Should I also get a Private Tutor?

Hey there! Justin has been truly great and I feel like I have learned a ton in a short amount of time. That being said sometimes I feel like I lack direction even then. Almost been playing to my 5 month point and just now getting into learning power chords and distortion. I have a Fender frontman 10g amp for instance that I got with my beginner Squier electric guitar, but it sounds nothing like the original recording of something like cocaine by Eric Clapton.

I feel like I need someone to show me in person what all this means, how to sound exactly like the original and how to adjust settings correctly to get to that point if that makes sense. I got to this module and it was like a shock to the system.

I can tell Justin has eased back and taking more of an approach of letting us figure things out on our own a bit more, but the sheer amount of more time I have to invest was a shock. Where a practice is supposed to take 30 minutes, it took me an hour and a half just to somewhat decently figure out how to actually practice this module.

Makes me think maybe some in person direction might be needed to develop these more advanced concepts. Any thoughts to that? Also is a new amp worth it? Let’s just say money isn’t a worry, but I am still very much a beginner. Any advice would be appreciative!


Online guitar instructors can tell you how to do something, but they can’t see if something what you are doing is it correct, or wrong. It is easier to learn something, that to unlearn bad habits. I have heard that learning with the instructor is much faster, that learning alone. Find instructor, if you can afford it.

I never had instructor, but everything I told you is what I figured out, or I heard it, or read it online. Decide for yourself.

I think that it is hard to achieve same tone. It is a reason why it does no sound same. Upload some videos and we will see what is different, in your guitar covers.

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Definitely. One of the things I have noticed is I can learn given direction, but once I am tasked to somewhat figure things out on my own, I get easily frustrated. Only thing that fits into the time schedule is the guitar center tutors and I am not 100% sold on the idea that they are going to be exactly what I am looking for and be able to match my goals, but really I am just looking for that feedback and guidance on where I am now because I am proud of where I have gotten so far and don’t want it derailed by frustration on these newer things, the more “advanced” I get.

Mr Clapton just finished his encore of ‘Cocaine’, the applause is dying slowly as he puts his guitar down and runs off stage. If you or I pick up that guitar, I bet we won’t sound like him. However, I bet that if Eric pops round for a coffee and picks up your Squire it will sound just like him. I wouldn’t get too hung up sounding exactly like the recordings, there is so much in personal playing style and post production effects that you won’t ever exactly recreate.

To your real question of tutors, have you considered one of the Justin Guitar approved teachers? I had a few online lessons with one of them and I’d highly recommend it - they also know the method and material really well so will be able to understand where you are at and refer to relevant lessons.


Honestly about the Justin tutors thing, no I haven’t, truly didn’t even know that was an option. I mean I had always planned eventually on going to someone in person anyways just to kind of get me going in an advanced direction when I reached that point, right now it is just to give me some direction and feedback where I have gotten so far in the journey to this point. That and maybe explaining this module I am on a bit more because it is just getting more challenging as time goes on.

When it comes to sounding like the original, I know I am not going to sound like a guitar legend any time soon lol, but just the overall effects on amps, pedals, etc. I am totally lost on the concept entirely.

There is a lot to unpack in your post as to talk about both how much time is required to learn guitar, the direction of learning and your gear/tone.

On the gear/tone front then I will happily confirm you are not going to sound like a record sounds at 5 months in. You wont even sound like that 12 or 18 months in because it’s a studio recording with layers of instruments etc etc. That said your gear (amp, guitar, fx etc) is going to make a big difference and equally so is your proficiency with playing guitar. So yes a “better” amp and a “better” guitar will get you closer to the tone you want…but your playing also has to improve.

5 months learning and playing guitar? honestly that really isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things…you are still very much a beginner. You yourself can see great strides you’ve made already but really you need to give 2-3 years before you really start to feel comfortable with most of the skills required AND can start to sound more like songs you hear…I’ve been learning with Justin for 12 years and there is still lots I can’t do confidently.

