Hi from Stephen, a beginner for 45 years in North Carolina, USA

Hey and welcome!
Following Justin’s method will definitely get you past the beginner stage as you’ve already discovered!

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Thanks to everyone for the encouragement.

Hi Stephen. Welcome to the community.
There are lots of us who’ve had guitar journeys similar to yours, including me. The 2 things that affected my guitar journey the most were: 1) Connecting up to Justin Guitar instruction 2) Retirement
The relative ease of prioritizing my time in retirement has enabled me to play for 1- 3 hours just about every day. I can play without thinking about the other things that I need to do or get so busy with work that I don’t play for a week or more. JG instruction provides me with the structure to develop new skills. I often wander off for periods of time to learn to new songs or refine ones using new skills, but I eventually return to the course-ware to practice skills and learn new ones. This combination has worked well to for me.
Enjoy the journey.

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I wasn’t sure if everyone was seeing my name from my profile, but I was dissatisfied with my username, so I have edited and changed to SteveL_G99. I hope that doesn’t cause a problem.

Steve L.

I logged out and logged back in and the username is updated. Looks like the software took care of the username change automatically.

I also edited my first name in my profile, so problem solved.

Thanks for the reply. I wish I could dedicate 3 hours a day to guitar, but surprisingly I have competing interests that limit my time even in retirement. I have solved the problem of consistency by setting aside an hour in the morning when I first get up and read a couple of pages in a book that I have wanted to read, then working on 4 to 8 pages of new guitar exercises or music. Then no matter what happens the rest of the day, I am making progress.

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Having a time that you can depend on to play is key, more so than duration IMO. Your morning routine is a good one.
I’ve found that as I’ve developed I want and need more play time. I don’t get 3 hours every day, but 1 hour goes by SO fast. 1.5 to 2 is more satisfying and 3 allows me to work on the backlog of things I want to practice or learn. If I get a 3hr session once or twice a week I feel great, and lucky.

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To show what I mean when I call myself an advanced beginner, I thought that I would attach this picture of me playing at an Earth Day event in 2005. I am just playing This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, which is a Grade 1 song with 3 chords. Someone invited me to play because they knew I could sing and play the guitar. After some hesitation, I practiced the song and played for the first time with other musicians. and in front of more than 100 people. I received the best complement that I have ever received when afterwards the drummer commented that I am a good rhythm guitarist with a steady rhythm.
It just goes to show that a simple song played well is sometimes all you need.

p.s. I don’t remember what key I played in, but obviously it had a D chord, so it was either the key of G, D or A.

That is a huge compliment coming from the drummer. Being able to sing is another plus. Having some fundamental skills to draw upon makes the learning process more fun and easier… for a while :grinning:

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Welcome Steve,

You definitely right about the practice assistant. Once I got to grips with how to make this work it made such a big difference to how I practiced and really does stop you just meandering about during practice time.

Enjoy the journey.

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Hi Stephen, welcome. Good you found Justin Guitar and you are covering all the material from the begining. You can advance at your own pace. You can move quickly when you are covering something you already know or mastered and spend more time on what is new or harder for you. Later if you want you can revisit some of the learning material you had from before and find that you have finally undertood what it was about.

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Since I finished the old beginners course, but basically took a couple of years off, now I have to start over again training my muscle memory. I have the head knowledge but I just have to practice enough the get my hands and fingers to obey my brain. I started from the beginning with the 2 chord changes in order to regrow my calluses. I’ve also focused on all of Justin’s strumming tips since my strumming has gotten a little rusty. I purchased the skinny white and the thicker orange Dunlop picks on Amazon per Justin’s suggestion, but I think I’ll try to find a thin pick that is a little less floppy and provides a more satisfying click when you strum.

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Hello and welcome to the community Stephen.

That is the fundamental, the instrument we play is, at heart, a rhythm instrument (with some added bells and whistles like notes, chords etc.).

100% true.

Ah, but you had a capo at fret 2 so the chord you’re playing in the pic is an E major, not a D major! :wink:


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You are absolutely correct. After 40 years, you would think that I would remember that the capo changes the key. :slight_smile: I was a little sloppy in the language and meant to say that since I was playing a chord shape of the D chord, that I was probably using the chord forms, shapes or grips of the chords from the keys of G, D or A, which means I could have been playing in the keys of A, E or B.

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To be clear, I mean the chord shapes of the major open chords of the keys of G, D and A or the I, iV and V chord shapes of those keys (key of G - G, C, D, key of D - D, G, A and key of A - A, D, E) which all have a D chord. I’ve had just enough exposure to music theory to learn about the harmonized scales, the amazing circle of fifths and some other basics. I encourage anyone who hasn’t had any exposure to music theory to look at Justin’s practical music theory course. With a little music theory you can reduce the memorization of chords and make the guitar fretboard seem more logical.

Welcome! I hope you have a fun time playing and get good use out of all the lessons! :smiley:

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HI Steve,

It is amazing that you have been playing guitar as long as I have been living and although there were challenges along the way, you never gave up. Your story is inspirational to me and makes me realize the power of never giving up on your dreams of playing guitar. I started playing around 2004 and was pretty awful at it, no formal lessons and just muddled my way through learning chords through random DVDs and books. I sounded completely awful. About 2 years ago I stumbled upon Justin’s lessons and have taken leaps and bounds in progress through his methods. They really work well and now I play in front of people with appreciation from the crowd instead of people running for cover. Keep up the progress and good luck.

Jeff from California.


Thanks. It sounds like you are benefiting a lot from this site. I look forward to future progress and playing in front of others.