Grade 1 Feedback Please!

Thank you so much for your work! All lessons ar ereally interesting and useful!) I`ve been learning to play guitar for 0,5 year so I practiced some skills that I have already known but also I found something that I missed. Thank you


Justin, Thank you! I have to echo what jimbca said a year ago. I,too, have been playing off and on since I got my first guitar at age 16 (and I am now approaching 70!). I would play a bit for a few months, then life would intervene, and, although I could play basic chords and songs and even do some finger picking, I never got past what I call the “kumbaya stage” of guitar playing. I wasn’t sure where to start with your lessons as I wasn’t an absolute beginner, but started at the beginning and can’t believe how much I learned. My husband hears me practicing and has commented on how much my playing is improving. I love the systematic progression of skills and the adding in of music theory - you are a great teacher. I am motivated to retire so I can play more guitar and keep improving. I am looking forward to grade 2!


I had a guitar lying around. I tried to learn before from other sources but couldn’t then I found Justin and rest is history. The hardest thing was to learn to strum in 4 4 time signature for some reason My brain did 3 3, I had to repeat and focus on the last strum.

Barre chord was a big nut to crack, tips from Justin and a week’s practice did the trick. 2nd thinnest still sounds a bit janky but atleast not muted eh?

Here are my notes I took along watching the videos, hope you like them. I encourage to make their own notes though. Will release grade 2, 3 notes in their respective subforums. Though I hope this topics gets through.

Thank you Justin for this great content!

memorize the pattern C E G B D F A C, forwards and backwards. It’s notes a third a part, and it’ll make your life a lot easier. Just cram the musical theory, you will understand it all one day but having this order in your head will help you a lot.

Module 0

1 - thumb in piano
1 - index in guitar

T - thumb in guitar

Chord chart

X - do not play
O - Open

  • tune
  • hold guitar
    1. right thigh
    2. elbow supports guitar
  • finger placement
  • chord charts
  • pick


  • strum without pick

Module 1

Perpendicular fingers, thumb upwards, knuckle swirled upwards

  • D chord
  • A chord
  • Anchor finger - changing bw
  • 1 minute changes - target: 30-60
  • strum
    • 4 beats in a bar
    • hyper stringy
  • finger pain

Module 1 Songs - playlist by Justin Sandercoe | Spotify - Use app

  • practice schedule

20 mins a day, 4 days a week.

  • Chord Perfect – D Chord: 3 minutes
  • Chord Perfect – A Chord: 3 minutes
  • Anchor Finger Practice: 2 minutes
  • One Minute Changes - A to D: 1 minute
  • One Minute Changes: 1 minute
  • Song work: 10 minutes


  • 60 changes per minute
  • 1 song decent

Module 2

  • E chord
  • anchor finger

E - A - E
E - D - E
D - A - E

  • foot tapping - left heel
  • strumming & pick angle
    • right hand should hold the guitar single handedly
    • pick shouldn’t get caught by the strum
    • loose pick
    • forearm should move, not wrist not bicep
    • electric guitar - forearm-skin-tension-grip

  • riff - OO2O3O54
  • new songs
  • rhythm

Three little birds - justin’s tut

AADA x 2 chorus

A E A D A E D A verse

4 practice sessions per a week → everyday → 2wice a day

  • Chord Perfect – E Chord: 2 minutes
  • Chord Perfect – D Chord: 1 minute
  • Chord Perfect – A Chord: 1 minute
  • Anchor Finger Practice: 2 minutes
  • One Minute Changes - A to D: 1 minute
  • One Minute Changes - A to E: 1 minute
  • One Minute Changes - D to E: 1 minute
  • Peter Gunn Theme Riff Fun: 1 minute
  • Song work: 10 minutes

graduate when

  • 30 chord changes per minute
  • peter gunn theme
  • three little birds

Module 3

  • Minor chords
    • minors are sad, majors are happy - though there is only one note difference
  • up strum
    • 1& 2& 3& 4& (& <=> +)
    • strum the thinnest
  • capo
    • higher - changes key
    • matches voice
    • can play songs with simpler hand shapes

Module 4

  • metronome
  • finger stretch
  • guitar tabs

We’ll use only down-picks for this exercise. If it helps, use your pinky finger to anchor down your picking hand. Here’s what you have to do.

  1. Starting on the 5th fret, place your 1st finger down on the thickest string and pick.
  2. Next, leave your 1st finger down and place your 2nd finger one fret higher and pick.
  3. Then, add Finger 3 and pick the string. You have to keep Fingers 1 and 2 in position.
  4. Lastly, add Finger 4 while keeping all the fingers in position.

Now it’s time to check if all your fingers are in the right position. The palm of your hand should be more or less parallel to the guitar fretboard. Let’s continue:

  1. Hold the fingers in position for a second and make sure you feel a bit of a stretch, but no pain!
  2. If this feels too much of a stretch, you could try moving it up the fretboard to start on Fret 8.
  3. Repeat the process on the next string down, and continue.
  4. When you’re comfortable doing this whole exercise at Fret 5, start moving it down the fretboard until you’re able to do it starting from the 1st fret.
1 2+ 3+ 4
1 2+ + 4
D Du u D


  • Finger Stretch exercise: 2 minutes
  • Chord Perfect – D Minor: 1 minute
  • Chord Perfect – Whichever chord you find most difficult: 1 minute
  • Two sessions of One-Minute Changes – Whichever chord changes you find most difficult: 2 minutes
  • Practice Old Faithful strumming pattern: 2 minutes
  • Practice riff – Sunshine of Your Love: 2 minutes
  • Song work: 10 minutes

Am 2
Em 4





Am 2
Em 4

Module 5

C chord

Mute thickest with 3rd


Sharp (#) == 1 semitone higher

Flat (b) == 1 semitone lower

1 Fret == 1 semitone

1 full loop == 1 octave

A# and Bb are enharmonic equivalents.

