Hey Everyone. I'm Smokeyblue. It's Great To Be Here

My name is Laura but you can call me SmokeyBlu :grin:. I’m happy to be here!

I’ve dabbled with the guitar and bass in the past - mostly bass - and finally have some time to apply to learn how to play. I live in a rural area that only has a Guitar Center and I didn’t get a good vibe there so I looked on line and decided Justin was the guy to teach me. I’m two weeks in and on Mod 2. I’ve purchased both Beginner Songbooks and the JG App. I have not purchased the Tabs yet. I’m open to any and all tips you have to get me on the right path. I have a friend that plays drums and it would be great to be good enough to play some together.

My goals are to learn enough to play along with others and keep up - I don’t sing except when driving and showering, but have another friend who sings and plays acoustic - and I’d also like to be able to noodle around and sound good while doing it! I’m looking at this as a life long project with no end date or end goal…the more I practice the more I’ll know the better I think I can be.

I’m learning on a Mexican made Fender Strat. I also have a Taylor acoustic bass that I absolutely love, and a Sandberg P bass.

As for my musical past - I played clarinet all through schooling. I can read music but have found I do best with guitar/bass being able to read both tabs and the music at the same time.

I like all kinds of music…jazz, blues, reggae, The Dead, John Mayer, (gotdayum he can play), classical, singer songwriter, pop, rock, country, etc…not much into the darker heavy metal or opera.

So that’s where I’m at gang. Mod 2 and ready for more.
I do feel like I have time to learn some scale patterns at the same time I’m working my way through these beginning lessons. Can anyone point me in the right direction ? Where can I find the patterns and if you were just starting out what scales would you cement into your brain first?



Hi Laura - welcome to JustinGuitar and to the Community.
You have definitely come to the right place.
You are on module 2 and rightly are thinking ahead, yet acknowledging this is a lifelong pursuit.
Keep on following the modules of Justin’s beginner course. It works. Scales will come in time. Before that is chords, rhythm, songs and good technique.
Take it steady, learn it right, enjoy it.

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You’ll get much better advice from others. I have a much less musical background than you so you’ll probably catch on quicker. I spent a whole year in grade 1 and will now start Grade 2. I too bought the songbook (just the first one).

For myself, I really enjoy playing the song book with the original recordings. I just recently got the app, but I like the songbook better for now.

My tactic is to do things that keep me playing and improving. I think you’ll be the only one to know what that looks like.

Happy holidays!

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Thank you and Happy Holidays to you too!

Thank you Richard! I’m happy to have confirmation that it works :grin: I will keep on track and try not to get ahead of myself.

Welcome to the Community Laura, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll get lots of support and advice here to help you as you travel along your guitar journey.

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Welcome Laura! As others have suggested, following Justin’s course is the best path to success in learning to play. Don’t hesitate to ask questions along the way - you’ll find a lot of support and helpful advice from the members here.


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Hi Laura, with your background you should get through the early stages quite quickly but make sure that you don’t miss anything! I had been playing for a long time before I came here but I started from scratch and couldn’t believe how much I didn’t know! It’s a great community who will give you plenty of encouragement and advice along your way - if in doubt ask, no questions are stupid!

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Welcome to the new community Laura/Smokeyblue

Thank you very much!

Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to the journey.

I am ready to learn and am sure I’ll have my share of questions. So far the most difficult thing is strumming. Oh, and getting the hang of this community site - I just got politely yelled at by the blue screen telling me to reply to everyone at once :joy: instead of individually. I’ll get the hang of it…

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Hey Smokey so glad you followed my suggestion and rocked up here ! Well now Laura I feel I know you a little more. So Blue seems a good moniker ! Not an app user (old geezer) but the BSB Songbooks are great ! As for tips ? Just holler and ask for help and for sure someone will troll up with an answer !

Now hey. Don’t put yourself down on the singing side of things. I spent 4 decades thinking I was tone deaf and a total loser. But it is another skill that can be learnt and developed. I just spent the last year doing that and am happy with the outcome :sunglasses:

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Welcome, SmokeyBlu, glad to have you here.

It sounds like you’re already on the right path. My advice is to stick to it. Justin’s lessons are designed like a pretty comprehensive “guitar method” program, so they build on the past progress you’ve made in previous lessons and they make sure you’re not missing anything foundational. Stick with the program, practice regularly, and you’ll make steady progress. Might even be rapid progress, given your previous musical experience.

I’d encourage you to play along with your friends as soon as possible (probably before you think you’re ready). Play with other musicians as often as you can. Doing so will accelerate your progress, in my experience. In another post you mentioned strumming: playing with the other musicians (especially the drummer) will help your timing and rhythm a lot.

Also, everyone seems to sell themselves short when it comes to singing. Keep in mind that your voice is just another instrument, and you can practice and improve with it just like any other instrument. You might surprise yourself.

After my advice about “stick with the program,” I’m now going to propose something “extra-curricular.” :slight_smile: Since you already know how to read standard notation (clarinet is treble clef, correct?), you might consider working on applying that knowledge to the guitar and its fretboard. It can be very, very useful in my experience (especially for pieces that don’t have tab available).

This is certainly not required, but if you want to be able to sight read for guitar it’s not out of reach, especially given that you’re half way there and don’t need to learn to read the notation, itself. If you want to pursue that, I’d advise doing it as an “extra” outside the normal Justin program. One good way is to work through the lessons/exercises/songs in William Leavitt’s A Modern Method for Guitar (Berklee Press). It’s designed to get you reading in a step-by-step fashion.

When I came to guitar I was in the same boat. Guitar was my third instrument and I already knew how to read standard notation…just not how to apply that to the guitar’s fretboard. I used the Leavitt book(s) I mentioned above to learn how to apply my reading ability to the guitar and its fretboard. It works. Again, it’s optional; if you decide to pursue that, I’d treat it as a supplemental extra.

If you follow Justin’s lessons those will be introduced in useful order. With that said, I’d look at pentatonic minor, pentatonic major, and the major and natural minor scales.


Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will definitely look at these exercises as extra curricular learning. And yes - clarinet is treble clef so maybe reading won’t be too difficult.

I can but add my voice to the welcomes, Smokeyblu.

Maybe check out Justin’s Practical Music Theory. Not sure when he might recommend taking a look at that in Beginner Grades. Note the first couple of modules are free and thereafter there is a subscription to continue.

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Welcome Laura. Stick with Justin’s program, take it nice and steady and you’ll blossom.

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Yep. Since the guitar can often play the same note in multiple places (different positions, different strings) the trickiest part is learning the notes of the fretboard and deciding which option for playing a certain note makes the most sense. Often it will be obvious from the context. Sometimes a score for guitar will include some supplemental notation (e.g. fret number, string number, finger number) to clarify. And sometimes you’ll just need to figure it out (especially true if you’re adapting something written for another instrument to guitar).

Justin’s method will cover learning the notes on the fretboard. The Leavitt books will also do this, but start you on it earlier (since reading is one of the goals of the “modern method” books). The Leavitt books start off focusing on first position.

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Watch out with this site, addiction is lurking and before you know it you are a year and a half and 1500 videos further … good luck and have fun with the videos.
Greetings Rogier

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Hi Laura,I’m pretty new here so all I can do is say hi and echo the above comments. Stick with the program. I started off a year ago with no musical experience whatsoever and Justin’s teaching is first class. I was originally going to go with fender play but so glad I found Justinguitar. I’m sure with your existing experience you’ll progress quickly.

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