Hi All, Trish here (Stackpop on the old forum). I’m a 34 year old guitar beginner and life long rock n roll enthusiast from the USA. Here is a summary of my roadcase from the old forum/my journey:
2004-2009 I played in the '00s, from about 15-20. I probably put in 1000 hours or more. I tried to learn from random bits of Tab online. This was of course unstructured and I never learned fundamentals (like timing ) - I was embarrassingly bad, but hey, at least I had fun. I eventually stopped playing because going to university/college and working took up all my time and energy.
March 2020 I tried to relearn during lockdown after more than a decade off. I decided to try Justin’s lessons… I did not decide to listen to his practice routines. So of course I didn’t make much progress then either - I kept jumping from lesson to lesson without really solidifying anything. I quit again in frustration. This had nothing to do with the quality of Justin’s lessons and everything to do with my own hubris thinking I didn’t need to use a metronome or practice chord changes before trying difficult songs.
May 2021 With fresh insight about why things didn’t go well the last two tries, I tried again. I’ve been following Justin’s lessons and practice routines and using the dreaded metronome. It’s slower than I’d like because I’ve had some time off due to injuries and trips for work, but I’m making a lot of progress. Sticking with the program and solidifying the fundamentals is key! After just two months I felt like I was already better than I was in my 5 years as a teen.
Where I’m at now: I have been using Justin’s lesson books and song books (the books are the old lessons, practicing in front of the computer just isn’t for me if I can help it, I can focus better and have more fun if I’m away from it). I’ve completed the material in both the beginner and intermediate books. If I flip to a random page in Justin’s beginner song book I can reasonably strum most songs either as open chords or as barre chords or power chords if I think it might sound cooler (some of the songs in the bonus section are tricky still). I’ve been playing ~7 months and I’m only now able to start strumming along with the original recordings - and that’s because I’ve put in hours of practice playing along to drum tracks and the metronome. If anyone has read this far and happens to be feeling discouraged about their own progress, don’t worry. Keep at it. We all get there at our own pace. Some things that are hard for others will be easy for you and vice versa.
What I need to be more accountable on 1) Actually memorizing songs/expanding my repertoire and not just absent mindedly strumming along with a chord sheet (no judgement on beginners doing this, I just want to move past that stage). I’ve really slacked on that, partially because of the time off and irregular practice schedule I’ve had due to work and injuries. 2) Using my looper pedal to practice playing along with someone (even if it’s me). 3) Recording myself playing more - I find it nerve wracking and embarrassing, but I recorded my practice session yesterday and was immediately able to identify and correct mistakes I was making. I may not have realized otherwise.
Short Term Goal Start playing songs from Justin’s rock song book well enough to share. To make this a SMART goal, I would like to record and post “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by the end of January and “Sunshine of Your Love” by the end of February. It might take a lot less time to learn those songs. I’ll readjust if necessary.
Longer Term Goal Play the lead guitar part on a rock song by the end of the summer.