Should I Bother?

Yet again, thinking of taking up the guitar, it is still next to me 5 months after I last played and not touched it since, but should I bother? I know it will sound like crap and that will annoy me so much I will not want to bother, a cycle I have been in many times before. This may be the wrong thing to say, but ‘theory, triads, arpeggios and suchlike’ I have no idea what they are all about and they make me more confused.

Hope this is the right place to post this.

And I prefer the old site.


Welcome to the community Kevin. The only person who can answer that question is you.
You don’t need Theory, Triads or arpeggios to learn how to play.
All you need is to start with Justin’s Beginner Course follow the lessons and that’s it.

Forget all that other :poop: until you actually need to learn it. Which for a lot of people is


Hello! I too chose to pick up guitar again last March after an extended absence and while theory, triads, and arpeggios are certainly important down the road, what matters is what you want to get out of playing right now. I was tasked by my employer to learn something new in 2020 and I chose guitar because I’ve always loved and studied music and wanted to pick it up again. I like Justin’s courses because I could get into playing songs right away without learning scales and modes or playing a million notes per second. It’s a great thing and yeah I still sound like crap on some things right now I just get a huge kick out of playing that it makes the learning worth it. Enjoy the ride!


Hi Kevin,
I thought I recognised the name as well as concerns from the old Forum.
I had a quick look and you received quite a lot encouragement, as well as sensible, constructive suggestions.
Before attempting to answer your question as to whether you should bother, it would be helpful to know if anything has changed regarding your attitude to learning.
If we repeat the same actions, we’re likely to end up with the same results.
Whether you choose to follow Justin’s course, plough your own path learning guitar, or decide it is not for you, I hope you enjoy yourself and have a wonderful New Year :smiley:


I agree with what @stitch says, you’re the only one that can answer that. However, it seems to be calling you in some fashion, since you’re thinking of taking it up again. My suggestion is therefore to check out the beginner’s course but at the same time also check out how people are doing in the AVOYP section. There are many community members who post some really good stuff for beginner guitar players. It will give you a bit of a sense of where you could be in 3-6-12 months (although everybody progresses differently, we’re all individuals, we invest more, or less time, we have other commitments, etc). It does take some effort and commitment to learn how to play guitar, and there are frustrations along the way for sure. Think about what you want to get out of it, what keeps calling you, and decide whether you want it or not. If you do decide to go for it think about making a minimum time commitment. 6 mos maybe? You won’t be a guitar god after 6 months, but you could have enough guitar under your fingers to decide if it’s something you want to continue. And it’s not the end of the world if you don’t, so don’t beat yourself up if you decide it’s not for you. For many / most of us here, being able to play guitar, and to have fun doing so, to learn and advance, is a wonderful thing.


It seems to me that if you’re asking yourself (and us) if it’s “worth bothering” then it probably isn’t. I mean, guitar is something that is going to take many, many hours of patient practice over months and years. From what you said it sounds like you simply don’t have the level of interest required for that level of commitment. If difficulty, confusion, “sounding crap” and not being able to instantly understand every concept are barriers to your enjoyment of a hobby, then learning an instrument of any kind probably isn’t really your thing.

Sorry for the “negative” reply, but I believe in being honest and not kidding ourselves or each other. I also believe in spending our lives doing things we truly enjoy, rather than wasting them on things we find frustrating and will never fully fulfil.

If guitar was easy and for everyone, then everyone would be doing it, after all.


Hey Kevin,

Much has been said here already , and I hope it brings you some encouragement.

Like anything in life, if you have the passion, you’ll jump the hurdles.

Cheers, Shane

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Hi Kevin, All I can say if you are not feeling it, maybe it isn’t for you. Of course its not easy, and two years ago, yup things did sound crappy when I started. But I chose to take it slowly, and work on a little at a time. Sometimes it still sounds crappy, lol but thats when I stop and work on that bit that i’m having trouble with. Justins beginner course is really good, and taking each video and practicing what he shows you. Will head you in the right direction. When things start to gel, its really exciting and makes you feel good with all your hard work to learn… By the way his theory course is perfect for understanding all the theory! I am doing that also, bit by bit.
There is no rush you go at your own pace, It is a journey after all… not a race.
Good luck I hope you start soon.


