Hi, everyone! Andrea from Germany

Hi all, I’m Andrea from Bavaria, Germany. Im 53, havent even touched a guitar in my hole life until I started the Beginners Course. Playing an instrument was always something in my life, what I wanted to do, but there were so many activities and family responsibilities I never had enough time to start a regular course in presence, till I found Justins method on the internet.
So by now I`m finishing the Beginner Grade 1, I first started with the book and songbook, a little later with the videos on the website and subscribed to the app. Hope to finish my process of consolidation until the end on January.
At the beginning I was wondering, if my motivation will be big enough to practice consistantly every day, but all I can say is, that learning to play guitar is almost like a drug. Never thought, that this journey would be so much fun! Sorry for my English…
Hope you are all doing well,


Hi and welcome Andrea. I turn 50 next week and much like you I had never picked up a guitar until a year ago. I’m consolidating grade 1 at the moment and trying to sort out my ‘problem areas’. I have only been active on the community for about a month and have found it to be a really friendly place. Lots of advice, inspiration and motivation here. Good luck with your consolidation of grade 1 :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Andrea, no need to apologise for your English, it’s fine this is a diverse multinational community so we’re used to it😂
It’s great to hear that you’ve got the ’bug’ there is another bug that comes with playing guitar, it’s GAS (Gear acquisition syndrome) essentially it’s the fact that you always need 1 more guitar!
Join in with the community, it’s a very friendly place, another thing to think about is recording your progress and maybe posting something in the AVOYP section (Audio or video of you playing [and maybe singing]).
You will get help, advice and encouragement when you do; this really helps you get confidence and motivation.
Good luck, have fun and enjoy your learning path!

Thanks Tim for your reply! I intruduced myself to the community only now, because I first wanted to be sure to remain in the course after Beginner Grade 1. At my age, I was not sure if I get it really done :joy: . After reading several topics and posts, I also got the impression, that members are really friendly and constructive. Hope to get some good advice as well.
Thank you for your good wishes for the consolidation, I try to give myself enough time to build a solid fundament, but it’s hard to resist to go ahead.
I’m struggling a bit with the Dm and C Chords. Chord changes work pretty well, but when I’m playing a song, I don’ get them always clear. One day it works, next day not. Sometimes frustrating. Must be that age!

1 Like

Hi Andrea and welcome to the community! your English is great and certainly better than my German so I wouldn’t worry about that. I’m 51 and started when I was 44 so I’ve been at it a little longer but I can vouch for the quality of the course. If you stick to it you’ll be able to play guitar confidently.

1 Like

@DarrellW Thank you for the warm welcome. This is what I was worried about. NO I will NOT post any of my recordings in this forum :joy:. Be sure, nobody wants to hear that at this stage :see_no_evil:. I’ll try to get better… . I made my first approaches in singing while I’m playing, never thought that this would be so hard. Even if you know the song since years… singing in the kitchen while prepairing the meals for you family is not the same as trying to grab the correct chords at the same time, with the right speed… and don’t talk about dynamics…
GAS already tries to find a way directly into my brain… I started with a Fender CD-60 SCE Western Guitar, nice sound first, but I had to change the strings down to 10 because in the beginning I needed to much effort to press them down. Works better now, but the sound is poor… . Have to stay at least one year with playing, before I maybe allow myself buying an electric…

1 Like

Hi Andrea,
There’s lots of people here who have either never played before, or who are returning after a break of many years - so you are in good company here!
I’ve found that by following the lessons methodically, and also not forgetting to leave plenty of practice time for having fun with guitar, and listening to music too has made me a much better guitar player, and overall musician than I could ever have achieved on my own.
Good luck!

1 Like

@Eccleshall Tank you!

@Eccleshall autokorrection

Andrea, everyone has to start somewhere - some of us have some previous knowledge, some do not but we are all here for the same thing - to learn or get better playing guitar.
I’m 70 now and still learning, it’s an endless path - there’s no rush, just enjoy it.
As regards posting recordings, just do them for your own records to start with, when you feel more comfortable with the community go for it! Take a look on the AVOYP section and see what’s being posted - it’s quite a good selection at the moment with all skill levels represented.

Welcome to the Community and the guitar-playing adventure, Helen. Your English is just fine, no need to apologise

Nope, not an age thing, just a ‘learning guitar thing’. Dm and C are tricky chords as you progress in Grade 1, spanning three frets and (for C) 4 strings. They require more stretch than what you have encountered to date. Many many people have found them to be a little more challenging than A D E.

So it it is quite normal for it to take a while to get them under the fingers and incorporated smoothly into songs. Be patient and persistent and you will get there.

Actually we’d love to see your recordings. The members of the Community are all encouraged and inspired by people sharing recordings, irrespective of play-grade.

