Author Topic: Mari's Road Case  (Read 1214 times)

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Offline embishop

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Mari's Road Case
« on: November 04, 2017, 02:02:14 pm »
I’ve been hanging out in the Forum for a few months now, and I think I’ve finally met my first goal (that took long enough!): I figured out a practice schedule that will get me from where I am to where I want to be as a guitarist. Pretty lame for a first goal maybe, but that's what I came for! So now seems to be a good time to formalize that so I can track my progress and (hopefully) keep myself accountable to a schedule I’ve now broadcast.
 
The first thing I did when I started coming here regularly was to go through Justin’s Effective Practice Module. Lots of good tips in there, but first and foremost was to set a goal: “If you don't know where you want to go, nobody can help you get there!” I kind of knew what my goals were, but I’ve got them figured out a bit better now. So, my goals are -
 
1) Be able to play songs with cool / interesting guitar parts; I want to be able to do more than strum chords. I also want to be able to figure out the cool parts myself, not just learn them from Guitar Tab books, or online.
 
2) Play something different when jamming with friends (unusual chord voicings maybe, or solo lines); I want to do more than be one of the guitars strumming open chords or Root 6 & 5 bar chords.
 
3) Write my own songs, and have some cool / interesting guitar parts in my songs.
 
As a bit of background, I’ve been playing guitar for about 41 of my 53 years (holy cow I should be a guitar goddess by now, right????). There have been many many periods where I didn't play at all for extended periods of time, and then I've gone back and mucked about a bit more. I also have some classical piano background, started piano 1 year before guitar and finished up to Grade 8 Royal Conservatory (Canada) when I was in high school. I hadn’t played piano in years but I did get a nice digital piano Oct 2016. I’m less interested in getting back any major technical playing ability for piano, and more interested in I guess just easy accompaniment stuff on piano. Guitar has always felt more freeing to me, perhaps because classical piano has quite a lot of rules, but really I think it’s things like it was never fun to practice scales on the piano, for me, but practicing scales on the guitar can be lots of fun! That piano background helps me out enormously in learning guitar theory though.
 
Anyway …
 
A really good guitar teacher I had for a short period of time said to me at my first lesson with him (10 or 15 years ago) that I know some things, and I have some gaps. That’s still where I am now, but now I’m going to close those gaps and get to where I want to be. So I’m an Intermediate Level guitarist, with some definite gaps. I can strum most things, play a few cool things, listen to something new and generally figure out what key it’s in and what the chord changes are (or what will work anyway!). I have enough music theory to know that there are a ton of pop-rock-country songs that you can play in a I-vi-IV-V progression, or some variation, and I can strum to a lot of those. But, I’m headed to the next level now 😊
 
My practice routine is built around Justin’s Intermediate Practice Routine. It's in 15 minute time slots, so I can kind of go with whatever I feel like doing in that particular 15 or 30 or 60 minute time available to me but try to keep all the areas kind of around the same amount of time cumulatively. (And of course that’s not working so well right now, I’ve been spending more time on improvising…)
 
1. Technique
• Currently working on G maj scale for speed (at 92 bpm in 8th notes right now, 140 bpm in 16th notes seems impossible as a goal, but that's my goal!), and G major melodic patterns (currently at 72 bpm in 8th notes for 2 of the patterns, and 90 bpm in quarter notes for 2 of the patterns)
• Also working on 1 minute chord changes for a part from George Michael’s Faith (Justin’s lesson), B bar chord, F#/A# C shape bar chord, C#m. I’m up to about 20 changes for the 3 chord progression (so about 60 chords); I think I need to get to double that (cleanly) to play to speed
• Finger Gym and Spider exercises

2. Knowledge
• Fretboard
• G maj &Am pentatonic patterns 1 & 2
• 5 basic blues licks
 
3. Repertoire
• I still need to get more focused here, there's too many I want to learn!
 
4. Transcribing
• Starting to go through Justin’s course
 
5. Improvisation
• G major and Am pentatonic
• Spending a bunch of time here these days …
 
6. Song writing
• I’m thinking maybe 1 hour of every 20 I’ll spend here, 5% of my time. Ultimately I’d be here a whole lot more, but I’ve got a lot of stuff to learn first.
 
I’m also working my way through Justin’s Intermediate Method and picking up a lot of things to start to fill in the gaps. Those things will make their way into Technique or Knowledge practice areas. Then I'll figure out where to go next in Justin's other modules.
 
Anyway, I’m having fun, learning lots, managing stress better (really 😊 ), and really really enjoying the music.
 
Time estimate from here to there? No idea, but as long as I'm having fun it doesn't matter.

Current gear:
Guitars -
Epiphone SG400
Taylor 325ce
Martin OMCPA5
Ovation Balladeer (rarely played)

Amps -
A borrowed Fender Vibro Champ XD
Peavey Rage 158
Fender Acoustasonic 20

Other:
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano
Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist
Odds and ends ...

Current GAS:
A new amp! Probably a Boss Katana 50 or a Vox VT20X (or 40)
Just starting to need a new electric guitar ...

Music I love:
Clapton, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Mellencamp, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, the Stones, CCR, Joplin, Journey, Three Dog Night, Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, Springsteen, Elton John, Tracy Chapman, Beatles, Ferron, Wyrd Sisters, John Denver, Adele, Diana Krall, Jann Arden, Amy Winehouse, Billy Joel, Eric Carmen, Heart, Supertramp, Mozart +, ... ... getting a bit self-indulgent now ...

Ok one thing I'll own up to:
I watched The Partridge Family when I was growing up - and loved it!! It was 1970 and I was 7 😁 On a scale of 1 to ABBA though I think that blows up the scale!!

That’s it for now 😃
 
Mari
Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Offline DavidP

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 02:18:23 pm »
Mari,

Lovely to hear a little more and get a little bit more insight into what you are up to.  All sounds excellent and especially liked the comment that the time from here to there doesn't matter.

Great choice of music ... just missing Neil Young ;)

Thanks for taking time to share and look forward to hearing how you progress, both here as a narrative and also via posted recordings ... yours are always a treat.

Offline embishop

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 06:09:04 pm »
David, I didn't realize you liked Neil Young! Lol he is one of our finest Canadian exports 😃
Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Offline MrBumble

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 09:32:18 pm »
Thanks for posting this. It is always interesting to get to know more about on-line friends.
You like a lot of the performers I enjoy. I'm pleased to see Melissa Etheridge get a mention - she is a particular favourite of mine.
Guitars - Ovation Celebrity, Revelation RJT60Q.
Amplifiers -Marshall G30R CD, Fender Super Champ 25 SE.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 09:53:15 pm »
Ok one thing I'll own up to:
I watched The Partridge Family when I was growing up - and loved it!! It was 1970 and I was 7 😁 On a scale of 1 to ABBA though I think that blows up the scale!!
That’s it for now 😃
Mari
I was a big fan as well, mainly of Susan Dey - I used to lust after her something  rotten!!!
Having fun learning Guitar and Ukulele, what more could you want?

Offline Omar

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 12:04:31 am »
Mari, interesting road case. We know everything about you now 😬 I have the worst road case among all members. Maybe I was in the middle of nowhere in my guitar journey when I started the thread. However, now, I know where I am and where I am heading. The joy and pleasure are increasing ever since.

Knowing where you want to go is the biggest challenge and the most important factor when having a hobby. I had many hobbies, but never had a goal or knew where I want to be, so they didn’t last long and I lost interest.

Good luck in your journey 😊

Offline embishop

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 06:58:30 pm »
I'm pleased to see Melissa Etheridge get a mention - she is a particular favourite of mine.

Have you heard her sing Honky Tonk Woman with Sammy Hagar? It's a totally awesome version of a great guitar song.
Mari
Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Offline embishop

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 07:15:46 pm »
I have the worst road case among all members.

Perception is interesting Omar - 'worst road case' - I think not! And LievenDV gave some great advice about goals, I wish I'd seen that a few months ago!! I figured my road case was going to be pretty boring because I just wanted it to set out my goals and how I'm planning to get there, and eventually show some progress, so it's mostly just my practice schedule. I had to toss in my favorite 20 or so artists to sound a little less boring 😃 Lol I think I'll go use another 15 minute practice time now.


Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Offline MrBumble

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 10:04:33 pm »
Have you heard her sing Honky Tonk Woman with Sammy Hagar? It's a totally awesome version of a great guitar song.
Mari

I hadn't, but I have now (the wonders of Google).
You are right - awesome!

There is rather a lot of Melissa on my Spotify playlist.

She is really tremendous playing with other people. I love this version of Thunder Road;





Once I can play my Ovation properly I'm saving up for a 12 string Adamas.
Guitars - Ovation Celebrity, Revelation RJT60Q.
Amplifiers -Marshall G30R CD, Fender Super Champ 25 SE.

Offline embishop

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 02:39:00 am »
I love this version of Thunder Road;

Me too. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they had to redo the ending several times where 'Mary climbs in' comes on, because they kept forgetting who was supposed to be singing there, and that explains their smiles and the audience's as well.

That's a great tune on it's own too, I love the Boss. "You ain't a beauty buy hey you're alright, and that's alright with me." That's got to be one of the best song lyrics every written.

Mari
Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Offline DavidP

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 05:07:47 am »
Thanks for sharing that MrBumble ... always read the Roadcase posts, you never know what unexpected treasure you'll find. Love Bruce and Born To Run is one of my favourite of his albums.  This was a great rendition and can inspire me to begin to dream of playing some of these classics myself. Great lyrics ...

Bob, Bruce & Neil (in alphabetical order) ... my three favourite modern day troubadours

Offline embishop

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 07:38:42 pm »
After much much agonizing over what amp to get - I'm really happy with my new Boss Katana 50! It didn't break the budget so I also splurged and got a basic loop pedal. Had a very  enjoyable afternoon mucking about with my new toys! 😃
Mari
Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Offline DavidP

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 08:01:45 pm »
Enjoy it, Mari !!

Look forward to hearing it when you're ready to share.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 08:23:09 pm »
After much much agonizing over what amp to get - I'm really happy with my new Boss Katana 50! It didn't break the budget so I also splurged and got a basic loop pedal. Had a very  enjoyable afternoon mucking about with my new toys! 😃
Mari
Congrats Mari, great stuff..... now enjoy!!!
Having fun learning Guitar and Ukulele, what more could you want?

Offline embishop

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Re: Mari's Road Case
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 08:07:59 pm »
Time for an update! The plan here was to keep me on track for practicing and learning, but really I have to say that I am getting so much enjoyment from playing / practicing / learning these days that there hasn’t been a single time I haven’t looked forward to picking up my guitar and learning something. Even for the 12 day stretch in November where I practiced on 10 of those days, generally 45 minutes +, on a single song: Layla (acoustic). And when I say a single song I really just mean the ~ 55 seconds that are the solos lol. You’d think I’d be frustrated with the learning, but I’m not! I can’t believe that me and my guitar can play that music, it’s amazing.

I was thinking about when I got my first guitar, 10 or 11ish. It was Christmas morning. I remember picking it up kind of reverentially, knowing that there were sounds in there just waiting for me to find them. They had introduced electric guitars at church some time before that, and I so wanted one, the music was amazing. It was a little ¾ size acoustic guitar, perfect for me. All I could do was pluck a few notes, I certainly couldn’t make the sounds I knew were in there, but I so remember the feelings of anticipation, and possibility. And I’m so happy to be in that space again. There is much much much to learn. But there is also much joy in what I can play now, and in what I’ve learned over the past 4 or 5 months since I became active in this Community. I can play the Layla solos at ~ 90% - that last 10% is a killer but I’m getting there. It really just lifts my soul to be able to find the part of me that can (almost) play that song. 😊

But back to an update …

So I got distracted in November. First by learning a bit about soloing, and then by working on learning Layla. Month 1 of tracking my practice schedule shows I strayed from the plan, but I’m okay with that as long as overall I keep headed where I’m going. And I am 😊  I wanted to include a photo of my November practice schedule, but that can't be done until I figure out how to insert a picture ...

I don’t have my practice book with me right now so I’m not going to hunt down my improved speed for scales, but there has been some improvement. I do need to spend some time here because when EC plays Layla it sounds relaxed and easy, his guitar sings, and when I get close to 90% timing it sounds rushed and so more wooden and less musical. But bit by bit I got it up to 90, so I’ll just keep going.

I also ordered Justin’s Mastering the Major Scale DVD at the end of the month, and it just came in a couple of days ago. That’s going to be a big focus for awhile. I also got my new amp in November! It’s great, a Boss Katana 50. I also got myself a looper pedal, so improvisation is now even more fun. I should also see some improvements as I learn some things through MTMS too.

Anyway the overall theme that’s coming through is fun. It’s a wonderful place to be.

Rock on all 😊

Mari
Epiphone SG400, Taylor 325ce, Martin OMCPA5, Ovation Balladeer
Boss Katana 50, Boss RC-1 loop pedal
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-525 digital piano, Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

 

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