Can transcribing stand in for other skills?

Hey there. Coming from a pretty strict practice plan I’m trying to go easier on myself and play more than work the guitar.
Part of that is listening to music and playing along. Sometimes I feel like finding they key center and putting my major scales to work, sometimes I try freely, sometimes I want to find how part of the song is played. I enjoy tons more than remembering songs.

I heard Justin say if you wanna be a well-rounded guitarist, certain skills are just required. And if there’s one thing you can bin all others for it would probably be transcribing. (Hope I’m quoting that well enough)

How well do you think that holds up? Can transcribing stand in for a strict 5min x12 practise plan?
Of course after one has acquired some foundational skills - theory, playing clean, understand if a bend is in tune,…

Not sure I follow the idea. if you are thinking to replace practice with transcribing, then maybe partially if your time limitations are getting the way. However, fully trading one for the other sounds like a bad plan.

Transcribing is ear to mind where practice is greatly mind to finger action. These two things together give us the ability to solo freely, jam without much plan in place, etc. Doing one without the other will be limiting.

This is how learning was done before the spoon feeding internet. You listened to music (with your ears not your eyes) and figured it out with your buddies. How many time has Justin mentioned sitting with his mates trying to learn something.

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Yes it can. You will retain more by listening and learning than watching and copying. When you listen you begin to recognize patterns and when you hesr this in other music you realize you’ve I already know this and can play it.

This is why Justin teaches Transcribing unfortunately most people prefer to be spoon feed so he also teaches how to (insert skill) videos. The best of both worlds is to pick a skill or song try and learn it and use Justin’s lessons to see if you right.


Very interesting question Christoph.

Transcribing - basically playing by ear. This is what I would love to be able to do someday. Like you, I think we need some basic skills down to do it. For myself I don’t think I’m far enough on with these skills to be able to do it. I don’t know what level you are so difficult to say.
We also need a good ear and that development is very much on going for me. I easily get distracted along the lines of training my ear and exploring the neck rather than sticking to my practice routine.

Very encouraging to hear what someone of Rick’s @stitch experience says about it, so…go for it.


There is no “one path”
there is no “shortcut”
there is no “optimal focus”

the most enriching path is the palette of rich flavours;
skills, knowledge, style, inspiration, joy and love.

  1. Rhythm rules the waves

make an error in melody? no worries as long as your rhythm is constant and solid.
Mess up a rhythm? Everybody heard it :smiley:

  1. Expand your chord set beyond the open chords

Some extra barre shapes open up the world to nearl all songs

  1. Play songs, enjoy songs, love song, make songs

sounds pretty straight forward huh; is making music and songs (both overs and originals) not the aim of what your doing here?

  1. Make sure you “play music” and not just “work music”

Or you’ll get tired of it; I GUARANTEE

Fitting your philophy in those pillars will give you a rich journey.
Focussing on one thing is ever a good idea.


I LOVE that.
It’s like my mantra on multi-coloured steroids.


Well, according to many, including Justin, The Theory course is a shortcut for learning to play :smiley:,
When I read that I ordered the …cursus… that same day:sunglasses:

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so I need to incorporate naughty words into my lessons? hmm, haven’t tried that…



For me it is more like “curses, foiled again!”:man_facepalming:t3:


:see_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:
I will quickly replace that Dutch word (with wrong grammar :grimacing:) with an English one :joy: