Log and Reflection (MUS207)
In our lives, music serves many purposes such as a source of consolation, refreshment,
and entertainment among many others. The melody is most of the time produced by various
instrument accompaniments played by different people. This means that, people have a certain
liking of specific instruments over others exemplified through what they specifically know to
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play. Guitar is one of the most frequently used musical accompaniment instruments, which is a
clear indication of its popularity. This discussion provides an analysis as well as reflection on my
current guitar playing abilities.
I developed an interest to learn guitar after meeting several people playing it on the
streets. The emotions and the feelings of listening to the siren melody triggered my quest to
begin training. The song they played on the guitar still lingers into my mind. They were cool and
charming. Nevertheless, despite not having prior knowledge in guitar, I used to play other
instruments such as piano and flute. I have attained grade three and seven in playing piano and
flute respectively. This experience actually gave me an advantage compared to other people that
have never played any instruments. I have some grasps of music theory and this will be an
added advantage to me when learning to play guitar. I love to listen to music varieties but most
often I would prefer rock, jazz, and country music. These genres of music make me feel relaxed
and at peace because of their smooth and sometime rocky melodies. Therefore, combining my
prowess in music and in music will go a greater mile in making master playing guitar quicker.
Motivations of people to pursue their career choices differ from one to another. My
motivation to study music in this semester is to learn how to play many instruments in my life. I
have an affinity to music and knowing more skills and knowledge about the area will enable me
realize my quest. I also want to experience the same feeling as other people who play the
The reason why I am studying guitar is to gain skills so that it becomes easier for me to
practice on more songs on my own in future. I believe that, I will be able to understand deeply
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the techniques of playing the guitar so that, I can learn many songs. Even though I have no
ambitions of playing in a band, if this opportunity comes, I would think about it in future.
However, my major goal is just to know and be among those people that know how to play a
guitar without any assistance from anyone.
The roadmap of how I am going to Achieve these aims
To learn how to play guitar will require me to come up with a clear guideline or rather
roadmap that will guide me. I must create time to train as well as study other courses. I will
practice guitar at home every week after classes. This will enable me to revise what I have
learned in class during class sessions. I will also practice during my spare time. A number of my
friends can play guitar and therefore they will train me.
Tasks and goals
I will set clear goals and vision based on SMART (Specific, Measurable, and Attainable.
Retainable and time bound)
Daily practice session at home with my trainer
Listening to various blues and R n B band jazz music to learn more on the tunes and
melodies of guitar
Set up a plan that will guide me towards its achievement
By the end of the first week, I should have gained deeper knowledge about the guitar and
Historical, social and technical knowledge
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My favorite songs are blues and most of the time, I have practiced to play guitar with this
genre of songs. When listening to blues, it requires full attention to get the message (Coelho,
2003). The instrument tones and melody are also tuned differently as the songs proceed. There
are some levels that the pitch of the song goes high and again goes low and moderate. As a
guitarist, it is important that I make these adjustments to ensure that the tunes and the melody
sound nice (Campbell, 2008).
Various categories of blues such as electric and delta are distinguishable by the tones of
the guitar. Blues is one of the most loved music genres that traces its roots in African American
communities that lived in the Deep South of US in the 19 th century. The genre was derived from
the spirituals, work, folk and chants from European (Govenar, 2008).
I have listened to various blues composed and sung by various artists. One of the songs I
have listened to is a sub-genre of R&B named ‘Unfaithful’ by Rihanna. The song was composed
by Shaffer Ne-Yo Smith and was produced by the Star Gates (Bream, 2011). The song is in
Rihanna’s second album of Girl like me composed and released in 2006 (Komara, 2006). It talks
about a woman who is regretting of cheating her husband. It has been received with mixed
reactions from various quarters, with some criticizing it while others praising its lyrics and
powerful balladry (Chappell, 2014).
Another song that I listened to was ‘one of the brightest stars’ by James Blunt. The other
song that I learned on the third day was for James Blunt named “give me some love”. The song
is very calm with very clear guitar lyrics (Chappell, 2014). The guitar is well adjusted and it has
various tunes including, bass and soprano that blend and make the song appealing to listen to.
LOG AND REFLECTION (MUS207) 5
Through the training session, I got to learn about the many forms of blue guitars.
Therefore, training guitar is an event that evolves. It is r important that one identifies specific
techniques, patterns to follow, and notes to use in the specific song rhythm. One is required to
tune the guitar to an open chord before opening. The guitar is tuned to the open chord such as E
major or G major and then to produce a sound, it is struck by a glass or a mental slide to change
Another style that I was trained or learned during the training session was the picking
style that manifests in both fretted and slide guitar styles. For emphasis of the rhythm, the guitar
is thumped out in a steady manner on the bass notes on the guitar low strings. This is done
simultaneously or in turns using the thumb. Finger picking on the upper strings leads to sound of
chords, fills, and melodic riffs that are heard from the songs.
Slides are also used to play chords. The slides are moved from one point to another.
Most of the chords in this song are composed of major and minor triads; dominant 7 th chords also
known as triads with the other flatted and jazz chords (Chappell, 2014). Many of these songs
used blue scale in their melodies and in their composition as well as their improvised solos.
Listening to these songs not only enabled me to understand the various tones and melodies but as
well to set the guitar to sound in a particular way. The training was somehow complex,
especially when it came to internalizing the various notes on the guitar.
The practice was an awesome experience for me. The practice session took a duration of
one week. All these trainings or practices were recorded in my dairy book to ensure that I
remember the various events and experiences at those particular moments. I practice in the
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evening after the classes and every time I have free time. I practiced to play guitar at home where
my fellow colleagues that had already known how to play it joined me. On a typical evening, I
practice for an hour. In most occasions, the practice commenced in the evenings at 5pm to 6pm.
On the first day, I practiced how to set a guitar to be able to produce certain melodies.
Setting a guitar may seem to be an easy task, but my colleagues assisted me in the same.
Nevertheless, after around 10 minutes, I was able to make this guitar and set it correctly for use.
The trainer then took me through the other keys such as G and E factors and how they were fine-
tuned. Other aspects that I was taught on this first day were on the parts of the guitar and their
On the second day, I listened to one of my favorite RnBs “unfaithful’ by Rihanna. The
aim of listening was to identify the way guitar was used in the song to add more spice and
melody to the song. Towards the end of the music, I learned to play the guitar just the way it
played in the DVD. The third day, I listened to ‘one of the brightest star’ by James Blunt. The
guitar melodies in this song were clear and exciting. At the end of the session, I went through
guitar practice to accumulate practical knowledge.
The fourth day, I trained/practiced the third song by James Blunt named “give me some
love”, which is one of the favorite songs that had good chords. The guitar in the song is clear and
thrilling. This was one of my best days on the training; it was a day full of fans and good
moments. I also recoded some significant improvement in the way I fine-tuned and played the
guitar on this specific song. I came to realize that I have the capabilities and all it takes to
become the pro I wanted. I could at least make some steps and efforts to produce an organized
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sound. I came to the realization that my skills in piano played an instrumental role in my
learning process at the facility.
. Campbell, T. (2008).Popular Music in America: And the Beat Goes on; Cengage Learning, 3rd
Bream, J. (2011). “Rihanna redefines Loud”. Star Tribune (The Star Tribune Company).
Retrieved December 2, 2014.