Goals & Destinations

Make the most out of your practice time by deciding where to take your guitar journey. Learn to set motivating, achievable goals!

View the full lesson at Goals & Destinations | JustinGuitar

I’d love to record quality songs in the style that I really like. I’ve already recorded and released a song since I started my guitar journey and the course 6 months ago but I feel like there’s so much stuff in my musical mind that I still don’t know how to express through my guitar as well as the quality of my recording is definitely lacking

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Hi all,

Looking for some perspectives here. I’m just about wrapping up module 17. I’ve found since jumping into the Orange there is a new skill in each module, some of which are going to take some practice.
Some of these I can already feel are going to be very relevant to me others less so. As a guy who loves punk and 80s style rock, The ones I’m finding use for:

  • scales joining chords
  • plucking strings while strumming

Some I’ve found less relevant:

  • finger style
  • peel offs

I know the answer in general will be put effort into the things you are going to use most but I was keen to hear some perspectives on what things should t be dismissed before say moving to intermediate level guitar. What skills seem to crop up often even if not immediately apparent?

Cheers all

PS I say the above then go against my own words as I am commuting to getting happy birthday finger-style to memory, in time for my little girls 3rd birthday on the 17th.


That seems to happen to me on a regular basis, in that something will come along that I really want to play, and will require a particular skill that isn’t part of my ‘standard’ repertoire.

(I’ve been working on fingerstyle for a while now as I want to play a couple of tunes that really require it!)


It happens to me all the time :joy:

I started almost 3 years ago, and I think I started to have clearer ideas about the future path(s) of my guitar journey about a year in. Sometimes I wish I had 2 or 3 goals I could set in stone, but then where would all the fun and unplanned discoveries go?

My current ideas are:

Do all of Justin’s lessons on strumming and rhythm - this is something I wasn’t very diligent about
Music theory all the way - I’m now in grade 5 of the course and it’s still very interesting
Fingerpicking - continue the Folk Fingerstyle module
Transcribing - this sort of happens every time I manage to “decipher” a short phrase or melody. It gets easier with time.

Longer-term goals:

Delve into Justin’s lessons on jazz guitar
Funk guitar - if my fingers can keep up


I would like to become an all round better guitarist. I want to improve my finger style technique but also work on my soloing. I love learning new songs but need to concentrate on theory and technique.

More delta blues and folk.

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I would like to have some gigs and get more involved in the band of my friends. I have been playing guitar on/off since 2019. However, during the pandemic, I went on my guitar journey alone and did not learn to play with a metronome. Only now do I realize what was missing from my playing. I found the Greensleeves lesson very useful as it is the first song I learned to play with a metronome. I would also want to work towards playing Guitar more consistently. Winter break gave me time to play guitar every day but I’m not sure how to keep it up[once winter break ends] as return to high school (I use this as an excuse) and end up procrastinating on this small goal once again. I would like to work on my ear to transcribe better melodies. I remember things[and overhear things] about people I do not talk to. Things like their favorite artist. I want to transcribe their favorite songs just for one day they think I’m weird for playing 4 people’s favorite songs. Still need to work out how to accomplish and go forth with some of these. Thank you for reading [maybe skipping] all the way down.

(quick edit since I’m lazy) practice my harmonics, palm muting, bending in tune, and learn to play triplets or anything that isn’t a quarter or eighth note, bend slide pull off on beat, maybe stop playing for 2 hours and end up not making progress

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My goal was to play well enough to strum campfire songs. Now I’m sick to death of campfire songs :rofl: so my goal has changed.
I want to play folk songs especially fingerstyle. I want to be able to sing along and for it to sound good. I can play some songs ok and I can sing pretty well without the guitar but when I try to do them simultaneously I’m too intensely focused on the guitar and the singing comes out sounding not that great.

A long term goal is to learn the notes on the fretboard well enough to be able to look at a musical score and play it without having to spend ages figuring out the location of the notes on the fretboard first. I feel like I should know the notes on the first frets already, I don’t know why it’s so hard to learn… If anyone has a good method I’d love to hear.

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My big picture goal is to have guitar as a hobby to relax and have fun after a long day at work.

Therefore, I set the following medium-term goals.

  • Develop a solo song repertoire with song arrangements that sounds great on their own without the need to sing.
  • Spend time playing with metronome and backing tracks.
  • Record myself to keep track of my progress and to have memories of my journey.
  • Perform in a community open mic.

Mine is kinda unusual one. I don’t ever want to play any other people’s material.

I want to play spontaneously - 100% improvise. Kinda ambient style mostly, but not exclusively.

I don’t use a pick - finger style and strumming only.

I use looper a lot - can’t quite improvise chords and melodies at the same time - that would be nice to achieve.

When and if I ever get to retire (I’m 52 right now and still a beginner/intermediate) I would love to busk out on the streets somewhere with a little amp and a looper.

No singing for me - my voice amplified makes me cringe every time.


Hi I really found this lesson thought provoking and challenging. I am into my 2nd year on Justin Guitar and trying to practice 1 hour per day.
I am 64 years old so my long term goals need to be not that long and probably a bit smarter.
I think entertaining family and friends as a solo musician is where I would like to get to but I would also like to be able to perform a couple of classical solo’s such as Parisienne Walkways by Gary Moore and some Tony Iommi Black Sabbath riffs as they enthrall me and excite me.
Not yet piecing together what I need to get there but still enjoying the musical journey - although for my old fingers it is at times a hard slog.
Great topic Justin so now I need to go away and think about goal setting - thanks…

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As part of Justin’s online theory course, he has asked us to put a post of our goals for taking theory and our years goals. So here is my stance…

Long term goals

  1. Want to take a few songs that have melodic instrumental parts and apply those chord shapes with major and minor pentatonic scales to come up with melodic parts on the acoustical guitar. Electric will come down the road.

  2. Am now in the process of trying to become a guitar teacher. A solid theory foundation I feel is very important to this in order to answer questions students will inevitably have.

  3. Apply this knowledge into blues/rock guitar playing.

This years goals.

  1. Have the music theory classes up to at least grade 4 passed and know very well.

2l Come up with lesson plan to teach “newbies only” for now. Applying and teaching basic theory with the 8 essential chords.(mid year goal)

  1. Find a couple of students to teach. Paid or not paid is not too important. Have to start off somewhere. But if I do charge it would be cheap. But effective. Have to draw em in somehow!!(undecided until I have a lesson plan in place). More than likely nominal fee. There will be supplied materials and other bonuses I have ringing around in my brain .(mid year goal)

  2. Have started specifically designed blues lessons by Justin.(end year goal)

Rock on!

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My specific goal for 2024 is to be able to play Going Down Slow based on the version Duane Allman did on his anthology album.
To help me achieve that goal I need to:
Complete the Practical Music Theory course (just completed module 4)
Master the licks Duane Allman used
Learn slide guitar
In addition to the specific goals for the above I wish to extend my guitar journey by playing live at an open mic within the next year and have 15-20 songs committed to memory
How realistic are these goals?
I turn 70 next month so time is of the essence. I devote a minimum of two hours a day to practicing guitar. We will see if I can pull it off. :slightly_smiling_face:

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My guitar goals for 2024 are:

  • practising regularly so that my slow fingers become more flexible - I only started playing guitar in spring 2022 at the age of 57, and I notice that the mechanics of my hands don’t work quite as smoothly as they do in a younger person.
  • starting Beginner Course Grade 3 and getting as far as possible without rushing too much :wink:
  • completing Grade 4 of Practical Music Theory (if possible starting with Grade 5)
  • work at my strumming and finger picking skills …
  • building my song repertoire and jamming with a close friend (don’t know if I already get confident enough to participate in an Open Mic)

Well, that’s enough goals for a limited time budget - as a “not yet retired” person I’ll have to spend some time at work too :upside_down_face:

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Now that sounds like me! You’ve actually helped me to clarify my goals, thank you and I wish you much fun on your guitar journey.


I’m always on the lookout for this sort of thing. Do you have any particular songs/arrangements in mind (that you’d like to share)?


I would think that if you practice as much as two hours a day that those goals should be achievable, although I’m not familiar with the Duane Allman song so i don’t know how hard it is or what level you’re at now, but a year sounds like plenty of time. Of course playing an open mic is quite achievable, just depends on your comfort level. And 15-20 songs is only 1-2 per month. definitely do-able.

Good luck with it!


The website has a few fingerstyle chord melody arrangements that I enjoyed learning.

  • Greensleeves (Grade 3 Module 16)

  • Solo blues Lick-in’ riff (Grade 3 Module 18)

  • Yesterday by the Beatles.

  • And for Christmas : We wish you a Merry Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Auld Land Syne.

Fingerstyle arrangements are fun but they take some time to learn and I did not find many others on the website for grade 3 or 4.

After looking at the post from AlexisDuprey JG Rock Songbook Studies, I bought the JustinGuitar Rock Songbook. It has 15 beginner songs (grade 2 and 3) that are really fun to play with backing tracks. I use Moise to remove the guitar from the original song and I record mine in the track.

Check Alexis’s videos, it’s just like being part of the band. Playing and recording yourself with the backing track make it much fun. And you can show the final result to your family and it looks really professionnal.

If you don’t like rock, you can do the same thing with any songbook like the Acoustic.


My goal is to get better at strumming and find songs that fit my voice. I would like to be able to play some songs from memory. I also want to learn more chord melodies and embellishments. I get distracted by YouTube a lot and tend to jump from one song or lesson to another! I did pick up a lot of good tips though😀. The most important thing is I’m enjoying guitar playing so much! I joined a guitar group last year and that is really motivating me to get better and better!


Goals: I want to duet with David Gilmour while Roger Waters lays down the groove…wait, those two hate eachother so therefore this is an unrealistic goal. :wink:

Improvisation is one of my main goals. I look at how I can apply everything I learn to this discipline. True creative expression. :slight_smile:

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