Tony's Learning Log

Thank you @ivan_d I am sure it will be fun. I have also combined it with transcribing the songs into the chords for the rhythm guitar. I did cheat a bit as I was told what chords to expect with each song. On a couple I have had to change the key to get the right chords. All good training. 8 new songs learnt so far this week, i.e I can play the chords in the right order :wink:

I also want to concentrate on ear training and transcribing this year. So far I’ve been cheating using the pitch analysis visualization in Transcribe! app. But I need to start from the basics and learn picking up simple tunes and progressions purely by ear.
However, I highly recommend Transcribe! to anyone who haven’t tried it. It allows to change speed and pitch, loop parts of a song, mark up the sections or bars in the song to practice it bar by bar etc.

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Your hour long upcoming gig sounds like a fun challenge Tony. I hope you master the new songs and chords quickly.

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Getting ready

9 February 2024

Well, it’s been 4 weeks of practice to get ready for my longest time on stage next Saturday. The song list has been finalised:-

Bad Moon Rising
Brown Eyed Girl
Dance the night away
Don’t Stop – Rolling Stones
Folson Prison Blues
Jailhouse Rock – The Blues Brothers version
Johnny B Goode
Lay down Sally
Learning to fly
Mustang Sally
Old time rock and roll
Route 66
Sweet Caroline
Three little birds
Three steps to heaven
Walk of life
Wonderful tonight

Phew, just looking at that list sends shivers up my spine! 90% of them I am OK with but a couple still need work, but I still have one week to go. Now I have to admit to a bit of ‘cheating’. As a safety net, the backing tracks will all include the rhythm guitar in it so if I get stuck, I can just stand there moving my strumming arm until I can come back in again. I will not be playing any of the rifts, so that helps, and the strumming patterns have been limited to just 3 patterns that can be made to fit any of the songs.

Listening to the backing tracks I have become amazed at what a rhythm guitarist does on stage. It’s not just strumming the chords to a steady beat. There is playing the rifts and fills, playing the individual notes of the chords, stepping up or down to the next chord etc. I realise that I have a long way to go, but I am becoming more convinced that this might be the path that I follow in the end. Oh well back to practicing the chord progressions and strumming patterns. I will report back after next weekend.


Tony @TonyHS
As you say quite a list. Best of luck and as they say break a leg.
Will you have the chord sheets in front of you on paper or tablet?

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Thanks @MAT1953 . Yes I will have chord sheets on my tablet. I have memorised about 3/4 of the easy songs but it’s always best to have the sheets scrolling through in case I need them. I use songbook pro.

What a great evening we had. I got through all the songs with only a couple of missed chords. Loved it. Now just got to learn mores songs and the F# chord ready for the next time in May.


You look really happy on that stage, Tony. Glad to hear you had a great evening :slightly_smiling_face:

Well done Tony, much respect to you. I’m sure you’re the only one who noticed the missed chords!! :slight_smile:

Congratulations Tony! Glad your gig went well.

Well done Tony, good to see you are still performing and it seems now you are doing longer sessions and more complex songs. :smiley:

Hi Tony, I am really impressed with your long set list of songs for your one hour performance. I don’t think that I have ever played that many songs at one time in my life. You must have developed impressive calluses on your fingertips to get through the chords for that many songs. My hat is off to you. In fact, you have given me a challenge to try for myself as I try to complete grade 2 consolidation. I will call it Tony’s challenge - a 17 song marathon. I hope that someday soon I will be up to the challenge. You seem to be well on your way to many more performances in the future, so best of luck and fun to you.

Wow Tony. I just went through your entire log. I think it’s wild and really cool why you started and the fact that you’re playing on stage is awesome! You certainly are ambitious. Now I feel like I should step up my game! Keep it going!

Thank you @JokuMuu @Notter @BHopson @Boris1565 @SteveL_G99 and @LunaRocket , for your replies, yes it was fun, I was surprised how quick the time went. I thought we were half way through and the final song came up on the tablet :wink:

@SteveL_G99 , I must admit, I have only played that number of songs 3 times. Twice as practice a couple of days before and then on the night. My original problem was keeping the concentration throughout the set.

I will have to sit down later today to do a post mortem on what went right and what needs more work.


New Songs

10 March 2024

Well it’s now time to get ready for the next appearance on stage in 8 weeks time :wink: I want to improve my F#m chord. I can play it without a barre, but I like the sound of it as a barre chord. This will be the first barre chord that I use in anger as I rarely use the barre for the F chord as I find it is usually associated with the C chord, so the mini F chord is more appropriate. To get the F#m chord going well, I am learning ‘Take me home country roads’ in the original key of A that uses the A, D, E, F#m and G chords.

