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> Five Hundred Days Plan, Gloria victoribus! Vea victis...
Marek Rojewski
post Aug 7 2015, 11:40 AM
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The five hundred days plan

Greetings again venerable GMC members. Over a year ago, I reached the “tone guru” level on REC, and was very happy about that (and rightfully so! cool.gif ).
I thought that I am bit too focused on numbers, REC titles and other stuff that is more related to my ego than to music, so I tried to work with Gabriel on composing/recording and also tried to learn a bigger number of easier lessons, to improve my taste more than my technique.

The plan didn’t work too well, mainly because I got too distracted by my real life, work and also my practice was “underfocused” – instead of one hour of 100% focused guitar + metronome practice, I tried to practice three hours, watching twitch.tv at the same time. I knew that it was a bad idea, because of common sense, Zen Guitar book and Ben + Cosmin sharing much wise advices at the time, but somehow still tried to go that way dry.gif

Thankfully I abandoned those wrong ways, and now my practice is better.

I will turn 29 years old this December, so by the end of next year, 500 hundred days from today I’ll hit the 30 years mark, which feels very bad, I still feel like a spoiled kid, but it turns out I’m getting old unsure.gif I want to achieve more before that happens. Times of being a lazy git must end! mad.gif

That is why I decided that instead of fighting my desire of a website titles, I will cherish it and suck as much motivation out of it as possible. I formulated a simple plan, choosing a number of lessons that I want to learn, record and pass on REC, that will bring me higher REC titles, which I can treat as a worthy achievement and proof of my improvement as a guitar player.

It is ambitious, but the one thing that GMC taught me well, is that patience and discipline will yield results. If something looks impossible, turn on the metronome, set the speed to “turtle” and begin. After some time impossible will be possible.

I’m not sure how to proceed with the plan, because there are some lessons/techniques that I want to work with, such as whammy bar (never used one before, but my new guitar has it, so I should develop my skills in this department) and wah pedal. I avoided lessons with stuff that is totally alien to me, because I would have no hope of learning them in a acceptable amount of time (considering that it is somehow a race with time….)

First part of the plan is to reach Guitar Hero level, which I aim to complete by the end of this year. Maybe it is too much, because there’s less than half a year before new year, but that way the second half of the plan will seem more doable and put less pressure on me.

Second part is of course reaching the Guitar Lord level, which I’ll try to achieve by recording level nine lessons, maybe throwing in a level 10 lesson. I am having a hard time believing myself what I am writing, but I guess if I can learn the level 9 lessons that I’ll list under, there is no reason to think level 10 will be beyond me…

I think that I will practice one lesson at a time, everything should work best that way, unless progress won’t be too slow, than problems can arise, as “creative juices” are in danger if one thing is practiced for too long.
I want to share my progress with everyone on this topic, treating a bit like a “blog”.


PS: this plan would never be born if not for the members and instructors here on GMC, that are my greatest guitar inspiration since the first day I signed, many years ago. So thanks everyone for being here wub.gif

Plan of the Guitar Hero

First lesson was already submitted, and passed REC. This was one of my all time favorites 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/i_want...ay_in_megadeth/
Second was submitted not so long ago. It is another Gabriel lesson, consisting a bit of everything, rhythm, sweeps, picking and even tapping 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Testam...-Guitar-Lesson/
That leaves me with three more lessons to fulfill my 2015 idea, so these are the three choices for now:
This one was on my mind for years, and I feel that I’ll be able to learn it now, will feel like a miracle ! 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Ozzy-Z...de-Miracle-Man/
If progress with Miracle Man won’t be fast enough, I may try to learn this in order to prepare myself for Miracle Man 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Killer...kk-Wylde-Style/

Two more choices, the insane one and the easier one:

I’m not sure if my brain will process this one, but I have to try! If not I will find an easier replacement:P 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Metalcore-Chops-2/
This one I include, because it was a while since the last time I recorded a full rhythm lesson, and I don’t want to forget how to riff \m/ 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/rhythm-gu...-rhythm-lesson/

Plan of the Guitar Lord

First to fall shall be the alternate picking + tapping + sweeping + rhythm mayhem 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Chris-...llitteri-Style/
To release the Yngwie inside of me, this Emir piece shall be practiced, although the sweeps do look difficult 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/yngwie...een_style_solo/
This one has both vibrato and super fast lick, so fun fun fun wink.gif
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/John-Sykes-Style/
Some more Gabriel and some more ass kicking face melting 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Power-...ng-Timo-Tolkki/
Zsolt was one of the GMC powerhouses for a long time, and also made a lesson about one of my favorite Megadeth solos 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Megade...-The-Cure-solo/
I think this one can help my brain become more familiar with deliberate change of speed through a solo 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/mixing...ngs_in_soloing/

