NCGuitarNewbie Learning Log

Started 3/13/2022 with the most embarrassing start! I was tuning my fender cd-60s acoustic guitar for the first time and was tightening the wrong nut (to the one I was playing) and broke the G string. The upside is I got a lesson on how to take off a broken string and put on a new one.

Started with fender play since I have free months, but found justins app and started using it on day 2. First week fingers were sore and constantly muting the high E string when playing the D chord, but finished module 1 and gradually increased a to d chord changes to low 20s.

Now in week 2, and yesterday got to 30 chord changes and progressed to module 2. Calluses are starting to form on 1st-3rd fingers, originally could only play about 15-20min before needing break, now play about 30-40min before needing break. Still muting high E string on D chord often with changes, but can easily get it when doing chord perfect practice, so hopefully will come together soon. Did my first E chord one min changes and got about 16 for both a to e and d to e.

Since I have fender play free for now I do some of their lessons to change it up during the day, but Justin’s app is my main teaching guide that I am following daily. Right now averaging practicing 1 hour a day broken into 2-3 sessions. Until next time…


Good start to your Learning Log, NC, keep at it and you will sort out the issues with the D chord and soon enough be playing songs that use A D E chords. Just take it slow and steady.

Welcome NC. It sounds like you’re making good progress. Keep at it and you’ll soon get your D chord sounding good.
A week to complete module one sounds pretty fast to me. Don’t rush things, one week to learn A,D and E is quick.

Good to have you here NC. I think most of us have broken a guitar string in ways that make us wince. I have.

Thanks all for the comments. I agree I moved a little quick from module 1 to module 2, just needed a little variety. I think some of the lessons in module 2 are good to do at same time as module 1 (like the ones on strumming). I plan to continue the full time on practices from module 1 along with doing module 2 practices, probably will be on module 2 for a bit and will review all lessons from both modules before going to module 3.

That sounds like a smart plan, NC, blending enough variety with sufficient practice time to ensure one stays engaged is a good thing. Once you have the chords reasonably well mastered then learning songs also helps keep the fun levels high.

Good start to your log NC.
If you’re using the app, its strengths are in the play-along song feature.
It has lessons to grade 2 of course.
note that the website (which is free) has those lessons and much, much more.
I would strongly recommend you familiarise yourself with the website too.
It also features Nitsuj - in which you can watch a beginner using Justin’s beginner course to learn guitar taking his first, painful steps to learn to play. Nitsuj Grade 1 Practice |

Welcome NC, and great start to your learning log.

That’s a great bit of advice from @Richard_close2u to familiarise yourself with the website. I wished that I had that I had done that at the start.

The lessons on the website have some good textual information to support the videos. I found it good to go through the lesson on the app and then a refresher using the website lessons.

It’s also worth checking out the websites my practice assistant on your dashboard. When you complete the lessons on the website and click generate practice routine, it builds the routine for you. With the application, I found that it missed a couple of the practice routine elements as I progressed through the course. But the play along song bit of the application is where you get real benefit from and lots of fun.

All the best with your guitar journey.

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Sounds like you’ve made a good start on your guitar journey. Look on the learning modules as things happening in parallel. Phase 1 - Watch and understand the lessons. Make sure you understand what you are supposed to do Phase 2 - Practice and implement those lessons. Go through the suggesting practice routines. Measure your improvment. Phase 3 - consolidate and songs. Can you now do what was taught in Phase 1 and can you implement them into songs (even if it’s a bit rough to start with).

Phase 1 doesn’t take that long but Phase 2 and 3 will take a lot longer…if you rush those phases too quickly then the amount you have to practice and consolidate will get too much over time and you wont make the progress you expect. Nothing wrong in “reading ahead” to the next module and starting that Phase 2 part but just remember to keep practicing and consolidating the previous modules so that over time you really do get better.

Absolutely, phase 1 for both modules does not take much time, but I still plan to go back and watch them again because there are tiny tips that may not sink in when you are trying to focus on other things the first time around. Phase 2 I spend the most time on and track progress, but I also attempt songs (phase 3) daily for fun and to assess how easily I am able to apply what I learned in phase 2 and work on timing. Currently doing around 80-100bpm songs, any faster is too difficult for me at this point. Three little birds will probably be my main practice song since it is mostly a/d with a little e mixed in, and I like the song.

Will definitely look at the text on the website that adds to the lessons as well.

Terrific start @NCGuitarNewbie and this comment from you is the absolute key to it all. Justin’s pointed out in a number of videos that this is the whole reason we want to learn guitar, to play songs, not to play scales! So enjoy doing that and hearing your progress in actual songs, it’s the most rewarding element.

I also combine the website tutorials with the app, in fact I prefer doing the modules and setting my practice routing on the website and use the app only for songs now. Having said that, the OMC interface on the app is one of it’s most useful features.

Good luck!

Week 2 finished, and the start of week 3 today! I went back through and rewatched all of module 0-2 to pick up any bits missed the first time through. I am at the practicing point of module 2 before moving on to module 3. Chord perfects going well, often having it right on the first try (although with practicing off and back on, don’t get it perfect every time). One min changes around 33 for a to d and 22 for both a to e and d to e. Often overshoot some of the finger placements moving from one to the next when trying to do the one min changes. Can do the peter Gunn riff decently now after having 3-4 module 2 practice sessions. Was playing about little more than 1 hr a day since I had time off, but back to more normal 20-30min today starting tomorrow.

For songs, if I strum only on 1, I am doing OK at the chord changes for slower songs like three little birds since I can leave the chord at 3 to change, but if I do the strumming pattern of strumming on every beat, difficult for me to make the change between 4 and 1 beat.

As suggested, I moved to the website for tracking and just use the app for songs. Calluses continuing to develop, still have little bit of finger pain while playing (much less), but is gone once I stop. Still getting used to the reduced sensation on top of the calluses with other aspects of life, mostly just an odd feeling.

Will continue practice in module 2 for now, until next time…

All sounds like you are doing great and right on track, NC. Keep doing what you are doing and it will all keep improving.

You may want to consider making some practice videos. For example, make a quick phone recording of you playing the Peter Gunn, share it here, and get feedback and encouragement. This can close the gap of self-learning from Justin’s lessons that doesn’t provide teacher feedback to pick up anything where you may need slight modifications to what you are doing.

Thanks all for the encouragement. I may make practice videos in the future. Getting close to 1 month in, last week only able to practice twice due to work, but got in 5 practices so far this week!

Got between 30-40 changes for a, e, and d chords. Doing okay with module 1 songs, but still having transition issues with module 2 songs trying to strum the 4th beat and then chord change in time for 1. D chord giving me the most trouble during changes because I still need to put down the second and third finger one at a time rather than together. I also seem to not always push straight down with my third finger and mute the first string when trying to transition quick enough.

I did decide yesterday to watch module 3, and plan to practice both module 2 and module 3’s practice items for awhile. I am noticing when i move my fingers up and down the fretboard I get a screeching sound, especially with seven nation army. I notice nitsuj practice has the same screetching sound for seven nation army, i guess the eventual goal is to pick up the index finger rather than sliding?

Until next time…

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