Guitar – Barre Chords

Last night I had my final guitar lesson for the year and I explained to Casey (who can be found here by the way, if you’re in the market for an amazing Sydney-based guitar teacher) what I would like to do with my lessons next year.

First, I need to practice more. That’s on me. Casey gave me a handy sheet that I can fill in every week with my focus for the coming week and I check it off each day I practice. Being a visual and list-driven person, this is perfect.

Second, I’m happy to jump around songs, but I don’t want to move away from any particular technique until I have it down pat. For example, I really need to focus on barre chords, so for the next however long, we’re only going to play barre chord-based songs. Which is problematic. Because I can’t hear barre chords in songs so I could suggest 500 songs to Casey and the only things I can guarantee you is they’re not going to be in 4/4 time, there’s probably going to be a capo involved and no matter how much the lyrics make me cry, they won’t move Casey to tears.

Third, I need to stop pulling monster faces every time I do something wrong. Not because they’re not completely endearing, but because they give my mistakes away and maybe I could sneak a few past Casey if I wasn’t grimacing (Kidding! He catches me every time.).

Fourth, and this will make Casey laugh, when the time comes and I feel like I have make progress on all of the above, I’m going to pick a song and get Casey to help me write an alt-country version of it. Much like Delilah, I am treat-focused.


I find barre chords tricky, and they make my wrist sore (if I don’t practice enough) so we had to come up with some super fun songs to keep me interested.

I am a sucker for a saccharine melody so Veruca Salt ending up being the perfect choice. We’re going to switch between the newest VS song, ‘The Museum of Broken Relationships’ and good ol’ ‘Volcano Girls’.

Guitar – Melvins


On Saturday I had a guitar lesson and I forgot my song book, so Casey and I looked through the list of songs I’ve emailed him in the past, which we pick from as I get better (or sometimes when I get worse).

On that list was my favourite Melvins song, ‘The Bit’. We’d looked at it a long time ago and set it aside for some reason.

Casey: “Why did we do that?”

Me: “Barre chords?”

Casey: “There are definitely no barre chords in this.”

Me: “Is it too hard?”

Casey: “No, it’s actually too easy.”


Casey: *shudder*

So now I can play a Melvins song and it is pretty easy, but it’s also super crunchy and fun.

My plan for the next month of guitar is get super good at the hammer-on parts in Ryan Adams’ ‘Trouble’  and at barre chords with Veruca Salt’s ‘The Museum of Broken Relationships’.