Sclay's Learning Log

Thought it was a good opportunity to start a Roadcase on this great new forum. Well done all - splendid work. Also gives me somewhere to put some of my posts i wanted to port from the old forum.
Won’t bore you you with my life story just yet. Will allow your suffering to await a later date.
Basically, been here 17 months, going along OK. Had some prior very basic experience - some cowboy chords - with anything past the third fret being foreign soil. Anyway, that’s all slowly changing now, thanks to a bit of commitment, a great learning environment from Justin, and the terrific bunch of folks, (and sundry oddballs) on here. - many of whom are very talented musicians who give so freely of their time and expertise to help others along like me.
The following 4 posts will be just stuff I wanted from the old forum.
Cheers for now,


Originally posted 20 August 2021

1 Year with Justin

Thought I’d come out from under the mushrooms in the back garden and say hello. Many tremendously generous and knowledgeable people in this community who have helped me out in ways they’ll never know. I felt its time to become a little more active, and necessarily vulnerable, in this community after a year of being a bit of a lone wolf.

Found Justin Guitar 13 months ago, after picking up the guitar again following many years of noodling around on and off with cowboys chords, then getting frustrated when I couldn’t play songs I wanted to. Then life got in the way, and well, you know the rest of that story.

The journey this last year has been on the whole, incredible for me. Above all, I’ve found the love of music. I’ve been lucky enough to have had the time to dedicate an hour a day for dedicated practice. I started at lesson 1 of the Beginner Course to ensure I covered everything. I’m now on the final module of the Beginners course (Blues Studies), and then moving onto the Intermediate modules. I also began Justin’s Practical Music Theory course at the same time. I can’t speak highly enough of this theory course. It has been the game changer for me. As the name suggests, it is intensively practical, and will transform your musical understanding and guitar playing.
I’m about to start Grade 5, and now have solid foundational skills on the fretboard, intervals, keys, chord structure etc. It has been very liberating.

I always used to wonder, in amazement, at how guitarists learnt all those chords and scale patterns. Now I know they don’t. They’ve learnt the internal structure that is the foundation for all of it. It’s very empowering to see a chord, a progression, or a scale etc, and not fear it, because you’ve gained some understanding of how its built. Getting it under your fingers sometimes, ( or sometimes often!) can be frustrating, but the understanding itself drives momentum. For anyone new here, or relatively new like me, who really wants to accelerate their journey, do yourself a favour and check out this theory course. I guarantee you’ll look back in a year and thank yourself. Also a quick mention of Justin’s Strumming Techniques 1&2. Brilliant little course. Completely transformed my strumming, and understanding of rhythm.

Now, in case you may think its all been a bed of roses all year, you’re mistaken. At times, it’s been extremely frustrating transferring what I know in my head to the fretboard. At other times, self pity and regret when I think about first picking up a guitar at 8 years old, and the whatifs if I had continued on. And the many other times I’ve picked it up for a month or two, all gung ho. However, my commitment to guitar now, these courses, together with this wonderful community, is all that matters. I want to thank you all for that. It has had an impact on my life far beyond music. It is priceless.

Now I’m no great guitarist. I call myself an advancing beginner, but I’m several steps forward from where I was a year ago. I play acoustic and electric. Just working up the courage to soon post up a video of me playing, and get that fear crap out of the way. I know the feedback will be enormously beneficial. I’ve rambled on long enough, but I can’t finish without mentioning the man behind it all. A man I’ve never met and probably never will ( even though we’re both Aussies). Thank you Justin Sandercoe for sharing your gift with me, not just with your expert tuition, but your personable manner, and incredible depth of delivery. A special kind of human being.

P.S. My adult niece visited a few months ago from interstate, and mentioned how much my guitar playing had improved. She noodles around on guitar a bit. I told her about my study and about Justin being from Tasmania originally. She perked up and said, that sounds familiar. I was flying back to Tasmania a few years ago, and sat next to a lovely guy, I’m sure his name was Justin. He said he now lived in the UK, and taught guitar online. Lovely bloke she said. Small world eh?


Originally Posted 16 October

First AVOYP - Hurt So Good playalong

Finally taken the plunge to upload. Should’ve done it ages ago, but here we are 15 months in. Nerves showin’ through, but its done, thankfully. Sorry, the sound quality is less than perfect - done through a tablet mic.

