It has happened. It is the FINAL countdown (or the final learning project post). I have appreciated this course more than any other because I have been able to pick up my guitar and learn to play enough to feel confident in continuing the skill. This final learning project post is meant to conclude all of the learning that has happened over the last 11 weeks and to share resources that I have experienced and will be valuable to others. I hope that this post gives you motivation and confidence to learn an instrument. I will be grateful for this experience because of how valuable this will be in the continuation of learning the guitar.
An Overview of my Learning Project
Week One: Enthusiasm is everything
I started this journey of blogging by describing my personal connection, through my grandparents ability to play the guitar, and my enthusiasm towards learning the guitar after owning it for so long. I concluded with the things I needed to start this process and how I approached learning this new skill. Read this blog post here.
Week Two: Easter Bunnies Get Dizzy At Easter
Easter Bunnies Get Dizzy At Easter (EBGDAE) is the acronym for memorizing the strings. I also learned the anatomy of an electric guitar, how to hold the guitar and pick, plug into an amplifier and how to strum the guitar. The main resource I used this week was Fender Play and its’ sister app Fender Play Tuner. I used my Samsung phone to record a few songs and uploaded these voice notes to Google Drive for easy sharing.
Week Three: Strumming Along
In Strumming Along, I spent a lot of time learning the introductory courses offered on Fender Play. It consisted of learning the Batman theme song riff, strumming quarter, half and whole notes, how to read chord diagrams and tabs, and finishing with learning ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love’ by Barry White. This week was a confidence booster that I could play these songs and it started the enthusiasm train. I used my Samsung phone again to record some voice notes of me playing the two songs and shared them on Google Drive again. Read this blog post here.
Week Four: A String of Bad Luck
This week’s post explained how Fender Play started to not be as helpful as I felt it was too challenging but I kept pushing forward. This week felt a bit of enthusiasm fall off because it wasn’t giving me as many results as I was hoping for. I did learn how to play E minor and A minor notes, which are common notes in almost all songs played on the guitar. I used Spotify this week to help identify some songs that I was learning. I find it helpful to hear the original version so that I know what I am trying to generate.
Week Five: Fender Bender
This week I learned how to play more of the common notes that exist amongst songs, specifically the D, G and C notes. This was really great for laying out a path for me to continue with this journey. I skipped ahead in the Fender Play courses and found a Lady Gaga song which was incredibly fun to play. I did have to use Spotify again to learn some of the other riffs. Continue learning about this week’s learning here.
Week Six: I Know How to Shred
In I Know How to Shred, I used a new resource called Ultimate Guitar. After realizing that Fender Play was no longer helping me fast enough for this project, I researched for more resources to prolong my journey. I also used these: Guitar Mastery Method, GuitarLessons, and Songsterr. These resources aided the progress I had already made and allowed me to make even more.
Week Seven: I’m at a Payphone
This week’s blog post included the beginning of learning the song ‘Payphone’ by Maroon 5. This started to get me really excited because it felt like I was able to keep up for once. It felt like the last 6 weeks have paid off. I researched some individuals on YouTube who had tutorials for this specific song and landed on Fingerstyle Club. The guitarist had tabs and chords available through Patreon. I found this “finger-style” option a bit different than my normal but it was enticing. I also used my Macbook’s preloaded PhotoBooth app for creating the video on my blog post.
Week Eight: If Happy Ever Afters Did Exist
In If Happy Ever Afters Did Exist, I ventured a bit further into playing Payphone by Maroon 5. I attempted to use Ultimate Guitar tabs again to learn, however, I had to look up a couple of things to fill in some gaps in my skills. I found JustinGuitar on YouTube (Stop Struggling with Strumming!) and this helped explain strumming patterns to me. I also researched some other resources for this project, specifically Artist works and JamPlay.
Week Nine: Capo n’ Crunch
In this week’s blog post, I learned how to properly place a capo onto the fretboard and continued to learn Payphone. I also reverted back to the Fingerstyle Club version of Payphone because the result sounded a lot more like the song itself. In the previous resources, the guitar was usually the background music to the singing so it was not as exciting. I also tried Chordify based on a referral from a classmate. It was great but not as awesome as Fingerstyle Club Payphone tutorial.
Week Ten: All of my change I’ve spared on you
To conclude, here is a video of me playing what I have learned from the Fingerstyle Club tutorial. Enjoy and thank you for following along with my progression with the guitar! I used Photo Booth to create the video of me playing the first 3 bars of Payphone by Maroon 5. I look forward to playing the whole song one day soon!
Top 6 Recommendations for Learning Guitar
Here are my top 5 resources for learning guitar. These resources were valuable in beginning my guitar-playing journey.
- YouTube: YouTube is the best way to learn an instrument (among other things) because there are several different versions and ways of learning. I really like that you can Google Cast to a smart TV (I used this lots). I also used YouTube to upload many pieces of my learning project so that I could share things on my blog seamlessly. It is my highest recommended option for learning an instrument.
- Fender Play: Fender Play is a paid app, however, it is only $6.99/month. It has a WIDE variety of lessons and courses to lead you to mastery. It is something that I used at the beginning of this journey but trailed off due to the time constraint. It is something that I will continue to pay for to further my skills. It has a variety of delivery methods which makes it great for every type of learner.
- Ultimate Guitar: Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Chords is an app and a website that has MANY versions of each song imaginable. It is great because it has many options available to you including, metronome, song playback, chord diagrams (pro and chords), showing the fretboard, choosing the speed of playback, etc. It is user friendly and easy to start playing a song quickly. See my walkthrough here.
- ArtistWorks: ArtistWorks is VERY similar to Fender Play because they are both created with the same concept: learn from guitar masters. It is a paid app so I did not indulge in paying for this app as I did for Fender Play. It has a lot of positive reviews from what I can find online and I would recommend it as well.
- Yousician: From what I can see without paying, it looks very interactive and they make it fun to learn. One thing it does have over ArtistWorks and FenderPlay is that they give feedback to your playing. I think that interaction is crucial to learning a new instrument. Yousician offers guitar, bass, piano, singing, and ukulele lessons.
In this learning project I have been able to follow along with others from EDTC 300 that were also learning instruments. Check them out below:
- Alexandra Ledoux (fiddle)
- Callen Boutin (guitar)
- Janelle Boutin (piano)
- Jenny Castonguay (drums)
- Nikki Cairns (piano)
I have had such a fantastic, frustrating, exciting, and defeating experience with this learning project and I feel much more confident because of it. I have many skills that will prime the continuation of these guitar skills. I have a lot to learn but I am grateful that something such as an assignment has made me pick up my guitar after owning one for almost a year and a half. Thank you to the University of Regina for having a course such as this available to its students and thank you to Katia, our professor, for providing us with the opportunity for such an assignment. I look forward to continuing this guitar journey over time. Thank you to those who have followed along and sang praises in their own blogs. Finally, I hope that you have gained something from following along with me. Rock on!