Michael B's Learning Log

Hi everyone, I thought I’d start my learning log so I can keep track of my progress as I work through Justin’s courses. I’ve recently started Grade 1, Module 7 but only just joined the community.

As I said in my intro post, I’ve had a few stalled attempts at learning guitar over the years. When I was a teenager I think I was more interested in trying to look cool than actually learning to play the instrument properly :joy: Now I’m almost 50 so time to finally apply myself!

I’ve found Grade 1 to be a great refresher and have learned a lot. One thing I always struggled with was strumming with a plectrum so I took Justin’s advice to use a thin plec and it really helps. Still using the thinnest I’ve got and experimenting with some slightly thicker ones.

I’m hoping to finish Grade 1 in the coming weeks and look forward to what comes next.

I’ll also upload a AVOYP soon. :guitar:


Hello Michael, welcome! I also attempted a few times prior, but this time around I’ve slowed down and made sure to camp out on each module or course before moving on. Justin will have a “You should be able to …” at the end of a course and I suggest you pay attention to that before going beyond it. You will be the better for it in the long run.


Thanks Michael. I’m taking my time with the modules so will definitely make sure I’ve covered everything before I graduate to Level 2. Have a great day! :guitar:

Hi everyone, quick update to my learning log.

Still working through Grade 1 Module 7 - just watched the video on Memorizing Easy Songs. This is something I need to work on as I tend to learn a song, play it a few times, then move on to something else. So I’ll try to pick 4-5 songs I like and focus on them to see if I can commit them to memory.

Also found the lesson on Dynamic Improvements really useful. I’ve done a recording of Country Roads by John Denver which I did prior to watching this video, which I was intending to upload as my first AVOYP. Having watched it back a few times I think I may be repeating the same strum pattern throughout the song - let me know what you think once I’ve posted it.

In other guitar news, I went to the Sunderland Acoustic Guitar Club last week where I met @MAT1953 and funnily enough we played some John Denver tunes, including Country Roads! It was a fun night and I’m looking forward to the next one. I’ve also enjoyed discovering the Grateful Dead thanks to this club - we were doing Ripple, which is such a good song.

I’ll post my recording of County Roads in the Beginner’s Safe Space and any feedback would be gratefully received

That’s all for now. Cheers, Michael


How nice :smiley: :sunglasses: … Let’s hold a fundraising campaign here so that next time you can take a photo of that nice news :roll_eyes::smile: (Which of course also applies to your colleague … although we occasionally see a video of him :sunglasses:)
Have fun… :smiley:
Greetings ,Rogier


Sunday evening update

Just been working on a couple of my songs to commit to memory.

1 Wagon Wheel - I’m a relative newcomer to this song but I gather it divides opinion. Some love it, some hate it. Or as we might say in the UK, it’s a bit like Marmite. Well I love Marmite. And i love Wagon Wheel.

I used to play it when I was in the band playing bass and I was only familiar with Darius Rucker’s version. Since then I’ve discovered Old Crow Medicine Show and learned the history of the song and how it was co-written by OCMS and Bob Dylan - I won’t go into the full history as I’m sure many people know it already. But if you don’t, it’s worth a Google.

2 Knocking on Heaven’s Door - this fits well with Wagon Wheel as I believe it’s from the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack and Dylan’s demo of Wagon Wheel is from the same sessions. I’ve always been more familiar with GnR’s version but decided to go back to the source. it’s just a great song and Justin did a great lesson for it.

3 Country Roads - just because I already learned it so might as well try to keep it in the repertoire. It’s a great singalong tune which most people are familiar with.

To be continued

Long gap between entries - life getting in the way.

I added Brown Eyed Girl and The One I Love to my 5 songs to memorize repertoire. I haven’t done an AVOYP of these…yet.

Also, I moved onto Grade 2 and I’m gradually working through module 8. I’ve picked a few Grade 2 songs to work on. I’ve been working on Only Love Can Break Your Heart as it’s a favourite of mine.

I went to guitar club again last week which was great. We’re working on some Abba songs for a performance in April that the club have been asked to do. Also still working on Ripple by the Grateful Dead.


Your journey is similar to mine also, starting and stopping several times and finally giving it a proper go aged around 50. Getting the right pick was huge for me too. I’d previously played with thick, inflexible ones that aren’t the greatest to learn strumming with. This time I started with a 0.46mm pick which was super bendy but really good for learning and now use 0.6mm which is a little better for picking single notes.

Sounds like the local guitar club will be really good for motivation. Nice work with your progress so far

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Michael @MichaelBrabs
Don’t worry about the intervals between LL most peoples vary. You seem to making steady progress. Looking forward to the new AVOYP of next few songs. I would imagine most people will have Brown Eyed Girl in that list to play from memory, I do.

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