Hello! Todd here. Looking for guidance where to start

Hello everyone!

I’ve been playing guitar at beginner level on and off for many years. I’ve taken some lessons here and there, but the only teacher good enough to stick with long term ended moving away to Hawaii, and all the others have been poor teachers so I’ve never really stuck with them.

Anyway, I’d really like to improve my skills, and I love the way Justin teaches, but I’m having trouble determining where to start. For a bit of background, I’ve got the basic open chords down. I can bar, I know basic bar chords. I have practiced some pentatonic scales, but don’t have a great concept of what to do with them.

I understand the CAGED concept, but haven’t really put it into practice, so I need to practice with it a lot more.

I’m not great with tab, but I understand it. Songs with chords I can typically handle. That’s what I usually stick to, but want to not be limited by that.

Anyway, much of the beginner stuff is a bit too beginner for me, but I’m trying to figure out how to pick a good place to pick up from beyond that without missing anything key I might not have learned from my hodgepodge of official and non-official lessons.

Does anyone have any recommendations to point me in the right direction? It seems like a stupid thing to be hung up on, but I am, and I’d really like to get over it and just get started.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice you can offer!


My suggestion is to start at Justin’s beginner lesson 1, prove to yourself that you’re solid (may only take 1 practice), then move to the next one. This way, you expose any “holes” in your basic knowledge, as well as get your fingers and hands back into practice.

I had made it 1/2 way through Justin’s grade 2 before life got in the way and I stopped practicing for 6 months. I restarted at lesson 1 and was back to where I left off within a month or two, plus I found a few weak spots in my technique that I was able to quickly focus on and resolve.

Hope this helps :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Todd, Welcome to the community. +1 for starting at the beginning.
When I started using Justin’s course, like you, I had some skills and experience. I decided to start from the beginning and move on quickly when I met the skill requirements. E.g. I didn’t need to spend much time on One Minute Changes for open chords. I did do all the tests for them to be sure I could meet or exceed what was expected. I moved fairly quickly though a few grades, BUT In each one a learned new things and techniques for learning that were very useful. I could already play songs, but I learned new ones in each of the levels that kept me interested in the early going. If a song was easy with open chords, I added barre chords. Many/most of Justin’s song instructions include more advanced chords, strum patterns and riffs so you can move to whatever level in that song is appropriate.
Since you already know you want to be more proficient with TAB, you could add that item to your practice time. E.g. you can pick a song where you want to learn a riff or a solo and find a tab for it or in cases where Justin explains a riff you can write the TAB as a way of both learning the song and learning TAB.
In any case, enjoy the journey!

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Welcome to the Community, Todd, I can only agree with the suggestions already made.

Hi Todd,
To tamp down the foundation I also say … what is said above is good … just start at 1 … also to tamp that foundation is always good…Welcome and have a lots of fun,
Greetings ,Rogier

Hello Todd and welcome to the community.

You have opened up the opportunity for me to invoke my mantra again.
Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.
Can you play many songs? With those chords you have millions at yourfingertips - literally.
Go here
Use the filter tools and select Beginner Grades 1-3 (giving 360 song lessons to choose from):

Stop with practicing scales (plural) and narrow it right down by restricting yourself to one scale. The minor pentatonic scale Pattern 1. Nothing else. You need to be able to use it and know what to do with it before even considering learning any other patterns or any other scale types.
I have written an advice topic on that here.

The CAGED system is a framework that describes / outlines / gives shape and substance to chords and scales. It is not necessarily that you play the CAGED system. It is knowledge and understanding that can inform your understanding of what you are doing. Open chords and barre chords and triads and scales all sit within the framework of CAGED.
Learn songs as mentioned above. Once learned, use your knowledge of CAGED to play the same chord progressions using barre chords. That is one immediate and practical application.

Chord charts and TAB are enough to take you where you want to go.

From how you describe your current ability, I would say start here and spend time doing the thing - consolidate. Make solid what you have and embed those essential skills.
Grade 2 Consolidation

I hope that helps.
Cheers :slight_smile: Richard


Hello and welcome aboard Todd. :slight_smile:

Likes others have said, just start at the beginning. It will be easier and you can just zip through the parts you’re confident with.

Thanks for the advice everyone! I’ll do just that. Looking at my history, it appears that’s what I did last time, so it certainly can’t hurt to refresh!

Thank you again!

Wow, that’s all some great advice Richard! Thank you so much!

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that’s what worked best for me. Play them from start to finish. After a few you start to figure out that you want a definitive intro for some songs and a definitive outro for others. slowly they become your songs.

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