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  #16  
Old 01-27-2014, 07:08 PM
RedJoker RedJoker is offline
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Count me in. I'm only three months into this guitar thing so I'm still learning chords and beginning to pick melodies. I'm working on "Hallelujah" for the F chord, zac Brown's colder weather for picking to strumming transitions and rhythm. And a whole bunch of others to get ready for campfire season.
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2014, 04:28 AM
Scotch Scotch is offline
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I'll join you folks.

Got my Lowden Fan Fret Set to hold Open C perfectly and new set of Elixir place on it today.

My objective is to do two things hopefully.

Compelete my First Ever composition and it will be in Open C. Currently have a good bit of material on it but keep changing what emotion i want to convey so it has two alternative sides really. Try and get that down within the two weeks.

I'm also trying to learn to sing. I'm taken on a new song to sing even though its very short and simple i will try I Wont Back Down, Johnny Cash Version. But i do have a cold

I will try post every day and make some form of progress but I'm moving within the next two weeks.

I might also just Edit this post instead of making Replies. Shows my entire progress instead of getting lost in the posts.

Thanks Folks.
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Last edited by Scotch; 01-28-2014 at 05:24 AM.
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:38 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is online now
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Thank you and welcome to all who have joined in! I hope this will be a fun experience for all. Now for the update:

Day 1: I've been struggling with something for a couple of months now. Every second night I help my son fall asleep by crawling into bed with him. Unfortunately I've been so tired lately that I keep falling deep asleep. This means while I start my practice before putting him to bed, I never finish every second night. My current practice regime consists two and a half+ hours of working on repertoire (46 songs) and then about 1 hour of working on new material. Over the years my practice time spent on repertoire has grown considerably over time.

In the shower this morning I came to the realization that I finally need to split my repertoire practice in half, i.e. work on one half one night and then the other half that next night and on and on. I think this will help me cut down my practice time so I can actually finish before putting my son to bed. Also this will give me more time every second night to focus on new material. With things the way they are it is taking my about 6-8 weeks to finish a new finger style piece. I feel this is too long.

I know this will be hard at first since I'm pretty much addicted to practicing for 3+ hours most nights but I'm feeling frustrated not being able to finish practicing every second night. I'll keep you guys posted on how this is working for me. Wish me luck!
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2003 Martin 000-18MC | 2008 Martin 000-28VS | 2012 Gibson J-45 Standard | 2015 Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute | 2016 Fender Acoustic SFX | L.R. Baggs Para DI Acoustic | and a closet of related gear

Last edited by J-Doug; 01-28-2014 at 09:19 AM. Reason: grammar
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  #19  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:39 AM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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The temperature in Mississauga this morning is -18c, so not really a good day for lots of outdoor activity. Ergo - a good time to start the 14 consecutive day practice challenge. I'll be working for a couple of hours fine-tuning a few passages in my arrangement of MaŮha de Carnaval and then burning in the changes (slow, repetitive focus on the new bits). most of my effort today will be done on a custom built classical guitar (Peter Daniels 1997 with German spruce top, jacaranda back and sides, ebony fretboard and bridge). It's my go to home studio guitar.
I'm really looking forward to reading the day by day accounts from others posting to this thread.
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  #20  
Old 01-28-2014, 01:43 PM
AX17609 AX17609 is offline
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Iím supposed to report every day? OK, here goes.

Day 1 -- Iíve spent the last year building up an entirely new repertoire of blues/rag tunes. I learned over 100 and whittled the list down to about three dozen core tunes. But playing the same things over and over isnít getting me any better, and learning new tunes means dropping old ones before theyíre mastered. So, I figure if Iím going to get any better, Iíve either got to record or perform. I donít think I can deal with the coffee house scene again, so Iím dedicating this 14-day practice challenge to recording.

I hate recording. Beyond all the equipment and software hassles, Iíve got red light paralysis -- the record light goes on, and my mind goes blank. I also hate the way I sound. When I play, I think Iím doing pretty well. But when I listen to my recordings, I realize Iím not. I know that kind of feedback is suppose to be helpful, but it gets at my confidence, and I usually get discouraged. Nonetheless, Iím going to power my way thru this thing and try to develop a personal SOP for recording.

So here on Day 1, I dug out all the recording stuff and tried to remember how to use it. I began with just a Zoom H2 on a mic stand, monitoring the input thru headphones. I had to pull out the book to remember which file type, frequency and bit depth to use. That solved, I tested whether my playing sounded best using picks or just my fingers. I prefer to play with fingers these days, and I think my guitar sounds better that way, and my first recordings confirmed it. The attack isnít as good, but the tone is better. I never got a perfect take, but at least I got something to play around with.

Next I tried to remember how to post-process the recording thru Audacity (clip the ends, adjust tempo, EQ, reverb, etc.) and remembered why I previously dropped Audacity. So, I cranked up Reaper again and dove into that. This DAW is a full meal. Reaper wouldnít read my H2 .wav file (I donít know why), so I recorded another take straight into the computer using the H2 in passive mic mode. After stumbling around for a bit, I got a decent recording (again, not perfect), congratulated myself and quit for the day.

