Hi, Erick from Idaho, USA here

Hello everyone,

My name is Erick and I am a 52 year old beginning guitar player from Idaho (originally from The Netherlands). Although I have been playing for over two years I still feel I am a beginner. This is my second try on learning to play the acoustic guitar. There is so much to learn.

I am following Justin’s lessons as part of my journey. He is a great teacher. Currently in Grade 3, module 15. I am also using other great tools available now for beginning guitar players. What I enjoy most is to learn a song and then play (and sing) along with the original on YouTube (as long as the song does not have an A chord … :grinning:). Love to hear from other beginning players how they manage to keep on learning and keep on enjoying the guitar.


Welcome to the Community, Erick. Sounds like you are doing well this time round.

In addition to the continuous learning I find learning and recording songs keeps me enthused and now performing songs both here at the Community Open Mic Events #community-open-mic-events:community-open-mics and AVOYP #record-yourself-progress-performance:audio-video-of-you-playing plus every now and then the producing of an original song.

The secret of keeping on playing is to have fun, enjoy what you’re doing don’t get bored or have it feel like it’s a chore…….


Hi Eric and welcome!!

Out of curiousity… do you struggle with A chords as well? Me too… i think F is far easier than A :rofl:

Thanks, David. I am recording some of my songs so I can learn from it. Not ready yet to share with the outside world. I’ll have to check out the open mics community and some of the AVOYP posts. May be one day I will be brave enough to posts my own video. Thanks for all the advice!

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Hi Ron. I do struggle with the A chord. I can play a decent A-chord at lower speeds, but if the bpm is too high I have problems getting all the fingers in the right place without muting another string. And the sound of the A chord is not my favorite. I prefer the sound of the minor chords or the 7 chords. I did try the “bar” version of the A chord that Justin showed in one of his videos. Haven’t mastered that one yet. Might have to re-watch the video and practice it some more.

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So many ways to play the A-chord, maybe you just need to find a better fingering.

Lots of good suggestions in the comments on this topic:

Thanks, Tbushell. That topic gives me a lot of new ideas. I am going to experiment with what works best for me, depending on the song. What is your favorite easy “A-chord song”?

The chorus in Mad World is just Em and A, so that’s a good one.

Bad Moon Rising is another good one, though the original tempo is very high at 180 BPM…pretty fast for a beginner. Don’t be afraid to slow it down…and I mean really slow…40 -60 BPM, if you need to.

Mad World is a good one. That one is on my song “wish list”. I will try that one. Thanks!

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Hello Erick and welcome to the community. :slight_smile:

Hopefully you’ll learn to nail that A chord and then you’ll be away. Try the 1 finger versions and see how you get on,.

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Hi Erick and welcome to the community.
You have been given some good advice already.
I must confess I have little alarm bells ringing and would seek to ask the probing questions because of them.
This is your second attempt to learn in just over two years.
You have reached Grade 3 module 15.
You are also using other online sources.
You struggle to play the A chord.

My most pressing question, given your quick progress and your own stated difficulty with a basic skill, is …
How many songs have you learned to play?

I wonder if you the other resources you use are those game type ones where advancing through the levels is seen as the achievement. I do not know but I wonder at it - we have had people hit brick walls for these reasons before. Justin’s teaching philosophy is not about rapid progress for the sake of it. It is about becoming adept at the basics, using the skills acquired, consolidating at every stage, and making music by learning and playing songs.

If I am wide of the mark I apologise. If I am towards the heart of the matter I encourage you to pause in your forward advance through the Grades and return to Grade 2 Consolidation. Everything up to that point is everything you should be able to do and have confident skills in.

Richard :slight_smile:

Welcome Erick. Playing songs is what its all about, keep on enjoying it.

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Hi, Richard, thanks for all the great feedback. I have to clarify a couple of things.

My first attempt of playing guitar started about 20 years ago. I attended a short guitar course at a local college. Then the kids came along and i did not have much time to practice. I picked it up again 2 years ago (the kids are now more interested in their video games … :slight_smile: ). In the last 2 years i have been practicing about 45 min. every day. My A chord is decent, but doesn’t feel as good as the other open chords. I am definitely going to work on that, using all the great advice i got here.

I have been learning and playing quite a few songs in the past 2 years. In total i think about 15-20. I try to learn them to a level where i can play them all the way through without making too many mistakes. I try to spend at least half of my practice time playing songs.

Thanks again for all the advice. I am going to take some time working on my basic skills before moving on to the next level. And play lots more songs. Perhaps i will share some of these in this community one day…

By the way, are there any copyright restrictions for sharing songs here? I do get copyright warnings on Youtube when i upload a recording, even when i keep them private. Anything i should be concerned about?

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Hi Erick, welcome. I improved my A chord, that I had never had thought I had a problem wiith it until one day I noticed that it didn’t sound as bright as other chords, through the STRUM / PICK OUT / STRUM exercise that Justin proposes. So working alternately on each string and on all of them allows you to find what could be wrong. You can try various fingerings. About the copyright, the community site does not host the videos or audios of you playing. Here you share only the link, usually to Youtube or Soundcloud. Most of the videos posted here are unlisted because are intended only for a select audience. I think that may make them less prone to be marked as a copyright infraction. I usually name mines as cover of…

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No, and the youtube copyright algorithms will simply notify you that your video can not be monetised and may have adverts placed on it.

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