Guitar Lessons Part 65

July 21: Impatient

I’m very impatient today, with myself, with my playing, with my electronics…

Practice was okay. I played the melody and the walking song. I made some silly mistakes.

July 23: Repetitive

I’ve started to find the guitar updates super repetitive and boring. I’m not enjoying writing them, you’re probably not all that excited to read them lately.

I’m not fishing for compliments.

Every once in a while, I’ll have something exciting to say, and I’ll make a post.

But other than that, just assume that I’m practising daily, playing the melody, the walking song, “Get to Know You,” the wedding song, and the ballad, with a few random others thrown in.

Thank you for following me on this journey.

I’ve now been playing guitar and ukulele for over a year, written four songs and a melody, and improved beyond my wildest dreams.

I look forward to seeing what the next year brings.

As always, my ask box is open. 🙂

I took a break

I took a break from playing guitar this past August (2022). I played maybe one a week, and that’s generous.

I definitely lost all my calluses, but I started September feeling refreshed and ready to play again.

And even better, my arm didn’t hurt (as much).

I won’t be continuing to update daily on my progress. That was too exhausting to continue. When I have something interesting to say, I will make a post, but I don’t expect anything new for the next little while.

Guitar Lessons Part 64

July 15: Music video

I didn’t play, exactly, today.

I pretended to play while we recorded another part of our music video. This time, it was all 4 of us holding instruments and swaying to the music in our backyard.

I put my fingers on the correct chords, but only pretended to strum. So I consider that to be practising.

July 16: Not much

I played the melody and the walking song, without sheet music.

Today was a busy day. We filmed the last part of the music video!

We’re hoping to get it out by mid-August.

July 17: Didn’t

I took a break today.

An accidental break, but a break nonetheless.

I read over the wedding song to try to memorize it more, but I didn’t pick up an instrument.

July 18: Feeling that urge

I’m feeling like I need to write another song.

In our books, well, initially in Éric’s book The Sign of Faust, there is a band that lives forever. (Since the sixties, anyways.) They reinvent themselves every decade or so, change names after being out of the limelight and have a whole new sound so that they’re not recognizable.

Anyways, in our books, we mention several different iterations of their band and a couple of their songs, so I’ve got options.

I’ll have to think about it.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song today.

July 19: Melody

I forgot to play today, so right before the kids went to bed, I grabbed my hybrid and played the melody without even tuning first.

I’m actually quite impressed… It didn’t sound out of tune at all.

July 20: Dinner music

The kids ate first today, and I realized I had forgotten to practise. So I played the melody and walking song while they were eating.

I didn’t play more than that because my back hurts more than usual today.

Guitar Lessons Part 63

July 9: Hybrid

I’m really happy with my hybrid.

I pulled it out quickly today when I had about ten minutes to play. It’s easy to tune using the electric part and it keeps its tune pretty well.

I played the melody, the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the first half of the wedding song.

I really need to memorize the rest of that song.

July 10: More than I thought

I practised the wedding song today without music, and I remembered all of the third verse! So that was exciting. Definitely more than I thought.

I don’t remember the fourth though.

It’s a WiP.

I also played the melody, the walking song, and “Get to Know You.”

July 11: Promo material

I focussed mainly on the melody for Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. I also played the walking song.

We’re going to be filming an amateur music video for our book this weekend, so I needed to practise the finger picking.

It’s going to be fun.

July 12: Filming, part 1

Part 1 was filmed this afternoon. It involved me playing the melody multiple times with both guitars for three different sites… So six times.

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I assure you, it felt like it.

I’m exhausted.

July 13: Still a little sore

My arm still hurts a bit from all the recordings we did yesterday, so I didn’t play very long today.

I practised the melody (which, incidentally, I’ve been practising at a faster speed than I needed to), the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

I did use the sheet music today. There weren’t any big surprises, which was nice lol!

July 14: Walking song

I played the concert ukulele today. It needed tuning because it hasn’t gotten played very much, poor thing.

It’s not its fault. It was bought for my husband and he’s currently on sick leave for carpal tunnel and tendonitis, so he’s not playing anything at all.

We think I might have a muscle strain in my upper arm.


I don’t want to lose all my progress, but if this keeps getting worse, I’m going to have to take a break.

Anyway, I played the walking song on the ukulele today, twice. It’s hard to remember the different chords between the two instruments.

