MC's Learning Log

Thought I’d start one of them there Learning Log things, but am not entirely sure where to start.

I did get classical guitar lessons while at school, but the reality was, classical wasn’t what I wanted to learn. I do still have the 3/4 size nylon strung thing, and it very very occasionally gets a tune up and play, although it’s been languishing in the corner behind my computer desk for quite some time now. I should really dig out that corner and at least clean up some of the dust.

However for my 21st birthday I got a Fender Strat. To me, the Strat is the definitive guitar, and is what I’d always wanted.

It’s a 2003 MIA Fender in Chrome Blue.
I also got a Marshall MG10 to go with it, and in true clueless fashion, I also bought a Boss DS-2 pedal, as any real guitarist needs pedals :grin:

Although it inspired me to try learning more, I didn’t really learn that much more.

Fast forward (quite) a few years, and a discussion about learning guitar came up on a mountain bike forum I frequented, and this Justin Guitar thing got mentioned by a couple different people. A quick search later, and I discovered the Beginner Course.
What a revelation that was, an actual structured course, that as well as teaching you how to play a guitar, actually teaches you how to practice.

And speaking of practice, I’ve away to do some, so will continue shortly/later/when I remember…


Hi Moray,
Nice that you started an LL, here you can lose a lot of yourself and all kinds of exercises on guitar and I don’t know what else,…

:smirk:,if i got a euro for everyone who later regrets this sentence, :roll_eyes:…i would quickly buy another guitar for it :smile: :wink:
But I think that…Definitely…in English means something different than here(?),…there are very few who play long and sticking to 1 big people guitar,…
Anyway, I wish you a long learning curve and a lot nice posts here ,…and above all a lot of fun :sunglasses:


Welcome back, Moray! It’s so easy to get distracted with life stuff. I hope this time the guitar bug really sticks to you and that you get to put all that snazzy gear to good use!

So I worked my way through the Beginner Course, and over that period a little bit of GAS may have snuck in.

First big purchase was a Fender Mustang 3 V2 amp. In amp modelling, with the ability to control it via a PC, however it does now reside up the attic.

Next was the hunt to expand the guitar collection, and having seen a PRS SE Tremonti with a quilted top, and regretting not buying it at the time, it resulted in an occasional search to see if I could pick one up. I eventually found this one secondhand via a dealer -

I love how it resonates when played, and gives a nice contrast to the Strat.

After that, the hankering for an acoustic started to grow. Unfortunately due to a previous shoulder injury, I can’t cope with playing anything large bodied for more than a few minutes, so I settled on a Taylor GS-Mini with a Koa top-

And the last part in the current guitar collection, was having been dabbling with some country-esque stuff, the notion of acquiring a Telecaster started to get that genuine country twang.
The final straw was when I seen a parts supplier post some pics of some bodies he’d received into stock, and a partscaster idea grew some pretty big legs -

Nitro butterscotch reliced body
Roasted flame maple neck
Oil City Pickups Masterwound SOL67 pickups
Nickell finish GOTOH bridge and Schaller tuners
(I did say the project grew arms and legs!)

And also in that photo is the current amp I use.
It’s a Danplifier (Small uk part-time builder), with a mini 5E3 Tweed head that I picked up over that period secondhand.


I may have other guitars, but to me the Stratocaster, is still the definitive looking guitar!

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That telecaster and the PRS are both really fine looking guitars. Congratulations.

Hi Moray, good you found Justin Guitar to advance in your guitar journey.

Since I can’t sleep just now, I’ll digress on to pedals and effects.

I still have the Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion, which after getting back into guitars, was joined by a TU-3, as I was fed up with the old little plastic tuner I had been using which meant swapping cables every time I wanted to tune the guitar.
It was then followed up with more Boss pedals (I think they were on a 3 for 2 offer)
RC-3 Loop station. Classic looper, but I never really got on with it. I should probably have got the extension pedals for it, but it’s languishing in the cupboard now.
AC-3 Acoustic Simulator. This is quite an interesting one, as I don’t think it sounds anything like an acoustic, but it’s still quite an interesting tone.
OC-3 Super Octaver. Does what it says on the tin. Gives you the extra octave to give more fill, although it’s not really a sound I like that much.

