What is the overall suggested lesson and practice routine that Justin suggests? I got to grade 1 module 6 in just a few weeks and now I feel lost with how I am suppose to practice. I am a global thinker and need the big picture, and somehow I missed exactly what I am suppose to do, and how fast I can progress. I got the app and at the end of a video it just moves onto the next one, and then that moves onto the next module if you have the changes at least 30 seconds, so I just kept moving forward pretty fast. Certainly too fast now that I’m lost in module 6.
From Justin’s left-hand learning, I think that I gathered I should be doing one module a week, and practicing the same “Practice Session” for that module, several times that week? So maybe take only one module a week and watch all the videos and practice the module practice several times that week?
If this is in a video or written somewhere, please direct me. I can’t seem to find it!?!
Thanks and much love and appreciation to you all!
Hi Garrett, welcome to the community from a fellow beginner! I’ve been in the middle of Grade 2 for a while now. I don’t know if I can provide any definitive answers for you, but I’ll share my experiences. I use both the app and the website, and over time have found myself watching lessons and using the practice assistant on the web (I’m older, and really appreciate having my large monitor rather than squinting at my phone!). I use the app mostly for songs. Of course, everyone is different and there is no “right” way - I just want to explain my frame of reference.
First, regarding how you’re supposed to practice: As you’ve probably seen, the app provides a practice routine at the end of each module. The website practice routines tool allows you to customize the routine if you like, and gathers statistics. (This becomes nice as you progress and find you want to work on things from past modules, or just want to change things up to your needs and liking.) If you haven’t yet, do have a look. The practice structure - at least through Grade 2 - tends to look something like: 5 min practicing songs you already know, 1 to 5 minutes on each of the skills and techniques presented in the module, 10 minutes on new songs from the module. (I understand that in Grade 3 we’ll be encouraged to create our own practice routines.) I find myself watching all the lessons (and practicing along with them) before starting the new practice routine. If that isn’t enough practice for me for the day, I practice songs I’d already worked on.
As far as how fast to go through the modules - this varies depending on the person. Like you, I progressed through the first modules quickly. I’d learned basic chord shapes as a kid, and reviewed them over the years. So these modules for me were focusing on proper fingering, chord changes, and so on. When I got to Grade 2 I slowed down significantly. The Grade 2 techniques and songs, for me, are more challenging. As for when to move on - certainly I’ll never get anywhere if I try to perfect everything on the first go, but at the same time I want to make sure I can do what has been taught. I’ve landed on an iterative approach: I stay with a module until I can pass it according to Justin’s suggestions, and frequently take time to go back and review old lessons when I feel the need. Those reviews are both fun and productive!
OK, that’s much more than you probably wanted to read. Let us know how things are going!
Garrett welcome to the Community.
I am not an app user and have only learned for the website and its many iterations.
At the end of each Module, Justin present a practice schedule. This clearly lays out what you need to be doing and what you should achieve before moving on to the next Module.
Maybe worth reviewing the previous Modules practice in case you missed something.
Hi Garrett, click the practice time tab on the screen and it will add it into your practice schedule on your dashboard. When you then click practice on your dashboard the routine and info will be there for you to use. Hope this helps.
are you using the practice assistant? i load each modules practice routines into the assistant and do them daily until i’m satisfied to move on. justin gives standards at the end of each mod to meet…i try to surpass them a lil bit before moving to the next mod.
Looks like you have the bulk of the advice here I would give. Justin will slowly guide you into being your own guide, creating a practice that is meaningful to you personally. You need to feel free to judge your own progress and weaknesses. If you think you are not terribly successful with some technique, then you should make certain it is in your regular routine. Conversely, if you do something really well, then take it out of the regular routine. I DO recommend you be sure to use it setting up things to play when not working on practice stuff, even if you are not highlighting it in the regular practice.
An example might be that you are good at A to E chord changes. great, no need to spend time doing 1-minute changes there, but you really do want to locate a song that uses that chord pair when you play songs.
I felt like judging my own level of progress was tough when I was in grade 1. Fortunately Justin gives us his left-handed learning as videos we can use as progress markers. I tried playing along with the Nitsuj videos, but found that he and I had different weak spots, so I just listened with an ear for for what was not working well for him. I did get a pretty good feel for how Justin graded himself, and that gave me confidence in how to build my own practice routine and when to move into another module or grade.
see https://www.justinguitar.com/modules/nitsuj-grade-1-practice for the beginning Nitsuj videos.
I have been in grade 3 for a long time now (6 months, maybe). The topics there seem to be harder for my hands to master and require better mastery of the previous skills to satisfy my ear enough to move on. Justin is backing away from giving lesson plans now. It makes sense since we are now moving toward more personalized playing goals rather than learning the basics everyone will need.
So, think through topics Justin has tought, then what you need to work on - that is the basic practice you should be doing. Along with that, you need to play some songs, learn your instrument by fiddling around, listen to songs you hope to play in the future, and just enjoy what you are doing.
There was a post here that recommended taking the module number as a guide to how many weeks you should spend on that module. So module 1, one week. Module 2, two weeks, etc. They did say that was the high end, and I found it to be as well. I’m 12 weeks in and just finished Module 6 and feel confident in being able to perform everything asked in the previous practice sessions.
I have to keep reminding myself that it is not a race. My tendency is to want to reach a goal (such as finishing Grade 1), but that is not what this is all about. It is about developing skills and I have to remind myself not to progress until I have developed the needed skills.