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  1. #1

    Default Blues in a Day - Course 2 of Mac's Journey

    Hi Anyone / Everyone this is my second Blog on this forum regarding a TF course. My first blog was "Blues Guitar for Beginners" by Dave Hamburger. A great introduction to the blues for beginners and those of us who have hidden the guitar in the closet for a few years. That's is a a name I call myself a "Closet Guitarist", no offensives to anyone but myself, I have spent 40 years picking up the guitar and just as quickly putting it away, I have never played in public, not with anyone, not for my wife or even my child. Usually I buy a course and right away don't understand what the instructor is trying to say or I'm not able to reach a stretch right off the bat etc. My wife is baffled when she see's a bill from PayPal for a guitar course but never see's or hears me play. Thanks to the generosity of Brad and TrueFire I'm currently all over the Easter Egg Sale, even though I get to hide my own Easter Eggs due to memory loss! HMMM, What was I writing about!

    I want to Thank Dave Hamburger and TF because for the first time EVER, ("Blues Guitar for Beginners") I completed a course from start to finish. I still go back to it to work on a few things such as "Muting" in Lesson 10 and "Dampening" in Lesson 16 of Blues Guitar for Beginners. I left a review on both Dave Hamburgers and Blues for Beginners comment sections of TF website if you don't want to read my previous Blog on it.

    Important information that you should know before we go forward; My name is Roger Mackenzie but everyone calls me Mac, even my wife, I guess it was the whole "Mac Marine thing tied in with Mackenzie". I talk / write in circles. What doers that mean? I'm actually not a big talker, not because I don't have anything to say; but because I have No Voice. Really! OK, that's weird. I have been battling Cancer for the last 5 years and a year ago became a Lary; that's someone that has had the voice box removed and now breath through a hole in there neck. Why become a Lary? I was told that I would never be able to even have a sip of water for the rest of my life, no food, no drink. I lived that way for the last 4 years and it was tough, by becoming a Lary the drinks would no longer go straight into my lungs, now they are separated, I can drink liquids and someday maybe eat a Big Mac. I did lose a couple of things, I can't smell anything any more and sneeze / cough etc out of my neck, if it sounds very strange for you, it is doubled strange for me but reality. I never had one cigarette, I was and always will be a Marine, so fitness was something that was important to me my entire life! There are people that have had there voice returned via Prosthesis, etc, I might be one of those lucky people soon! We call ourselves Lary's short for Laryngectomee's and there are two websites fighting hard to keep us alive; up to-date and teaching us to try to get back to normal living. I mention them because if you have a few extra dollars and looking for a cause, now you know of one, if you find it in your heart . http://www.webwhispers.org and http://www.theial.com/ial/ . I donate to both, IAL is actually going to spend 4 days of One on One with me at their yearly Voice Institute in Durham, NC to try to get my voice back in June. Using the latest break through's. Webwhispers sends me a email everyday from other Lary's with questions, answers, idea's and hope.

    Another thing I do that may surprise you is that I'm a Tenor Drummer in a Scottish Pipe band http://www.alepposhriners.com/units/Pipe_band.html , I don't parade right now until I feel good enough to carry a drum but we march to support the Shriners Childrens Burn Hospitals: http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/
    It is a amazing organization, children 18 and under from anywhere in the world are treated for burns, clef palates, and Orthopaedic disorders and there is no charge, we pick them up with special medical planes, vans etc, take them to one of our hospitals and treat them, we have no billing department. These parents have enough to worry about besides how are they going to pay for care. If a member of your family ever has a accident like this or a neighbor / friend etc, you now know who to call.

    Back to my point, Cancer will not Define me as a person, I still have dreams of becoming a guitarist, I still want to be the best Dad possible for my Janelle, I still want to help those less fortunate when I can. I still love my wife and my lifelong friends. Nothing has changed. And I am blessed that I have been chosen to deal with this, than my wife, child, your child or any kid. Why? Because I can handle it! God knows that, of everyone he chose me because he knows people will watch me and get off their a$$es and say if I can beat the odds, so can't you, whatever your situation.

    I want to be a guitarist bad, so join in with me and together we'll beat this 6 string curse, just like my Red Sox did in 2004! Enough with the blah, blah, blah stuff, I only want to tell you about myself before proceeding.

    When I write in circles, I am trying to make some kind of Abi-Normal point. I might be talking about a chord or point discussed in the course but before making that point I might take you to Morocco; Parris Island; The Keys; being a grunt in Viet Nam; Chemo/Radiation Treatments; Red Sox; 5th Grade; The Pentagon; USMC and ask that you give me 20 push ups etc. The point is I some how might make sense with our travels and add to the point that our new Instructor "Rick Payne" is making. I am only at the Beginner Level, let's make that clear. Rick is the expert, I am the Chowder-Head trying to make sense of the guitar. I will be 62 in early June 2012. This blog helps to motivate me as I go through each course and if your wondering a little about what the course is about, I will try to give a fair evaluation of what is in each course; what level it is for etc. but I am not going to be critical of the Instructor, they and TrueFirel work extremely hard to put out a product that will give us the information and instruction to get us closer to our goal of being the guitarist that we want to be.

