Justin Guitar Community

Social Area => Road Cases => Topic started by: vkk1991 on March 28, 2018, 04:13:39 am

Title: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on March 28, 2018, 04:13:39 am
Close2u suggested i get a thread going here to keep track of progress, so here it goes:

I have a very addictive personality. How I managed to not become a complete alcoholic during college is beyond me. Perhaps losing a scholarship if I screwed around too much was a big enough of a scare.. but that's a story for another day. I started playing the guitar in January 2018 and am determined eventually start playing gigs.

I used to be a violinist during middle school when it was only cool to make sax solos and eventually quit because my family was unable to afford it. I will get back to playing a violin eventually, but right now my job will only allow me time to focus on 1 instrument. 

Violin and guitar have some similarities such as the fretboard finger placement. But that is probably where it all ends. Bow strokes and strumming are completely different animals.

ANYWAY..... I started with the Hal Leonard beginner 3 in 1 combo book.
This is a good book; however, the order in which chords are taught are not friendly to people who have never picked up a string instrument in their lives. C, G7, G, D7 are the first chords taught in the book while the Justin method teaches A, D and E. These shapes are much easier than what Leonard teaches, but once i started the Justin method, I had 7 chords under my belt.

Here's a pic of my guitars.
Luckily, its March and that means bonus time  8)

Bought myself the Martin D-18, and the Epiphone Les Paul Pro
(http://i63.tinypic.com/20sen8x.jpg)

This pic doesn't do the Martin, or Les Paul justice IMO.

I will be using this thread as a progress tracker and update it whenever i practice with some highlights. I'll post videos from time to time as well, my youtube channel is:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChn6yqxdq4vzi8oSSDXSNTg

Tuesday March 27th, 2018:

1. 1 minute changes between the following:
G -> B7: 20
B7 -> C7: 15
G -> C: 44
Em -> G: 36
C7 -> G7: 22

This is the first time playing chords where 4 fingers are needed. Pinky has no calluses whatsoever, so this will take time to build up the changes.

2. Killing Me Softly from Beginner Songbook with all downstrums.
Im going to start playing with strumming with thumb vs. pick on an acoustic. I feel that my strumming is kinda jerky when i get to the 4th beat of a chord when using a pick so we'll see how this no pick experiment works.

Mad World - working the intro riff
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on March 28, 2018, 04:20:31 am
Here's my first video trying to play A Horse with No Name




And here's one from this week playing Brown Eyed Girl:




Still got a loooooonng way to go
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: Lord_Gigabyte on March 28, 2018, 09:34:56 am
Didn't miss the starting line, i'd say. But remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. This will be al lifetime of learning, playing and, ofcourse, having fun at it. (most important factor, if you ask me).

Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on March 31, 2018, 03:55:53 am
Didn't miss the starting line, i'd say. But remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. This will be al lifetime of learning, playing and, ofcourse, having fun at it. (most important factor, if you ask me).

thanks for dropping by!
i do enjoy playing.. my job is so process oriented that playing allows me to be creative while still striving to a goal.

Something i really like about Hal Leonard method is that it emphasizes chord changes with the DDDD strumming pattern when a new chord is learned. So I just picked 4 chords at random and tried to focus on the change while keeping strumming as basic as possible..

Seeing steady progress every couple days:





Also, this girl is killing it!!



Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on March 31, 2018, 07:11:23 am
Making good progress vkk. If it's not been mentioned then a good idea to do that exercise with a metronome to develop good timing.

The Pirates theme was great ... Rick, if you're reading this .... how about it  ;)
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on March 31, 2018, 09:34:02 am
You’re doing well, great progress!
At a guess you’re preparing for Dock of the bay, it’s a great classic song to learn,
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 02, 2018, 04:53:53 am
Ive got a terrible fever and feel very weak.
But managed to get some practice in...

So the focus for the next couple weeks is going to be 4 finger chords, to 3 finger chords. I seem to be having an easier time going from any 3 finger chord to B7. A change that has become priority is E to C7. Pinky finger is just not used to holding down a string.

The first part of this video is G -> B7 and the next (super terrible) part is E to C7:




Here's a first go at Killing Me Softly(Stage 4, Song 1), would probably sound better if i could actually press strings harder. But I really like this song:




Today was too nice not to take a stroll at the park. Felt much better afterwards. Ran across this dude playing some really cool blues! Turns out he's been practicing for 15 years and got this guitar off his grandpa's will. He was cool with me filming and posting this. And that is not me going oh yea in the background   :-\





Dan Henig and the dude from the park are motivating me to learn some country after I work through the beginners course. The guitar part of this cover is just so relaxing:





Making good progress vkk. If it's not been mentioned then a good idea to do that exercise with a metronome to develop good timing.

The Pirates theme was great ... Rick, if you're reading this .... how about it  ;)

I do have a metronome wayyyy back from violin practice.
Guess its time to put it to use for the guitar as well.

You’re doing well, great progress!
At a guess you’re preparing for Dock of the bay, it’s a great classic song to learn,

Ty sir!
Right now, im trying just get all the chord changes down and put them into 4 chord patterns that will let me practice. Just all down strums right now.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 02, 2018, 06:50:22 am
Love your updates, vkk.

Metronome will definitely help. I liked your Killing Me Softly. It sounded good. Tempo was variable. Practice with metronome the treatment.

Given where you are based on the chords you are learning and the changes you are practicing, I'd suggest starting to learn to play through fully some songs from stage 1, using ADE.  What worked well for me was playing along with Justin throughout the lesson on Three Little Birds.

Enjoyed the blues player .... I aspire to play like that one day, meanwhile onwards with the BC, laying foundations.

Hope you 100% well soon.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 03, 2018, 06:42:51 am
I was checking out stage 1 again for some more practice material on strumming patterns and noticed that the Johnny Cash song I Walk The Line has that funk boom chicka pattern. I remember trying this wayy back when I was in no way ready to tackle the pattern. 

So after getting 32 chord changes between G to B7, i decided to just focus on this one thing for today's session. The strumming still needs work, picks feel really weird to use. I much rather strum with my thumb, but i dont think i can get the louder sounds without a pick.





chord changes aren't too difficult, its the fact that the strumming needs to be fast AND accurate which can only be improved with more practice.

in other news, the outdoor eating area at work was taken over by two very angry geese. nobody can go outside without risking losing an eye.

Villanova, my alma mater, just won NCAA. Here we go again with another Philly riot.





Love your updates, vkk.

Metronome will definitely help. I liked your Killing Me Softly. It sounded good. Tempo was variable. Practice with metronome the treatment.

Given where you are based on the chords you are learning and the changes you are practicing, I'd suggest starting to learn to play through fully some songs from stage 1, using ADE.  What worked well for me was playing along with Justin throughout the lesson on Three Little Birds.

Enjoyed the blues player .... I aspire to play like that one day, meanwhile onwards with the BC, laying foundations.

Hope you 100% well soon.

cheers buddy!
there is a lot of content in stage 1 and 2 meant for people on stage 3 and beyond. thanks for the idea to go back and put new techniques to use.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 05, 2018, 04:53:53 am
Making some serious progress with G -> B7 changes, got 40 in 1 minute. Im also working on E to C as this change feels really weird, only at 22 in a minute so this will need some work. Haven't touched E to C7 yet.

Did some work with Mad World. Put the intro together with the main part of the song. this came out decent. 4/10 or so. my A chord was a lot closer to the fret and i started getting a bell sound at when playing it. turns out there was some gunk underneath the string and it sounds much better now. Need to be mindful when playing A to not get so close. This would be a really cool song to play once i learn a bit of fingerstyle.





Went to GuitarCenter after work today to play around with some expensive Taylor guitars.

There was a very friendly dude about my age rocking it out on a Gibson Acoustic Hummingbird Regal. Gave me some pointers on how to get barre chords going, as well as some guitarists(Gregory Alan Isakov and Sondre Lerche) to check out that would fit the style im going for later down the line. He also invited me to his gig at the local pub he'll be performing at this weekend so this will be cool!

He had me start further down the neck to try and build the F barre chord shape, and then slowly take it up the neck to fret 1. I managed to get the chord to ring a couple times, but it still needs work. I could hold the E string harder and i can definitely be more consistent with where im placing the bar each time.





Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 05, 2018, 04:11:02 pm
vkk,

Love your drive and desire.  You sure do seem to be making progress.

The only cautionary note I would offer, just to think a wee bit about, is to be careful of trying to get to grips with too much too quickly.  You have covered the chords taught in stage 1, 2, 3 & 4, adding barre chords from stage 6, the boom chikka rhythm from stage 7, the fancy intro to Mad World, skipping down strums.  All this in a few months (though I know this is not your first time learning an instrument, which I am sure helps).

I think the generally accepted wisdom here is to take your time and ensure you have a reasonably solid grounding before moving on. While not become obsessed and getting stuck pursuing perfection.  It is a balance you have to figure out for yourself.  Don't rush but don't get stuck.

I'm not saying you are doing something wrong to be moving forward, rather that it is hard to see how well you have grounded what is to be learned in stage 1 based on the short clips you share.  I can't give you a solid feedback on progress achieved so far.

For example, in playing Mad World I think you could perhaps benefit from simplifying the strum by playing down on every beat, maybe adding some ups on the "&" and playing through the progressions with the metronome.  That will give you a sense of how solid your rhythm/timing is.

Keep up the practice and sharing!!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 07, 2018, 06:34:25 am
Working on "Somebody to Love" and "What's up" from stage 3 right now.

E -> C change is improving... currently at 30. Ill be doing E-> C7 once EtoC reaches 40+.

Metronome work, all down strums at 65 BPM.
OMG this is tedious but I feel like doing this daily will show some serious rhythm gains in a couple months.

No video clips until tomorrow... its a little late to film.

vkk,

Love your drive and desire.  You sure do seem to be making progress.

The only cautionary note I would offer, just to think a wee bit about, is to be careful of trying to get to grips with too much too quickly.  You have covered the chords taught in stage 1, 2, 3 & 4, adding barre chords from stage 6, the boom chikka rhythm from stage 7, the fancy intro to Mad World, skipping down strums.  All this in a few months (though I know this is not your first time learning an instrument, which I am sure helps).

I think the generally accepted wisdom here is to take your time and ensure you have a reasonably solid grounding before moving on. While not become obsessed and getting stuck pursuing perfection.  It is a balance you have to figure out for yourself.  Don't rush but don't get stuck.

I'm not saying you are doing something wrong to be moving forward, rather that it is hard to see how well you have grounded what is to be learned in stage 1 based on the short clips you share.  I can't give you a solid feedback on progress achieved so far.

For example, in playing Mad World I think you could perhaps benefit from simplifying the strum by playing down on every beat, maybe adding some ups on the "&" and playing through the progressions with the metronome.  That will give you a sense of how solid your rhythm/timing is.

Keep up the practice and sharing!!

Hey buddy, you make some very valid points.

The beginner songbook even says in chapter 2 that even though strumming patterns may be tempting to try hold off on them until a consistent strumming pattern is achieved. That and keeping the rhythm(which i feel will correct themselves after sufficient metronome work) are my biggest problems.

However, im extremely curious by nature and Its also very tempting for me to try things that are slightly out of reach, but not impossible.

I also feel like trying the harder things will "prime" my left hand for what is to come, for example, A horse with no name uses Em and D69/F#. However, what makes it really unique is the strumming pattern incorporating base notes and the muting tricks.  And trying(but not using) barre chords will teach my hand flexibility for more chords to come.





And probably the most important point: I don't have much going for me at the moment. Im just a 26 year old dude who works as an IT consultant which means i travel 2-3 weeks a month. I never really enjoyed the violin as a kid because my parents kinda just threw me into it. Guitar is different because i actually want to do it and enjoy seeing the progress. I recently started studying for the GMAT so that brings a total of 4 things i do daily: Work, Guitar practice, gym and study.
 
That's probably more than you wanted to read but hey, this is my reasoning as to why i do things this way.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 07, 2018, 07:01:26 am
What’s up is an amazing song to learn, the strumming pattern is a bit of a challenge but it’s well worth persevering with - that song is iconic so simple but it really kicks a55!
I’ve been playing around trying to learn the lead part of it, again it’s quite simple but sounds great!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 08, 2018, 03:23:02 am
OK new game plan.

When the stage introduces a new strumming pattern, i will practice that pattern on the songs(more likely single chords) before that stage. And really focus on getting rhythm going consistently. Today's practice session started with metronome, just the E chord.

2, 1 minute intervals at 70 BPM. Forearms were actually burning from this and the rest of the session was quite difficult to perform. I can lift weights but strumming gets me tired  ???

next i worked more on "Whats Up" and "Somebody to Love"
also did "Killing me softly".

I noticed that I can play all chords upto stage 3 without looking at the fretboard. Now i need to bring the stage 4 chords to this baseline.

Im trying this pattern on whats up and it sounds nice (D D U Miss U D)... the actual pattern is difficult to get and i probably wont try that one till later. Somebody to Love sounds decent with downstrums only but the real pattern from Justin video is too cool to not learn.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 08, 2018, 08:57:29 am
Sounds like an effective approach,  vkk. The more consistently you can maintain a steady up and down with the strumming hand the better.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 08, 2018, 04:44:32 pm
Im trying this pattern on whats up and it sounds nice (D D U Miss U D)... the actual pattern is difficult to get and i probably wont try that one till later. Somebody to Love sounds decent with downstrums only but the real pattern from Justin video is too cool to not learn.
Don’t stick too rigidly to that suggested strumming pattern, listen to the recording lots of times and you will realise that it does vary and varies performance to performance, try playing along with it, if it sounds right then it’s ok!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 08, 2018, 05:28:11 pm
Listen to Justin. When he teaches a song for beginners he begins with a simple down strum on the beat. And somehow the songs sound ok. Ok he does sing the melody which helps. But still. Lesson for me is that solid rhythm in time with a simple pattern will sound better than a fancy pattern with all over the place timing.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 09, 2018, 05:03:32 am
Worked mostly on songs today, E -> C is is 36.

Here's "Whats Up", first with 4 down strums per chord and then a pattern thrown in.. I think it came out ok.






"Somebody to love", just the first two parts:




"Twist and Shout". Im doing some weird thing where I stop after the upstrum on the E. Need to keep that going smoother





"On the dock of the bay" just downstrums on the first two verses. This REALLY needs work.


Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 09, 2018, 10:57:54 am
Your strumming is ok and chord changes not too band, B7 needs work BUT your timing is not consistent, you’re speeding up, use a metronome and get it consistent and you’ll be ok!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 10, 2018, 05:23:54 am
Practiced getting B7 and C7 clearly. Super slow strumming with each chord.

Then did 10 rounds of 70 BPM with metronome. The hard part of this is playing when the ticker goes off, and not before or a second too late.

Your strumming is ok and chord changes not too band, B7 needs work BUT your timing is not consistent, you’re speeding up, use a metronome and get it consistent and you’ll be ok!


Yep, B7 is terrible.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 12, 2018, 05:55:51 am




tried to keep the strumming as consistent as possible. No random speeding up randomly.
I think this went pretty well.

Tried to learn the pick hit stuff Justin mentioned but that wasnt gonna happen. Don't have the coordination to pull that off quite yet.

Chord changes that ill be working hard for the next couple weeks:

1. G->Fmaj7 ... dont have an issue with G to C but when im supposed to play Fmaj7, im playing C so i need to practice this.

2. G -> C7

3. B7 -> G7

4. Fmaj7 -> B7

5. E -> B7

6. E -> C7

7. C7 -> B7

So yeah, mostly going from 4 finger chords to 3 finger chords and vice versa. I feel like if i dont put in the work on these basic transitions, im going to have a really hard time moving forward.


Oh and Sixers are 3rd seed going into the Playoffs. TRUST THE PROCESS.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 12, 2018, 08:13:24 am
Much better but you need to remedy the tiny hesitation on your upstrum, exaggerate it initially, it needs to be equal travel up and down to get it right, you are on the right path and definitely more consistent with your timing!
Take a look at this
https://youtu.be/nbhUop_DwyU
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 16, 2018, 12:07:47 am
G -> B7 = 40
E -> C = 40
C -> C7 = 30 -> This is a really stupid chord change to practice, but my pinky is all over the place when doing this and needs to get in control.