Also it is a great way to get feedback and pointers plus lots and lots of encouragement. It is a bit of a plunge to make and share the recording, but the second best thing you can do to help your learning after choosing to following Justin’s programme.

So turn on a phone cam, make a recording, and share yourself playing something that uses A D E.

Welcome Andrea. You mentioned an issue with string pressure, using lighter strings but not being happy with the sound. An electric will likely be easier on the fingers, but your Fender seems like a nice instrument that you’ll want to play even when you get an electric. Something to look at, if you haven’t already, is to have a competent guitar tech do a setup on it. I had my acoustic setup after I’d had it for a few years. In the process he lowered the action on it and it made it much easier to play, requiring less string movement. I’m using 12-53 strings and am quite happy with the sound. My fingers do notice the difference between a couple of hours on the acoustic vs the electric, but I can play it for a couple of hours without ice or painkillers :grinning:

Welcome Andrea

Lots of good advice given so far. Age is certainly not a barrier but time can be but even if you just pick up for 5 to 10 minutes, when you are busy, its enough to keep you going. If any self doubt arises, just shout up here and folks will help you out. Its an up and down journey at times and you never stop learning but it is so rewarding, as you will find if you stick with it ! :smiley:



Welcome Andrea. Your English is just fine, no worries about that at all. Since you have been looking around and reading posts in the Community for a little while before introducing yourself then it would be impossible for you not to have noticed that there are a LOT of us here about your age or older, so if you think you are too old then us other “old” folks will have to challenge you on that! There are also a bunch of us right around the same level as you, somewhere around the end of Grade1, beginning of Grade2. It is a great time of consolidation.

With regards to whether you share any audio or video of yourself, of course it is entirely a personal choice. I have been dragging my heels on that, but I know that I will be recording myself and sharing some here soon. The odd thing is that I am less reluctant to share with a bunch of “strangers” here in this safe haven than I am to actually play in front of friends or family. Everyone here understands that my playing may be rough, but is still worthy of appreciation and it is a reflection of hard work and dedication. I’m afraid my family and friends will just say “really? That’s it? Doesn’t really sound very good, does it?”

Anyway, whether you record yourself or not, glad you seem to be enthusiastically learning and enjoying the ride!

@DarrellW @DavidP Thank you for your replys, I already do record myself while playing from time to time, this is a great instrument for a self-monitoring. I’m using the App and I’m enjoying that play along thing very much, sometimes it sounds not too bad while playing, but on the records you hear “reality”. So I also often record without any support by the app, this is even more effective to hear, if chords are ringing out clearely.
I was just kidding a little bit while writing that I would not post any recording. Let’s see…

@DavidP Yes, Dm and C are quite tricky, but my problem is not to play them correctly, also the OMC’s work quite well. At the moment, I’m working on smoother changes (to get away from this “scrub” “scrub” sound when you hear chord, by chord, by chord.). It’s getting better, but for me it’s harder with the changing from Am to Dm, and D to C or G to C, when I’m playing a song. I think it’s normal, so I just don’t care about that too much. I’m a totally relaxed beginner. It takes how long it takes.

1 Like

@nhh2oskr Thank you for your advice! I already had a check up for this. We have a very good guitar shop nearby. The action is ok and playable, they just gave me advice to try thinner strings for the beginning, to make it easier. So I’m trying this at the moment. My fingers were really hurting in the beginning an I had a few problems with my wrist. To avoid damage, I decided to try these thinner strings. On the other hand the sound ist very bright and not forgiving faults, because you hear everything wrong very clearely.
One goal for the future is, to buy an electric as well, but first, this first guitar is doing a good job :slightly_smiling_face:

Good to know, there are lot of people out there, who are wandering the same path, with all the highs and lows this journey will bring. I do agree, that it’s much easier to share recordings in this community, because everyone is able to understand how much patience and practice it takes to become an advanced beginner. I think it’s a long way to reach a really good sound, but it’ll be worth it.
Before I begun, I thought, knowing a few chords and strumming patterns will be enough to play some songs, but I already learnt, this is not enough. Not enough for me. Playing 4 chords in a row doesn’t make a song. It’s so much more. Hope to get into the groove by following the course…
The feedback from family and friends is not the decisive aspect for what we are doing at the moment. It is the fact, if we are happy and satisfied, with what we are doing. And I think, we are the lucky ones, because Justin gave us this great chance to take this alternative way!


Absolutely. And the best sort of drug!

Exactly how I feel, and yet, there is a point where we will discover that a song is actually emerging from playing those 4 chords in a row if we stick with it. Same 4 chords, played with a little groove, interesting strumming patterns, maybe a couple of embellishments, smooth confident changes, no noisy strings ringing when they shouldn’t be…. We will get there, Andrea! Yes we will!!! :guitar: :guitar: :guitar:

1 Like

Much wisdom in many of your replies, Andrea, that serves you well.

I loved this

1 Like