The other songs I have been given to learn is ‘See See Rider’ by Elvis, ‘Move It’ by Cliff Richard, ‘The Last Time’ by The Rolling Stones, ‘Suspicious Minds’ by Elvis, ‘Pretty Woman’ by Roy Orbison and ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ by Jeff Beck. Knowing Clint, I will get more closer to the date :wink:

My routine is to listen to the song several times to get the feel of it. I know all the songs, but when you really listen to it, you really hear the different parts and the feel of the song. I then decide how much of the rhythm part I can actually play with my beginner skills. I then put the song into Guitar pro with the strumming pattern that I think I can perform and then start to learn it ay 60% speed, gradually speeding up until I regularly practice at 80% speed. I only go to 100% when I am happy that it can go into my repertoire list. I have learnt See See Rider (easy one that one, my favourite A D & E keys) and Move it. This one has caused more problems than anticipated as I want to replicate Bruce Welch’s rhythm. He only plays 2 strings of the chord and has a very fast 8 beats to the bar. By the end of the song my wrist is aching! I need to build up my wrist stamina. I have found that I have had to change my pick to a nylon pick to get the fast strumming.

The one thing I really want to learn, if I ever get the time, is to play the individual notes in the chord. I have watched Justin’s video on this but have not really had time to digest it and put it into practice. I think I need to watch it a few times more yet.

A long update, but lots is happening. Still loving the guitar. Onwards and upwards.


New pickguard fitted. This is the first time altering a guitar, except putting on new strings, and it went well. I saw the all black fender on a programme recently about Roy Orbison and thought, “That’s the look I want”.


Playing on stage, lessons learnt

12 May 2024

It’s been a long time since my last entry as I have basically just been consolidating Grade 2 and learning songs. Last night I was playing rhythm on stage to my friend’s lead. I should say here that while we talking before the event, he said that when he plays with other guitarists he makes a playlist and tries to stick with it.

However, when he is solo, he just plays tunes that match the mood of the event. I told him, providing he plays songs that have the chords I know I was more than happy to just follow along. If the song was too much I would turn down my volume and mime along. So we tried that out last night. We had a playlist that was the bones of the night’s entertainment and we would go from there.

1st lesson, when trying to sync the iPads so we both had the same playlist running, my iPad does not want to sync with his. After a minute it drops out. Luckily, he had a spare and we used that.

2nd lesson, actually more of an Ah-Ha moment, is that I can play along to songs I have never played with providing the chords are in my range. I ended up playing 12 songs that I have never played before just by following the tabs. I only had to must on 2, Apache and Wipeout! I ended up on stage for both sets and loved every minute.

3rd lesson, I must learn triads so that I can play chords I am not familiar with.

Our next ‘gig’ is in a couple of weeks playing country and western. I have just got to learn a lot more songs before that, but he has promised me a list of the Country songs he has on his iPad, so at least I can go through them and practice any bits I am not sure of.

Still buzzing and really loved the comments from my friends as to how much my confidence on stage has grown.



Well done getting out in front of an audience. Hope your next gig goes well.


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Well the 5 day ‘Musical Extravaganza’ has come to an end with my friend played country and western one night for just over 2 hours. He was ‘Rusty Nutz’ and I was ‘Dusty Roads’ It really went well, there were two marques joined together with the stage at one end and a dance ‘floor’ (Grass). By the final song the dance floor was full and the aisle up the centre of the tables was full as well, what a buzz’. I did have a live mike in front of me in case I got up enough courage to do some backing vocals, thought that didn’t work. Though I did get up and ‘sing’ “That’ll be the day” at the karaoke next day, which was something I thought I would never do. Work in progress!

A couple of lessons I learnt from the set and the instrumental workshop were 1, my mate can be guaranteed to change the song order as the crowd dictates. Luckily our iPads are linked so that it is easy to do. I want to learn how to read a crowd like he does.

The second lesson I learnt on the impromptu jamming session at the workshop is how much more I need to learn to be a musician rather that a guitar player.

I now want to concentrate on picking individual notes in a chord, 7th chords and stepping down between chords.

Lots to work on. so, Onwards and Upwards


Well done Tony! Sure you feel very proud of yourself! Going on stage is no easy thing! I’m very happy for you, thank you for sharing your experiences… and the lessons you learnt from them.

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