Hello from Jenny - another new member checking in

Hi JG Community :wave:

I’ve been having a virtual wander around the website for about a week now getting familiar with the layout and exploring the various topics. And as I’ve discovered this topic I guess I should introduce myself.

I’m Jenny, and like many others I’ve had several failed attempts to learn the guitar in the past. I discovered Justin’s site pre-pandemic and took myself slowly through grade 1. A highlight was learning riffs as I’d only ever learned simple chords before. My fingers still remembered the chords from previous learning attempts too, which was a pleasant surprise to me and encouraging.

Then, because life is what happens when you’re making other plans, I had a long period of illness and for a while I couldn’t even lift my guitar and had to spend time in (im)patient recuperation. Now, I’ve returned and discovered we have a whole new community space :sparkling_heart:. I’ve been playing again for about a month, every day. Going slowly through grade 1 must have paid off for me because I even remembered the riffs after some initial fumbling! This has made me determined to go oh so slowly through grade 2, and I’m in no hurry to reach any particular destination.

In terms of musical background, I played the piano as a child until my early teens and so I have some basic understanding of music theory and can read music. I was taught by the loveliest woman anyone could possibly meet and she was in her 90s at the time.

I’m not a performer, and don’t desire to be, which seems to perhaps be unusual? I think I was put off (read ‘traumatised’ :scream:) at an early age when taking part in a music festival. I was shaking with nerves, and anyone who has ever played the piano while quivering like a washing machine on its fast spin cycle, will appreciate the difficulty and understand that it was a very public ordeal. So, while getting to a stage where I am able to jam comfortably with other musicians has tremendous appeal, playing to an audience does not.

I can already see that there are great ideas and advice being shared in the community and I’ve really enjoyed reading posts and look forward to those still to come – I love the idea of a learning log, because I think that being able to look back and see the improvements over time will be an additional incentive to keep going during those times when progress seems particularly sluggish.

I know I’m just at the beginning so I will have lots to work on – but my biggest ‘failing’ from grade 1 was that I haven’t really started to put together a repertoire of songs I can play. I played ‘everything and anything’ that used the right chords – and had favourites, but I didn’t commit them to memory – probably because having a few party pieces for impromptu performances wasn’t top of my list and I very rarely learn all the lyrics. Still, I am intending to put that right this time around by starting small with two or three and adding gradually.

Justin and I definitely don’t attend the same parties – I have never been to a party where someone has brought their guitar and instigated a sing-along, more’s the pity!

Well, it’s certainly good to be back :hugs: :guitar:

All best wishes … and best wishes to all



Welcome back, Jenny, good to meet you here and wish you well as you continue, slow and steady.


Welcome and enjoy. I hope you get well soon.

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Welcome to the community, great to hear from you. Learning songs was my big breakthrough.

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Thanks David, lovely to meet you too, it’s great to be here in the new community space :smiling_face:

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Thanks very much, Rich. Yes, all good now and raring to go!

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Thank you, Tony - lovely to hear from you, I’ve enjoyed your guitar names topic immensely. And that’s good to know re learning songs, I feel I definitely need to make that leap.

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Hello Jenny and welcome back. :slight_smile:

I hope you have a more successful journey this time around and you are able to achieve your goals.

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Hello Stefan and many thanks, that’s very kind of you. Grade 1 definitely felt like I had made progress on past attempts at the time, so I hope so too. :slightly_smiling_face:

Welcome Jenny good to meet you. :sunglasses:

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Welcome back, Jenny.

I get it. I’m in this category too. I am pushing myself to memorise songs because Justin has stressed the importance of it, but I find it really hard going, and the idea of performing in front of my friends at a party is still too scary to be a motivation. I am gradually building up my confidence by posting my self-recordings, and have had one jam session with a friend, so I think I will get there in time.

All the best for your grade 2 learning :smile:


Hi Jenny, from another newbie. Good luck with your guitar journey and putting together that repertoire of songs. And just enjoying yourself!

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Thank you, Toby. Good to meet you too! :smiling_face:

Thanks so much Brendan, and congratulations on taking the step of posting self-recordings. It sounds like you’re doing some really good things to work on the performance aspect and it’s great to know you’re finding it’s helping your confidence build. I’m taking heart from @tony’s comment that learning songs was his ‘big breakthrough’ and will just see how it goes. I think it will definitely be a while before I self-record though … :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi there new member Claudia :grin:, thank you, welcome and lots of good luck wishes and fun along the way to you too! You’re completely right – when it comes down to it, it’s all about enjoying the learning adventure. :notes:

Hi and welcome Jenny,

It’s amazing how many similarities there are in peoples journey to JG. I to never had any desire to ‘perform’. Still don’t really. My desire is to be able to enjoy jamming with people.
I also never considered consciously building a bank of songs you could ‘perform’ if someone handed a guitar to you somewhere. I have this now somewhat after Justin’s suggestion.
Chords and no riffs; same here :smile: and like you have loved this aspect of JG learning.

Welcome again and look forward to hearing more of your journey.

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Not at all. I don’t let anybody hear me play. I do it just for me. It fills a couple of hours every afternoon.


I would recommend giving it a go. Even if you never intend to post the recording, and even if you never plan to perform live in front of other people, recording has some big benefits. Getting experience coping with the nerves/fear that comes along with recording has helped me to relax into my playing, when I’m not recording as well as when I am. Watching and listening back has helped me to notice things I could be doing better, that I didn’t notice when I was in the act of playing it.

And of course, posting here on the forum means I’ve had lots of really useful feedback from the community.


That’s super. I love performing, and yet people who’ve heard my wife sing have urged her to perform, yet she has little desire to do so. Don’t let others try to push you to perform if you don’t have that desire.


Hi Jenny,
Welcome and I wish you a fantastic guitar time here and I hope you soon throw your shame and fears overboard…the fastest way to learn is to record yourself…and if you have done that, it is only a small step to share it here :wink:… but small steps, first play along with a song and see for yourself how it can be improved (or maybe it is already good :sweat_smile:), perfect it certainly doesn’t have to be, luckily but otherwise it was very quiet in the video department :grin:

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