    So now you know a little about me, lets get to the course: TrueFire's - Blues in a Day by Rick Payne
    I ordered the course because I am following two different Learning Path's - "Acoustic Bluesman" and "Blues-Rock Jammer". Why, because I love electric blues, Gary Moore, Johnny Winter, BB King, Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee etc, but at 62 the reality is that I'll most likely play for family and friends on the front porch when I'm good enough. So I'm undecided which path I'll go. I also am having a hard time deciding where I am as a player, A Beginner Level or Early Intermediate. I guess if I was a "Sherpa" member they would figure it out quickly but I'm on a fixed income so that's out of the question. I finished the Blues for Beginners very easily with over 3/4's being just a recap of things I already knew and was proficient in. The good thing was both path's more or less started with Blues for Beginners. The next courses for the Blues Jammer Path are labeled as Intermediate, so I'll finish the beginner courses in the Acoustic Bluesman Path, which include Blues in a Day; Guitar Physiology Survival Guide; and Jump Start Finger Style. It also gives me time to make my decision on what path I'll end up going, perhaps both, but I don't want them to interfere in my overall learning.

    I started the course and whipped through the first 8 lessons as it covered Tunings, How to hold a pick; the following chords: G; C; D7 (I never under stood the popularity of this chord, I don't like the sound of it) A; D; E7; E; A7; B7; F; G7; another version of E7; E6 and A6ADD7. OK, I never seen E6 or A6ADD7 before, but both are Open chords and the fingering was not to tough to figure out. Also the lessons so far are only around 30 seconds long, easy to swallow.

    He finishes with a short easy strum pattern.

    There are 94 lessons, I don't know if they all are this short.

    I will continue on after going through some more lessons.

    Happy Easter to you and get on this unbelievable sale that TrueFire is having this weekend. I purchased every Beginner and Intermediate course in both the Blues Jammer and Acoustic Bluesman Path's. The only one I'm waiting for to go on sale is Guitar Physiology. The Advanced Courses will be Bonus when I prove myself by completing the other earlier courses.
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

    Just trying to Stay on the Right Side of the Grass.
    Silent but always heard!
    Hoo-Rah - Mac

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Another Awesome Start Mac

    Dude, you're my hero. You have way more energy than I do and you have a drive to get up off the deck each time you get knocked down. I can see that once or twice but you've gotten up each and every time. Wow, amazing stuff. You might be disappointed with the Blues in a Day course. It's not the usual TrueFire Course and I think it comes from a DVD course that's been turned into a TrueFire type course. Those short videos you mention go all the way to the end. It's bite sized bits of info which you will naturally chew through in short order.

    Glad to hear that you're taking advantage of the Sale, it's a biggie as you've seen and it's very popular. But those crafty TrueFire folks know what they're doing, these courses are like chocolate or those potato chips - you just can't be satisfied with just one and before long you've got a big collection. Great Instructors, great people and a relaxed learning environment.

    I should mention that if your post doesn't show up quickly that would mean that the software has flagged it and put it in the Moderator's Que waiting to be discovered by me or another moderator. We're not exactly sure what the criteria for things being put in the Mod Que are, we think it has to do with the newness of the person who is writing the post, the length, links and things like that. But since we are keen to keep the spam out we aren't too upset with it cause it does it's job well. If you type something in and it doesn't show up and then it still doesn't show up give me or Wolf anyone who is a SWAT member a email cause it means we haven't looked for it or haven't paid attention. Thanks man! You're doing all of us a good turn and I know this has been for you already - finished a course! The journey continues! And that guitar isn't staying in the closet.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  3. #3

    Default Blues in a Day - Course 2 of Mac's Journey - Day 3 of course

    Well I have made it to lesson # 30. Not too difficult because the course continues on in 30 second spurts of video and I know most of the chords taught from previous lessons.

    In fact Blues in a Day starts exactly where Beginner Blues leaves off with a Blues in E progression. But Blues in a Day adds a neat Intro and Outro and a few different chords to sexy up the progression. So during the first 15 lessons your learning the chords and a few strums; Lesson 15 - 21 your learning to play the progression. This is where I'll be spending the next few days or more. I have no problem with the progression, just a few new chords to embellish the sound, plus the Intro and Outro. When this is complete you'll have your first full song to Jam on, from start to finish. I might add that he states that you can use Fingerstyle or a Pick. Up to this point he is using a Pick.

    One thing that is very frustrating is that the PDF Charts and the Power Tabs do not match the Lesson # that your working on. From Lesson 15 to 21 they are off one. So if your looking for the PDF + Power Tab for lesson 15 go to Lesson 16 etc. And the really frustrating thing is just when they teach you the first song complete with Intro and Out-tro there is no PDF or Power Tab for it because they correct the error. I deleted the previous installation and re installed the whole program to see if it was some sort of installation problem but sadly it continued to be at least one lesson off until Lesson 22 where it is correct just when your looking for the complete song tab. Also the PDF files so far don't show the chords in the measures, just shows them on top of the PDF file.

    Oddly Lesson 22 - 30 are teaching you how to read tabs and a few single note progressions. I personalty would have thought the information would have been in the opening part of the program. Like I said before, I'm only on Lesson 30 and not the professional here; perhaps further on it will make more sense to me. Perhaps that is why the PDF files don't show the chords in each measure so far. The single notes are shown in Tab form starting in Lesson 23.

    I have enough to work on and it is Easter so I'll end this part of my Blog here for today.

    Keep on Rocking!

    Mac
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

    Just trying to Stay on the Right Side of the Grass.
    Silent but always heard!
    Hoo-Rah - Mac

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Mac,
    First off I want to echo Gadlaws sentiments, you are a great inspiration. Even after everything you've been through, you still point and say "Him.. He's worse off than me. You should help him". I almost feel ashamed to say "I had a long day. I'm too tired to pick up the guitar" after reading your stories. Hoo-Rah! indeed.

