Radek’s Learning Log

Thanks David! :slight_smile:

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I was so happy to see you say that Radek, its straight out of my Acoustic Blues playbook and applies to the last 6 tracks. My head knows what to do my fingers don’t !! Really enjoyed this one even though I am not a festive person these days. Sounded good and delicately played. As for the Rohan theme ? Bring it on !!


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Ulli Bögershausen (German fingerstyle legend) comments that for him learning a new piece takes few months. This said by the person who played fingerstyle entire life gives some perspective what to expect and why to not be so critical about our progress. Some pieces can be learned in the span of few weeks but some will take years, I have few pieces that I practiced longer then 2 years and are still in no shape to be recorded.

Thanks Toby, glad you liked it. The tabs looked innocent and simple but this repeatable stretch 1-4 was giving me some problems (now I’m practicing something with 1-5 stretch :sweat_smile:).

Working on it every day, still bit rough around the edges :neutral_face:.

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December 2023 update

It’s been over a month since the last update.

I think due to the monotony and my impression of lack of progress with the long/mid term songs I thought about dropping whole guitar hobby and walking away. It is hard to accept my own limitation, the effort of producing something of decent quality is always great, my dream to just pick the guitar and play something “nice” in one go is just out of reach.

Easy classical challenge made me aware what I can do and what I cannot, I can play simple classical arrangements but comparing it with level 2 pieces - it is a very long way to go.

Plans for the next year, record most of the long/mid term songs, maybe start the new challenge, improve ever failing accuracy, accept my own limitations due to starting fingerstyle late in life and stop setting unrealistic goals.

Will I be still playing about the same time next year is still open question, I’ll keep going until I no longer can find motivation.

And finally, challenge no 10, Waltz in E Major. I enjoyed it’s little dynamics, managed to record in the new reality of no long fingernails and took more time to smooth it out ignoring previously set time limit of four weeks per piece.

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January 2024 update

A whole month just flew by but it was a busy one. I refocused and reorganised my practice sessions, I removed all previous distractions (YouTube channels running in the background, partly finished songs, fingerstyle exercises etc.) and left bare minimum, warm up and spider exercise, everything else is song practice. I realised I took way too much than I can carry, it was pulling me down and making my sessions really tiring. This resulted in shorter daily practice, now they are between 2 and 2.5 h each and I’m taking one day off monthly (apart from standard Friday’s off days). This helps me to keep a more sustainable approach to my playing.

Small gear update, I got guitar support for Christmas. It is Ergoplay Model Michael Tröster and I like it quite much. It helped me to get rid of my back pain which was quite severe due to working hours and long practice sessions afterwards. It requires some adjusting and experimentation, I can’t say I have found the best setting yet but I keep trying.

I started growing back my fingernails but kept them and minimal practical length (about 1 mm). I had too many dead notes to ignore it. Not looking for the previous dracula’s nails, very impractical in my case.

Recording wise it was a good month, two videos released, one from my daily practice list and one from the classical challenge. The challenge is almost finished, one more song to go but I must say I quite like classical pieces and will be coming back from time to time. This year I would like to play more movie themes and pop songs.

As for the January recordings, “Indiana Jones” proved to be challenging due to my imperfect left hand index finger angle, small F barre was very often coming up muddy. In general I think I could play it slower too. “Scarborough Fair” is so far my favourite from the challenge list, I took extra time practising it and the whole recording took me about 2h. Not entirely happy with the pace here and there, pauses could have been better too. But this one is a keeper and I’ll be practising it on a regular basis.


Hi Radek! Great to read about your updates! Take it a bit easy on yourself, you are doing great =]

I learn this from Andy Mckee (pretty recently :rofl:) You could think of those alternating bass notes as metronome, and I think it could help to improve your time feel significantly.
Felt a bit stupid to ask this, what is your goal of learning classical arrangements on guitar thou?

Thanks for your sharing Radek!

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And in a while you will record another video and enjoy the progress :smiley:… but it is certainly nice to listen to for now also Radek :sunglasses: :clap:

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Thanks Vincent, I’m learning the hard way what to do and what to avoid efficiency wise.