Just bought a semi-decent USB mic - not quite got it worked out and setup soundwise yet.

Appreciate any input and suggestions on technique issues, improvement path etc…

Regards, Shane.


Enjoyed re-reading your RC, Shane, and am reminded of the recordings you’ve shared.

Especially enjoyed remembering that story about your niece meeting Justin and my reply … never say never :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Hey Shane, good on you mate for starting up your RC. I’m looking forward to the day you step up to the mic for a forum OM.

@DavidP @batwoman

Thanks for the good vibes. Great new site isn’t it?

I would have replied much sooner but I’ve been in Community jail for the last 9 hrs. Guilty as charged of over-posting on Day 1 in the Community. I’m now fully rehabilitated and ready to be a good citizen.

Looking forward to your next performances.

Cheers, Shane

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Shane, there’s a limit in your first 24 hours, a spammer containment measure. You should now be able to post to your heart’s content, without fear of incurring a lock-out. At least I haven’t bumped into a limit since then and I am probably an equally over zealous poster

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Shane got done for speeding on the spam count shame on you :rofl:

Seriously good write and great synopsis. How many of use share a similar on off journey of years or even decades, then turn up here, have our molo dialled up to 12 and suddenly start making serious progress. Looking forward to hearing more recordings and more progress reports.

Good to have you here sir.



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Yeah thanks Toby

Seems to be a common theme here. An older crowd who found the holy grail of sorts here at Justin Guitar, after noodling around going nowhere previously.

I suppose some just have more time - retired, kids grown up and moved out, fulfilling their bucket list etc. Whatever it is, there’s certainly a bit of magic here.

Incidentally, our three 20-something year olds are all still at home. Any idea on how to get rid of 'em? I’m happy to love ‘em once a week now. Plus I wanna start chasin’ the wife around the house again

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Hey David.
Yeah I was aware of the ant-spam feture. So I suppose you could say I knowingly broke the law. All should be sweet now.

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Haven’t got a scooby on that one. Mines looking like a boomerang family. My 40+ yr old daughter and 17 yr Goth grand daughter want to up sticks in the UK at some stage and follow us to France. Quite literally, as they have decided they want to live with us permanently ! It goes away but just comes back, sound familiar ! :boom: er :bell: Boom er Rang (bell) Yey DYI emojis !


Originally posted 18 October 2021

Improv over C Major

Been seeing and reading alot about improvisation on here lately - a goldmine of talent, inspiration and great info.
Been havin a go myself the last few months, mainly following Justin’s guidance, using G Major, and trying a few things out in other keys. Torturous the first several weeks or so, but feel like Im startin to take some small steps.

Anyway, this ones in C Major, as thats my key for the last weeks practice.
Have come up with a home base of sorts, and just trying to branch out from there.
Early doors yet, but Im havin a lot of fun with it.


Originally posted 18 October 2021

First foray into DAWS - Wish You Were Here intro/solo

Took my first plunge into DAW-world tonight. Lot of fun. Been avoiding it up till now due to the risk of becoming too involved with it too early in my journey. I know what I’m like with shiny new things.
Felt it’s time now though to have a go. Just using a USB mic, and Audacity, and finding my way around.
2 tracks. Intro/solo, on a dreadnought acoustic. Making some progress on this iconic song, one of my all time favourites - long way to go though before I even get in the same universe as Pink Floyd.
Nearly impossible to get the correct pitch on a couple if those bends, with 12 gauge strings. Might try recording it on the electric sometime soon.

Anyway had a lot fun. Thanks for any tips on DAWS, or how I can progress with this great tune.

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Belated Introduction

Thought I might give a quick introduction in this log to give my entries a bit of perspective. Nothing remarkable, but it is my story.

First picked up a guitar in primary school, learnt a few chords. Went by the wayside in my teens and my adult life, as study, career, family, and sport took centre stage. Picked the guitar up 3-4 times since, over the last 30 years, never more than for a couple of months here and there. Always became too frustrated not being able to play the songs I wanted. Looking back, what more could I have expected? Knowing 8-10 basic open chords, and not actually practicing guitar. Not really a recipe for success. Anyway, it is what it is. There’s no value in regretfully revisiting the past.