    Like Mr.G said Blues in a Day is one of the older courses in the TrueFire video library. If the charts are too much out of sorts we can rustle them up in the front office. For what it's worth the files on TrueFire TV are off as well.

    Really looking forward to reading your progress.
    Honey, I'm spending money on guitars or women, ... your choice.

    If you take Satan for a ride, pretty soon he'll want to drive.


    Favorite Course - Blues Alchemy
    Working On - Fretboard Epiphanies & Jump Blues

  5. #5

    Default

    OK, I'm back to read more.

    Hey, I like this guy (that's you, Mac) and what he's accomplished...yet it sounds like the last thing he needs is telling him 'good job, Mac'. He's gettin' that from himself. So we can just talk about him and tell ourselves that. Oh, I just remembered I'm not in the private forum...he can read this. Oops.

    Seriously, though, Mac, good luck with the voice rehab and anything else luck might help with...and thanks for bringing those charities to light here.

    I think I'm going to watch your progress as a reminder I could make more efficient use of my guitar hands-on time...once I make some.

    Murray
    Just visiting TrueFire.com? Why not join us?


    http://truefire.com/ignite/?code=murrayatuptowngaller

  6. #6

    Default Blues in a Day - Course 2 of Mac's Journey - Day 5 of course

    Today I'd like to talk about dealing with the "Mundane". Not only waiting for the TF Easter Sale to be over so the servers come back to normal but also talking about this course. I guess with experience you could run through this in a day. A few Progressions, a few Shuffles, A few Licks, Some Fingerstyle. But I have the feeling that it is one that takes a little more time. As Mr. G; RJ and Murray have stated, the format is older and not sexy, the information shown lacks detail; the fingering is not shown on many examples, it would be easy to whip through this course and move on to the next. My experience with that is then it becomes easy to skip through the next course and so on and so on.

    The military can be a very mundane thing also, you train and train for a event that never might happen. Then even when you get into a combat situation you seem to get used to that feeling and start to slack up after time. The enemy knows this and takes advantage of it.

    Lets travel on Mac's way-back machine 8,773 miles and back to 1969. "We have to get out of this place" by Eric Burton is the number one song on Military Radio played every 5 minutes, just as it is the number one song requested in Iraq and Afghanistan now! Overseas for the first few months I carried a Flame thrower. It weighted 80 pounds when full. I weighted 145. The idea was if we came across a tunnel, You would flush them out by squinting a blast of fire down the hole, which removes the oxygen in the tunnel forcing everyone out, some tunnels were like small cities and that didn't work so you had to send the Tunnel Rat in. So talk about Mundane, how many times did I get to use it; ZERO. We then were called on a operation which meant that I would be lugging that full tank for ever. Up and down mountains in 122 degree heat. Finally after weeks on the operation I broke down to the extreme conditions and was flown to the Navy or Air Force hospital at Cam Ranh Bay. I was quickly diagnosed with Malaria.

    I had a 104 degree temp, I didn't feel good but being a marine the fine doctors and aides decided that they were going to still party during the night and it was up to the marines sick or not to guard the party/base so I was assigned to guard duty from 12 midnight to 4 am. They had gotten used to their situation and nothing was going to change their nightly party. It was 12 midnight and I climbed the tower over looking the ocean with my M-16. I was a little out of it due to the morphine but I had a good view of the band playhing and the people partying, as well as a good view of the ocean, if someone was coming in from sea, there was a good chance that I would spot them.

    The band stopped playing around 1 AM and everyone made it back to their bunks and settled in for the night. Around 3 am my eyes were shaky and I was starting to pass out, then out of the corner of my eye I saw a cock roach moving when I moved. If I took a step, it moved a foot. If I backed up, it backed up. I thought this was really weird. After going back and forth for a bit he led me under a beam where hundreds of cockroaches jumped me from above. I was freaked out to say the least and I grabbed my M-16 and opened fire on the little b-st-rds.

    All of a sudden the whole base opened fire. Everyone was shooting at an unknown location and enemy. Those fine doctors were crying and running for shelter, this had never happened to them before and they were unprepared, running in every direction. After a few minutes the gunfire stopped and people started to come out of their holes. After a investigation early in the morning, I was found to be the culprit. I was forced to spend the rest of my time there digging ditches so that the poor doctors would have some place to take cover if they were ever HMMMM attacked again.

    The moral of the story is not that I was sick or even hallucinating, it was that the people on this base thought they were so far from the battlefield that they took war for granted. The "Mundane" had settled in and short-cuts were the order of business. Yes they saw the results of war by taking in the sick and wounded but it was replaced with it can't happen here syndrome. I doubt that any lessons were learned with this group. This was no Mash unit they lived in Condo like facilities.

    After a few days I was returned to my unit and because I now weighted 120 was now the point man and tunnel rat. Instead of shooting fire down the hole, I was the guy that went in afterwards to make sure it was clear. A story for a different time. We are talking about being "Mundane" and that was anything but!

    Back to the course: Yes, I feel the pressure of just writing off this course as a loss and moving on to the next one in the path. That is one of the problems some of us people have, not knowing where they stand as guitarist, am I a beginner, or intermediate on TrueFire. That is a real problem when dealing with several different named courses instead of dealing with one course that takes you from beginner to advanced.

