Learning Project,  Week 3

Strumming Along

Hello and welcome to another week’s worth of learning compiled into today’s blog! I feel like I learned WAY more this week because I did not have any previous knowledge on these topics. This week, I learned how to warm up my fingers, how to play a Batman theme song riff (small portion of the song), setting good habits, reading chord diagrams and tabs, and how to play a ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe’ riff. So, yeah, I got a lot in this week!


This course helped with starting “fretting” notes. I learned how to hold my fingers to aid in the spreading of my fingers while going note to note. I practiced warming up on 1 string, the high E string (string 1), and working on a stretch of that same note.

I enjoyed doing this because I really feel it’s a building block to playing that Maroon 5 song by the end of my EDTC 300 course (I have a long ways to go). This will also set me up for success moving forward throughout these courses.


As I mentioned last week, I was going to be learning this and I was so excited to get this course started! I was a little let down when I found out it was just a riff but I did catch on quickly and it helped that it does sound like it – Listen here on Google Drive. I think, at minimum, my attempt is mediocre (haha). I kind of want to learn the whole song so that it feels a lot more accomplishing. Listen here to compare my attempt to the real thing.


This course was a huge learning curve for me – I learned A LOT. They deciphered between whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes. With whole notes, they are strummed once and last 4 counts. So, they are played once in a four-count.

Whole Note Count

With half notes, they are strummed twice, in four counts, and last 2 counts. So, they are played on the 1st and 3rd counts in a four count.

Half Note Count

With quarter notes, YOU GUESSED IT, they are strummed four times, one per count, and they last one count. So, they are played four times in a four-count.

Quarter Note Count

Overall, this was the true beginning of my learning. These pieces were things I was missing when it came to understanding music and the guitar. I got very excited after I finished this one.


Anatomy of a Chord

THIS!! I cannot express this enough – this week was jam-packed full of so much missing information for me. This is the stepping stone, along with fretting, that starts this journey out right for me. Chords and tabs are the way of reading music when playing guitar. Once I figured this out, playing any song became much more of a reality for me.

Tabs for ‘You are My Sunshine’

Chords show all of the strings, the frets, and dots. These things help you figure out where to put your fingers when playing specific notes. The above diagram perfectly explains everything about chords. There is a lot to read off of chords so it did take me a second to figure out what I was reading and extra practice to put what I was looking at into noise.

Reading tabs, when paired with chords, is the easiest way to learn songs. I was looking at some online and I found ‘You are my sunshine’, which I am totally already capable of playing and my daughter will love it because it’s her favourite song!

When you read a 0, it means strum that string with no fingers on the frets. When you read a 2, it means that string on the second fret, and so on. I kind of laughed at myself after this because it is such an easy concept, however, it instilled a lot of anxiety and fear into starting this journey. I struggled heavily with Band class in elementary and middle school because I did not know how to read music. This made my Grade 4 heart so happy and relieved so much tension surrounding reading music.


Finally, the last course I completed was learning how to play ‘Can’t get enough of your love‘ by Barry White. Similar to the Batman theme song, I was sad to learn it was only the intro or a riff of the full song.

I am getting the hang of this and I am loving this journey so far. I have chosen not to play with my amp attached because I have a small child that needs to nap. Hopefully you keep coming back and checking how I am doing with this.

Talk soon!

Hi there, I am a new mom and am a 2nd-year teacher. I pushed through 2020 by hitting the most milestones during a pandemic - we bought a house, got married, and had a baby! I left my last teaching job, in Alberta, just prior to the pandemic and thankfully moved home to Regina, SK before the provinces were shut down. Now that it is 2021 and I have a new baby, I am making use of this down time and being stuck at home - I started my path towards a certificate in extended studies in Secondary Mathematics.


  • tinambowley

    Great work Allysia! There is lots of details and evidence of your learning in this post. Look forward to seeing you continue to progress in your journey.

  • Maya Rosenberg

    Hi Allysia, amazing work!

    This is so fun to read your blog- your progress looks great and I appreciate your efforts especially with fingers placing. I tried to learn guitar many years ago for a few weeks (short attempt! ) and got so confused by fingers placing. You make it look more doable than how I felt back then!

    Plus my favorite coffee mug if packed with notes and now I can understand what they are with quarter and half notes haha…

    Looking forward to see the next blogs!



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