ZedExDM's Learning Log

Hi all!

I’m a complete beginner, bar a couple of lessons some 30 odd years ago, so not sure if anyone will find my learning journey interesting in the short term. Maybe over time it will blossom in to essential reading (haha), but for now, it’s gonna be pretty basic stuff.

A few weeks back, I decided to get myself an electric guitar. I rang a few shops, spoke with a few people and one thing I noticed straight away - everyone had their own idea of what the ‘ideal’ first guitar should be. I had one guy try to convince me to spend over a grand on a first guitar, bring it to him to modify it and so on which I thought was just bonkers advice.

Squier Strats seemed to be fairly common recommendations but I fell in love with Mustangs ever since I was young. I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Squier made a ‘cheap’ version. Reviews seemed ok, so I took the plunge…

I absolutely love it. Every time I walk past it, I can’t help but look at it and smile.

Using good 'ol YouTube tutorials, I’ve set it up reasonably well - I think. It sounds ok to me for now. I do have a luthier very local to me who I’ll take it to eventually to tinker with but at the moment, I don’t want it further than an arm’s length away!

I’m currently on module 1, session 3. I practice every day, trying my best to ‘nail it’ before moving on. I’ve found the app on iPad fantastic to track progress. I’m ready to move to session 4 but don’t want to ‘rush’. Maybe at the weekend…

Another thing I love is hooking my iPad up to my amp and playing along to songs in the app. I will admit to going over the recommended practice length each day playing songs! But I’m enjoying it so much. It’s cathartic to the point that it feels like therapy when I’m playing. I forget about my crappy day at work, the leaking tap in the kitchen and just where I lost my phone charger. Everything else vanishes and I’m there, playing along to songs, badly, but improving!

I’ll update here sporadically. Nobody wants to see just how bad I am right now. Eventually, I’ll post a video up - I’m not camera shy.
Maybe Surfin’ USA once I can get the opening riff not sounding like I’m torturing a cat!

4 Likes

Good on you @ZedExDM , you certainly sound like you’ve got the bug! I think we can all relate to not wanting the guitar too far away and always grabbing it whenever there’s a spare moment.

I’m like you it seems, I spent quite a while per module as I wanted to make sure I ‘got’ everything. Not that that necessarily shows in my playing sometimes!!

Welcome, good luck and enjoy your journey, keep the love and it’ll reward you immensely. :+1:

And PS - don’t be shy with sharing your playing, the community is amazingly supportive, obviously whenever you feel good to do so!

PS x 2 - sweet guitar!

1 Like

Great stuff, I have the same guitar in seafoam green. It’s perfect for channeling Kurt Cobain when you get to power chords!

Looking forward to reading more of your progress.

1 Like

Excellent start to the LL, Zed. Sounds like you bought the right guitar for you … the one that feels you with joy and makes you want to play.

Keep up the practice and song play.

Look forward to your #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing debut when you are ready, which will be well before you think you are ready, since generally speaking we all judge ourselves to a high standard.

1 Like

We don’t judge here. It’s a teaching/learning site so there’s lots of allowances made and support given for all levels of learning.

2 Likes

Hi ZedEx and welcome.

The enthusiasm and joy of your guitar journey is infectious and I believe the main reason most of us hang around here. You’ve already made a great start, so just keep at it.
Believe it or not, the earlier folk share their playing, the more praise they tend to receive, so if you’re not camera-shy, jump in! :smiley:

I do, Maggie,
All. The. Time. :kissing_heart:

2 Likes

@brianlarsen you are very, very bad and yet somehow I still luv ya :roll_eyes:

1 Like

Thanks all. I might give it a shot at recording myself on the weekend. I think David hit the nail on the head above about judging myself to too high a standard. I’m far from perfect, will make mistakes, but realise that feedback on my videos will help me learn in lieu of having ‘offline’ friends who play guitar that can help me.

1 Like

Here’s a little visual log of my fingers and how they’ve reacted to daily playing over the last two weeks since I began learning. I usually have baby soft fingers after spending most of my working life behind a screen on a keyboard…

The numbers indicate the elapsed days of practice.

It was painful for the first week I’d say, then reduced each session, and now I barely notice it.