I don’t have much to add to what has already been said. If you want it, you’ll need to find the willingness to put in the work and the time. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the effort or not.

With that said, if you do tackle it again, I’d suggest blocking out time where you “play for fun” (as opposed to formal practice). You can do that at any level of ability. You can put on a drum beat and just play single notes or one or two chords “in time,” aiming to make the simple sound musical. You can explore tones on your guitar. If it’s an acoustic, experiment with picking or strumming near the bridge vs. near the neck, or fingers vs. pick, or different pressures and volumes. If it’s an electric, you can do similar things, but also experiment with amp settings, effects, and your guitar’s volume and tone knobs and pickup selector switch. Find some things that are interesting and fun, and make that part of your guitar experience. If you can bring some joy into the process it might make it easier to be patient as you develop your abilities on guitar.


Is @JustinGuitar reading this thread? :smiley:


Hi Kevin and welcome to the new forum. You get used to it, took me a while but I am enjoying it now.

Not much to add to what has already been said except that I still sound crap when learning something new but I usually pick it up quicker now I have been playing again for 5 years.

All I can say is plug it in, start Justin’s beginner course and enjoy the journey



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@brianlarsen has summed it up perfectly. Seems to me that the people who have replied here and previously on the old forum, have put more effort into their replies than @kevinuk81 is prepared to put into learning guitar.


Kevin hello again and guess its the same old question that no one can answer but yourself.

We have tried, pretty much all of last year since you joined the old forum and all I see here is a repeat of what folks said back then, by some of the same folk and by those who have just met you.

So with regard to what @brianlarsen Brian asked, what’s changed, since July ?

Did you ever think about his question

Do you really want to learn how to play guitar or just wish you were able to play guitar?
Are you able to enjoy and maintain enthusiasm for other interests at the moment?

Going back over those old post, I found these

I have worked through some of the beginners course, some of it is very easy to understand, have looked at barre chords as well, think I need 3 hands to do any of that.

Were you following it step by step or cherry picking what you thought you needed to know ? Its structured for a reason, did you learns songs relating to the chords you learnt. I believe @adi_mrok suggested a few songs and with ADE your could play literally thousands of songs.

Not comparing my guitar playing to others, I am nowhere near as good as anyone I have heard, we all learn at different rates, some put in many hours a day every day, I could do that, I don’t work so could play 8 hours a day easily, but that will just add to my inability.

How did you structure your practice ? I could never work out that last comment ?
Maybe the way you approached your practice led to your mojo evaporating.

I know tabs, chords not so much, not sure if I should try to learn more chords just yet, I know 8, any song I think I could have a go at seems to have chords I don’t know, so I don’t bother with those.

Well you hit the nail on the head with that one. So what songs did you learn with those 8 chords.
You appear to be overreaching yourself, you have to build from the ground up.

That fact you are asking this question, says to me its not time. I believe it was @DavidP David, who said we cannot motivate you, only you can do that.

So you really need to look in the mirror for the answer to your question and if there is none, then put the guitar and gear somewhere it can’t be seen. Somewhere, where you won’t be reminded of all the negativity it brings.

As much as I would not want you to quit, I can’t give you, what your reason is for bothering. My answer to that would be meaningless to you, as its why I bother, even when I suck day after day and I am not you.

Maybe its time for some tough love. That’s hard for me to do, I’ve spent nearly 9 years on these boards trying to be supporting and encouraging and very seldom negative. Yes if someone rocks up and starts telling folk not to bother learning something because its hard, then yes I’ll have something less than positive to say. But in general I just want folks to learn from my misfortunes.

In the 17 years I spent start stopping this guitar learning before I found Justin, not once did I ask “why bother” there was always a reason, a desire, a passion. If you don’t have that, maybe its time to hang it up.

As @sairfingers Gordon said, many folk are investing a great deal of time now trying to help, as we did before (this has eaten into my morning practice session for example). If you don’t want to quit and really think its time to restart again, you now need to make the investment in yourself. We’ll still be here to help, when you need it.

Sorry for the negativity folks. Normal service will be resumed shortly.