In terms of a private guitar tutor it depends on whether you get a GOOD one or a NOT SO GOOD one. If it’s a good one then yes they’ll absolutely support you and help you. If not so good then you’ll be left in an even worse position. If it is was me I would look at Justin’s guitar tutors who offer private virtual lessons…at least they know the course backwards.

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Yeah, I might have to figure out how to use the Justin tutors, just to help me out where I am ow. Power chords and how to practice them are basically foreign to me right now and the first thing I have stumbled across that I genuinely cannot figure out how to even practice. Having to go learn a song just to practice a technique takes a lot longer than any of the previous practice routines did. Just a change of pace I have to figure out. Enter sandman is the most challenging riff I have tried yet as well and that stretch is brutal. Gets you discouraged a bit, that is where I was hoping someone could give some direction to.

What you do not state is where you are exactly in respect of Justin’s teaching path and what is causing you problems. Just power chords or are there other things you are lacking direction in ? Are you mid way through Grade 2 ? I have just reviewed the first 2 grades having completed the old Beginners Course some years ago. Yes Justin encourages you to find “your” way with certain things but there is clearly more direction than there used to be. Maybe you’ve missed something along the way.

As for sounding like the original, as has been said it won’t happen. Even with the same gear, same studio and same recording crew it will sound like you. As @CT Clint often says “find your own sound” be you.


Power chords are hard to learn. I learned them long time ago. But I will learn more about them when I reach that module.

If you do not understand effects, I can explain them to you. Ask questions.

To answer the where and what question. Yes I am module 12 now of grade 2 and can fingerstyle happy birthday decently well now, still working on it and sus chords or decently, but need more work. Feel good enough to move on. My struggle for instance is like G chord, boom there is a chord diagram no problem, put your fingers here play that for 2 minutes then change between it and a C chord lets say for 1 minute and you are done, easy enough, I can practice that for 3 minutes right out the gate.

When it comes to module 12 it is power chords, sliding power chords, and string crossing power chords. Here are some songs to learn to go with it. Okay to practice sliding power chords you need to find a song, let’s say cocaine by Eric Clapton, then you have to go to the video lesson on cocaine to figure out what chords to even play and slide to then you have to come back to the module and practice it for 3 minutes. String switching you have to play all the small things blink 182 for instance, well then, I have to go learn the songs chords which is different than the previous chords, after switching back and forth between 3 tabs on the computer and the practice tab it’s been an hour and a half, and you feel like you really haven’t practiced anything.

For me it is much easier to go okay here is an E power chord, c power chord, b power chord, f sharp, etc. then once I know those chords, then go find my favorite songs and play them after. This new way of practicing is just not what I am used to, and I feel like I am wasting practice time searching than I am actually practicing. I might just be misguided, but I hate feeling like I am wasting time, with something I am so passionate about.

I just have the smaller fender frontman 10g amp and I can hit the OD button and turn gain up and down, but it just doesn’t sound right. The first venture into effects and trying to figure out how to make enter sandman sound as close as I can to the original on this amp during one session and then change it to where it sounds like sultans of swing the next (sorry about the 2 songs I could think of that would be pretty different from each other with different sounds) and then to something like paranoid by black sabbath after that and I am not sure this amp can do that and if it can’t what pedals to get that would need to influence those different types of sounds. Also the bridge pickup on my Stratocaster replica vs the neck vs the different types of pickups is greek to me at the moment as well. my guitar actually has 3 pickups and 5 different settings the lever can be set to.

Hi Josh, I’ve only skimmed the posts here, but your statement above caught my attention. This describes me exactly! I’m also in Grade 2 (consolidating) and got frustrated by power chords (and later by the blues module). I didn’t understand how proficient I should be to move on, and certainly wasn’t enjoying any of the songs suggested for practice. (It’s funny - I like listening to a lot of those songs, but at this point in my journey I don’t much enjoy playing them.) I was frustrated and uninterested.

