Hello community - I'm Andy from California

Greetings guitar community. I’m Andrew (or Andy - I go by both names). I turned 40 this year and I have two school age kids. I live in Sacramento, California but spent many childhood years living in the UK. This is my first foray into seriously learning a musical instrument. I’m about 2-weeks into starting the beginner course - I needed to go from Module 0 where Justin literally steps you through how to hold a guitar and how to tune etc :grin:

I’ve shied away from learning music my whole life. It has never come easy to me and so I never thought I could do it. When we were kids my younger brother and I picked up the recorder in primary school - he flew up the grades while I basically had to fake my way through school concerts. He has gone on to become a professional musician primarily playing saxophone but also guitar and piano. I concentrated on sports and academics.

I love the Chili Peppers. On a recent deep dive into John Frusciante I started getting Paul Davids videos in my Youtube feed and it really perked my interest in actually learning guitar. I thought his beginner course might be too advanced for my complete naivety. In googling around I found a blog by a dude named Luke “Midlife guitar”. Sounded just what I was thinking about doing. Through that I found Justin Guitar and it seemed like the perfect place to start - step by step lessons that I can do on my own time and schedule - a supportive community. I’m pretty self-conscious and uncertain in myself about being a total beginner at this point in my life but I am impressed and heartened by so many others that have taken on this challenge at my age or even much older! I’m stoked to be underway. :sunglasses:


Hi Andy,
I wish you a lot of fun and perseverance this real serious attempt :sunglasses:


Wow Andy, that’s fantastic, welcome! Yours is a fairly unusual story to hear - it seems that a lot of people coming here have had many previous (failed) attempts on guitar, until finally finding Justin. (I myself also found him through someone else’s YouTube videos). That’s cool that you’re a complete newbie and have decided to make the plunge! I think you’ll find nothing but support here :blush:


Hi Andy and well done to you for taking the first steps on the pathway. You’ll get as much help and support as you could possibly want from everyone here so do keep us posted.
All the best and above all have fun!!


Welcome to the forum Andy


Hello Andy, and a warm Welcome to the community :hugs:.
I started my guitar journey in Spring. So, not so long ago, I was an absolute beginner just like you. Module 0 was my starting point, as well :blush:. With Justins course I’m proceeding - slowly, but steadily. And the most important thing - I enjoy it that much :smiley:.
I wish you lots of fun with your six-string-friend :grinning:.


Hey Andy, great to meet you. Thanks for the reference to Luke / midlife guitar. Just read his introductory post and this quote of his jumped out In May 2019, I started to learn to play guitar, and although I didn’t know it at the time, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

For me, I started playing guitar in 2012 and it is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made as well.

Your other comment resonated with me: I never thought I could do it. When I saw others playing I really wanted to be able to do it, but figured it was too hard.

Now that I’m over 10 years down the road I encourage you to stick with it, it does take some effort but it’s not out of the reach of anyone who just sticks with it. I followed justin from the very start and gave it 15 minutes a day, every day. Once I could play my first song (justin’s lesson on one minute chord changes helped a lot) it really motivated me and put wind in my sails.

Now that I’m retired it’s often I can sit and play for several hours a day and it’s just a huge boost to me. Keep at it, you won’t regret it.


Thank you. It’s amazing to see the progress folks make. So often it all just seems so out of reach and it’s nice to see the different stages people are at.


Thanks Tony! So great to hear how rewarding it has been for you.


Hi Andy and welcome! Your story sounds similar to mine. I picked up the guitar for the first time at 39 (40 now). I grew up in a musical family. Both my parents were in a band for a while when I was growing up. Even though some of my siblings seemed to naturally take to instruments/music, I never thought of myself as having the same skill. I attempted piano in elementary school and hated it.

Once I picked up the guitar something changed for me and I fell in love with it! I have been following the beginners course (also from the very beginning like how to tune/hold the guitar) and have now been playing for a little over a year. You will see SO much progress if you stick with the course and put in the practice time.

I’m also originally from CA (Bay Area) and lived there my whole life until 4 years ago when I moved to Portland. My in laws are in the Sacramento area.

Enjoy the guitar journey! You’re going to love it :grinning: :guitar:


Hi Andy, welcome to the community. Stick with Justin and this community will provide plenty of help and encouragement. You’ll be making music before you know it!


Hi Andy and welcome. All of the above. Just holler when you need help.


Welcome Andy
Same story here turn 40 I Feb. got a skateboard and a guitar. Midlife crisis what.
I’ve been at it for eight months now (minus the month and a half I could not play because I injured my wrist skateboarding ). I’m still going strong this is a perfect place to be and learn guitar and from one beginner to another Here are a few suggestions that you may find helpful:

  • Use metronome start working on timing right from the beginning.
  • Practice strumming.
  • The minimum movement exercise. (I used Amin pentatonic )
  • The Spider exercise. (I just started this and regret not doing It from day one)

Cool! Thanks for sharing Jennifer!


Thank you for this advice - I will check these out!

Skateboarding and guitar at 40 eh?! That’s awesome. I’m still playing in a soccer league and trying to snowboard each winter so am familiar with being injured! I’m hoping guitar gives me something to focus on when I’m healing :grimacing:… I’ll hope it’s not injured wrists.


Hello and welcome to the community Andrew. :slight_smile:

Horses for courses on the things we do in life but it sounds like you have jumped in with both feet, so enjoy your journey.


Hello Andy.
For great lessons and supporting materials, for structure and pacing of the learning, for a supportive and positive community of people going through the same ups and downs of learning and happy to share and encourage one another, you really have come to the right place.
Welcome to the community. If you need anything just ask.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide, Approved Teacher & Moderator

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Thank you Richard. I’m currently a couple of practice sessions into Grade 1 Module 4. The Dm chord is definitely giving me a struggle! I’m trying it with the pinky involved on the third fret like Justin demonstrated in that lesson. I’m getting slightly better each practice maybe… All part of the process. The other thing I struggle most with is picking out the right strings when practicing the riff or doing the finger stretching exercises. It blows my mind how people can do all this seamlessly all while keeping rhythms and singing lyrics. :exploding_head: :laughing: Still enjoying it and keeping it slow and steady. Merry Christmas all and happy new year!