Rut Busting & Consolidation

How to avoid getting into a rut and giving up guitar and what to consolidate before you move onto Grade 3!

View the full lesson at Rut Busting & Consolidation | JustinGuitar

When you say 3 to 6 months, do you mean stay on grade 2 material for that long before going to grade 3? You are awesome BTW, thank you for everything.


For what’s its worth that’s how I read it. Consolidate for at least 3-6 months.

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Corey Hi and Welcome.

Yep that is the recommend timescale to make sure you have really absorbed the Beginners material for Grades 1 and 2 before you move in the Intermediate modules. Grade 3 is a bridge between the two and will start to stretch you. Make sure all your Grade 1 and 2 skills are solid before you move on.



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Hey, I can’t find the routine for this module in the practice assistant)

Hello @alicecharles and welcome to the Community.
I think the idea here is that you take the ideas in the previous lesson and add the items you need.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide


Hey everyone! I’m new to this forum so I hope I don’t break any rules by accident. Anyway, I’ve been working my way through grades 1 and 2 since mid to late January and I’m on my way to finishing grade 2! I know this is a time to explore the things that interest me, so I already made a list of my favorite music to learn. Originally I was going to learn a bunch of songs by ear, then I realized Justin has a beginner lesson on playing by ear in grade 3. Would it make sense to just focus on techniques and songs for now and wait until grade 3 to learn by ear? I think I would enjoy that more, but I don’t want to put ear learning off just because it sounds hard.

I found this very difficult to put into practice, but I guess it was how it was done in the old days.

There is an ear training app (a bit dry but useful) and some lessons on intervals and which ‘familiar’ tunes can be used to recognise them:

It’s part of an ear training side module, which from memory is not grade specific.

Jackson welcome to the Community.

Learning to play by ear takes time and practice, sometimes years. So for Grade 1 and 2 consolidation the answer is no, just go through all the techniques, make sure you are doing them correctly and can apply them in songs.

Ear training is something you can work on and develop as you build your playing skills. Its a nice to have if you can do it but it won’t hold your playing back.



Hi. Firstly, I want to say that JustinGuitar is one my favourite online courses. I made a lot of progress and I’m ready for grade 3 (and I already started)
But I see that Justin is still working on the new versions of the lessons (there are only two complete lessons in the grade 3 as of today). Is there a way to find the old grade 3 lessons on the website so I can continue studying while the new course is getting done? Thanks.

There are 9 lessons in module 15, 8 lesson in Module 16 and 5 lesson in module 17
That should keep you going for a while. There was no Grade 3 on the old course.
Justin added it here as a bridge from beginner to intermediate. So once you’ve done the lesson go to grade 4.

Hello Everyone…

I am starting to put together a “custom” practice routine for Level 2 consolidation and am wondering how long other’s practices are? Do you try to keep them around 30 minutes or did it end up longer?

I know the total time for consolidation is 3-6 months but how long are your individual practices?

Also, did you find the need to tweak the practices as you moved forward?

Thanks for any tips shared Grade 2 Consolidation!

During Grade 2 my routines were typically about 30-40mins, I tried to cap it at 40. Now during consolidation it’s been about 40, maybe a few mins extra, but with more focus on playing songs that use the skills learnt in G2 rather than exercises.

At least, that’s the official length, but that just means it’s the minimum practice time. I almost always go over that with some noodling or just playing for a bit after the timer goes off! :wink:

Hi all, I completed Grade 2 in early August and have been in some consolidation since then, when not on vacation! I’m planning to have 4 phases to the consolidation in total for about 3 wks per phase, although if I feel I need longer I will take it, don’t want to rush this stage.

My breakdown is:

Phase 1 - go over material learned in G2, mostly playing songs, but some exercises thrown in too. I selected songs that each used one or more skills, and tried to cover as many different styles/techniques as possible.
Exercises - 11mins
Song work - 30mins

Phase 2 - this will be for repertoire revision, I selected 5 songs I already have in my repertoire, plus some general skills and a couple exercises from G2 not covered in phase 1.
Song work - 25mins
Exercises - 15mins

Phase 3 - this will be for learning new songs I love but have never tried playing before, and general exercises.
Song work - 25-30mins
Exercises - 10mins

Phase 4 - will be all about ear training. I already completed the music theory 1 & 2 back during Grade 1, but tried and failed to do the ear training 1. So this is the retake :slight_smile: will also include repertoire revision or new songs from phase 3 that I want to include in my repertoire and need to practice more.
Exercises - 20mins
Song work - 15mins

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I think to make it.easier for me to set up, I will cycle through the practice routines for the 7 modules of grade 2 ( a new practice routine for each day of the week) for the first month as I review the songs I have learned so far and view the videos for all the songs appropriate for grade 2 that I haven’t learned so far. Later in the consolidation, I can modify the practice routines to focus on problem areas. That way I won’t overlook any of the areas of practice in grade 2.

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Hey everyone! So I just watched this last lesson after going ahead and starting some consolidation over the last few weeks. It was perfect timing because I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed at exactly WHAT to practice. My first love is acoustic folky finger style. That’s what has always made me wish I played guitar. Power chords? Not so much. So that being said what should I work on for the next few months? FYI, I LOVE scales and exercises :joy: Also, changing to the F chord is very frustrating. It’s been like two months and it just won’t get faster!

Hi everyone! This community has been extremely helpful so far, so your advice is once again needed:)

I finished grade 2 late May and have been practicing all summer (along with some theory and ear training).
I currently feel like I’ve hit a wall and can’t perfect certain things (eg faster F chord changes, muting strings in power chords all the time, having a consistent performance with songs I’ve been working on for a long time etc). As a result practicing these things can feel a little overwhelming and discouraging sometimes.

Learning new things always inspires me to keep going and quitting is definitely not an option (I dream of a band one day) so starting grade 3 feels super exciting. However, I wonder whether I should move on to grade 3 feeling like this or I should stay in grade 2 until I feel completely confident with its learning material.

Thanks a lot!

Personally think that you have to strike a balance. You shouldn’t move on too early for sure but at the same time you don’t want to get discouraged enough to drop the guitar all together. I’d go by Justin’s advise in his Grade 2 consolidation video: “Don’t be in a rush to move on…unless you’re bored”

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I’ll keep that in mind, thanks!

I’m on grade 3. Having experienced a few modules of it I would encourage you to consolidate what you’ve learned based on what you’re describing.

Grade 3 is kind of a bridge to being an intermediate guitarist. It’s far less prescriptive than grade 2 and you set your own practice. Pretty early on exercises would require you to be good at F chord and quick on changes. Eg when picking individual strings while strumming, your changes would need to be fast and clean. Definitely to F.

IMHO grade 3 feels very different than the earlier grades. Techniques are more difficult and take more practice. Overall it feels a lot more like a continual consolidation vs the grade 1 and 2 feeling of learning a lot, quickly, from videos.

If you’re getting bored there is nothing wrong with taking a peek. Other than that, keep learning new songs, particularly ones with higher end grade 2 techniques and F!

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