    How am I getting by that feeling. Here's what I do.
    First on a course like this when I'm trying to keep my interest I watch every single video, yes all 94 of them (The longest was 55 seconds, most under 20) While watching I wrote down the video's that interest me and downloaded the Power Tab of the one's that involved playing or things that I needed work on. I put them in exact order as the course and added names where each Lesson started and ended and also added a brief statement regarding what the lesson was about: Lesson 21 - Solo start; End; Riffs/licks; Songs; Shuffles; Lesson 86 Finger style - Start; Use Thumb and Index Fingers; End etc. Then i created one big Guitar Pro file and named it Blues in a Day - Complete course; etc. Now I don't have to go back to the course or even my Laptop to repeat a video unless it is something that I want to see something, I can loop a specific lesson forever or work through them all.

    The bottom line now I have invested several hours in setting up this file for use, I'm not just going to walk away from it. A cheap tip that I use; for about $5.00 you can download the Guitar Pro app and it runs on Android or Ipad tablets. It allows you to loop. At night I take about 90 minutes while watching TV in bed and just run through the Guitar Pro file with my guitar, looping where I want, powering through what I already know at least once a day.

    Learning the guitar is such a weird learning experience. I have a lot of experience with six shooters but these Six strings of hell. test me everyday. No one seems to have a A - Z system; they all have pieces and just like a puzzle you have to put them together.

    Be patient young Grass-Hopper; follow the Path and you will see the light. (Or at least as in the Karate Kid, The fence will get painted!)
    "Rome wasn't built in a day" Arghhhh.

    Here is my hero USMC LT. General Chesty Puller:
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    His biography is called The Marine, and it is a great read about a young Marine that went from Private during the Horse back wars all the way to LT General in the Korean War.
    http://www.amazon.com/Marine-The-Lif.../dp/0553271822
    Last edited by rogermack50; 04-10-2012 at 03:26 PM.
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

    Just trying to Stay on the Right Side of the Grass.
    Silent but always heard!
    Hoo-Rah - Mac

  7. #7

    Default Blues in a Day - Course 2 of Mac's Journey - Day 7 of course

    Today, I have a Question???
    I have gone through all the lessons up to Lesson 50 and I have no problem playing the Song; Shuffles and Licks. But after playing a Lick perfectly 10 times and moving on to the next Lick, I soon forget the lick that I performed before. So my question is it more important to learn the lick and remember it, or is the important part that you can play the lick and move on to the next one building on each one.

    I guess that question goes for all the courses, is it more important to play the whole course perfectly or are we building with each course and its OK to move onto the next course when you can play all the information and learn the techniques but not perfectly?

    All the stuff I bought from the Easter Sale is finally getting downloaded, yahoo. Once I get them downloaded I will have every "Essential" Beginner and Intermediate Level courses for both the "Blues Jammer" and "Acoustic Bluesman" Paths. So I will Backup all TrueFire Courses once completely downloaded. I have one of those 320 Gig portable Hard Drives. Backup's is a good thing, It has saved me in the past. Remember to backup your important information!

    It's never easy in Mac's world. there are so many things going on around me in my world; then you throw things concerning the real world and it can be over-bearing. That's why I totally understand why our Elders thought the World was flat or square or whatever. It amazes me that they couldn't figure out the Earth was round but they could figure out the stars and planets system. Circles don't work so well mathematically I guess; only in your mind.The important thing is if you take care of your world; things from the other worlds seem to fall into place. So take care of your world and quit worrying about the others NOW! Can I get 20 pushups! Hoo-Rah...

    Talk to you soon,

    Mac
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

    Just trying to Stay on the Right Side of the Grass.
    Silent but always heard!
    Hoo-Rah - Mac

  8. #8

    Default Blues in a Day - Course 2 of Mac's Journey - Day 7 of course

    The hardest thing about TrueFire is they don't offer a test to allow you to know your level. The path's leave holes for guys like me that don't know where they stand. Am I a beginner or Late Beginner; Early Intermediate.; most courses would be great fill in courses once you had all the knowledge and are confident in the direction that you want to go. But I would not call them a path for success. After going through all the beginner courses for both the "Blues Jammer" and "Acoustic Bluesman" I now know that I'm not a Beginner in TF course paths. I knew how to play everything that those courses presented and was confident in my knowledge of the information provided.

    OK, how can you tell and save yourself a lot of money and time, well I'm going to tell you! Its easier than you think and only takes a little time. Unfortunately, Not many people are following this Blog and won't see it so I'll edit my earlier blog and hopefully save at least one person

    Using my new found information, I now go through the FREE LESSON SAMPLERS provided in each course and if there are things right off the bat that I know would be challenging or I need time learning then that's my level.
    For example in the "Blues Guitar for Beginners" description sales page, I selected:
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    then I select:
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    you'll then see
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    Now go through each one of these Free Full Length Lessons and find your skill level. If your confident that you know all the information that the lessons present and can play it perfectly 10 times in a row, move onto another course in the Path. If you are having problems, your at the right level. Its as simple as that!