(Donít worry; my future posts wonít be this long)
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  #21  
Old 01-28-2014, 02:41 PM
Staredge Staredge is offline
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Spent the morning working on my Coursera Songwriting and Guitar courses. Watching the videos and taking quizzes. Then started to work on Monkey and the Engineer by the Grateful Dead. Spent about 40 minutes working out the little intro riff and the chords. Working very slowly, learning how to go from the notes of the riff to the chords (A7).
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  #22  
Old 01-28-2014, 03:48 PM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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I've been reading all of your posts and think this idea of Doug's to have everyone checking in on a daily basis is wonderful on many levels. First off, it keeps you in sync with your goalsÖ. which everyone should have written down at this point.

I would like to congratulate you all on this fantastic journey. 14 days may or may not seem like a long time, but it is always fruitful to hang a few signposts on your path, especially when you all have the encouragement and support of your fellow AGF friends.

Go for it folks!!!

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  #23  
Old 01-28-2014, 05:45 PM
creamburmese creamburmese is offline
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Well I haven't done anything towards my goal of recording - but after a 2 week break (skiing!) I did get into practicing again yesterday. Fortunately my fingers still have enough insulation that they don't hurt too much :0 I don't have the problem of making myself practice - rather the reverse - I have to stop myself before my fretting arm gets sore. However this could change - I'm starting classical lessons and the pieces at my level could charitably be described as BORING. However the imminent threat of severe embarrassment tomorrow has me practicing anywayÖ hope I have something more interesting to record...
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  #24  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:48 PM
Earwitness Earwitness is offline
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Well, I pulled out my mic (an apogee) and recorded myself tonight, to see where I was. I am going to be able to put something together. Again, the humbling thing is to look at the recording on PhotoBooth and see that it it only about 20 seconds long!

This, though, is making me try to figure out where my microphone needs to be in relation to my guitar to make it sound good, which I've not really ever done, and then, I'm going to need to figure out how to post a video. Sometimes little goals will drag along and force development of other needed skillsets.
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  #25  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:52 AM
LeftArm LeftArm is offline
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I have a new years resolution of doing some recording so I'll use this as my goal.
Something from one of Toby's lessons. :-)
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  #26  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:56 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwitness View Post
Okay, I'll do it.
I'm sure I'll practice every day, anyway, but the challenge for me will be willingness to post myself playing on here...

What I'll try to do is to actually finish and be satisfied with my first two simple fingerstyle songs that aren't of my own creation, and thus require me actually to play what I'm supposed to play, and not just what happens to be easy for me and sound good.

The songs: Freight Train (as I discussed on another thread), which I'm already at about 95% on, and Skip to My Lou (the first song in my Happy Traum book, which I got for Christmas).

The challenges are, first, alt bass thumb with generally independent melody; second, odd syncopations in Skip/Lou, which are different in every measure; and third, getting comfortable with the G chord form with the ring finger on the E string--a very useful step forward for me, but still not nearly up to par with my middle finger G.

I've played these silly little 30-second songs about a billion times now, so it's time to finalize and move on. 14 days ought to do it.
Interestingly enough that was the very first book I started with myself. You can't go wrong at all with it. Mississippi John Hurt's music is coming up next which I think will really solidify things for you. Go for it!

By the way, here's a picture of my book. During one of my field trips to the South to learn the music first hand I had Etta Baker sign it. You see that Gibson she's holding? She still owned it and showed it to me while I was there. That's Etta and me on the far right.




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  #27  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:57 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staredge View Post
I'm in. Just started picking up the guitar. Been playing bass off and on for a couple of years. My goals are to just play 14 days straight. Working on cleaning up my chord fingerings on songs I've learned, and to continue to learn new ones. Next 14 day challenge, I'll learn a solo to one of them.
Excellent!

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  #28  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:59 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usb_chord View Post
I'm in...

My goals are...

- "practice 14 days in a row, hopefully starting tonight"
- record my Carole King "It's Too Late" arrangement
- update this thread more often with practice troubles and triumphs
- Continue to develop improvisation chops
- Transcribe Wes Montegomery solo from "Yesterdays"
- Start Berklee online jazz improv course and decide if it's something I want to stick with
I especially like the part about transcribing Wes's solo. Tell us what you learn from doing that. I used to steal licks from Charlie Parker books. I'd listen to a part of his solo that I liked and if it was transcribed I'd learn it and see where I could apply it.

Good goals!

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  #29  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:00 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creamburmese View Post
I'll join - this would help me overcome my fear of appearing foolish - I practice every day already, but as a beginner (10 months playing) I have not recorded anything (and I'm pretty sure no-one else would want to hear it!) However in the interests of documenting progress I'd really like to record something so that in the future it will encourage me as I see improvement. I got some basic recording stuff for Christmas but haven't taken the plunge to try to set it up yet Ö so that's my goal - figure out how to set it up and record something as a baselineÖ.
You'll have a LOT of support here and just the preparation you'll do building up to your recording will improve your playing.

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  #30  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:02 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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To everyone:

I'll be reading along with you all of you gang and lending my encouragement. I think this is a solid idea!

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