Thank you!. That’s great news. Any advice on keeping up with Grade 3?
Just use the website?
Sorry, I meant that I see many new things I should now. Should I retrace my steps and complement with other courses?
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.
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?
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.
Thank you so much. Really appreciate your help. I’ll give that a try and see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted.
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 Let’s have grade 3 as my new year resolution
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.
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.
Thank you!!! Procrastinators United
Good idea setting the goal for the new year
Thank you so much. Great news on the app!! Really useful advice. Really appreciate it.
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.
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?
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
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.
Sorry for the delay on my answer. These weeks are loaded with hard work. (I wish it was hard rock ), 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.
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.
I found exploring theory early on was a great help. I may have gotten carried away though as I started learning about chords, then intervals, then circle of fifths/fourths, the caged system as well as scale positions and modes and …… but I have fun doing it.
You can do both. Just assign a little time to theory after practicing. Do Justin’s free theory courses or Google for more. Then start applying a little of the theory into your practice routine. Locate any root note, its 5th and 3rd and you have a major triad. Lower the 3rd and you have a minor triad. Swap the order of the three notes and you have chord inversions! It works all over the neck.
If you look at your open chord you’ll find it is also just 2 triads (R, 3 and 5) made up of fingered notes and open notes. Before you know it you’ll be playing triads all over the neck, then partial barre chords, then …. Woah, there we go again. It’s a rabbit hole for sure.
At the very least you should learn the notes on strings 1, 6 and 5. It also helps to be familiar with chord structure (at least open chords - Root, 3rd and 5th ), and intervals and how they apply to the guitar neck.
These little bits of theory will allow you form Major and minor chords. You’ll be able to identify the notes that make up a chord as well as play scales anywhere on the neck.
If you can form a C chord A chord G chord E chord and D chord, it’s worth getting a overview of the caged system. It’s a great way to star mapping out and learning the guitar neck…….
But, that’s the trouble with music theory. The more you look, the more there is to learn and apply. Have fun.
Sorry for the late response. Thank you so much for your well detailed answer!!!. I’d definitely take your advice and include more theory.
My lack of discipline and organization and the feeling of being stuck, led me to join in-person guitar lessons. It’s been only 7 lessons so far but I love it. The teacher is great, we are only 3 students, and we all have the same level more or less.
He gives us “homework” for the week and I find myself searching for more challenges once I master the excercise, song or whatever the task is.
It is true that the progress is slow now (if it ever was quick), but I feel that I’m finally learning bits of information that I need to move forward and in a practical way.
Thanks again for all the details, I’m keeping your reply as a go to, for when I need to search for more things to learn.