Like you, I decided to find a personal instructor. There is not a lot of choice where I live; I tried two, but didn’t connect with either. On to plan B: I’m now working with one of Justin’s approved teachers. It’s been so helpful! For example, he suggested incorporating power chords into a song that I’m already practicing - and enjoying. Now I’m learning two different ways to approach a specific section of that song - which also opens my mind to approaching other songs! Of course, it would be nice if the teacher and I were in the same room. But given the help I’ve gotten after only three lessons, I’ll accept Zoom!

I’ve written a lot there…if any of it resonates and if you want to discuss in more detail, feel free to PM me.


I think you need to slow down Josh. Power chords are not as easy as they look and take time to master. I wouldn’t even think about applying chords to songs until I can play them cleanly and do decent one minute changes. Its all about baby steps. Focus on playing the power chords cleanly with no other strings ring out. Just one to start with. Then repeat 2 frets down or up. Doesn’t matter what the root is, just play it clean. But say its 5th fret 6 string root A5 the go two up and play B5. To start lift your fingers and don’t slide, practice placing the power chord down accurately each time, you won’t always be sliding but you will always aim to play cleanly. When you can move from A5 to B5 and the chord rings clean (get it right with minimum distortion to start so it doesn’t mask sloppy play) then add G5 at the third fret. Play A5 B5 A5 G5, practice slow practice clean. Could take weeks could take months, don’t rush get it right. Repeat on 5th string same frets D5 to E5, add C5 and do D5 E5 D5 C5 slow steady accurate and right. Once you can do this then start thinking about songs. Slow and steady wins the day, you need patience and dedication. :sunglasses:

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From someone who has tried private lessons, just two lessons. But that was enough for me to just drop it.
He was a brilliant guitarist/musician. And he could learn me the beginner essential. But i had allready learned that through Justin… was a waste of time and money.

I echo what Jason said about good and not good teacher….

5 months is nothing, give youre self more time,
Dont be hard on youre self.
Im 3 years into it, and have just started to dip my toes into grade 3, we all learn in a different pace, but end of grade 2 after 5 months is pretty fast :grin:

Thanks for jumping in with feedback! Yeah, it for sure has been a good time. I practice sometimes on weekends 3-4 hours a day and an hour practice throughout the week. I was lucky and my fingers have already been callused through hard work in life, so I could go harder and longer than a complete beginner with softer fingers. I just put in a ton of work getting open chords and chord changes down with strumming and all the riffs as good as possible before moving on. I do think though it is probably a detriment to my frustration level though once I reach something I struggle with haha.

Josh, I only have experience with face-to-face guitar teachers in group settings and for me those courses weren’t very helpful, because obviously the guitar teachers didn’t have the time to concentrate on each student individually.

Somewhere in your initial post you are implying that money is not the issue. So how about you give both ideas a chance? Working together with a private mentor and trying remote lessons with one of Justin’s approved teachers? In the end, only you can decide what works best for you :slightly_smiling_face:

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Absolutely! Considering doing that right now actually.

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Going with what you typed, I think an in-person instructor would be good for you. However, the issue is finding the right one. Much like finding the right material on the internet that resonates with you, finding the right in-person, or internet-based instructor can be quite the process. Though I am back playing after a hand injury, I will be finding an in-person or internet-based instructor in about six months.

Here is what I would do. If you want an in-person, find one who knows and is familiar with Justin and have them teach and augment those lessons. But before that, give one of Justin’s internet-based instructors a try. Don’t commit, just try. You have to find what works for YOU, as long as YOU will settle on something that works.


Missed this earlier, I will look at that! Just with the practice routines it says to go play a song to practice the chords, so that was what was getting to me, having to learn the songs chords first then actually practicing the chord, but I will try that and work on getting it down. I for sure have the dedication, just not sure about the patience. I want to be playing like a rockstar tomorrow and am nowhere near. There is just so many songs I have sung my whole life without music, I would like to add the guitar to it, but once I found out songs I sung actually aren’t very easy to play on guitar, it’s an eye opener. I can sing better than I can play guitar. Who knew?

That is exactly my thinking, I will look into it as soon as I can.