I feel disheartened at my own progress having watched Livestream #3

Stuart, two ideas, well three actually :slightly_smiling_face:

  1. How about we outsource this discussion to a separate thread, since this one should - at least in my opinion - be reserved for discussing and celebrating the great performances of Saturday’s brave guitareros? :slightly_smiling_face:

  2. Not having fun seems to be a recurring issue. I think not liking the songs that you are practicing is a major issue. Maybe if you find songs that you actually like, things will look a bit brighter again? What style? Which genre? Maybe someone has an idea where you can find tabs etc.?

  3. Is there anything else how we could help? E.g. @Notter , @Helen0609 and I have tried, yet we all emphasized the fun aspect, which does not resonate with you at the moment… Maybe it could even be an idea that you would publish a video of you playing? :slightly_smiling_face: Perhaps that way you would get much needed positive feedback and things wouldn’t look that bad anymore? Sometimes such outside perspectives can really help :slightly_smiling_face:


@Stuartw I used to think like that some 20 years ago and that hold me back from practising for all these years.

I took guitar lessons for 2 months in uni. That was the early days of the internet and I quickly found out there were folks who were younger than me and were already better than I would ever be. So what was the point?

But then what’s the point in literally anything? There are people who drove much shorter than me yet better drivers than I’ll ever be. Should I stop driving now? I do not think so, it still gets me from point A to B and becoming a better driver allows me to do it even more safely so not only I will continue to drive, I will also continue to be a better driver.

I’ve been running all my life and there are 12-year-old children who can run faster than me. Should I stop running and trying to get better at it now? What’s the point? The point is - I still get health benefits from running, so I will continue.

You get the point - apply that to anything. Christone Kingfish Ingram is 20 years old, he was born after I picked up the guitar for the first time and he is better than I will ever be. Will I stop trying to improve at guitar now? I do not think so, because I still get enjoyment out of it and becoming a bit better adds to that enjoyment so will I. And that’s the whole point. I can still enjoy Ingram’s playing, still enjoy the folks playing here who are developing faster than me, yet I can continue my own journey and enjoy that too!

I used to get discouraged when I saw people who were better at something than me. I think becoming old/mature/whatever you call it taught me that being inspired is the way instead. Now I listen to Ingram and do not think “I won’t ever play like that” (well maybe I do a bit) but “That’s so awesome, what can I do to be a bit closer to that?”


I get this Stuart, I really do, I’ve had plenty of periods like this and those periods stick around for longer than they should do.

I might sound a little harsh in my response here, but to that I would ask you, “so what?”. What’s your ambition with your playing? None of us are in a contest here (I don’t think!) and maybe it’s worth setting 2 or 3 small goals, are there a couple of songs you’ve always wanted to play? Forget the more mundane practice of chord changes or scale work for a while and just go for that goal.

You may or may not have seen this section of the website, but if we can’t help you here perhaps our teacher can? - https://www.justinguitar.com/playground/rut-busters


Good suggestion, Nicole, this discussion gets a bit off topic now. Maybe one of the mods @Richard_close2u @DavidP could decide if this should be moved into another thread?


Agreed but happy to end the conversation now so that others can comment on the live show.

That my be the problem. Not much chance of me playing Suppers Ready, Fifth of Fifth, Shine On you Crazy Diamond, Tinto Brass, Shesmovedon, etc, although I do like a lot of other stuff, just not a lot from this grade.

Not sure, but thanks for the suggestion. As with the whole JG course it’s down to me at the end of the day.

As I have said previously probably not going to happen!

I’m in contest with this guy: Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Playthrough)

And I’m already better than him, ha! He is catching up though and keeping me on my toes!


