2021 Intermediate Practice

Looking at the new Intermediate lessons and wondering how to approach practice?

View the full lesson at 2021 Intermediate Practice | JustinGuitar

I’ve commented about this in relation to individual lessons, but perhaps this is the place to make the larger point. I frankly find the new course incredibly difficult to follow, let alone to navigate. I’ve now spent more than two hours clicking from unit to unit or module to module (or whatever they’re called now) trying to create a lesson plan that will allow me to review the intermediate lessons before moving on to the advanced lessons, and I have precious little to show for it. To the extent I know anything about guitar, I credit Justin and his earlier lessons, but I’m so confused by the new format that I’m seriously thinking of abandoning him and trying someone new.


I hear you. While I’m not complaining, I feel the same way. Very disjointed course and hope that Justin can give it some love soon.

I feel the same way about the course, I even tried the new beginner app and something off. Justin get back to the helm.

I have to agree with previous comments. I’ve just started to look at Intermediate Grade 4 after completing the Beginner courses and right from the start in E Shape Barre chord module there is a Triads lesson which is pretty much identical to the one in Beginner Grade 3, How to Use Easy Triads on Guitar | JustinGuitar.com


@MrGBob @jsg12 @Raqi2003 @eridun Hello everyone. I am still on Module 18 and have spent a lot of time planning my practice around the module organization of the lessons. So I was also concerned when I looked ahead and saw the disorganized lessons with mix of old and new course content in Grade 4. Justin says that he will eventually “clean up” the intermediate courses, but until then I know that I would have to do some planning ahead to be ready for when I start the Grade 4 practices.

Justin said “ It would be awesome if I could drop the whole course at once, but I still film and edit on my own. It’s going to take some time, but it’ll be great! :slight_smile: So, for the time being, you can either follow along with the old Intermediate Foundation lessons or adapt and explore this routine and cook it up yourself. :slight_smile: Good luck! ”

So I decided to create my own modules using the practice organization philosophy that Justin teaches in Grade 3 and pull out lessons from the different topical modules so that there are different practice skill types represented that are appropriate for both electric and acoustic guitar. I plan on continuing with a 40 minute practice routine so I have to have a plan or I won’t get much accomplished. I also knew that I gave up a few years back when I just practiced the classic Grade 4 foundation 1 practice routine, since it was too boring.

Here is my first approximation of organized practice modules for Grade 4.

Grade 4 plan from SteveL Learning Log

I used the same number of modules as Grade 3. Since that is taking me about 1 year to finished at my slower pace, I am hoping I can finish Grade 4 in about 1 year.

This is just a first attempt to organize the Grade 4 lessons in a usable way. I know that I will be adjusting the order and will be including some outside material for acoustic and electric blues and rock. Also I will need to create practice routines based on the content and techniques covered in the videos in each module. The practice schedule for each module will follow my own practice philosophy - something old (review or revision), something new, something borrowed (because I’ll be supplementing with outside material) and especially something blue(s). But like Justin says, everyone will need to create and customize their own practice routine at this level using what you have learned in Grade 3.

What do you think of this so far?

I think at this level everyone should tailor practice routines for them. So if you’re happy with that, then do it. My routine is quite different. At each time I’ve focused on one major new technique (e.g. bends, or a new scale position, etc), one set piece, and song & riff practice. And as I master some things I drop them, or keep them for a long, long time as I get faster (e.g. scales).

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JK, thanks for the feedback. Unstructured practice (or less rigidly structured) works the best for you and I can’t argue against your practice methods, because you have great recordings and show progress. I mostly was posting this as a response to others that were discouraged by what they considered insufficient structure in Grade 4 and for me. I need to have some overall structured framework or master plan for the Grade, to both hold me back, since I tend to rush through topics until I reach maximum frustration and to give me a sense of moving forward. I have tended to add more unstructured practice as I advance and in Grade 3 it was 2 days structured practice and 1 day unstructured, with occasionally week dedicated to song practice and recording. In Grade 4 I’ll probably alternate structured and unstructured days and I’ll drop some of the structured lessons as i master them like you do.

BTW, thanks for the earlier feedback on my electric guitar playing. I found that my problem was lack of practice on the electric, since I am primarily an acoustic guitar player/singer and I spent 90 % of my time in Grade 1 and 2 on the acoustic. I am spending more time with Grade 2 songs that use electric guitar to give myself the needed consolidation practice time on the electric guitar, before I return to Grade 3 electric guitar songs or look ahead to Grade 4.


Grade 4 has this update from 2021 talking about the old and the new intermediate foundation lessons. I am a little bit confused by this part of the lesson.

With the new course coming out, I know that many of you aren’t sure how to mix the old with the new lessons. So, I figured I would outline the new practice routine and explain how it works. Let’s look at how you can blend the old course with the new lessons until the all-new Intermediate Foundation is ready!

It would be awesome if I could drop the whole course at once, but I still film and edit on my own. It’s going to take some time, but it’ll be great! :slight_smile: So, for the time being, you can either follow along with the old Intermediate Foundation lessons or adapt and explore this routine and cook it up yourself. :slight_smile: Good luck!

Now in 2023, is that text from the lesson still relevant ?

Is the new grade 4 course out yet ? Which old intermediate foundation lessons are we talking about and is it still needed to use it for grade 4 in 2023?

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average time to complete grade 4

how to approach grade 4 should i see a video a day

could be one year, could be 5 years. totally individual.

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Like you, it’s not really clear to me how grade 4 structure works. This is my understanding from reading this page , but I’d like to have the guidance of people that have already started the grade.

From my understanding, the layout of the course is different than grades 1-3.

Grade 4 is not divided by modules that we follow one after the other. Instead, we do a little bit of each module everyday since each module covers an area of the pratice routine (technique, knowledge, transcribing, repertoire). Therefore, we work on the modules in parallel.

To start, I think that the intent is to pratice the first 1-2 videos of the 5 modules : Rythm Maestro, E Shappe Barre Chord, Major scale Maestro, Blues guitar studies and Transcribing course . And move to the next videos of each module once we feel confident with the video’s pratice exercices.

And, off course, learn songs too.

Vijayant, welcome to the Community.

Raymond is right. Far too many variables and complex relationships. Not to mention that while there are completion guidelines it becomes more and more an individual expression. So two people can genuinely complete the grade and play quite differently.

Enjoy the learning, practicing and playing.

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You can take the course how you like if you want 1 video at a time and practice that then move on to next video then practice that .whatever you want because everyone learns differently and what ever you need to do to learn the material then that’s what matters.

Dont look at it as completing the Intermediate or Advanced lessons, but rather becoming increasingly competent in the concepts, skills and techniques; then being able to apply these freely in varying contexts. There’s literally more than a lifetime’s work there. Enjoy.

Cheers, Shane.


A post was split to a new topic: I’m unsure how to organise my Grade 4 practice time & routine. Any help please?

I watch the video with my guitar on my lap and consider that one practice session for Major Scale Maestro. Then the next day and for days afterward, I practice the content of that video until I feel I can move on. The five minutes, or however long you choose to spend on it, is the practice after you watch the video.

So …
Day 1 = Watch the video with guitar on my lap
Day 2 - Day ?? = Do the practice (5 minutes?) for that video until you can move on.

As Justin says in multiple lessons in many Grades, watching the videos is not practice. You could say its learning. Hands on application of what you have learnt is practice. :sunglasses:
So Day 1 Learning

If I watch a video with my guitar in my lap, I do what he does to get a feel for the practices to follow. Combine that with normal practice, and most days, that’s all the time I have. I do agree with you (and Justin) that just simply watching a video isn’t practice, but following along with a video and playing with it can be a reasonable substitute, given time constraints.