I need help

I started learning 2 years ago (self taught with Justin guitar courses). I learned lots of theory, ear training, hammer-ons and pull offs, practicing scales, lots and lots of noodling without playing much songs. Few riffs, play few chords, few strumming patterns and that is it. I love BBking and wish to make the guitar sing and cry lol. I feel so incompetent. Maybe because I don’t have much of a repertoire. I just need any tips to improve. I am learning at 40 years


How’s your bending and vibrato, pretty key things to achieve your goal.

The answer is in your question.

As Richard @Richard_close2u frequently advises, “Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs”

You’ve got to walk before you can run. Learn songs, learn songs, learn songs


I have to totally agree with Ian - you need to learn songs. If you love BB King, why not try this lesson. At about the 10 minute mark Justin gives an easier version using open chords and a capo. It’s not too hard and you can start playing along to the record. When you get really comfy with that you could start adding in some little licks and there you go … you can play a BB king song :slight_smile:


Have you been able to attend the blues club sessions? The first one contained a major realization moment for me regarding the use of licks. You may find watching this useful.

Welcome Doraid

Did you follow Justin’s learning path or just select lessons that interested you ?

From your comments there may be some foundational skills missing, that being the application of what you have learnt. “Play a few chords” ? As others have said learn songs, lots of them. See how they work, see how they are structured and how that feels when playing. Playing songs builds a solid foundation of rhythm which under pins everything that follows,

I’d recommend a ground up review and work your way up from Grade 1. Confirm what you know, learn what you missed or skipped and apply all of it as you go. And don’t just watch the videos, read the accompanying lesson text on the website. Play anything and everything especially stuff you don’t like - they will contain chord progressions for a 1000 songs you do like - by the end of Grade 1 you should have a repertoire of at least 5 songs and hopefully much more.

Wash rinse repeat, until you get to lessons that present stuff you don’t know - you have then found your present level. And if you have kept on learning songs along the way, will have an impressive set list to share.

Enjoy the ride and have fun.



My advice:

  • Learn to play entire songs, all the way through. Develop some repertoire.
  • Play with other musicians as often as possible, even if you don’t think you’re ready. Doesn’t need to be a public performance or anything, just playing together. Don’t make any excuses, just make it happen.
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Hi Doraid, welcome to the forum. The best advice I could give you is to listen to what Toby and others have said and learn songs. Something I see with a lot of people beginning their guitar journey is a desire to learn so much all at once- scales in every possible position, chords, riffs etc… that they forget what the purpose off all that effort is- to be able to play songs! When you start out learning songs, you will likely not sound like the recorded version. But if you break down the songs you love into their chord structure and learn the rhythm, that will be the base to lay everything else on top of. You can worry about things like tone later.

When people get frustrated and quit, a lot of the time it is because they can’t play songs. Do not be that person :laughing: As a certain teacher on this forum always says “learn songs, learn songs, learn songs.”


Thank you all. I greatly appreciate your valuable advice. I will start again from the ground up, following Justin’s course. This time I will endeavour to learn more than the entro and the strumming pattern to 3 songs.


What direction do you want to take with your musical journey? If you stay with Justin’s courseware you will get a solid grounding and begin to get some answers to that question. Personally, I don’t have much need for a repertoire, so to speak, but I feel that I have a solid foundation with chord progressions (the building blocks of songs). Stay the course and report back. :slight_smile:


Thank you, I will give it ago definitely

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One of our approved teachers, @LievenDV did a great lesson on this idea in his ‘Motivation Club’ that really resonated with me. So many students try and learn a song and get stuck in the first few bars or a complex riff and just give up. Rather than that, look to layer up the song. Start by understanding the structure of the song and the chords. Perhaps learn to play a simple version just strumming the chords once per bar, then maybe add another layer with some extra rhythm, then when you have that perhaps look at adding an intro riff or start adding in some licks. The point is that from the beginning you can play a version of the whole song and then refine and improve it.


Few things that worked for me, structured based on comments mostly from Richard and Lieven:

  1. Consolidate fundamentals you covered in JG to a solid level.
  2. Practice what you can’t do instead of what you do well.
  3. Do 2) through the song. Identity songs with new skills you want to work on and play that song starting from simple (shortcut) version and increasing difficulty as you progress. Play slowly at first to get the mechanics under your fingers, increase speed later.
  4. You need to make the above fun and relevant for you. Even the most structured practice is unlikely to work for you don’t find it interesting.
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Hi Doraid, Welcome to JustinGuitar and the Community.

You’re being well looked after with good advice.
I will simply post this to reinforce …



All very solid advise.

One other thing that might help when learning a song is to record yourself playing the song. When you play back, errors show up more easy. Then you can go and concentrate on changing what you think needs improved on.


Welcome to our Community Doraid! I’m also learning in my forties and my one top tip is: enjoy your journey and every minute you spend with your guitar!

I don’t know if it’ll be helpful but to me, as an adult learner, the moment I dropped any expectation and started enjoying every single note that’s when I started practice what was really meaningful to me and learning eventually…my destination is here and now everyday and it’s a very nice place to be…

…but of course we are all different so never stop questioning about your own self!

Tell me about that! A little step at the time we all improve!

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Posting here as need help. :grin:

Q: Playing I,IV,V progression. Need some guidance don’t want to wonder off to far from basic theory.

Im practicing playing each Major pentatonic Scale over the relative chord in the progression.

Assume using the I major or vi minor pentatonic scales over the I,IV,V. would also work.

Attempting to connect Triad shapes and CAGED shapes together within the pentatonic boxes. While trying to keep in same area of the Fretboard.

Have I got the basic theory correct Here?


Cheers Guys.

I don’t remember seeing that episode, Richard. I cry Photoshop. :wink:

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Jumping a bit late to the thread, but I only saw this in my “community summary” email …

I started learning 2 years ago

I have a similar “mileage” if you will, with about 2.5 years since I started my journey with JustinGuitar.

Few riffs, play few chords, few strumming patterns and that is it.

What I can offer you that has not been said before is, pick-up the JustinGuitar app, for it’s “guitar karaoke” feature. The selection of songs is huge, and you WILL develop solid rhythm and confident chord changes. When I look back at where I started and where I am now, I’m supper happy with the progress and a lot can be attributed to a steady routine of practice with the app.

My own habit: I keep a playlist of the songs I’m practicing, and go through that once every evening. And I also have ONE song that is challenging and I’m still learning, and that I’ll go over a few times, usually starting with the tempo at 70-80% and only allowing myself to move it up after a good 2 or 3 times with no mistakes.

It will come a time when the app is no longer needed as a practicing/learning tool, but where I am right now it delivers a ton of value. I say give it a try :slight_smile:

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