When to dive over to PRACTICAL MUSIC THEORY

Hello all,

I am wondering when it’s appropriate to get going with the Practical Music Theory course.

Right now I’m Grade 5 of Module 1. I think learning to read TABS will help in my practice lessons on songs and help accelerate that but I could be way off base.

I’d be interested to know when others purchased this course as well if their is a way to get a lifetime subscription. That would make sense as it seems like something one could keep going back to reference rather then the linear progression of Justin’s other courses.

Apologies if this is answered elsewhere but just want practical feedback to Practical Music Theory.
Didn’t see this really asked this way in a (albeit quick) search. :smile:



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Put simply, whenever you like. Your journey is your own. Music theory will certainly aid your understanding and probably make you a better overall musician, but if/when you need it is up to you.

I’m a number of years into my journey and have not bothered with any theory at all, outside of the absolute basics that come with Justin’s free guitar course. It doesn’t stop me playing and enjoying guitar though, so for now I will continue not bothering because I just don’t find it particularly interesting.

If you’re really curious now, no time like the present to do something that is useful, but don’t let it interfere with your normal practice routine!

I haven’t done the new music theory course, but many moons ago, when I was working through the Classic beginner Course I bought the original Practical Music Theory ebook. (I still have a printed copy on my desk) and from that experience I’d say it’s never too soon to learn some theory.

I’ve found the practical theory course really useful, because it does what it says: it’s practical and helps you play the guitar better whilst getting to understand how the thing that drives it: harmony and melody work.
It does go from the very basic stuff about beats and bars etc but if you already know that stuff, please don’t be out off.
I did grade 8 theory years ago when doing classical training, but this course genuine;y taught lots and lots of aspects I had no idea of.
I think the lifetime access has been discontinued, though very recently.
Good luck with it and happy playing!

I purchased a year subscription of the music theory when I was around 3 weeks into my journey. It have been very helpful from the get go and also it took only a couple of days before I could use some of the theory in practice. For me, it have got me much more engaged in the practice and is a wonderful support and sure it also have speeded up my progress. I got my guitar 1st of March this year as a total beginner. I would recommend taking the music theory from the get go anytime, no doubt. Also it’s already made, so another good way to support. ( The fingertips needs some rest in the start and theory is a most welcome addition, while those sore fingertips gets hardened :wink: ) ---- Edit addition: But as another said further up, it’s all up to you. You can easy enjoy your guitar journey without. Solely your choice and if you find it interesting, why not go for it.

In my opinion @DarrellW hit the nail on the head with his response. I found the theory really helped with the practical approach I had on the instrument, so it’s really worth it, that knowledge will serve you down the line on your journey no matter where you are now.

Thanks for all of the replies and thoughtful answers from the JG Guitar Community. Gonna go ahead and buy it and start another branch of my journey.


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You say grade 5 of module 1, but I think you mean grade 1, module 5? Because grade 5 isn’t arranged like that…

I started learning guitar in October 2021. I found practical music theory way too much info early on. I did a couple of the free lessons then bailed.

I think I got back into it for a couple of grades when I was grade 2 in the guitar course, then did one or two more when I was grade 3 in guitar (I’m now grade 4 - intermediate in the Justin courses).

My personal experience is that while some of it was useful, a lot of it is not this early and just adds extra cognitive overhead that doesn’t help playing. There is plenty of the “essential” theory through the main guitar courses as well.

So, YMMV. I wasn’t that interested in theory and might be later. What’s your focus? Playing guitar or learning how scales are constructed? Because you don’t need to know the latter to do the former. What really struck home is when listening to Justin’s journey podcasts, he didn’t learn theory until YEARS into his guitar journey. Learning a bunch of theory a few months in isn’t that useful IMHO.

Hi More,
3 years ago in March I started playing (The day before Christmas I got my fingers on the fret board) with random you-tube for quite a long time every day and once learned the open chords in a more or less way 33 years ago…

In the summer I ended up with Justin and pretty soon I heard him say… Theory is the highway to faster and understand better guitar playing…
And I totally agree. I would first have a small basic understanding of chords and something beyond an absolute week one beginner ( also the advice from the teachers here) because it’s theory with the guitar in hand…the first lessons are free so take a look and then decide if it’s something for you already or you will come back to it later…for me it was ground/soundbreaking :sunglasses:, but I had hours to spare in a day, that certainly helped my urge to put so much time into it almost immediately…(but time/days playing is relative here :wink:)

Edit: Justin sayed “learning theory is a short cut of learning to play”

And for what it’s worth…I learned too much too quickly and forgot a lot of it, which isn’t a problem for me…

No, that was recently abolished.