Week 5. Summary

This week I had three goals. Two of them are achieved now. I played 1423 and 1432 combinations at 300 bpm. Not perfectly, it’s still work in progress, but I’m getting there.

The third goal however appeared to be an overkill for me. I wanted to record guitar and bass cover of When I Come Around, but the bass line appeared to be trickier that I thought so in order to play it the way it was played in the original I had to start over a few times.

As soon as I had made some progress I watched another cover or Green Day’s live performance and found out something slightly different but yet crucial and returned back to square one. Nevertheless I manages to learn it the way it should sound so now it’s only a matter of time. Hopefully I will manage to record it the next week.

The goals for the next week are:

  • Play all six 1234 combinations I managed to get to 300 bpm across the whole neck at the same speed
  • Record When I Come Around and make it into a video
  • Start implementation of Modules 12-13 routines

Anyway, here’s the video summary for Week 5.

1234 exercise

1423 on the 5th fret – 200 bpm → 300 bpm
1432 on the 5th fret – 220 bpm → 300 bpm
1243 – 300 bpm (on the 5th fret → on the 1-12 frets)
1234 on the 1-12 frets – 320 bpm → 340 bpm

Songs

Green Day – When I Come Around

Day 35. Finalizing the week

Somehow I thought that it was one more day till the end of the week. So unfortunately I didn’t manage to learn the bass line completely. So I practiced the same stuff I had done yesterday.

1234 exercise

Today I did my best to record all the combinations the best way possible.

1432 on the 5th fret

Played it at 300 bpm. Still struggling, mainly with my index finger – a lot of dead notes had been played instead of strings it was pressing. But the main issue here is not with the index finger but still with the ring and pinky ones. Will practice more.

1423 on the 5th fret

Fun to play combination, but the motion surely should be reduced. Will see what I can do with that. 300 bpm.

1342 on the 5th fret

Nothing new here. Played at 300 bpm.

1324 on the 5th fret

Another easy and fun combination. Played it as 300 bpm again as well.

1243 on the 1-12 frets

Yesterday I tried to play this one across the neck and today I repeated this attempt. It went better than yesterday, but that’s still work in progress and much more practice needed in order to play it smoothly. 300 bpm.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

Still trying to play it perfectly at 340 bpm. Now “perfect” is not really how I would describe my performance 🙂

When I Come Around

As I said I thought it was another day till the end of the week. So I was completely sure that I could practice the bass line today and record the whole song tomorrow. Not only I mixed up the days but I hadn’t got much time to practice. So I just filmed my current skills of playing this song.

On the guitar (the same verse-solo-chorus transitions).

And on the bass (at the original speed of 98 bpm).

Summary

Despite the fact I didn’t reach the When I Come Around goal this week I’m still into all this stuff. I’m excited to proceed further so it’s a matter of time for me to finally make this cover real. Hopefully I’ll be able to record it next week.

Day 34. 1243 on the whole neck

Today I finally started to add the combinations played on the 1-12 frets instead of the 5th fret only and made a huge progress in the bass line for When I Come Around.

1234 exercise

I practice When I Come Around a lot so my guitar is tuned half step down to match the original. I forgot to tune it back up, but it doesn’t matter for these exercises anyway.

I decided that 5 minutes per combination is too much. At this point there are too much of them. So I reduced the time for 3 minutes per combination, so the time to practice all 6 of them were 18 minutes, which is ok.

Now I try to look away from the fretboard while playing to let my muscles do the job without using much brain power. Also to spice things up I tried to play 1243 on the whole neck today and it worked out … -ish.

1432 on the 5th fret

Played it at 300 bpm. I wasn’t too warmed up so the first half is pretty rough, but by the end of the video I got better. Still more practice needed.

1423 on the 5th fret

Played it at 300 bpm as well. There is a lot of movement here, definitely need some economy of motion for my left hand.

1342 on the 5th fret

Not so tricky, but when I looked away the fingers started playing the wrong things. Besides that I nailed it at 300 bpm.

1324 on the 5th fret

One of the easiest combinations but without my eyes on the fretboard sometimes I missed notes. So that’s a reason to practice more.

