Dave - Older newbie from NC

Complete newbie from NC. I’m 50 and have wanted to learn the guitar for quite a while. Actually bought a guitar 10 years ago and it sat. I decided back in December to actually commit to learning this year so I subscribed to Justin’s app for a year and have been working on it since. Just started grade 2. Doing really well with chord perfect and one minute changes but struggle with the changes once I add strumming patterns beyond D D D D. Any tips on how to improve chord changes while strumming? I think I’m just going to set a metronome to a specific bpm and work through a progression of changes and stop focusing on songs for now.

I do have a question about the stuck 3/4 chords from lesson 8. Can those be used to replace the regular c/g/d/a/e minor chords? He said in the lesson that songs for the module would have the stuck 3/4 chords, but looking at the chord bank for the songs added in lesson 8 do not have those chords.

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Hey Dave, welcome to the community, I’ve got a brother who lives near Raleigh. I started at the ripe old age of 53 after wanting to learn for a long time and 10 years later it’s been so worth all the effort, so keep at it!

At the start, strumming patterns that have any offbeat / syncopation, like DDuuD can be tricky to learn, don’t worry about it too much yet. My advice is to stick with the DDDD for a bit and keep reintroducing the others again in a short while.

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Welcome to the Community, Dave.

I have not used the app nor worked through the newly revamped Grade 1 and Grade 2 programme. That said, you may find it helpful to work through the programme to the point you have reached on the App. I think you will find more richness in the website video lessons with supporting text.

That may or may not give you further pointers to help working on your strumming.

Mostly it is just patience, practice, persistence. Good idea to use your metronome. First focus on getting really comfortable with the strumming pattern. I forget the first pattern suggested, but focus on that one. You can begin with muted strings, then a single chord. And when you feel really comfortable begin with two chords, picking the change that you can make best from the Grade 1 chords.

You may also fin you have to play around to find the best tempo on the metro. Too slow can be as hard as too fast. So play around a bit to find the tempo that feels most natural and relaxed.

Yes, you can play C, G, A, Em as stuck chords replacing the usual open chord shape you may see. Strictly speaking the chord may now have a different name but that is not important eg the C is actually Cadd9. You can use them interchangeably, if it sounds good it is good :slight_smile:


Hello Davie and welcome to the community. :slight_smile:

Nothing more I can add that others haven’t already said.

It’s slow and steady that wins the race, so hang on in there and you will be rewarded.

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Hi Dave and welcome to the community, you’re amongst good company discovering or finally getting to guitar later on in life :rofl: Sounds like you’re enjoying everything so far so congrats!

Your chord changes while strumming question came up on another thread recently, I’m not sure which module of the course covers it but Justin covers an exercise with muted strings that is purely about automating strumming patterns. A bit of practice time into this and when you apply it to a song or chord changes your head isn’t thinking of too many things at once. Also, if you’re using the songs app try slowing down the BPM of songs you’re playing to with a strumming pattern to take the pressure off.

On your stuck 3/4 query David’s got you covered there but I’d say also experiment and see where they can work and sound better. Failing that, there’s always Wonderwall… :wink:

Good to meet you! - Mark.

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