Thanks, interesting concept, I’ll try to keep it in mind. :slight_smile:

There are no stupid questions :slight_smile:. This whole adventure suppose to educate me musically and generally improve my playing consistency and accuracy. I think it did just this, to certain degree, plus I discovered many wonderful melodies and set long term goals, learn to play Asturias for example :slight_smile: . The course I follow is ranked 1 star, now after almost completing it I feel more confident and can take on 2 star songs slightly more relaxed.

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Thank you Roger, I did enjoy the learning process but recording is a different story :sweat_smile:. I really hope, at some point and many years from now, this uptight look will be gone.

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It’s been a long time since I recorded any short on my YouTube. But here it is, a fragment from the in progress song, “Way Back Home” by Korean musician and composer Shaun.


Sounding terrific Radek, I’m already looking forward to your finished piece :+1:

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Thank you Mark. This is still very much work in progress due to the length of the entire piece. I learned it a long time ago but now I’m slowing it down to practical speed with as few as possible mistakes :).

Classical challenge is over, it was actually over in February. I think it is time now for the long overdue summary. I started this series of recordings to learn more about classical music and to record more regularly. I always feel anxiety when recording so I thought it would help me to minimise this problem by frequent practice. And lastly, I hoped that it would ease the process of learning other new pieces.

I started with essential pieces prescribed by SkyGuitar on his YouTube channel. Level 1 pieces looked approachable and easy to learn. And they actually were what I expected them to be. The difficulty increased towards the end of the course but it was all within reach.

The entire journey lasted 14 months, it ensured routine and was generally entertaining. Last two pieces, “Scarborough Fair” and “Andantino in G Major” were actually challenging. The problems were the same as with the other pieces, accuracy and speed. But persistence pays off, sometimes you’ll need extra practice time to get where you want to be.

To summarise, was it worth it? Subjectively yes, it was worth it because I started practising my core songs differently and more efficiently. It is not a game changer though, it helps accuracy and maintaining the pace, subconsciously makes alternate fingerpicking more natural to use and can potentially raise the interest in classical music.

So here are the all 12 pieces that were recorded over the time of this challenge. They vary in performance quality, some sound better then the other. All was recorded with the same guitar and the same recording setup apart from the fact that at the end I started using guitar support.

The order of the videos is from newest to oldest.



Fantastic demonstartion of your learning and some superb playing: the Waltz in Emajor and Etude in C Major are particularly well played. The two latest pieces suffer a little, I think, from the change in your playing position. You look and sound more confortable in all the pieces where you have the guitar in the non-classical position.

Very enjoayable! Well done!


Thank you Brian. True, I did switch the position towards the end of this series and it was uncomfortable for a while. Now after over 6 months it feels very natural and most importantly, it puts less stress on my back which helps long practice hours.

Bravo Radek. I enjoyed following your progress over that period.

What is next for you?

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Thanks David. The next thing is the same thing that made me play the guitar in the first place, movie and TV series soundtracks, plus a couple of side projects that can be classified as acoustic metal. My recordings usually slow down during the summer due to the noise outside and temperatures but if I have a chance I’ll try to publish something new.

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First recording of the new cinematic series. I can’t even recall for how long I was practising it but it must be well over a year. It came out a bit shaky towards the end but in general I’m happy with the result. I applied some learnings from the classical challenge (alternate fingerpicking), the reach and accuracy of the small finger also improved over the past year.

Right now in Sweden we are experiencing nearly record temperatures. The temperature during the practice session exceeds 27 C, recording in such conditions is next to impossible. I hope to continue the series after the temperature drops to acceptable levels.


Wow, beautiful Radek,
:sunglasses: :clap: :clap: :clap:

I can imagine that it took a while to learn :sweat_smile:,

And what terrible temperatures you have there too. I’m typing this with almost 29c outside and next to me in the house the thermometer is at 27.8 … I’ll spare everyone the details, but I’m sweating a bit and the guitar is no longer hanging on me after a short practice session this morning,

:cup_with_straw: :ice_cube: :ice_cube: :ice_cube:

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Thank you Rogier.
Yes, the temperature, I would never guess that it can get into the way. It also takes away any enthusiasm to record anything. Yesterday it was an absolute record, 28 C. It felt like I was practising in an oven. But there is a hope, the rain is coming and there should be a significant drop in the temperature.

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