Tim's Learning Log

Hello! Having been mostly lurking around here since December 2021 (and on the old forum before then), I think it’s time to start a learning log to track some of my progress.

I’ll start with a bit of my musical background. My first instrument (unless you count a few piano lessons when I was about 7) is the drums. I have been a mediocre drummer for about 30 years and have had the privilege of playing regularly with many talented musicians, mostly in church, since I was a teenager. I first took an interest in playing the guitar about 20 years ago just after finishing university. I bought a second hand acoustic (£65 I think) and learned a few of the open chords, but never did anything with them. The guitar then sat around unused for several years, before eventually going in the loft when children needed the space. Fortunately being a fully laminate guitar it survived the temperature extremes.

In the middle of 2021 (I was very busy with work during the lockdowns) I decided to pick up the guitar again and looked up JustinGuitar for help. I remembered seeing some of Justin’s lessons years ago. I asked a luthier friend to set up the guitar properly which, when combined with some lighter strings, made it much easier to play. I started Justin’s new beginner Grade 1 course and enjoyed the structure. The practice assistant helped and I made some progress. When I got to the end of Grade 1, I decided to treat myself (with my wife’s permission) to a new guitar. After far too much research and trying out a selection in some shops, I bought a Faith Legacy Earth OM. Brand new, all solid wood and for quite a lot less than the SRP. Far too much guitar for my very limited skills, but something to grow into and enjoy along the way. I had decided that I wanted something smaller than a dreadnought and the OM size felt just right.

I haven’t made particularly rapid progress as I struggle to find lots of time to practice, but I am plodding on and am working my way through Grade 2, currently on module 9. I recently decided that having an electric guitar would be helpful (and fun), so after more extensive research I bought a B stock Sire Larry Carlton S7 FM and a second hand Boss Katana amp. :grinning:

I think the years of drumming has helped my pick up the rhythm aspects of playing more easily than average (that’s not to say that I’m very good yet) and most of my effort has been in learning chords and changing between them. I still struggle with lots of chord changes, but I can play them okay in isolation. I can even play a passable F barre chord (I started practicing it earlier than suggested). I think I am more interested in rhythm guitar than lead at the moment, but I am trying to learn the scales and riffs that Justin teaches. I want to be as well rounded as possible.

I recently started exploring theory and have worked through the first two theory grades. Things are starting to fall into place in my head and it’s great to feel like I am beginning to understand how chords (and their notes) work rather than just thinking about them as shapes.

I’m enjoying the journey and I hope that by sharing here I can keep up the motivation when progress seems slow. Reading about other’s progress and from those with more experience has been very useful, I hope I can help someone else as well.

If you have got this far thank you for reading, I appreciate it. I will try to write at least semi-regularly.



Nice looking guitars, welcome to the community. I suspect more importantly than having a lot of time to put in is consistency, if you can find the time to put in only 10 or 15 minutes, and you do that every day, it becomes an ingrained habit and you’ll progress very well. Look forward to hearing more from you.

Hey Tim
Very interesting story.
As a drummer, were you the one to hold the beat or did you have to follow someone else?

I have been a drummer, though most likely very different kind. I had to follow a vocal that was the lead and kept the beat. Those years of drumming for sure have fast forwarded me with the rhythm lessons.

About keeping up the motivation, for me it is very much about being able to produce some sounds I love. I had problems in the start to keep the motivation as still unable to produce beautiful sounds. Now I can always take a relax and just play some of the chords I luv the sound from.

Learning log is a cool feature here and can highly recommend you make a video of yourself as soon as possible, no matter how awful you think it sounds. I made one very early on and can always go back there and listen if I feel I am not making any progress. :wink: :joy:

Thank you. That consistency is what I am aiming for. I deliberately have both my guitars on stands so that I can grab them and play easily. If they were in cases it would really reduce my practice frequency.


I have be in both situations, keeping the beat and following others. Mostly now I set the beat when playing drums. I feel really comfortable playing drums in the band at my church. Playing guitar is so much more difficult at the moment. It’s going to be a while before I feel confident enough to play guitar in public.

I will work up the courage to post a video. I know what you mean about not being able to make beautiful sounds.

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Yep, I keep my guitar always in a stand, it’s so easy to grab it and play a tune while waiting for my cup of tea to steep


Hi, those are very nice looking guitars. The learning logs are definitely a cool way to track your progress.


Thank you. I am very fortunate to have the guitars I do. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of focusing on gear and I have to remind myself that it’s the playing (practicing) that’s the important thing. I think that’s a danger with learning later in life with a bit more disposable income. I know plenty of great musicians who learned on much more basic instruments because that’s what they had. A nice guitar does not make a good guitarist.


Welcome to the Community, Tim. I enjoyed your story and the pictures. You seem well set and on a sound path (excuse the pun).

I too consider myself to be a plodder, I call it tortoise pace. And that’s fine, make progress at your own pace. As long as you are enjoying the adventure, heading in the right direction, then all is good.

I think as you develop you’ll find the abilities as a drummer and playing with others to be tremendously helpful in your guitar playing.

Look forward to following your progress.

Hi Tim, great to see you giving Guitar a try. You have some very nice gear there. I’m looking forward to seeing you progress and hopefully we’ll get to hear how those instruments sound😁.
Always remember, it’s not how fast we progress, it’s enjoying the journey that’s important.

Hi Tim, welcome. As far as you keep practicing regularly, progress will happen. Enjoy playing your guitars.