Week 6 Progress Report

“It started off so well, said we made the perfect pair….”, but then life gets in the way and My practise is the first thing to suffer.

MUST try harder!

I’ve not yet managed to work out a suitable learning regime for the coming weeks, but I’ll try and get to that this week.

This week’s chart is not much different from last weeks, but I’ve managed to get some time on a couple of C chord changes.

I’ve included the recording of me on the radio in this weeks video for the YouTube subscribers who don’t come to the website.

Stay Safe this week.

TC ;o)

Heart FM – First Caller of the Day – Monday 8th March 2021

As I mentioned in my previous blog post and the weekly video update. I was the feature of the “First Caller of the Day” segment on Heart FM, a UK national radio station.

I got to speak with Amanda Holden (Radio & TV host, Britain’s Got Talent judge) and Jamie Theakston (Radio & TV Personality) about my journey into learning to play the guitar.

I managed to record it on my laptop from the web player and here is that recording from this morning.

Thanks to everyone at Heart especially Jacob, the program assistant who set the whole thing up.

Week 4 Progress Report

So this week has been tough. Work and life getting in the way of me practising enough this week.

No 1 minute changes updates this week as I’ve not made any progress at all. I will make every effort to practise again this week.

This is the week. The week that I turn 50 years old. And it may be that I might get some guitar related goodies for my birthday. So I’ll report back on Friday and let you know if I got anything for my new passion.

I’ve also been contacted by a friend of my brother who is a very good guitarist. He’s going to meet up with me tomorrow (Tuesday) night so that he can give me some advice. It’s really nice of him to offer to spend his time with me virtually and I’m sure he’ll have some great tips and tricks for me.

Here is the week 4 video.

In case you are wondering what gear I have and use, I’ve created a page with all of my gear on it.

Week 3 Progress Report

This week I’ve been working on my chord changes and specifically to and from D minor. It’s a tough chord to get to and from as a beginner.

As you can see from last weeks stats, all around the 30 changes per minute mark.

Week 2 – 1 Minute Changes Statistics

This week’s stats are a lot better and it shows just how much progress you can make and see the difference in your numbers.

Week 3 – 1 Minute Changes Statistics

So there have been improvements across the board really and I’m really, really pleased. Justin was right, that seeing your numbers increase is very motivational. Knowing that it’s down to my hard work and effort during this past week keeps me wanting to push on for next week.

Next week I’m planning on clearing out the D minor chord changes and moving on to G and C.

I’ve also been getting better at playing some songs. Slowly, slowy though and as you’ll see from the video update this week, I’m still very much a beginner, but this is only week 3.

Stay Safe, Subscribe and Like.

Week 2 Progress Report

Week 2 has been tough, just as everyone predicted.

I’m playing 2 more chords as of today, G and C. So that’s 8 chords as of today and it opens up a lot more songs to play.

However, moving from G and C to other chords is really hard on day 1. But it’s only week 2 and I’m keeping practising all the chord changes.

As you’ll see in the diagram below I’m progressing nicely on my 1 minute chord changes.

And here is my Week 2 progress report video.

Please like, subscribe and hit the bell icon on the YouTube video. Your following my videos encourages me to keep practising.

Week 1 Progress Report

The guitar arrived on Tuesday 26th January 2021 and the following day the stand, strap, cable, plectrums, spare strings and most importantly the Korg tuner arrived.

So this is what I bought from Andertons Music Co.

Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS in Montego Black

I did a bunch of research with friends and ended wanting some form of humbucker pickup, so this is a great compromise to my mind.

Here is the full spec (courtesy of Andertons).

Squier Affinity Strat HSS in Montego Black Metallic Specifications

BRIDGE TYPE: Classic Tremolo
NUMBER OF STRINGS:6 String Guitars

I love this guitar and ALL the advice that I looked at online had one thing in common. If it’s your first ever guitar, buy something you like the look of more than anything else. It will make you want to pick it up and play it.

That advice is not wrong and I’ve wanted to pick this guitar up every day and play it.

So after 1 week, how far have I got?

I’m using the iPad app from Justin Guitar and using that to learn from. Justin has a great teaching style and method. It’s almost like sitting there with a friend that is teaching you guitar.

The first stage (named stage zero) teaches you how the hold the guitar, tune it and what everything is called. Very useful if you’ve never touched a guitar before.

The next stage (one) get’s you playing and creating the open major chords A, D & E.

To make sure you can change chords without looking like a complete noob from day 1, Justin gets you to play a game of 1 minute chord changes, to see how many times you can change from A to D or D to E and finally E to A. Seeing my progress in this area has been inspiring and something that I will keep using throughout this series.

I can get to around 60 changes a minute for each of these three chords now and only after 1 week. I’m quite impressed with myself and the simple songs are fun to play along with. They also force you to try and change chords quicker than you would normally.

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Every journey starts with 1 step

This journey started when I was 8 or 9 years old. I bought a guitar from a jumble sale of all places and promptly tried to join the school guitar lessons. It was in no fit state to have strings on it, let alone try to be tuned. It was an acoustic with a face plate that was loose and rattled if you played a low note. I know I should not have gotten upset when the school teacher laughed at me, but I did. I was only 8 or 9 years old.

This however did not put me off music. I ended up playing drums in the local scouts marching band. Then a school band in productions with a drum kit.

So now it’s a few years later and I play drums in the house band at my local church for contemporary worship.

The nagging thought of guitar playing has never left me and so in my 50th year, I’m going to try again. This time with a new guitar and time to practise.

One Sunday in January 2021 with snow on the ground I called Andertons Music Co. in Guildford to ask if they had time to talk with me about options for owning a new guitar as a complete beginner. Not only did they spend time with me, they built a custom “package” of stuff based on some of the things I already have as a drummer. More on this when it arrives and I do an unboxing.

So I start my guitar journey again, with a new guitar and the promise of a year of learning in front of me.

My goal is to be able to play something by the end of the year. I’m not planning on performing, ever, on guitar. You’ll notice I have not said “never”. ;o)