How to PASS Grade 1

This is just one piece of anecdotal data, but it took me 24 weeks, from zero to graduating from Grade 1. I very well could have gotten it done many weeks earlier, but I am not in a hurry.

5 Likes

This is me. Thouroughly enjoying grade 1, but the whole reason I decided to learn on an electric guitar is so I can ROCK :metal: Been watching some power chord videos on YouTube and am having a lot of fun playing around with them and distortion, as well as palm muting and pentatonics. And, I really like when Justin throws a riff into the modules, but I need MORE :rofl: With that being said, I peeked ahead at grade 2 and am super excited to see that he has included this stuff in module 12; that alone is motivation enough to get this grade 1 business mastered. Definitely thankful for all of the stuff Justin has taught me so far and, as it turns out, even open chords sound rockin’ with some overdrive.

2 Likes

Thanks I had no idea and was afraid I was horrible as watching the Nitsuj videos made me feel like he learned left handed in a couple weeks and I needed to do the same…lol

Honestly it helps to have some frame of reference range at least as I am signed up for the app but also got the feeling that I should be progressing at a much faster rate in my mind as there was zero references in terms of how long the “Average” person takes to complete beginner 1

thanks all !!

2 Likes

I took two weeks for each module, watching all the lessons for the module and taking notes on Sunday, then following the practice routine for that module as many days per week as I could over the next two weeks. Then I’d move on to the next module on that Sunday. It’s made for a nice routine. I’m finishing up Module 7 now, so I’m just about 14 weeks in. I bought my first ever guitar in February.

One caveat…I’m thinking of tacking on an additional 7 weeks to my initial 14 before moving on to Beginner 2. I might go back and redo each module for a week at a time just as a review and to solidify things. Justin even said in Module 7 that he doesn’t recommend moving ahead right away - so I think that encourages my thinking. I’m in no hurry and would rather have this early stuff comfortable rather than merely passable, but everyone’s on her or his own journey!

3 Likes

Well, I’m 15 weeks in and also at the end of Module 7 but I’m staying longer to help me incorporate strumming techniques into my songs and probably adding back a few songs I stopped playing because they seemed too hard a month ago. I’m such a perfectionist though I’m afraid I’ll hang here longer than I need to. But I figure another month or two won’t hurt.

4 Likes

When Justin mentions playing each chord perfectly at least 50 percent of the time to pass grade 1, is he referring to the Chord Perfect Practice, or while actually playing songs? I know the ultimate goal would be perfect chord playing during songs, but that would take me a very, very long time.

1 Like

@bmknoll

Welcome to the community. Why don’t you pop over here…

As for your question… if you can remember and play the chord from memory with all strings ringing out cleanly 50% of the time that meets that one element of the pass criteria

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it. This is a dumb question, but what clean chords do we include as the 50 percent - at the first attempt, after finger adjustments are made (as in the chord perfect practice) or both/any? I ask this because for a few chords, I usually have to make adjustments before all the strings ring cleanly. I hope this question makes some sense? Thanks again, Brian Knoll

1 Like

Hi Brian, I would say that it should include all 8 chords taught in Grade 1. You should be able to play them all from memory with them sounding crisp and clean 50% of the time. I would say the ones that you manage to achieve without adjusting your fingers count and those which you need to adjust your fingers to get them to sound crisp and clean don’t count. Adjusting them is a good thing as you are recognising that they don’t sound quite right and when you’re adjusting them to get them to sound right you’re programming your muscle memory and you will need to adjust them less and less.

3 Likes

Thank you again for taking time to give such great advice, it’s really appreciated. I still have much work ahead, but looking forward to the challenge.

3 Likes

@bmknoll Hello and welcome to the community.

You have good advice from @Socio.

In the video, Justin is advising most of the chords should sound good most of the time. It is not quantifiable as such (although he does add a 50% figure just to give some sort of target).
This is not during one minute changes or songs but simply when forming and playing the chords.
I hope that helps.

3 Likes

Hi, I’ve just finished Grade 1 and was planning to go through all the Grades but I can see other courses on the site like Music Theory and Ear training. Should I start them in the middle of a grade eg. after grade 5 or after I’ve finished everything?

I have been playing for some time but wanted to start from the beginning as I like structured learning and wasn’t sure if dipping in and out of courses would be very helpful.

Thanks!

1 Like

Hi Shrey,
Congrats on finishing grade 1!! The other courses like ear training and theory run independently of the grades and are more geared to developing your musicality overall. I do them in parallel to my straight grade / module learning. Getting going on them will certainly benefit you as you progress with the modules.

3 Likes

Thanks a lot for replying!

1 Like

Well here I am just over a year in with learning guitar and nowhere near passing grade 1. Oh I can hit all the chords and have progressed through to hitting my F and B Barre chords about 90% of the time, I can play along with all the favorites I’ve picked out on the app including whitesnake and ‘end of the line’ by the traveling Wilburys etc and enjoy jamming along to CCR. I just haven’t memorized any songs and as I sing like a rusty bit of tin in a force 10 gale I haven’t even started down that track yet. It’s not like I can’t learn things, (I’m an air traffic controller for over 34 yrs and in the middle of retraining at a new airport) I’m just enjoying pottering along and it still amazes me that I’ve got as far as I have.
So don’t stress about where you are or how long you are taking, just pour another drink, drag down the ‘git’ and chill. :cowboy_hat_face:

4 Likes

Hi All,

Finished Grade 1 after 8 weeks, but have decided to consolidate for the next two months on getting my song choices as perfect as possible including strumming patterns.
My songs are:
Lay Down Sally - Eric Clapton
For What it’s Worth - Buffalo Springfield
Chocolate Jesus - Tom Waits
Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
All your Love - Gary Moore

I’ve added in the ‘Sunshine of your Love’ - Eric Clapton, the proper version as a bonus but no rush - Using Guitar Pro to help on this one so I can practice all the riffs correctly with it’s looping function.

Also studying Music Theory on Grade 2 at present and the Pentatonic Scales (Minor at the moment)
Might add the Ear Training as well but will do it slowly.

Going for ±1 hour of practice per day

8 Likes

I’m editing what I wrote below as I just saw Richard’s post that addresses my question. I think I will move to grade 2 afterall and keep practicing my changes and strumming.

‐-----------------
Sounds like a great plan, Rachel. I’m just about done with beginner grade 1, doing the last module tonight. I suppose I could move to grade 2 but I’m thinking I could improve my chord changes and strumming - a couple of the songs in the past two modules were too fast for me to keep up. Wondering if I should do better before jumping into grade 2. But then again, Justin isn’t recommending perfection before moving on. :thinking: :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I realised i did Grade 1 to quickly, so ive been consolidating over the last month or so and working on the F chord as well. I feel I’m improving more with the consolidation…

1 Like

@rachelcoles
That’s a good realisation. It gives you time to really consolidate everything you’ve learned in Grade 1 and learning some songs whilst working on that F chord.

1 Like

Actually I did decide to take some time before jumping into level 2. Decided it’s best to finish level 1 and go back and review all the songs, chords, drills & exercises before moving to level 2. So I’m re-doing all the songs in level 1 on the Musopia app, working more on the finger stretch exercise, continuing the four riffs. Really the only chord change I’m having trouble with is the Dm., so I’m working on going to & from Dm.

2 Likes