JustinGuitar - Teaching the World to Play. Since 2003.
I started JustinGuitar.com in hotel rooms while I was touring the world back in the day. Today, we're a dedicated team that believes in generosity, gratitude and paying it forward.
Our Mission. Dreams are universal, but opportunities are not. We believe that every person in the world should have access to the very best guitar education. Our mission is to make that possible!
Our Values. We provide a safe, open, and inclusive learning environment. We work together to build your confidence and musicianship. We believe in quality and innovation, and we do everything to the best of our ability and with passion.
At JustinGuitar, we treat each other as people and with respect. We believe that learning should be fun, and we're here to share our love of music. Living and learning with discipline and an enquiring mind lead to happiness. Together, we can make the world a better place.
Who's Justin? How did JustinGuitar begin?
Hey, how you doing? I'm Justin Sandercoe. :) I started teaching guitar online way back in 2001 - a time when pretty much no one else was doing that! But my journey with the guitar began way before.
I grew up in Tasmania, an island off the South East coast of Australia. I started on the ukulele when I was very young and guitar from about age 9. I started gigging with my first Rock and Blues bands when I was 12, and I started teaching shortly after that. There was a vibrant music scene in Hobart, and I was able to play live a lot.
After college, I began studying classical guitar at The Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music. At the time, I played in funk and rock bands, with often five gigs a week, and teaching many private students at the Hobart College of Music.
In 1996 I landed a scholarship to The Guitar Institute in London, one of the world’s most prestigious schools. I started teaching there after graduating. After nine months of playing in a Butlins holiday camp band to earn some money and buy more gear, I joined The Counterfeit Stones, a Rolling Stones Tribute band. We played over 1000 concerts - you can see a bunch of performances here!
JustinGuitar.com first went live in July 2003 to support my private lessons. I used to code it and add content to it when traveling around the world on tours. I left The Counterfeit Stones in 2005 to join Katie Melua's band. We've traveled the world playing big theatres and arenas - including the incredible Live Earth concert in 2007. At that point, I was already working a lot on JustinGuitar - in the back of vans and hotel rooms. I started to see YouTube growth and the many possibilities I could explore on that platform.
Over the years, JustinGuitar has grown pretty steadily. In 2009, I quit touring and started working on the website full-time. It was clear that I should focus my attention here. Through JustinGuitar, I got the chance to start teaching the world to play - and this is what I hope I'll do forever!
From the very beginning, I kept JustinGuitar as free and as open as possible. I get heartwarming messages from people all over the world who wouldn't have been able to learn without my lessons. It helped me realize that my mission is to provide the very best guitar education to everyone, no matter their circumstances.
I have released 13 books published by Music Sales / Hal Leonard, many best sellers in the Guitar Education sector. I’ve been writing the Food For Thought column in Guitar Techniques magazine since 2015. As a musician, I'm a founder of the trip-hop band called We Came As Strangers. We've released the albums Recipe For Adventure (2013), Shattered Matter (2014), and then Eyedom (2015). Besides Katie Melua, I've played for Cathy Dennis, Carla Bruni, and many others!
In 2017, shortly after my daughter Vivi’s arrival, we moved out of London to the Surrey countryside. I live with two awesome cats, Smokey and the Bandit. They're both scared of my guitars but tolerate our family living in their house, which is nice. They're not happy about the arrival of our bonkers Border Collie x Poodle called Ziggy.
When not doing guitar stuff, I travel as much as I can - it's my favorite thing to do. Life changed with parenting, and now we travel differently but still as often as we can. I'm into keeping fit and meditation too. I have an obsession with chocolate and love craft beer and BBQs. I don't like garlic, mushrooms, or blue cheese - moving to France would never be an option! You can get to know more about me on my social media and blog. :)
My teaching approach is patient. I encourage my students to learn one thing well and be able to use it before learning more. My method works. Hundreds of thousands of students learned from JustinGuitar.com - I hope you chose to be a part of our community of guitar students! :)