How many songs to learn by Grade 4?


I feel like I’ve missed learning songs.

In Grade 1 I didn’t know what “learning songs” comprised of - no knowledge about song structure, singing and playing, etc., so I kept to “theoretically knowing” them by being able to play chord changes.

Fast forward to grade 4 including theory I can play without any support other than the guitar:

  • Kokiri Forest (Legend of Zelda OOT) (Single Note)
  • Still Beating - Mac DeMarco (16th strumming including singing)
  • Wish you were here - Pink Floyd (including singing excl. Intro)
  • Everybody Hurts - REM (Fingerstyle including singing)
  • The Last of Us Theme (Fingerstyle)
  • Zeldas Lullaby (Fingerstyle)
  • Happier Than Ever - Billie Eilish (excluding singing)

I actually have a hard time leaving my schedule, but I feel like I need to catch up on songs a lot, which obviously progresses about the same pace.

Therfore I feel like I need somebody to tell me it’s fine to just stay on my level for the sake of songs for a while.

What I can by now allow myself is jamming along songs - I try to find a few notes, see whether major scale 1-3 fit and can even figure out the key if that works. That must be at least good ear training and such, right?!?

My schedule:

I think you should feel comfortable doing just what feels right to you. There doesn’t need to be a specific pace to move forward, move forward when you feel ready, by whatever criteria you set for yourself.

I am also near the end of grade 3, module 19. I really have felt I am just staying here and consolidating for as long as necessary. I am very slowly going through the newer modules, but mostly working on songs, techniques, finger style, rhythm, musicality, flow, comfort and confidence. I touch of early singing too. Of course I an also studying classical guitar as well.

Although I probably could venture into some grade 4 stuff, there is more than enough to keep me busy doing things that, at least to me feel important and fun enough to occupy myself for another 6 months at least. This time will only help me when I do move forward.

I agree, knowing more songs is a good idea, but also being comfortable with the wealth of material I have learned in order to play them. The transition between grades 3 and 4 seems like a natural place for a long consolidation.


I totally agree, long consolidation between grades 3 and 4 for me as well. This will include learning songs / at this point we’ve learned a lot of foundational skills, time to apply them!

I’ll add “exploration” to consolidation as well - diving in more deeply to a particular style of music that appeals to me and doing some lessons outside of Justin guitar as an adventure (I’ll be returning to JG’s course).

For what it’s worth, I’m not at all thinking of the time between grades 3 and 4…will be measured in months though. I’ll be satisfied as long as I can look back on a practice and identify something I learned - when that starts to stall, time to change the plan.


I am not as advanced as you, but I have had a similar experience as you, where I spent a lot of time learning chords and not doing any songs - for a year. My story is here.

Honestly, the more songs you know the better and more consolidated you’ll be in my IMHO. There really is no set number of when you should move on. I believe that’s up to you.
If there isn’t a rush to learn, and I don’t think learning works best rushed, then learning more songs is only to your benefit and serves as a fun way to feel more confident in your skills.

Side note here, but I think it’d be really cool to hear your songs. They sound pretty interesting. Maybe post one, if you like Anyways, best of luck, and I wish you happy guitar playing. :slight_smile:


Some folk might expect this comment from me and I shall not disappoint those expectations.

Lesrn songs, learn songs, learn songs.


Hi, @rupel!

In Grade 1 I didn’t know what “learning songs” comprised of - no knowledge about song structure, singing and playing, etc., so I kept to “theoretically knowing” them by being able to play chord changes.

I actually had the same problem, myself! I reached out on the Community here and found that singing was not required. It’s just about being able to perform the song, on the guitar, at your current level. In other words, if someone handed you a guitar, could you play this song while some people sang along? That seems to be “learning” a song at some level. I’m excited about singing, though, so, I’ve learned to sing along with one song so far.

I also wanted to chime in to agree with @Tomc12; the songs you have listed sound rather cool to me! Now you make me want to start learning some Zelda songs. :slight_smile: If you ever want to record a performance to share, I’d definitely take a listen!

Edit: I’ve been corrected. Per the JG program, memorization is not a required part of learning a song, so, I don’t want to mislead people. I would say, for myself, that when I aim to learn a song that includes memorization.

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I’d like to add a small qualification to that.

It does not need to be from memory.
It is perfectly fine and valid to refer to chord sheets, TAB, song charts etc.
Memorisation of entire songs is not an essential.


Really glad for all your replies!
I probably just need to let loose of the progression beast more often. And hammer in that any time spent with the guitar (thoughtfully) is good practice, not just the rigid one.

And actually I just recorded one for a last-of-us-fan-friend a few days ago amongst my older and less demonstrable videos!