Doing Learner Right? Hello from Drew

Hi Folks,

I’m just about to start my guitar journey all over again. Last time I tried to learn, I got a bit lost along the way. A long time ago my wife bought me an acoustic guitar and I managed to pick up a few chords and learn a few simple songs. This served me well at family gatherings, but I never really progressed beyond “campfire” playing.

I bought an electric guitar and a small practice amp, found a local teacher and set to learning blues and rock. I very quickly got obsessed with gear and spent more time looking for better guitars/amps than I did bettering my playing ability. After a short while (and having progressed from a mexican strat and 10W solid state amp to an american original 50’s strat and a hot rod deluxe amp, but not having progressed much musically), my teacher gave up teaching. I pretty much stopped playing at that point. I sold all my gear and sunk the money into a hobby I was/am actually good at. I still picked up my acoustic from time to time, but never really tried to learn anything new.

Despite a good 10 years or so away from the guitar, I’d often find myself thinking about playing/learning the guitar. It was like an itch I couldn’t scratch. So I’m going to have another crack at it. Things are different this time. My kids are older and much more independent so I have more of the evenings to myself, I work a regular shift pattern now so I can set aside dedicated practice times (where before I worked a mix of earlies and lates and struggled to fit practising in) and I’m going to try and keep my feet on the ground in terms of gear.

I’ve armed myself with a Yamaha Pacifica and a Boss Katana (the most “studenty” setup ever?) and spent a great deal of time mooching through the lessons and courses on this great site. Grade 2 Module 8 seems to be where my current skill set fits in, so I’ll start there and keep moving forward!

I terms of what I hope to achieve… I’m 40 now, so starting/joining a band and hitting the road to make it big isn’t high on my list of objectives :smile: . I want to be able to throw on a backing track and improvise (both blues and rock) as well as playing along with some of my favourite music. Maybe in the future I’d like to attend some jam nights or at the very least find a jam buddy or two nearby.

That’s me in a nutshell. I dare say I’ll be asking all the usual daft questions as I progress through the courses, so please be gentle with me :laughing: .

Thanks for reading!



Welcome to the community Drew!

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Welcome to the forum Drew. Your story is a common on here. The best thing to do is start with Justin’s beginner course. You’ll probably blow though it quite quickly but it will point out any bad habits and teach you to practice correctly. Good luck with your journey.

There are no daft question


Thanks Stitch!

I’ve already spotted a couple of bad habits :laughing: . Need to keep that pesky thumb behind the neck and not let it creep over the top (at least for now anyway :wink: )

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Welcome Drew.

No daft questions but plenty of daft answers ! :rofl:



Welcome Brother! It all sounds like a very familiar story you are in good company.

I think you chose wisely on the gear this time around. I always ‘want’ better gear but the real question I have to ask is will it help me do, what?? You can get the Yamaha for a few hundred dollars USA or the American made Strat for $1,000 will it help me do what?

Best of luck continuing on with the courses.
♫⋆。♪ ₊˚♬ ゚.


Wait… are you telling me that spending more on gear doesn’t make me a better player? :laughing:

I will say, I’m genuinely impressed with the build quality of the Yamaha. It feels well put together, well finished and I’m sure once I plug it in (my amp should arrive tomorrow) it’ll sound great. Aside from the neck needing the truss rod tweaking a little, it needed very little setup (action and intonation are spot on).

And I’m very excited about getting my hands on a Katana. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say a bad word about them. And as an added bonus, 2nd born son is learning ukulele and has just bought himself a very nice elctro-acoustic uke… So he’ll be able to plug into it too!


Hello Drew & Welcome!!!

I’m a firm believer in scratching those itches!!! I also think that having specific goals is great… you know where you want to go, now just map out your “route” & work out which skills you need to master!
Good luck with your journey!!!

Tod in New Mexico USA

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Hi Drew ,
Welcome here and I wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:
And a steep re-learning curve :smiley: :sunglasses:


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Katana is always the answer … that and 42 !


Welcome aboard, Drew! :smiley:

Wish you loads of fun on your guitar journey. :slight_smile:

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Welcome, Drew, I was in module 8 just a few months ago, in mod 13 now, beginning blues. Stuff for you to look forward to!

Ah, new gear, it only took me about 8 months to go from my Indonesian strat to a used Korean PRS. and 18 months to go from a practice amp to my Boss Katana. I’m hoping to wait another year at least before I go for anything fancier! But it’s so hard! lol

Glad you joined us.

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Ain’t it the truth!!!

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Hi Drew and welcome to the community.

Learning the guitar is not easy. No doubt. But enjoying your instrument is definitely not going to be hard if you keep at it. JustinGuitar and this community have all the resources you need to improve and have fun.

This totally depends on the person, but sometimes having less or stripped down gear is better when you are learning. You should feel you want to pick up the guitar when you see it. So choose something attractive (to you). This does not mean it needs to be expensive.

Yes, play along you favorite tracks. As much as you can. You love these tracks so you’ll have fun. And you will learn new things every time. When you do that, don’t rush, use the layered approach as explained below. This helped me a lot along the years.

Have fun!

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What a tremendous reply! thank you so much!

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I went far too big, far too soon last time I tried to learn guitar. I started out with a mexican strat and a little 10W fender mustang amp. I then bought a Korean PRS, before getting an american telecaster. I bought a 22W fender supersonic amp (valve) which was far too loud for my living room. Undeterred, I swapped the tele for an american standard strat. I then “upgraded” my amp to a marshall DSL40 (an even louder valve amp) and shortly after upgraded my guitar to an American Original 50s strat. Beautiful, beautiful gear… but I was massively lacking any sort of playing ability. I knew half a dozen licks and could belt out Greenday’s Basket Case, but anything more meaningful was beyond me.

This time, I’ve gone simple and sensible (well, I might’ve gotten carried away with the Katana Air EX :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth: ). Focus on the learning journey, not the pretty shiny stuff…

Well done on the progress! 5 modules in a few months is some going! Hope I can replicate that sort of progress! Which wont happen if I spend all night chatting on here! So I’m off! I’ll let you know how my practice went tomorrow!

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Well that was fun! First time I’ve heard my little yamaha plugged in. My oh my it’s got some fat tone! The tiny little boss amp can rattle the windows too!

Enjoyed the lessons, found them about right difficulty-wise. Wasn’t struggling, but definitely need to practice each skill a bit more to get it right. Found an AC/DC patch in the tone library and had a go at “You Shook Me All Night Long”. That G to C progression is something, eh? :sweat: . I’ll get there! someday :laughing:


Hi Drew, welcome to the community forum. It sounds like you are enjoying your new gear. There is a lot to learn in Grade 2, even if you have played for years. While you are learning in Grade 2, it is also good idea to view the grade 1 lessons over time to recheck the basics. I did that again, even after I started grade 3. Have fun and keep on playing.

Hi Drew.
Good on you for picking the guitar up again.
Welcome to JustinGuitar and this fantastic community. Please take your time to look around and get to know the wider space.

We are a supportive and encouraging group of students and guitarists from across the world. Essentially, we are all here for music and to improve as players. We truly are a ‘community’. Members help and support one another and a friendly, positive attitude underpins this. We hope that all - young or old, experienced or new players - adopt and foster the pay-it-forward ethos that Justin personifies and embedded all those years ago when he started the website and forum.

Also, please make sure to read the community etiquette announcement for some important information and guidance.