Guitar Lessons Part 62

July 3: Pick

I forgot to say why I chose the title of yesterday’s post, so I changed yesterday’s and used it again today.

The pick!

When I first started learning guitar, I didn’t use a pick. I found that it made me feel separate from the guitar. I had no idea what string I was on. I still kinda feel like that when I’m playing the learning app, but for songs like the melody line of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers, which I have memorized, I find it’s actually easier to use the pick (unless my fingernails are long, but that’s a whole other post).

I also prefer to use the pick to strum because then the strings don’t file my fingernails.

I prefer the sound without the pick, but feasibly, it’s just not sustainable.

I’m a pick convert.

I played my songs with the sheet music today. It almost feels weird doing that lol

July 4: Satisfying

I played today after lunch.

First, the hybrid, upon which I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the ballad. (The latter because my daughter ran to get my music without me asking her because she wanted to hear it.)

Then I tuned the new concert ukulele that my husband got for Father’s Day. It’s a hybrid as well. It still needs a lot of fiddly tuning. Very frustrating, but I know it’ll get better. I played the walking song on it.

It is so satisfying to be able to pick up an instrument and be able to play something that I wrote on it.

That sounds like bragging, but it really isn’t. It’s just really cool to me.

July 5: Late night practising

I didn’t play earlier today, despite having woken up earlier than usual. I spent most of the day in a bit of a brain fog.

Right before we put the kids to bed, I played the walking song and “Get to Know You”.

I like how easy it is to tune and then play my hybrid.

July 6: Too fast

If I’m practising a song that is faster than usual, I tense my strumming arm.


I really have to be more careful with that. I’m not fully recovered from whatever was wrong with my arm before this point.

Anyway, I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” the wedding song, and “La Da Dee” by Cody Simpson today.

July 7: Played

I played today. No music, so I played the walking song and “Get to Know You”.

Wanna know what song I can’t get enough of right now?

Jann Arden’s “You Love Me Back”

Lyric video of Jann Arden’s “You Love Me Back”

July 8: Whoops

Today was a strange day. Nothing got done because we, and just under half of the rest of Canada, had no internet!

Thanks Rogers.

(We’re not with Rogers, but use their infrastructure.)

Anyway, I completely forgot about playing my guitar until after the kids were in bed.

So I played the Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers melody and the walking song super quietly.

Oh, and we have internet back again, so that’s good news. 🙂

Guitar Lessons Part 61

June 27: Enthusiasm

I played after dinner today.

My daughter extremely enthusiastically sang along with me during “Get to Know You” and the chorus of the ballad.

I also played the walking song. I think she sang quietly along with the chorus, but I’m not sure.

I did play the learning app songs for the first time in quite a while. I was happy that I seem to not have done much worse than usual.

June 28: Lots of fun

I played the hybrid guitar today. I started off with the walking song and “Get to Know You” and then decided to try a bunch of songs I haven’t played in a while.

“Puff the Magic Dragon,” “The House of the Rising Sun,” “I Want It That Way,” “I Would Walk 500 Miles,” and “Somebody to Love” were the songs I played today.

It was a lot of fun. My daughter danced along with them.

June 29: 1 year anniversary

I’ve been playing guitar for ONE WHOLE YEAR. (June 29 2021-2022)

I am a little flabbergasted, both that it’s been a year and that I kept it up.

I’ve improved so much. I’ve written songs. I’ve learned how to strum and chords and finger picking.

I wouldn’t say that I’m super good, but I would say I’m decent.

I can play recognizable songs. I can sight read if the songs aren’t too complicated and I know them.

That’s pretty good. I’m so very proud of myself.

June 30: Hybrid

I’m really enjoying my hybrid guitar. I mostly play it acoustically because the extra effort to plug it in seems like a lot (tell me you’ve got ADHD without telling me you’ve got ADHD). It’s loud enough that it drowns out my voice if I’m not singing confidently.

I played (from memory) the walking song and “Get to Know You.” Then I pulled out the ukulele app and played a bunch of songs from that.

Maybe I played a little too long.

But I had a stressful morning.

July 1: The first of July

My kids are wearing orange shirts today, because every child matters. It doesn’t feel right to celebrate Canada Day when our history is steeped in the blood of First Nations children and Canada has yet to ensure the safe living conditions of current First Nations people.

I practised my hybrid today, playing the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

Oh, and we sold my electric! It was picked up today. I hope she’s even happier with it than I was.