G -> Fmaj7 = 25 -> this is horrible now, but i kept hitting the C chord instead of Fmaj7 so i focused on making it ring right.

5 x 1min @ 70BPM just down strums

then followed by the following chords with 4 downstrums per bar:

Em -> B7 -> C -> A

G -> D -> C -> C7

No songs today.

Small observation: My pinky feels very very strange trying to hold down anything that isn't the high E string. Pinky has to toughen up a little bit - just like every other finger did when i picked up a guitar in the first place :)

Much better but you need to remedy the tiny hesitation on your upstrum, exaggerate it initially, it needs to be equal travel up and down to get it right, you are on the right path and definitely more consistent with your timing!
Take a look at this
https://youtu.be/nbhUop_DwyU

I actually bought both RUST DVDs along with the beginner songbook!, great stuff.. my mistake was thinking that the DVD is supposed to be a sit and learn the whole thing in one session. Only after starting the beginner songbook did i realize that D D D D is essential for the whole book.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 17, 2018, 05:03:19 pm
E -> C7  = 40 (27 of those switches are actually ringing correctly, this is the number that matters most)

G -> B7 = 42

E -> C = 41

More practice with down strums + metronome while focusing on keeping the strumming hand moving at all times.
This is getting a little bit easier.

Went to the music store and thumbed through a Nirvana songbook.
Ended up buying it because the majority of the chords in that book seem doable, even though i dont know them all completely just yet.


Sixers lost series tied at 1-1 but Dwade went 2008 mode ohh yeaaa.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: MrBumble on April 17, 2018, 05:29:33 pm
Sixers lost series tied at 1-1 but Dwade went 2008 mode ohh yeaaa.

Sorry, you'll need to explain that - possibly something to do with cricket at a guess.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 18, 2018, 05:59:49 am
Hey guys, so today was a whole bunch of songs work.
My chord changes need to be crispier.

I feel like im playing a bit too robotic/"just do it" mentality instead of "this is music, atleast try and make it sound.. you know, musical!". Considering rolling back to stage 2/3 or even stage 1 and rebuilding the songs from there... it would help in really nailing strumming patterns, as well as focusing on trying to master the chord changes instead of "3 more down strums until time to change chords".. what do you guys think? 

Here's "I wanna hold your hand", and you can kinda see what i mean:





Started "Come as You Are" from the Nirvana book. First ever riff:




Tried to mess around with fingerstyle, not exactly sure what I was trying to accomplish with this but it was fun trying to put some chords together:






Sorry, you'll need to explain that - possibly something to do with cricket at a guess.

Im a huge basketball fan.

Its actually in reference to the Miami Heats player Dwayne Wade destroying the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoff game. The series is tied now at 1-1 and next game is at Miami. Whatever team gets to 4 wins first will advance to the next round of the playoffs.

For some unknown reason, I find cricket and baseball as the most boring sports of all time. I don't even like American football(despite the Eagles winning the Superbowl and the subsequent riots I participated in). Soccer is another can of worms entirely. The fact that a team can play on like that for 90 minutes and have the game called as a tie for scoring 1-1 is atrocious to me.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: MrBumble on April 18, 2018, 06:42:30 am

Im a huge basketball fan.

Its actually in reference to the Miami Heats player Dwayne Wade destroying the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoff game. The series is tied now at 1-1 and next game is at Miami. Whatever team gets to 4 wins first will advance to the next round of the playoffs.

For some unknown reason, I find cricket and baseball as the most boring sports of all time. I don't even like American football(despite the Eagles winning the Superbowl and the subsequent riots I participated in). Soccer is another can of worms entirely. The fact that a team can play on like that for 90 minutes and have the game called as a tie for scoring 1-1 is atrocious to me.

Thanks for the clarification.
I hadn't thought of basketball. I'm with you on cricket - I'd sooner watch paint dry - but my game is Rugby.

However, back on topic, your guitar workrate is exemplary, I'm surprised you have time for sport at all.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 18, 2018, 07:01:15 am
That’s good, strumming is nice and steady and keeping in time!
Your go at finger picking isn’t bad but you should know what chords you want to play and the order you want to play them, it seemed like you weren’t sure where to go next, if that’s what you are interested in it would be good to understand the circle of fifths so that you know which chords sound good together.
A great resource for learning finger style is one I use, there are some really simple but really nice sounding combinations of chords; if you look for Marco Cirillo on YT and some of the beginners tutorials you will see what I mean!
BUT don’t let this departure take over too much of your time, it’s a bit premature to get too interested at your stage.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 18, 2018, 10:19:56 pm
Coming along well, for sure. You were on top of the tricky B7.

I shan't be tempted into the sports conversation  :)
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 20, 2018, 04:49:24 am
Everything done today was about E->C7 and G -> C7.
 
Everything from 4 down strums per bar super slow to 1 minute changes repeated 5 times.
Must have switched between these two chords 200 or so times. Fingers cramping up like crazy but they are getting used to it..


Practiced some strumming with just E chord.
I have ran through the first 5 strumming patterns from "Really Useful Strumming Patterns DVD 1" and noticed that my downstrum is a lot more exaggerated than Justin's is - to the point where we both start off at the same time, and he miraculously ends up half a beat ahead of me. Going to make a conscious effort to cut the downstrum off a bit earlier to keep up with the DVD.

I'll work some songs tomorrow.

Also, guys I start travelling domestically within 2 weeks again for work.
Unfortunately, Economy class is not friendly towards two specific things:

1. Anyone over 5'11''
2. Instruments

Does anyone have suggestions on what mini guitar i should get to practice in the hotel? I don't really care how fancy it is.. Just need something that i can practice chord changes and strumming on. Seems like the Baby Taylor and Martin Backpacker are the most popular travel sized guitars that you can put in the overhead compartments and take as carry on..

I have returned Epiphone Les Paul... The return expiry date is in 3 days and I just don't think I gave the Fender Strat or Tele a good enough try to be 100% focused on LP.. There is a sale through May 8th at guitar center so maybe ill go play around with Teles and Strats. The sound im going for right now is Jimmy Hendrix, so probably a Strat but the Tele look is very classy.

There's just something super sexy about a butterscotch Tele.

Also, Sixers beat the Heats and are up 2-1 in their series.

TRUST THE PROCESS

(https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/sqlz77WJ3De24HHe1cnRSA--/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/csnphilly.com/5747687702d37d1a4a0c955d3ae15161)

----

Coming along well, for sure. You were on top of the tricky B7.

I shan't be tempted into the sports conversation  :)

haha, man im a Philly fan.
Whomever your teams are, Im sure you guys aren't as annoying as us Philly fans :D
As long as you aren't a Zaza fan..

That’s good, strumming is nice and steady and keeping in time!
Your go at finger picking isn’t bad but you should know what chords you want to play and the order you want to play them, it seemed like you weren’t sure where to go next, if that’s what you are interested in it would be good to understand the circle of fifths so that you know which chords sound good together.
A great resource for learning finger style is one I use, there are some really simple but really nice sounding combinations of chords; if you look for Marco Cirillo on YT and some of the beginners tutorials you will see what I mean!
BUT don’t let this departure take over too much of your time, it’s a bit premature to get too interested at your stage.

There's still a lot of tweaking to do.. Everytime i watch parts of the RUST DVD, it looks like Justin is doing something which doesn't look like it makes a big difference, but after repeating the pattern a couple times, he's a beat and a half ahead - like mentioned above.

A deep dive into fingerstyle is sounds interesting... however.. id also like to get into poppy fingerstyle like this, i know there's gotta be some looper pedals going on but still he nailed it:




Id also like to learn rock stuff like Tom Morello, Jimmy Hendrix or even Slash - Thats kinda why i returned the Les Paul. I just didn't know what sound I want.. except that the D18 sound just clicks.

Thanks for the clarification.
I hadn't thought of basketball. I'm with you on cricket - I'd sooner watch paint dry - but my game is Rugby.

However, back on topic, your guitar workrate is exemplary, I'm surprised you have time for sport at all.

Rugby is a great sport. Much better than American football.

