A B and D and some turnarounds…at the end you put them together to make a tune. I’m at the end, learning the turnarounds, will start posting the completed tunes here:

Rosedale Blues in E (part 1):

I’m also using some practice techniques I learned from a combination of Justin’s site and a book called BrainJo - I think I’ll post a short book review soon, as the techniques are really helping my ability to memorize.


The blues song sounds fabulous, James. Steady thumb, good balance in note volume between base and melody.

Look forward to more on the book, sounds interesting.

Hi James,
Nice and it sounds amazing :clap: :sunglasses:

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I heard all of your posted blues tracks, don’t know, why I missed the previous posts of your blues studies, they all sounded amazing! Already curious about your book review!

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Hi @Helen0609 @roger_holland and @DavidP - thanks so much!

I’ve just finished the review, posted it here: Brainjo - book review and practical application


Fingerstyle Acoustic Blues tunes:

Rosedale Blues

Right or Ronk