Kamkor's Learning Log

For a short introduction, please see my welcome message from January 2022.

I will start the learning log with a few bits from the past and 2022 summary. I will come back later with a detailed post on what I learned about recording guitar in 2022.


I watched anime called Beck and thought it would be nice to learn to play guitar.

There is also a very nice Beck live-action movie (trailer has spoilers).

That led to a friend showing me how to play Come As You Are on his acoustic guitar. It hooked me.

I found an old acoustic guitar in the basement and played that for a while. I remember using a course I found on the eDonkey network and learning Ode to Joy. :sweat_smile:

I have been visiting a music store after school and “playing” the same electric guitar and amp. How did the employees survive this? :wink: I remember another customer walking in, taking this guitar, and playing the Smoke On The Water riff. I was amazed and did not even know what song it was. :joy:

Eventually, I bought this guitar, the Cort G250, and a cheap Kustom amp.


Beck anime helped me discover lots of great music, including blues. Steve Ray Vaughan was my favorite guitar player then. I remember being blown away by the solo at the end of this Life Without You performance.

For some reason, I stopped playing after only a year. :frowning:

2010 - 2017

I wanted to get back into guitar and bought a Squier Classic Vibe 50s telecaster to motivate myself to play again, but it didn’t help for long.

I used Rocksmith but never committed to playing for longer than 1-3 months. My skill remained at a constant level. Here’s a short clip from Rocksmith from that time:

2018 - 2021

I watched Bohemian Rhapsody movie which motivated me to pick up a guitar again during Christmas 2018. This time I wanted to set goals, commit, and don’t expect results too fast.

I found JustinGuitar and decided to start from the drawing board with the (now old) beginner’s guitar course. It filled many foundational gaps in my skillset, such as rhythm, ear training, music theory, practice routine, and more. It gave me a clear beginner progression path. I started a practical music theory course early on too. I still use Justin’s lessons regularly, but pick my own path.


I wanted to exit my guitar cave and engage with other people. The first step was posting my first AVOYP. I received feedback about the quality of the recording and worked on this area in 2022. I re-recorded my first AVOYP to mark the milestone of how my guitar recording technique improved.

A huge milestone was playing with other people in the office jams. It is a very different experience when instruments are loud and when playing with others in general.

2023 goal

The goal for 2023 is to keep learning and to perform somewhere. It could be a small gig in the office or JustinGuitar open mic.

In the next post, I will share what I learned about guitar recording techniques in 2022.


Great first entry Kamil, you definitely are progressing well in your guitar journey and glad to be part of an audience who watches you develop as a player :slight_smile: hopefully more to come!

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Fabulous launch of your LL, Kamil. Loved the mix of story, clips and pics. Look forward to following your progress.

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Hi Kamil, whatever inspired you to grab the guitar in the first place and keep inspiring you is good. About the stop and go you have suffered is good you have been able to be back in track relatively quickly. Besides following a well thought guitar method as the one Justin has crafted it could be useful if you haven’t done so spending some time thinking some more detailed goals. It could be helpful to stay motivated and on track. Not that you cannot take a detour here and there with something new that caught your attention but when that detour leads to what is now a dead end you can have something to come back too. Some members of the community allegedly don’t follow a plan and still manage to do some good progress; for me it’s its a must. If you want to do so you can post your goals here and receive some feedback. You can watch this Justin Guitar lesson about that if you haven’t done so

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@adi_mrok Thank you, and I can say the same about you. :slight_smile:

@DavidP Thank you. I will for sure continue checking your progress too. You did great last year. :slight_smile:

@dobleA Great advice. :slight_smile: I try to do these things since I started using JustinGuitar in 2018. Another important lesson I took from Justin is to practice regularly (I try every day), even if for a little bit. I’m 100% convinced that it’s thanks to Justin that I finally started to get somewhere and stopped giving up on the guitar. Plus, I started to enjoy it a lot more. And the more I learn, the more fun it gets.

I’m a bit shy to post my goals in detail. Maybe one day. I did share a bit in the previous post though.

Tomo Fujita’s philosophy helps me too “Don’t compare! Don’t expect [to progress] too fast! Don’t worry! Be kind to yourself!”.

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Love this, Kamil.

If this helps then you will probably find a read of this book helpful Zen Guitar Book Review, Summary, Quotes and Lessons - Guitar Gear Finder

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Hello Kamil and thanks for sharing your journey…it was very interesting to read :blush: All your recordings sound really cool to my ear. On the Kingfish I think the 2022 recording was already very good but what I thought while watching the 2023 one is that you were now playing really confidently.

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Thanks, @DavidP . Justin seems to talk a lot about zen and having the right mindset. I will give it a read. :slight_smile:

@SILVIA Thank you and I’m glad you found it interesting. :slight_smile: I was worried it was too long. And indeed, I did feel more confident playing the Kingfish song in 2023. I enjoy returning to things I learned in the past after being busy learning new stuff. It’s a nice way to notice progress because this old stuff becomes easier.


Here is what I have learned about recording electric guitar from 2022 till August 2023. :slight_smile:

First, let me ask a question. What are the must-have components that make up the recorded guitar sound? The sound you hear on the records when listening with headphones or at live concerts through a PA / sound system?

  • Guitar amp.
  • Guitar cabinet and speaker.
  • A microphone recording the sound positioned relatively close to the guitar speaker.

All these components can be real or simulated by various devices and software. Guitar cabinet and speaker simulation are often called IR (Impulse Response).

