Todd's Learning Log

JustinGuitar Learning Progress (Updated 2023-06-23)

Started JG Program 2022-09-18

  • Beginner Grade 1 - Complete!
    • Begun 2022-09-18
    • Completed Lessons 2023-01-13
    • Completed Consolidation 2023-03-09
  • Beginner Grade 2 - In Progress…
    • Begun 2023-03-10
    • Module 8 - Complete! (2023-06-21) (Re-Started 2023-11-31)
    • Module 9 - Complete! (Begun 2023-06-21) (Re-Started 2023-12-10, Complete 2023-12-18)
    • Module 10 - In Progress… (Begun 2023-12-19)
    • Module 11 -
    • Module 12 -
    • Module 13 -
    • Module 14 -
  • Music Theory - In Progress…
    • Grade 1 - Complete! (Completed before 2023-01-13)
    • Grade 2 - Complete! (Completed 2023-06-23)
    • Grade 3 - In Progress…
  • Ear Training - In Progress…
    • Introduction & Reference - Complete!
    • Grade 1 - In Progress…
    • Grade 2 -
    • Grade 3 -

Completed Miscellaneous Modules/Lessons: All About Guitar Amplifiers, Always Use Strap Locks, Beginner Guitar Buying Guides, Singing and Playing at the Same Time, Tune Up With Reference Pitches, Tune Your Guitar Using A Tuner, “5th Fret” Tuning Technique, What Guitar Accessories Do You Need?

Posted Recordings


  • In Progress
    • To Be Determined
  • Good to Go
    • “Three Little Birds” - Bob Marley and the Wailers
    • “Mad World” - Tears for Fears
    • “For What It’s Worth” - Buffalo Springfield
    • “Silent Night”
    • “Horse With No Name” - America
  • Aspirations
    • “Redemption Song” - Bob Marley
    • “It Is No Secret” - Stuart Hamblen
    • “Superman” - Goldfinger
    • “Spokesman” - Goldfinger
    • “Heard That Sound” - MxPx
        • Awesome version of this song, where they add a horn section (from my favorite band, Five Iron Frenzy, playing a part that’s normally played by one of the guitarists.
        • Solo acoustic version by the lead singer/bassist, Mike Herrera.
      • Another great Punk song where the band has done an acoustic cover I want to learn. I guess that’s a theme here. :wink:
    • “Far Far Away” -Five Iron Frenzy
    • “On Distant Shores” - Five Iron Frenzy
    • “The History of Western Philosophy” - Bruno Kavanagh
      • TheHistoryOfWesternPhilosophy on Vimeo
      • Posted on YouTube in 2003 by a Philosophy professor on acoustic guitar, harmonica, and vocals. Will have to transcribe. Not gonna find this in a songbook. :wink: I’ve got the vocals/melody memorized, as I’ve been showing this video to my Philosophy courses during the first week for over a decade.

Original Post, 2022-10-29:
I began using Justin’s program, via the app, around mid-September. I think it’s been about six weeks then, and Im currently on Grade One: Module 4. I decided to create a log thread here to keep track of my progress, and maybe post some videos. (Looking ahead, I watched Justin’s video on what is required to pass Grade One, and one objective was performing a song for someone, either live or via posting a video, which got me thinking about it.)

As far as where I’m at right now, I’ve practiced Module 4 twice now. Dmin is the hardest chord so far. But, I will persevere. In my song time at the end of last night’s practice I was definitely getting better at it, though it’s still much slower than my other chords.

I really enjoy the three riffs so far, and usually practice all three of them at least once each practice day to keep them fresh in my brain. Playing these rifts also makes me think I might enjoy playing bass guitar as well.


Great stuff, it’s nice to have a record of your progress. Keep at it, you’ll be amazed looking back at your progress.

1 Like

Yeah! I’m not quite ready to post a song performance I don’t think. Maybe I should do a video just to show where I’m at with my chords and riffs at this point.


All sounds good, Todd, and an excellent idea to start a Learning Log.

You mention learning via the App. I’d suggest you also review the same lessons on the website. There is often additional information, either in the description on the website or in the video.

You can learn from the lessons delivered via the App, but it’s primary purpose is to enable learning and playing of songs through being able to play along karaoke style. Though even that is something that eventually you should step away from and use as an aid to learning on the way to being able to play on your own.