Somewhere after those pedals, I bought the Fender Mustang V2 amp, which let me play around with more options. However for noodling/experimenting, I still much prefer old school pedals.
The amp did let me realise I love a bit fuzz, and more old school analogue effects.

I chanced some cheap pedals courtesy of TomTop-

The Tremolo is actually pretty good, but I can’t remember how the other pedals were. I might have to dig them out and try them again.

Then I discovered ThorpyFX.
First was a Muffroom Cloud (now renamed the Fallout Cloud) that I bought secondhand, which produces a nice harsh fuzz sound.
Then I bought the limited edition Veteran Germanium, which is such a dynamic pedal. It goes all the way from just slightly driven, to flatout fuzz just with changing the guitar volume. Even going from just lightly hitting the strings to really attacking them results in a very noticeable change to the output. And the Germanium seems to give the signal that little bit dirt/noise.

Off course for comparison purposes I also bought a Veteran Silicon when Thorpy discounted them as he was re-designing all the pedals into smaller cases. It’s as good as the germanium version, but I just prefer the roughness/dirt the germanium transistors seem to add.
At the same point, I also bought a Chain Home tremelo. I’ll admit that it’s not really my kind of thing, as I find it quite a harsh/extreme tremolo.

And just to keep my collection of limited edition ThorpyFX pedals complete, I also do a have Boneyard, but I’ve never actually used it :confused:

For more interesting looping, I bought a Digitech Trio+

I’ve never really got beyond the basics, but it’s an interesting pedal.
Select the music style (essentially selects the drum type), play the basic chords over the loop which then auto generates a bass track, then you can loop over the top like a normal looper.
I’ve only ever scratched the surface of it, but you can sequence an entire song on it.

At some point I also managed to get a Korg Miku pedal.

Absolutely bizarre Japanese pedal, which the novelty quickly wore off, so I eventually sold it.

However, for most practise I have a Line6 Amplitude TT.
As much as I love playing with pedals through a good amp, this thing is far better for practise with a set of headphones. I have a few presets for common tones, which removes the distraction from playing with pedals.
Changing effects is pretty easy with the app, but I don’t think I’ve even got the app installed on my current phone. I have considered replacing it, but not sure what I’d actually replace it with, as I like the fact it sits on my desk and I don’t have to reach down to change settings.


That’s quite an adventure, Moray.

Now all we need is to hear you play in #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing (or did I miss that due to the business of that area?)

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Wow Moray. What do you do with all those pedals? With every one you’ve said something along the lines of ‘scratched the surface’ ‘novelty wore off’ ‘not really my thing’ ‘never really got on with it’ etc etc.
Do you actually play or just collect? :smiley:

I’ve slowly been tidying up, so I can get everything reconnected and do some recording.

I’ve also been skimming over the new beginners course, just to refresh my memory and identify what skills have faded since I last done some proper practice. I was thinking I’ll aim to record a song from each module, just to break myself in gently.

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Take up space mostly :roll_eyes:

Pedals are my big weakness.
I like exploring different pedals, as I like the relative simplicity of spinning knobs and flicking switches, but then I realise it’s distracting from proper practice, so I then ignore them.

The Boss pedals were mainly because they were on offer. I wanted the RC3 and AC3, but couldn’t decide what else to try, so thought I’d try something a bit different and grabbed the OC3.

At the time, the Chinese pedals really were cheap, I think I paid about £45 for the three, but the cost of them has jumped up quite a bit. There are some good cheap pedals available, but there are also lots of duds.