Ah, your alter-ego, your “Mirtrotavele” to Justin’s Nitsuj :wink:


Then I have one idea still :slightly_smiling_face: How about you forget about these Grade labels for a moment? :slightly_smiling_face: I understand they are there for didactics’ sake and they surely serve a purpose, but simply forget about them for a moment. There are surely “simple beginner songs” that can be played with more complicated techniques etc. and there are surely more complicated songs that can be simplified :slightly_smiling_face:

In the end @elevatortrim is right, the only person with whom you should be in competition is you :slightly_smiling_face:


Stuart, it is hard not to compare yourself to others I understand. I have just been back and read through your learning log. Which you started by just doing Justin’s course and seeing where it takes you. Not everyone is able to come up with concrete goals of what you would like to do or achieve. You have stuck with this guitar journey for a long time even through frustrations, so it has an attraction for you. The bright spot in your LL was when you got into the blues improvisation. My suggestion would be to take some time and focus on that, if it still brings you joy. I assume you were playing to backing tracks, if not is that something you could try. That would help give your songs structure and timing without the need for singing. Maybe you can also find a way to play along to the recordings of the songs you like, even if you can’t play the whole thing. With a band you can stop playing and it is not as noticeable. Plus you get to listen to songs you like.

Also even if you don’t share, record yourself doing something this week, and don’t even listen to it. Practice the thing you recorded for a few weeks, then maybe in a month record it again. You will have improved a lot, that you could prove to yourself by listening to the recordings back to back.
I often feel I am trying to move along to fast and need to step back and consolidate what I know, before developing other skills. One thing I do know is that life is to short to continue doing things that are not enjoyable. That is called work and I am glad it is over. Hope you keep the faith and find those fun times again.


Hi Stuart,
I’m sad to read the despondency in your posts above :cry:
All the encouragement and practical suggestions from fellow community members seem to bring little solace.
Rather than simply chime in with more of the same, I had a quick scan through your posts to date as well as your learning log. This has been an ongoing issue for you, perhaps even since you started?
Your Learning log from Dec 21 (which refers to a previous post ‘Progress… what progress’ with a defunct link) includes the following observations:

I find myself in a position where I am stuck and can’t really move on…
I have been practicing songs and some are OK but don’t sound like songs. I don’t sing… Dull and boring is the phrase, I think…
Seeing other forum members who have done all the beginner’s course and moving into intermediate at a similar timescale as me, or others posting videos every week, doesn’t help… I know that I shouldn’t compare, and I generally don’t, but just sometimes it gets to me!!..
Someone asked the other day why did you start with this playing guitar thing and to be honest I don’t know. I know that I won’t get to the heights of others on here and am just plodding along but don’t really have any end goal. Perhaps I should…
There are a few negatives with this post but to be honest there isn’t that much to smile about at the moment. It’s not that much fun :frowning:

I have no idea whether your guitar playing skills have progressed much over this period, but it appears that you feel much the same way.

The big question is of course, what should you do now? :thinking:

My first thoughts are: although you have shown great persistence (timewise), but if you keep doing the same thing, you can expect the same kind of results. You haven’t been experiencing the fun/enjoyment of learning, which is the whole point for most of us.

I have a concrete proposal for you, should you wish to accept it:
How about having a one-to-one coaching lesson with one of our Justin-approved teachers, @Richard_close2u or @LievenDV? As they know the course inside out, they’d be in the best position to assess where you are and discuss ways of helping you to get where you would like to go.

It’d be my pleasure to gift (a first) lesson to you. Actually, I’d see it more as a small token to whichever teacher you chose. (I’m unlikely to avail of their tuition, as I’d be afraid they’d get me back on the ‘straight and narrow’ where I might lose the joy of self-discovery :roll_eyes:)
I really think this might be helpful for you to work out what you want from guitar. Please take the time to consider the merits of this offer.

The alternative is looking more and more like putting the guitar back in its case, either temporarily or permanently, which might not be the worst option if it is bringing you unhappiness.
Cheers, Brian


What style of music do you like? There is no reason to continue on with the blues lessons if you’re not into the blues. I
Frankly it is a waste of your time. Concentrate on the style of music you want to play and learn to play it.


If I remember correctly your grandson was showing some interest in learning to play guitar. If that is still the case maybe it would be super fun to run through the course with him and learn some songs together.


Hi Stuart
I imagine you are feeling a bit down right now with this thread ballooning today, and wondering what the hell to say to all these people who have have responded to your plight.
I think the first thing to note is that the community is right behind you and rooting for you.

Brian @brianlarsen has come up with a brilliant suggestion (and very generous offer).
A teacher will be able to help you find your direction and help you on your chosen path. Don’t dismiss it. As Brian says, give it some thought.

James @Socio suggestion about learning alongside your grandson is also a great idea. I remember when you were talking about it, you were very enthusiastic about it.
A teacher may be able to help you with that particular path.