See these components in the image below:

(source: Universal Audio OX documentation)

Each of these components has a massive impact on the guitar tone. For example, see how the position of the microphone influences the recorded tone (from 1:46):

Also, check how the speakers influence the tone too (from 27:12).

Additionally, what you hear in the room from the guitar amp versus what is recorded by a microphone close to the speaker will sound drastically different. The recorded tone may sound bad in isolation, but it could sound amazing in the mix with the rest of the instruments.

You can learn more about this from this video:

When playing with headphones where you hear the recorded tone, you can enhance it with reverb and delay effects to make it feel more like the amp in the room.

When recording a guitar, ensure that the input signal is not too high so that it is not clipping. Unless this is what you’re going for. :smiley:

And finally, you can further shape your tone with various effect pedals: compressors, overdrives, modulation effects (e.g., chorus), etc. And even try a more complex setup with multiple amps, microphones, etc. - either simulated or real.

Below, you can check my samples of recording the electric guitar using various approaches:

  • Using a smartphone to record audio, capturing the sound projected by a digital Yamaha THR30II amp speaker.
  • Using computer software that simulates amp, cabinet&speaker, and microphone.
  • Using digital gear that simulates amp, cabinet&speaker, and microphone.
  • Using a real tube amp, with a real cabinet&speaker, and using a condenser microphone to capture the sound from the speaker.

Using a smartphone to record audio, capturing the sound projected by a digital Yamaha THR30II amp speaker

Chain: Guitar → Digital desktop amp (Yamaha THR30II) with a speaker → Smartphone microphone placed in the room

This technique captures the sound in the room but hides the mistakes and makes it harder to evaluate the playing. It also captures unwanted sound, such as string noise, and will not work well in the mix with other instruments.


Using computer software that simulates amp, cabinet&speaker, and microphone.

Chain: Guitar → Yamaha THR30II acting as recording interface that captures dry sound → DAW Software in a computer → Neural DSP Tone King plugin

I love the tone that I can get with this plugin, but I don’t appreciate having to start the computer to be able to play. However, it’s nice to record a dry signal once and experiment with the plugin settings.


Using digital gear (Yamaha THR 30II) that simulates amp, cabinet&speaker and a microphone

Chain: Guitar → Digital desktop amp (Yamaha THR30II) that simulates amp, cabinet, speaker and microphone → DAW software in the computer

I was happy with the result, but it took much tweaking to find my desired tone. Interestingly, it was much easier to dial in the tone to sound fantastic with THR30II through its speaker than when recording it via direct out.


Sample at sound cloud - just the lead tone, playing to a backing track.

Sample at sound cloud - the whole thing.

Sample at sound cloud - the whole thing, I test different tones in this recording.

Using pedal effects and digital gear (UAFX Dream’ 65) that simulates amp, cabinet&speaker and a microphone

Chain: Guitar → Various Guitar Effect Pedals (e.g., overdrive, chorus, reverb, delay, etc.) → UAFX Dream '65 simulating amp, cabinet, speaker, and microphone → Yamaha THR30II acting as recording interface → DAW Software in the computer

The UAFX Dream 65 provides a fantastic simulation of the amp, speaker, and microphone. It’s easy to get sweet sounds out of it and works great with pedals. Furthermore, I can take the pedalboard to the jam and get a similar tone as at home when playing through headphones or recording. Although I admit that GAS got me, and it’s way too many pedals for jam sessions now, it’s good to have more options at home and then take the few pedals I need to jam.


Using a real tube amp, with a real cabinet&speaker, and using a condenser microphone to capture the sound from the speaker.

Chain: Guitar → Tube Amp → 68’ Custom Vibro Champ Reverb Tube Amp → Shure MV88+ Microphone placed a bit away from the amp also to capture some in-the-room sound → iPhone (because MV88+ is a mobile microphone)

It takes a lot more effort to record than with digital gear. You have to spend more time experimenting, for example, with microphone placement. I also had to record at the apartment’s safe volume to avoid disrupting neighbors. Because of this, the difference between the amp floor noise and the guitar sound was slight. And this made it very easy to hear the amp floor noise (hum and hiss) on the recording.

It’s fun to record a real amp, but using digital gear and software is much easier and more predictable at home.

There are approaches to using a tube amp and recording silently via reactive load boxes, such as OX | Amp Top Box | Universal Audio or Torpedo Series - Two notes. The sound goes not from the amp to its speaker but to this device, and it simulates what you would get from the speaker and the microphone. I have yet to try such an approach, but I’ve heard people getting excellent results.


That’s it! :slight_smile: I hope that the above helps someone. If you want to learn more, I recommend checking Justin’s lessons about guitar recording techniques at https://www.justinguitar.com/. I also recommend watching a video I wish I’d seen when I started learning about this topic in 2022:


Super cool update, Kamil! :sunglasses: Lots of great info and plenty of stuff to digest, along with some juicy tones you’ve dialed in :wink: Love it! :smiley: :+1:

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Thank you, @nzmetal. :slight_smile:

It was my 3rd attempt at writing this update, which took way more effort than I expected. :smiley: I’m glad you like it.

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Hi Kamil,
Fab content. You play really well, make it look so natural and sound really great. Very informative from your recording experimentation. Nice graphics ?filter on your improv video.
Thanks for sharing, very inspiring and motivating. Best wishes, Alan

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Hi @Alan_1970, Thank you very much, and best wishes to you too. :slight_smile:

Hey Kamil, nice learning log. Really good to get perspective on your journey and how you got to where you are.

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