Back at 62, struggling to get practice plan

Hi everyone, I am 62 and have been playing or prating guitar for 10 + years and now want to start again (yes I put the guitar down for a while) . As I get older I want to challenge myself, I can play cords but lack direction in getting started again. I like the newer county and older rock, any ideas on getting me back on track? Should I just try playing songs I like or chords changes, etc? Any help would be appreciated, I know the holidays are coming and I always say I want to be able to play Christmas songs around the holidays. Thanks for viewing


Hey Rich, welcome to the forum. That sounds like a fun goal of learning a few Christmas songs over the next month or so. Have you seen Justin has a Christmas songbook? It might be a good place to start -

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Hoi Rich,
Definitely going to play songs. :smiley: :sunglasses:… the song section contains plenty of Christmas songs from level 1 to the most difficult
Here you might get some inspiration about what there is to do, there are also many references to the relevant lessons… and YES, play songs and if you have difficulty with it, you can also search for the relevant lessons on the website… You have many years of experience, but it can also be enlightening to start the course (or a little further than the starting level) and then go through everything quickly, that is good for ego (?) and you will probably benefit from it.You take always new things with you… and play songs, at the bottom of many song lessons there are also quite often references to corresponding lessons…

Ps : learn more songs :grin:


I recommend starting at the beginning of the lessons as well. You can probably listen to many until you start to find bits of information new to you. I go over familiar lessons while doing something that doesn’t require a guitar in my lap, so it may be pretty quick to get into new material.

Justin goes through tips for practice planning, so that may be useful for you. these are scattered around as the student gains expertise, so no one lesson to concentrate on.

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Hi Rich.
Cool your making the trip back to playing.
Playing guitar and making music is most satisfying for sure.

I got that problem too. Personally, I want to get back into lessons with JG but am finding myself not motivated to do that right now (for a unknown reason).

So in lieu of the lessons. I’m trying to make music.
And making music certainly seems like practice to me. It’s just practicing the same song over and over till I get it how I want it to sound.
To do that. I record myself. For me, that’ll open my eyes as to what sounds right and good, and what also needs some work.
The parts that need work are what I go practice.
I do mostly multi track recording. I start with a base idea, then elaborate on that idea.

I’m learning a new song right now.
I want to do it all by myself. That was not working out for me on this song. I needed some kinda reference for the song I’m doing.
I’m doing better with my song right now as I found the reference that I think I needed. That reference was a bass back track for the song I’m learning that I just randomly got off the www. I thought I needed a good tempo track, ie drums. I couldn’t find any drums by themselves track for my new song. So I backed up and decided to try and see if I could find a bass track. That I was successful at.
My song is coming along now. That bass track was apparently what I needed to anchor me with the song.
Now I can concentrate on the guitar parts. Which right now leave something to be desired and have mistakes I can hear and don’t like in them. So my learning goal is to eliminate them mistakes and get it to where it sounds like music to ‘me’.

fwiw. I inadvertently picked a song that Justin teaches here on this forum. So that is very helpful to get his insight into the song.
I learn from Justin, then add my own take to the song. He is teaching only the guitar part. Most songs have more than a guitar part. ie, vocals, precussion, bass, etc. I got the bass covered by the www. the rest is up to me to learn and play.
I also tend to pick songs ‘I’ like, though I have learned a few songs that don’t do much for me. I think this is good too, as I assume everyone has songs that don’t do much for them, but that others like. So I learn them songs too. Just less of them.
I also pick songs I can’t play, something that will force me to learn something new.

Anyways, that’s how I’m approaching my learning right now. We’ll see where I jump off at and have to go to Justin’s lessons because I feel I’m becoming stagnate.
Best I can tell, this is the place to be for getting info overload on playing guitar and music.

Good luck in your adventure.


Welcome Rich
I’d agree with the advice already given, learn songs. Some easy and perhaps some that are more challenging. Whatever you do though make it fun!

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Hi Rich! Another one adding to the chorus here! We’re the same age, I’ve been playing guitar on and off, with the off times sometimes being several years, since I was 15, but until about 10 or 15 years ago, I just knew a few chords and could play songs from tab. Then I discovered Justinguitar, and I’ve been working my way through the beginner course ever since, completing the classic beginner course, and now on grade 3 of the new beginner course after starting from scratch a couple of times after long lay-offs. I’d echo what’s already been said here - If you start at the beginning of the course, you will be able to speed through the bits you already know, you’ll learn stuff you didn’t know along the way, you’ll end up a far better guitar player than when you started, and you’ll find lots of songs to inspire you!


Have you seen this on Justin’s website?

Every module has a very detailed practice plan - telling you exactly what to practice, and for how long.

Spend about half the practice time with technical exercises, and the other half learning and playing songs.

Like you, I came to Justin with some experience. As others have suggested, I found it very useful to start in the beginning and go through all the lessons, and do the practice routines.

You will probably progress through them quickly at first - until you top out at your current playing ability.

But then the discipline of regular practice with good routines will really start to pay off, and you will find that your abilities will steadily improve.


For me, playing guitar is all about the songs. Find an easy song and learn the heck out of it. And then another and so on. Welcome to the community.


Hi Rich! I’'ve been playing for 40 years and stuck in a rut for the last 25 - lol. I’ve done some of the other on-line sites and just never seem to make much progress. I had heard about JG and decided to give this a shot a couple months ago. Since then, I’ve been reinvigorated to go back and start learning again. I went through the lessons and settled on a spot that seemed to make sense to start up. I commit to an hour a day and spend half of that on lesson work and the other half on learning a couple songs (I’m loving JG’s version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps). I keep track of my progress daily and have been really pleased with the results. Good luck!!!

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Hello Rich and welcome to our community. :slight_smile:

Ahhhh yes, a good old Christmas song. Plenty to choose from and now is the time to start learning one.

@Richard_close2u @LievenDV @DavidP Please could one of you guys move this over the the introduction section. Thank you.

Hello and welcome Brad. :slight_smile:

Why not pop over to here and introduce yourself?

Your wish is my command, Stefan … this time, before you get carried away :grin:

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Awww shucks, you didn’t need to add that caveat David. :smiley:

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I do have his Christmas song book, and a few others and they are great. Now it’s time for me to get my fingers back in shape and start playing

Thank you , I think playing a song with the cords your are practicing is a good way to get back on track

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thank you , sometimes I get inpatient but I think that is everyone trying to play

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thank you and appreciate your advice

wow thank you for this reply, can you give me some direction on www to get back around music? I have a spark amp that I want to use for this. I also see people play and using a iPad with back ground music such as drums, etc when they play.

I just need to get my fingers backing shape which I am doing now.

Having restarted back from the very beginning of module 1 I definitely agree with being open to hearing about everything with a fresh pair of ears. There’s been so many valuable tips stuffed into each lesson, even if the subject may already be familiar! It’s taken me since the start of the year to get just over half way through grade 2. My pace is getting slower and slower as I’m realising the value of getting things right this time round. It’s still fun to go rogue though and do stuff unrelated to the course ;0)