Suzanne’s Learning Log

That’s good news Suzie. You will make far quicker progress following Justin’s pathway and you’ll soon be playing songs.

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I can say I have started trying to play songs and I can recognize them as the songs now. Which has been very exciting for me! :smiley:

I don’t know though how well I am doing with timing and rhythm and I need some way to record myself so that I have some idea about whether I’m getting it or not.

Definitely improving overall with my practice lessons here. :+1:

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All you need is a mobile phone Suzi. Record yourself and post here.About the :mega: Audio / Video of You Playing category
You’ll get loads of supportive advice.

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Suzie, that is very exciting and only going to get better the more your practice. The JustinGuitar Time Trainer is fantastic for working on rhythm. With regards to strumming thr strumming techniques course part 1, I found great to work on in conjunction with the beginners grade 1.


Bravo, Suzanne. As Gordon says, a mobile phone is all you need to make that recording. And even if you choose not to post (though I encourage you to do so) just watching and listening to yourself will be revealing.

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To make a long story short I had to stop playing for a little while because my cat bit my thumb and made a deep puncture. Good thing is it healed ok and it feels fine now.

I plan to work on “chords, rhythm, and dexterity” after watching a Lauren Bateman video on YouTube. I find that her videos are good for beginners as well (and some are free!). She explains that what separates a beginner from an intermediate player is the ability to use various strumming techniques, and know how to emphasize a song with different volumes.

This makes sense to me because I am drawn to bands that know how to build and reduce volume. For example, Nirvana can sit down and play intimate acoustic but they can also get up and thrash around. I find that those dynamics are what I want in my own playing. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is an example of those dynamics as well. Smashing Pumpkins “Soma” is another example. Though if you are an admirer of Tori Amos she gets dynamics not just from her piano playing but the way she sings.

As they say “variety is the spice of life.”

Bought myself a Songwriting book and have started writing down lyrical ideas.

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That’s pet’s for you. Hope you reminded the cat to never bite the hand that feeds them. That sounds like a good plan. For rhythm I would highly recommend Justin’s Strumming Techniques Course, I’m half way through it and finding it to make wonders to my rhythm and dynamics. That’s good you’re starting to write lyrics down. I’m just getting back into doing so after watching Justin’s dice songwriting lesson. Enjoy.


That’s great that you find the strumming section helpful. I need to study it more. I did find though that Lauren Bateman’s exercise on “Horse with no name” or the other songs she has selected are challenging in a good way for learning to strum.

I liked his dice version of songwriting. I will have to watch that again!

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Glad you are getting back into action, Suzanne, those accidents that happen and prevent us from playing are no so much more frustrating than they ever were.

You are on the right tracks when focusing on rhythm and dynamics. If I can borrow a golfing saying ‘drive for show, putt for dough’, it is the often less visible and flashy rhythm play that is the bedrock. A player like Keith Richards who is highly regarded may never play a flashy lead solo but the rhythm and groove of both the Stones and the Winos is what I love most.

So keep doing what you are doing.

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Thank you! Yeah Gutherie Govan in this video has definitely studied underlying rhythm before he plays because his improvisation skills are so good. It seems to me that he’s more talented than even some of the famous guitarists we all know and yet this is the first I have heard of him. I wish I could play like this someday because it’s the most pure jamming I have ever seen! :smiley:

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Hi Suzanne, sorry to hear about your injury. Cats do seem to have a fetish for thumbs and they have sharp teeth and claws. Ouch !!
Horse with no name - that’s a song I haven’t heard for a long time.
You’ve brought a line from a song from a similar era into my head-‘Indiana wants me Lord I can’t go back there’
No more of the song will come to me, just that line. Do you know what it is?

Good luck getting back to playing

🎸 David

Hay @BurnsRhythm I looked up that song and it’s by R. Dean Taylor. It’s titled “ Indiana wants me”.

Yeah, that’s the one.Thanks. I’ve just had a listen but I don’t remember the sirens and stuff. Take all that out and it’s a good song!

Hi Suzanne, good you are finding your way to mix your enthusiasm and creativity with structured guitar learning. I think that you should keep Justin Guitar lessons as your main highway although you can, whenever you feel in the mood, explore other learning roads. I think that after your exploration breaks you should come back to where you were in Justin Guitar and continue building your foundations from there. I saw some of the videos you referenced and I wouldn’t try to play A Horse With No Name with the more advanced and spiced up strumming pattern Lauren proposes until recording myself to be sure that I am playing it decently with a more basic regular pattern like all downs or even one strum in the first beat only. Keep working on it.

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