Shawn's Learning Log


Making great progress Shawn. Great video!

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Thanks Eddie, I appreciate it!

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I couldn’t help but get a little festive. Been practicing stuff that should well & truly annoy my family during the surprise live performance in mum’s living room in a couple weeks time. :grin:


Youre doing a cracking job. Pretty damn good for the time spent . (Where did you get the backing from) ? Edit--- think ive found them.

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Shawn, I’ve looked at a few of your videos and have to say that you are making great progress for the amount of time that you have been learning. I’ll will look for your 6 month and 1 years videos.

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Thanks so much! Hoping you’ve sussed out the backing tracks now as you say you found them…? I use the Justin Guitar app… find them super useful & well worth the cost & good to give back a little considering all the amazing free content the fella has put out there for us!

Thanks Steve, very generous of you… onwards & upwards, looking forward to hitting those milestones as well!

Short snappy update as I come to the end of my consolidation phase after completing grade one… bigger & newer things to come in the next week or so of course!

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Great video update, Shawn. Lovely to see the progress from the 77bpm to 128bpm renditions.

Your strumming is looking pretty good. I think you are nailing that blend of wrist and arm movement, and irrespective of what you say, it looks pretty relaxed.

As you ramp up the learning in grade 2, remember to set aside time to continue to practice your songs that use grade 1 chords and technique. In time I’d suggest you wean yourself off the app for those songs, initially maybe with just a metronome, and later solo.

I forget your position re singing and playing, if that is an aim, then you could start working at that on one or two of those songs.

Keep on keeping on!

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Cheers David… include practice of previous things while moving forward is something I’ll certainly do… weaning myself off the app for certain songs is also something I’ve very recently started doing during this in-between time before starting grade two… as well as first attempts at singing while playing…

I’m glad you’ve said all this as it means I’m (mostly) being naturally mindful of the correct sort of things… it’s also testament to your judge of a student as you’ve been bang on with a lot of things you’ve said during the past few months in terms of where I am with my learning/skill level/progress etc…!

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This video update may be less applicable to many on here as obviously most of you are familiar with the course & are already knee-deep in the grades! Though I guess it may have some value for other early learners or those considering learning who may happen across this thread in the future.

I forgot to mention the community here during the recording (though did slip in a screen text mention during the edit) & the abundance of help that’s offered from other learners & experienced heads alike, as well as previous conversations that can be explored related to specific lessons & areas of learning etc… I think that side of it is a massive plus point… will be sure to give the community the props it deserves in future videos!

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Spent two months solely working on module 8 (first module of grade 2) mostly due to being so busy with life stuff since the turn of the year & not really having the time to knuckle down into module 9.

Good news is I’ve still managed around an hour of practice every day by hook or by crook… not bothered in the slightest that I’ve spent 8/9 weeks on this module alone as I’ve enjoyed it tons… I love most of these new sus chords… I also feel like my strumming took quite a step forward during this time as well in terms of feeling less robotic… great module.

Onwards to module 9 now & that F thingy.

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Hey Shawn, been a while since I caught up on your log. You continue to be making great progress. Strumming action looks a whole lot better.

Try to always use one finger per fret, so when playing on first 4 frets, then ring-finger playing notes on the 3rd fret, like you did on the minor pentatonic. Later you may make different choices to simplify. Also try and stretch the fingers rather than moving the hand left and right depending on the note being played.

Keep at it!

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After 8 months I’ve had my first go at singing while playing… it’s definitely about 2 or 3 years too soon :joy: - but I figured it’d be good to get these early attempts recorded & documented to also look back on & laugh along with the rest of it in 10 years.

Kept it simple… simple song… simple chords… still so darn tough! I wasn’t expecting to even be able to attempt this sort of thing until around the 2/3 year mark to be honest so I’m super stoked to be giving it a bash after 8 months.

Need to get a general update/progress video done soon as I feel I’m nearing the end of my time spent on module 9.


Hi Shawn,

It’s been a while since I watched your progress. I’m glad to see you’re still at it mate. First it is not too soon to try and sing and play. Second this is a great song to try it with. My advice is the very first thing to do is write out the lyrics and write the chord above the exact word. Second do just one down strum only on that chord while singing. Do only one down strum each time the chord changes. Perfect that first before moving on to step 3 which is four downstrums while playing and singing. Boring yes but a necessary step to progress. Lastly add your strumming patterns as you play and sing. Play the song slow like your battery is dying on the radio slow, than speed up. Hope this helps.