Honestly, this is what my day looks like:

Wake up, prepare food for the day, go to gym: 5-8am
shower, go to work: 9am-12pm
lunch: 12pm
leave work around 5:30-6pm ish, then dinner
study for grad school tests - 7-9ish
9 onwards, practice guitar for usually 30-45 minutes including warmup.

this schedule lets me get atleast 5 half hour practice sessions a week focusing on either technical(learn new chords, practice chord changes, strumming, and once i learn them - scales) or songs
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 20, 2018, 08:20:28 am
If you want an acoustic then a Taylor Baby would be nice, also any Parlour size guitar is about as small as you can get with a ‘proper’ guitar, a Guitalele could be an alternative, basically it’s a 6 string Ukulele that is tuned like a guitar at the 5th fret, all of the chord shapes are the same but obviously not the same names - eg an A shape on a Guitalele is actually a D and an E is an A; it can get confusing unless you just ignore the difference and just practice remembering that it sounds different 🤣🤣🤣
You can get one the same as mine in the USA  here
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B075K975JQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524274151&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=guitalele&psc=1
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 21, 2018, 09:40:56 pm
haha, man im a Philly fan.
Whomever your teams are, Im sure you guys aren't as annoying as us Philly fans :D
As long as you aren't a Zaza fan..

Rugby is a great sport. Much better than American football.

this schedule lets me get atleast 5 half hour practice sessions a week focusing on either technical(learn new chords, practice chord changes, strumming, and once i learn them - scales) or songs
Ok, you got me.  No idea what a Zaza fan might be.

I was born in England and came to South Africa age 9, still here. So I am rugby,  football, cricket watcher, some tennis and like the US Masters golf.

I enjoy basketball even without knowing the rules. And seems odd for the last seconds to take so long to play. Like edited highlights of American Football, but the ages between each play kill. Once watched the Cubs at Wrigley Field, apparently it was a super exciting game...apparently.

Most fun team sport to play, perhaps volleyball...even though I was too short and not good at jumping which made it a challenge.

Your steady practice routine plus desire is sure to lead to progress...keep strumming.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 22, 2018, 05:33:53 am
Focused a bit more today on slowly working in strumming patterns for I want to hold your hand as well as Somebody to love.

Ill get some videos up for tomorrow.

regardless, i find my process for each song as follows:
1. 4 downstrums per bar unless specified
2. add metronome and work the 4 downstrums until 90BPM
3. then add strumming pattern -> where i struggle the most

so that leads to the question..
How would i incorporate specific strumming patterns into metronome work?
for a pattern like D U D U D U D U, would it be everytime the metronome clicks, i should be switching strums? When i tried to work the strumming pattern into the songs mentioned above, i noticed that my strumming is inconsistent unless i slow the entire thing down(which is the best way to practice but would like to get consistent strumy rhythm in)


Also, my co worker and I had a long discussion about what instrument he should learn for his fiance when she gets here in August. He was stuck between the acoustic guitar and the piano. Showed him Justin's lessons and made up his mind real quick. He's ordered the beginner songbook and we will go guitar shopping tomorrow. Hopefully, he keeps practicing even after his fiance arrives because there's some cool things i want to try with someone around my skill level. 


Ok, you got me.  No idea what a Zaza fan might be.

I was born in England and came to South Africa age 9, still here. So I am rugby,  football, cricket watcher, some tennis and like the US Masters golf.

I enjoy basketball even without knowing the rules. And seems odd for the last seconds to take so long to play. Like edited highlights of American Football, but the ages between each play kill. Once watched the Cubs at Wrigley Field, apparently it was a super exciting game...apparently.

Most fun team sport to play, perhaps volleyball...even though I was too short and not good at jumping which made it a challenge.

Your steady practice routine plus desire is sure to lead to progress...keep strumming.

I think basketball is the easiest sport for a spectator to watch and get a reasonable understanding of, just score some shots and dont let the other guy score.

Volleyball is a great sport.. Im not that great at sports either.. 6'2'' and cannot dunk :(((

Zaza is a guy on the Golden State Warriors who has zero understanding of what sportsmanship is. He tries to intentionally hurt other players and gets away with it frequently.
If you want an acoustic then a Taylor Baby would be nice, also any Parlour size guitar is about as small as you can get with a ‘proper’ guitar, a Guitalele could be an alternative, basically it’s a 6 string Ukulele that is tuned like a guitar at the 5th fret, all of the chord shapes are the same but obviously not the same names - eg an A shape on a Guitalele is actually a D and an E is an A; it can get confusing unless you just ignore the difference and just practice remembering that it sounds different 🤣🤣🤣
You can get one the same as mine in the USA  here
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B075K975JQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524274151&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=guitalele&psc=1

That's a great option! Much better than the Martin Backpacker
Ill check out the local stores to see if they have it.. Thanks!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on April 22, 2018, 06:26:31 am
If you’re talking about the Guitalele Yamaha make one also that is about the same price as the Donner, I got the Donner because I also have a couple of their Ukuleles and know they are very good for the price. They only sell direct or on Amazon so I doubt you will find one in a shop.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 23, 2018, 12:59:20 am
Tried to work strumming patterns in today.
Couple things i noticed:

1. Dm transitions need work, the chord just feels wonky.
2. the songs seem to start out decent, but my confidence is wavering and that's leading to sloppiness.
3. im still not comfortable with missing downstrums - but the majority of the songs presented in the Beginner Songbook up until and including stage 4 sound perfectly good without the miss. 

gotta keep pushing the technique days.







Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 23, 2018, 05:09:39 pm
Not too bad at all, vkk.

Some hesitations quite evident, which I am sure you've picked up on.  Not sure what is the principle cause.  I am wondering is it the skipped down strum or is it some hesitation in the chord changes?  If the latter then you can continue to work on specific chord changes using one-minute-changes or spend some more time learning the chord progressions and changes of the songs at a slower tempo.  If the former then more time drilling strumming patterns with the metronome.  Concentrate on all the patterns mentioned in BC in the early stages, 4 & 3 I think.  That is intended to serve as the grounding for trip-let strumming in stage 5 and the "old faithful" pattern with the skipped down strum in 6.  And I think Justin structures his course quite purposefully, so worth following it, I'd say.

Thanks for the sporting clarifications :)   
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 24, 2018, 05:43:07 am
G -> B7 = 45
E -> C7 = 39
G -> Dm = 35
C -> Dm = 35

Found the weakest link: Dm switches. Gotta make that chord feel normal. Pinky is also getting used to holding down strings.

So I think i've identified something major that Im doing wrong... or maybe just seeing things?

Here's justin's video of Three Little Birds:




Start the video at 5:25 right before he goes from A chord to D chord. It looks like he is doing the chord change right before completing the 4th strum of the bar for A chord.  This would explain why his chord changes sound so continuous, and mine sounds choppy despite the chord change feeling "good".

I tried this today with just the first 3 chords. 1 Bar A, 1 Bar D, 1 Bar E and it actually sounded really good so this might mean Ill restart the beginners course working this one tidbit into my strumming/timing.



Not too bad at all, vkk.

Some hesitations quite evident, which I am sure you've picked up on.  Not sure what is the principle cause.  I am wondering is it the skipped down strum or is it some hesitation in the chord changes?  If the latter then you can continue to work on specific chord changes using one-minute-changes or spend some more time learning the chord progressions and changes of the songs at a slower tempo.  If the former then more time drilling strumming patterns with the metronome.  Concentrate on all the patterns mentioned in BC in the early stages, 4 & 3 I think.  That is intended to serve as the grounding for trip-let strumming in stage 5 and the "old faithful" pattern with the skipped down strum in 6.  And I think Justin structures his course quite purposefully, so worth following it, I'd say.

Thanks for the sporting clarifications :)

Would really like to hear your opinion on my observation above.. whether it be false or true, i think i may have identified the root cause of some of the pausing.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 24, 2018, 06:04:42 am
vkk,

Can't watch the video at the minute.  I can say Justin often says that the upstrum on the "&" of beat 4 will often catch open strings.  I think the down strum would typically be on the chord.  I suspect that is hard to analyse in a scientific way, music is about feel and I think over time it will develop and one day the hesitancy you hear will just be gone.

