Hi from John in SE London

Hi everyone, I’m John from SE London - England. Had a guitar for many years mostly functioning as a dust collector! However, I retired four years ago and have started to play a bit, even had a few one-on-one lessons, but I class myself as a rank amateur. My music tastes are anything rock or blues based from or around the 70s, stuff like The Eagles heavier stuff, Little River Band (relatively unknown band from Oz who are great – Justin will approve I think), The Who, Free, Rolling Stones, Cream, Santana, Hendrix, etc. basically the type of music that you find on those 70s guitar anthem compilations albums.

My gear:
My guitar is a Fender Stratocaster circa 1987 which I had professionally set-up a while back and I think it plays nice. Current amp is a PositiveGrid Spark 40 which I love too and recently added a Spark GO. Software wise I use the Spark App to control and configure the amps, play along, etc. PreSonus Studio One for recording and Guitar Pro for writing, transcribing and playing tabs.

Guitar playing objectives:
Not 100% sure which is part of my problem – I know a bit about a lot but not a lot about anything. I guess if I was in company and a guitar was around, I’d like to be able to pick it up, bash out a few tunes which were mostly error free and recognisable. I’d also like to be able to hear something I like and be able to play it – either from a tab or transcribe it and it not take months to get 90% but never 100% there.

My issues:
Confidence, especially with any sort of audience (or when recording) be it one person or ten! Rhythm – I’ve worked out recently that I am concentrating far too much on getting which notes in which order right and just not getting the feel or timing right at all. I also struggle to remember songs end to end so I make mistakes in different places – sometimes because I get lost or make a mistake and hesitate which compounds the error. Other times I do something well, think that was good, hesitate and follow it with a mistake. LOL I guess I overthink, not relaxing maybe – I’m just unable to let things flow somehow. Not sure how to correct this stuff but I’m working hard at doing stuff even if it’s the wrong stuff!

Anyway, that me – if you want to know more about me, my gear, or have any hints or tips etc. feel free to respond.


Hey John, welcome to the community. Great to hear you are making progress. For me it’s all about songs songs songs.

The great thing about sticking to it is before you know it songs that seemed impossible will just come out naturally. It’s a great reward. Hang in there.

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Welcome to the forum John

Welcome John!

Welcome here John,
I wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:


Welcome John, you’ve found a great place to learn and improve. Lots of helpful material on Justin’s website to work on your weak spots.
Have a good time here!

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Good to meet you John, welcome!

welcome :slight_smile:

Hi John
Welcome to the community :smiling_face: :sunflower:

Welcome! Fellow newbie here. I can totally understand nervousness about playing around others, so I recommend you surround yourself with supportive people, and try to push through it. It gets easier the more you perform for others.

Hi John, welcome to the community forum. I like all of the favorite 70s bands you listed. Follow Justin’s lessons from the beginning and you will be able to play songs from all of those bands. Justin covers a lot of different styles, so you can learn a little of everything as a beginner. Have fun.

Welcome to the community John!

Welcome, John. I love your band choices. :smiley:

Hey John … three things: Stick with Justin. He builds skills and confidence. 2nd: learn two or three songs as best you can, then find an open mic to play them. OM’s are great for building confidence and also watching and learning from other folks … what works and what doesn’t. 3rd: if you make a mistake while playing a song, try to keep the rhythm going … even if you’re just hitting open strings (maybe try to mute them), while you gather yourself. Keeping the rhythm lessens the mistakes … people can forgive a wrong note or chord, but not breaking rhythm.

Welcome to the forum John, good to have you onboard. :sunglasses:

@Chris4 first time post ? Time to introduce yourself as well.

Hello John.
Welcome to JustinGuitar and this fantastic community. Please take your time to look around and get to know the wider space.

We are a supportive and encouraging group of students and guitarists from across the world. Essentially, we are all here for music and to improve as players. We truly are a ‘community’. Members help and support one another and a friendly, positive attitude underpins this. We hope that all - young or old, experienced or new players - adopt and foster the pay-it-forward ethos that Justin personifies and embedded all those years ago when he started the website and forum.

Also, please make sure to read the community etiquette announcement for some important information and guidance.