July 2: Melody

One of the things I practise every day is the melody for Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. I do this for a couple reasons.

1. I like how it sounds

2. I have no idea if my publisher is going to want me to play it at the book launch.

If the second does happen, then I definitely need to practise it. If it doesn’t happen, then I will have lost nothing.

I also played from memory the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the first half of the wedding song.

Only the first half because I don’t know the second half as well.

I’ve got time to memorize it.

It’s not like the walking song that my son (3yo) requests to be sung to him before bed each night.

Gosh, I love that he does that.

Guitar Lessons Part 60

June 21: IMHO

I played my acoustic today. Gosh, it’s pretty.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song again.

The wedding song sounded so good today!

I hit every rhythm, every volume change. I wish I’d been recording.

June 22: Heavy

I played the electric today. It’s so heavy. I sit down to play because I can’t stand the weight on the strap. I can barely lift it off the hook on the wall.

I’m sure my arm being sore might account for some of the trouble I’m having with it.

But it doesn’t hurt my arm to play it, and that’s what’s important right now.

We’re looking at getting me a hybrid that has smaller depth like the electric and is lighter like the acoustic.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the ballad.

I know, the ballad!

I wanted to see if my arm hurt after playing its quick strum rhythm. It doesn’t hurt more than it did before I started, so I’m calling it a win.

June 23: Sometimes

I played the electric today. It started off great; I played the melody line for Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers and it sounded perfectly in tune. Even the walking song sounded fine.

But then “Get to Know You” started sounding off-key, and I had to stop after only one chorus of the wedding song. I checked the tuning and it’s fine.

I have no idea what’s going on with that.

Any ideas?

I finished up by playing the walking song on the soprano ukulele.

Which, btw, I have not posted a picture of!

Here’s my little Stitch (daughter) with the ukulele.

Dragon with the new soprano ukulele (it glows in the dark!)

June 24: Eek

My real mother’s day gift came in today. Originally, we had ordered a hybrid guitar from a German company. I was really excited about it, but it wasn’t coming in until June. But my arm was hurting when I played my acoustic, so I couldn’t wait.

So we got my pink electric guitar.

It was super cool, and it didn’t hurt to play, but it had a lot of negatives; it was heavy, I had issues with the tuning, it was full-sized.

Well, we gave up on the German one. It updated and said it wasn’t coming in until August or September.

@ericdesmarais scoured guitar companies and found me a replacement, and it came in today!

It’s a hybrid, so the amp I have works with it when I’m going to record, but tbh, it sounds great even without it. It’s light, the tuning is great, and it’s travel-sized. And it doesn’t hurt my arm.

So we’re selling the electric, because I will never want to play it now that I have this hybrid.

It’s blue, btw.

Isn’t it pretty?

My new guitar! Yes, it’s blue.
It’s 3/4 size, so it matches my first guitar. I still like the sound best from my first guitar, but I love my new one!

June 25: Hybrid

I played my new hybrid guitar today.

I really love it.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song. And then I played the walking song again because @ericdesmarais said he couldn’t hear my singing the first time.

The hybrid is louder than the electric guitar, even not plugged in.

I’ll get used to it.

I love the size of the hybrid.

Very happy.

So we’re selling the electric. Pick up only because shipping is ridiculous.

June 26: Quick

I had like, ten minutes before my dad picked us up for Sunday dinner today to play. I quickly tuned the hybrid and then played the walking song without music.

I had to backtrack a couple times because I forgot the words, but I’m happy to say that I played the right chords at the right times. I think.

It sounded right, so that’s what matters, right?

Guitar Lessons Part 59

June 15: Feels good

I played my acoustic again today. Gosh, I missed it.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song. I modified a chord from D to D7 in the verse. I like it SO much better now. It’s got that right sound.

After those three, I was ready to stop.

But my daughter was sad. “But I want to dance!”

Not a problem. I’ll put on music.

“But I like your music better.”

Wow. Thank you.

I was afraid to overdo it with my arm though, so I had her grab the soprano ukulele and I played the walking song again. She danced, my son danced and sang along.

He’s been consistently asking only for my songs as bedtime songs.

It feels really good that my kids like my songs. And they’re exposed to lots of really great music.

June 16: Hands

I had a really hard time stretching my fingers enough to reach the proper chord today. Not unusual chords or anything; a C. I play C chords all the time. They’re in every song. But today, my fingers just weren’t having it.


I practised the walking song and “Get to Know You” on the acoustic.

Then I practised the walking song again on the soprano ukulele.

June 17: So sweet

I played my acoustic today again.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the French song.

It had been a while since I played the French song, and it went really well, both the playing and the singing, so that was nice.

Then I played the walking song again on the tenor ukulele.

After I was finished, I packed up, and then my son brought me the soprano ukulele, because that’s what I’ve been using the past few days.

So cute.

Btw, last night after I sang him the walking song, he asked me what a bunch of words in it meant. Like, I finished singing, and then he went through it without me reminding him of words, and asked me their meanings.


He’s not even 3yo yet.

Sure, it’s not exactly a complicated song, but it’s not like it’s a nursery rhyme!

He asked what “drank his brew” meant. (Wizard brew)

He’s so good with music it’s a little intimidating.

June 18: Sore

My arm was sore today, so I played the electric (and the soprano ukulele at the end).

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

I’m not 100% sure about the change I made to the chords in the wedding song the other day. I’ll have to play it again another day to see.

I still really love all my songs. That’s pretty great, IMHO.

June 19: Pain

I overdid it. Not with guitar, but I went to the park with my kids and husband.

We played with a soccer ball (I won’t say we played soccer, because with an almost 3yo and a 5.5yo, you can’t really do that).

It was a lot of fun.

But I overdid it and my chronic back injury (lumbar, in case you’re curious) flared up.

I couldn’t even brush my hair after my shower. Do you notice how much you use your back muscles when you brush your hair?

Needless to say, I did not play guitar at my usual time today and thought that I wouldn’t be able to play at all today.

But after we put the kids to bed, I played the walking song on the electric (not plugged into the amp). It was nice to be able to play, even if it was only the one song. I couldn’t have played any more even if I’d wanted to, though.

Oh, and I didn’t use the sheet music!

June 20: Allergies

How do performers deal with allergies?

Everything sounded off, my voice kept cracking…

In short, it was frustrating.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song on the electric again.

Afterwards, I played the walking song on the soprano ukulele.

Guitar Lessons Part 58

June 9: The pick

I’ve been practising using the pick for melodies and I think I’m getting faster… At least on the one melody that I play. I don’t like using the learning app with the electric guitar, so I’ve really fallen behind on those songs. Instead I’ve been playing the melody that I wrote for the book trailer for “Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers.” It’s not out yet, but I promise I’ll link to it when it is and flood your dashes with it as often as I have the cover reveal. 😉

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the ballad today on the electric. I kinda like the ballad on the electric. It’s got a cool sound to it.

Then I played the walking song on the soprano ukulele. I don’t think I tuned it quite right, as the G chord sounded off to me.

June 10: Woo no pain!

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song today on the electric. Then I played the walking song again on the tenor ukulele.

And guess what?!

Well, you probably already guessed from the title of this post.

My arm doesn’t hurt!!

It’s such a relief.

My son has been asking for “Randal’s standing song” for his bedtime song the past two nights. I almost didn’t correct him because that’s so cute!!!

I discovered that I know the lyrics (with a couple hesitations) fairly well, but the melody eludes me when I’m not playing an instrument.

In other news, @ericdesmarais and I finished writing our fourth book together last night!! (In a little under a year and a half, in case anyone is curious.) Faymous is going to be going out to beta readers sometime this summer, after the novella is written at the end of it.

Feel free to AMA about it!!

June 11: Memorizing

I didn’t play today, but I am working on memorizing the walking song. I only hesitated once while singing it to my son.

I’ll call that a win.

June 12: Walking song

My son is a big fan of singing along with me. I hope he never grows out of it.

Today, I played the tenor ukulele quickly, only practising the walking song. My son competed with me, trying to sing the lyrics ahead of when I was playing them.

So we had a discussion about how to sing with accompaniment and I played the song again. He seemed to have gotten the concept.

I’m so proud.

P.S. It’s our 13th wedding anniversary today!

June 13: Back at it

I played the electric again today. I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

I also played the soprano ukulele to practise the walking song again.

My son played the ukulele after I put it down. He’s getting very good at strumming.

June 14: Acoustic

I played my acoustic today for the first time in a while.

I so adore it.

I played the learning app (struggled, but managed to pass), the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

My arm is tired. It’s not used to the wide body.

Guitar Lessons Part 57

June 3: New uke

We bought a new soprano ukulele. The old one was losing its tune by the end of a song. I’m not sure about this new one yet. The strings haven’t settled.

I played the song that came with it “House of the Rising Sun” and the walking song.

I look forward to testing it more tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll like it better.

June 4: Bonus

I asked my son to get my music for me today. He brought up some books too (not surprised. There’s a reason I don’t ask him to get it very often).

Today I played three instruments (not all at the same time).

I started with the electric. I played the walking song, “Got that Feeling,” “Crazy little thing called love,” “Perfect,” and “Shake it off.”

Then I tried to play “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” but my electric is a full size guitar, and my fingers don’t stretch that far for the G7 chord.

So I put my electric away and grabbed my acoustic instead. I haven’t played my acoustic in a while. I missed it. So I played that mouthful of a song, and then I played the walking song again because I realized I hadn’t played it on the acoustic before.

And then I picked up the new soprano ukulele and tried to tune it again. Then I played the walking song for the third time today and checked the tuning, and it was fine! Yay!

Also yay: my arm doesn’t hurt too much!

June 5: Memorizing

I picked up the soprano ukulele just before lunch today and played the walking song.

Well, the first verse and the chorus.

I need to memorize the song.

I mean, I know the chords, because they’re pretty simple, but I don’t know the words yet!

June 6: Relief

I played the electric most today; the walking song, “Get to Know You,” the wedding song, the ballad, AND the French song.

And then I even picked up the soprano ukulele and played the walking song again.

And guess what?

My arm doesn’t hurt at all!

I’m not sure what happened or why, but I really hope this continues to be a trend.

June 7: Future

@ericdesmarais and I talked about our plans for the future of our songs.

As you may or may not know, all these songs I’ve been writing (there are 4 now and husband has written one) were written because of our books.

Our first book, “Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers” (available for pre-order, comes out September 15, 2022) does not have a song in it, but “Crushing It” (coming out spring 2023) has the first song I wrote in it.


We were thinking of releasing that song as a single after our first book comes out in the fall. As a way of drumming up interest, you know?

I’m a little nervous, but mostly excited about the idea.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song on the electric, and then the walking song on the soprano ukulele.

June 8: Quick

I only played two songs today; the walking song and “Get to Know You”.

The practice went well. I was just tired.

We’re not having a great day today, all combined.

Guitar Lessons Part 56

May 28: Repeat

I played the walking song and “Get to Know You” on the electric and then repeated the walking song on the tenor ukulele.

I would’ve done more, but my arm seized up so I thought it was probably best I stop at that point.

May 29: Discouraged

I played the walking song and “Get to Know You” today on the electric. I didn’t have as much time as usual.

I’m really getting discouraged by the electric. My arm still hurts while playing it, for one. For two, it still sounds discordant on certain chords and I’m not sure how to fix that. I feel like I must be playing it incorrectly, but I don’t know how to fix it beyond getting lessons, which are not possible at this time.

I don’t know.

Maybe I should take a complete break from playing in order to heal.

May 30: Better

@ericdesmarais played around with the settings on the amp while I was playing and we decided that the “gains” was too high. I was MUCH encouraged by how my guitar sounded today.

My arm also hurt a lot less. I played 3 songs; the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

I also discovered that the pick I’ve been using is being slowly shaved down. Poor pick. I guess I know what I’m asking for in my stocking at Christmas!

May 31: Tingles

I played the electric today for three songs and the tenor uke for one.

I guess I was a little more enthusiastic than usual because my fingers are still tingling.

I played the walking song on both instruments, and “Get to Know You” and the wedding song on the guitar.

I’m still not used to the electric’s sound. I like the full-bodied richness of the acoustic much better.

June 1: Short

I had a short practice session today. Not only did virtual school run longer than usual today, but my arm was bothering me even before I picked up the guitar.

I played the walking song and “Get to Know You” on the electric and then the walking song on the tenor ukulele again.

I really like it.

June 2: Singing

I think I’m out of practise at singing a full song because my voice broke near the end of the wedding song.

Maybe it’s just not in my range? I should try playing it tomorrow without the capo and see how that sounds.

Also, the D to Fmaj7 for the verse to bridge really bothers me. I practised it several times outside the song, and it sounded fine. But in the song?

I don’t know what’s wrong.

I also played the walking song (on electric and ukulele) and “Get to Know You.” Are you surprised? If you’ve been following me lately you shouldn’t be.

On the plus side, my arm doesn’t hurt today. I’ll take that win.