Best suggestion I can make is to follow the BC in terms of what you do when and take your time.  When a beginner is solid on stage 1 and begins stage 2 they'll be in a good position to continue to work on the stage 1 songs, like this one, playing them slow and steady, to build that feel.

I think if one rushes, moving too quickly, then that solid foundation may have the odd crack in it.  And when Justin first says metronome, that is the time to really give it focus.

You are doing really well and can only encourage to keep working, doing the drills as you, working your rhythm with the metronome and being persistent and patient.  Playing a musical instrument is not a simple activity, there's a lot going on, a lot to learn, new neural pathways to groove and get into the muscle memory.  Some may find it "quick and easy" to do this, I suspect the majority have to apply themselves ... certainly I've had to ... every gain is earned through much deliberate practice.

Strum on !!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: OpsRes on April 24, 2018, 03:24:42 pm
vkk,
You asked about a guitar that you can take on the road. I would suggest that you take a look at Traveler Guitars. The one I have is the Ultra-light Electric .
I have flown with this many times and have never had a problem, it easily fits in the overhead bin, I've never had a problem with security and it is light to carry around. The odd body shape of this guitar takes a bit of getting used to but that happened quite quickly.
I also have an iRig2  that I can plug into either my ipad or iphone and then play with headphones on so that even in a hotel room I won't disturb anyone else.
Over all I am very satisfied with this setup and it allows me to take my practice anywhere at all.

Cheers
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on April 27, 2018, 11:29:03 am
Restarted the song portion of the beginner course.
I completely missed the timing part for chord switches so i figured its best to try and fix my incorrect timing now rather than later.











Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on April 27, 2018, 03:56:58 pm
Yup, the more you invest in getting the basics right the better.  Sounding pretty steady to me ...
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on May 07, 2018, 04:24:43 am
Hey guys Im still here.

Have been very busy with some work projects, so ill try and keep this post short.
I'm still practicing everyday. Strumming is starting to click.. somewhat.

It seems that the there should be a sweet spot between forearm movement and a flick of the wrist. Where that is, is independent for everyone but I feel like slowly but surely stumbling towards the right direction.

I also bought a Squier Affinity series Telecaster because:

1. I really like the way Tele's look.
2. Its super cheap, for like $100, and amp for $150.

Trying to get a basic rock lick in... after playing acoustic guitar hurts like a MFer.

SIXERS ARE DOWN 0-3 AGAINST THE CHEATER CELTICS BUT WE STILL TRUST THE PROCESS.

Here's some stuff from this weeks practice sessions:











Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on May 08, 2018, 05:45:29 am
vkk,

Your Killing Me Softly sounded pretty good.  Just goes to show that as the strumming gets fluent and solid on the rhythm then even the simplest pattern sounds musical and good.

Sounded like there might have been some tempo changes in the first video.  Perhaps record some clips like that with the metronome.

Keep at, you are improving ...
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: Barend on May 12, 2018, 07:22:52 am
Hi Vkk

A quick word from me to congratulate you on your progress. I read through and watched most of your posts (lazy saturday morning in bed with light drizzle outside). You can be proud of the way you are playing killing me softly after 5 months.

I am doing the sections of Justin's BC course that i was not exposed to before. I played for years using basically just 6 chords and a single strumming paytern... lol. Also did a bit of fingerpicking. Currently working on the 12 bar blues and 'before you accuse me' by eric clapton.

My 2 cents on sport.... I am addicted to watching rugby...(played it for c15 years). Also enjoy playing golf and watching the majors. Actually played basketball for a while at varsity when i could not play rugby anymore. Nice game. Squash also a very nice game to keep fit. Love watching the tennis slams, specially the finals..

Keep up the practise and good luck with the studies.

Cheers
Barend



Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on May 15, 2018, 06:41:34 am
Hi guys - still trying to tighten things up a little bit.
Id like to get to the point where i can comfortably use a strumming pattern beside D D D D and make smooth transitions between chords between before moving to stage 5.

For example in Brown Eyed Girl, it looks like Justin is doing an empty upstrum before nailing the chord change. So it goes like this, beat 3 = G, beat 4 = G, empty upstrum, beat 1 = C,





For I want to hold your hand, same thing, complete the downstrum, then a plain up strum before placing the next chord and continuing with the pattern





Here's some clips.. still playing with fingerstyle. Not sure what the rules on this forum are regarding posting content from other youtubers, but im just gonna say that i found a nifty fingerstyle tune from another youtube guitar teacher and im working on that as well.

Live Forever has a really cool sounding G chord introduced and id like to play around with a couple of the songs so far and see where it would fit in.














Hi Vkk

A quick word from me to congratulate you on your progress. I read through and watched most of your posts (lazy saturday morning in bed with light drizzle outside). You can be proud of the way you are playing killing me softly after 5 months.

I am doing the sections of Justin's BC course that i was not exposed to before. I played for years using basically just 6 chords and a single strumming paytern... lol. Also did a bit of fingerpicking. Currently working on the 12 bar blues and 'before you accuse me' by eric clapton.

My 2 cents on sport.... I am addicted to watching rugby...(played it for c15 years). Also enjoy playing golf and watching the majors. Actually played basketball for a while at varsity when i could not play rugby anymore. Nice game. Squash also a very nice game to keep fit. Love watching the tennis slams, specially the finals..

Keep up the practise and good luck with the studies.

Cheers
Barend



Thanks for stopping by! Honestly, it looks like a huge jump from stage 4 to stage 5.
The songs sound pretty good with just the basic strumming pattern up to and including stage 4.. 12 bar blues is a different ballgame entirely.

Have you ever ran a tough mudder or spartan race? I started training for that and its crazy! lots of hill runs, bodyweight exercises, etc..
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on May 15, 2018, 03:24:38 pm
I think you are making excellent progress on the strumming, vkk.  You are sounding steady on the D-D-D-D- strumming on both the songs you played.  Keep going with this, eg I am sure you can in time it will sound even better playing Live Forever with that rhythm just at a faster tempo ... provided you keep in time and make the changes smoothly.

As I recall, by the end of stage 4, Justin introduced additional patterns ... D-D-DUDU or D-DUDUD- ... I forget the specific patterns.  So based on where you are in terms of the chords you are using, you could start playing some of the simpler songs where you are more automated on the changes with these patterns.

You are right about the jump to stage 5 ... for me getting the trip-let strumming right took some effort.  But only made possible by getting solid on the use of the up-strums in the preceding lessons.

And all the work done up get stage 5 done, positions you for stage 6 when Justin introduces the skip of a down-strum, what he calls "old faithful" since it can sound so good on so many songs ... don't know why but that skipped down-strum somehow makes a huge difference.

You are also correct, if I understand correctly, that often the final up-strum of beat 4 is on open strums, particularly when you start to play at faster tempos ... just not enough time between the down of beat 4 and down of beat 1 of the next measure to make a chord change, so the change is made over the "&" at the end of the bar.

As for the finger-picking...from a Justin BC perspective that comes later.  Nothing wrong with starting earlier, if you have the time to practice more.  Just bring through the same principles you used when learning the strumming.  That is, keep it slow and simple at first. 

So pick a basic pattern and work on getting it smooth on a single chord.  I'd suggest starting on either an Em and G ... my reason being that the bass note played with the thumb is the 6th string for both.  And  only start changing back and forth between the chords once you feel reasonably fluent on the basic pattern, eg thumb on 6, ring 1, middle 2, index 3.  And that could be played as 4 quarter notes i.e. one note per metronome click. I think getting that basic control of the right hand fingers will set you up to play more elaborate patterns and in time be able to pick out melodies in a chord progression and ultimately, be more like a Mark Knopfler and finger riffs/licks with the lefthand that are picked with individual fingers rather than with a plectrum ... but all starts (even for Knopfler, I heard him say so) with getting the basics solid.

Keep at it, you are sounding good on those songs strummed simply ...
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on May 16, 2018, 05:26:28 am
Today was a strumming focus day, put the metronome at 60 BPM(pattern D D D U D) and played the Em chord for 5 minutes. Very slow, but this is the best point to start.

Then, i went back to 4 downstrums per bar, and after the 4th downstrum, add empty upstrum before nailing the next chord change. Worked with A and E chords here at 60 BPM. Just get used to that empty upstrum. 