In Germany B==H

Americans, call semitone half steps and tones whole steps.

Module 6

G chord

2nd string is Muted with 2nd

A time signature is just the way we describe the feelings of the beats in a bar.

Module 7

Air (chord) changes: Chord formations in air, (not on guitar) just before the strum.


Read through all the posts and I agree with everyone how great learning guitar with Justin is! Someone mentioned knowing the bpm for the songs would be great. And maybe this is kind of a silly thing, but there wasn’t a mention till maybe module 4 or 5 when Justin just casually mentioned his nails being not short enough, or something. Now I had already figured out I needed to cut my nails a lot shorter than I am used to pretty quick but mentioning it at during the learning to hold your guitar video might be useful. Until I had tried a chord I had no idea nails longer than the ends of my fingers would be problematic. :rofl:


Honestly, this was the best training course I’ve ever worked through (guitar or otherwise). The videos were detailed enough but not too long and very digestible and engaging. The text notes under each video were great for a quick review and finding all the other relevant links to other courses, recommended songs, etc. All the tools were fantastic (practice assistant, songbook, metronome).

By the time I was done with Grade 1 (3 weeks of practicing 1 - 2 hours a day), I was able to play along with at least 1 or 2 songs from each module comfortably (8 songs in total), I learned all the chords just by following along and practicing them (without having to actively memorize them which I’m not good at), I could perform most chord changes over 60 times/min. (more difficult ones towards the end with G & C around 40 - 50), started to get a good feel for strumming and changing patterns, and could play all the riffs reasonably well. Honestly, I was blown away by the progress, skills, and comfort I’d gained as a 45-year-old just starting to learn how to play the guitar enough to play a few songs to my teenage daughters who didn’t run out of the room screaming with their hands over their ears (I only dabbled in it in my late teens and didn’t get past learning a few riffs at that time). The best part was, I was playing along with songs I loved from the first few lessons.

I’m blown away that this a free course that takes you all the way from complete beginner to an intermediate to advanced player (grades 1 to 9) and I couldn’t live with myself without becoming a monthly donor to Justin and his team so that they can continue teaching the world how to play the guitar in the most professional and fun way ever taught! I look forward to continuing with grade 2 and higher along with various other courses offered on the site (Practical Music Theory, Ear Training, and Strumming SOS).


I have to say that Justin’s course is absolutely incredible for me… I have had a love/hate relationship with guitar for over 25 years… I picked up a bunch of various bits and pieces but never enough to have a very cohesive knowledge. I could play probably 5 songs but not all the way through and NEVER without mistakes. I find Justin’s attitude warm & inspiring. His Nitsuj practice can be very entertaining yet enlightening when he struggles with the same issues other beginners have! His sense of humor is fun, maybe even more so to an American because of “Down Under” slang that cracks me up every time I hear it… (“Muck things up” sounds just too much like something else to me!!!)
I think knowing a lot of the basic Basics caused me to rush through Grade 1 - last week I introduced my 13 year old grandson to Justin’s website & it’s made me decide to redo Grade 1 with more focus on the songs which I skimmed over. My grandson is learning at an alarming (to his 60 year old grandfather) rate… I sure wish I had picked up guitar at 13!!!
To sum it all up… Thank you to Justin & to the supportive members of this Community!!!
Wishing all here well & lots of joy in this journey!!!



its been a great grade


This was truly amazing, you give better advice than the teacher I was paying for while going through the grade, and what I love about your course is that it is well structured and it’s not all over the place like what many teachers do. My teacher just told me to go learn the chords without giving me songs to learn based on them, and then he kept throwing new chords at me, instead of letting me master what I had learned. But here, I managed to learn a couple songs from Grade 1 including Zombie by The Cranberries, 505 by Arctic Monkeys, Black by Pearl Jam, I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash, Cortez The Killer by Neil Young, and Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix. Learning those songs and trying to memorize them is how I managed to get faster with my chord changes.

I plan on going through all the grades to learn as much stuff as possible but without rushing and instead, taking my time to learn a couple of different songs to make sure I have mastered a section before moving onto the next. I noticed that Grade 2 has a lot more songs that I love so that will be cool.

I did Grade 1 in only 3 weeks, mainly because I had some experience with Rocksmith from 2016, and had taken the first 3 modules of your course a couple years ago, and also I was able to dedicate 1 hour per day on most days, 2-3 hours on some days, and 4 hours on 2 different days (not in the same week), and that time was split up between courses, practicing what I know and learning new songs and new techniques and I made sure to do it in a way that would not make my fingers bleed, especially since that’s what happened in 2016, when I played for most of the day in the very beginning stage.

Also, I really liked the little riffs you showed in some of the modules, they are easy to memorize and instantly recognizable when I play them in front of people, which is exactly what beginners need to stay motivated. I memorized the Come As You Are riff and the Sunshine of Your Love riff.

Because one of my goals is to be able to play difficult instrumental virtuoso songs from people like Steve Vai, I will be going through all your grades, including the advanced ones, no matter how long it takes.


Justin rocks. He has the wisdom and pro tips that is only achievable through many years of practice and teaching other students… and shares it with us all for free. Ty for all of the hard work you put into all of this. It’s actually life changing for me because I’ve been struggling to learn guutar for years but you are getting me through it lol.


I’ve completed the Grade 1 Feedback form at least 6 times so that I can praise the program and enter the monthly drawing. But it still shows Grade 1 Feedback in part 7 as incomplete.