Hi there! New learner here from the UK. Can you teach an oldish dog a new trick?

I’m Charlie based in the South of the UK.

Started learning the guitar in a woefully unstructured way back in my teens in the days pre-YouTube and my enthusiasm quickly waned as I didn’t practice enough or have enough resources available. I also tried to bypass fundamental techniques and knowledge and PLAY SONGS DAMNIT! but that didn’t pan out too well.

Fast forward 25+ years and here I am with focus, resolve and resources at my disposal. I have a new guitar arriving tomorrow (Baby Taylor BT2) and a bunch of “stuff” (picks, tuner, three “Beginner” books from JustinGuitar) and I’m ready to give this a proper go.

I scanned the forum briefly and have to say I’m another noob confused by the range of options available to me. YouTube. App. Website. Books. As said above I’ve already picked up the three “Beginner” books but I’m a little confused by the digital options. I looked at the Beginner stuff on YouTube yesterday but that’s all a bit freeform aside from being in a playlist.

The website appears to give more structure to that (which I need) and then the app complements that with additional tunes to reinforce the learning from the website lessons? Is that about right? Two of the books I ordered are “Beginner’s Songbooks” - is the music in the app just a follow along version of those same songs or something else?

Anyway, I look forward to being part of this community and can’t wait to get started!


Hello @CharlieHutcheson and welcome to the Community.
There are quite a lot of old dogs here

Exactly that.
The lessons / courses / resources on the website are the meat, drink and potatoes.
All else is wonderful and supplementary.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

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Charley I can almost replicate your exact scenario myself only difference is I’m on the other side of the pond. :-). I started off using the Justin beginner book which I bought several years ago but never really used until lockdown. They kind of cover grades one and two. I then stumbled into all the great content on the website and use that to reinforce what I learned in the books. The content Justin and his team makes available is great. I feel the Website is Better than the books. Justin gives a lot of good tips and interactivity on the website lessons. But I do like to have paper to look at and practice with versus a screen when possible. Plus the books give you a lot of good songs To learn with on paper.
The books are kind of the old version. Where the web is the new version. The app goes hand-in-hand with the web. But I think you’ll be glad you have the books also. He seems to keep improving his lessons as his experience in teaching results gets more and more refined over the years

Hearing Your story may enjoy looking at some of Justin‘s other videos where he just talks about his guitar journey and music child hood. We all likely had similar bands we loved. Kind of cool even though we’re all on different parts of the globe

Good move on getting that Taylor you’re going to love it. I’ve been using a cheapo fender for the last year and a half and just got myself a Taylor as well . I love it wish I had done it a year and a half ago

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Welcome @CharlieHutcheson !

You are in good company here. Justin’s course is a solid and organized foundation. The many facets fit together with web course, web song lessons, the books and the app to support the lessons and the song app to use songs to learn cord changes and rhythm and most of all have fun.

Many if not all of us here really appreciate to organized, inclusive and kind approach to learning presented here. The forum is a community of your compatriots on this journey, which is invaluable for its support and camaraderie.

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Hi Charlie

Sounds like your organised and ready to go.

As Richard said the website is the meat, drink, potatoes but he missed off the two veg as well. It is perfectly structured and all you need to do is step on the the first rung of the ladder at the start of Grade 1 and keep on climbing. Just follow the path laid out. Its a never ending journey and we are all somewhere along the road. Everyone here will have been where you are and can share their knowledge and experience. Don’t be afraid to ask if unsure, no such thing as stupid questions but there are sometimes stupid answers ! :rofl: Main thing is to enjoy the ride.




Usually from Toby. :smiley:

Hello and welcome to the community Charlie. :slight_smile:

Yes, we have all been in your situation and from my point of view, I prefer the books and will dip in to the YouTube video’s if I’m struggling. I find the books make you work hard for the song and therefore gaining a better understanding of it. Where as I found I was just playing along to the app but I wouldn’t really know the song. What I mean there is, if you took the app away from me I wouldn’t be able to play the song but with the books, you can take those away from me and I can play and sing the song without the need of the assistance. Like I say, that is just what works well for me.

I’ve kept my subscription to the app, just to help Justinguitar a little more with the ££££ but I’ve not used it in a few month now.

Remember, go at your own speed, there is no rush and do not compare yourself to others on the journey.

Have fun.


Cancel the subscription and just donate directly to Justin. That way he gets the full amount :smiley:


Good point there Brian. How had I not thought of that? It’s rhetorical. :stuck_out_tongue:


Welcome to the Community, Charlie. Like others have said, I’d suggest follow the course on the website. Many find the app useful for a period of time to help with learning to play songs but ultimately you want to move off the app and play the songs without the app. Initially from a book or other song-sheets, eventually from memory. Take it lesson by lesson and enjoy the adventure.

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Welcome to the community, Charlie. What I tend to do is go through the lesson on the website, and then when I’m sitting down away from the laptop, watch the videos again on the app to reinforce the material I have learned. I did find the practice sessions on the application rather useful (especially when I can’t be bothered firing up the laptop and just using the phone to assist). The app is useful for playing along with the backing track, but ultimately, I found I have moved away from the app to the books to learn the song from memory and play along with YouTube videos of the recording. Wish you all the best with your guitar learning journey.

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Hi. I use the books, app and the website and they all fit together nicely. Get used to using the practice assistant too, because it’s fabulous at keeping track of things that you would still like to cover in addition to the new stuff that you add. I also list the songs I want to learn on there as they crop up.

Have fun.

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I use all three. At heart I am a paper guy but the books alone are not enough. I’m just not able to get a feel for the songs just from the books. Of course some songs are not in the app, some are not in the books, but if a song is in both the app and one of the books I am able to play with a lot more confidence. I am not quite able to play complete songs without having one or the other in front of me yet though. Well, maybe a couple of songs now that I think about it.

Anyway, welcome to the best doggone community on the interwebs!

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Thanks for the welcome everyone, it seems like a busy, warm and friendly place which can be pretty rare for forums and is something to be cherished.

Today is the day! I just got a notification to say that my guitar is arriving this morning. I need to get parkrun out the way and then I can come back to an exciting new toy and I can start my guitar journey in earnest.

I’ll do the customary post in the New Guitar section at some point later today alongside some reasoning behind why I chose the guitar I did. Happy weekend everyone!