Plan of the Guitar God – lessons suitable to replace one of the Guitar Lord ones…

I have no idea how difficult will this one be, but maybe with patient practice, this will be doable… 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Michae...lo-Batio-Style/
Being a long shoot, mastering this lesson would bring me closer to reaching the Guitar itself! 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Need-for-Speed/
There can be no plan that omits Gabriel in it, so prepare to unleash some Zombie minions! 
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/John-5-Style-Lesson/




Warming up shall be combined with previously learned lessons, so I won’t forget the stuff I learned. Slowly playing the licks from previous lessons, in different neck positions is my current idea.
I don’t have any structure for composition/improvisation practice, this won’t be the main focus of this plan, so I don’t know how to cope with that…
I know I could use help with planning my practice regime, it is something I have a problem with. Mainly because I feel that when you have little time, for example 1,5 hour to practice, if I split it into warm up, lesson practice, improvisation and theory, than the progress in the lesson/REC department will be SLOW, after all, how much can you improve in 30 minutes? :/ It already takes a long time to learn and record a lesson, and now 90% of my practice time is “lesson grind’.

Please share your thoughts and tips, I need your help guitar brothers and sisters. I know my plan is on the ambitious side, but “if we aim at the stars, in the case of failure we can at least touch the sky “ wink.gif Just listen to Arnold motivation speech, get into the choopa and roll!


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 7 2015, 12:42 PM
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Go for it, man - you've got the potential! smile.gif


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Aug 7 2015, 04:35 PM
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Wow....you have an awesome plan and I'm sure you will turn this into reality smile.gif
Ambition, discipline and patience are a perfect package for success. Your takes from REC are always great prepared. Believe me, it's a real pleasure to watch your takes. Your playing it's really awesome! I saw hard work behind every takes of your and this makes me say that you will be successful with your plan.
Definitely I will be happy to see accomplished every step of your plan wink.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 10 2015, 07:12 PM
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Wou! This is really cool mate!! smile.gif

You have showed here that you have passion and discipline so I know that you are the one for this plan! The overall plan looks very good and inspiring so you have my thumbs up with this one, as well as my help, feedback and comments every time you need it. This is a very long program so keeping motivated is fundamental to keep it happening.

I wish you all the best with this program. Please keep us updated on this thread about your progress.




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Phil66
post Aug 10 2015, 08:27 PM
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I wish you all the best with your plans Marek. I'm interested in hearing what advice is given, I too only get 1.5 hours to practise and sometimes life steals it from me rolleyes.gif

I'm sure you will succeed, think "Arnie", pure inspiration.

Go for it!


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Marek Rojewski
post May 2 2016, 09:51 AM
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Hello everyone. I just want to share my sad "news"...

I've been practising diligently since the start of this thread, and could almost play the awesome llitteri-Style lesson

For the last 3 months I also started practising historical saber fencing, and it turned out that the strain I've put on my fingers was too much.

I don't know if the blame should be put on practising too fast/difficult guitar lessons for too long, or on saber trainings, where you must tightly grip the weapon for long periods of time.

After few consecutive days of intense guitar playing and fencing I "developed" this ugly thing - Trigger finger

At first I thought that a week off will help, but after 3 weeks of it "growing" instead of going away I went to a doctor. He said that it shouldn't be a big problem and prescribed 10 rehabilitation session. I am after 4 of them and not sure if they are helping or not...

I was aware that I may not be able to achieve what I planned in this thread, but felt that reaching lvl 9 or at least recording few lvl 9 lessons was possible. Now I am unsure what will happen with my playing and also even if my fingers start to work properly again, I suspect I will be anxious to push my limits in the former way sad.gif

I really wanted to share some progress with you all, always postponed posting stuff here for the moment when I could share a recording, but considering the current situation mellow.gif

Guess I will look for trigger-finger topics on GMC forum now, maybe there are some tips how to help myself.

PS: the problem is for the two weak fingers of my left hand, the small finger and the fourth finger. I still can move them, and have hope that they will be treated sooner or later. Just saying that, because the wiki photos and description look and sound more dire that I think (hope) than it is...