Take your time Stuart. No need to worry about replies here just yet.

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That’s so incredibly awesome of you Brian to offer that.
Let me split that cost for you.

a great and warm gesture @brianlarsen
for that I’ll split the cost for you (sorry @Richard_close2u as I kinda coax you into offering the same :p)

@Stuartw yes, besides this Community, Richard or myself can help you put some things into perspective, see what a good next step could be and mostly; what kind of angle of approach would be most fitting

My other students get the offer to be taken on a path to explore to express themselves. To go from “copying/reproducing songs” to “taking it apart, rebuilding it and make a house of it that is their own”. That’s how you learn to express yourself making music; you can either copy the sheet music or you can learn to understand, absorb, adopt and re-release it :wink:

When you find that spot, the thing “that other person” does becomes less of a thing to compare with, because it will be apples and oranges…



I never cease to be gratified and find so much life affirmation in this Community when people rally round and offer their help and support and a big virtual hug if needed. You are getting the love here my friend.

I’m going to give a dose of tough love.

Rather like Brian, I decided to take a look back over some (not all) of your posts and topics. I know that I have often helped you, and answered many of your questions, across many of the lesson specific topics over the last few years, so I hope you know that my words and advice are coming to you from a good place. You have posted in lesson specific topics up to Intermediate Grade 5. You have written that you have worked though the beginner grades. Today you write this:

I’m sure you know what I am going to say!
I am going to shriek.
I am going to exclaim in upper case letters.
I am going to go experience palpitations and a raised blood pressure.

You know my mantra. I have previously written it in direct replies to you.

Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.

You haven’t heeded my advice and I wonder and I fear that you have pushed on along a meandering road to nowhere having taken a wrong turn many miles back.

Just this. You’re lost. And you’re unsure how to navigate nor what tools you can use to navigate.

Rest assured, there is a route out of your current place and you can make your way back to a path that will allow you to confidently and reliably continue along your guitar journey. And it is this.

Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.

I wrote this in response to Wetchie a couple of weeks ago. I am sure I have written similar in other topics too but one reverse link to former advice will suffice.

More tough love … you have certainly given time to your pursuit of becoming a guitar player. I must ask if you have been taking the time, the correct and focused time, on the things you need the most? Not the things that come along next in the course. Not the things that pique your interest. But the things you need the most?

I hope @TheMadman_tobyjenner will not mind me invoking his story here. And he is not alone in this for sure. he has admitted, on many occasions, to spending too much of his time for too long a time playing and practcing the wrong things and getting nowhere. He reached a point in life, and in his guitar path, at which he made a conscious decision that he needed to be more disciplined and follow a proscribed learning course with a determination to do it right. Only by doing that did he set aside years of aimless wondering and begin to build some skills and gain confidence and happiness at what he could do with guitar.

You have said it yourself there Stuart.

You are not getting anywhere and you are not having fun.

What is missing from your guitar life?


What one thing can tie all of these together and turn them all around from negative to positive?

Songs can.

Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.

You’re a good man. :slight_smile:


That’s for sure!

Hi Stuart,

I’m sorry that you feel disheartened but rest assured you’ve inspired me. Hope you don’t mind my little dittie.

We are where we are

We get up in the morning, we go about our day
We hope that some guitar playing, will feature on the way
We go about our daily chores, until we get them done
And sometimes when we finish them, we have some time for fun.

We get our old guitar out, we twiddle round the strings
And if we’re really lucky, the whole guitar just sings
But sometimes things don’t go quite right, our fingers get all tied
We run off to a corner and then just try to hide

So looking on the bright side, you’re better than you think
Think of where you’ve come from, you might be on the brink
Your journey is your own and the time it’ll take, it’ll take
Your achievements are amazing, so give yourself a break.

Best wishes on your journey


This. We all have very different lives, spend different amounts of time and effort with the guitar.

Primarily it should be about you and your enjoyment and learning. It never does to measure yourself against other artists because you will never be, and can never be that other person.


Regardless of what Stuart decides going forward, this thread underscores the value of this community. People are supportive, helpful and generous in both time and money.
Stuart (@Stuartw) , I do hope you are able to find joy in your guitar journey!


Oh and we all, every single one of us, including the absolute masters, have bad days and get disillusioned with our own playing.

Dont sweat it