The ThorpyFX purchases have been for a mixture of reasons.
Muffroom Cloud was a spur of the moment second hand purchase, as I’d been kind of looking at them, but I wanted the original named one (the name got changed after EHX threatened to sue Thorpy over the use of ‘Muff’).
The Veteran Ge was because it was limited edition, and I really wanted to try a fuzz with old school germanium transistors.
The Chain Home and Veteran Si were because Thorpy was moving to smaller cases, and also discontinuing the Chain Home, so I thought I may as well try them as he was selling them of with a good discount.
And then the Boneyard was solely because it was another limited run.

I do have a big list of other pedals I’d like to try, but I’m trying to avoid spending too much money, especially since I’ve pre-ordered a new guitar :crazy_face:

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Finally got the top of the desk cleared for the first time in quite some time, which made room for this -

AKAI APC Key 25.
One thing I missed last time I did any recording were keys, and sometimes you just want to hit a note and get sound, but I don’t have space for a full size keyboard. This also allows me to hit a pretty big button to start recording, rather than relying on clicking something with the mouse.

Off course before keys, you really need an audio interface to connect to the guitar.

I managed to get it all installed on the computer earlier along with the latest version of Ableton Live Lite, but I still need to find the rest of the guitar cables.
I’ve only got a single 1 metre one just now, so have to keep moving it between whatever I want to use while remembering to unplug the guitar before I move too far, and I’m not sure where I’ve put all the other cables :confused:

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Cables located. Who would have though I would have wound them neatly and placed them on top of my condenser mic box? Certainly not me :confused:

So everything re-connected, and I even managed to remember the basics of Ableton, but not how to attach drums to the midi keyboard :man_shrugging:

Anyway, trial run to see how much I could still manage, resulted in an abbreviated run through of Heroes-

I say abbreviated, because I used the JG tab, but even on the slowest autoscroll setting, the page scrolled too fast, so an occasional line got skipped.
I used my Strat, but listening back I had the drive set a little bit too high, so it’s a bit crunchie on the harder strums.

And for a bit effects testing, a little Avicii intro-

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Enjoyed your playing of Heroes, Moray, the chords sounded clean and good rhythm. And smiled through the further updates as you get yourself all settled back into the groove.

I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.

I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.

Limited edition ThorpyFX Fallout Cloud BC108
I missed this one when it was launched, and have been keeping an eye out for any coming up for sale in the UK. Well one did last week, and at a reasonable price, so it kind of got delivered yesterday…
OMG, it’s rowdy and very dark.
I even dug out my standard Muffroom Cloud (same as a Fallout Cloud) to compare, and the BC108 is just nuts in comparison, and the Fallout isn’t exactly a mild fuzz pedal.

So back to the positive reinforcement lines.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.
I will not buy any more pedals.


:rofl: Keep reciting those lines buddy! :laughing:
Looks like a great pedal though :wink::sunglasses::+1:

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Looks so cool, Mornay.

Pedals can surely be considered a niche line oin modern art. Get the right artist and you could make a mosiac of pedals of something suitable … like your favourite style elecric :sunglasses:

Now as for your mantra, the brain is an interesting thing. When it comes to instructions it responds better to positive commands. You may notice how when you tell a small child not to do something they immediately do it. I’m not saying you are like a small child but when it comes to pedal GAS :laughing:

Perhaps try “I have all the pedals I’ll ever want” … can you even say it :rofl:


I almost have all the pedals I think I’ll ever want.
Just one or two more… :rofl:


I’ve not been around for a while, as work and study have been taking up most of my time lately, so guitars are well down the list of priorities, however I did finally get a delivery of something I ordered in January :slight_smile:

PRS S2 McCarty 594 10th Anniversary in Lake Blue.

Only had about 45minutes on it so far, but I really like it.
It feels so small and light compared to everything else I own, and I am liking the shorter scale.

I’ll hopefully get more time to play it this week, but I’m off to get another assignment finished for now :confused: