Grade 2, despite not cosolidating G1?

I know this is generally frowned upon, but something came to mind the last few days of my practicing.

That is, not looking forward to my practice. ! So a little history about me and a long standing attitude to learning instruments. !

When I was learning Violin, my tutor asked my a question. “Am I a perfectionist” because I always went back to play pieces that I had errors in before I would finish the entire piece of music. ?

I practiced the Violin quite diligently as it had been a favourite sound to me for a very long time before I started. Anyway, I took my ABRSM exam and passed but I was 6 points short of the destinction.

So…I’ve been hard at practice for a month on grade 1 consolidation and although I’m considerably better now than then. I feel I must move on even though I’ve not done the consolidation of Grade 1.

Why, because I’m still that bloody perfectionist. ! If I dont start adding more soon, I feel I will probably start skipping practice all toghther because I want the songs I’m practicing to be better than they are right now.

I think I should start Grade 2 while still trying to attain the chord accuracy in the songs for G1.
What do you all think about this .?


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I guess the crux of this one would be if you meet the consolidation criteria and are just being hard on yourself or if you don’t.

Justin provides a set of criteria at the end of grade 1. Are you able to meet the criteria? If you can you will be fine. Playing 5 songs through is pretty important but it’s at a beginner level, not perfectly.


Honestly you should move on. See the course as a layered approach. So for each module Part 1 is to understand the lessons and get the mechanics of what you need to play right, Part 2 is consolidation and getting those lessons learned to become second nature. This will take you much longer, Part 3 is to learn songs using those techniques/lessons learned again will almost certainly take longer.

Often you’ll find yourself still on part 2 and even part 3 whilst you are starting part 1 of the next module. This is particularly the case in the early lessons. As long as you don’t race too far ahead and ensure you are consolidating everything you are learning then you should be fine.


Rachel, I recall you posting recordings and you were doing well. Another couple of months down the line and don’t recall any reason not to start Grade 2.

To help with adding some balance/realism to the perfectionism, I’d suggest posting a recording on a regular basis. How regular depends on your practice routines. You want to share recordings that showcase progress from one to another.

That helped me to be confident that I was at an appropriate level as I progressed, neither deluding myself and going to fast or setting the bar too high based on where I was.


Hi Rachel, as JK already mentioned, if you meet the consolidation criteria, move on, before you get demotivated. I also tend to be a perfectionist and so I’ve spent a lot of time on the modules. It was worth it, but maybe I also lost time by practicing items and songs on and on and on to be perfect. Meanwhile I figured out, that sometimes it’s better to move on, learning something different and to come back to it later, as some issues are solved by itself with time. It’s important to be aware, that there are things which need some additional work and this amount shouldn’t grow to a huge wave. I always did some kind of blended learning between new modules and some skills that needed more practice from former lessons. And it’s always possible to take a break and consolidate, not only at the end of Grades. Do, whatever feels right for you, as long as you don’t skip basics you’ll need in future for sure.


This. When many of us did the old beginners course it was common to continue working on techniques and applying them to songs from the previous stage and sometimes two stages back. That’s normal and will keep your interest going. I think now everything has the label of Grades people seem to think its mandatory to pass a form of exam, which I personally see as discouraging. Leaning guitar needs to be structured but that structure needs to be fluid in the way you build the layers. I always think of the comparison with building a houses. There are folk who want to rush and start putting the roof on while the foundation have only been dug and there are no walls. But as you build the walls there’s no reason why to put the windows in while building the walls, you can go back and do that later.

Consolidate G1 while starting your G2 journey and keep us posted.



I say move on. You’ll continue to work on your grade 1 skills as you dip your toes into grade 2 anyway. My approach has been to cherry pick the grade 2 lessons to match the songs that I wanted to learn rather than strictly going through it in order. I’ll fill in the gaps in due course, but this has really helped with my motivation.
I know all about perfectionism, have certainly been there and it’s impacted all aspects of my life. Over the past few years I’ve read self-help books on the subject and it’s really helped me to loosen the reins somewhat. I’ve got much better at patting myself on the back for being better than last week rather being critical of the botched chords in my latest practice session. It feels so much better and I get more joy from my guitar as a result. Just know that you don’t have to accept perfectionism, you can “cure” yourself of it, it just takes a bit of retraining of the brain. It’s a fallacy that you won’t improve if you stop being hard on yourself, you’re actually more likely to quit because you get no pleasure from playing due to being a perfectionist


Another vote to move on, the last thing you want is to start feeling bored or demotivated. You can continue to effectively consolidate stuff from grade 1 through some additional practice elements if you think you need to.
I’m similar in many ways in that I want to get things more perfect thatn they probably need to be, going through that a little right now actually, so I can empathise with you. But get yourself moving into Grade 2, there’s plenty to get your teeth stuck into.
David’s comment to get regular recordings posted is a good one to keep you on track.


