As a mature learner of 7 months or so -(65-with slow fingers) I have just reached grade 3 and am wondering whether i should just stay here a good long while and enjoy what i`ve learned. . After all, there are a thousand songs to be played with just the chords/technique/strumming already learned. I have come to the realisation that i am never going to play leads (or shred?) on a guitar. I feel I should spend my time trying to perfect these techniques instead of trying to learn new things. Does anyone else feel the same or am I being defeatist.? Thanks
The number of months you’ve been working means nothing, the number of hours per day is a lot better because 15 minutes or 6 hours a day makes a difference … and then of course the quality of practice etc etc.
Consolidating is very important, but neither is getting bored… and no matter how many hours you practice a day, don’t …no never give up playing lead.
You’ve only been around for such a short time and in my first year I couldn’t hope i played licks like sometimes happened in the 2nd year and more.
Greetings and more then important…remember that you are doing what you like…and learn songs (and licks ) and keep it fun,
After Justin I got a live teacher.
@roger_holland I get it
Sometimes i feel like I maybe in too much of a hurry for my own good.
Not Me Not Me
I forgot how quickly I went through all the videos on this site, but in the first few months I easily did 6 to 8 hours of video a day with guitar in hand
Wow. Now that’s quick to do Grades 1 and 2!
@Stuartw Thats what I thought-- expecting too much too quickly
Did you learn and can perform the stuff in the lessons? If yes, then you are going a good speed!
I struggle with impatience as well. I hear a song and want to be a part of it, but just don’t have the capability. I need to balance moving forward with proficiency of performing building blocks.
Look at what you want to play that is appropriate for grade 2 - can you do it? If something is in really bad shape, then consolidate that item. If it just needs a bit of polish, then maybe it is ok to keep moving ahead with lessons.
Look through the lesson descriptions for grade 3. Is there something there that you really want to be capable of? Does it need one of your weak points to be improved before you can expect to learn it? I often use this as a guide for moving on.
I reached the same level a few months back after completing grade 3 - wanting to jump into finger picking and blues technique with which I’ve dabbled. I decided to go back through many of the level two and three lessons, often several times, until I could say I’ve got a good handle on actually doing what is taught. Still doing that work. I’m finding it’s much easier just to play now, not stumbling with basic techniques. Keep consolidating.
Hi. Dont worry .i am 73 and play slowly on new stuff. The practice will make you better. I did get impatient as well. You wl jimprove over time. Phil
thats amazingly fast for grades 1 and 2.
@LesPaulMoreRay so i`m coming to realise-too quick perhaps
If you can play 10 songs (strumming open chords) from memory you’re not going to fast. If you can’t then it’s time to slow down and use what you’ve learnt to make music.
So I see you’re a lefty from Scotland. Me too. Born on the other side of the country in Prestwick. U.S. Air Force brat. I’ve never been back but would love to.
Oooo crxp ,I did not know that… now all my hopes are gone …
And maybe not … I certainly sometimes look back at lessons from grade 2, but I went faster than you and I’m quite satisfied with what I’m playing now… so enjoy, consolidate and watch a little further in grade 3 and check what Justin says about " when to move on to the next step" at the end of grade 2
I first discovered Justin probably around 15 years ago! After many false starts and “lay-offs” , completing the original beginners course, then starting from scratch with the new course after one of those “lay-offs” that was years long, I’ve finally got to grade 3, where I’ve been sitting on module 19 for what must be about 6 months; I’ve decided not to move on yet because I still have one exercise from module 17, and one from module 18, in my practice routine that I just can’t nail. Once I sort that out, and get the mod 19 transcribing out of the way, then I’ll be ready to move on. I guess what I’m saying is that everyone moves at their own speed; give a motivated 16-year old a guitar, an amp and a broadband connection, and they’ll be playing lead lines and shredding like a pro inside 6 months. For us dinosaurs though, it doesn’t come as easy, and my feeling is that at our age, slow and steady wins the race. I’m happy to be the tortoise rather than the hare, I’ll sit where I am on the course until I feel confident that the new stuff in the next module is only just out of my comfort zone.
Slow and steady progress, yes: but don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough!
Lot’s of famous guitarists from Scotland, Rogier. Unfortunately I’m not one of them
@stitch is spot on it’s about applying what you have learned from the grades well. Some folk have more time to practice, some pick things up faster than others. As long as you can honestly play well the things you have learned so far you’re not moving to fast. If you can’t then you need to slow down and consolidate everything you have learned so far and don’t get ahead of yourself trying to rush through the course.
Not necessarily. You may enjoy putting on a backing track and improvising over it.
For me, it’s all about playing music. The course-ware just helps me develop skills to play more music and play better. If you’re interested in lead, don’t give up. Playing lead lines does not require you to be a shredder. There are many songs that have interesting lead parts , riffs, licks, and fills that are fun to learn and play that don’t require blazing speed. You might be surprised at how much you can do when you are motivated by a song you like combined with practice and patience.
I’m 71 and I’ve been playing regularly in the current phase of my guitar life for ~5 years (I learned as a teen so this gave me a bit of boost in starting up again). For the last year or so, I’ve spent 75% of my guitar time learning and playing songs. I still put time into learning new skills and music theory but at a relatively slower pace. My primary goal is to play music and have fun and I’m achieving that every day.
You’re ONLY 65 and already well into your journey. Assuming your goal is to play music, I agree with Rick’s @stitch way to measure you progress. And filling in for @Richard_close2u , ‘Play songs, play songs, play songs.’
Thanks everyone—gives me some clarity
Tom, I’d like to add (or amplify if I missed it scanning the replies) is to make some recordings playing songs. By the end of Grade 2 I’d lean towards that being solo ie not with the app or over an orginal backing. Nothing wrong with either of those, just looking for the cleanest, clearest approach to get feedback on the level of proficiency achieved.
My thinking being that by the end of Grade 2, you should be able to play a few songs if somebody put a guitar in your hand at a gathering. Strumming need not be just like the original ie kept simple and chords may not have all the embellishments and other fancy stuff. Singing is optional.
As for lead play/shredding. I think fair to say, that few of us here will reach the levels of the musicians who play the music we love and would like to play. So if you enjoy lead play, the fact that you may never shred like should not put you have learning and developing some lead/improv chops.