Grade 1 Feedback Please!

Hey Justin, thank you for making this course! It’s very helpful.

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Hey Justin, Charlie here. I am loving the free courses. i recently retired and wanted to pick up hobby, so I bought a guitar and here I am! I learned a few chords over 50 years ago, but have not played since then. My fingers are really sore but I am having fun . Once I get through the basics i plan on getting your app.

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Hi Justin,
It’s been a while since completing Grade 1 but you wanted feedback so here’s mine…

The lessons and your teaching style are spot on for any beginner / beginagainer. Perfectly paced with so much encouraging advice. Although being a gigging musician in the past and lost my way for many personal reasons this Grade helped bring my enthusiasm back and improve things I couldn’t be bothered to concentrate on previously.

The list of songs in that grade is incredible, and I still revisit the lessons every now and then if I feel certain areas slipping.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for appearing on Radio 2 to teach John Bishop. It really helped me want to pick up the guitar again and made my world better for it,

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Following the course via the app, and really enjoying it, thank you Justin. Your teaching style is really engaging and just has a great vibe about it.

Anyway, a couple of very minor suggestions for the beginner course grade 1…

It would be pretty useful to include a “BPM” figure in lesson videos somewhere, as you often say start slow and speed up, but it’s not always obvious what we should be speeding up towards.

Second, in the app for the songs that you can play along to, it would be handy to have a link back to the video lesson so we can check what your suggested rhythm is etc.

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I really found myself new motivation to start to pick up the guitar when I saw Justin on YT.
I use the app and the website.
But what I found brilliant was Justin starting to play left handed. It’s just great for us beginners to see someone with your capabilities struggling as we do. No offense.
:pray:

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Quick comment to praise the pacing of the course so far.

I’m only on Module 3 but the changes to how the app lays out practice sessions from Module to Module are subtle but really very well balanced.

I think that as long as your self assessment is realistic then progression through the Modules can be relatively gentle, but with a nice little challenge thrown in now and again.

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Hey Justin, I’m a student who’s been stuck at home in a new city with a guitar my roommate left behind when he moved. I never had any plans to play guitar, but the old thing was looking at me all day and I decided I might as well try to learn it if I was stuck inside. Wow, What a great decision that was! I heard from a friend about your course and I look forward to practicing every day. I’m already learning my favorite Johnny Cash songs and your infectious positivity is a huge part of that. Thanks for all you do man, I’ll be finding the money for the paid course as soon as I can!

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Hi Justin,
I started your program about a month ago. The thing that I liked was there was homework. Just like real lessons. Different areas to work on as much as you needed. I’m an Old Dog, and finally worked up the courage to post my first videos with my two different guitars.
My only comment, I got bored playing just 5 songs. I started to pull out my old music and stuff came back from my high school days. I got excited to play my music. Now I’m a bit concerned that I may be getting off track or ahead of myself. But most importantly, I’m having fun, gaining confidence, and sticking with it.
I have just signed up to do a bluegrass campout/jam in August, and I hope I’ll be ready.
Thank you so much for this course. I like the format so far.
maidie

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Not at all. You are obviously doing very well. No reason to hold yourself back if you are bored with just 5 songs. That is pretty much a minimum before moving up a grade, and should be achievable for the absolute beginner (I suspect you are a bit more experienced than that).

Great Work :smiley:

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I really enjoy how structured this course is. I always had a hard time with feeling lost by the endless directions you can take guitar to. I’m feeling so confident compared to when I first started and I honestly am beyond thankful! Cheers!

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Justin saved me :slight_smile:

I am 60, I started dec 2020 . After 3 months a private courses with a teacher with zero teaching skills , I started all over with Justin course. 9 months later I finished grade 1 ,I can now play Heroes at 100 BPM with some strumming variations, Chocolate Jesus at 55 bpm (I hate that Dm), and Mad World and a couple of easy one (love me do; sound and vision.)
I will be starting grade two soon.

Danger is to play more and work less’ which I have been doing the past three months. :slight_smile:

Suggestions for improvement :
some songs are way too fast for grade 1, and the part ‘ try not to hit bass strings on D chord ‘ not well enough detailed ,so frustrating when you hit big E.

For those who starts : hold on tight , you have 6 /9 months ahead before playing cool songs.

Justin is so great with his cool no drama attitude!

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hi Justin, I cant thank you enough for the lessons and the hard work you put in to this. so thank you very very much and I’m looking forward to the Beginner grade 2!
good luck to my fellow guitar players our there!

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I think you have really found something that has resonated well with many with your chord changes routines/exercises. They offer a concrete way to be given evidence of progress when it often feels like not much is happening at the very beginning which isn’t frustrating. I have most benefited from the emphasis you have put on the use of the metronome, and I have pretty early on decided to add it to the chord change exercises. I’ve noticed something in the process. I get to 60 changes/minute much faster if I have a that BPM driving me. It serves to develop a rhythm at the same time. There’s nothing I don’t do with a metronome any more. I even play along with recordings of songs with it. It’s become my trusted partner. My foot has tagged along and just wants to keeps the beat without me even trying. I can estimate a beat now with how fast my foot is reacting to music. I actually like guessing BPM by having the metronome set without my knowledge. It’s an exercise/guessing game I like.
It blows my mind that I can keep up with changes at 180 BPM now. It’s also unlocked the barred F chord for me later on by getting me to keep my finger motions to a bare minimum. Complicated chords are about efficiency of motion and getting multiple things happening at once. Speed forces you to try it.

