Hello to Justin's world, Ant here

well i just commented on another post so i guess i should introduce myself, i’m Ant and started learning the guitar a few months ago. i’ve been through the pain stage and have come out the other side with fingers intact. funny enough i’ve just started parcticing again after about 3 or 4 weeks break after doing my back in, think i trapped a nerve, so didn’t want to aggravate it but hell, i can’t go without it any longer, it’s addictive.

i’m struggling a bit with a d and e minor chords, i can get them ok, but changing from Dm to Am and then back again, my pinky is like a little worm and wanders all over the place, i’m getting 40+ changes, however i don’t feel they’re clean enough to move on, i’ve moved quite slowly compared to others many posts that i’ve read, shamefully slowly i may say, however i do stay on the modules until i’m happy the changes are clean… ish and i can pretty much play the songs in the module before i move on. just cause i can get say 40 changes, where Justin advises to move on at 30ish, i don’t if i’m not getting it right, perhaps i should.

why do i find upstrumming so hard? though i’m getting there now, especially if i used a very thin pick as justin suggests.

i also find when i’m playing a riff that my picking hand moves around a bit, i don’t mean up and down! i mean along the strings, so on my electric for instance, i’ll start further back over the treble pick up and by time i finshed the riff my hand is over the bass pick up, if anyone has any tips to keep picking in the same area (i don’t know all the musical terms i’m afraid) i’d greatly appreciate your advice.

anyway, enough about me, i’m sure you’ll all join me in congratulating Justin and his team on the great gesture they have made by offering the website and lessons and their time and efforts for free. Justin, we want to see more of your dog in the videos! the one when he/she’s (sorry i forget its name) rolling around in the basket behind you and then came to you for a bit of attention was great!

well i’ll say goodnight to you all, and thanks in advance for any tips that you may offer.



Welcome to the forum Ant.
I posted a reply on your other thread didn’t realize you just started your guitar journey.
If what I said make no sense don’t worry about it. It will all come as you progress.

Great to hear from you ant, you are right playing guitar is addictive.

One piece of advice is don’t compare yourself to others. Besides the ones that post progress that’s better than yours, there will be many too embarrassed to admit to their lack of progress. If you must compare even after being warned not to, then compare yourself to you as of a few months back. :slight_smile:


Welcome Ant! I don’t think you are going too slow, and there is never shame in your journey. It is yours to own and only yours.

There have been a few posts about some people who are moving very, very fast. Comparing yourself to them is useless.

Some of them will do fine, some of them will forever wish they had put more time into the fundamentals and a lot will probably come back and do just that.

Not a race. A fun pastime to enjoy like a fine wine. I prefer mine sipped and savored after being appropriately aged.


Welcome to the Community, Ant.

Good feedback already given. I can but reiterate … slow and steady, think tortoise and hare (other than the fact that it is not a race to win :grin:). And keep in mind that you are learning a whole lot of new complex skills.

I’m curious about your comment about the pinky and its behaviour in the Am-Dm chord changes? Are you using the pinky to make the Dm?

When playing the riffs, I suggest you practice anchoring your right hand on the guitar body, rather than having it floating above the strings. Later when playing electric one learns to mute strings with the right hand so you could try resting a part of the palm lightly at the bridge. Another option is to pay attention to where your forearm touches the guitar body and anchor that position.

Keep doing what you are doing and you’ll lay the solid foundation for what is to come. Keep having fun.

Hello and welcome aboard Ant. :slight_smile:

I’ve nothing more to add to the great advice that has already been given.

Welcome Ant. Slow and steady is the way forward, move on when you feel comfortable that its right for you, its not a race.

Thanks all for your comments and advice. Yes I’m perfectly happy going at my own pace and am in no hurry, I don’t see the point in rushing. I took this hobby up after my father passed away from cancer, I was a mess and needed a distraction, my motorcycle keeps me occupied in the summer but I don’t ride in the winter. Bikes are my main hobby but I defo will not be giving up or taking a break from the guitar and I’ll always find time for it cause I really enjoy it.

DavidP, yes, the Dm chord I’m using my pinky, Justin demonstrates using the pinky in the video, and I don’t have the stretch or independence at the moment for using my ring 3rd finger for the Dm, and he suggests using the pinky also to build up independence and control of the pinky as it’s needed later on.

I’ve not really been comparing my practice to others, everyone is different, some have more time to play than others etc, I’m learning for me, nobody else as it were.

Anyway, I think I rabbit on a bit so I’ll leave it there but thanks all again for your encouragement and advice.

Welcome Ant.

My father passed from cancer too before he ever had a chance to hear me play. Take the lessons one day at a time. Record yourself practicing even if you are the only one watching the video. Seeing yourself helps overcome challenges. I started posting vide here for feedback and the group has given great tips I otherwise may not have considered. The speed in chord changes is important, but don’t forget quality of each chord. It’s very easy to get sloppy by moving too quickly, myself included.
Playing your music should be fun and an artistic expression of your true self. Keep at it 1 day at a time.


Hello Ant and welcome to the community!

Guitar playing is a lifelong journey (and as you discovered, a very addictive one as well). I am glad to read that you are not comparing your practice to others, because it can create a bit of frustration. I do enjoy seeing what others practice just to get some inspiration from time to time!

Enjoy your journey and see you around the forum!

Hello ant. A very warm welcome to the community.

With this statement you want to be embracing the exact opposite of shame. Your approach is solid and will reap rewards for you. :slight_smile:

For the D minor chord, check this advice post in the topic for that specific chord: The D Minor Chord - #20 by Richard_close2u

Hiya Ant :sunglasses:

Hi Ant and welcome to the boat.
I have struggled a lot with strumming myself, especially the upstrum , so I can relate. I don’t have any advice for improving strumming specifically but to keep at it and be patient.
For whatever reason it took my hand quite a long time getting used to the strumming motion and to stay in place ( More than a year for me, which is probably longer than most, to give you a rough estimate how long it can take ).
The good news is that the hand will sort itself out after a while without having to specifically work on strumming every day. ( Although it helps some ):
So, keep at it and the pesky upstrum will get nice and smooth eventually.