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Offline vkk1991

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vkk
« 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


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

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #1 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

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: vkk
« Reply #2 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).

I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #3 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!!




Offline DavidP

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Re: vkk
« Reply #4 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  ;)

Offline DarrellW

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Re: vkk
« Reply #5 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,
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #6 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.

Offline DavidP

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Re: vkk
« Reply #7 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.

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #8 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.

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #9 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.






Offline DavidP

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Re: vkk
« Reply #10 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!!

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #11 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.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: vkk
« Reply #12 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!
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline vkk1991

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Re: vkk
« Reply #13 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.

Offline DavidP

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Re: vkk
« Reply #14 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.

 

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