Beginners Course Grade 3 - And now what?

Dear all,

I’ve been using the App for a year and completed successfully the 2 courses included in the App, Beginner Grade 1 and 2. I’ve enjoyed it so much. I felt guided every step of the way, great practice routines, self-assesment tools, awesome songs. But a couple of monts ago I started Grade 3 and I’ve been unable to go beyond Module 1. First of all the App was so practical, why not including more courses there. I’d gladly keep paying the annual suscription, even if it means paying more it would still be cheap, there is no other teacher as Justin. Secondly, practice routines are now adaptable and I have to decide what I need more, and I get it, but taking that I have 30-40 min a day for practice, sometimes a little more, it makes it even more difficult. Now I can’t just open the app, fire up the practice routine and work on it for a while, until I go to the next level. I have to first plan my routine, then shorten the times (now is 60 min) to adapt all to my own available time. Also, there’s a lot of emphasizing about jamming with others, and the little time I have is at home, on my own, right after my kids go to bed. Honeslty, I’ve felt overwhelmed, suddenly I need things like finding the root note for open shapes, in order to follow the lessons and I’m supposed to know that already? What did I miss? Should I go deeper on Music Theory now and then resume the course? I’ve been procastinating (guitar speaking) for a while now, just learning songs I like, while keeping some finger gym and reviewing repertoire, but I feel stuck. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks for reading my whinning. :sweat_smile:

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I’m sure they are looking at it , afik Justin has only just finished the grade 3 lessons

Thank you!. That’s great news. Any advice on keeping up with Grade 3?

Just use the website?

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Sorry, I meant that I see many new things I should now. Should I retrace my steps and complement with other courses?

Hi Ronny,

Given that you are restricted with time available to practice as the routines get longer you could split the recommended practice routine into two routines and alternate them daily. I presume that you are using the website my practice assistant? If so it would be a case of firing up the website, selecting the practice routine to be active for that session and start practice. The good thing about managing your own practice routine via the website tool rather than the app is that you can adapt the routine to focus on the things you really need to work on.

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Thank you!! That’s great advice. So instead of having one full practice every day, you suggest to split it so I have, let’s say 3 full practice routines a week, divided in 6 sessions. Something like that?

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If you take for example Grade 3 Module 15 the practice routine could be split into two routine comprising of 5 mins technique, 5 minutes knowledge, 5 mins repertoire, 5 mins time, 5 mins ear training and 5 minutes improvising. For one routine do the items Justin sets out and for the other routine it’s the what you need items.

You could split the sessions up into whatever blocks work for your practice time available. It’s what works for you in the end. And make sure you have time for some fun too learning songs.

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Thank you so much. Really appreciate your help. I’ll give that a try and see how it goes. :slightly_smiling_face:I’ll keep you posted.

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With grade 3, just like you, I am finding it hard to keep the same motivation that I had with grade 2 and the app song practice. We both share similar feeling.

In the back of my head, I know too that the grade 3 course is great and that I need to adapt to the new pratice routine and activities (transcribing, jamming etc.) to one day become an intermediate player. I’ll go back to grade 3 and stop procrastinating :laughing: Let’s have grade 3 as my new year resolution :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hi Ronald.

Good advice given to use the website. It may also serve you well just to read through the text write up on each lesson in Grade 1 and 2 on the website. There is often extra info that may help.

Good idea to work through the free grades of Practical Music Theory on the website. Will also support what you have learned.

I can confirm that Grade 3 plus other enhancements are on the roadmap and backlog for app development. There are no release date estimates available. Hopefully Musopia will make good progress on this in 2023.

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Grade 3 is a launch pad into being your own intermediate guitarist. I remember feeling what you did at the start of Grade 3.

Some stuff in it is HARD and takes ages to get… just wait til you start transcribing or rolling chords.

This is where the training wheels come off. You need to map out your own practice routine. It’s a bit scary but you can do it.

Also - learn songs. It’s where you apply the principles.

I’ve found each grade 3 lesson has skills that take longer to master than earlier grades. So it takes a while to get through.

