Week 4 – Learning Project

16/365 Guitar“16/365 Guitar” by matthewgriff (EmmGee) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


  • In my face-to-face lessons this week, I received a few new things to work on. First, I worked on some rhythm counting in a few different strumming patterns using eighth notes, quarter notes, and whole notes. This allowed for some diversity rather than basic up-down strumming on repeat. More to come on this in the following weeks. My instructor also gave me two new songs to work on, “Baby It’s You” by the Beatles, and “Sloop John B” by the Beach Boys. In the Beach Boys song, I had to learn about using a capo which is a tool that is placed on the neck of the guitar to shorten the pitch of the strings allowing the musician to play in a different key while using the same chord fingering as they would without the capo. For example, “Sloop John B” is written in A minor but I don’t know all of the A minor chords yet so using the capo allowed me to play the song in the key of G major of which I know the chords. My instructor said that many musicians use a capo in order to play more difficult songs using easier chords. I didn’t include this in my vlog post because I got my capo late in the week so I will include it in the next update.
  • A few weeks ago, my classmate Brad suggested some resources for me to use including allowing me access to his Google Classroom for teaching high school level guitar. I worked through some of the warm up songs and instructional videos in his beginner module.
  • Udemy – This week I worked on a lesson called Staccato vs. Legato Technique which is important for my playing of “Baby It’s You” by the Beatle which includes both staccato (short, sharp) and legato (smooth) notes. I also continued to work on the dexterity exercises from last week using the legato technique.
  • I worked on the next lesson on Marty Music’s Youtube channel: Beginner Acoustic Guitar Lesson 2 – The A Major Chord. In this lesson, he combines Eminor (from lesson one) and the A chord and encourages chord switching with a variety of strumming patterns and rhythms. Further, he encourages using the Asus2 chord (from lesson one) to embellish your improvisation with Eminor and A chords. Marty says that there are 5 basic chords to learn in the beginning and “they make up over a million songs and a lot of them are the biggest hits you’ve ever heard”. This is encouraging and also daunting! My classmate Matteo, a guitar player and teacher, commented that guitar is an easy instrument to learn but a difficult instrument to master.
  • In Yousician this week I worked on completing Level 2 of each section: Lead, Knowledge and Rhythm which nicely compliment the lessons I am doing face-to-face, on Google classroom, Udemy and Marty Music. I was able to move on to some Level 3 work. Now, when I got back to perfect songs from Level 1, they seem so easy!

Successes this week:

  • I improvised/played the music for my vlog intro/transitions! I didn’t need to use royalty free music this week because I simply created my own!
  • Yousician is really sticky with playing chords correctly and last week I felt stuck because no matter how much I slowed down the tempo of the songs, I was struggling to play all of the chords correctly or enough so I felt successful. One of the downsides with Yousician is that it cannot see your form but only listen to the notes you play and therefore cannot provide correction. So even though it told me I was playing the note or chord incorrectly, it couldn’t help me improve which is where the other resources, particularly the Udemy course came in really handy. This week, I felt a lot more confident in making chords and having less muted notes due to my thumb/finger positioning. I was able to progress further in Yousician because I improved in making the chords correctly.
  • I am improving with chord switching and strumming but this continues to be a work in progress!
  • Feels great to be able to play along with some of the songs at their intended tempo.
  • I was able to use some new features in iMovie this week but there are some things it cannot do that I’ve been wanting to add to my updates so I might need to look at a more advanced video editor if possible.

Challenges this week:

  • Working on smoothing other transitions between chords but there has been a big improvement since week one and week two.
  • Working on speeding up the tempo in the songs I play.
  • Although I have improved in making chords, I still struggle at times, as is expected. Especially when switching to C and D chords. These seem to be the toughest for me!


Weekly Vlog Update: 

2 thoughts on “Week 4 – Learning Project

  1. Hey guitar hero 🙂

    I love reading the progress you are making in your goal!

    I appreciate the links you are sharing on your learning too. I have an acoustic guitar collecting dust in a corner, and after reading several of our fellow students blogs (and yours) I am getting inspired to pick it up and try on my own.

    Good luck with the rest of your project!


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