1243 on the 1-12 frets

I started trying to play new combination on the 1-12 frets from this one because that’s the second one I mastered after the 1234 variation itself. Considering the fact that I still struggle with it on the single fret, the whole neck exercise went not so smooth. But that’s a start! Did it at 300 bpm.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

Still trying to reduce the number of mistakes at 340 bpm.

When I Come Around

It was a day of bass practicing. I spent, like, 2 hours on the single bass line. The day before yesterday I figured out the way Mike Dirnt plays it and my enthusiasm way lower that ever because I thought it would be almost impossible to play it that way at the original speed in just a few days. I even skipped the bass practice yesterday because of that.

But luckily today I fully engaged in playing this bass line and surprisingly started to nail it much faster than I supposed I would do. So there are some progress videos. In the first one I played the main bass line at 80 bpm.

Then I played it around 10-15 minutes off-camera and achieved the original speed – 98 bpm.

Then I went to watch how the chorus part is played and found out that every 4th bar there is one note change in the bass line, so I had to reduce the speed significantly to implement this change – to 70 bpm.

After 10-15 more minutes of playing my left hand and my shoulder became so tired that I decided to film the progress and finish the practice for today. That was played at 80 bpm.

Summary

At first I didn’t have the mood to play and record stuff today. I even thought about stopping the daily uploads and instead to film the progress once a week. Then I realized it was because my routines had been repeating every day and nothings changed.

So today I had played every finger combination for 3 minutes instead of 2 of 5 and tried to make 1243 on the 1-12 work. Also with my huge bass wise project the desire to record and share this things appeared again, and I wasn’t as willing to write this post for some days now, so it’s a win!

Still need to practice the bass line more in order to maintain the speed and consistency to play full song non-stop at the original pace. I really want to record a full cover of it in the next 2 days and I will. I just won’t publish it on my channel and leave this version unlisted in order to record the cleaner version in some time.

Day 33. Recording preparations

Today I practiced When I Come Around with the solo played the right way, continued to maintain consistency at 1234s and set up the drums part for the recording.

Pressure control

Now I use this exercise as a kind of warmup. 300 bpm speed is not needed for the finger relaxation so I dropped it down to 240 bpm again.

1234 exercise

Not much excited for 1234s today. Played at the same speed as yesterday without any noticeable progress. And I tried to look away from the fretboard to be able to play without watching my left hand.

1432 on the 5th fret

300 bpm. Still having problems with the pinky.

1423 on the 5th fret

That one was better. 300 bpm.

1342 on the 5th fret

300 bpm.

1324 on the 5th fret

300 bpm.

1243 on the 5th fret

300 bpm. Still the hardest one to play consistently.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

340 bpm again. Not sure if it’s better than it was yesterday.

When I Come Around

Now the same verse-solo-chorus transition but with the correct solo part.

I couldn’t find the correct bpm value for the song. Seems like it was recorded without the clicking track. So I started to recreate it from scratch. There will be drum and voice parts added with the computer and two guitars with the bass recorded. Today I recorded both guitars and made a drum part. Also I started creating the voice line using synth.

Summary

I didn’t have much desire to play bass today. Need to get into it tomorrow in order to play the whole song by the end of the week.

Day 32. Learning the bass line

Today I continued to make progress in my bass playing skills for When I Come Around and got the 1432 combination sloppy played at 300 bpm.

Pressure control

Still not entirely sure what is the best way to practice it, so I continued to randomly play different variations of 1234 at 300 bpm to then implement pressure control while playing them.

1234 exercise

1432 on the 5th fret

I wanted to start at 240 bpm today but after I tried this combination during the pressure control routine it appeared that I could play it faster. So I started from 260 bpm.

Then I increased the speed to 300 bpm to reach this week’s goal. I played it quite sloppy but there was no need to increase the speed gradually – 300 bpm is not that much of a deal.

1423 on the 5th fret

I continued practicing this combination at 300 bpm.

1324 on the 5th fret

300 bpm.

1342 on the 5th fret

300 bpm.

1243 on the 5th fret

300 bpm.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

Still was trying to play it at 340 bpm. Not perfect but I’ll get to it eventually.

When I Come Around

Still practice the verse-solo-chorus transition to play it perfectly no matter what.

Then I practiced the bass line for a while.

I watched too many videos of live Green Day performances today trying to see what Mike Dirnt was playing here and there, as all covers I saw was approaching to the bass line differently and I wanted to play it as in original. Finally I sort of found out the fingering and all pull-off/hammer-on actions hopefully. Tomorrow will practice it that way and increase the speed to the original.

Summary

Need to play more bass, the bass line is trickier to play properly than I thought. Will focus on it the following days.

Day 31. The last 1*** combination

Today I practiced When I Come Around a bit more and added 1432 – the last of the remaining finger combinations which are started with the index finger.

Pressure control

I started with a few minutes of pressure control. Not sure if I need to increase the speed but I did it anyway – practiced at 300 bpm. It’s hard to figure out if it starts working out and change something in the way I play, but we’ll see about that.

1234 exercise

Just practicing usual and new combinations and trying to implement pressure control.

1423 on the 5th fret

I needed to get this combination to 300 bpm so I started at it right away. It was sloppy but for the first try it went ok I suppose.

1432 on the 5th fret

It was time to add this combination – the final one before practicing these 6 at the whole fretboard. So I started at 220 bpm. My ring finger stood in the way of the middle one, so there were many half-dead notes played here and there. Need more practice. Also there was left hand pain, which is another sign of practice lacking.

1324 on the 5th fret

Trying to play it more softly left hand wise. It’s one of the easiest combinations yet so I had no problems at all. 300 bpm.

1342 on the 5th fret

In comparison to the previous one this one is a little harder for me so there was some flaws, but still it was pretty decent.

1243 on the 5th fret

Harder. Combination. Yet. Still can’t play it without left hand pain, will practice pressure control more. Also I definitely need to practice ring-pinky separate movement because now they aren’t move independently from each other and it creates some dead notes.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

After yesterday’s perfect 1234 at 320 bpm I decided to increase the speed to 340 bpm. It went almost well.

When I Come Around

This time I decided to record something from my practice of this song. I really want to did a full cover of it, so today I focused on verse-solo-chorus transitions to make them consistent and get rid of mistakes.

Also I practiced the bass part but my phone ran out of memory again to film it as well.

Summary

I really wanted to sleep the whole day, so when I came home in the evening I had a thought to maybe skip a day of practicing. I’m glad that I found the strength to do it today as well. One skip leads to another one so it’s much better to be fully consistent. It’s been a month now so this routine should have become a habit. I want to maintain it as it is 🙂

Day 30. Perfect 1234

Today I continued practicing When I Come Around and increasing the speed of the 1423 combination.

1234 exercise

1423 on the 5th fret

I started playing at 260 bpm.

In the end of the practice I returned to this exercise and repeated it at 280 bpm. Tomorrow I’ll reach my 300 bpm goal and add the last combination for this week.

1324 on the 5th fret

This is one of the easiest combinations yet. I think it’s because there are no 3-4 fingers playing after each other. Anyway, played it at 300 bpm.

1342 on the 5th fret

Repeated this combination at 300 bpm as well.

1243 on the 5th fret

I think that my pressure control exercise let me achieve something. Usually my hand gets tired after 1-2 minutes of playing this combination but today I managed to play it for 3 minutes without noticeable pain, which is great. 300 bpm.

1234 on the 1-12 frets

This it the first time when I played the whole cycle without any major mistakes! There was a few semi-dead notes but it was very clean. Played it at 320 bpm as always. Definitely will increase the speed later. The pressure control thing really works.

Pressure control

I continued practicing this exercise. I’m getting closer to the lift-right hand coordination mastery with which I have issues now. I focused on picking loudly with my right hand and pressing the strings softly with my left one. It kinda worked, but still I need to practice more. Today I set the speed for this exercise to 280 bpm.

Summary

I started to relearn the bass part for When I Come Around in order to do it with pull-offs and hammer-ons. Will gradually increase the speed to the original.

Day 29. Pressure control

Last week I closed almost every exercise goal in order to have some time to play When I Come Around this week. The rest routines are mostly 1234 variations, and today I added one of them to the list – 1423.

1234 exercise

1423 on the 5th fret

I started with the new combination at 200 bpm.

After the pressure control exercise I realized that I could play this combination at 240 bpm with no struggle. So I played it at 240 bpm.

1342 on the 5th fret

Repeated this one at 300 bpm.

1324 on the 5th fret

Played this combination at 300 bpm again.

1243 on the 5th fret

Tried to reduce the pressure while playing at 300 bpm. Not quite succeeded in it unfortunately, but still it was ok.

Pressure control

The goal of this exercise was to start playing with the fingers laying on the strings without pressing them down and gradually increase the pressure to find the sweet spot where it doesn’t need much but the notes are still being played.

I confronted an issue here. My left and right hand always seem to play with the same tension. If I start playing louder with a pick my left hand automatically starts to press the strings more and vice versa. Not sure what to do with this yet.

Played it at 240 bpm.

Summary

I practiced When I Come Around for an hour I think. The guitar part is ready to be played and recorded, but the bass part is not quite as playable yet. I decided to lower the bass position so I released the strap a lot and it feels like I need to start over and get used to how it is played on one more time. Above that I want to play the bass part completely as it supposed to be played, and in order to do it I need more pull-offs and hammer-ons practice. Well, I have the whole week for that 🙂

Week 4. Summary

This week I finished the beginner part of the course (watched through modules 8-11) and I’m really eager to proceed further.

At the same time when I faced the When I Come Around routine I really started to want this song to be fully covered and recorded by myself. I learned the bass part already so it’s only a matter of time for me to master it completely, record and make a video out of it.

So in order to be able to spend more time on it I wanted to finish as much routines as I could this week, because my routine schedule became really large and after the practice I didn’t have much time left to do anything else.

The next week goals are:

  • Play 1423 and 1432 combinations at 300 bpm
  • Increase the consistency of 1234, 1243, 1324, 1342 combinations
  • Play and record Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar and Bass parts of When I Come Around

I didn’t practice fretboard knowledge this week. Need to get it back into my routines schedule.

Here is the video with more details:

1234 exercise

1234 on the 5th fret – 320 bpm → 340 bpm (as a warmup)
1234 on the 1-12 frets – 320 bpm (increasing consistency)
1243 on the 5th fret – 300 bpm (increasing consistency)
1324 on the 5th fret – 240 bpm → 300 bpm
1342 on the 5th fret – 240 bpm → 300 bpm

Chord transitions

C/D – 110 bpm → 120 bpm
A/E – 150 bpm (increasing consistency)
A/Dm – 140 bpm → 150 bpm
G/D – 140 bpm → 150 bpm
B7/E – 70 bpm → 120 bpm
B7/C – 70 bpm → 120 bpm
Am G/B C G/B – 60 bpm → 120 bpm
Em D/F# G D/F# – 60 bpm → 120 bpm

Strumming

Module 6 pattern – 120 bpm → 160 bpm
Module 7 pattern – 60 bpm → 120 bpm
Module 9 pattern – 120 bpm (line by line → all at once)

Songs

Green Day – When I Come Around
Green Day – Welcome to Paradise
The Beatles – Let It Be

Day 28. Finishing them up

It’s the last day of the week 4, so I wanted to conclude as much routines as I could to start the new ones and proceed further into the course. I will repeat most of today’s routines for a day or two still to make them sound cleaner and more consistent but the goal was to get all of them so the speed I wanted them to be played at.

1234 exercise

Today I started with the newest combinations not to get tired when I finally get to them 🙂

1342 at the 5th fret

My goal was to get it to 300 bpm this week. Today I started with 280 bpm as a warmup.

Then I played it in 300 bpm as well. It was far from perfect but still I kind of managed to play it so it counts 🙂

1324 at the 5th fret

I got this combination to the 300 bpm a few days ago so I just repeated it at the same speed to develop consistency.

1243 at the 5th fret

At the end of today’s practice I had some time to play this combination, but my fingers were tired already so I messed it up significantly.

Chord transitions

Today was the day I finished all my chord transitions routines. It means that I played all of them at 120 bpm pretty consistently to count it as a success.

B7/E transition

B7/C transition

Am G/B C G/B transition

Em D/F# G D/F# transition

Strumming

The strumming patterns went the same way – played them at 120 bpm to finish up those.

Module 7 pattern

Module 9 pattern

Let It Be

I played it pretty well at the first place, but after a few days of practice I got better at F C Dm C fast chord transitions part.

Summary

I’m not sure what to do next. Part of me wants to go deeper into the course to find out something new and my other part tells to just continue the 1234 practice with other finger combinations and to master and record full versions of Green Day’s songs. We’ll see what I choose to do next week soon.