Finally, i worked 3 one minute changes:
B7 -> Dm = 40
C7 -> Dm = 37
G -> Dm = 40

Id like to bring these up to 50+ in the short term.

I think you are making excellent progress on the strumming, vkk.  You are sounding steady on the D-D-D-D- strumming on both the songs you played.  Keep going with this, eg I am sure you can in time it will sound even better playing Live Forever with that rhythm just at a faster tempo ... provided you keep in time and make the changes smoothly.

As I recall, by the end of stage 4, Justin introduced additional patterns ... D-D-DUDU or D-DUDUD- ... I forget the specific patterns.  So based on where you are in terms of the chords you are using, you could start playing some of the simpler songs where you are more automated on the changes with these patterns.

You are right about the jump to stage 5 ... for me getting the trip-let strumming right took some effort.  But only made possible by getting solid on the use of the up-strums in the preceding lessons.

And all the work done up get stage 5 done, positions you for stage 6 when Justin introduces the skip of a down-strum, what he calls "old faithful" since it can sound so good on so many songs ... don't know why but that skipped down-strum somehow makes a huge difference.

You are also correct, if I understand correctly, that often the final up-strum of beat 4 is on open strums, particularly when you start to play at faster tempos ... just not enough time between the down of beat 4 and down of beat 1 of the next measure to make a chord change, so the change is made over the "&" at the end of the bar.

As for the finger-picking...from a Justin BC perspective that comes later.  Nothing wrong with starting earlier, if you have the time to practice more.  Just bring through the same principles you used when learning the strumming.  That is, keep it slow and simple at first. 

So pick a basic pattern and work on getting it smooth on a single chord.  I'd suggest starting on either an Em and G ... my reason being that the bass note played with the thumb is the 6th string for both.  And  only start changing back and forth between the chords once you feel reasonably fluent on the basic pattern, eg thumb on 6, ring 1, middle 2, index 3.  And that could be played as 4 quarter notes i.e. one note per metronome click. I think getting that basic control of the right hand fingers will set you up to play more elaborate patterns and in time be able to pick out melodies in a chord progression and ultimately, be more like a Mark Knopfler and finger riffs/licks with the lefthand that are picked with individual fingers rather than with a plectrum ... but all starts (even for Knopfler, I heard him say so) with getting the basics solid.

Keep at it, you are sounding good on those songs strummed simply ...

Thanks for the details!

The first thing i tried to do today was to do D D U Miss U D chord change upstrum then D D U Miss U D.
That ended up horribly. Trying to do too many things at once, one part at a time. So for now, D D D D Upstrum and D D D U D Upstrum is all i need.
 
The most humbling thing about practicing is that its merciless.
I know exactly what sounds terrible, and there is no way that trying to speed up playing is going to benefit because ill be sure to miss beats, miss strums etc.. and it just takes a lot of practice to get something to sound as good as Id like to make it sound.

I even took a sneak peek at stage 5 and it only gets more involved from there.. Theres power chords, F barre chord (which i managed to get, but switching between that and open chords is another adventure entirely), learn the notes, and it will all come in due time.. Just focus on enjoying where i am and keep in mind that the beginners course is structured in a way that you wont be fed more than you can chew.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on May 16, 2018, 06:02:32 am
What you say in your latest update makes sense, sounds wise.  Justin has developed this BC based on many, many years of teaching experience.  The sequence is put together intentionally.  I'm sure not the only way to learn but it is tried and tested.

At stage 4 you have a chord vocabulary that is sufficient to play a vast catalogue of songs.  And you can start to use the up strums to make the songs more interesting. Listening to you I am sure it won't take long before you are smoothly playing songs with up-strums. 

A good one I found to experiment with was Mad World.  You can use a different pattern for the verse and chorus and it starts to sound quite musical.  Yes that skipped down-strum will make it sound even better but not if trying it causes the chord changes to deteriorate and your playing to become hesitant.

Keep at it, slow and steady (as you are), and you will see the benefits.  I think if you never go beyond the BC, you'll be able to sound really good and impress your friends and family for sure.  Of course once the BC is done one will surely yearn to become better, but by completing it with patient diligence you will become a guitar player.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on May 21, 2018, 01:04:59 am
Practicing the "4th and" up empty strum.
I think its coming together decent when i play slowly but the strumming problems/hesitancy are coming out when picking up speed as shown in this clip:





To practice consistent strumming with D D D U D, i have played around with some chords that sound good together. The first sequence that sounds good is:

Capo on 4th fret
G Em C D
G Em C Am

when put together, it sounds like this:




Sure gonna need some other combos and even some lyrics to turn it into a song  ;D
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on May 23, 2018, 08:22:23 pm
Both sounding pretty good, vkk.

I think maybe you speed up and slow down a little every now and then, but mostly sounded pretty steady and smooth.

Also suggest you look at how you sit ... a little bit hunched over the guitar, I guess to watch the chord fretting hand.  Good idea to slowly sit up I think, and build the confidence to play those chords with less need to look as closely as you are now.

Really do think Hold Your Hand is sounding good.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: CT on May 23, 2018, 10:29:51 pm
That G-Em-C-D (I-VIm-iV-V) turnaround is the secret sauce in a lot of great music! Nail that one down and you’ve nailed down a ton of songs. Keep at it, man!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on May 28, 2018, 05:49:41 am
Some more videos.

Mad World: I need to slow the strumming down. The actual song has a slow and delicate tempo. There is a difference between slow and purposeful and slow because uncomfortable with strumming.





Brown Eyed Girl: Very happy how this came out. Missed a strum at some point - so need to be more observant. But super happy nonetheless.





Twist and Shout: This is also coming together pretty well. Just a bit more strumming consistency and then I can start the next part of this song.





12 Bar Blues: Started working on this just to introduce a new skill. The finger flexibility is lacking to be able to finger the second fret and fourth fret at once but it will come with time.





Overall im very happy with how this "skill consolidation phase" of the first 4 stages is going and I think im learning quite a bit by just focusing on some material instead of trying to force progression when the skill just isnt there.

That G-Em-C-D (I-VIm-iV-V) turnaround is the secret sauce in a lot of great music! Nail that one down and you’ve nailed down a ton of songs. Keep at it, man!

Thanks!

Both sounding pretty good, vkk.

I think maybe you speed up and slow down a little every now and then, but mostly sounded pretty steady and smooth.

Also suggest you look at how you sit ... a little bit hunched over the guitar, I guess to watch the chord fretting hand.  Good idea to slowly sit up I think, and build the confidence to play those chords with less need to look as closely as you are now.

Really do think Hold Your Hand is sounding good.

Thanks man!
Yes, i agree. Posture is very important and it has to be improved at work as well.
Sitting on a chair with terrible back support day after day isnt healthy for the back.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on May 28, 2018, 06:05:02 am
You’re doing ok, I did notice a bit of hesitation here and there in your strumming but it’s very much better than it used to be. Keep it up with the Blues work, you have the right idea but the lack of familiarity with the chords is holding you back, this will soon get sorted by practicing. You seem to understand the rhythm pretty well which is usually most folks stumbling block so well done there, keep going onwards and upwards you’re doing good!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on May 29, 2018, 04:50:23 pm
Echoing Darrell , vkk

You continue to make good progress with the strumming and changes.  Like so many fine things in life, you just can't rush the process.

The blues sounded good, you're on your way there as well !!

I suggest looking at Justin's lesson for Old Timed Rock and Roll ... Bob Seger.  You can use it to practice hitting only two strings per chord, also ADE like a basic blues progression.  Slightly different rhythm.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on June 16, 2018, 04:13:33 am
Hey guys,

Its been a while since i've updated this journal.

Ive been drifting away from technique work, and focusing too much on song work.
putting songs on the back burner for now, and focusing on technique.

Why? because my fingers are not strong enough to hold down a 2nd fret and then a 4th fret of a string when playing 12 bar blues. so these are the exercises i want to make a mainstay. Will start on the 5-8th frets and slowly build up the stretch so that i can do frets 1-4 without contorting my fretting hand. 







Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on June 23, 2018, 09:17:07 pm
A horse with no name.


Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on June 23, 2018, 10:12:26 pm
Excellent progress, VKK ... been nearly a month so the last song videos you posted.  The first thing that struck me was your posture ... much, much better ... sitting up, not watching your hands.  That all sounded really good as well ... smooth strumming, cool percussive accent and pretty clean on the chords.  If I have to picky, I think you need to listen a little more to the original, to my ears it was not quite right, really good and recognizable but just a wee bit off at a point.  But that is really a minor point, given the huge improvement in your playing.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on June 25, 2018, 04:48:06 am
Went to guitar center today and there was a sale on used gear. Turns out they had a 2017 Olympic White Fender Strat on decent discount. Fiddled around with it a bit(Don't know any lead guitar but played some chords, and power chords which i dont know either but YOLO) and really liked it so decided to buy that and trade in my squier tele. big discount + 10% off retail price has me paying around $20/month for this instrument.

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2r3bmo9.jpg)

As far as technical work goes, this is what im working on at the moment:

1. Playing a chord on the first beat, and then waiting 4 beats, then playing the F chord. So this is what that looks like:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
G - - -  F - - - G - - - F

Yeah, this is a really painful way of going about this but my F barre chord is not ready for 1 minute changes on acoustic when I really need to work on placement. Also helps with the whole "strum, pickout, strum" concept that Justin introduces in one of the very first chord instruction videos.

2. I'm a Believer on acoustic - Another way that i found online to work the F chord is to play 3 downstrums for the non F chord, and use the time for the 4th beat to setup the F chord and play it for 4 beats. Its not exactly what the song calls for, but i need to practice the chord more.

3. The electric guitar is a completely different animal - and im in love with this Srat. It seems to allow me to be a bit sloppier with F chord, but is also very punishing when i try and speed up something that im just not ready for. So for now, im working on Beginner versions of Beat it and Smells like Teen Spirit. 

4. Justin's new site has each part of the beginners course modeled by Colors. Looking at the first couple stages, i have completely missed out on ear training and will be starting that as well.


Excellent progress, VKK ... been nearly a month so the last song videos you posted.  The first thing that struck me was your posture ... much, much better ... sitting up, not watching your hands.  That all sounded really good as well ... smooth strumming, cool percussive accent and pretty clean on the chords.  If I have to picky, I think you need to listen a little more to the original, to my ears it was not quite right, really good and recognizable but just a wee bit off at a point.  But that is really a minor point, given the huge improvement in your playing.

hey buddy! glad to see you're still checking in on this thread.

the posture problem was quite easy to fix - stop sitting on my bed, and sit on a hard chair  ;D
I think looking at the fretboard constantly is a confidence issue. Just play the chord and make the mistake and learn from it. Im not even a year in yet of hobby that will take a lifetime.

and yes, i agree. what i have is not quite what America is playing in their track.. and ill have to listen to it a bit more carefully to get it down right.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on June 25, 2018, 05:12:08 am
Congrats on the new Strat, it’s going to be a keeper for sure - can’t go wrong with a Stat!
You’re doing great, I like to see your patience taking you forward - that’s what it’s all about!!!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on June 25, 2018, 06:09:38 am
Whoo hoo ... happy days are here when you have a new guitar in hand :)

For sure, vkk ... not going to shake me off :)

As for the America ... you're really, really close ... just a small adjustment.

Now, if I may take a small liberty ... I suggest that you start listening to other members posts in the Performance Progress area.  There are about 5 different boards there, but generally people post either in the Audio/Video Of You Playing (AVOYP) or Contest boards. 

My experience has been that I have learned a great deal listening to others, been inspired and also contribute to the Community through offering feedback and encouragement to others.  I post my recordings over there and in turn have received invaluable encouragement and feedback.

And when you are ready with complete songs, that is the place to post them up to get best response from the Community.

And once again, good job ... you are going well !!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on June 28, 2018, 04:59:31 am
So this is what ive been working on:

1. Set the metronome to 60BPM (on acoustic because it builds character)
Beat 1: G
Beat 2: G
Beat 3: Prep F barre (no strum)
Beat 4: Prep F barre (no strum)

Beat 1: strum F barre
Beat 2: strum F barre
Beat 3: strum F barre
Beat 4: strum F barre

repeat for 1 min (3 cycles total)

switching from a barre chord to an open G is much easier than G to barre.

2. power chords - getting a feel for them, and the nirvana style where they only use 2 fingers instead of 3.

3. rock licks - oh my god this is a finger nightmare since ive never really done the hammer/flick combos before. have to slow it down and work from bottom up.

these three exercises(delayed chord changes using the F barre) are completely new to me; and as a result, fry the muscle between thumb and pointer finger.

Congrats on the new Strat, it’s going to be a keeper for sure - can’t go wrong with a Stat!
You’re doing great, I like to see your patience taking you forward - that’s what it’s all about!!!

Whoo hoo ... happy days are here when you have a new guitar in hand :)

For sure, vkk ... not going to shake me off :)

As for the America ... you're really, really close ... just a small adjustment.

Now, if I may take a small liberty ... I suggest that you start listening to other members posts in the Performance Progress area.  There are about 5 different boards there, but generally people post either in the Audio/Video Of You Playing (AVOYP) or Contest boards. 

My experience has been that I have learned a great deal listening to others, been inspired and also contribute to the Community through offering feedback and encouragement to others.  I post my recordings over there and in turn have received invaluable encouragement and feedback.

And when you are ready with complete songs, that is the place to post them up to get best response from the Community.

And once again, good job ... you are going well !!

Thanks guys! I'll check those sections out!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 03, 2018, 02:36:14 am
So that F barre chord is going ok, this is what ive been able to work up to now:

G, G, G, -prep--, F, F, F, F, G, G, G, --prep F

I can play F no problem ---- by itself  8)
Where i really need to practice is "landing" into an F chord.

However, landing it in the right position on time when doing 4 strums per bar is very hard.
Working on just G -> F chord changes right now which is at a really low 18.

Im super slow at this, but also having some wrist pain and some nasty muscle soreness between my index finger and thumb. This might be because im playing them wrong, because power chords on electric seem to increase them. I will get some more videos and pictures from various angles of how the barre chords and power chords to try and show what im doing.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 03, 2018, 03:19:03 am
(http://i63.tinypic.com/4vlkbl.jpg)

Here’s me doing an F chord and I think the problem is my wrist isn’t a fan of that angle. Need to relax and find the balance between playing the chord right and proper wrist position. Any other input would be highly appreciated
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 05, 2018, 03:25:18 am
Worked the intro for Before you Accuse me a little bit.
Its got a lot of technical things that i have no clue how to do so i improvised a bit..
lots of room for improvement. But im glad that i can play an opening riff somewhat.



Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DavidP on July 05, 2018, 06:30:55 am
Glad you continue to explore different things like that intro, while continuing the BC stages and lessons.  BYAM proved to be the song I used to practise the triplet shuffle strumming rhythm when I got to stage 5.

I'm no expert but agree that the wrist angle doesn't look right.  Maybe trying moving the neck closer to your body.  Headstock looks like it is pointing out an an angle, maybe if it was more parallel to the body ... don't know.  All I can say is experiment with posture and position of the guitar until you can play the chord properly and be in a comfortable position.

By the way, have you looked at anybody else's posts yest, watched videos or listened to audios?  And you should not worry about your level of playing in terms of making comments.  Even if the comment is just an encouraging note to share how you enjoyed the post or what you learned, the poster will find that valuable...as I hope you find the replies you receive from Darrell and I.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on July 05, 2018, 08:05:42 am
Your posture is completely wrong, don’t rest your arm/elbow on your leg - it’s not conducive to correct movement or position of your wrist relative to the fingerboard; also you should sit upright not slouching over, it’s not just bad for playing but also can cause back/neck/shoulder problems!
Your intro was ok for your stage, not perfect by any means but nothing that attention and practice won’t cure, if you’re having problems with any parts of it get them right before you go any further, practicing mistakes is poison to getting it right, work in small bite size chunks and don’t try to go any further until you have them nailed - patience is always rewarded especially when playing guitar!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 07, 2018, 02:53:52 am
Im taking 2 days off from playing at the moment to give my wrist some time to heal.