    So why did it take me so long and much money to figure this out, while I worked with some of the smartest people on this planet at iRobot, I do not have their pedigree or entitled upbringing; I am not the sharpest tool in the shed! I have fought for everything that I have. I went to college UMASS not for a education but to survive. The GI Bill gave me $165.00 a month if I went to school; nothing if I didn't. First I went to a community college; a friend of mine with a similar background and upbringing went to Rhodesia as a mercenary, there are not a lot of options for guys like us; stupid is as stupid does, his mother wanted him home and didn't have anyone to turn to but me, John was her only child. Being a x-special forces and watching every Bruins game with John and his Mom, I had to at least try. She gave me a few dollars and said bring him home. "Stupid is as Stupid does", I went. I wasn't given a lot of money just enough to survive, I flew to England, took the ferry over to France and hitch-hiked to Torrmenolinos, Spain. I had a small fling with a Canadian student there as I planned my next step. From there I took another ferry across the Med sea to Northern Morocco. I was told that only one bus went the small village a day at 5 am, a guy let me have dinner with him; Monkey Brains, No kidding! He showed me to a room where I could rest until the bus came. Right, nothing is free, my alert senses went way up! Once in the room he put a pad-lock on the door. I looked around and there where several other people in the room. Panic is never a option, I waited my time, talked to some of the people to get a idea what was going on and made my plan. About a hour before the bus showed up, I busted through the door, buildings over there are not like here, I tied up my host up and put him in the room and me and the others met the bus. Crossing from Spain which was a lot like home into Morocco was like crossing time. Fun time was over. The bus was crazy going through the Northern mountains of Africa. I have never experienced a ride like that before or after. It was full of people, animals and a mad driver on some of the worst roads and highest mountains I have ever seen. I had new friends that took me to their families and looked after me the rest of my route. To make a long story shorter; I finally found my way to war torn Rhodesia. From letters from John to his Mother I found John and to my surprise his job was guarding a Holiday Inn. It had barb wire all around it and he worked 3 - 4 hour shifts guarding it. After several days I was convinced John wasn't leaving. He was making good money, under no duress and actually loving it. He could sent money home, lots of it, felt important, much better than being unemployed living off of his mother back home in his eyes. We called his Mom and straightened that out; then he gave me some money and said go home. I worked my way up to Rabat and decided to go to the Canary Islands where I lived on the beach for several months with many others, like a commune we all chipped in and had meals together. It was beautiful living in a tent on one of the most spectacular settings in the world. I knew it was time to go home so I went back to Morocco where I had my passport stolen. The government had to fly me home, I went from one of the hottest places on earth landing in NY during the storm of 1978 in a tee shirt. When I got to Boston the last flight in, the national guard had to drive me home. The trip cost me; I spent months homeless living the rest of the winter in a van, I tried UMASS but I hated the large 300+ classes and the blank personalities compared to my life; when my last government check came in for $165.00 I drove to San Fran, I was there one day and the cops took me in, looked at my record and let me stay and live the rest of the winter in the parking lot over looking another beautiful ocean spot near the seals, never once was I bothered. Each day I walked 2 + miles from the van to downtown St Anthony's to the homeless shelter; they fed me and gave me a peanut butter sandwich, which held me to the next day. This was my first exposure to the Gay community. I am not gay but it was interesting seeing the compassion for their community, like the Irish and Italians and Portuguese community's back home but a community built because they were shunned by their own families over sexual preference. but still open hearted to each other. I was allowed to visit, get cleaned up, I was never put in any position, it was a interesting time of life in San Francisco. Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac owned the airways there but the hippies were starting to splinter into other groups that eventually would run the city. So to complete my circle here, I received a government check filled the tank and headed home. From my Honorable discharge in 1971 to Dec 1978 I hitch hiked across the USA 8 times, Europe/ Africa; at first I found a love of my life but let her walk away, I have never been a person that would ever try to keep someone for the wrong reasons, spent a few years homeless, let me point out I was now 28 and tired, my brothers and Sisters were raising families with great jobs, I was still trying to find myself. The point here is that it has always been difficult for me to find my path. No regrets, it has made me the husband, father and man I am today.

    Ok, back to the Lessons, dammit!

    If I had gone through the free video sample I would have discovered that I knew everything that the course offered from start to finish just by going through the Free Samples and then should move on to the next level course and do the same.
    Example 2 - Blues Jam Survival Free Sampler in Lesson 1 - How to play the inevitable 12/8 Blues Slow Blues like a Pro; he starts of with a 1-IV-V progression in G Barre Chord; he uses the C9 as the IV which I have a little experience in and love the sound, then slides to the V, then offers different voicing's etc that I didn't know about and would have to work at to learn; that's lesson1 so I know this course will be both challenging and offer new insight to my guitar playing at the correct Level.
    It cost me over half of the gift I was giving to learn this lesson; now I hope it won't happen to you.

    "Blues in a Day" is a fitting name for this course.
    I think anyone with any experience will go through this course quite quickly.

