Socio's Learning Log

Thank you. Fingerstyle is something that really appeals to me. I will look at that course.

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Congrats on your two year anniversary James, you’ve packed a lot in and made good progress. I would say largely due to your organised, structured approach and dedication. Well done sir !



Congrats James. Very impressive for 2 years. Very inspiring. Good luck with your goals for the next year.

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Thanks Toby. This year I’m going to try and pack in a lot more blues and some John Denver songs (just kidding more like some Beatles and Who songs).


Thanks, Alan. As long as I keep picking up the guitar and making a little bit of progress then it will be a good year.


Congratulations James! You"ve been achieving really a lot in only 2 years! I have right the same approach as regards theory and for Ear Training I think David found the right words to describe what the process is actually about:

Your AVOYP are always very interesting to follow, more than once I happened to think of the developing skills you showed. I already praised your originals and since I remembered I liked them I’ve just enjoyed a re-listen…they’re just awesome really! Along the way you’ll refine your technique and overall competence and when you’ll record them again you’ll sound like a pro! The songwriting aspect is already at that level in my opinion. Wish you all the best for your third year! :blush:

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Congrats on finishing another successful year of learning, James. Impressive progress you’ve made and shared with us. Thank you for contributing so much interesting content, we all can learn from!
No daubts you will start into a new year full of challenges and satisfying learning.

You made me curious about that! Looking forward to this new song of yours!

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@SILVIA @Helen0609

Thank you both for your thoughtful words of support & encouragement.

I feel the same when watching others AVoYPs including your recordings. It is clear to see from your recordings that you’re developing a comprehensive toolbox of skills and techniques.

Your’re too kind, that comment has made my day :blush: I’m really pleased that you enjoyed the songs.

I’ve come to think of it as another way to train the ears, transposing what’s in my head to the guitar.

I’ve learned so much from the content shared by others, I’m pleased to hear that others feel the same way with the content that I share.

You do know what curiosity did to the cat :roll_eyes: I’ll be glad when I’ve got this one finished and out of my head and into someone elses :rofl: This one I think I have to learn to do a proper mix with drums, bass and keys.


Hi @Socio I have just come across your great learning log and like you, I have just passed my two year anniversary, having started learning (and bought my guitar) on 9th September 2021. You have been far more dedicated than me and much more active in the community though. I admire your dedication and your bravery in using the AVOP section.
I wanted to thank you for sharing so much and it’s really interesting to see how someone else who started at the same time as me has progressed.
You have clearly put in more time and effort than me and hence achieved more and it’s inspiring to me to see what can be done. I would be interested to know if you had any previous guitar experience prior to the last two years.
My aim when I started two years ago was to pick up my guitar and play it every day, even if only for a few minutes. I am pleased to say that there’s only been one day in the last two years I haven’t managed that.


Hi @KimR Thank you for taking the time to read my learning log and lovely comment. Congratulations on passing your two year anniversary. That is fantastic that you have managed to keep picking the guitar up every day, I wish that I could say the same.

I previously dabbled in the guitar for a short period of time about 27 years ago when I was in my mid teens, never took any lessons, only learned the open chords (never knew about string muting, not playing all the strings and anchor fingers).

I find being active in the community can help further your learning, keep you motivated and reinforce your learning through supporting amd sharing knowledge with other learners.

With regards to progress, time invested does help you progress. The extent of progression is down to how you invest that time. So even those days when you are only able to pick up the guitar for 5 minutes can contribute a lot to progress.

The AVoYP section can be very scary at first but once you’ve made that first post you look forward to doing it again. Even if not sharing, recording and analysing oneself is very rewarding in developing. So if you’re not already doing so I would highly recommend.

Wish you all the best in your third guitar year.


I was contemplating posting the following recording to my AVoYP thread but I don’t think it’s quite AVoYP worthy.

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Edit. Thanks to a bit of confidence boost from Toby I’ve took the leap and published to the wider community.

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Definitely AVOYP ready James. You made it your own with a twist on the vibe of the original Zimmerman version, sounded good. Nice tone on both Gtr and vox, well done. :sunglasses:

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@TheMadman_tobyjenner thanks Toby that was the bit of confidence boost I needed to publish it as wasn’t too sure about it.