Found this video by Justin regarding thumb angle for various chords.
at around 3:20, he's recommending that the thumb is placed behind the SECOND finger for barre chords. This is really important because I've been placing my thumb behind the first finger.

[youtube]zQuHqY83mD0[youtube]

Played around with this and i felt like i was exerting a little less pressure to make the chord ring. We will see on sunday if this is an improvement when the wrist is back at 100%.

Your posture is completely wrong, don’t rest your arm/elbow on your leg - it’s not conducive to correct movement or position of your wrist relative to the fingerboard; also you should sit upright not slouching over, it’s not just bad for playing but also can cause back/neck/shoulder problems!
Your intro was ok for your stage, not perfect by any means but nothing that attention
and practice won’t cure, if you’re having problems with any parts of it get them right before you go any further, practicing mistakes is poison to getting it right, work in small bite size chunks and don’t try to go any further until you have them nailed - patience is always rewarded especially when playing guitar!

Yessir, i did cringe a little bit looking at my general posture. Hunched over is never a good thing. Have to be more conscious of not doing that.

Glad you continue to explore different things like that intro, while continuing the BC stages and lessons.  BYAM proved to be the song I used to practise the triplet shuffle strumming rhythm when I got to stage 5.

I'm no expert but agree that the wrist angle doesn't look right.  Maybe trying moving the neck closer to your body.  Headstock looks like it is pointing out an an angle, maybe if it was more parallel to the body ... don't know.  All I can say is experiment with posture and position of the guitar until you can play the chord properly and be in a comfortable position.

By the way, have you looked at anybody else's posts yest, watched videos or listened to audios?  And you should not worry about your level of playing in terms of making comments.  Even if the comment is just an encouraging note to share how you enjoyed the post or what you learned, the poster will find that valuable...as I hope you find the replies you receive from Darrell and I.

Check out the video i posted above by Justin, pretty sure that identifies my exact issue.
I wonder if this is also applicable to power chords..  ???

I haven't had the time to check out other people's playing yet... have some crucial projects at work that need to be delivered successfully so using playing as more of a stress reliever. But once next week rolls around, ill be sure to check out other parts of the forums here. 
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: CT on July 07, 2018, 04:13:39 am
An F bar chord is an E shape bar chord at the first fret. It's hard to do for everyone at first. There are a few things that can help:
* Practice some E chords without using your pointer finger. Then slide down and add the bar.
* Practice barring at the 5th fret until you get how to do the bar with the boney side/part of your finger. Justin lays out the proper form very well.
* Play some songs where you hit the F chord briefly and then dart away for a bit. Lingering on it can be painful for me too.
* Metal string acoustic guitars can be harder to bar than nylon string and electric guitars. Try it on another guitar, even try some at a store. Try to determine if your guitar is holding you back (if you happen to feel that it may be holding you back).
* Don't bang away at it for a long time if you feel pain. Practice bar chords for a short time only if you feel pain and then move on to the short forms of those chords.
* It looks like Justin plays Fmaj7 a lot when an F is called for and so do I. You can cover a lot of "F" chord ground with it. Spend some time nailing that one down cold.     

Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 09, 2018, 01:51:06 am
Looks like im good to start practicing again, the wrist pain is gone.

Shifted my thumb to be slightly behind the second finger, and what a difference that made.

I need to practice this new position much more since i felt this almost instantly in my interosseous muscle. But this time, it was a feeling of that muscle being worked - no pain.

doing these patterns:

beat 1 - G - down strum (DS)
beat 2 - G - DS
beat 3 - switch to F
beat 4 - switch to F

beat 1 - F - DS
beat 2 - F - DS
beat 3 - switch to G
beat 4 - switch to G

next, i did the same thing with C.

starting to pick up speed with I'm a Believer. However, that F chord is just not fast enough so I took CT's advice and Fmaj7 sounds okay there. Video next time.


An F bar chord is an E shape bar chord at the first fret. It's hard to do for everyone at first. There are a few things that can help:
* Practice some E chords without using your pointer finger. Then slide down and add the bar.
* Practice barring at the 5th fret until you get how to do the bar with the boney side/part of your finger. Justin lays out the proper form very well.
* Play some songs where you hit the F chord briefly and then dart away for a bit. Lingering on it can be painful for me too.
* Metal string acoustic guitars can be harder to bar than nylon string and electric guitars. Try it on another guitar, even try some at a store. Try to determine if your guitar is holding you back (if you happen to feel that it may be holding you back).
* Don't bang away at it for a long time if you feel pain. Practice bar chords for a short time only if you feel pain and then move on to the short forms of those chords.
* It looks like Justin plays Fmaj7 a lot when an F is called for and so do I. You can cover a lot of "F" chord ground with it. Spend some time nailing that one down cold.   

Hey CJ, not sure if its a guitar problem. I have a Martin D18 and a Fender MIA Strat which were both setup. But yes, you are right learning the E chord with fingers 2, 3, 4 is something that i found suggested on other guitar forums as well.  I think the main hurdle is that everything for F barre chord has to be in the right position or it sounds weak or strings are muted. Its just something thats going to take some time to get down.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: CT on July 09, 2018, 04:53:45 am
It's not a problem at all. I don't have much more to add. Keep working through it, around it and past it. Have fun and encourage someone else here. I have a road case too. Just saying'. :)
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 11, 2018, 05:09:08 am
Im a Believer, gotta work that F chord a lot harder.




Tried the minor pentatonic and some yolo blues too. string bending is wayy beyond what im capable of at the moment, but it never hurts to try new things:





It's not a problem at all. I don't have much more to add. Keep working through it, around it and past it. Have fun and encourage someone else here. I have a road case too. Just saying'. :)

You got it buddy  :D
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on July 11, 2018, 06:22:56 am
Much better posture, and you’re definitely coming on! Extending yourself is good, keep up taking challenges it will definitely help your learning path 👍👍🌟
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: CT on July 11, 2018, 03:32:01 pm
Sounded good, and you're getting better all the time! For me it's a bit sterile though. Everyone is different --for me I need to tap my foot, sway or move somehow to get into the "Pocket" of a song or practice session. Consider practicing with a drum beat, clicktrack, looper or something. You are making music even when you practice.
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 16, 2018, 03:35:48 am
More minor pentatonic
added some BB King in at the end, picked that up from Marty S.
still working on proper form on the F chord. its taking a lot longer than id like it to take (mainly due to relearning the chord as well as making it ring right and redoing all the exercises above and lets not forget about the muscle strength that is needed), but cant get frustrated just gotta TRUST THE PROCESS and the guitar gains will come.



Title: Re: vkk
Post by: DarrellW on July 16, 2018, 05:56:12 am
Getting there, it’s definitely process!!!
One observation and something that you should be learning now is alternate picking when you play scales not all down picks, strict down up down up down picking (even when you swap strings) will improve your technique when you want to play lead runs.
Another observation, when you do a bend make sure you mute it when it gets up to pitch; if you don’t it sounds kinda like seagulls 🤣🤣🤣 i.e. not nice! Justin has done a lesson on this, I think it’s on the Blues course.
Remember that practicing things that are not quite correct makes it harder to get them right long term, it ingrains the errors!
Title: Re: vkk
Post by: vkk1991 on July 23, 2018, 03:38:27 am
Hammering away at the F chord. Its getting better slowly.. Wrist pain is completely gone and i can play longer without fretting hand getting tired from barring. speed and accuracy will come with time.





started with Please Forgive Me.. its a work in progress.






Getting there, it’s definitely process!!!
One observation and something that you should be learning now is alternate picking when you play scales not all down picks, strict down up down up down picking (even when you swap strings) will improve your technique when you want to play lead runs.
Another observation, when you do a bend make sure you mute it when it gets up to pitch; if you don’t it sounds kinda like seagulls 🤣🤣🤣 i.e. not nice! Justin has done a lesson on this, I think it’s on the Blues course.
Remember that practicing things that are not quite correct makes it harder to get them right long term, it ingrains the errors!

Thanks Darrell! LOTS of skill work on the electric to get good but im loving every bit of progress that i see.
Feels good to finally nail something. Because then you have sooooo many different things you can do. KInda like leveling up in a video game but a more valuable skill.