    Let's review this course to see if its for your level:
    Lesson 1: Short Video on Tuning
    Lesson 2: Short Video on Picking
    Lesson 3: Forming a E chord
    Lesson 4: G; C; D7 Chords
    Lesson 5: A; D; E7 Chords
    Lesson 6 : E; A7; B7 Chords
    Lesson 7: F; Alternate E7; G7
    Lesson 8: Adding E6; A6
    Lesson 9: E Strumming - First Strum
    Lesson 10: 2nd Strum using "A" chord
    Lesson 11: More Rhythmic strum using "G" chord
    Lesson 12: Shuffle strum using "E" chord
    Lesson 13: You do a 12 bar progression in "E"; using the E6 and A6 as additions.
    Note: I don't want to give away the whole course on Rick, if you can't do a 12 bar and don't know where to add the extra chords, then you most likely need to do this course before moving on in your path.
    Lesson 14: Choosing between more fuller chords
    ** Lesson 15: Your playing a Song / Progression **
    Note: I will mark songs / progressions like this so its easy for me to see where I want to go back. It also gives you an idea of the flow of the course.
    i.e. you'll be learning Notes; Chords; Rhythm over several lessons and putting what you learned into a song or progression.
    So you'll have several lessons building on a idea; then put it all together.
    Lesson 16: Using different strums between E and E6; A - A6 etc.
    ** Lesson 17 **: A Chicago style rhythm in a different "E" progression
    Lesson 18: A effect by removing you fingers at end of a chord
    Lesson 19: A neat Intro - Outro
    Lesson 20: Rhythm for the Intro
    ***** Lesson 21 *****: Playing the complete 12 bar with Intro - Outro
    Note: This sounds good, is complete with Intro - Outro, I can play it but need to refine to make it sound better.
    Lesson 22: Guitar tablature; He really doesn't say anything about it which confused me. I know what tablature is and was expecting some kind of definition.
    Lesson 23 & 24: Scale in Open "E"
    Lesson 25: Start to learn the rhythm of the shuffle
    Lesson 26: Adding a little more Rhythm to the shuffle
    Lesson 27: Single note song "Saint James Infirmary"
    Lesson 28: Another single note song named "Porgy's Blues"
    Lesson 29: A single note shuffle called "Boogie the Blues"
    Lesson 30: Another single note song that your most likely familiar with "Nobody knows me"
    Lesson 31: The last of the single note songs "Muddy's Blues"
    Note: These single note shuffles and rhythm's only run about 19 - 30 seconds each but it is a great way for a beginner to start, feel like they are making music, get their fingers moving to a set rhythm and beat.
    Lesson 32: We now enter into 2 string shuffles
    Lesson 34: A complete 2 string shuffle, you get the whole taco, a full 1:01 of video.
    Lesson 35: Blues Scale in open "E"
    Lesson 36 - 59: :07 - :14 second video's showing you simple short open riffs in E, then adding Hammer-On's, bends, slides, Pull-offs etc.
    ****Lesson 60: **** A blues solo using all the techniques learned in the last 25 short lessons. Runs a full :56 seconds
    Note: It sounds good, this is another one that I'll be going back to now and then.
    Lesson 62: We move up to the 5th fret and learn the "A" scale.
    Lesson 63 - 65: We learn a couple of riffs using the "A" scale
    ***** Lesson 66 - 67: ***** We play a Blues solo in "A"
    Note: Another one that I'll continue to go back to and play. If your a beginner, this utilizes all 4 fret hand fingers and gets you use to walking. (That's what I call it)
    Lessons 68 - 79 is all "Light" Finger Style for the rest of the way. What is "Light" Finger Style? It is my description for using just your Thumb and Index Fingers.
    Lessons 80 - 87 are different kinds of Intro's including Delta Blues in different keys. Rick uses different fingerings but doesn't discuss what they are. They are 15 second Intro riffs.

    I have watched each video lesson at least 5 times, some perhaps 10 times. I have spent considerable time on the few Finger Style-Solo/Song **** Lesson's 73; 74;79; 88 & 89 *****.
    Note: Once again I will return to these particular Songs/Solo's.

    This course helped me chose the preferred path that I will go forward with, to make sure of my decision I pushed forward by watching all the videos for this course; "Jump Start Fingerstyle"; "Acoustic Blues Handbook" and "Fingerstyle Blues Handbook".

    I don't think that Fingerstyle is my preferred style. OK, that does not mean that I won't continue to toy around with it because to be able to move both hands and add finger picking to riffs gives another dimension to anyone's guitar playing. It also is not a knock against any of these courses, they are all done professionally with solid instruction.
    Note: After watching a preview of" Acoustic Rhythm" Survival" I wished that TrueFire had setup a Learning Path built around that course and style. I watched all the free video's and looked over the course chapters and will purchase after receiving my "Review" money from TF. Yep, the kid in the candy store ate all his candy and has a stomach ache of courses that he will put on the shelf for a while. Live and Learn. But at least I found my direction, which is definitely not fingerstyle.

    Now to my reasoning; after "watching all those videos over and over again, the music all sounds pretty much the same. In "Acoustic Blues Handbook" you are working on the "E" Shuffle the whole course, adding Intro's, Embellishments etc, sure the final is amazing but no tabs or PDF are giving for the final. In "Finger-style Handbook" you learn many different songs but nothing that I would want to hear again or care too much about playing. I already stated how much I appreciate the Instructors that TrueFire has come up with but I was looking for the WOW factor and I am not finding it in the Fingerstyle courses like I already have when visiting such courses as "Blues Jam Survival"; "Blues Grooves" and "Rhythm Architect". None of these fingerstyle courses made me run to pick up my guitar.

    Again this is my opinion. As I stated earlier I was still trying to find my way and which style to go into. Each of us has a personnel preference and I had to go through a few things to find mine.

    Anyway I feel relieved to finally find my way, hopefully, I'll now be able to move on to "Blues Jam Survival" - Mac's Journey
    See you there...
    Last edited by rogermack50; 04-16-2012 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Uploads didn't work first time
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

    Just trying to Stay on the Right Side of the Grass.
    Silent but always heard!
    Hoo-Rah - Mac

  9. #9

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    Nice job, Mac.

    Next time I get frustrated with guitar, I'll remember given the choice between guitar or attack cockroaches & flame-throwing tunnel rats, it's a no-brainer. You did almost make flaming attack rats and cockroach throwers sound fun. Almost. Well, almost almost.

    You're right, there's a lot to remember (correctly) and connect. I told someone today the more I learn about guitar the less I feel like I have to remember because it's starting to connect...