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Congratulations on the two year anniversary and thanks for your interesting learning log
I just finished my one year anniversary and made the mistake of rushing through grades 1 and 2 because I had years of experience strumming open chords. I’ve used some of your learning log to rediscover what I missed. I’ve also been challenged by your blues studies since that is one of my guitar interests. I look forward to see the paths you take this year

2023 Review

I feel that I have made slow and steady progress this year. Slow progress is still progress and a little progress each day adds up to big results. I was very pleased with the level of performance I achieved in my cover of Why Does It Always Rain on Me.

If it wasn’t for all the detours that I have taken along the way I’m sure that I would have completed the beginners grade 3 course and would be working my way through the intermediate grades. Though, I have learned a lot from those detours.

I spent a significant amount of time working my way through a beginners fingerstyle course which I enjoyed very much and feel that I have developed some solid foundations to build upon. Fingerstyle was not something that I had contemplated learning but Justin’s introduction to fingerstyle lesson in Grade 2 encouraged me to delve deeper.

Similarly, playing the blues never crossed my mind and I’ve found myself spending a good chunk of time exploring the blues further following Justin’s Grade 2 lessons in blues guitar. Over the year I’ve worked on blues rhythm guitar, solo acoustic blues and fingerstyle blues. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Justin’s blues club and seriously considering enrolling in his new blues course next year.

I’ve seen frequent posts in the forum saying “I’m not into playing … can I skip this lesson”. My answer to that would be “have an open mind and give it a shot as you might actually enjoy it and you’ll definitely learn a lot from it”. I have certainly learned a lot from the variety of styles taught.

This year has been slightly different from the previous year. This year I’ve met the musician in me and started to develop my musicianship. I find myself these days picking up the guitar and playing chord progressions exploring the sound of the notes, embellishments and dynamics.

I’ve enjoyed spending time getting creative and writing songs. Sharing my first three originals (Living your Life in your Head, Shadows of our Former Selves and Hold On) with the community was the definitely the highlight of 2023 for me.

Always good to end the year with some new gear:

New Picks



2024 Plan

Below is the learning plan for 2024:

This year I will aim to share more recordings of songs or arrangements learned that apply the above in a musical context with the community. The intention of the recordings will be to show progress rather than perfection.

I also plan to start working on developing studio versions of my originals. I’ve had time to process the feedback received, listen to them again with fresh ears and make improvements.

Wish you all the best for 2024.


They are some interesting looking picks James !

Quite frankly I think you have made some really good progress this year and I would not say slow. You may not be ripping through the grades, IMHO a good thing but you been outstanding on your Blues journey, often providing me with inspiration. Plus some great covers and originals, I’d say a very productive year sir.

Also nice to see the new year plans clearly laid out. You’ll enjoy Dust In The Wind, I pretty much have it down but stumble around the bridge section but its a great fingerstyle exercise and pattern. Looking forward to hearing some of the others on that list.

Keep having fun and keep moving forwards. And don’t worry too much about the detours, as long as they are not taking you backwards.

Happy New Year and have a great 2024. :+1:


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James @Socio

The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on progress and plan the way ahead.

We seem to be around about the same position in the journey and a bit like me have spent time on specific areas like Blues and Fingerpicking. I am just getting into the later, makes a nice change from strumming. I will watch your progress with interest.

You seem pleased with your progress which is all that matters, well done and all the best for 2024.


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There’s nothing wrong with taking detours James, if it suits you to do so.
They say “if you don’t change direction, you’ll end up where you’re going”.
With guitar we don’t always know where we’re going from the outset. Grade2 learns us things we didn’t know were there to be learned and can influence where we go next.

Another good year and you’re setting yourself up very well for whatever you want to do.
Best of luck in 2024 :guitar:

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Great stuff James, very interesting learning log.
That is a very exotic looking selection box of picks.
Good luck with your goals for 2024. Impressive learning plan.
Best wishes, Alan

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Congrats on another excellent year, James. I think slow and steady is the way to go and you’ve made progress steadily through the year on everything that you gave attention. Your recordings are always a treat.

I also compliment you on the support and encouragement you offer to fellow Community Members consistently.

Looking at the new gear, I can’t recall what microphones you already have. With that in mind, I’m curious about the choice of the SM57, it being a dynamic instrument mic.

I look forward to being along for the ride in '24.