Big hello from Belgrade 44 Y.O ex basketball learning guitar!

Hello everyone, I would like to introduce myself to all kind people here.
I was born in Belgrade in 79’ and never played any music before. For long time I did sports for living ( basketball , I’m 205cm and 130kg now) I always wanted to learn guitar, ive purchased Yamaha c40 classic guitar as recommend instrument for true beginners. It has nylon strings, rather then true metal. Started Justin Guitar YouTube course and everything took off from there. Now I’m playing daily from 1.Dec.23. I’m still hyped as from day one, loads of struggle to connect that bare F chord to sound great , but I’m getting there. Also G# is getting me crazy. I got some great tips here like how to play G chord without a index and how to play A chord with only one finger. I’m actually using ring finger for that since I start using Index as bare when I learned B chord where I used ring as mini bare to hold A shape. I’m not sure if that is acceptable technic but it works out great for me. Looking forward hearing from you all.


Hi Ivan, welcome to the community. If you’ve been playing since December and already looking at F and B chords then you are storming ahead - it will take time (often months) to get a clean F chord.
As far as technique goes I’d be interested in others’ opinions (particularly some of the teachers who hand around here). It’s important to make sure you don’t learn any bad habits at the beginning of your journey, however I am going to assume you have pretty large hands and the c40 will have a wide fingerboard so you might need to do things a little differently. It is quite common that there are several different ways to do things and doing what is comfortable for you is often the way to go.
It does sound like you are playing the B chord in a pretty normal way (it’s the way I play it).


Large hands ind. Lets say A major, i can’t play it "normal way " to put all 3 fingers next to each other, that will give me around approx 4cm . If I should play it with 3 fingers it needs to be like Justin teach middle on the top and index and ring underneath. That is one of the reason I do small bar with ring. So much easier to do A Major that way, or any other A shape chord. I do also apply just a bit more pressure on ring finger with my middle toping ring finger to get more solid pressure but not to much to mute e string. On any bare chords where I have middle finger available I do double pressure on bare finger . Like on G minor I top index that hold bare with my middle to give it a stronger grip. All bare sound amazing except F major… Keep on practice I suppose, just like on basketball training…


Welcome to the forum Ivan

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Welcome Ivan, there’s much to keep you busy and interested in here.
You can’t go far wrong with a Yamaha, their quality control is arguably a much higher than many of the “big name” mass production companies.
(naming names will see me shot down in flames!
:upside_down_face: )
For sure a 52mm nut has its own challenges but fretting strings requires much less effort.

I look foward to a song performed from Belgrade.
Keep it fun … :sunglasses:

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Welcome Ivan

Are you just using Youtube to find Justin’s videos? The best way of learning from Justin is by following his structured beginners course, starting at Grade 1, Module 0. Apologies if I’ve misunderstood you.

That’s great to hear, and I hope you never lose that feeling! :grinning:


Hello Ivan,
Welcome here and I wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:

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Yes sir , YouTube is where I found Justin course that lead me to webpage and eventually get me to all of you kind people. Thank you everyone for kind words and all advices and motivation

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Welcome to the community, Ivan! :slight_smile:

Wish you loads of fun while learning to play guitar, it’s a rewarding thing to do! :smiley:

Cheers - Lisa

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Welcome Knez,

Puh you made a lot of progress in a few weeks - this is really great! I guess you learn guitar as you were doing sports - lot of pratice,dedication and discipline.

F Barre is the hardest as it is so close to the nut - the placement of fingers, pressure to apply is simply a little different and harder than let’s say for the G Barre at least for me. When I learned F (and I am still practicing of course ) chose a song whith the typical C - F - G - Am (in any order) chord progressions ( I find F to C the easiest) and tried to train the song and chord changes until I got to the tempo of the song (starting a lot slower than original tempo). What were great songs for me are ‘Let it be’ (nice and slow) and as a challenge ‘Learning to fly’ by Tom Petty (this has an early change so requires quite some speed in changing F - C). But there a re a ton of other songs in C-Major using those four chords.

Have fun,

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Hi Ivan,

Welcome to the community enjoy.