Its a weird feeling during the day when I’m typing on my keyboard! Its felt strange over the last couple of weeks. They feel a bit numb, although that feeling has gradually reduced too. I guess that will go over time.

2 Likes

Looking good, Zed

Play on player!

1 Like

Comfortably so, or do your hands feel just like two balloons? :wink:

2 Likes

Sorry, not quite getting the reference there. You’re lips are moving but I can’t quite hear what you’re saying… :joy:

3 Likes

After initial first struggles with learning Dm, it’s starting to become easier. Something clicked this evening while strumming along to the Alicia Keys song Fallin’.

I feel fairly comfortable switching between A, D and E and now reasonably comfortable moving between Am, Dm and Em. I practiced linking them all together while strumming ‘Old Faithful’ over a ten minute period, and yea, not bad!

I’ve been practicing Louie, Louie too and a few days ago, it seemed an impossible mission but again, that’s becoming better every day. The speed of the song (at least for me) is quick enough to make it feel like a real accomplishment after making it through, albeit with a couple of duff notes.

I’d say my fingers have properly toughened up now. I guess I may have to toughen up my pinky finger at some point so that’s something to look forward to!

1 Like

I moved on to the next learning section this past weekend (1-5 I think), learning the C chord.

Initially, I thought it would be tricky but I didn’t find it too bad. Dm remains my hardest chord still so spending plenty of time on it.

Felt a real achievement when playing Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. I was playing along to the app and I thought it sounded good. I think the new (to me) C chord livened things up. I played it without the app afterwards to my son and without singing, he recognised the tune. Pretty chuffed with that.

Also, learned a Nirvana rift in this module which was an awesome surprise, being my favourite group of all time. I can play this ‘Come as you are’ tune with my eyes closed now. :grin:

For the first time, I’ve really started to think about tone. I’ve been researching pedals. 'tis a slippery slope I know and my wallet will not thank me :joy:

I’m visiting my parents this weekend and my dad is giving me an amp and a Sony electronic rhythm box thingy. Not sure what it is, but he said he spent a fair amount on it. I didn’t even know he had it so excited to check that out.

2 Likes

It sounds like you’re making good steady progress Zed. Yes, that Dm can be a tricky little chord. It’s good that your still continuing to work on it as your developing that little finger which isn’t as strong and coordinated as the other fingers. Later on you will start using the 3rd finger instead to free up the little finger to apply embellishments etc.

That’s great that you’ve been able to play ‘Get Lucky’ without the app and even more so for it to be recognizable. That’s a moment to definitely be proud of mate. And to play the ‘come as you are’ riff without looking is another accomplishment. Keep on doing what your doing, it certainly seems to be paying dividends.

And now you’re starting to develop the symptoms of G.A.S. I’m sure there are a few folk on here that can give you some great advice on pedals. I think the sony electronic rhythm box thingy may be a drum machine.

1 Like

Yeah, I know that feeling :wink: … I’m a software engineer, so also a lot of typing. And it feels really very strange and weird. I also have the impression that I hit a wrong key more often since I’ve been practicing guitar. :thinking:

Regarding your photos: OMG :see_no_evil: … After about two weeks (30-45 minutes per day) I see no changes at all at my fingertips. I play on nylon strings, though. Maybe that’s why. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

GAS - Gear Acquisition Syndrome?

Yes - It’s quite contagious, it gets us all eventually and there is no cure as far as I know

1 Like

Exactly the same feeling when typing! I have to keep checking when normally it’s second nature.

My fingertips are pretty good now. I’m usually playing for an hour or two each day which I know is above Justin’s recommended time, but I just can’t help myself! It’s so addictive and I don’t want to hang my guitar up until I’ve nailed whatever it is I’m trying to do.

1 Like

One evening I sat there for 2 1/2 hours because I couldn’t get the D chord clean. Really frustrating. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
The next day it suddenly worked much better. So I really need to take care that I don’t practice too long to avoid getting frustrated. I need some time off “of everything” each day to get my head free. But that’s just me and everybody is different :wink: So yeah, if you have to time to play one or two hours per day, that’s great for sure!

2 Likes