It’s exactly 2 months since I bought myself an acoustic guitar and decided to have another bash at learning guitar. Here’s a few thoughts on the journey so far…
I’ve played my guitar every day except maybe 2.
I’m onto module 6 of the beginner course (G chord is the newest chord).
I’ve taken a pause in terms of moving on to further modules. In theory I could move on but really I run the risk of learning lots of things and never getting good at any of them. I feel I’ve made that mistake before. I’ve picked out 5 songs, with a variety of chords and strumming patterns and I’m working towards playing them more fluently before I move on. The songs are from Justin’s app and I’ve also made an iTunes playlist as the aim ultimately is to play along to them.
For those interested, I’ve gone with these:
Nobody to Blame - Chris Stapleton - Easy beginner song, A, D and E chords, simple strumming with possibilities to embellish a bit. Can play this fairly well.
Heart of Gold - Neil Young - has C and G chords in, a bit of variety in rhythm, plus some individual notes to pick to make it more like the recorded version. Can play it all, just a bit scruffy at the moment
Harvest Moon - Neil Young - Easy paced song to practice Justin’s old faithful strumming pattern. It’s a challenge to hit the pattern for the entire 5 minutes of the song but I’m getting there.
Bad Moon Rising - CCR - Only 3 chords (A, D, G) but faster strumming. Definitely pushes the speed of my chord changes to their limit, some plays are better than others!
Incubus - Drive - This wasn’t a song I was familiar with but enjoyed playing in the app with a very simple strumming pattern. I’m now working towards a more authentic strumming pattern which is probably the hardest thing I’ve tried so far. It’s coming together, but I can’t yet consistently hit the strumming pattern and chord changes and stay in time to the music.
At the moment, singing along is a complete non-starter! It immediately throws off my strumming / timing, so I’ll come back to that later. I’ve watched Justin’s videos on this and I know that my playing isn’t yet automatic enough to accommodate singing
Overall I’m really happy with my progress. I consider myself to have close to zero co-ordination so making progress on any sort of irregular strumming pattern is way ahead of what I thought would happen. Lots more practice on my chord changes and holding a rhythm (especially while changing chords) is required but it’s all improving. The acoustic guitar has been a success because it’s so easy to pick up and play for 60 seconds without fussing with amps and the like. (That’s not to say you can’t practice on an electric unplugged, or that acoustic is better for beginners or anything like that - play what makes you happy, it’s all good). I think the next month will be spent working on the songs I’ve highlighted before I move on (unless I feel I’m getting bored and need something new).
Thanks for reading