Rider's Learning Log

Like many here, this is my second try at learning guitar. The first time was in my mid 20’s nearly 30 years ago. It was a rather short stint and I had given it up in 6 or 12 months. In 2020 I decided to try again and within just a few weeks I knew that I had a hobby that would last for as long as I can play.

I found Justin Guitar in 2020, jumped in at Grade 1, Lesson 1 and have been plugging away ever since. I am not always as disciplined as I should be in formal practice, but I do play every day usually for an hour or more.

My favorite bands include Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Dave Mathews Band, and the Grateful Dead.

I have one acoustic guitar and one electric and I try to play them both almost every day. I find that each of them challenges me in different ways and practicing with both of them has helped me to become a more well-rounded player.

My long term goals are:

  1. Continue to enjoy playing guitar and improving.
  2. Develop my ear and technical abilities so I can think of music in my mind and translate it into music coming out of my guitar.
  3. Find a group of people that I can play with regularly so I can get more enjoyment and enrichment from playing guitar.

I’ll add a bit of a timeline to track my progress and then add to it over time:

January 2020 - Bought a Fender Strat that came with Fender’s online lesson program and started working through lessons.

September 2020 - Found Justin Guitar and started from scratch again. Super pleased to have such a great teacher and structured lesson plan.

January 2021 - started Grade 2

February 2022 - Grade 2 consolidation, Joined new Justin Guitar community, uploaded first videos:

Hello from Seattle

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here practice

Grateful Dead - Ripple chord strumming

July 2022 - added my acoustic guitar to my kit and found that I almost had to start over to learn how to play it. I had a big challenge in relearning how to strum in a way that didn’t sound like I was beating my guitar.

Starting over on Acoustic

February 2023 - took in person private lessons to try to get some direct feedback and coaching. My instructor was a nice guy and a great musician, but he had no business being a teacher. Ended lessons after three months.

June 2023 - started Justin’s strumming SOS course and finally started to tame my acoustic guitar.

October 2023 - finally moving on from Grade 3 and able to do almost everything covered so far on both acoustic and electric. Started Grade 4 and found that i already had a pretty good head start on a lot of the material because of things I learned to play specific songs, but happy to have it all put in context by Justin and very happy to feel like I was learning again after what felt like a very long time developing skills in Grade 3.

December 2023 - Started practical music theory course. Finally was able to reliably use my looper to record simple chord rhythms. Proceeded to spend hours at a time noodling through the major scale.

March 2024 - I’ve been messing around with signing ever since I got my acoustic guitar. I finally sat down to make some honest attempts at getting good recording of full songs with vocals. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out but I also feel like they all sound the same. I need to figure out how to add more dynamics to both my playing and my singing.

Grateful Dead - Loser cover

Grateful Dead - Standing on the Moon cover

Currently working on:
Grade 4, improvising with the major Scale.
Practical Music Theory Grade 2
Strumming SOS Grade 2


Nice start to your LL Rob, you should certainly be pleased with your progress this time around :slight_smile: