Hello from Lorin in Chelan, Washington, USA

I’ve been singing pretty much all my (considerably long (67)) life, and I played a little guitar in my 20s, but never got past beginner back then- just played a few open chords. The internet did not exist back then. (Heck, the wheel barely existed.) I’d like to think I’d have done way better if it did.

After a friend generously gave me his backup guitar (Ovation Celebrity) about 3 years ago, I’ve committed to learning and I have gotten good enough to perform in small venues around town- mostly wineries, as I live in a resort town in North Central Washington state, USA, with many wineries around the lake and I’ve done around 20 gigs since my first one in February, 2023. The thing is, my voice is pretty good (which is kind of amazing since I had surgery, chemo and 39 radiation treatments for throat cancer 10 years ago) but my guitar is…disappointing. Basically just chords and a basic fingerpicking pattern. I would really like to up that part of my game.

I’d also like to memorize more instead of being a slave to Songbook on my ipad. Seems like it’s tougher to memorize at 67. I’m open to any suggestions about process.

Glad to be aboard,


Hello Lorin and welcome to our community. :slight_smile:

Really sorry to hear about your cancer but glad you have got through it without it affecting your voice. Nice on the getting out there and gigging, that must be a real buzz.

Stick with Justin’s course and you’ll get to where you want to be with your guitar, I’m sure.

Hi Lorin,
Welcome here and i wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:
greetings Rogier

Welcome aboard, Lorin! Glad you joined us! :slight_smile:

Sorry to hear about your cancer. Hope you’re fully recovered and glad to hear you fought it without it affecting your voice.
Also happy to hear you’re already stepping up stage and gigging for a while now, amazing! :smiley:

You’re in good company here regards upping the guitar part. Wish you all the best for reaching your goals, but most of all, lots of fun on the journey and when making music! :slight_smile:

Cheers - Lisa

Hi Lorin,
Nice to meet you.
Good luck with your learning guitar journey. Impressive that you are already doing live performances.
Memorizing songs I can empathise, so many songs to learn too.
Best wishes,

Welcome to the Forum Lorin

Welcome to JG’S Community Lorin :guitar::guitar::tada::tada::blush:

Welcome Lorin. I would go through Justin’s course from the beginning. You can easily skip parts you are familiar with, it will get you to where you want to be. If you are playing live and being asked back then you are probably a lot better than you think. Post a video of you playing on here and you will get some feedback.

Hey Lorin, welcome to the community. I recently turned 65 and playing guitar is now just part of my lifestyle, an important and very enjoyable part. I started playing in my 50s and was addicted to my song sheets. A friend suggested just trying to play from memory for a couple of the songs and it really changed my world. The main thing is just keep memorizing stuff. It’s usually not as hard as you think it might be.

Congrats on kicking cancer.

Look forward to hearing more from you,

Welcome, Lorin. Congrats on beating throat cancer! My uncle did not. (That was back in the late 70s.)
As I am very new at this, I am sure others have already provided good advice. I am using the song App and after I learn the song I just try not looking until I can do it well without.

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Hi Lorin;
Welcome to the community!
Well, if you read my bio. you and I have a lot in common.

Hello Lorin and welcome to the community

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There’s nothing like writing things down the old fashioned way over and over to learn them. It triggers that mapping functionality in your brain that involves visualization. If you think you do not know a song well enough just write it out on a piece of paper until you can do it flawlessly. I would not try and play something publicly if I could not write it out perfectly and “see it” in my mind. I typically cannot remember a song just from playing it. It has to be memorized in a way that I can write it before I can recall it. You can also write the chord changes over the words if you like.

With the guitar stuff I suppose it has a lot to do with the voicings you can get when playing in different parts of the neck, adding 7ths and 9ths, mixing in triads and single notes as well as doing a lot of variation in the use of accents. The way we learn stuff is usually a bare bones treatment of a song. Unless we can evolve it that can get boring to play after a while.

Great idea. I’ll try it. Thank you!

Thank you! I’ll be doing that. Someone else suggested writing it down and I know that has worked for me in other areas so I’ll be trying that too

I’d like to read it. New to the app and Haven’t been able to figure out how to get to it.

Hi Lorin, welcome to the community. I’m very sorry to hear about your health issues (I finished therapy two years ago) and happy to hear, that you could keep your good voice! Have a lot of enjoyment and fun here!

Hi Lorin, welcome to the community. I am also a singer first and then a guitarist, so maybe you would enjoy looking at all the song lesson videos on the website (filtering by grade) and finding the songs you enjoy singing. Justin adds a lot of cool strums and riffs to most of the song lessons that go beyond beginner by the time you finish the lesson. I am making a point of listening to all the song lessons eventually and making notes of which songs are best for me.

Its sure is Lorin ! I am relying on Songbook Pro more and more but at the same age its feels good when you can not only remember words of a song let alone the chords. Nice to read your back story, wow 20 gigs in the last year. Wow again !
Welcome to the Community.