Well I’ve just finished the last module of Grade 1, it’s been quite a journey. It’s taken me 6 weeks to date. I’ve loved every minute of it and had a couple of days of frustration but all positive now. The community was brilliant when I got a bit frustrated, thanks to you all.
My progress has been good and so much better than my failed attempt some 15 - 20 years ago. The only disadvantage being my fingers are now less obedient. I’m going to take a few weeks out to consolidate what I’ve learned at a more gentle pace before I go on to grade 2.
My biggest problem right now is that having played for approx 1 hour each day, once the finger tips were hardened, I am now suffering from intense aches in the lower arm and fingers. I think I may have over done it in my enthusiasm, hence the slower pace for the next few weeks.
My chord changes are all well over 30/min but they are not as clear and accurate as I want them to be, so this will be a project for the next few weeks. The strumming is coming along and I have a couple of songs which I am trying to finger pick. The speed of my chord changes is the problem so that will be my focus. My fingers still want to be placed in the order of 1,2, 3 so air changes are going to be hilariously interesting with my reluctant fingers. I’m not ready to post a video yet as I’m not happy enough with my playing yet.
I’m really enjoying the learning though so onwards and upwards.
Hi Love your post and your enthousiasm Love your post also because I can see I’m not the only one to have those bumps in the road… When finished grade 1 (few weeks ago), I discovered the “air changes” and thought this was very important. So I spend a month (almost) only playing slow chord changes with all fingers touching the strings at the same time. I think it worth it. Also, take good care about not doing tendinites by practiciing to much. To much repetitive movements. Tendinites is a real pain… Take a long time to go away when it’s there. Can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube… Take good care and keep on with your enthousiasm It’s contagious
You’re at about the same stage as me! I’ve been consolidating since the beginning of the year (I think I’m almost ready to move on). Like @BigLuc, I also spent some time on air changes, as well as slowly changing chords while putting my fingers down in different sequences, which I do think helped a lot - although since I was doing that instead of OMC for a few weeks, my speed has suffered so I’m back to working on that again
OMC is one minute changes. The air bit refers to making chord shapes with the fingers before they touch the strings. This helps to make the changes quicker. Justin tells you about it in Grade 1 Module 7. Hope you are getting on ok. Good luck with your journey
Delighted to read your Log, Angie, and hear thye enthusiasm and positivity.
Wise to ‘listen’ to your body and not over do things. Like any physical activity, one needs to develop the strength, stamina, flexibility required and should not under-estimate this because it is guitar-playing and not some high intensity martial art etc.
We all learn at our own pace in our own way, so without reflecting on specifically 6 weeks to complete Grade 1’s modules, I’d encourage you to pay attention to the lesson on completing the grade. Make sure you can achieve the criteria and standards Justin shares there.
It is also a good idea to record yourself playing songs and riffs from the Grade to share either here or in #community-recordings:avoyp. The feedback will provide encouragement and pick up on any specifics that you should give attention to. I can’t recall if I have seen any recordings from you, just too many people sharing for me to remember each and every person. So ignore that if you have already begun to do that.
Consolidate now over the next few weeks, onwards and upwards as you say!
Thank you so much. The air change bit kind of made sense but it was the OMC. Had me totally baffled so thank you. I feel I’m getting there but then I have massive doubts, which is standard for me. I question my ability at everything. Don’t know theory at all. Strumming a song sounds like strums……just not identifiable. I can do chord changes but really just the A, D and E so far. I’ve just learned the Sunshine of your Love riff from the App today and picked it up relatively straight away, albeit not so fluid each time but it’s okay however now I feel like I’m in limbo. The reading tabs in module 4 has me beat. Not a clue but again, it’s all I guess the theory part perhaps that I need to learn. As with most things, I need to be good immediately and if I’m not, I doubt myself so I just have to get it into my head that it’s not going to happen over night.
Thank you for the encouragement though. It means a lot
Hey Cate, when I read your reply I see myself just three weeks ago with the same frustrations. I too set myself a very high bar and want to be brilliant immediately. What I then realised is that there is so much more to this than I thought and that it is going to take some time. When I realised this I started to be kind to myself and settled in for the long haul. Allow yourself to enjoy the journey and the bumps in the road that come with it. I’m sure you’ll crack it. Great to chat with you, take care and don’t forget…… be kind to yourself
You got my name right Cate, tech stuff can be a bit of a mystery!! I was just thinking about the theory. I did some theory when i was very young but i have no idea of guitar theory. I’m therefore thinking of playing on alternate days and doing the first part of Justin’s theory in the other days to help me understand it a bit more. My arm is also killing me so need to back off the playing intensity to help it get better, so this should hopefully work. Maybe go and take a look and dip in and out of it. I think it may help you. Don’t worry about it though. You don’t need it for Grade 1.
Thanks Angie. So far, all I’ve done is play. Every day, usually about 2 hours but no theory however, I’m beginning to really feel it (hurting a bit) so may need to just slow down a tad and focus on his theory.
Appreciate the support and encouragement greatly. Thank you
@ArizonaAngie Hi Angie, I enjoyed reading your log, seems as if you made great progress within the past six weeks! Congrats for finishing Grade 1! @ArizonaAngie@CateB I’m another “older” girl (54) started JG in 09/2021, so I’m almost one and a half year in, currently on Grade 2 Module 13/14. Both of you seem to progress very, very quickly and seem to be very ambitious. That’s totally fine, as long you are happy with it and don’t cause any health symptoms. Don’t set yourselves under pressure, give your brain and body enough time to adapt to new strains. Give things the time to sink in, it pays off in the long run! Don’t risk any damage due to overdoing practice. I also thought, I could speed up things with more practice (I have so much fun with it, that I hardly can force myself to practice less than 1-2 hours a day). But overdoing it can cause a lot of problems. First, it were sore fingers, then the wrist, then the whole fretting hand, forearm, elbow, etc. So, I learned, I can’t speed up against my body. Sometimes, it’s better to slow down or change the kind of repetitive movements, learn some theory or change to strumming excercises not to overstrain your body. I know, there is some pressure, as Justin alway says “this week we spent on Module X” and one thinks you have to finish each module after only one week. Know what? It took me mostly longer, especially on Grade 2, where things get a little more demanding. But the time is well spent. I think, a lot of us had to learn at a certain point, that learning guitar isn’t as easy as we thought and takes a lot more time and effort than expected . Giving yourselves and your bodys time to adjust pays of in the long run. Maybe it’s a question of getting older, but my body doesn’t forgive as much than in previous years!
I wish both of you a lot of fun and fulfilling times with your guitars!
Thanks Helen, this is so reassuring to hear. Sometimes you just wonder if it’s a problem specific to yourself but hearing this makes we realise it’s quite a common problem. I’ve not played at all this weekend to rest the arm and hand and I’ve started wearing a brace on it at night. Have to say I’m lost not playing this weekend. Can’t wait until tomorrow. Thanks for the tips, there’s hope for me yet