This post has been edited by Marek Rojewski: May 2 2016, 09:58 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 2 2016, 12:14 PM
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QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ May 2 2016, 08:51 AM) *
Hello everyone. I just want to share my sad "news"...

I've been practising diligently since the start of this thread, and could almost play the awesome llitteri-Style lesson

For the last 3 months I also started practising historical saber fencing, and it turned out that the strain I've put on my fingers was too much.

I don't know if the blame should be put on practising too fast/difficult guitar lessons for too long, or on saber trainings, where you must tightly grip the weapon for long periods of time.

After few consecutive days of intense guitar playing and fencing I "developed" this ugly thing - Trigger finger

At first I thought that a week off will help, but after 3 weeks of it "growing" instead of going away I went to a doctor. He said that it shouldn't be a big problem and prescribed 10 rehabilitation session. I am after 4 of them and not sure if they are helping or not...

I was aware that I may not be able to achieve what I planned in this thread, but felt that reaching lvl 9 or at least recording few lvl 9 lessons was possible. Now I am unsure what will happen with my playing and also even if my fingers start to work properly again, I suspect I will be anxious to push my limits in the former way sad.gif

I really wanted to share some progress with you all, always postponed posting stuff here for the moment when I could share a recording, but considering the current situation mellow.gif

Guess I will look for trigger-finger topics on GMC forum now, maybe there are some tips how to help myself.

PS: the problem is for the two weak fingers of my left hand, the small finger and the fourth finger. I still can move them, and have hope that they will be treated sooner or later. Just saying that, because the wiki photos and description look and sound more dire that I think (hope) than it is...


Damn!!!! I'm really sorry to hear this, Marek......

Since it arrived, have you ceased or reduced the activities of guitar and/ or fencing?

Reducing only one of those might not have made a difference if the other one continues to aggravate the injury.

It would be interesting to know if any of the other fencers have experienced the issue.

If not, then it could be a combination of intense guitar work which was not helped by the extra use of those digits. Instead of the digits getting rest to strengthen and repair, they're getting used even more.

Even if you had not started fencing, it sounds like you could have been doing too much intense guitar practise possibly.

Annoying as it is, time away from those activities seems to be the only logical solution until it heals. You won't lose as much progress as you think and it's worth it for the health of your hand.


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Marek Rojewski
post May 2 2016, 01:24 PM
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At the very beginning (lets say one week) I didn't stop my activities, because I didn't understand what is happening. Generally everything was okay, just when I woke up at night/morning my fingers were "curved" and it took effort of will/time to straighten them up.

But last ~3 week I am not doing any guitar and fencing (tried to use my other hand to hold the weapon, but it feels bad). The hospital staff that "performs" the rehabilitation say that effects of the treatment should be visible few days after the rehab is over, so I guess it is still almost two weeks before I will know if it helped.

Too bad it probably means I will not attend the monthly saber seminary next week, but better safe than sorry I guess...

On a side note, look how cool saber is (look after 1:50): tongue.gif



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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 2 2016, 09:29 PM
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Hi Marek,

I'm so sorry of knowing this mate. I have no experience with trigger finger, but unfortunately I think that the only way to avoid making this worse is stopping your practice and doing that treatment that the professionals suggested.

Here I've found an interesting site about it: http://www.eatonhand.com/hw/hw022.htm

I hope that you get better soon mate.


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Todd Simpson
post May 2 2016, 09:34 PM
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GET TO A DOCTOR. You only get one pair of hands. You gotta take care of them. It sometimes takes physical therapy when you push it to far, hand braces etc. As I've talked about alot in the forums, I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome by practicing too much and couldn't play guitar for six months. Taught me a valuable lesson. "no pain no gain" does not apply to guitar. If you notice pain, STOP what you are doing.

Also, the importance of warming up with light stretches for the hand, arm, body, and cooling down with light stretches is very important. The body needs to warm in to an activity then cool down from it. If you just start and stop any physical activity, guitar, fencing, etc., you run the risk of permanent injury.

I'm very sorry to hear about your condition and I hope you get treatment very soon and please do exactly what the doc says. I know you want to play again smile.gif

I took some fencing classes in college and I do remember really digging it so I can feel your pain smile.gif I sorta miss it!

Todd


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Marek Rojewski
post Sep 10 2016, 09:07 PM
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A little update! I've recorded and submitted one lesson to REC yesterday, which is really nice feeling. Of course the "grand plan" failed, but maybe I'll salvage as much as possible.

