LunaRocket's Learning Log

Just a quick update.

I’m doing fine with happy birthday and the La Bamba riff so I’m dropping them from my regular practice routine and mainly concentrating all my efforts on Module 12. Going to try Enter Sandman for the first time today.

For my first power chord song I’m going to try the Kinks’, You Really Got Me.

My power chords on the 6th string aren’t as horrid as they were a week ago when I first started trying them out but the ones on the 5th string are still worse and going between 6th and 5th is tough. The Kinks song should help with that, (I hope).

I haven’t even tried palm muting yet, that is on the schedule for today as well.

I hope to get a pretty good handle on these things in the next few days before we go on vacation for 2 weeks. I am taking a guitar with me, but not sure how much time I can practice, maybe while our hosts are sleeping, (I am bringing my headphones, too.) :smile:

That is all.

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A quicker Update.

My power chords on the 6th string are sounding okay-ish, the 5th string, not so much. The Kinks’ song is too fast on the App even at 50% so I’m just practicing without it but trying to keep the rhythm. Switching strings is still tough. And there is palm muting in it, so I got that covered. No time to try anything else. like a 2nd song, I’m just going to keep practicing until our 1500 mile (2414 km) road trip to Texas on Thursday.

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Enjoy Texas. I live in San Antonio.

Mike

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Well, howdy, pardners! Just got back this afternoon from our road trip to Texas. In a nutshell:

Had a great time, but the eclipse was a bust where we were in New Braunfels! The party was great though. Visited a bunch of wineries, a distillery, San Antonio’s River Walk and the Alamo, did a little shopping, ate a lot, hung out at the pool, bought a couple cool hats and a metal armadillo with the Texas flag painted on its back. Went to an air show at Randolph AFB and saw the Thunderbirds, had dinner with a friend whom we hadn’t seen in 35 years!

Somehow, we never did have any BBQ!

And, of course, I bought that acoustic guitar I’d been wanting and wrote about in this thread.

Drove through some hellacious rainstorms the last 2 days on the way back, toyed with visiting Sweetwater again, but kept our heads and money this time.

I didn’t get a lot of practice in between all the stuff we were doing, in fact I finally missed 2 days, so I can’t say I played every day this year anymore. Some days I was lucky to get 5 minutes in, like tonight, had to pick up my PRS and tell it I still loved it.

As for my Breedlove acoustic, I have no idea how you people who start with an acoustic manage to keep it up! My F chord is a mess again, I know all the chord shapes, but my fingers aren’t landing in the right spots, nothing feels quite right anymore! I’m beginning to think I need to start over with Grade 1, Module 1!

If anyone has any tips I’m all ears/eyes.

I will say though, going back to my PRS feels really easy! :smile:

Now I just have to remember to call Sweetwater tomorrow to have them ship the other thing I bought but had no room for in the car on our trip!

It’s good to be home!

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Hi Rebecca!
Glad you had a fun trip! The acoustic/ electric thing is surprisingly challenging! I switch back & forth every time I play… my acoustics all have chunkier necks than the electrics with the sole exception of my PRS - it has that PRS Wide/Fat neck profile. If I play the acoustics for too long, the electrics feel “too” skinny. That’s why I don’t stick to one or the other for too long!
I think the “problem” will solve itself as you become more accustomed to your beautiful Breedlove! Also, learning new techniques tend to be a bit easier on the electric but often sound better on the acoustic :blush:!!!
Just a little food for thought!!!
Have lots of fun, it’s enjoyable reading your log!!!

Tod

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Today my new amp arrived, I bought a Boss Katana 100 Mk2 with the money I saved by not buying that $1000 guitar I had been looking at.

It came late in the afternoon, so I only got to try it out for around 30 minutes after dinner. I must say, I think I like it. I just have to figure out what everything does, the manual that came with it really only listed the names of each knob, not really explaining how to use them effectively. Fortunately, I know there are lots of posts about it here in the Community.

As for my actual guitar practice, I’m having a hard time getting back into it, but I’m getting there.

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Hi Rebecca,
Happy NAD :partying_face: :sunglasses:
Have a lot of fun with it :sunglasses:

Oh yes, that reminds me of that new Bentley that I looked at last year and didn’t buy…I go see Thomann and buy something :roll_eyes:

Greetings

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Hi Rebecca,
The Katana has a lot of capability. It took me a while to understand how to take advantage of it. As others have said, you will probably only use a small set of features most of the time but knowing how to experiment to get a tone/fx that you want is useful. Using the Tone Studio app helped me understand how the amp worked and how to set the small set of capabilities that I typically use via the control panel. I’m PC oriented, vs phone or tablet, so I connect the amp to my PC via USB. This gives me the ability to use Tone Studio when I want to PLUS I can send PC audio to it to play along with tracks, listen to a Justin lesson, whatever with or without headphones. I can also send audio from the amp to the PC for recording. I don’t chase tone and fx (rabbit hole) often, but occasionally when learning a song I jump down the rabbit hole to get a particular sound. Each time I do, I learn more about how to use the amp.
Enjoy!

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Hello Rebecca,
Congrats on your new amp!

I’m hoping that you’ll be writing about it here in the coming weeks. It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts on it as you give it a test drive because I’m thinking of upgrading my own little practice amp before long and the Katana is top my list.
I watched Justin’s video the other night about the Katana Mk2. He gets a wide variety of great tones from it just by twiddling the knobs!
Well worth a watch if you haven’t already.

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Well, been home for about a month and I’m still having a hard time getting back into practice. I blame having to start the veggie gardening and restarting work on the trim for windows and doors and baseboards, etc. inside the house. (Still don’t have central heat, don’t ask, but summer is coming.) We finished the last 3 windows and today the front door is trimmed and operational, having been nailed shut for the 2 years we have lived here.

