Are my extra in person classes nonsense?

Hello everyone,
I have a long history of trying instruments as a kid and giving up. This year as I turned 34 I decided to give it a serious go again since I love music so much I want to play it too. In January I realized bass is very early to find tabs for and learned all year with bassbuzz. I can play along songs I like and can challenged myself a bit now etc.

This made me realize—I can learn guitar after all then! (After giving up as a teenager).

I’m following Justin’s course and I love it. I’m at Grade 2 module 9 and working on my F chord, motivated and having fun. I’m also working on Wonderwal right now and having much fun with it.

Justin’s course makes me motivated and it gives structure to my practice routine. I pick around my guitar and just work on whatever is giving me trouble.

To the actual topic: since I somehow always felt guitar is difficult to pick up the right technique… I also started in person lessons now.

At the 1:1 in person lesson the teacher figured we could learn 20th century boy by t.rex and I managed to play it okey after 3 weeks.

The teacher didn’t really give me much advice and basically expected me to sight read the song. So to be honest I learned everything off YouTube and Justin’s course anyway.

Next up we he picked smoke on the water — which makes sense. I can practice power chords and picking individual strings… fun beginner riff as well.

Today I played though the rhythm part okey (whole song), took me 2 weeks of practice.

So after I struggled my way through this… the teacher today started explaining the solo part. And I’m like… damn this is VERY fast. Am I an idiot? Am I expected to sight read, bend, pull off, hammer on and do all those sixteenth notes!?

The question: Basically I wanted ask, is the in person class jumping the gun somewhat? It doesn’t feel right somehow to expect so much of a beginner struggling through simple songs, does it? It makes me feel bad so I’ll stop going I think, and continue with Justin’s course though!

Either way, this is also a “recommendation” of Justin’s course — I’m having fun and learning at my own pace.

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Hi Konrad,
Welcome and I wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:

And as I read your story I say “stop with this teacher” this is not a good one…
Good one one one lessons from a teacher will speed up your guitar learning process…and of course vice versa,

Greetings ,Rogier


Hey Konrad!

Welcome to the forum!!

I got the same feeling as @roger_holland reading your post.

This in particular:

got my attention . . . .

If your in person guitar teacher hasn’t asked you about your goals and objectives for learning the guitar and tried to understand a bit about what YOU WANT TO LEARN, or (s)he hasn’t listened to your answers and is doing his/her own thing, then I see that as a problem.

You are, after all, paying them to teach you so, YOU not (s)he should be able to control the content and the pace of the lessons to a great degree.

Obviously, working with a teacher in person is a two way street and there needs to be a give and take both ways. . .if this teacher isn’t listening to you and you feel bad after (or before) going to their lessons, then change.

That said, I actually think that a good in person teacher who is open and sensitive to each student and thier goals and abilities is THE BEST way to learn. It may just take a little time to find the right one. . .hope this helps!


Thank you both! It seems obvious I guess, but it really helps to help confirm my decision to stop with that teacher. (It’s a music school close to my house so I figured it might be practical, but seems not). Since this is meant as a hobby and way to enjoy and have fun this really seems off somehow, thank you again.

I’m definitely not giving up guitar though! Onwards with the online course and beyond!


@ktoso Hello Konrad, welcome to JustinGuitar and this wonderful community.

As a beginner in the early part of Justin’s Grade 2 that is a nonsense, you have used a good word to describe it.
You want a teacher who can enhance your skills and help you improve by targeting and guiding you through the things you have learned so far, checking for good habits and technique, and providing complementary learning tasks to consolidate and extend those skills.
The solo to Smoke On The Water is way, way beyond your current level.


…and who doesn’t make you feel bad!




My only experience with an in-person teacher wasn’t great either. Clearly knew his stuff but he was trying to talk music theory to someone playing their first few chords. Wasn’t helpful and I soon quit both the lessons and playing guitar because it seemed like I was the problem (the teacher didn’t say that but equally he didn’t say this is hard and it doesn’t happen overnight).
I think my takeaway from my own experience and yours, is that there’s nothing wrong with lessons, but be prepared to go through a few teachers until you find the one that is right for you. Just because someone can play an instrument well, doesn’t automatically mean they can teach beginners (or people in the early stages) as they may no longer relate to the struggles we have. Teaching is a skill and not everyone has it



I realised this when I was watching the videos of Justin giving Lee Anderton some lessons. Very first lesson, one of his initial questions was: “How much time do you have to practice every day… what do we have to work with?”

It occurred to me that I must have had over a dozen teachers over the years (piano, violin, guitar, banjo) and not one of them ever asked me this fundamental question.

Justin is actually one of the rare few who realises that teaching is a whole different skill and it needs as much work as learning to play an instrument.


Hello Konrad
a warm welcome to the community :smiling_face:
I agree, that teacher does not seem good from what you’ve said, seems like a good decision to stop with them

Also agree that Justin has a real skill with teaching and he’s very generous with sharing his knowledge. There’s also this amazing community for questions, feedback and support :smiley:


Thank you everyone :heart: thanks for the welcoming attitude and confirming what thought about the topic.

In a weird way I’m even more motivated now to keep going on my own with the online lessons, gotta nail those songs in each module and practice routines, thank you! :pray:


Konrad sounds like the guys trying to turn you into a sprinter but stuck you on a hurdles track. Learning guitar is a marathon and it needs a deep strong core foundations of basic skills. I use an expression about peoples expectations, that they want to put the roof on before the walls are built. This “teacher” sounds like a roofer.



Hi again,
There are more people who can naturally explain things well without having had even one lesson and can do it really well even as a child (think of speaking engagements in front of the class) than there are people who can play an instrument almost immediately. (apart from the occasional autistic person)… It is of course true that teaching is a separate skill and it means nothing at all that if someone can play the guitar well, they are also a good teacher… driven by (quick some) money often or simply forget how they once started…
having said this…now this tip for you,

The money you save and the desire to also have one-on-one lessons then this is my advice… take a look at the Justin approved teachers… a good online teacher is so much better than a bad or even mediocre face to face teacher (and a screen is almost the same for most as face to face )…

That Richard above in your thread is such a teacher and there are more, I have heard a lot of good things about him and as I said just “approved by Justin” :sunglasses:



That sounds like a great idea, thanks :slight_smile: I’d be more than happy to take online 1:1, I’ll think about it!


And if you really want to push the boat out and treat yourself this Christmas, apply for an expensive 1;1 with Justin (for a good cause). Not only instructional, but simply great craic! :smiley:

but yeah, I came here to suggest what Rogier mentioned above. Take a lesson with Richard, even if just to discuss your goals and what to focus on. (I’d do that myself if I wasn’t worried that he would divert me from my current highly enjoyable path :rofl:)


Well, only thing I can say is follow the suggestions already said. Doing your solos is definately the last bit in the song you should be worried about. Concentrate on the chord progression and rhythm, practice, the solos in small sections one bar at a time, slowly adding the other bars along with the previous bar till you have that. Then once you have all that ironed out it will all fall into place…eventually, depending on the difficulty,practice able to put in and your skillsets You will definately benefit from the JG team structure. They know what they are talking about!! Here I go again, thanking the JG team. Thanks!!

Rock on!! :sunglasses::+1::blush:

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Welcome to a good bunch here. Lots of great ways to get questions answered.

I think you are expressing what is most important. That playing/learning guitars should be fun and you should (most of the time) feel good about it.

Any teacher that makes you feel bad about something is missing the point and likely more harmful than helpful.

I think a lot of us here have not explored in person teaching. It probably would be good for any of us. Great as Justin’s program is, there are limitations to online learning.

But like many things, finding the right match can take time. Justin’s vetted teacher list is a good option, but it may take a few lessons with a few people to connect.

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Reading through the above, I didn’t see any references to where you initiated a conversation with your teacher about your concerns.

Learning is not pouring information into an empty container. With regard to individual instruction, it must be a partnership in order to be productive. Although online courses are good (I use them daily), personal instruction allows for feedback and demonstration that you can’t honestly get from a computer download. The student and the instructor each need to be an equal proactive participant in the learning process.

At the risk of sounding harsh, not all teachers are cut out to be good instructors as mentioned many times above. Yet the same is also true for students. There has to be commitment to the learning process if goals are going to be reached.

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Hi Konrad,

I had two in-person lessons about the time I started Justin’s coursework. The teacher is my mother’s best-friend’s husband who is a retired music professor and music director. His main instrument was cello, but he regularly teaches other string instruments. We did not continue because he was just too busy and we had difficulty aligning schedules.

Lessons were video calls. He was able to help correct some hand posture and position issues easily. This makes me think that some 1:1 lessons can be very useful beyond the self-learning. It is essential for self-learning to be able to assess your own ability, posture, goals, and classwork. Sometimes it helps to get a second person helping to see rough places you should work on.

Your teacher failed you because they were not paying attention to your needs. It sounds like he was just hurrying you through his process without examining your individual needs. Watch for a teacher paying attention to you next time you try 1:1 lessons.

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If the lesson makes you feel bad you should question why you would want to continue. @Richard_close2u is one of Justins approved teachers and what he says is good advice.

I have been through a number of teachers and all had the same issue, they could play well enough but had no idea how to teach and I did not progress. I have now found one who can teach and I benefit from it. If you want lessons you may have to try a number of teachers before you find one that is right for you. It might take you a while.

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As others have said, it doesn’t sound like your teacher was right for you. But there might be value in finding another.

For me the 1:1 teacher is someone who holds me accountable. I was tending to race through Justin’s lessons mainly because that’s my personality of looking at the goal and perhaps moving quicker than I should. My 1:1 teacher has a structured course and progress checks and level assessments and one let me move on until I’ve mastered the required skills. It made me slow down and I’ve become a much better guitar player as a result.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t have gotten there with just Justin’s course, but I would probably be struggling more with the fundamentals.

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