Grade 1 Test! Ready to Pass?

We’ve reached the end of this Strumming Foundations course. It’s time for the all-important question: have you passed? The full lesson is here!

19 posts were split to a new topic: Strumming SOS course - what is it? Should I subscribe?

There wasn’t anything in this course i didn’t know already it’s good for people in their first 3 months of playing or something.
I have been leaning for 3 decades on and off so I’ve literally seen videos lessons like this a million times already so not for me but there is definitely an audience for it.
I will be waiting for the other 2 courses hope they bring something new.

Edit: One thing to add especially for new players is that the metronome is incredibly boring
(i fall asleep in like 20 seconds playing to a metronome) i would highly recommend to play with a drum track or drum machine or some looper pedal with build in drums it’s a lot more fun and actually sounds like your playing music, and it’s function is exactly that of a metronome.
Just make sure you don’t pick one with drum fills etc. that can mess you up in the beginnings, just use a steady 4/4 beat (like a metronome)

I reckon I am a reasonable intermediate player, but my rhythm guitar/strumming is not good enough. I didn’t learn anything particularly new from the first module, but it was useful to work through it, and I should practise more with a metronome. One of my objectives is to be able to play Scottish/Irish folk songs that require fast, steady strumming, often not in 4/4 time. At this time of year, Fairy Tale of New York is a good example, keeping up with that with ease would be a good target, but even faster would be useful. I am hoping the next couple of modules will cover that kind of thing, and not limit fast strumming to funk, although that would be interesting too.

One other point - I have not participated in this forum before and it is not immediately obvious to me how you go about posting a comment. Do I click on the button that says ‘Reply’? I hope this works …

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Ken @KenfaeBern

First of all welcome to the community.:+1:
In answer to you last para, there are three ways to respond.
Using this

directs the response to the user but we can all see it.

This one

Is more of general reply which we can all see.

The third way is a private message using this

only the individual will get this as an email and nobody else will see it.

Hope that helps

Thanks Michael for your help; I can certainly see how to communicate, although it is not clear what the difference is between the first two ‘Reply’ options that you mention, and other than in your screenshot, I don’t see where this ‘Message’ option is. And is this conversation only going on under ‘Grade 1 Ready to Pass’ or is it visible on other forums?

Hi Ken - The reply option next to the heart symbol gives a targeted response (i.e. it notifies the person that you have responded to their comment). The big orange response option at the bottom just provides a non-targeted response. The only people that will get notification of the response being made is the topic owner and those with the topic set to “watching”.

Ken @KenfaeBern

The way I use reply is as follows
If I am replying to a specific point a person has made then I use the grey version.
If I am replying to the topic in general then I use the orange one.

If you click the avatar, of the person you want to message then you will see the button . I will send you a PM shortly let me know if you get it.

Any more queries let me know.


I’m going to look into providing some 5 minute drum grooves for each pattern! Fine idea! :slight_smile: J

You did indeed post :slight_smile: it’s all working.

We get into 6:8 in the dynamics module - might explore some others in Grade 3 - working on the plans and scripts for that one now!

Hello. I’ve just completed the Grade 1 Strumming SOS course. I had taken the really old one (not sure I ever finished that one). I’m an advancing beginner right now (early Grade 3) with 2 1/2 years in. My strumming skills are sooooo much better now than 1 year ago, and this course has improved it even further. I’m looking forward to the next strumming sequence of lessons.

If there is anything I can suggest it’s help with strumming patterns, or references in the video lessons to the digital or printable handbook. I had forgotten about those materials and I see some strumming patterns to practice in there. One of the things I liked about the old course were the RUST strumming patterns, progressing from easy to more challenging patterns. Upon reviewing them periodically, it provided a test to see how I had improved and where in the list of patterns I started getting tripped up and needed to resume practice.

Even just a mention of - “hey there are strumming patterns in the workbook and blank pages you can write up your own patterns” - would be very helpful.

The approach in this course is much improved from the old course, reflecting your years of experience now. I really liked strumming along as you strummed as well. Very helpful guide.

Thanks so much. This guitar journey is turning out to be one of the great things in an already fulfilling life. I appreciate all you do. Thank you.

The book evolved after the video, which is why it’s not mentioned… but I have a couple of ideas for improvement already and will try to remember to mention the booklet in them!

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the feedback :slight_smile: J

I am not a total noob but decided to pick this course up. I think this was very good for me because I am one of those players that thought the fretting hand is god. I knew deep down I really needed to work on my feel and I am confident that the things I learnt in this course will make me a better player. I am now motivated to appreciate the ignored hand. I think the price point is good, a one hour lesson with a guitar teacher would be the same or more.

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Well I think I am going to consider that I have passed Grade 1. I started the course as I was disappointed with the quality of my strumming and thanks to Justin it has signifcanly improved, so big thanks Justin and well worth the money.

I now have 8 strumming 4:4 patterns of which 4 have come along during the course. I am fairly confident that most of them are pretty well automatic apart from DDUDUDU which is fine for open chords but a song I am learning has Am to barre chord Bm, I am still working on barre chords so the change is quite difficult to make in time and I find that I am concentrating in getting my fingers in the right place I tend to lose track of the pattern, but it is getting better with practice.

One of the things that helped a lot was dropping back to from a 0.6 pick to 0.46. What I have noticed recently is that I recognise the sound of the patterns and create the sound without thinking too much of what I am strumming, I guess that is one of the meanings of automatic. This helps in that I know if I am doing it right or if I have introduced more or left out strums. There a couple patterns DDUDDU and DUDDUD have DUD in them but overall, the sound of each pattern is quite different. I am still going to keep going with the metronome.

So, moving onto Grade 2 and there are some lesson I am familiar with because I have needed them for songs such as the blues shuffle and riff together with very basic 6:8 pattern but can see that there is lot more to get stuck into.


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In addition to Old Faithful what are the strumming patterns that I’m likely to find useful to work towards getting my five patterns unconscious? If it helps, my interests are Tom Petty, Noel Gallagher and Nirvana.