Well, some positive comments there, couple I could say are negative, but only what I am thinking anyway. What has changed since July? Nothing really, don’t listen to much music nowadays, no new cd’s/dvd’s, guitar is still within reach, suppose it is one of those things where I can see it and should either play it or put it away, out of sight, out of mind, apart from the other guitars which are in their case, but in sight. The 8 hour thing, if I played for 30 minutes, I am hopeless, so far 8 hours, I would be 16 times as bad. I want to play guitar, it seems like I am one of the ones who are not able to, no amount of teaching, reading books, practicing seems to help, when all is said and done, it comes down to my 2 hands, and they are not able. And how is knowing 8 chords overreaching? If I was to be any good, I would know a lot more.

Sairfingers, you are right, yourself and others have given important input into answering, I really need to do the same for myself, just don’t expect me to be selling out at your local music venue.


You said the songs you want to play did not contain the chords you know, that is what I meant by overreaching. Which is why I as asked what songs can you play with those 8 chords, ie songs within your ability range. Does that make more sense ? Get confident at playing songs with the chords you know and learn new chords and techniques alongside that. That is how we all progress. Use and develop what we know while adding to the knowledge base.

Look at the positives, you knew zero chords when you started and now know 8. That puts an inordinate number of songs at your disposal to learn and enjoy. That should give you the motivation to carry on.

I am learning a load of new Blues licks at the moment. 95% suck and I mean really suck and it will take patience and determination to get them right but when I get them right, boy will I have some fun musically !! In the meantime I am cranking out cowboy chord songs to keep things ticking along. Its all about perspective, short term and long term.

Step back and think about what your objectives are in respect of playing the guitar, have a ponder and let us know. Maybe some specific guidance my light the fire in you that is obviously still smouldering.




Kevin I wonder what it would be like if you lowered your expectations of yourself a little ? Perhaps it would narrow the chasm between “ I cant” / “should” and just enjoying going at a pace that suits yourself.

My fantasy is that I will play like Rory Gallagher :grin:….the reality is of course that I will keep going at that D chord and concede that I may be the only Irish person on earth who cant sing either ! :joy:

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Maybe not the most supportive but:
You know 8 chords. If there’s too many songs to choose from, open All Songs |, scroll down to filters. Put in the chords you are most comfortable with, pick the first song that shows up, learn it. Rinse and repeat.

Ignore the lessons, ignore theory, ignore triads, ignore million other things that are covered. Just sit down and play some _________ (insert an arbitrary swear word of your choice) music.

It’ll make you feel better.

I am a year or something away from playing for 15 years. 2 years in I learnt all the rhythm parts of Master of Puppets. Did it sound good? Probably not, missed half of the notes but it was an achievement just to get through the entire song playing along to the original. It felt good!

Two days ago, I randomly checked what is the most recent song lesson Justin made and it was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. God, this song is brutal on the right hand. I’ve known it forever and never realised how hard it is. It’ll take me a few weeks to get it down (and I might need to correct my strumming technique a bit). My right hand is sore but it feels good. And it’ll feel good tomorrow when I try it again.

So Kevin, please sit down, ignore everything else and just learn some songs. That’s why you started learning in the first place. Keep rockin’ :sunglasses: !

I prefer many structural/design things from the old site (the old old site to be precise) but things change and I understand why redesign was needed and even if it wasn’t, it’s outside my power. I am just here to play and make some music. A.k.a. do not let the website change become another distraction why you cannot play some songs.



Someone is speaking my language!



It has to be old forum’s classic this meme doesn’t it?! :rofl:

I can very much related to your frustration. When I tried to learn 30 years ago, I went to lessons and did the whole theory thing, started learning scales and such. It sucked the living joy out of it and I ended up dropping it.

10 years ago I saw a friend make great progress over a matter of a few months so I started again, this time with a clearer goal which was to learn songs that others would sing along to.

I started with Justin’s beginners lessons, the ones that made a difference were using a timer to track that you actually did 15 minutes of daily practice, the one second chord changes and a very easy song to start that used chords A E and D, also the way he taught fingering the A chord so your index finger is the anchor for A E and D. I don’t recall to what degree I stuck to the beginners course, for me, the main thing was a clearer and specific goal.

It took a couple of months and soon I could play my first whole song all the way through. From that moment on it all changed for me and I kept increasing my daily practice time. It’s been quite frustrating at times, but the reward, for me, has well and truly been worth it in a multitude of ways. Now I’m happily learning theory and such, but in the beginning, I’m so glad I didn’t.

I hope you can find your mojo with the guitar.

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