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Hello Andy , yes loads of practice, nothing uncommon for me . I did sports for 6+ hours per day for years, so playing music , sweeting is nothing really, it’s super rewarding seeing sutch a progress in short time. Swapping to F is still difficult and most of time I can’t keep up with song tempo to play it clean and often need to look on strings. F# is already much much easier so yes you are right. I know my muscles memory is still not there since I can’t land all 4 fingers on the strings in same time but I’m getting there. I have body giving up problems my back hurts and some pain in fingers on left index mostly, otherwise I would probably practice even more. But i suppose time is taking a toll, we are not getting younger don’t we? I suppose there is a lot with my technique as well as my posture. I know back issues will be resolved after I stop looking at hand that play chords. Fingers pain as well, after I improve my technique. Really enjoying guitar, I found a challenge that I was missing. Before guitar that was in video games but I got to old for it to play on competitive level. Actually I could still do it but I needed to put in incredible amount of time that I didn’t want. I decide to put incredible amount of time in to instrument. Learning is so fun. Cheers everyone

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Hey Ivan, welcome to the community. Great to hear your enthusiasm. I started playing the A chord the way Justin teaches and now play it with one finger as a mini barre chord. Acceptable technic is whatever works best for you. Sometimes there are disadvantages to doing it different, sometimes not. :slight_smile:

When I started playing I struggled with the F barre chord, I persevered and now 10+ years later I’m so glad I did, it’s a real gateway to many other chord voicings. Look forward to hearing more from you.

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Welcome to the forum. The F bar chord will come with time… as other bar chords. Just daily at least a moment playing…

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Hi Ivan, welcome to the community. The nylon strings on the classical guitar make the F chord easier to play. There are many in the community that have problems playing with smaller hands, including me. Your larger hands will give you an advantage with playing some chords and stretching over an extra fret. Have fun on your guitar journey.

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Thank you so much Steve. On one side is advantage ok the other is disadvantage, important is to have fun ! Cheers .

Hi Ivan @Knez!

Welcome to the forum!

The main question is not nylon or steel strings.
The main question is Partizan or Crvena Zvezda? :joy:
For me, I don’t like red colour (with the exception of a red-black stain I’ve seen on some guitar finishes) and I have a particular sympathy for Obradović :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::innocent:

It’s nice to find another basketball fan here! I used to play basketball too but not pro, we were playing in the amateur league, way back when… :joy:

Enjoy your guitar journey!

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Hey there , actually I was a part of red star team in late 90s. Later my carrier lead me to other countries but in fact red / white was color I used the most. Happiest moment in red white, probably Taca da Liga Portugal with cab Madeira. I had quite a decent carrier looking at the fact I didn’t have long range shoot and while consider a giant in normal people eyes I was not extra tall in Basketball sense. I played mostly position 5(center) and in shape I weighed around 115kg on my 206cm. In high competition you had guys at 215cm -220cm / 130-140kg playing those positions, so it was a struggle almost non stop, I’ve loved it. So naturally I should position at 4(power forward) however lacking 3 point shot limit my game. And yes full size classical guitar look almost like ukulele by me holding it :slight_smile:


I would like to see a picture, as you said you are not THAT tall :slightly_smiling_face: I’m more than 40 cm shorter than you and before your post I have never really thought much about how height affects guitar playing… But it’s interesting because of course your challenges are different than mine. I have long fingers for my height but the thought of A-shaped barre chords sends shivers running down my spine… :roll_eyes:

I’m sure your training discipline will give you many advantages on your guitar journey, but don’t forget to have fun :roll_eyes: Welcome to the community btw… :slightly_smiling_face: I don’t think I have said that yet…

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@Knez you mention back pain. I imagine years of sport and height are hard on the back, and the hands.

There is a lot of information about how to hold the guitar and sit with the guitar online, on Justin’s site and others. Not all are that great, but if you review them and also review basic ergonomic principles like you might sitting at a computer desk, then apply them while thinking about your unique situation, you will be able to adjust to more comfortable and safe posture.

I arrived at a low version of a classical guitar posture with a lift rather than foot stool. I can’t accommodate the guitar over the right thigh, for example.

Also look at Justin but also other sites on hand care and stretches. Right now guitar is your sport and you are an athlete again, all the same self care principles apply and will serve you well if you take care of yourself. Especially when you are new at it.