Fast forward to around June 2020, age 52. Life a lot less busy, kids grown up ( still at home though. How do you get rid of them?) Decided to have another go, with the mindset of starting from absolute scratch, and actually learning how to play guitar. I made a solid 1 year commitment to myself to find a teaching method that I would follow diligently.

Luckily, I eventually found Justin Guitar around July 2020. Read some good things about it, liked his ethos, and if I’m being honest, being essentially free, it gave me a chance to test it out without financial commitment. The upshot? I’ve never looked back.

Being a very structured, organised type of person, I started a book, with notes on every lesson. I also started the Practical Music Theory course early on, again with a book notating every lesson. These have become invaluable tools for me in the last 18 months. The theory course for me has been a real game changer. It has allowed me to become more connected to what I’m learning and doing on the guitar, and the mathematical, logical structures I 've discovered so far are right up my alley.
I also have also studied Justin’s RUST strumming/ rhythm course. This is a brilliant course, and it transformed my strumming and feel for rhythm over a few months. After 18 months, I’m starting to realise that rhythm is king in music. You can get away with the odd dud note or chord here and there, but if there’s no rhythm, there’s no music.

My practice routine is 1 hr a day, very structured and focused. Presently it focuses on barre chords, triads, scales, and improvising. I’m also regularly working on improving my technique, trying to become cleaner and tighter with my playing. And of course, learning songs,songs,songs. Frustrating at times, but making progress. Would like to introduce singing to my playing this year. Will see how I go.

This great community has been invaluable for me. The encouragement, the sage advice, the differing perspectives have all contributed to me staying on the path thus far. After all, what is music without people? And what a tremendous bunch we have here. Teaching me not only about music, but a bit about life as well.

Early days yet, but I feel like I’m really locked into the journey now. A world of improvement to come, but boy, sometimes I catch myself smiling at how far I’ve come so far.

Cheers, Shane


Nicely played! You’re right in the groove, you say you’re nervous but you seem just the right amount of ‘loose’ for this great song. And I can’t believe it’s 40 years old wow I must be getting old!!! No real input from me, my only thought is to bring the attitude a bit more on the stops.

Jack and Diane next maybe?? :smiley:

That’s awesome, Shane, no point if you’re not having fun :smiley:

Thanks Mari,

Yep, I actually know Jack n Dianne. Got it to a reasonable level, but still needs some work. Great tune. Always brings back memories of my teens. Full of cool little triads too.

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Another timewarp sorted. Good to see your back story and great that you now have to time to be more focused. A handful of chords and can’t play songs, like you back then I expected them to just flow ! Hah did they not and I gave up at least twice a year, every other year for so so long ! For you its another case of right time right place. Looking forward to seeing your progress.



About time for an update.

Plugging along with daily structured practice. Main focus areas are still scales, barre chords, triads, and improv. Just added arpeggios to the practice routine about a month ago, and they’re coming along OK. Also continually working on technique, and trying to get cleaner and more accurate. And of course, learning songs, songs, songs.
Still working slowly through the start of Justins Intermediate course, and his Practical Music Theory course. Going to really take it steady on these this year, as I’ve got a lot to work on and develop without moving ahead too quickly.

Improvisation is starting to come along nicely, and am having alot of fun with it. Looking back over the last year, I’m glad I’ve invested so heavily in the Major scale, the CAGED system and triads, as I feel they’ve really assisted me greatly across all areas of new learning and playing.
On the song front, one of the songs I’m learning atm is an all time favourite by America - Sister Golden Hair - a cracking tune that is a real barre chord workout with a push rhythm, so a great teaching tool as well. Great fun to (attempt) to play. Here’s where I am atm with it. Would appreciate any feedback on how I can develop this, any technique issues etc. I’ve played it a bit better, (and a lot worse), so this is probably an average take. Its a playalong with no singing on my part, which is a blessing to you all. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

That’ll do for me. Thank you to the many people here who are helping me along in this fun journey.


Thanks for the update, Shane, love to read about people’s progress.

Now how’s about some AVOYP recordings of some improvs?

Love that song by America and you seem to have it nailed.

Maybe next time turn the backing down a bit so we can hear your play more obviously.

The only thing I noticed was the angle of your wrist at times. Looked to have a significant degree of bend. Not necessarily an issue, and could even be more camera angle than actuality. Perhaps take a look at the video and then take zero in on that next time you are playing the song, and if necessary consider small adjustments.

Keep doing doing what you are doing, inspiring!