Hello everyone! I have decided, at the ripe age of 40, to learn how to play the guitar. It has been a lifelong aspiration to do so - my father plays bass, and my uncle is great at the guitar. The both of them actually played together before they ever became family lol. I never got to sit down with them to learn how to play. I have heard many good things about the Justin Guitar course so I decided to purchase his beginner course book and start my journey. When I first picked up my father’s guitar as a kid, I held it left-handed. It just felt so natural and easy that way. I am right-handed in almost everything else I do aside from shooting rifles and shotguns, which I also do left-handed. So, when the opportunity arose to purchase a left-handed Yamaha FG820 for cheap, I jumped on it. I am really looking forward to this journey and I want to stick with it and progress. Anyone have any great tips? I took the first step and took the guitar to a local music shop where they will be setting it up for easier playability. They commented on how nice of a guitar it was and a good choice for starting on. Thanks to all of you for your help and posts in starting me off on the right foot!
Welcome! Tips is just play, follow the lessons and play songs, lots of songs.
It’ll be hard at first esp with your fingering hand. And there are a lot of subtleties to learn
Great stuff, welcome to the community, my dad moved to Georgia in his later years. Like you, learning guitar was a lifelong aspiration of mine, I finally cracked it 10 years ago at the age of 53. Getting to where I could play my first song all the way through was the biggest motivator for me, theory and scales, especially in the early days, not so much.
Having a good setup is real important. Making practice part of your daily routine is great, and just 15 minutes a day is all I did to get started. At first my fingers hurt too much to continue after 5 minutes so I did that 3 times a day. Justin’s lesson on one minute chord changes was a big help, sticking with an easy (3 chord) first song also helped.
It’s well and truly worth the effort, I’ve never regretted it.
Lots of good tips from Rob and Tony already.
I’d add, be patient, gentle (with your self in terms of expectations and self-assessment), and enjoy the moment without obsessing on end-results. Guitar playing is a complex, challenging activity that those who have higher levels of proficiency make look deceptively easy.
Perhaps start a Learning Log in #community-hub:learning-logs I find it valuable to record my journey so I can reflect on progress and remind myself of all I have learned.
And when you reach the point where you are playing a few songs, I strongly encourage recording and sharing in #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing. It is a big step, I know, and can say you will never really feel ready so just have to take the plunge, and you will receive invaluable feedback and encouragement. Go sample some of the recordings shared by people getting going and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.
Nothing to add to what’s been said but don’t try and make up for lost time. Slow and steady wins the day and as David says enjoy the moment.
Hello Brandon and welcome to the community.
You’ll love the course that Justin offers, he’s a great teacher.
Hi Brandon and welcome! You made the right choice in learning with Justinguitar. I started about 5 months ago so I’m relatively new to playing an electric instrument after playing flute since I was very young. Currently on Grade 2 and two modules away from completion.
Speaking of left handed guitars, I’m left handed but I was given a free right handed guitar and I’m learning the “normal” way, although I remember trying to hold a guitar left handed before.
As for any tips or advice that I have as a beginner myself, I’d say take your time with each lesson and spend at least 15 minutes a day to learn or practice something on your guitar. Your fingers are going to hurt for the first week or two but eventually you’ll build up nice calluses and be able to play longer.
Set realistic goals for yourself, too - for example, it’s a better goal to be able to play the D and A chords cleanly and switch between them by the end of the week rather than to learn A, D, E, C, and G chords all in one week and do over 60 chord changes per minute between all of them.
Once you know a few open chords there’s lots of easy songs you can play, and in my opinion it’s better to supplement the learning exercises with playing songs you love.
My final piece of advice is to not compare your learning progression to other people; it’s ok if it might take longer for you to learn something that might take someone else less time. As long as you practice slowly and effectively, you will eventually get there!
Great advice Lauren and big welcome to the community for those wise words.
Thanks so much for the awesome advice! I’m a huge fan of guys like Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, and Doyle Dykes and they do make things look effortless LOL. Not that I will ever sound anything like them as they’ve had decades of experience and practice, but I’d like to be able to play about 5-10 songs that have special meaning to me very proficiently. I’ve also been looking into joining Chordify and Ultimate Guitar to help get the chords for some of my favorite songs. Again, thanks for the awesome advice. I look forward to getting started as soon as our local shop is done setting up my guitar.
Thanks so much for the advice and helpful tips! I plan on trying to get in at least 30 minutes of practice per day, if not a little more. I do hope that learning left-handed doesn’t hold me back. I know left-handed guitars are hard to come by but I do feel like it’s going to be easier for me if I give it a go using my left. I have began compiling chord boxes and tabs on about 5-10 songs I really, really want to learn. A few of them have especially significant meaning to me and I’d like to play them for my wife for our 15th wedding anniversary, which is about two years off. Again, I really appreciate your wise words and wish you the best on your journey as well!
Thank you! I really look forward to getting started. Our shop should have it completed tomorrow so I plan on starting late this week. Justin seems to be very easy to understand and thorough in his explanations.
Thank you for the kind words of encouragement! I’m going to try for at least 30 mins a day if my fingers can stand it. I’m not in any sort of rush and am doing this for my personal enjoyment. I" think it will be challenging but fun. Again, thanks for your kind words!
Welcome Arnold! Only been playing 2 years but I would just follow Justin’s course and practice at least 6 days a week. It’s amazing how fast you will progress if you stay at it. It always seems hard at first but before you know it you will be playing songs and seeing your skills increase. Justin is a fantastic teacher as well a a phenomenal player. Welcome to the community and Play On!
I’m the same age and also just started learning - well, a few months ago anyway. One tip I have that’s been useful - can’t remember who told me - try to touch a guitar every day. Maybe you can sit and play for a couple of hours, maybe you only have 5 minutes. But that habit has helped me. There have only been a couple of days in the last few months I haven’t played guitar.
Good luck and enjoy the journey.
Hi Brandon, a very warm welcome to the community.
As mentioned, follow the learning course and learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.
If you want lefty inspiration follow some of the Tips from @LievenDV
and watch the Nitsuj video logs Nitsuj Grade 1 Practice | JustinGuitar.com
Always delighted to welcome another lefty
I’m, like you, “mixed” as well. I never fired a “real” rifle but I “shoot” lefty too
I found Justin’s video’s very easy to follow because you feel like you have a mirror in front of you
First thing I did was writing my own chord boxes though.
I’m sure lefty boxes will be available here one day as well but until then, grab yourself some blank chord papers and write your own!
(check under the tab “resources”!)
I always go for the “chord finding method” papers, as they also have a neck where I can draw several locations at once. I made a paper per chord I use a lot. A cool idea is to use 3 colors. example for major chords, the root I did in black, the 3rd in green and the 5th in yellow. If you combine one of each color, you have a major. For minor chord I changed the min3 step to red, to distinguish the major 3rd from the minor third. That gives you a good spatial awareness of where these are in, for example, A major versus A minor. Having all these as lefty is unique resource
I strongly advise lefties to do that for themselves; it’s good practice and it still a better study practice than havign to flip diagrams in your head
Btw, there is always C (major) guitar chords | Oolimo.com that easily flips to lefty
Thank you so much for the advice and the kind words! I plan on trying to play at least 30 minutes a day, every day if possible. I know in the beginning my fingers are going to hurt trying to go even ten minutes but if I can work through that I will be fine. Good luck on your journey as well! It’s nice knowing there are others my age that are just starting out, too. May we succeed in our endeavour!
Thank you so much for the advice and helpful tips! I’ll have to look for some blank chord paper! I will say I have found two websites in particular that seem to be very helpful as far as chords/tabs go. One is Chordify, which lets you take any YouTube video of a song you want to learn and translates it into chord diagrams and sheet music for you to use. It even allows you to change the setting to left-handed. Right now I’ve been using it to get diagrams of about 5-10 songs I really want to learn. Another website that seems to be pretty helpful is Ultimate Guitar. That site lists tabs for just about any song or version of a song you want to learn. You can even submit tabs for a song if you know how to write them. It seems pretty helpful as well. I will look into the resources you mentioned - there seems to be a lot of helpful information there. Again, thank you so much for the encouragement! I am finding this community to be very helpful and Justin’s course to be really good.
Thank you for the welcome and helpful tips! I have several songs I want to learn and I have heard that is one of the best ways to stick with it - just learn the songs you want to play. Justin’s course seems to be fun and really easy to follow. I look forward to diving in as soon as I get my guitar back from the shop. Again, thank you!