So, I’ve been trying to squeeze in guitar here and there but I’m always so tired! I also discovered I’ve been neglecting my new acoustic because the strings are so stiff and it’s so different from my electric. My F chord is really lousy on it, I find I can now nail it on my electric, but it’s hit or miss on my acoustic. So, the last few days I’ve been ignoring my electric and only practicing on my acoustic. Even regular chords I know well (never thought I could say that a year ago!) have become harder but I’m slowly getting the hang of it though the barre chords are going to take more time. I’m also getting more wrist and elbow pain because I’m not used to the shape. Thank goodness I didn’t get a dreadnaught! I’m sort of treating the acoustic as if it’s my first guitar and trying to do more things like chord perfect practice to get a better feel for it. (I still may have to change to lighter strings in the end though I’m going to stick with these 12’s for now.)

I picked up my PRS for the first time in days and it is so much easier to play! lol Though my power chords are still lousy.

Another thing I’ve been doing with the acoustic is ignoring the Song App entirely and trying to play some of my songs from memory and by ear. I can nail House of the Rising Sun, though still fairly slowly, and I tried Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, (yeah it’s only 2 chords, but I got the lyrics down, too, today!) As I mentioned above the F barre chord on the acoustic is so-so but at least I’ve now got the chord progression and words from Have you Ever Seen the Rain pretty much nailed. And my go to song, Bad Moon Rising is doing just fine, though still better on the electric.

So, getting back to my electric, my rock power chords are still lousy, and I’ve been in Module 12 forever, so I think tomorrow, (our day off from home building/improvement), I’m going to start checking into the Module 13 Blues stuff which I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. After all, I have all year to practice the stuff that’s not so good.

BTW, on my new amp, I really like the crunch setting for more than just power chords. :grinning: Still so much to figure out!

Okay, back to your regular scheduled programming.

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Hi Rebecca, good to read your update! :slight_smile:

Acoustic and electric guitars are very different indeed. I find an acoustic much more physical instrument and overall more difficult to play, except when it comes to string muting. String muting with high gain sound is one aspect where electric guitar is more difficult and you might have already discovered this with your power chord practice.

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Rebecca @LunaRocket
Nice update, interesting things other than guitar but at least yo are back playing.
Michael

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Hi Rebecca, it’s always nice to read your log entries. You have a pretty full schedule with all the renovation works, I wonder, how you can find time to practice at all!
Changing from electric to acoustic and back might feel weird for now, but I’m sure, as soon you have become more familiar with your new acoustic, you won’t miss it again. I played both right from the beginning and change them all the time and it workes just fine. For me, going down in gauge from 12 to 11 and even to 10 on one of my acoustics made a big difference.
I wish you lots of fun with the Blues module, I loved it!
Greetings!

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Rebecca

As an old, acoustic-only player I’m glad to hear you’re playing one too. Just to echo helen0609 you should consider using the lighter gauge strings and perhaps see if the saddle can be lowered. I use .10 - .41 strings and have the action really low: it makes playing quite a bit easier and sounds musical (sometimes even when I’m playing)!

Good luck with your work on the house and the guitar.

Brian

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Well, long story short, doing too much stuff other than guitar has made my right arm hurt rather badly. Some sort of tendonitis, I can’t even lift a toothbrush without pain! So, no guitar practice for a couple days at least which is highly frustrating especially as I’ve just started into Module 14. A brace is helping though and rotating my forearm at the elbow doesn’t hurt quite as badly as it did 2 days ago.

Instead of practicing, I find myself perusing the forum more than usual and checking finger to fretboard placement for the new 7th chords in my head. May even look into the 2nd free course of music theory while I wait.

ouch ! take care and let your arm rest if you want it to heal :slight_smile:

Maybe some transcribing ?

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Haven’t a clue how to do that. but for now a little whiskey will suffice. :beers:

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Still having strumming arm issues, I’ve tried different types of elbow braces and a carpal tunnel brace for my wrist and sometimes things feel better and then I move my arm one way or another and bam. I’ve got ice on my right shoulder now. Using a knife at dinner tonight rally hurt. Doctor appointment June 18th. I just hope my shoulder is not another need for rotator cuff surgery. That would lay me up for months. Fingers crossed.

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Hey Rebecca, sorry to hear you’re having problems with your shoulder/arm. I had persistent elbow pain for almost a year a while back. Sometimes you think it’ll never get better. (Took me 7 years to finally get a hip replacement) .
Good idea to delve into theory. I’d imagine with an engineering/maths background it’d be fascinating enough even without playing :smiley:
No harm in making up little tunes in your head while you’re at it… and jotting down some silly lyrics :laughing:
Get well soon

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Okay, my arm has been feeling better and I’ve slowly been working my way back into guitar playing, mostly slower songs so I don’t over tax my strumming arm and only 10-20 minutes at a time. Not picking up the acoustic for now as it puts more strain on my shoulder, but the shoulder is feeling okay with the electric so I’m not pushing it. My elbow is a lot better, though it still bothers me for other things than guitar. I’m also trying not to keep a death grip on my pick as it really strains my thumb, may have to look into fatter picks or something.

However, yesterday I had a mini breakthrough with the song What’s Up by 4 non-Blondes. I have not been able to sing at all with the new strumming pattern but I gave it a shot yesterday, without the App, and though I’d lose the pattern now and then, I could get it back while I was singing! It was freaking awesome.

I didn’t try it today, but this time, for the first time, my husband, who is learning to play Bass with Yousician and has been practicing a simple bass line for Bad Moon Rising by CCR, joined me with the App and by the 5th time through we managed to mostly get in sync with the App and each other! Also freaking awesome! Not ready for an AVoYP yet, but maybe sometime this summer! :blush:

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