Socio's Learning Log

Great update James, and wow, a lot of those things you’re working on are more complex than Grade 3, for sure.

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Thanks for the response JK. For the blues lead and blues improv videos I produced I ended up connecting the mic/rec out of the amp to the AI and headphones to the AI. I wasn’t sure whether I should have connected the line out to the AI.

I never really thought of it that way, that some of the stuff I’ve been working on is more complex than Grade 3. Though, I’ve only really perused the Grade 3 material as some of it was covered in the classic course and wanted to check that there wasn’t any additional information added to the updated lesson material.

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I know that I said that I was going to park the blues aside for a bit once I’ve got around to updating the acoustic blues solo to concentrate on closing out some other stuff. Well having followed the recent 3-2-1 blues challenge with interest, I’ve decided to spend a few minutes here and there when I’ve got time to work on another blues inspiration which hopefully could spark another blues guitar challenge suitable for anyone that’s just completed the beginners grade 2 blues module.

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Keep doing what you are doing, James. You are progressing well, developing as a player.

As for YT, I think I shared Public from the get go … maybe I have a thick skin … but I figure if I post and get trolled I’ll just feel compassion for such a person, whose life experience is such that they choose to make ‘cheeky remarks’, which I assumed was euphemism for flaming trolling comments :laughing:

That said, I have been posting ‘regularly’ for about 3 years and comments are few and am fortunate to not have received any of those comments. So I also think we don’t have that much to worry about.

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Thanks, David. I’m working on fingerstyle at the moment but you will be pleased to know that the blues hasn’t disappeared from the horizon. In fact some fingerstyle blues studies are gradually approaching. It’s starting to look like its going to be a blue Christmas.

Hi James, if you have practice time to explore various guitar techniques before diving into Grade 3 lessons can be better than being in the position of “and now what” and getting stuck in a rut.

Hi Andrés, consolidation for Grade 2 has turned into a bit of a hybrid of consolidation and learning new things in a structured manner with the path laid clear. Hopefully, once I get to the end of that path Grade 3 will be complete. From what I have seen so far in Grade 3 it appears to be a mixture of new lessons and updated lessons. So I anticipate that some lessons will take more time than others to fully embed the skills taught allowing me to free up some practice time to continue learning other stuff along the way.

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Coolio … here in Johannesburg, never going to be a traditional white Christmas, being mid-summer, but happily we can all be united around a blue Christmas (that’s the music not the language for the bah-humbugs :grin:)

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I thought that it might be worth recording an update on my learning log on my progress on the supplementary beginners fingerstyle course that I’ve been doing during Grade 2 Consolidation.

So far I have completed 60% of the course and feel that I have learned a lot whilst laying down good solid foundations. I feel that thumb and finger independence is developing nicely and I’ve continued to strengthen the fingerstyle foundations that I learned in the JG beginner grades.

My Practice sessions now include practicing with a metronome ten 1 minutes picking exercises to warm up and help build speed, strength and dexterity. I’m slowly starting to see the benefits of the exercises in my playing. It will still be a while before I get up to 100 bpm but the key message is practice slowly and accurately and speed will develop itself.

I’ve been making progress with playing patterns with alternating bass and multiple notes at the same time. I’m reasonably comfortable now muting the bass which is an essential technique particularly to ensure that the bass does not get in the way of the melody.

I’m slowly working my way through the solo fingerstyle guitar module where the guitar is the band. I think this module is going to take me a few weeks to complete but it’s very enjoyable. It’s really helping develop that little finger which I need to control for the melody lines which will also help with playing embellishments.

Whilst I’m working on that module I’ve started working on the next module developing a few techniques for strumming without a pick including pick & strum with alternating bass. This has been an interesting one for me abandoning the pick.

That leaves me with three more modules to commence excluding the bonus module. I’ve got two more modules of strumming and picking, one on picking without a pick (essentially playing single note lines without a pick including triplets) and strumming and picking at the same time. Then it’s onto introduction to fingerstyle blues which I’m really looking forward to learning.