I don’t know how common it is, but I keep coming back to the early lessons to convince myself I have mastered them, so I don’t necessarily go through them in a strict linear fashion. I feel it has been beneficial to break things down in exercises that emphasize speed/precision.

If I was a teacher I would incorporate the metronome early on, especially since they are free online. In a weird way it tells you that everything’s not a race, but a game of getting everything to happen in time.

Here’s one observation I’ve made about myself. I started pressing less firmly on strings (at first is was an obvious problem) when I was doing very fast exercises. You just don’t have the time to press that hard. I slowly noticed that I was getting some chords to sound well by more gently gliding and hardly pressing on the them at all. Now I do exercises in order to put emphasis on just lightly touching the strings at all speeds. Everything pain/discomfort related is finding it’s place as a result.

Another thing I liked to do was writing my own little “music” with A,E and D chords and just using that to help me to memorize and prepare for changes that were not always the same in their ordering.

I would definitely continue to encourage things that are good habit building things.

I had a super hard time playing with a pick. I do not know how common that is, probably not. I almost gave up in frustration because I had no feel for it. Instead, I just chucked it and am very pleased at how easy and natural strumming with my thumb has been. I had no rhythm at all when trying to use a pick and thought that maybe I did not have it in me, but that was certainly not the case. I wish I had first started without a pick, but that’s just me. I’ve noticed that I could approximate playing with a pick by playing with my first two fingers pinched and using my index fingernail. I feel I could probably now switch if I wanted, but I’m happy where I’m at. I love the mellow sound of playing with the fingers. It makes your voice easier to hear when you sing too.

Anyway, thanks for what you do. It’s serving a lot of people well and teaching us all bout how the benefits of heling each other out. I dread coming to the end of all the lessons. Then what? You need to get busy. lol

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Hi Justin! First off, thank you for this great course!! As this is my third time (life happens), first 2 on the Classic, I’m working on the consolidation after about 2 months in Grade one. This is going to take some time to get my song selections up to speed, but I will get there. I don’t have any other pressing matters since I retired. I took your advice when reviewing the 25 chord changes. I combined chord perfect and one minute with a twist. I also tried Air Changes since I had been working on that in the Classic. It worked for some of the changes but not great with others. Chord changes currently high 30’s to mid 40’s. Will still take some time for the air changes to become second nature for all the chord changes.

I don’t think there was anything that should be changed or amended. I think Nitsuj did a great job with his feedback during his learning experience. Thanks again!!

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I am 64 and this is my second time completing Grade 1. The first time was sometime in late 2020. And I just stopped playing, I am not sure why. I could give many different reasons and excuses. So a few months ago I picked up my guitar again and decided start back at the beginning of Justin’s course, grade 1. I found that the app is even better now and really can not offer any real criticism. I can say that a big difference for me this time is that I decided to learn to sing one of songs, not just play it. I feel that I did better at playing the song, better with the rhythm and enjoyed it more. Even though I had a hard time learning the lyrics! If you have not done this, I think you may get more enjoyment at your practice by learning to sing with your song, give it a try.

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You are a great man Justin. Thank you so much!

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Hello @brdillow @donnasaue @Chas1956 @Brogustus @cameron43 @ziggy1192 @RoyW @saahil008 and welcome to the Community.

Thanks all for your great feedback.
Keep on keeping on
:smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

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Started xmas time 2021
The course is thorough and easy to follow.
What more could you want?¿ :grin::grin:

Hello @Joshua07767 welcome to the Community.

Thanks for the concise and positive feedback.

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

As a teenager I was strongly moved by music and spent a long time with one-on-one tutors and classes attempting to learn acoustic guitar (pre-internet era). My style of learning clashed with the tutor’s styles and classes. After nearly two years I could not reliably play a song or have any mastery of cords. My parents were as frustrated as I was due to the associated costs with no real gain, so I quit.

A few decades later I casually mentioned to my wife that I wished I had stuck with it and last Christmas I very unexpectedly received an acoustic guitar. I stumbled upon JustinGuitar and started my journey right after New Years. 4 months later I am graduating grade 1 strong with all cord changes around 60 and the ability to play all the songs so far on the app. It is impossible for me to overstate how awesome Justin’s program really is and how happy I am to finally be going through this journey.

I also cannot overstate how beneficial Justin’s app is. My success would be poor without the ability to play along with the songs on the app. I purchased the subscription early on in this journey and I find it a requirement for success. Playing the songs as accurately as I can led by the app does as much for my learning as the practices such as cord changes and cord perfects and really helps develop rhythm. If you are taking Justin’s course without the song app, I really feel you are missing out. The process I found for grade 1 is to use cord changes and perfects to reach 40 changes a minute, then focus solely on song practice for the next couple weeks. The cord changes and perfects are the foundation, but the song practice really drives home the new cords and the different techniques we have learned.

My only recommendation is more songs on the app!

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