It is also a good idea to make video recordings of your playing as you go. At this stage sounds like you could be recording you playing the riffs. You will learn a lot reviewing these, see things you miss while playing.

When you choose to share those with the Community is a another matter. The Community is supportive, with members focused and aprpeciating on what it takes to learn. So one can really share from almost day one, posting short videos in your LL. And when you get to playing through songs in AVOYP. Really just about when you feel comfortable to do so.

Keep on keeping on!

1 Like

Seeking feedback, including plenty of (constructive) criticism!

Six weeks into my guitar learning journey, currently in Grade 1, Module 4. This is my first video, after a long night getting things set up to record. I show off my slowest, weakest chord, Dmin, then do the three riffs we’ve learned so far.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Justin’s program so far. Practice is often a highlight of my day.

Grace and Peace,


Thanks, David! Your comments were very encouraging. Here I am, with my first video of me playing guitar. :grimacing:

Hey Todd,

That’s great stuff mate after only 6 weeks.
Plus you seem to have a fun, positive attitude which is not only great to see, but a big plus in learning I reckon.

Your chords are pretty clean, which is the important part. The speed changing between them will just happen over time. Just keep going with those one minute and perfect chord changes.
You went pretty well with little riffs too. Again, accuracy is the key, with speed building up over time.
Looking forward to your development over the next few months. Reach out here anytime. We’re all in this together helpin each other out.

All the best,
Cheers, Shane

1 Like

Thanks, Shane!

I’m glad to hear some positivity shining through. I mean, I really do think of myself as a positive person. But, also, sometimes, it’s a bit like the Reel Big Fish album, “Candy Coated Fury.” :rofl: But, yeah, I really am having fun with the guitar. I tend to think about it a lot when I’m at work and whatnot.

I will definitely reach out! Thank you so much!

Best Wishes,

1 Like

Hey Todd, seems as if you’re doing a good job! Great progress for only six weeks in and already recording. Good sound, clean changes, well done, congratulations. You seem to be very motivated, so sure we’ll hear your next recording soon. Thanks for sharing!

1 Like

Thank you very much! I appreciate the encouraging words! :blush:

1 Like

Hi Todd,…Again :grin:

I see you’re trying to find your way around the forum :wink:,…nice,… :sunglasses:
In a few months you will look back on these beginning videos with great pleasure and hopefully appropriate pride :sunglasses:, and so realize that all your hard work from the beginning translates to where you are at that moment , … once again, wish you lots of fun,

Hey Todd,

That’s a great idea to do a video learning log. Not only does it give you an opportunity to analyse your own playing but a wonderful way to look back at the progress you have made throughout the course.

You have a great positive attitude which will carry you a long way in the learning process. As you know practicing slowly and accurately will actually speed up the process in learning as you really embed the techniques and muscle memory correctly. Speed will build up over time without having to think to much about it.

Hey Todd, welcome (again!), having just seen your first song post I see this intro / LL :slight_smile:
You’re doing great and clearly having alot of fun which is by far and away the most important thing. I meant to say in my other reply, nice looking and sounding guitar you have there :+1:

Hi Roger!

Thanks for the warm welcome! :smiley: Glad to be here!

Best Wishes,

Hey James!

Thanks, man! That’s what I was thinking; doing a video relatively early provides a nice baseline for comparison later. In a way, I wish I had done a video even sooner, at least for my own records. It would be fun to see the comparison between my first time switching between A and D, for example, something like 15 changes in a minute, and comparing it to later weeks later doing 70 changes in a minute. But, alas, I did not think to record my very first practice sessions.

And, I think your second paragraph there is totally right. As I think I first heard in the fire service, though I don’t know its ultimate source, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” Just take your time, do things right, and, as you said, the speed will come. It’s always tempting to try to go faster though. :smiley:


1 Like

Hey Notter!

Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

And, thank you regarding the guitar! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I mean, I’ve always liked the look of it; I picked it out with my Dad at a local guitar shop so long ago… but, it definitely makes me feel good to get a compliment on the guitar. I, like many of us, look at fancier guitars all the time, but, for now, it’s just me and my trusty '97 Strat. :blush:

Also, just thought… any time I see a pink Strat, I think of Justin’s pink, Gray Guitars custom… and I want one. :laughing:

If interested at all, as far as the sound, I was running my guitar through Studio One, and the effects were the Presonus reverb set to… I think “concert hall,” or maybe “cathedral”… and the Klanghelm SDRR2 tube pre-amp on default settings.

Best Wishes,

1 Like

JustinGuitar Learning Progress (Updated 2022-11-08)
Started Practice 2022-09-18

  • Beginner Grade 1 - In Progress…
    • Module 0 - Complete!
    • Module 1 - Complete!
    • Module 2 - Complete!
    • Module 3 - Complete!
    • Module 4 - Complete!
    • Module 5 - In Progress…
    • Module 6 -
    • Module 7 -
  • Music Theory - In Progress…
    • Grade 1 - Complete!
    • Grade 2 - In Progress…
    • Grade 3 -
  • Ear Training - In Progress…
    • Grade 1 - In Progress…
    • Grade 2 -
    • Grade 3 -

Posted Recordings


  • In Progress
    • “Three Little Birds” - Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • Good to Go
    • Nothing… yet!


  • 1997 Fender Stratocaster
  • Fender Frontman 25R - Two Channels, Foot Switch, Spring Reverb
  • Donner Triple Looper
  • PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 - Two Channel Audio Interface
  • Casio CTK 530 MIDI Keyboard (Want to learn to play eventually!)

Inspired by @Socio’s Learning Log, I updated my original post with the above information, as well as pictures of my equipment. (Well, a picture of my specific guitar, and stock images of my other equipment.)

So, an update!

I’m now in Module 5. I’ve done the practice session for it a couple of times now. The Cmaj Chord (the new chord for this module) is still a bit rough, but I definitely feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. I can consistently get 30 changes/min on Dmin (the previously learned chord), but it’s still not as smooth as my prior five chords, all of which are pretty solid at this point. Oh, and the Nirvana riff is getting smoother! Fun stuff!

Fingers 1-3 are definitely toughened up at this point, no real issues with pain from playing anymore. Fingers 1 and 3 have smoothed over and moved into the leathery stage. Finger 2 has a bit of a permanent groove in the middle of it still, which can be a bit of an annoyance when playing. I’m hoping it will smooth out like the others soon.

Sometimes, while playing Module 5 songs with the app, I feel like I’m making too many errors. Then, I have to remind myself that these involve new chords, and the whole goal is to learn, and learning takes time. Just chill and keep practicing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Trust the process; maintain the process and the outcomes will follow.

I completed Grade 1 of Music Theory this week. It went pretty swimmingly, and I also started working on Grade 1 of Ear Training, trying to play a few basic melodies by ear and then practicing my perfect 4th, perfect 5th, and perfect octave intervals. That’s been pretty fun.

Thank you for attending my TED Talk.

Grace and Peace,
:guitar: :mountain_biking_man: :ambulance: :books: :stethoscope:


Nice going, look forward to hearing n
seeing more… BTW, dont suppose you noticed anincrease in speed with your Am n Dm when you wernt looking at the Guitar. :wink:


1 Like

Hi Todd,

I just watched that video of yours. You come across as such a positive happy dude. Guitar has lots of challenges so don’t let that get you down.

I’ve got a couple of tips for you if you want to listen. :smiley:

First is guitar angle and placement. It will be a lot easier in the long run if your headstock is slightly raised, or at least parallel to the ground. Often it’s dipping. You can hold it in place by holding the body of the guitar with your right forearm. It will make playing a lot easier.

Second, your riffs (which I hope you’re still practicing) - work on timing. You should be able to play these repetitively in time. So keep playing them, cycle through them, play the same riff at least 10x in a row. If you want to work on timing play over a backing track (even playing over Justin’s lessons is good). And try to hold the notes longer if you can, particularly the Peter Gunn theme.

I know it’s still early in your journey, but continued, repeated practice of playing things on time to perfection will pay dividends in the long run. And these riffs are simple enough that it’s within your reach.


Hey R.H.!

Thank you so much! :slight_smile:

I’m definitely trying to do more and more without looking at the guitar. It is such a good feeling. I mean, I know it’s also the technical goal… but, as a happy side effect, it’s such a pleasant sensory experience being able to feel your way around without looking at the guitar.

:guitar: :mountain_biking_man: :ambulance: :books: :stethoscope:

1 Like