Verity's Learning Log

Hello! I’ve been following JustinGuitar’s learning material for almost two years but haven’t been part of the community. I’m in a bit of a guitar rut so I think starting a public learning log will help hold me accountable to my goals.

Bit of background:
I played the guitar in high school and had the benefit of private lessons. The lessons didn’t follow any set curriculum, my teacher just taught me whatever I was interested in. As a teenager that was mainly blues lead guitar (I love B.B King, Eric Clapton, SRV, Buddy Guy etc.) and jazz comping (I played in my high school jazz band. I’m not sure why I was allowed, I wasn’t any good). After graduation, I played the guitar less and less and an old acoustic has just sat under my bed gathering dust for the past 15+ years.

I got back into guitar in the spring of 2020 during the first pandemic lock-down. I’ve got my guitar on a stand in my living room and I pick it up almost every day, sometimes just to noodle, sometimes for a structured time-blocked practice as Justin teaches. I’m a bit all over the place lessons wise because a lot of the theory stuff (circle of 5ths, chord construction, CAGED etc) came back to me very quickly and a lot of the rhythm stuff, like palm muting and different 16th note strumming patterns feels awkward and totally new. I’m not a fast player and still struggle to keep up with the recordings when the BPM gets up over 120.

My guitar goals are also completely different from when I was younger. I’m very interested in acoustic fingerstyle, altered tunings and solo guitar arrangements.

Current Practice Routine - March 2022
My current practice routine is about an hour (1.5-2hrs if I have time) and is a mix of JustinGuitar, Paul David’s Acoustic Adventure Course and theory things that interest me. I usually split my time 50/50 between songs and techniques/study pieces and I like to work on things in 10min increments.

I try to write out or even tab parts of new songs. So if I’m learning something completely new from scratch…that’ll be the full hour for sure.

From Justin Guitar:

  • Grade 3 Module 16's Rolling Chords/Greensleeves/Chord Melody lessons
  • More advanced versions of Grade 1&2 songs I already know well: Stand By Me (adding a walking bass), Ain't No Sunshine (but fingerstyle)
  • Learn new song. Currently working on Blindfaith's "Can't Find My Way Home". I'm on a Drop-D jag.
  • 1-minute chord changes (as needed for whatever I'm learning to play)

Paul David’s Acoustic Adventure:
I’m slowly making my way through the FingerStyle section of this course. I’m currently working on Exercises 5-7. I warm up with past exercises that I’ve got down.

Theory:
Triads especially spread triads. I love how these sound and am doing a deep dive into triad shapes, including spread triads and how they’re used musically.

Ear (I’m very bad at keeping up with this):
I’ve got this app called Complete Ear Trainer and I’m currently in Chapter 2 of the easy mode, which is learning the difference between Perfect 4ths and 5ths. I also try to pick out melodies, as Justin suggests, or little riffs in songs before I look them up…but I’m not nearly as consistent in this as I should be.

Gear:
My current guitar is a Yamaha F-370, restrung for a leftie. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done. I’m hoping to get a proper left-handed electro-acoustic at some point. I’ve been eyeing the Art & Lutherie Legacy Cutaway. I’m Canadian and like the idea of supporting a Canadian guitar company.

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Welcome to the Community, Verity.

Sounds like you have your plans and routines all worked out.

All I can add is to work in making and sharing recordings here #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing. That always helped keep me focused, deciding what to record and share to showcase what I was learning. I wasn’t to driven about it but once into that the encouragement and feedback helped keep me engaged.

The Art & Lutherie looks pretty cool.

See you round about the Community.

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Hi Verity, what he ^^^^^^^ said plus have fun learning guitar and enjoy the encouragement, support and advice you can get from the community!
Nice choice of guitar for your upgrade, what colour? The Bourbon burst one jumps out at me :joy:

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Welcome to the community, it sucks being in a guitar rut, hope you find your mojo real soon

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Welcome and enjoy, you will have loads of fun as long as you stick with it! :slight_smile:

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Welcome Verity, I’m glad you’ve gone public. Bumps, ruts, wheels falling off are all part of having a guitar in your life. :crazy_face: Your plans look solid and I’m sure you’ll reach and go past your goals with the commitment and passion you have.

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Yes, the bourbon burst is definitely the one I’d go for!

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Thank-you! That’s a great suggestion.

Welcome to the community :smiley: You have come to the right place to get out of that guitar rut. It is great that you have your plans and routines all worked out, and setting it out in your learning log gives you that extra motivation. @DavidP suggestion of working on some AVOYPs is a fantastic idea.

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