Hello from Steve, 60 year old beginner 1 month in


Here’s my intro…

Like many, I’ve always admired and loved listening to great guitar playing. Lindsey Buckingham, Big Love, played live was amazing.

I’ve finally decided to give playing the guitar myself a go at age 60. I’m a lefty and debated which way around to learn and decided to stick with left handed as I have a non functioning pinky on my left hand and figured this would be the least trouble!

I’ve done about 25 hours practice so far in 4 weeks and on Module 5 of the beginner course.

Doing ok I think. I can do most of the chord changes in 30+ per minute.
Struggling with playing the songs though. Strumming and changing chords at 80bpm is a challenge so far. The beat just seems to run away before I can catch up! So that’s my main focus for now.

I suspect it will take me a while to learn the 5 songs needed to finish grade1 but really enjoying it so far. The riffs are pretty cool too.

I’m sure I will be back with many questions, but in the meantime, hello!



Welcome Steve!!
Seems like your doing very good… just keep at it. Speed will come with time. I think hour progress sounds impressive so far.

Well done :+1:

Hi tRONd

Thanks for the welcome and encouragement. I’ve just looked at your learning log posts.
Loved the REM video post, also very impressive!

I’d love to be able to play that (eventually!).

Did you mix finger style in from early on or did you wait until it cropped up on the Justin course?


Welcome Steve. Speed comes with time. I found playing songs helps with the speed but make sure you play slow enough. If 80 bpm is too much of a challenge slow down a bit, get that right then up the speed.

Thanks skinnyt

Good advice. I will try that. It’s nice just to strum the chords anyway as that feels like success at this stage!


Hi Steve:

It is always inspiring to see someone keep at it and not give up. Getting the tempo down is key and like others said, slow it down. Baby steps is the key to succeeding. Set small goals each week and take it slowly. Justin’s advice is always keep the arm moving. Welcome to the group.

Nice to hear an update Steve.

Guitar is definitely a long term hobby, enjoy the challenge!

Just stick with the songs, as more time passes, the easier they will come, the ones you stick with from the start will become your foundation. Justin has a good structure in place to make sure that foundation is wide and deep :slightly_smiling_face:
As with anything, the ones you enjoy most will stick around the longest.

Hi SDKissFan, liaty

Thanks for the welcome and advice. Early days for me but getting into it and wishing I’d started many years ago!



Welcome to the Community, Steve. Keep practicing and laying the solid foundation, slow and steady. Well we all learn at our own pace, but I’d say generally speaking 4 weeks, 25 hours, and Module 5 is making rapid progress. So I’d support consolidating, taking your strumming and playing songs at a slower tempo, and put the time in to lay a solid foundation. It will serve you well as you progress.

Thanks David

I was wondering about the right pace. I was pretty keen to get going so maybe went to bit too quickly. I am going to try and get the strumming and chord changes so I can play along with the songs before I move on. Enjoying the process!

I did look at Nitsuj passing Grade 1 earlier and was wondering what BPM the songs were played at?


From one 60+ lefty to another, welcome Steve! You’re getting some good advice, I would second the slowing down the tempo, and if you are not yet, use Justin’s beginner phone app. I’m almost two years in, and I still use it every day.

Hi Steve.
I started to mess around with «fingerstyle» very early. So i have done a «paralell» run on it. Its not that difficult to play fingerstyle with open chords. It takes some time to get used to, but as soon as it clicks, it flows pretty easy. The trick though is that the chord changes need to be fairly good before fingerstyle becomes possible. My suggestion to you is to just start to mess around with it. Try to go from Am to C, very slowly before you add in speed.
You can either go by pattern or you can just «whing it» witch strings you want to pluck. Justin has a very good introduction on it very early on.
Dont give up, go easy on yourself. It takes some time before it «clicks»

Would love to see a video on how your doing when you have tried it for a while… there are loads of people in this forum that is way better than me that can give you advise aswell.
If you read the posts in my AVOYP you can see that there is a lot of tips. Especially how to position your thumb.

Hey Steve, welcome to the community. I always enjoy reading posts like yours that remind me of my early days learning the guitar. You are making a great start and it just keeps getting better. Playing songs is what made the biggest difference for me, the excitement I got when I could play my first song all the way through really motivated me. Looking forward to more from you.

Hello Steve and welcome to the community. :slight_smile:

Remember, there are plenty of great people here if you need help with anything. Those changes do get easier.

Great thanks Trond! I will try and do the same and run it in parallel and also look out the tips etc.

Really just starting out but keen and enjoying it!

Thanks all for the encouragement and advice. Will keep looking through the community pages to pick up tips and keep in touch!

Time to practice the strumming and changes!


Dont waste to much time on it in the start… keep on track with the course. And if you have few minutes to spare at the end of your session, try a few chord changes by just plucking strings.

The one i like a lot to just noodle around with, and sounds pretty amazing is Am-C-G-D.
But take your time and go easy on yourself :grin:

Thanks and will do!

Hello Steve and welcome to the community.

The speed will come with time and we all progress at different speeds. Personally I progressed slowly through the course (2 year’s to complete BC1&BC2)

Good luck with your Journey and I look forward to seeing you progress.

Hi R.F.W

Thanks. I’m not sure how long I’ll take but I’m trying to making sure I can complete Grade 1 to a reasonable standard before I move on. Very early days yet for me, I’ll be happy just carrying on learning but obviously keen to get playing songs reasonably.

I’m duffing chords when changing chords playing the songs, even at half tempo. So focussing on this for now. Its all good though as it’s just fun to strum the guitar.

Have you moved onto the next grade(s) and how are you finding it?