After that it’s consolidation, learn songs, learn songs, learn songs to really embed the techniqus :smiley: I’ve got ten songs to learn which I’m currently working on the first two songs.

I’ve found that Justin’s beginners course really laid down good foundations needed to delve further into fingerstyle at this stage.

After I complete that course, the plan is to commence the Fingerstyle Blues Volume 1 Course along with Grade 3 of the JG beginners course and Justin’s solo blues course.


Nice update James, I do like that you’ve bitten into the finger style course as a bonus to your consolidation phase, whilst i’m focussing on songs atm I am definitely thinking of something extra as well before I move on. It’s all quite an interesting block at the end of grade 2.
Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your continued labour!

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Thanks, Mark. I like to think of the consolidation phase as an opportunity to both consolidate and further develop the skills and techniques learned. When you start a Grade your time is limited to what you are being taught at that moment in time. The consolidation period allows you a bit more freedom to work on, further develop and explore specific things whilst having time to focus on learning songs. I just try to keep anything new I’m learning at an appropriate level and not push myself to far ahead.


Hi James,…
Good to see that you keep maintain that neatly working :sunglasses:,… that’s how the universe stays a bit in balance :sweat_smile:

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I’m in your same phase, so i’m excited in looking forward to your songs choice for your consolidation. I also agree with the message that i liked.

Can i ask you what are the specific course that are you integrating? Playing old classic blues in fingerstyle is a target of mine, so in the future i will absolutely do it.

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Hi Alessandro,

The songs/pieces that I have done so far for consolidation are:

Don’t Look Back In Anger Cover
covers the stuck 3&4 chords
The Circle - Ocean Colour Scene Cover
covers the suspended chords
Justin’s Acoustic Solo Blues
covers the shuffle riff and individual note picking
Justin’s Blues Lead
covers blues guitar solos using the Am pentatonic scale
First Blues Improv
covers improvisation in the key of A using the Am pentatonic scale

I’ve still got some work to do on the song front particularly power chords. Though, focusing the now on fingerstyle and learning a couple of songs that’s are in my bucket list of songs to learn.

For acoustic blues I’m integrating Justin’s solo blues course along with an external course specific to fingerstyle blues course. I’ve sent you the details of these blues courses.

For Justin’s solo blues course it might be worth checking out Guitar Challenge (Blues Study Pieces) - Solo Blues Guitar (Justin Sandercoe)


Making great progress James :+1::metal::sunglasses:


Cheers Toby. As long as I make some form of improvement from the day before or even the month before then I’m a happy bunny. As they say Rome wasn’t built in a day. :wink:


Socio , Kev here , my experience with a stringed instrument was started 6 years ago with a group of people learning the ukulele. I’m retired now and thought the guitar is a nicer sound for around those camp fires etc. So 9 months ago I went to Cash converters and checked out a second hand what sounds nice and heaps of room between strings and a wide neck and I’ve been into Justine’s lessons and find I have a classical guitar and find not the right thing for Barr chords or f chords etc . I like the finger picking style and the mellow sound. Do you think I should lean towards a acoustic guitar to carry on with my learning journey.

Hey James!

A great learning log you’ve got going on here! I think I’m going to borrow your idea, in your first post, of keeping a running tally of the modules I’ve completed. You’ve put a lot into practicing guitar, and logging it here! Strong work!

Grace and Peace,

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Hey Kev, I would guess that the wide neck makes playing barre chords more difficult whilst the tension of the nylon strings offsets the difficulty a bit. I’ve no experience playing classical guitars, so not best placed to advise you but maybe @Jamolay can give you his opinion as he plays both. Note that even when you play on steel strings barre chords can still be difficult especially without a decent setup.


Hey Todd, thanks for the read. Keeping a running tally of what you’re learning I find is a good way to both keep track of where you are (as we all take little detours now and then exploring) and the progress made along the way. It’s always good to update the first posts and add links in the first post to any significant posts as it’s the first post new visitors to your learning log see.

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