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Thank you!!! Procrastinators United :sweat_smile:
Good idea setting the goal for the new year :+1:

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Thank you so much. Great news on the app!! Really useful advice. Really appreciate it. :hugs:

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Thank you so much. It feels so good reading you all everything makes much more sense. Really appreciate your encouragement words and your advice. I’ll go again from the start. One step backwards to take 2 steps forward. :muscle:

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Right there with you Ronald. I’m wrapping up in the second module of Grade 3 now, and yeah, it’s a big adjustment from Grade 2. It’s easy to feel like I’m adrift, when suddenly I have to be responsible for setting my own goals and structuring my own practice. And switching from using the app to the website for practice can be a bit disorienting too.

Good advice already on the thread from James, David and JK, thumbs up from me to all of their comments.

I would add, don’t get too discouraged if the transcribing lessons seem way too hard in modules 15 and 16, JK pointed out to me over in this thread that the difficulty of those lessons in particular is very high for this stage. If you already have a good ear for pitch, it might be no trouble for you, but if you’re anything like me, those lessons will kick you right in the bits. I changed my transcribe practice time to just work on nursery rhymes and dead simple melody lines instead, and I’m much happier.

Like you, I don’t have enough spare time to be doing the full 1 hour routine every day. I split my routine into two groups on alternating days and set aside a full one-hour session once a week for transcribing. For what it’s worth, my practice currently looks like this:

  • Routine “A”, Monday/Wednesday/Saturday:
    • Technique - finger gym - 5min
    • Technique - rolling chords - 5min
    • Knowledge - any - 10min+
  • Routine “B”, Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday:
    • Repertoire - chord melody - 5min
    • Repertoire - any - 5min
    • Time - play along - 5min
    • Time - flexing time - 5min
    • Improv - 10min
  • Routine “C”, Friday:
    • Transcribing - 60min

Plus however long I feel like / have time for just playing songs after my practice each day.

I think Justin’s music theory course makes a really good companion to this Grade, and a good way to use the time in the “Knowledge - any” slot. Although that’s another one you might find better to bundle up into a longer session once a week. I usually find I go way over my time with the theory, but I don’t mind, I enjoy that stuff.

If you’re getting lost trying to set practice goals, it can be helpful to work backwards from some specific songs you want to play. Pick a song from your “Dreamer” list. One you wish you could play, but feel like it is out of reach. What would you need to learn, to be able to play that song? Can you get started on building those skills now?

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Hi Ron ! I’m beginner grade 2. After reading your post, I went to read the grade 3 content. Seems to be quite a step higher… When I’ll get there, I think that will be the time for me to ask for private lessons with one of Justin team teachers … Don’t know if I’ll be able to do it just by myself… Don’t think so… Think I will probably fell just like you do. Just sharing. Thanks for your post Ron. It talks to me a lot. Keep on strumming :exclamation: :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

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Hi Luc,

My pleasure. With all the responses I also felt better and not alone in my quest. I did also joined a local guitar and teacher community here in Spain. I’m struggling a little with the translation of ABCDFG to DO RE MI FA SOL… (Now that justin showed us how to know all notes of the neck), but overall, I feel I have focused goals again and that helps me makes the best of my time with the instrument. I didn’t know about the justin teachers team, I will definitely take a look at that too.

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Sorry for the delay on my answer. These weeks are loaded with hard work. (I wish it was hard rock :sweat_smile:), and I’m beginning to breath a little again.
Thank you so much for your post, super good advice. And another brother guitarrist struggling with the same lessons, means that I’m not alone here. I love how you broke the routine into bits.
For now I had put Justin lessons on hold. I joined a local online teacher and community here in Spain, where I have focused exercises for the week, and every 15 days we have to send the teacher a video of us playing one of the excercises (usually the one you struggle the most) for live correction. I’m liking it, but I plan on returning to Justin at some point.

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Hi Ronald, it’s good that you have found some local help. Even if you aren’t currently actively working on the Grade 3 lessons in the modules, you can still have fun playing some of the Grade 3 songs on the websites via the song lesson videos. Everything that you need to know is explained in each of the song lesson videos and all the songs can be played with the chords that you learned in Grades 1 and 2. Some of the grade 3 songs are actually in the JG app.

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