My fingers aren't fixed, as I predicted, my injury is "trigger finger". I had a rehabilitation for it, but it didn't solve the problem, just made it smaller and took the pain away. My little finger still "clicks" on many occasions, but thankfully it doesn't happen while playing the guitar (it clicks in a different range of motion). I could have a "simple surgery" but the doctor said that because of my ginger hair and pale skin I probably have high chance that my wounds won't heal as they should - one simple surgery can lead to another bit more complex, which also can not solve the problem. So the doctors advice was to try and live with the current state, and only if the situation becomes frustrating/more problematic, then we can always resort to surgery.

It was really bad not to be able to play the guitar for 1,5 month, but the hunger to get back playing was also strong, and made the process of getting back in guitar shape a good experience.

I hope to record at least one more lesson before the end of the year, we will see how it goes:)

Keep rocking fellow GMC'ers \m/\m/


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bleez
post Sep 10 2016, 09:55 PM
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QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Sep 10 2016, 09:07 PM) *
A little update! I've recorded and submitted one lesson to REC yesterday, which is really nice feeling. Of course the "grand plan" failed, but maybe I'll salvage as much as possible.

My fingers aren't fixed, as I predicted, my injury is "trigger finger". I had a rehabilitation for it, but it didn't solve the problem, just made it smaller and took the pain away. My little finger still "clicks" on many occasions, but thankfully it doesn't happen while playing the guitar (it clicks in a different range of motion). I could have a "simple surgery" but the doctor said that because of my ginger hair and pale skin I probably have high chance that my wounds won't heal as they should - one simple surgery can lead to another bit more complex, which also can not solve the problem. So the doctors advice was to try and live with the current state, and only if the situation becomes frustrating/more problematic, then we can always resort to surgery.

It was really bad not to be able to play the guitar for 1,5 month, but the hunger to get back playing was also strong, and made the process of getting back in guitar shape a good experience.

I hope to record at least one more lesson before the end of the year, we will see how it goes:)

Keep rocking fellow GMC'ers \m/\m/

great job on the rec take, Marek. Very impressive. Good to see you back playing. smile.gif

you should come to Scotland for your surgery.... we've ALL got pale skin and ginger hair over here cool.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 11 2016, 05:06 PM
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Glad to hear you are on the mend!! Welcome back to playing!!!! I've been there, not being able to play for a bit, it was really, really, awful. I Hope that never happens again, knock on wood.


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Marek Rojewski
post Oct 6 2016, 08:55 AM
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Lets celebrate, I've finished the first part of my plan, only 10 months later than expected laugh.gif But no matter, the Guitar Hero level has been reached and now the way to Guitar Lord is open! We shall see if I can make the second half of the plan work with 10 weeks of time to go \m/


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Oct 6 2016, 12:18 PM
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QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Oct 6 2016, 07:55 AM) *
Lets celebrate, I've finished the first part of my plan, only 10 months later than expected laugh.gif But no matter, the Guitar Hero level has been reached and now the way to Guitar Lord is open! We shall see if I can make the second half of the plan work with 10 weeks of time to go \m/

Huge congrats Marek!!!!!! smile.gif I'm very happy to see that you achieved the Guitar Hero level. It's well deserved and I knew it that you will succeed with your plan wink.gif
You are very ambitious and your playing it's awesome! I always admired at you the fact that constantly you increased the level of difficulty from lessons. Now you make level 9 difficulty lessons to looks very easy in your hands.
I know how much work it's behind each take of your but the result worth every second. You are a good example for all of us! smile.gif
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Marek Rojewski
post Oct 7 2016, 09:54 AM
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Thanks for your kind words and ongoing support Monica! Your development is also an example and inspiration for me, so reading your comments is a great pleasure and motivates me to go on smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 8 2016, 12:48 PM
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By all means share your new found skills in the SUNDAY SHRED CHALLENGE! smile.gif I'd love to hear how far you've come!!!
!!! SUNDAY SHRED FEST X-21 !!!!

*New in this weeks video, I"m not playing. Instead, I'll put the two scale tablatures we are using and you can practice using the video

Direct Link to this Challenge : http://bit.ly/sundayshredfestx21

QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Oct 7 2016, 04:54 AM) *
Thanks for your kind words and ongoing support Monica! Your development is also an example and inspiration for me, so reading your comments is a great pleasure and motivates me to go on smile.gif


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