Are you going to Scarborough Fair…?

Well, are you? This song… Rhythm Path Level 5, Mission: Broken Chords… has been quite the hype in the last couple of weeks in the Yousician Facebook group. It seems to be some kind of rite of passage into the “real stuff” – and people celebrate their gold-starring it and are being highly praised when they do. It’s the club of the priviledged for those who have mastered it…

…so imagine how my  heart skipped a beat when this song came up next on my list, and how my palms became instantly sweaty. And that’s all without listening to it or looking at it even once – the power of the community and expectations! Ha!

Anyway… well… ouch.

Doesn’t look so hard at first glance… and I silver starred everything on first try. But that’s all I got out of this song, thus far. Damn. That Dm! That change from Dm to F! Impossible. For me, anyway. And then I actually hurt my fingers of my fretting hand from pressing too hard. Damn!

What a bitch! At least for today, there is nothing else I can do about it… and I am not even sure I will ever actually gold star even a single section of it.

Speaking of hurting my fingers:

To the left you can see the results of roughly one month of almost daily practicing.

Cool, huh? They are actual, real-life callouses. Going to have to lay low just a tiny bit now, I don’t want the skin to actually break.


LEAD | Start The Lead Guitar Path (51/51) | Fret Master (45/45) > Level 2 > Fretting Positions (39/39) | Fretboard Workout (39/39) > Level 3 > Four Fingers (42/42) > Pinky Challenge (57/57) > Level 4 > Picking Down & Up (51/51) > Picking Control (48/48) > Level 5 > Hammer & Pull (60/60) > Legato Lead (49/54) > Level 6 > Slides  (in progress)

KNOWLEDGE | Start The Knowledge Path (24/24) | Ear Puzzles: Up & Down > Level 2 > The Musical Alphabet (30/30) > Ear Puzzles: Smaller Steps > Level 3 > Sharps & Flats (27/27) > Ear Puzzles: Melodies > Level 4 > Know Your Fretboard > Ear Puzzles: Half Steps > Level 5 > Keys & Grooves (in progress)

RHYTHM | Start The Rhythm Guitar Path (48/48) | Cowboy Chords 1: E, Em, Am (30/30) > Level 2 > Cowboy Chords 2: C (51/51) | Cowboy Chords 3: G (36/36) > Level 3 > Power Chords (57/57) > Cowboy Chords 4: D & A (117/117) > Level 4 > Moveable Power Chords (69/69) | Cowboy Chords: F & Dm (63/63) > Level 5 > Broken Chords (in progress)

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Didn’t notice the time passing…

Today, while my kids enjoyed their weekend movie, I took the opportunity and practiced. Alone in my bedroom. For what felt like maybe a good, focused 20 minutes or so. Only: when I was done with those “20 minutes”, the kids’ full feature film just started to roll the credits. I had absolutely no idea that so much time had passed! I love that I was so focused that I didn’t even notice.

What I don’t love: the soreness of my fingertips I experience at the moment. Yes, I know it’s just the painful initial phase until they’ve built up nice callouses – it just seems that I had forgotten just how painful this phase is. And my skin hasn’t even split yet. It’s just really tender and touch-sensitive. Makes me remember getting my hands used to my bass back in the day. I literally had no idea what I was in for, when I held my beautiful instrument in my excited hands for the first time. My fretting hand actually built up sufficient callouses rather quickly and I don’t remember any real problems with it beyond what is usual – the problem was my right one. I always used my fingers to play, never a pick – and I regularly ended up with huge and disgusting water-filled and angry blisters on the tips of my index and middle fingers. No matter how long I played… this problem never really went away, even when the callouses eventually started coming. My skin kept on blistering, I kept on breaking the blisters, rinse and repeat. A very painful and annoying vicious cycle that I couldn’t break out of, even after a year-and-half of very regular and frequent playing.

Not looking forward to starting the callousing-process all over again…



Play Strings (12/12) | Play Frets (24/24)Level 1 for all paths

LEAD | Start The Lead Guitar Path (51/51) | Fret Master (45/45) > Level 2 > Fretting Positions (39/39) | Fretboard Workout (39/39) > Level 3 > Four Fingers (in progress)

KNOWLEDGE | Start The Knowledge Path (24/24) | Ear Puzzles: Up & Down > Level 2 > The Musical Alphabet (in progress)

RHYTHM | Start The Rhythm Guitar Path (48/48) | Cowboy Chords 1: E, Em, Am (in progress)