Hello from Sound_Bound in the UK

Hello from another lapsed beginner guitar player. There seem to be a few of us here.

I first learnt on an old classical guitar - open chords and a couple of scales on the first few frets. Over time though the guitar warped like a banana to the point that it was not playable.

I then restarted with an Ayers acoustic steel string guitar. It sounded beautiful but I struggled with the size of the body and hadn’t realised the need to have guitar action setup properly. I was following the Steve Krenz Learn & Master Guitar but hit a wall about a third of the way into the course - I just could not play a barre F chord or play notes higher up the fretboard. Also, I was finding there to be a chasm between playing Yankee Doodle and the type of music that actually appealed. After a quick succession of house moves, the guitar ended up in storage with all my things gathering dust.

After 10+ years my route back into guitar had an unlikely path from watching a surf film called Big vs Small before Christmas. It was such an empowering film about embracing life that I felt compelled to overcome previous false starts at learning guitar.

The big game changer has been borrowing an entry level Ibanez electro-acoustic guitar which has a considerably smaller body than my Ayers guitar. It’s made the experience of playing so much more comfortable that I find myself reaching for it even though the tone doesn’t come close to the Ayers.

Since January I’ve gone back to basics starting from Module 1 and have been finding lots of gaps in my understanding and technique. It’s taken almost 3 months to cover Grade 1 - (re)learning how to play chords but also new things like how to mute strings, use a pick and disciplined strumming with a metronome. I’m on the start of Grade 2 now and feel like I’m fast approaching where my playing had peaked previously but this time round with much better technique.

One of the most surprising things has been trying to play a barre F chord on the borrowed electro-acoustic guitar and finding that it is now absolutely possible. I don’t have fast chord changes with it yet, but do feel confident that will come. So, with a guitar properly set up, I’m finding that I can also start to pick out notes higher up the fret board as the strings are not sitting so far from the fret. I can’t even begin to describe how happy this makes me - it feels like a world of possibility is opening up.

Using an amped guitar has also supported using a looper for the first time. I love (/hate?) that there is nowhere to hide, both when playing and also when listening back to recordings. It’s been a very steep learning curve but has really accelerated my ability to more honestly see how I’m playing and the opportunity to improve. I’ve not yet built up the courage to take part in AVOYP but can vouch for the importance of hearing yourself play.

Most importantly of all, the looper has also given an outlet to have fun and improvise - it allows a freedom outside of the more formal lesson structure. For me this is the real secret sauce that is really getting me motivated, as though my skill is not where I would like it to be I’m having so much fun experimenting. It must be contagious, my partner who used to be in a band when they were younger now wants in too and bought a guitar and also has started playing for the first time in forever.

What’s the dream?
To build a competency for live improvisation and writing music?
Who knows, maybe even to play in public at some point?

But right here, right now - it’s just about getting some joy out of playing guitar today.


Hello SB and welcome to our community. :slight_smile:

I hope you achieve your dream and I’m sure if you stick with Justin’s course you will get there.

Hello Sound_Bound welcome to the community … A good setup on any guitar is very important. That’s great that your partner also started. It’s nice to have someone to practice with.

Hi Sound,
Welcome and I wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:

Thank you @SgtColon.
And congrats on your Yamaha LS-TA Transacoustic. That looks damn fine.

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@Dave999 I’m liking that you’ve dived into doing luthier work and building amps and pedals. Are the pedals you’re working with old school analogue or digital? From the videos I’ve watched recently trying to get my head round it, it seems like we’re living through a renaissance of what’s possible with pedals.

@roger_holland Thank you Roger. And, wow - I’m taking some serious inspiration from the life story on your bio. Kudos to you for your resilience in finding a way forward.

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Hello Sound_Bound, and welcome on board :hugs:.

Love this :blush:.

I wish you a wonderful guitar journey :smiley:.

Welcome SB, enjoy your journey. Loads of support and advice on here :+1:

Hey Sound_Bound… I mostly like building old school analogue pedals and tube amps. I like all kinds of music but mostly listen to classic rock and blues.

Thank you @NicoleKKB. Have just watched your recent AVOYP - it’s so inspiring to read people’s own intros and see how far they’ve come to today.

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That’s awesome. Welcome to the community.

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@MadModMcd Thanks Ian. Have just had a little detour watching some of your old AVOYPing and particularly liked the cover of Night Owl. At first didn’t think I knew Gerry Rafferty but after some noodling on Spotify recognise Baker Street and that iconic sax riff.

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Welcome, Sound_Bound. Glad you decided to try again and found a guitar that works better for you. And if I had to learn Yankee Doodle Dandy I think I would have quit too! If I’m going to listen to that song, it better have James Cagney singing and dancing along to it.

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welcome looks like you have found your way back to where you should be congratulations :tada:

Hi Sound_Bound, welcome to the community and it surely was a good decision to restart learning to play guitar. Have a lot of fun!

Hi, Welcome so glad you got the opportunity to try a better guitar and realize the possibility that you can succeed and you can do this :+1:


Awesome to read that you are making so much progress with your technique. And also that you have found a guitar that’s comfortable to play. It sounds you made a smart move in revisiting the Grade 1 course to be able to fill in some gaps, and as it seems it serves you very well. Great story, thanks for sharing!


Welcome to our Community!

@annbin @Helen0609 @amandaw57 @SILVIA Thank you so much for the warm welcome. Really, I appreciate it. Having a community that is sharing then same journey is brilliant.