Sarahsus2's Learning Log

I’ve always loved music and going to concerts. I like many different genres of music and it’s not unusual for me to have artists like Metallica, Adele, The Beatles and Dua Lipa all on the same playlist.

I have had a few starts and stops throughout the years trying to learn to play the guitar, including a couple of unfinished attempts at Justin’s Beginner Course in the last five years. A few months ago, I picked it up again as I really wanted to play and sing Happy Birthday for my granddaughter’s upcoming birthday. I followed along with Justin’s Happy Birthday for Beginner’s lesson and was able to play it for her. I’m currently at Grade 2 Module 9 (The F Chord) of the Beginner’s Course but have really been taking the time to go back through some of the songs from the earlier modules now that I have started to sing while playing.

Short term goals:

  1. I’m currently practicing a couple of songs with the B7 chord in them. I would like to be able to make it through the songs where the chord changes to B7 are smooth and don’t disrupt the rhythm of the song.

  2. I’m also currently practicing a few songs with a bit more complicated strumming patterns and singing at the same time. I would like to be able to play and sing these songs from beginning to end. Getting very close on a few of them!

  3. To become a ‘campfire guitarist’. I would like to have around 10 songs that are pretty much memorized that I can play and sing from start to finish.

  4. To finish and have the Beginner’s Course consolidated by June 2022.

Long term goals:

  1. The F barre chord - kind of the same as the B7 chord in my short term goals. It feels like it is going to take a very long time to play the F barre smoothly in a song.

  2. I would like to learn how to improvise. To be able to turn on a backing track and know what to play and understand why it all works together.

  3. Write some songs.

My guitars. The acoustic is a Fender CP-100 and the electric is a Fender Squier Classic Vibe 60’s Strat. I also have a small Peavey Vypyr modeling amp.

I posted my first video in the AVOYP section 1/08/2022 : First video posted in AVOYP - I Walk The Line 1/08/2022

This was the first song that I was able to play and sing at the same time from beginning to end. This was a big step for me as before this no one had really heard me play besides a few family members.


All looks great Sarah, you have set out some nice goals there, you have lovely guitars - nothing else left but to rock :guitar:

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@adi_mrok absolutely, I really need to explore the effects on my amp more!

You have a good solid plan for the short and long term.
If I can offer one tip, is not to forget to have time each week having fun on the guitar (could be improvising, writing songs or just playing the songs that you know).
Good luck with your goals.

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Good plan, Sarah, and you are doing well.

One thought about target dates, that is my own personal experience, but perhaps helpful.

Many people advocate setting target dates, as you did for completing Gr2 by June.

That may or may not be realistic. I guess it would depend on how fast you learn and achieve reasonable performance level on what is taught, combined with how much time you have to practice, and how regular you practice.

So I have never bothered with setting any target dates. I set direction and mini-goals, much as you have done around playing a song smoothly with B7 (I set myself the same goal and picked Killing Me Softly and Dock of the Bay as my two songs to learn, record and share to be my criteria to achieve before moving to the next lesson.

More recently I have thought more about defining what I’d like my practice habits to be … when, duration, frequency, and how to use the time. I am trying to be more deliberate about that. And I figure if I am, then my rate of progress and when I achieve the mini-goals I am working towards will just be and without changing habits, just something to accept.

As I say, that’s the way I think about it, and not suggesting there is anything ‘wrong’ with your goals. Most important is to have direction, aspiration, and goals.

Enjoy the adventure, day by day!

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Hi Sarah, it was really good to watch and hear you play and sing. It is very inspiring for new beginners like me.

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@R.F.W hi Rob, thank you for the tip! Remembering that having fun is why I started playing guitar is something I need to remind myself sometimes. I think that is why I stopped playing before because I became overwhelmed with all I wanted to learn and didn’t have fun.

@DavidP thank you for the advice and encouragement, David. I did hesitate a little to put that date of June for completing Grade 2 by for the reasons you mentioned. Remembering to enjoy the adventure and the progress, no matter how small is something I am working on!

@swashata hi swashata, thank you for watching and listening. I’m so glad it is inspiring to you!

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