Mal's sort of a log

Well may as well put some stuff somewhere that I won’t lose track of it, so that’ll be here.

So now I’m 10 weeks into my guitar journey, still sitting in Beginner Grade 1 Module 1 but I’ve been fiddling about (successfully) with Em and D6add9/F# for some variety and generally exploring with few basic riffs etc. Trying to be conscious of opportunity for finger exercises while staying out of the overworked and painful zone.

Going OK with basic strumming patterns on muted strings mainly, seem to get there reasonably “quickly” and can hold it together for a couple of minutes.

Haven’t got round too my string change yet, so still on medium as far as I can tell, but I’m thinking of getting a tusq saddle and nut set and doing that all at once. As an engineer it’s in inevitable things will head that way eventually so why put it off…

The next week or so I’ll make it my goal to move onto Module 2.


Hi Malcom, good idea on keeping a log of your Journey but I think i should advise caution in your statement but, you may have a background unbeknownst to us.

[quote=“malreid, post:1, topic:256323”]

Em isn’t until later in G1 and I dont recall a D6add9/F# in G1.

I would add another couple of modules into your practice, to be honest. A rough time period for G1 is approx 6 month +/- a bit lol.

You dont have to be perfect in each stage before moving on or just adding more as your daily practice gets longer covering different modules. IE: A/D changes with Rythem, then next module.

Enjoy the journey, have fun.


No worries, perfection isn’t the aim that’s for sure.

Just going a little slowly at the moment due to peeking into various rabbit holes that will serve to keep me motivated and give me targets to aim for in parallel with the “official” path while managing my time.

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Hey Mal, this is a good start and worthwhile to keep a track and, importantly, look back on yourself over time to remind you of your progression. It’s good to explore a few diversions and rabbit holes early on as it keeps enthusiasm and adds a bit of variety to one minute changes and chord perfects etc.

Keep on enjoying and it’ll be fun to see how you get on :+1:

As a rightie when I started this journey I could do a Spock with my right hand but not even the slightest hint with my left. Lo and behold last night left Spock happened. Thought it might have been the wine lubricating the joints but having just checked this morning it’s still happening and I can get it to about 80% of the right.

Nice to have some proof that the almost daily practice plus and off-fret (is that a term?) finger independence exercises are having some effect even if my ears don’t always agree.

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Hi Rachel,

Since I have watched almost all of the grade 1 song video lessons on the website I am sure that Malcolm has been listening to Justin’s Grade 1 lesson on A Horse With No Name (@malreid Malcolm can confirm). D6add9/F# is just a complicated name for the simple chord formed by moving the Em fretting fingers apart 1 string in the same fret, so they are on the 6th and 3rd strings, 2 fret. Some people call it the Horse With No Name chord and so far it is the only place I have found it. I have been using the song recently as a warmup song and trying to memorize the lyrics and learn the more advanced real strum.

Malcolm, I can agree with the opinion that you don’t have to be perfect to move on to Module 2. When you finish module 7, you’ll be encouraged to go back and review everything in Grade 1 again in the consolidation phase of your learning.

Well it’s been a while since I’ve sat down to see where I’m at with the official pathway and am surprised how far, um “off-road” I’ve gone. But it is what it is and I’m still making progress, just need to hook back into the lessons for a while and be conscious of a more structured approach. So just where am I?

No longer need to think about forming the open majors although I struggle to fret the high e of G. So I’ve been playing the lower 5 with a muted 6th, but I see Justin has a two-fingered hack for this which I must try.

Open minors Am Em easy, working on Dm and putting Cm Gm to the side for the moment. Stopping to think about the minors earlier this week I realised there is a pattern (uh duh…) between minors and majors which has now peeked my interest into looking at some of the theory (potential rabbit hole alert?).

For changes I’ve been concentrating on mixing up A E Em D, and strumming with changes on 3. Rough around the edges but improving slowly, and that’s what I need to keep reminding myself when I’m practicing - s l o w l y . . .

Song wise I’ve been very slack but now that I’m landing chords with more confidence I must really get into this if I am to progress strumming with changes to the point where I can sustain a reasonable tempo for the duration. But moving away from chords and into flat-picking as the “reward” part of my practice sessions, melody line of Bright Eyes (Art Garfunkel) committed to memory and starting to flow, now working on the intro and bridge. Wife has made the comment “hey, that’s starting to sound like a song” so there is hope for me yet.