    Then I came home and my daughter's boyfriend showed me a heavy duty laminated chord chart that looked like it could do double-duty as a placemat. I admired a few chords that appealed to me, and the layout of the chart and thought things seemed more connected when they were separate. Huh? They DID connect nicely in some of the Truefire lesson examples...maybe because the logical way to remember something had been presented...but with the whole candy store, as you say, in front of me, I could see too many things at once I thought should have been similar, but were not.

    Today I'm thinking I don't like chord charts, for a while anyway. What happens to me is I see the obvious, as one eyes the adjacent key's chords of the same type. It's encouraging to see a movable chord hold the same shape within a few frets, but frustrates me that the shape mutates at the nut (open) and I guess within 5 frets because of a same pitch being found on a different string. I understand that, but can't look at the two shapes for the same-named chord and quickly understand what each difference was. Maybe most people don't care if they already remember they need to do something else by rote memorization...like maybe connecting positions with different shapes (?-I'm parroting someone here...I might have just said something correct, but am not sure until I can digest what each line and angle formed within a chord shape means.) Maybe one doesn't need to know or care about this, but I feel better about it studying a chord shape and recognizing the intervals between the fingers. I tell myself that will make it EASY to simply alter a dominant to make an altered dominant! (Thanks, Fareed, for droppin' that Acid Jazz Rock Workshop, man).

    OK, I know a given chord will, or maybe might, implode within 5 frets of it's current resting place. I'd rather understand than just memorize what looks like two different Chips Ahoy cookies to me...and no two are alike. OK, so I look further down the chord chart and it just goes to...um, wherever, in a handbag. Oh, for some reason they decided there is no such chord anymore so the column for the 9 chord is now something else. Oh, there's the lost chord, shifted one column over. What the?

    Back on track, I still have a column of 9 chords again and suddenly there is NO obvious reason for the shape they're showing. Can I really not just move the first shape that worked in a few other positions as far up the neck as I want?

    I know there are different chord shapes and inversions with the same chord name, but why do they arbitrarily appear in a chord chart without explanation? I guess I'd rather see a separate chart with options (oh, right , more $) instead of whatever random shape the editor decided to use for Db9 instead of the one they used for A9 (or whatever the case may be). I thought a chart would eliminate the need to think and understand. Instead I don't understand why the familiar shape I came to love...well, tolerate anyway, is banished at a different position. Maybe there's some magical reason that should be freakin' obvious to everyone else, but I couldn't tell ya if it's right , or a typo...until I get out a magnifying glass and squint at the dinky little chord diagram and identify each note. Then I'll possibly understand why, other than choice, they suggest different shapes for the same type of chord with a different root.

    Yeah, I don't have to know everything , or hundreds of somethings, to get started. I can just work on one position...but stay OUT of those ruts, wherever they are. I'm back where you pointed out all the disconnected things to learn and paths to follow. It makes sense to me to learn an entire alphabet and then learn many small words and then larger words and sentences...it seemed that way on saxophone...memorize all the keys and start reading right away.

    Yet with guitar, it seems like there are so many shortcuts to enable people to start using it without having to know the whole picture. It's like 'here, just learn a portion of the alphabet, and play Scrabble with what you got...but stay away from those 25-point woids'. Some people are great without the ability to read, without givin' a pooch about theory etc. Are they just playing by ear, memorizing grips, shapes, positions, etc.? Man, I might as well be trying to pin a tail on a donkey with a blindfold (just gave away the cheat code, didn't I?)

    Yes, guitar is a more complex instrument than many. I, too, wish there was a manual detailing: "Yo! learn this step than that then this one, and then...' Maybe there is, but it takes years and years of fumbling on your own or taking lessons with someone who hopefully has their krap together, or you figure out they don't quickly so you can jump ship to another.

    Or enroll full-time in guitar school. Or maybe that's what Sherpa can do...but that requires more time and $ commitment than may be available.

    This instrument strikes me as a massive cluster of subconsciousness. No matter how much I want to be conscious of what I do on the guitar, for fear that if I am not consciously aware of what I ask it to do, I will get unpredictable sounds and not be able to correct that, I can't be conscious. Kind of like taking the blindfold off the donkey and putting it back on myself...with many distractions like wondering if the donkey has a grudge & is gonna kick my ass. Things sneak up on me and I understand them not when I worked on them but only after a couple other things connected (and the donkey had another gig).

    I guess the choice, I mean choices, however many there are, are ours. It seems so chaotic. A step at a time is OK, as long as I know where the path goes. I just remembered I had decided Frank Vignola's Modern Method was a path for me...it's orderly and organized, has plenty of technique laid out to learn in a logical sequence, and...I just remembered how much I thought Modern Method was the light on my path, maybe even the last course I would ever need. I don't know how many other shiny new Truefire things got wafted under my nose through the Insider and other Truefire 'sirens'. I didn't run aground on any rocks, but I got off my path.

    OK, maybe I just made a breakthrough for myself . I still feel like some antacids would help. For me, anyway. I dunno about anyone else who's read this far...
    Last edited by murrayatuptown; 04-16-2012 at 09:46 PM.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogermack50 View Post
    Today, I have a Question???
    I have gone through all the lessons up to Lesson 50 and I have no problem playing the Song; Shuffles and Licks. But after playing a Lick perfectly 10 times and moving on to the next Lick, I soon forget the lick that I performed before. So my question is it more important to learn the lick and remember it, or is the important part that you can play the lick and move on to the next one building on each one.

    I guess that question goes for all the courses, is it more important to play the whole course perfectly or are we building with each course and its OK to move onto the next course when you can play all the information and learn the techniques but not perfectly?

