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Here’s my month 6 video:

If you ask me, my strumming in the beginning isn’t all that great. I think I’ve regressed a bit there. I’ve also really gotta get to the point where my fretting fingers land at the right location. I notice, especially on my C chord, that my fingers slide into place after landing.

If you stick around long enough, you’ll be treated to (or horrified by, depending on your perspective) the song that my 9 year old son and I have been working on for the past few weeks. It started with a simple power chord riff that I came up with on the spot months ago and we built off of that. I know it’s not a masterpiece, but I think it’s catchy and fun to listen to. It is very satisfying to write a song. I definitely think I’ll keep writing songs!

Anyway, I’ll probably do a separate video for the song, to keep them segregated from the guitar progress videos. My son sang the song, and I got a lot of footage of him doing so, so I’ll try to get some of that in it.

Thanks for watching! Constructive criticism welcome.

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Ever since I’ve started playing barre chords, they’ve been difficult for me. I’ve probably been practicing them for 3-4 months now, and every time I practice them for any length of time, the fleshy area between my thumb and my index finger on my left hand swells up. It’s not filled with fluid, so I think it’s the muscle, as it gets firm too. I was concerned about it at first, but then figured it was my hand muscles being weak and needing a workout.

Well, 4 months into barre chords, and my hand is still doing the same thing. I expressed my concerns to my guitar teacher and we looked closer at my technique. He noticed that I had an extreme angle with my wrist and suggested that I try to reduce that angle as much as possible. Well, I just did a practice section where I reduced the angle and I noticed significant improvement in my hand. I have a little bit of the same symptoms, but at no point did I have to stop because it was hurting too much.

I know that face to face lessons can be expensive, but if it’s at all possible, I recommend them. It’s extremely valuable to be able to pick the brain of someone much more experienced and to have them review your technique for problems.

Here’s hoping I’ll be able to master barre chords now!

Here’s my 5 months video. I’m starting to get more comfortable in front of the camera. I think it also helped that I was still a bit loopy from being rear-ended earlier in the day. It was a very minor accident and there was no damage to either vehicle, but my concentration and thinking was thrown off for a few days. So you’ll need to excuse me…

It’s take 2 because the first month 5 video I made was done on my MacBook Pro, which looked and sounded awful. Prior to this video, I had been playing around in GarageBand and having a blast, so I purchased some recording equipment. The take 2 video was recorded using the studio microphone instead of the camera’s mic. It made a world of difference. At least in the video on my computer. The YouTube compression makes the difference not so noticeable, but it’s there.

This video introduces my Taylor acoustic. A great guitar, but more difficult to play than an electric. I only included the song I’ve been playing in each of my videos. The rest of the stuff (power chords, scales, lead patterns) are better suited for an electric, and I suck at barre chords on the acoustic (see month 4 video, it’s worse than on there).

This video contains parts of the song from the last video, but in addition to that, includes my progress on a variety of other aspects: barre chords, power chords, scales and lead patterns.

This was my first video posted. I was nervous. I had been playing just over three months at the time of this recording. I’m playing my Fender Stratocaster, which was a Christmas gift from my wife.

Try to guess the song I’m playing!

Were you able to guess the song?  If you don’t want to watch it all the way through, here’s the answer: Take it Easy, by The Eagles (highlight the text to the left to reveal the answer)

Up until this point in my guitar playing, I primarily focused on strumming and chord changes.

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Any time you hear or read an interview with a musician, one of the questions that is asked nearly ever time is “What are your musical influences?” Although I’m not at the point where I can call myself a musician yet, I’ll go ahead and answer that question anyway.

Basically, here is a list of bands I’ve listened to for any extended amount of time:

  • Nirvana
  • Green Day
  • The Offspring
  • Godsmack
  • System of a Down
  • Megadeth
  • Disturbed
  • Metallica
  • Tourniquet
  • Skillet
  • Brian “Head” Welch

This isn’t a comprehensive list, it just gives you a general idea.  I like heavier stuff. I’m usually not into the really heavy stuff with growling, incomprehensible vocals, although I do enjoy the musical part of it.  Really though, I enjoy all kinds of music, except for rap and most of the stuff you’ll hear at dance clubs.

Expect to see covers from some of the above bands and others that are similar.  Probably not anytime soon, but they should appear in the future sometime…

I know a lot of people say they have guitarists they look up to or inspire to sound like.  Not me.  Not really.  I’ve never really been one to idolize people, although at some point in my learning, I’m sure I will study various guitar experts to learn from them.