Hi everyone, I am Swashata Ghosh from India. A Software Engineer by profession and a wannabe Guitarist.
So I have started Grade 2 and this has opened up quite a lot of possibilities for me. I am learning songs that I like. Not all of them are English songs, my native language is Bengali, but I am from India, so Hindi songs are also my Jam. I see no reason why I should create new topics for things I am learning and practicing (they don’t always sound good ), so I am creating this learning log for just sharing with you awesome people and my safekeeping. Maybe I should start from the beginning.
I am blessed to have a very dear friend who is a great guitarist (not professionally). I know him since college. He would play at our cultural fests and I’d always be there on the front seat to cheer. I loved the music he played. He and another guy did a fusion on Indian classic and Blues and it was mind-blowing. Sometime during 2012/2013, when we were in our final year (or maybe 3rd year, I don’t remember much) we made a deal. I would teach him programming and he would teach me to play the guitar.
So one fine evening, we sat at his place and he introduced me to his electric guitar (Epiphone Las Paul) and let me make some sound. What an awesome feeling. Then he handed me over his acoustic guitar and started teaching me a few things. I don’t remember what exactly we were doing, but I lost interest very soon. Mainly because of the finger pain (this I remember very vividly).
I thought it would be “cool” to play the guitar and have all that attention, but certainly, I wasn’t ready to commit. Truth be told, I already had a lot of attention being the “wizard” programmer of our college and I was happy with it. I have always enjoyed music, but maybe I wasn’t ready then. My focus was on something else entirely.
Fast forward to 2016. I have moved to a different state and was not in touch with my friend a lot. At that time he was working at a Software company. One day I was talking to him on the phone and the topic came up that how we both tried to teach each other music and programming and how we both failed miserably, and now it is a little ironic that he is working on developing software. Of course, he teased me a little that I never really learned the guitar and I was like, “you know what, I am living alone with my dog and working from home, I have quite a lot of free time, this time I will learn”.
I asked him what guitar to buy and he suggested a few. But he forced on the fact that I should go to a store, just play a few in my budget and choose the one I like.
“Pick the guitar that you see yourself playing in front of people in a few months”
that was what he told me. Sadly I did no such thing, just bought a Yamaha F310 from amazon (being one of the top-rated ones) and started to play.
I played for a few weeks, but the finger pain was too much and I stopped. I packed the guitar and just stored it away.
Fast forward to 2021 and one day I had the urge to play my guitar again. I said to my wife, I am going to pick up the guitar again and this time I will learn. Let’s not get into the reaction I got (I absolutely do not blame her bdw) .
Anyway, I unpacked the guitar and found it in a really bad shape. The bridge was coming off, the body was swollen. I took it to a local shop and they did a really bad job. On top of that, they fitted with a bad and cheap string. But this time I didn’t stop.
I found this app “Yousician” which had a gamified approach to learning. I did enjoy it for a month, but then I realized I wasn’t learning anything, apart from a few chords and looking at the app to guess when to make a strum or when to pick a string. I had absolutely no idea how to play on my own, without using the app, at all.
I googled and thank god I came across JustinGuitar’s website and app. Subscribing to the app was a no-brainer and since then I have really started to enjoy my journey. I soon learned the strumming, the rhythms, beats, bars, how to practice, and whatnot.
The experience got better and better as I started progressing. I did record a few videos around then but the most fun was me and my niece “jamming” on my dog Scooby’s birthday . Here’s the video.
I did appreciate the progress I made in a month with Justin. He is an amazing teacher.
I also did the course on Beginner Guitar Buying Guide and changed the strings to a D’addario 9 gauge ones. I wish I had known it earlier. The cheap ones my local shop fixed with had already started rusting.
I finally told my friend that “hey, look I have learned a few things” and man was he happy. This is a video I recorded back then.
I kept on practicing for at least an hour every day. I must mention that this is also the time I was interviewing for a great job (the one I am doing at the time of writing) and being able to play the guitar was a stress buster for me.
The day I got the job offer, I couldn’t resist my itch (or GAS maybe??) and started bugging my friend to suggest me a good electric guitar. We researched, I went to a shop, played a lot of guitars, and finally settled on my Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder “Sassy”.
Finally, I posted my first video on the JustinGuitar community and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. This boosted my morale and I kept on practicing more. I also posted my first AVoYP and learned a lot from the feedback.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in this great community to make my journey enjoyable. I couldn’t have done this without you all.
I finished Grade 1 and moved to Grade 2. Not much to share right now. But there’s this one song “Dooba Dooba” (a Hindi band song) that I always wanted to play. The strumming pattern is too hard for me right now and also the chord changes. But after learning the 16bit strumming and stuck 3&4, I improvised a little and today I was able to play this.
Still, miles to go, but I will keep going. My new job starts in Feb and I intend to keep on practicing and playing for at least 30 mins every day.
That’s it for now. Thank you very much for reading about my journey. I will keep on updating as I find myself at a milestone moment.