Hello and help. I'm a newbie and unsure about my progress. Thanks

Help! never used media before and have no idea how it works. Newbie. Just finished Grade 1. Could use some encouragement. Sometimes I play fine , sometimes even the dog wants to leave home. Is this common 4 months in?


Welcome to the forums,

We all have bad days, treasure the good days and figure out what makes them good!

4 months in is hardly any time at all and really depends how much time per day your putting in etc

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Yes it is not uncommon.

While you keep progressing in several facets of playing, you might perceive some days or timeperiods where things seem to slow down or even regress. This cognitive dissonance happens to all of us.

Meanwhile, you ARE still developing your knowledge, ear, skill, ear,feel,…

Some development is obvious, some is more subtle. You raise the bar for yourself just as fast as on the beginning but some things just need more time. The gap between perception and expectation starts to grow and you feel like you actually suck :smiley:

Making peace with that is part of learning. There will be aha-erlebnisses ahead of you. You will open new doors…but this day, week or even month wasn’t it

Keeping it fresh and fun really pays off in these plateaus. Challenge yourself with a song RIGHT above your current skill and give it a whirl. First the basic chord structure and then more details. Learn a simple fingerpicking part. Find out why some chords go well together and some don’t (spoiler, a lot of it boils down to the major scale ;))

Meanwhile, don’t neglect the songs you were practicing and the stuff you were learning.
Even so, putting your guitar down for a couple of days can help too. Do something else. Approach it from a fresh angle. A good night of sleep is, as many here know by now, often what I propagate as an integral part of the cure :smiley:


Hi @ann47xk and welcome to the forum.

I have played for 1,5 year now. I get what you describe all the time. Some days are good, others not.
4 months is nothing,learning guitar. 1,5 year is also nothing.
As Rob said. Enjoy the good days, but enjoy the bad ones too, sure you can find bits and pieces of your bad day that is good.
Hang in there and dont give up👍


Welcome to the Community, Ann, learning to play is a wonderful, life-long adventure. And as many will say, it is best to cultivate a mindset of enjoying the journey, rather than being fixated on any particular goal. Take it slow and steady and you’ll continue to learn and grow as a musician.

I enjoyed the intro you posted on your profile. You may want to elaborate a little more on that in a personal post in #community-hub:introduce-yourself. Many others find it beneficial to start a personal journal of their learning in #community-hub:learning-logs. Eventually you’ll be ready to share recordings in #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing (I’d say the sooner the better).

Take a look, become active in the Community, and love the adventure one day at a time.

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Hi Ann, welcome to the community.
Oh yes your anxieties are quite common, in fact so common that its normal !

Interesting in your profile that you train gun dogs. I’ve never trained a gun dog but I train sheepdogs. I find it fascinating the similarities between learning/training dogs and learning guitar even though the two would seem poles apart.
A lot of it with dogs is repetition and it’s the same with guitar. In the obedience world they use treats to bribe the dog, but not in the sheepdog world. Oh no! I don’t want my dog focussing on me, I want him to focus on the sheep. It’s his desire to control the sheep that helps me train him how to do it.
Similarly, it’s your desire to play guitar that will help you follow the lessons, do the repetitions, slow and simple at first, building it up as you learn more.

You can train a dog to do this and that but you can’t change its character or its temperament. It’s the same with us learning guitar. We are all different and we all find our own way of following our desire to learn and play guitar. Justin’s lessons give us a great framework to do that. And I’m sure you’ll find this community gives you great motivation and inspiration especially if…nay when…you flag a bit!
Enjoy your adventure
:guitar: David


Never could I have imagined that someone else would train working dogs AND play guitar. This is so inspiring. Love dogs, love the guitar. You will know that the foundation course for dogs is all important so I am applying the same to myself. Trying get my chords as clean as possible . Don’t thing raw tripe will cut the mustard as a reward!!!

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Don’t worry about it Ann, you’ve joined a lifelong hobby (that can get expensive at times), enjoy it and keep going. There will be times when things seem to be impossible but they’re not, believe me!
I’m 70, still playing and still learning - there’s always something else to learn; having fun during the learning experience is very important, so don’t make a chore of it, enjoy it 100% and you will soon realise the fruits of the time you’ve put into it.
Good luck, have fun and keep going!


No chance of giving up, it’s the best thing I’ve discovered in my fairly long live. Thanks for your advice.

Sure will, keep going. Your age is inspiring.

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Thankyou for taking the time to reply. It is just the kind of encouragement along with helpful info to take on board to get through the low points.

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Welcome! Lots of good advice. Remember to enjoy the process. The “end result” if there is one for any learned instrument is far enough that it isn’t worth stressing about.
The guitar is fun now, regardless of what the dog thinks. Maybe my dog could join yours in therapy…she still sometimes leaves the room.

Just read your bio Anne welcome.
If you can cope with Springers, I think you’ll do all right with the guitar journey :rofl:

Hi Ann, welcome to the community :smiling_face:

Look at it this way, four months ago you couldn’t play what you can play now. That’s progress. You’ll have days where the dog might want to leave home and others where you feel you want to play for the world. It’s all part of learning to play an instrument. You’re growing lots of nice new nerve pathways, developing new coordination skills and increasingly making music.

Persistence and consistency are the keys. You’d know that as a dog trainer.

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I’ve been following Justin’s course for ~2 years now, currently in Grade 3. My dog finally stopped leaving the room about 6 months ago LOL!

Sounds to me like you’re doing fine!

Just what the doctor ordered. Made me smile. I’m about to start Grade 2 in about a month after a bit of consolidation

Hi Ann, don’t worry about not progressing! We all have our doubts about making progress from time to time. It’s a long process and a lot of patience is needed. I’m at Beginner Grade 2 now, practice almost daily. I’ve a calendar, where I note my daily practice items and I sign each item with an arrow item up, if something was better than the day before, horizontal when I didn’t progress and down, when it was not good. So I have a visualisation of my progression. Even at bad days, if I’ve the impression of not progressing, I look at the signs and there are always some arrows up, that gives me motivation.
I have a dog too, she’s like my shadow, but she’s also leaving the room when I’m playing :see_no_evil:, I had the same thoughts as you have now. But last week, my sons girlfriend was impressed how much I progressed within the last weeks and how much she likes my playing. I didn’t even realise that! Be patient! And: dogs come back, when they get hungry :wink:

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Great Tip Helen. I have a practice book but I think I’ll add your arrow system. Visual aid. I’m so glad i found this community as I live in a fairly isolated area no guitar players


Hi there,

We all go through rough patches of feeling like that. You think you are really progressing and come to an unexpected barrier to progress. We stumble on stones, not mountains. Take a deep breath and go back and try again. Go back to something basic that you know and rebuild that confidence. There is no race to the finish line to get your “music degree” from Justin guitar. We are competing against ourselves only. Set small personal goals and you will get there. Don’t forget this is fun. Enjoy the journey and put in some crazy lyrics when playing a song you know just for a laugh. Record yourself on your phone and watch the progress. Please don’t give up. You have that talent just waiting to be released.

I did this one to encourage my daughter to practice. Her cat was quietly watching her practice while licking herself. She ducked out of the video and decided not to sing. Hope it is good for a few laughs (recorded last December).