Hello, I think there’s nothing wrong in moving on, especially if it’ll keep you motivated an give you enthusiasm to grab your guitar and practice. You can always go back if you feel there’s something missing. Self-assessment is no easy task, but it’s necessary and it has its pros as you’ll be able to build a better understanding of your learning path and be aware of strenghts and weakenesses. Practice and have fun! :blush:


Thank you everyone, so glad I’m not alone in my thinking here. I would hate to fall like I did with the Violin. As you guessed, I dont play that any more.

I will post an update to my playing soon so you all see n hear what I’m talking about but I certainly feel better about moving on now. I know that without a doubt I’ll be continuing 1 consolidation whilst actually starting G2.

Thanks All.



Alway nice to see pretty consistent advice from the community! Totally agree. Do what keeps you motivated, but always be willing to step back and work on the skills needed to go forward as you figure out the areas that need remediation.
Most important is to enjoy yourself. As long as you have that covered, what else do you need? This is not a contest, just a challenge.


I’ll echo what others have said.

When I did the original beginners/intermediate courses, I took a staggered approach.
Rather than fully consolidate one level, then have an entire level of skills to learn, I looked at what I was getting good at (i.e. had consolidated), and what I still needed to work on.

I’d then start the lessons from the next level that built on the things I was good at, and keep working on the things I wasn’t good at.

This meant learning was a more continual thing with lots of little steps, rather than sporadic with lots of big steps. Your brain can only learn so much at once, so trying to learn an entire level of new skills/knowledge at once is always a challenge. Breaking that down so you’re regularly/continually learning something new makes it easier.


I’m in a similar position to you and was starting to get bored of consolidation practice (and I’d also consider myself a perfectionist). What I did maybe a week back was to watch the first couple of videos from Module 8. I’m still practicing primarily G1, but adding in the stuck 3/4 chords as a new thing to practice has dramatically reduced the monotony for me. This way, I feel like I’m not giving myself a free/easy pass, but also making it easier on myself to keep practicing those same 5 songs and basic techniques so the foundation is as strong as I want it.

Editing to add, I just finished reading a book, “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control” by Katherine Morgan Schaefler, which may be an interesting read for other self-identified perfectionists here. It discusses different types of perfectionism and things you can do to embrace that part of yourself (i.e. becoming an adaptive, rather than maladaptive, perfectionist).

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I’m certain you’ll come back to Grade 1 Consolidation in 3 months time and pass yourself with flying colours.

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Hi @Libitina I would suggest watching Nitsuj work the strings for his final practice before he declares he is “ready to pass himself at this point” he then ponders “if I saw myself doing that as a grade 1…” before declaring happily “that’s good enough to pass grade 1”

Like you, he struggled with that inner feeling of perhaps not being ready too (so that’s completely normal). However, like Nitsuj you need to fight the inner perfectionist and once you get that first 80% just about right… move on! You can work on that last 80% (yes, I know) as you move forward with the new lessons in the next grade. Congratulations on passing grade 1 :100:

TLDR; Nitsuj sets a good example in the linked practice session. He passed! :tada:

Just my $0.02 :smiley:

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IMHO, you should push forward, because that’s what your heart is telling you that you must do. Even if it’s not recommended, you gotta follow your heart.

Just know that if you start to feel overwhelmed and a little “out in front of your skis” you can always go back and revisit Grade 1.

The worst thing you could do would be to quit in frustration.

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Oh my, I never really watched much of these, I stopped at end of lesson 4, so this is quite enlightening.
Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention.


Rachel you are not the only one suffering from that syndrome! I would echo what others say - try to move on and keep things exciting rather than falling into the routine, as this tend to get exhausting after a while! Also use songs where you learn new things and consolidate on items learnt while studying G1, that way you keep consolidating all those skills and you keep things interesting by adding new things to your practice routine.


It does renew the vigour a little for sure :slight_smile: