Hello from Jane - 67 year old beginner

I’m a new person, mature student (67) and am learning mainly with Justin’s beginners book, watching videos about some of the songs etc. Just on stage 1. I love cats (have 2 from shelters and 1 from a friend who couldn’t keep him). Also love to draw, paint with watercolour pencils and coloured pencils, play soprano recorder and of course, guitar. Did have a classical guitar years ago which I just strummed simple chords with but decided to go whole hog and get an acoustic (but not with electric or pick up). Love the sound. Just trying to play I Walk the Line and live Justin’s more advanced strums. Find the beginner strum soooo boring but he’s right, I can never get A correct when I try to move quickly to it. So squashed!! Still, I feel I am getting there. Was surprised to find I got all the SSR and CPR right first time (only know 3 chords so I guess that’s not saying much) . Normally I cannot do those things eg cannot tine without a tuner as cannot tell if string is too high or too low - it’s just wrong. That’s why I originally gave up guitar as I wanted to play in our church but they said I had to know how to change key in some songs or pi k the key people were singing in!! What??!! I just gave up. Now I really want to try again, loving learning even tho skin coming off my second finger due to pressing so hard on the strings.

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Hi Jane and welcome

I frequently say you are never too old too rock and old, so good on you for starting now !
You say learning from the Beginners Book and videos. I’d strongly recommend learning from the website and starting at Grade 1 and follow the path from there. The books will have been based on the old Beginners Course which has been overhauled and expanded in recent years with some really useful new additions. But sounds like you are off to a good start.

Here’s a link to the intro thread but one of the mods @DavidP @Richard_close2u or @LievenDV will move this across I would imagine.

To get used to the community/forum would be to mosey around here and check out some post and see the random nonsense we punt out on a daily basis. :rofl:

Apart from that dip into new posts now and then and see what’s going on. You will soon find your way around. Any problems or questions just holler, we’ve all be down this path and everyone here is willing to help and share knowledge and experience.

Good to have you on board.



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Hello Jane.
A very warm welcome to the commuity.
I have moved your post and you are now in the correct place! :slight_smile:
To create your own new topics you need to find this button:
It is along the top of any category or sub-category.

Richard :slight_smile:


Thanks Richard. I just assumed you had to post in a topic that was already started.

Hi There,

Welcome to the community. That Johnny Cash song is one of the very first songs I tried when joining Justin’s lessons. Start with the basic strums and you can always go back and fancy it up as you progress. In level 3 I just watched a lesson about moving chord shapes to fancy up the boring basic chords. There is always time for progress but take it one step at a time or you will be frustrated. Years ago I had the chance to play in a church band too and felt I wasn’t good enough. Now I regret not trying. One guy gave me advice years ago that when you do your first show, turn down the volume of your amp so the crowd does not notice your mistakes the first time. That might work in a church band.

Believe it or not knowing three chords is a great step in progress. There are thousands of songs with only 4 chords in them and some have only three. You can play the basic rhythm of a song right now as a beginner. Worry about changing key 6 months from now, maybe longer. There is no rush. I suggest to record yourself to track your progress. Also play as slow as you need to to master the technique. Music that is fast yet sloppy does not sound good to anyone. Looking forward to following your progress and rooting you on to success.

Jeff from California

Welcome Jane.
I, too, have 3 cats. A mother wtih 2 kittens that we rescued 12 years ago. I also started with Justin when I was 67. I’m now 70. I also had some prior guitar experience, including accompanying a singer at church as a teen. Over the past three years I developed many new skills, learned a lot of songs and having a lot of fun.
I agree with what has been already been said. In learning a new song, start simple. Simple chords and chord changes. Simple strum. Once you get chords and chord changes, then work on adding a more advance strum pattern, maybe in a couple of steps. That will usually get you to a place where you can play along with the song in the app, on YT, wherever and have fun with it. This process gets faster as you learn. For songs I like, I’ve gone back 6 mo or more later, after developing new skills and updated how I play the song with more accurate, advanced versions of chords, strums, picking, etc. And along the way I’ve also learned how to change keys, too :slight_smile:
It’s a very satisfying journey. Enjoy!

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welcome to the community, great to hear from you

Welcome, Jane. Good suggestions from @TheMadman_tobyjenner, take it slow and steady and enjoy the music.

Hello and welcome to the community Jane. :slight_smile:

Ahhhh yes, the good old finger skin loss. We have all been there.

Hi Jane, another late starter, great to see you here. Enjoy everything you do, this is the right place to do it… :+1:

Welcome to you too. Finding practice exhausting in this hot weather. Just finished the 1 m changes and now dripping in sweat and so exhausted. Day 4 of stage 2 but can still only do 10 changes w Dm-A! Hope to catch up tho as in the past most things I played involved D7, C and G so should get on better in that lesson (if I ever get to it). Had a perk at F too - proper F. Got all the strings except 2nd. Just could not get that. Kind of dreading Barre chords! Still, I am really enjoying my guitar and hopeful will eventually improve if I keep at the practice every day. Keep going…!

Hi Jane, welcome. Although you probably have heard it from Justin in the lessons, remember not to press the strings harder than is needed to obtain a clear tone, sometimes is more position (finger closer to the fret) than pressure. Fingers will harden sooner than later.