I have a difficult time following Justin’s videos. It’s as if he’s speaking a different language to me. He’s hitting me with a lot of vocal knowledge but I’m a much more visual learner and he never places the chords on the screen as he’s teaching.
To counter that I purchased his app. His app overall is great. I am disappointed with how about 50% of the songs singers sound and/or some chords not sounding right at all but as a learning tool it’s very nice.
Right now I’m on Module 8 Learning about the modified chords or I think he calls them Stuck chords. He suggested learning Wonder Wall. I started out with his video. It got to the point to where I could play the notes but could not follow what he was saying so I went to the app.
The app has entirely different chords. It’s like a super simplistic version of the song that sounds nothing like the original. The singer is also horrible for this song, maybe he’s great in others but this one is a miss.
Another issue is that the app has no indicator ever for capos. It seems like they work songs around people who don’t have capos. In my opinion those people should purchase a capo or move to songs that don’t require them not change the entire song for them.
I hate sounding like a complainer. I am overall very satisfied with my purchases and my time spent in these courses and within this community but either Justin’s song lesson videos or the Song App need extreme improvements. One or the other but preferably both.
I do agree with your first paragraph… video song lessons don’t work for me either. It takes far too long to explain just one simple riff, something that can be seen in seconds via tab. However, Justin can’t add the tab to his video lessons for licensing reasons. That’s why he has a separate (paid) service for that, to cover the licensing fees.
As for the app, you have to remember that it is aimed at beginners learning guitar, so that is what it’s features are geared towards. That is why many songs are tweaked to use chords that are in the beginners course rather than chords which aren’t, and why unusual or difficult strumming patterns are replaced with easier ones. It’s also why songs are adjusted to not require a capo, and why it has no capacity to display finger style. It’s all about getting beginners playing songs, even if they are “simplified”, because that’s what we all aspire to and it helps with learning timing and being part of a band.
It’s also worth mentioning that the songs are being produced by Musopia, not Justin. Yes, the app has his name on it, but that’s because his lessons and tuition are included, not because he is sitting there producing 1000+ songs for the app on his own. Even in Justin’s video lessons some of the songs are tweaked or include alternative methods for beginners, so the app isn’t alone in that.
If you’re at the stage where you want to play your favourite songs exactly as intended by the original artist, then there are plenty of resources for that too, such as Ultimate Guitar for the tab and YouTube for the backing track. Or you could sign up for JustinGuitar Tabs.
It’s odd to me that he cant show tabs but he can speak them and play them. Especially when other youtubers can with, seemingly, no issues.
It’s not so much that I want to play the songs exactly as they’re recorded. I get that this is a beginners app and that the lessons are aimed for beginners. I also understand that the music library would be extremely low if we were forced to play all songs as recorded.
It’s more that if I’m in a beginners lesson, being taught beginner chords to play a song suggested for that lesson, using the app advertised to aid in that lesson, then it should follow the lesson.
If Justin doesn’t have much control over the app, then he needs to suggest other songs or change his lesson towards the app. Maybe he could say “For those looking for a bit more of a challenge Wonder Wall is a wonderful song to learn and you can find videos of it online or use my tab site”.
Or offer multiple variants of the songs. Those variants could be capo, no capo, easy strum, proper strum, easy chords, proper chords, etc… Maybe not that many but you know different variants.
I know it sounds like I not only want the cake but to eat it too but to me it’s just logical. Its frustrating when you are interested in learning something but you don’t feel like you have the resources to do so, especially when you’re paying for them.
Again though I don’t want this to come across as hate or anything. I really appreciate all that’s offered it’s just my feedback.
I’m not a legal expert so don’t know the ins and outs of exactly what’s allowed and what’s not, or why. But I believe there is a clear difference between an amateur posting stuff for fun on social media, and a professional posting stuff on their website which includes paid services.
Justin is a very, very well known guitar teacher with a big presence on YouTube and social media. He also earns income for some of the services he provides. If he breaches licensing rules then someone, somewhere is going to notice and he’ll be easy to catch. A juicy target for the licensing companies.
But if Joe (or Josephine) Bloggs in his (her) bedroom posts a video including full tab for a song for free, then chances are minimal that anyone important will notice, and if they do then he’s (she’s) unlikely to be considered worth going after beyond a cease and desist.
Oh yeah I considered that before my reply.
There’s a few different people who make a profit from selling guides on how to play songs accurately. The person I use most often is GuitarZero2Hero. Here’s a timestamped video of his showing what I would love Justin to do..
I dont know where he stands in terms of popularity compared to Justin. He has multiple videos in the high hundreds of thousands to millions… So I imagine he’s pretty popular.
So while I also am not a lawyer or a legal expert it just appears that it’s not an issue.
Edit: It could be laws he must follow in his neck of the woods.
If I put on my tinfoiled hat I’d say Justin doesn’t put tabs in videos because its more profitable for him that way. It’s a push towards his tab page which it’s paid for. Just so we’re clear, I get it. I have no problem with him making money. Justin offers great services the majority of which is completely free. He has to make money somewhere.
My problem comes in that I’m trying to learn a lesson through Justin and I pay for his app. His app does not follow his course. So I’m left with a mental tug of war. Do I learn the wrong and horrible sounding version? Do I consider no longer paying for the app and using the person I mentioned? Or do I continue to pay the app and post feedback here to hope a change occurs?
There’s many ways this could be handled properly I would prefer any of them honestly because everyone wins at that point.
That’s not the case. Another guitar teacher I follow who had detailed tabs on the bottom of his videos was forced to take them down.
And a different one again who used to make tabs available on his patreon site now uses a similar system to Justin where they can be purchased for a reasonable fee.
As far as the basic gripe, I’m not concerned about the difference. Geez, Justin has so much free stuff out there I give him a lot of leeway, while he’s got good reason to make a living out of what he does, he certainly is particularly generous with so much.
Do you know for certain that that individual isn’t paying any kind of licencing fees for the privilege? Like Justin, the guy has premium options which could quite easily be funding the “free” licensed content, which in turn generates more business so it pays for itself. Age-old trick.
I’d put money on that not being the case. Justin and his song lessons have been around for a very long time, whereas his tab service has not. If he was profit-orientated he would have done it long ago, and would also be charging for his incredibly popular guitar lessons.
Beauty is in the eye… and ear… of the beholder. The “wrong” versions sound fine to me, and I enjoy playing them both with and without backing tracks.
That’s a choice you have to make, depending on your own needs and expectations. Life is full of such options, and we can’t rely on others to make our decisions for us.
PS: The video you linked to is a perfect example of why the app simlifies songs. Beginner level students aren’t going to have a clue what all those chords are or how to play them.