Beginner's safe space

Hello Matt, congratulations on your first AVOYP :partying_face::champagne::bouquet:!! That sounds really great :+1::clap:!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the very first song I was supposed to play on the guitar (I attended an online guitars course before I’ve finally found JG.), but struggeled a lot with the G to A changes. It was so disappointing :see_no_evil:.
But you don’t seem to have any problems with that. Your chord changes look and sound really good, and your strumming is steady. Very well done :clap::+1:! Keep on the good work and thanks for sharing :hugs:.

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@Siff re: Good Riddance

Well done for posting a full recording - your first is your worst (in terms of feeling the nerves, the anxiety and the uncertainty). Vibes for that.

Taking your last sentence first … I feel obliged to offer that constructive critique to hopefully give you some helpful pointers.

I won’t feedback on singing as I am a renowned non-songer. The only thing that I can offer - which helps me more than I can say - is singing with headphones on. If you’re using a DAW for guitar and mic just put headphones in and the sound coming directly into your ears may help you find the melody and pitch a bit better. It does for me.

Still not getting it as flawless as I’d like. Some unnecessary slowdowns and mistakes. Forgetting to mute the 1st string on the verses, not enough single picking too much strum…

Being able to recognise your own issues is a big benefit of recording - you can see, hear and learn from the things that appear to you as areas to improve.

The one big thing I am going to raise with you is rhythm and strumming. Justin mentions it all the time, in virtually every strumming lesson and in virtually every song lesson. Keep your arm moving at all times in time with the rhythm. You are not doing that. I encourage you to watch the video with the volume set to zero. That is a great way to recognise whether your arm is moving smoothly in rhythm or not. Down Up Down Up Down Up Down Up. Constantly and consistently.

This is such and important, fundamental technique and so many of the problems you are giving yourself - the reasons it is not ‘flawless’ are because your strumming arm is moving in a stop-start manner playing Down when it should be Up and Up when it should be Down and it makes the whole thing sound choppy and sometimes out of time. I recommend that you take stock of your rhythm playing and reshape your practice time to focus on eradicating the bad habits and building good habits. This may help:

Playing since Oct 2022. I’m currently at Module 19 of Grade 3, but revisiting this song right now as I never memorized and learned the strum/picking pattern until recently.

Ah. Perhaps there is the reason for the flaws you mention and the rhythm issues I am describing. Module 19 - Grade 13 in under 12 months is super-rapid progress and it raises questions on whether you truly spent enough time developing the basics and a strong foundation or whether you pushed on beyond them and began learning more advanced techniques without first mastering the beginner ones. We have seen many people in the community telling their own story of trying to run before they can walk and realising their mistake.
Go steady and revisit the basics fully and consolidate.

Beginner Grade 1 has 75 lessons plus essential consolidation. Each lesson requires at least one day of practice time but by the end of Grade 1, in Modules 5, 6 and 7, I would say that to do the learning justice and really get solid in the basics, each lesson should be given several days or a week or more. In terms of time for modules, start at one week for module 1 up to several weeks for module 7. I would even (exaggerating the time on purpose) suggest each module number be a rough guide to the weeks required if progress is slow and difficult.
Modules 1 to 7 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28 weeks.

Grade 2 has 68 lessons. And as the learning ramps up the technical challenge and skill, each lesson and each module will require extended time to really get to grips with. I would suggest a similar approach.
Modules 8 to 14 = 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 = 77 weeks.

Those totals are definitely on the high side.

But I would rather encourage that over the opposite of not taking enough time and hitting problems as many have done. recommendation - take some backward steps to consolidate.
Oh yes, and learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.

That is some tough love from me and I hope you take it in the way I intend - constructive critique to help you focus on how to improve.
Richard :slight_smile:

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Thank you very much for your extensive feedback. I have a hard time not learning something new after 2-3 weeks.
Which was probalby the longest I stayed on 1 module (except
for the last ones of grade 1 and 2 I tried to at least do 4 weeks consolidation)

I neglected practicing to metronomes. I think that‘s what gave me bad habits with strumming. I will try to concentrate more on doing that right.

I’m happy you wrote this today. I wanted to try an film the 10 song set spontaneously today, but I will first do some more single song testrecordings and try to analyze the biggest flaws myself and watch the strumming closely to try to improve it.

I get consolidating techniques. It can just feel so limiting when I have to wait so long to learn the next step. I often prefer to really consolidate techniqes after having a bit of a bigger picture while learning new things.

I want to try to follow the progression of the course as slowly as possible for me. And course 3 felt so slow I feel I have now almost only consolidated around 3 months and not learned much more since the end of Module 2.

Which is good, but hard for me to have fun.

One question if you don‘t mind. What is the idea of grade 3? How long do people usually should stay there? It felt like so much repetition. As if doing part of Grade 2 again with some extras here and there.

Again thank you so much Richard. It’s important to be told. Not enough people can or want to critizise.
I understand encouragement. But I know unwarranted encouragement too well. It can be nice, but ultimately leads to dissapointement, because of overconfidence.

All the best,

Metronomes are super important because they train you to play in time, with consistent rhythm and tempo. Other practice methods can also fulfil that need such as playing along to drum tracks (which I much prefer for the fuller sound) and - of course - playing along to actual songs / backing tracks / the JG App.

Have you seen this guidance on practice from Justin?

That is an unknown as of yet because Justin has only just recently rebuild Grade 3 with many new lessons and parts.

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Dude, you could be my twin brothers. Over the last few months I’ve noticed that a lot of the newbie players are guys our age. Well, better late than never, 'eh? :wink:

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Sounding good there Matt. You look to be doing things right and tapping along too to help keep that rhythm.

Just one thing to be aware of is to maybe try and pull your little finger in, you’re going to be needing it further down the line.


This is the first time I’ve posted any video of me trying to play something so go easy. I’ve been struggling to learn for about 21 months now. Until 9 months ago I’d always assumed that lead guitar was way out of my reach (you’ll probably believe me when you’ve watched this :joy:)

However, about 9 months ago I started to get arthritis pains at the base of both my thumbs (mostly trying to master the damned F chord), so started to play more electric to ease the pain.

Anyway, here I am coming up to 70. I’m still not very good, but I am enjoying the ride, and never thought I’d ever get anywhere near as far.

Justin has been a key inspiration throughout, though I must confess that I haven’t been disciplined enough to work through the courses.

If for some reason this isn’t the right place to post this, or it is inappropriate for some other reason, someone please delete.




Just to add, I am aware my solo suffers from:

  • over/under bends
  • string noise
  • dodgy vibrato
  • rather long and repetitive
  • miscellaneous mistakes

I’d be interested in any advice.

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Hi David!
Congratts on youre first AVYOP. It is an nerve wrecking thing for sure :grin:

I have no advice for you… but it sounds AWSOME!!!
Way to go!!! :raised_hands:t2:
Put it out as an AVOYP, no reason to hide this in this thread… sounds killer dude!!
Amazing after such a short time too… i am impressed!!


Wow thanks very much! Genuinely didn’t expect anything so positive. Probably because I’ve been accustomed to my wife fleeing the room as soon as she sees me firing up the amp :joy:

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Hahaha… know all about that :rofl:
No seriously… its awsome… put it out as an AVOYP.
You will most likely get more advice from others… i have to admit i dont check out this section too much, but i watch a lot of AVOYP threads…

Do you mean in it’s own thread?

Yes. There is a thread/section called AVOYP… i would suggest you just copy youre post over to that section… that way you have youre own thread…

Mod request.

Please do not do that.
We encourage people who wish it to use this topic to post and share their first recordings. For the reasons stated in the opening post of the topic.
We discourage double posting also.

@DaveinOz If you want to create your own AVOYP topic having now posted here then fine. That is all good. But please allow this post to remain here and start any new AVOYP topic with a new, different recording.


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Will do👍

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Hi David - wow, as Trond already said, this is impressive! I cannot give any substantial feedback either since you are far ahead of me with your skills, but to my ears it sounds terrific. Congratulations on developing these lead guitar skills in no time. Really good, keep doing this!! :+1: :smiley:



Again, thank you so much for your kind words, it makes such a difference to get some positive feedback.

I know that when soloing you’re supposed to follow the notes in the underlying chords. Unfortunately I just don’t have the instant recall of notes in chords, or mental map of the fretboard required. Neither do I have a good knowledge of triads, CAGE, etc that might make this feasible for me, so it’s way above my pay grade.

Instead I’m having to rely on my ear which is rather fallible, and limited to just a few things that seem to work and go together.

One day I’ll summon the necessary self-discipline to work through things properly.

I also find it very difficult to learn the actual solo as in an original track. It isn’t just the inherent difficulty of the more complex note sequence, but I seem to have trouble remembering the sequence. For example I’ve tried to learn the first solo in Comfortably Numb. It’s very short and relatively simple, but it still seems out of my reach.

So instead I’m enjoying doing these kind of free-form solos, but in my mind I can hear the voice of my musician mate from school many years ago telling me it is self-indulgent.

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Nice work on putting together your first upload!

I have only one thing to say:

The simplest approach here is to work out (in advance) what key a song is in (HC happens to be in Bm). All the chords are then made up of the notes in that scale (in this case of Bm), and playing scale patterns (with some skipped notes and changes of direction) of Bm should in general* fit for the solo.

*I say ‘in general’ because borrowed chords happen


Hi,Your first video that is a big thing as you notice in your head :smile: but …:sunglasses: :partying_face: :clap:,… WHAT a video it turned out to be :smiley:… so many good bends and so many good licks, you totally captured the vibe of the song… :sunglasses:

The things I quoted from you above are the most important, but in the meantime you have already laid a wonderful foundation for selecting and playing several fantastic solos…

Really well done :sunglasses: :clap: :sunglasses:



Thanks for the advice. Yes a great deal more work to do yet. It’s one of those things that as you get into it more you realise how much more there is to know.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.