    All the stuff I bought from the Easter Sale is finally getting downloaded, yahoo. Once I get them downloaded I will have every "Essential" Beginner and Intermediate Level courses for both the "Blues Jammer" and "Acoustic Bluesman" Paths. So I will Backup all TrueFire Courses once completely downloaded. I have one of those 320 Gig portable Hard Drives. Backup's is a good thing, It has saved me in the past. Remember to backup your important information!

    It's never easy in Mac's world. there are so many things going on around me in my world; then you throw things concerning the real world and it can be over-bearing. That's why I totally understand why our Elders thought the World was flat or square or whatever. It amazes me that they couldn't figure out the Earth was round but they could figure out the stars and planets system. Circles don't work so well mathematically I guess; only in your mind.The important thing is if you take care of your world; things from the other worlds seem to fall into place. So take care of your world and quit worrying about the others NOW! Can I get 20 pushups! Hoo-Rah...

    Talk to you soon,

    Mac
    One of the things I use my guitar playing for is to strengthen my memory. You know, learning new things, enthusiastically and for reasons that you want to do it helps you to maintain your mental facilities all around. That's the theory anyways and I'm working from that theory. Now, keeping it all in your head is the thing you are wondering about. I'd say for me personally there are things that are in permanent memory and things that aren't. When you pick up your guitar you'll starting playing something that comes to mind easily. I guess the thing to do about that is not stay in your comfort zone there if you want to put more things in that finger memory.

    As for the elders thinking the world was flat - that didn't hold for all of them. The Greeks and Romans figured it out, Middle Ages brought religion based thinking and instead of science they went another way. You'd get those scientific thinkers once in a while and those Elders you speak of never did take kindly to science and there was that argument ender - burned at the stake. lol Copernicus waited until he was about done before putting out that heretical stuff about the earth revolving around the sun after all and then there was that disagreement with Galileo who said Copernicus was right! And then when shown the penalty for that said hum, maybe not. Funny stuff.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  11. #11

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    OH, yeah, I forgot to comment on the 320 GB hard drive backup. That poor little drive is my paperweight now.

    I heard someone say play those licks not 10 times but 90-100 times...then they are your own.

    Then forget 'em. Give 'em away. If you need anything from them they'll come back to you.

    Nice thought, anyway, coming from an instructor who's played for decades. I believe him, I really do. I just wonder if that starts to work early on, or only at the decade point.
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  12. #12

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    Hey Gad, there is an interview somewhere on the web with Pat Martino, talking about philosophy of guitar. Have you ever crossed paths with it?
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by murrayatuptown View Post
    Hey Gad, there is an interview somewhere on the web with Pat Martino, talking about philosophy of guitar. Have you ever crossed paths with it?
    I have not come in contact with this interview. Here is one Pat Martino interview, part one anyways.


    Mac! Let me say a few things - we don't all of us always get a chance to get here every day so you might experience a day with no responses, - working, living, all those things conspire against or with us depending on your point of view. Also these posts are here - so you know like you've found some older posts useful so will other folks find your posts in time. Also, you are making progress and that's the main thing so the blog is working for you.

    How do we know where we are guitar wise ? Well, that might be one of the limitations of the Course Disk and online course access - the lack of actual hands on feedback. At TrueFire there is the Sherpa Instruction experience where you'd have yourself a webcam and personal interaction with an instructor who would watch the webcam videos you would make, give you assignments, watch your progress and all of that. A bit more expensive and for some of us -- way too much pressure. You could get a webcam, sign up for a free YouTube account and take video of your playing various things and post those for the feedback or even just watch them yourself to see where you are. There are all kinds of ways to get feedback to see how you are playing. Even asking the wife how she thinks you are doing or do what many of us do - not worry about it too much.
    Enjoy Your Karma, after all you earned it.
    “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.” -George Carlin

    email: gadlaw@gmail.com - http://www.facebook.com/gadlaw

  14. #14

    Cool

    Thanks
    Murray, Gad, I appreciate all the support.
    Murray, I read the whole thing, Gad, who knew you were on top off why the world was round; like my posts, now its all there for future generations to decipher!
    Turn the lights off on "Blues in a Day"
    I'll be moving on to my next Blog on Blues Jam Survival...
    Last edited by rogermack50; 04-17-2012 at 08:21 PM.
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

    Just trying to Stay on the Right Side of the Grass.
    Silent but always heard!
    Hoo-Rah - Mac

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Mac,
    You are just a one man TrueFire cheer leading squad.
    Good luck with Blues Jam. You probably won't blaze through this course link the two previous ones. Both Jeff Scheetz (instructor) and Red (trusty lab assistant) frequent the forum, and are super accessible if you have any questions. So don't be surprised if either/both chime in on the new blog.
    Honey, I'm spending money on guitars or women, ... your choice.

    If you take Satan for a ride, pretty soon he'll want to drive.


    Favorite Course - Blues Alchemy
    Working On - Fretboard Epiphanies & Jump Blues

  16. #16

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    Yeah, I can see GAD being on top of the flat earth thing...wouldn't want to fall off...and staying on the right side of things and all.

    Truefire disks are flat (don't leave them in the car in the summer), but they are still enlightening.

    ...lastly , speaking of Flat Earth...Truefire artist/instructor Fareed Haque had a band called Flat Earth Ensemble...some of my favorite work of his...unfortunately, they seem to have reorganized or fell off the...no!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OL9NAhnE-E
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